Combat is one of the most exciting archetypal pilot roles in Elite Dangerous: Horizons. Nothing beats the thrill of space dogfights in that game. If you want to be an elite fighter pilot, a decent combat ship is a must. There are currently 38 playable spaceships in Horizons you can acquire at stations. These are five of the best combat ships in Elite Dangerous: Horizons to bonk some heads with.
1. Viper Mk III (Budget Pick)
In terms of specifications, the Viper Mk III isn’t among the very best combat ships in Elite Dangerous: Horizons. It’s no match for the other spaceships in this guide. However, this is the best budget choice for new Elite pilots who don’t have millions of credits to splash out. As it’s available for just 142,931 credits, Viper Mk III is the best combat spaceship for beginner players new to the Elite universe.
The Viper Mk III is an extremely fast and maneuverable ship, which can hold its own in PVE bounty hunting dogfights against more expensive spaceships. Viper’s 137 MJ shield compares very favorably with other budget ships, such as the Cobra Mk III. It also incorporates two small and a couple of medium hardpoints for weapon mounting.
Viper MKIII Specifications:
- Armor: 126
- Default speed: 315 m/s
- Default jump range: 7.67 ly
- Internal compartments: six
- Default cargo storage: four tons
2. Federal Corvette (Best for PVE combat)
The Federal Corvette is one of the big three ships in Elite Dangerous: Horizons. This is a monster of a combat ship with formidable firepower. Alas, the Federal Corvette also costs a bomb at 187,969,450 credits. You’ll also need to be at Rear Admiral rank in the Federal Navy to purchase it. Nevertheless, this is still one of the very best ships for higher-ranked combat pilots to obtain.
The Federal Corvette has several hardpoints for weapons. Two of those hardpoints are huge ones you can equip the very strongest weapons to. In terms of firepower, the Federal Corvette is pretty much as good as it gets in Elite Dangerous: Horizons.
Defensively the Corvette doesn’t compare quite so favorably with the likes of the Anaconda and Imperial Cutter. Yet, this ship’s armor and shield comfortably eclipse the vast majority of spaceships in Elite Dangerous. Furthermore, Corvette has the highest number of utility mounts for shield boosters of any Elite Dangerous ship with eight in total.
Federal Corvette Specifications:
- Default speed: 198 m/s
- Default jump range: 6.31 ly
- Armor: 666
- Default cargo storage: 76 tons
- Internal compartments: 11
- Shields: 519 MJ
3. Anaconda (Best all-rounder)
The Anaconda is classed as a multipurpose ship, but most players get this one for PVP and PVE combat. The Anaconda is one of the best all-round spaceships in Elite Dangerous that can match up to the Corvette in one-on-one combat. At 146,969,450 credits, this is another ship that’s among the most pricey in the game; but it’s still somewhat cheaper than the Corvette. The Anaconda is worth its weight in gold.
The Anaconda has eight weapon hardpoints, which is one more than the Corvette. However, it has just one huge hardpoint compared with Corvette’s two. Thus, the Corvette has a bit of a firepower edge. That edge isn’t especially great, however, considering the Anaconda possesses two more large hardpoints for big guns than the Corvette.
Anaconda is also an extremely sturdy spaceship with more armor than the Corvette. This ship has plenty of optional compartments to further strengthen its defenses. It also packs in the same number of utility mounts as the Corvette for shield boosters.
- Default speed: 183 m/s
- Default jump range: 9.41 ly
- Internal compartments: 12
- Default cargo storage: 114 tons
- Shields: 362 MJ
- Armor: 945
4. Fer-de-Lance (PVP Pick)
The Fer-de-Lance is the best medium-sized combat spaceship in Elite Dangerous: Horizons, which is especially good for PVP (player vs. player) dogfights. It’s also a much cheaper spaceship than the likes of Anaconda and Corvette, which you can snap up for about 51 million credits. Many players rate Fer-de-Lance a better value ship than the Corvette and Anaconda.
Fer-de-Lance has five weapon hardpoints in total. Four of those are medium ones and one is a huge hardpoint for class-4 weapons. This is one of only two medium-sized spaceships you can equip with a class-4 weapon. Therefore, Fer-de-Lance boasts some serious firepower; and it’s one of the few medium spaceships that can match the big-hitting Corvette and Anaconda.
Many players prefer Fer-de-Lance for PVP combat because of its excellent maneuverability, good standard speed, and great default boost speed of 357 m/s. The Corvette might be a better gun platform, but this ship’s superior maneuverability gives it an advantage against the biggest spaceships in wing-to-wing PVP dogfights. Furthermore, the Fer-de-Lance is an altogether faster ship than Corvette with armor that’s just as strong.
- Default speed: 302 m/s
- Default jump range: 7.04
- Default cargo storage: 24 tons
- Internal compartments: Six
- Shields: 271 MJ
- Armor: 405
5. Alliance Chieftain (Best for Thargoid encounters)
The Alliance Chieftain is a medium-sized ship that’s been specially designed to take on Thargoid alien spaceships. Thus, this an ideal choice for players fighting the Thargoids in Elite Dangerous. This combat spaceship is also available at a very reasonable 19,382,250 credits, which makes it more affordable than most on this list.
Alliance Chieftain has excellent maneuverability and strong firepower that enables it to hit targets pretty hard and avert counterattacks. It incorporates six weapon hardpoints, which is a large number for a medium-sized ship. Unlike the Fer-de-Lance, Alliance Chieftain doesn’t have a huge hardpoint. However, you can still equip strong weapons to AE with its two large hardpoints. Overall, this is an extremely strong spaceship for its price point.
Alliance Chieftain Specifications:
- Default speed: 235 m/s
- Armor 504:
- Internal compartments: Six
- Default jump range: 9.59 ly
- Default cargo storage: 40 tons
- Shields: 162 M/J
Those are some of the best combat ships in Elite Dangerous: Horizons that will give you a cutting-edge in space warfare. With the above spaceships, you can raise your combat rank faster with fewer ship rebuys in Elite Dangerous.