Best Combat Ships in Elite Dangerous

I am dangerous.

Image via Frontier

Very few games can match the feeling of combat inside of Elite Dangerous. Weaving through asteroid belts, the ring of a planet, or even the other fallen ships’ debris is a rush. This feeling is multiplied by doing it with your favorite combat-oriented ship, bringing the hurt to any pirates or ruffians that try to ruin your day.

While you can use any ship you desire for any role, ships that are meant for a specific role will perform better in said role. Combat ships are faster, more agile, and have more powerful weaponry at their disposal. In this guide, we go over what we feel to be five of the best combat ships for players of all skill types.

Best Combat Ships

5. Viper Mk III

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Manufactured by Faulcon DeLacy, the Viper Mk III is a light fighter with a minimal profile designed from the ground up for swift ship-to-ship combat. You may already be familiar with this ship seeing it used all over the galaxy by system security forces, bounty hunters, and pirates. Coming in at 142,931 CR, the Viper Mk III makes an excellent starting combat ship for new pilots.

The ship has four hardpoints, two Class 2 hardpoints on the underside of the ship with the cargo scoop between them, and two Class 1 hardpoints in front of the cockpit. The cockpit is found at the front of the ship giving the pilot excellent visibility.

4. Vulture

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The Vulture is a heavy space-superiority fighter manufactured by Core Dynamics, set apart by its impressive lateral thrusters and two large hardpoints. The ship’s thrusters allow it to be extremely maneuverable, enabling it smoothly maneuver around larger vessels making it difficult for them to get a clean lock on it. This ship features two large hardpoints granting it some impressive firepower despite its size.

The buy-in for this ship is a bit steeper than the Viper Mk III, coming in at a whopping 4,925,615 CR, but it is well worth the price as it will open up new opportunities to take on larger ships to make more credits.

3. Alliance Chieftain

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The Chieftain was developed in direct response to the Thargoid threat that has started to plague The Bubble of humanity by Lakon Spaceways. More maneuverable than most ships of similar size, the Chieftain can hit targets hard while avoiding counterattacks from those threatening them. Buy-in for this ship comes in at 19,382,250 CR. While steep in the price, you’ll be glad you picked this up when it comes time to go face to face against the Thargoids.

Sporting six total hardpoints, their placement is excellent on this ship, with two Class 3 hardpoints and one Class 2 hardpoint fixated along the ship’s central axis, making it ideal for fixed weaponry. Three Class 1 hardpoints can be found above the cockpit, with the remaining Class 2 hardpoint found underneath the cockpit.

2. Fer-de-Lance

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to enter a combat encounter with a sports car? Well, Zorgon Peterson’s Fer-de-Lance has you covered in spades. The Fer-de-Lance is a heavy combat ship with four Class 2 hardpoints and an impressive Class 4 hardpoint. This makes it one of two medium-sized ships in the game capable of using a Class 4 weapon. The Fer-de-Lance is fast, well-armed, and well shielded though it does lack when it comes to overall jump range and a small fuel tank.

Movement in this ship is very drifty, and you will find yourself feeling like your sliding around when piloting it. Not a bad aspect, but it can take some adjustment if you’re not used to it. This ship has a unique pilot placement that will have you staring at a canopy support beam, one word of note. This ship comes in at 51,567,040 CR.

1. Federal Corvette

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Last but not least, we have the Core Dynamics Federal Corvette. This ship made our number one due to its commanding presence and overall firepower. Sadly, getting this ship will require some work to grind out the Federation reputation until reaching the rank of Rear Admiral and a hefty buy-in of 187,969,450 CR. The Federal Corvette comes equipped with two Class 1, two Class 2, one Class 3, and two Class 4 hardpoints commanding some degree of respect in whichever instance it finds itself in.

This ship is one of the strongest ships in a firefight, capable of defeating a one-on-one fight, an Anaconda, Imperial Cutter, and Type-10 Defender thanks to its spectacular damage and exceptional mobility. Defenses are lower than its direct competitors, but it more than makes up for it in damage alone.