Strings can be divided in two further main categories: stainless steel and nickel.

Stainless Steel strings are usually manufactured in a highly magnetic alloy which ensure the best pickup amplification. Nickel strings are usually made of steel and then covered with an electroplating of 8% pure nickel.

Stainless steel strings tends to sound brighter than nickel ones with more accentuated upper frequencies and slightly more lows, while nickel strings are usually a bit less bright but their sound is associated with a more full bodied tone i.e. more of the mid frequency range.
Being brighter stainless steel strings are recommended for modern rock and metal and slap on the bass while nickel wound strings are recommended for those who are looking for a more vintage "hot" tone.

Nickel vs stainless steel image
Some sets of Frudua nickel wound strings.

Nickel strings deliver a smoother feel under your fingers and their wearing impact on the frets is reduced due to the smoother alloy they are made of.

Stainless steel strings deliver a slightly rougher feel under your finger and tend to wear the frets more rapidly due to the harder material they are made of. Their brightness make them last longer though.

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