Elite Dangerous best ships

ELITE DANGEROUS: Best Ships For Exploring, Trading, Mining, & More

One of the best things about Elite Dangerous is that it doesn’t hold your hand through the game.

There’s no right or wrong way to play it. It’s entirely up to you to play the game however you like.

The same can be said about the ships in the game. There is no best ship in Elite Dangerous. Because each ship is designed with specific roles and professions in mind.

And as I always say to beginners, the ship that you enjoy flying is always the best ship in the game.

That being said, not all of the ships in the game are perfect. And some of the great ships can be quite expensive. So in this post, I will give you a shortlist of the best ship for each profession you want to pursue in Elite Dangerous.

Let’s dive right in.

Best Ship For Exploring

Exploring the vast Milky Way galaxy to discover new systems, mark your territory on planets, and come across neutron stars, is the most enjoyable activity in Elite Dangerous. It’s also a great way to make a ton of money too.

If you love to explore the galaxy and travel far beyond into the dark sectors, then you’ll need a great ship that can travel far.

asp explorer

When it comes to the best ship for exploring in Elite Dangerous, my top recommendation is the ASP Explorer. Here’s why:

  • It’s much cheaper and easier to acquire for beginners
  • It has one of the highest jump ranges in the game
  • It has the right amount of component slots to take you on long trips
  • More importantly, it has an incredible cockpit view

Some would argue that the Anaconda is the best ship for exploring as it has the highest jump range in the game. Some others will say Krait Phantom is the best because it has more additional slots. Well, they are not wrong.

But those ships are much more expensive, cost even more to upgrade, have higher rebuy costs, and are a bit too big for most stations. Then again, it’s entirely up to your preference.

I made a video covering some of my favorite explorer ships in Elite Dangerous. You can check it out to get a closer look at these ships.

Best Ship For Combat

When talking about combat in Elite Dangerous, I’m mainly focusing on pirate hunting. Because the Thargoid war is basically an end-game activity.

There are so many ships you can use for combat. So it’s difficult to recommend a ship for this category. However, the Alliance Chieftain is a ship that I’ve enjoyed the most in combat missions.


This ship not only looks cool but packs quite a punch. Even without engineering, you can equip this ship to take on even the baddest pirates in the galaxy.

Here’s why I love this ship:

  • It’s super tough and can take a ton of damage
  • It has enough slots to equip some of the best weapons
  • Has lots of optional shots to add more shields
  • Above all, the ship is much easier to handle and maneuver

Best Ship For Mining

I have tried every activity in Elite Dangerous and mining is by far my favorite activity in the game. I just love spending time alone in an asteroid field mining stuff while listening to my favorite songs. It’s the perfect way to relax.


I use a Python with a pretty solid build for mining. I did not do much engineering for it and just equipped all the best gear for mining. Still, I was able to make over 25 millions with only laser mining.

Here’s why I love Python:

  • It has smooth handling compared to most other ships
  • Since it’s a medium ship, you can land it on most stations
  • It has a great cockpit view
  • You can get over 200 cargo space with this ship
  • And it has just the right amount of slots for equipping your mining gear

Best Ship For Trading

Space trucking, or trading, in Elite Dangerous is a lucrative career. With the right ship, you can earn well over 100 million credits per hour doing nothing but trading runs.

type 9

When I mean the right ship, I only mean the Type 9. There’s no other ship in the game that can beat the cargo space of the Type-9 Heavy. You can max it out beyond 750 cargo space and with the help of Inara, you could earn well over 16 million in just 7 minutes.

Here’s how:

Best Ship For Taxi

I’ll be honest, I’m not a big fan of taxi missions. Driving passengers around can be fun in games like GTA but in Elite Dangerous it can be a bit tedious. But if you’re a fan of these missions, then I know the perfect ship for you to start your journey.


If you’re just starting out, the best ship for the job is the Dolphin. It’s cheap, has a great jump range, and offers enough options to start your taxi business.


Once you’re ready to upgrade, switch to the Orca to turn your taxi business into a more luxury travel business.

What Is The Best Overall Ship?

Alright, let’s say that you can’t afford every ship on this list. You just want a daily driver ship that can basically handle every activity in the game. Which one should you pick?

Well, if you want to explore and travel across the universe, you can’t go wrong with the ASP Explorer. It can also handle combat and mining but don’t expect to make too much profit from them.

But my favorite overall ship is the Python. It can handle basically any activity in the game perfectly well. Other than its slightly shorter jump range, this ship is perfect in every way. I know it’s an expensive ship but if you can afford it, it’s the only ship you’ll need in the game.

Then again, I recommend finding a ship that you enjoy flying. Because you will spend a lot of time in it.