The Top 5 ‘Elite: Dangerous’ Ships

Elite Dangerous Ships

Developed and published by Frontier Developments, ‘Elite: Dangerous’ is a game which simulates flight in space. It is the first in a series of related games, and the main claim to fame in regards to the game is the fact that it is the first game to offer a mass-multiplayer feature. The choices made by each individual player affects the storyline being played, while still providing the player with settings that are for single-player mode.

Ships are the main focus of the game. Ships are needed to travel space and do a variety of things necessary to make progress through one’s universe and storyline ( While they resemble the ships from previous Elite games, they each have different modules which will enable features that are individualized to different needs. For instance, they can be specialized for pirates, hunters, traders, etc. Even the interior of each ship is retained for future use that is appropriate for the specialized ship.

Now that you have something of a grasp on the basics about ‘Elite: Dangerous’ and the purpose of the ships, let’s take a closer look at the ships themselves. Since the ships are individualized for specific tasks, they must be upgraded now and then to make them able to perform increasingly difficult, or more advanced, duties. This means that some ships will be more capable and advanced than others. Because they are on this scale, some are better than others, it’s just that simple. So, the question is not only which ships are better, but what about the best?

Below are the five best ships from ‘Elite: Dangerous’ listed according to the category of ship. You’ll note that we have featured one ship from each basic category, and two ships from the ‘multipurpose’ category. The ships are pretty much the best ones from each category, so they are in particular numeric order. We will also give you a tip or two on upgrading each, ie: what may be the next best ship to upgrade to. When upgrading, you will need to spend money, so brace yourselves.

While you may not be that familiar with the game, or you may be just starting out, knowing about the best ships will give you something to aim toward in specific categories. So, basically you are getting help that will put you a bit ahead of the others when it comes to upgrading and ‘perfecting’ ships. Read on to learn more.

Best Exploration Ship – Asp Explorer

If you need to travel great lengths in space, the Asp Explorer is likely your best option. It can jump a good amount of distance, and after upgrades it will be able to leap even further than before. The Asp also has a pretty big fuel capacity, so you can basically sail space for substantial amounts of time.

  • More Information – This ship is manufactured by Lakon Spaceways. This is a ship that is great for those who are going to be commanding their first vessel with a crew consisting of many members. It features a cockpit canopy that has a wide-open range of vision and a high-jump range that is preferential. It is also very versatile, so it is a good choice for pilots trained for combat, traders, bounty hunters, and more. This ship requires a medium landing pad. It is important to note that when this ship has significant fire power, its heat dissipation suffers.
  • Upgrading – Ships can be upgraded by upgrade add-ons. Basically, each ship comes with ‘standard’ equipment, and as you progress, will require an equipment upgrade to continue to do tasks. Ships can also be upgraded by getting the next model of ship, which will be better equipped in specific areas. So, once you have the best ship, just start spending credits on upgrades to make it the best it can be.

Best Transport Ship – Lakon Type-9 Heavy

This is the best of the Lakon-manufactured transporter ships as it is capable of better fighting in space and has the most hauling capacity. Other Lakon models include the Type-6 and Type-7, which are both smaller and less effective, but good nonetheless. The Hauler is the most awkward transport available, as it is big and clunky. While this transport craft isn’t as spacious as the Imperial Cutler, it is more affordable, and it can be purchase without moving up in rank in the Imperial Navy.

  • More Information – It is also able to have a fighter bay equipped, so traders who want to avoid criminal high-jacking often prefer it. On the downside, the ship is challenged speed-wise, and it is large and bulky. These two traits combined make it difficult when it comes to getting rid of smaller ship riding in your blind spot and maneuvering as easily as you would like. This ship also needs a large landing pad in order to land.
  • Upgrading – When it comes to upgrades, this is just like the rest. Specific features will be offered as you progress, and you will determine which is needed depending on the tasks you are facing. For instance, this ship is good to have because criminal ships are similar in style and price, which makes the Type-9 less apt to be hit by pirates. However, a new generation, called the Type-10, is out, and this ship offers less cargo space than the Type-9, but is far better in combat situation. Choose upgrade options in accordance with this.

Best Combat Ship – The Eagle MkII

Since this guide is mostly written with starter players in mind, we have chosen the Eagle for the Best Combat Ship. The Eagle is probably the very best for those starting their career as a bounty hunter, but it is important to have the best shields you are able to get, as the standard ones are lacking with the lightweight hull. Otherwise, this is a great combat ship to start off with.

  • More Information – This fighter ship is high in agility and easier to maneuver than many in its class. Fighters that are ship-launched are the only ones with better maneuverability, which is why this is a great choice for beginners in certain career fields. It is even a good choice if you are looking to overcome other ships on a higher tier than that of yours. The Eagle MkII requires a small landing pad.
  • Upgrading – When compared to the Sidewinder, the Eagle is better in most all aspects. Also a good choice for pirates, it can fight with most any enemy, as long as they have three Class 1 hardpoints. While the shield needing to be upgraded is a given, it will also need a Shield Booster. Use of a Stealth Build is wise since it does not have a Kill Warrant Scanner, and the use of Silent Running will make attacks more difficult for the enemy.

Multi-Purpose Ships – The Cobra MkIII

This is probably the best multi-purpose ship available, aside from the Imperial Clipper, which requires a higher rank in the Navy to purchase. The Cobra is great for smuggling stolen goods, and it leaves a minute heat signature, which keeps cops at a distance. It also has some pretty good weapons.

  • More Information – This small ship requires a small landing pad. It has many abilities, so it is a good ship for a variety of career choices and tasks. With a high overall capacity and an affordable price, it is competitive with other, more expensive ships that are comparable.
  • Upgrading – This ship has many compartments which are good for additional components and add-ons. Check out the Auto Field-Maintenance Unit, the Detailed Surface Scanner, and the Fuel Scoop if you want to maximize abilities and efficiency.

The Adder

The Adder is a step up from the basic Sidewinder, which is a great starter ship. The Adder isn’t quite as good as the Cobra MkIII, but definitely has points that make it a go-to option. It offers excellent jump range, which makes it the perfect starting choice for Explorers, and its cargo space is more than sufficient.

  • More Information – This ship is very adaptable and is a great ship to have in situations where fighting is going on, especially when upgraded with the right equipment. It is the least expensive ship you can buy if you are looking to add a Class II Mining Laser, which makes it a great choice for those in mining. The Adder, like the Cobra MkIII, requires a small landing pad.
  • Upgrading – The Eagle is great as an upgraded Hauler; it also serves its purpose well as a Trader, though it is not as good of choice as the Viper MkIII in this capacity. Consider purchasing Collector Limpets if you are a Miner. As far as exploring goes, it has great capacity, which serves well in travel. While there are no real downsides to the Adder, upgrades of any type are welcome, but make sure to pay special attention to downside that accompany the specific upgrades

Regardless of what you have chosen for a career, the ships above are specific to each one, and you will be able to determine the best one for you career and the tasks you have to do. Remember to always consider all travel aspects before upgrading, ie capacity, fuel capacity, weapons, etc. It will do you no good to upgrade weapons in a situation where exploring is required. For more information, be sure to check out the given links, and you will find all the guidance you need in regard to ships. Have fun, and travel wisely.

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