Elite Dangerous - How to Find the Best Ship - Prima Games

Elite Dangerous – How to Find the Best Ship

by Prima Games Staff

We walked you through how to trade Rare items, how to be a Bounty Hunter, Pirate and a Smuggler. Now its time to help you find the best ship to fit your play style. In total there are 15 ships available in Elite Dangerous at this point in time. However, each of these 15 ships belong to a total of five categories.


These ships are the jack-of-all-trades, and can be fitted with whatever the player needs in order to get the job done. These ships include the Sidewinder, Cobra Mk. III, Asp Explorer, Imperial Clipper, Federal Dropship, Python and Anaconda


Combat ships are specially built to support speed, agility and weapons. Pilots looking to quickly get in and out of combat scenarios will want to keep these ships in mind when searching the market. These ships include the Eagle and Viper.


Freighters are trader specialized vehicles designed to be lightly armed with tons of cargo space. These are the bad boys youll want to pick up if youre looking to haul a few hundred tons of cargo from station to station. The Freighters include the Hauler, Adder, Lakon Type 6, Lakon Type 7 and the Lakon Type 9


The final category of ships are the Passenger class. These ships are large, slow-moving behemoths designed to haul massive amounts of passengers through the stars. Currently, this class of ship only offers the Orca.

Choosing Your Ship

Once youve decided what career to follow, youll need to figure out what kind of ship you want to run. If youre looking to hunt for bounties across the galaxy, a ship like the Viper or even the Cobra Mk. III are great choices. Both of these ships offer decent jump ranges from the start, as well as several Hardpoint equipment slots. The only difference is speed and agility, of which the Viper would win. All of this information, Jump Range, Top Speed, Armor and Cargo Space are good things to keep an eye on when youre looking for a good ship.

Make the Most of your Multi-Purpose Ship

Pilots often use Multi-Purpose ships like the Asp and Cobra Mk. III, as well as the Python and Anaconda. All four of the ships mentioned offer several different setups that can be used for Trading, Smuggling, Bounty Hunting and even Pirating. Despite what may seem popular, you do not need two separate ships to indulge in two different careers. 

If you want to make the most of your Cobra or other multi-purpose ship without buying another one, there are two simple rules to follow.

1. Make note of your purchases for each build. If you have a combat build, make sure your write your Hardpoint choices and other ship system choices down somewhere. That way when you move over to your trading setup, you know exactly what parts youll need to change to get back to that setup.

2. Always make sure to hold onto enough money to buy back your ship from insurance, especially if youre setting up for a combat build. If you dont budget for insurance costs upon destruction, youll risk losing your ship and hard-earned credits, then start over.

Ship Information

Along with each ship offering different speeds, jump ranges and other key factors, each ship offers certain limitations for things like Small Hardpoints, Medium Hardpoints and even Large Hardpoints. 

We wont dig too much into this raw data yet, as there is far too much to include in one article, but they are all important things to keep in mind when looking to pick up a new ship. 


Youre looking to trade-in your Cobra Mk. III for a Viper in order to maximize your combat efficiency. Before making this trade, however, youll want to take a look at key factors like how many Small, Medium and Large Hardpoints the ships can hold at any given time. 

Cobra Mk. III Viper
Small Hardpoints = 2 Small Hardpoints = 2
Medium Hardpoints = 2 Medium Hardpoints = 2
Large Hardpoints = 0 Large Hardpoints = 0

In this case, both ships contain the same amount of Hardpoint equipment slots, which means moving to the Viper wont offer any extra firepower per say, however it will offer more agility and speed as the Vipers speed tops off at 320 without boost versus the Cobras 280 top speed without boost.

Make sure to dig deep into the specifications offered from the ship youre looking to pick up before you make the exchange and end up an unhappy customer.

It’s often tough figuring out whether to be a pirate or bounty hunter. We’ll make the decision easier with this Elite Dangerous career guide.

You may also like