A large ship is a steep investment in Elite: Dangerous, so it makes sense to want the best of the best. Today, we’re ranking the lot.
Thousands upon thousands of players log on to explore the vast reaches of space in Elite Dangerous every day and it’s easy to see why. It feels the game is constantly getting new features for players to check out and new gameplay elements for them to explore.
The best pilots deserve to only use the best ships, and no one knows this better than those who have saved up enough credits to afford some of the largest ships in the game. These are such a big investment that players should make sure they get only the best as it will take a long time to save enough to buy another.
9 Beluga Liner – 84,532,780 CR
The problem with the Beluga Liner isn’t that it’s a bad ship, it’s just that at the cost it takes to buy one there are simply better options to do the jobs it can manage more efficiently. As a trading vessel, it’s outclassed by the Type-9 Heavy and it barely outclasses the Type-7 Transporter enough to justify its price tag.
Its one unique niche if players choose to pursue it is to use the Beluga Liner as an exploration ship. With Engineering and a Guardian Frame Shift Drive Booster its jump range becomes respectable enough to be considered. Not to mention its wide, unobstructed view in the cockpit can be perfect for the task.
8 Orca – 48,539,887 CR
For a fraction of the price of something like the Anaconda, an Orca can make for a great exploration ship without the added flexibility other ships may offer. Sure, dedicated players have created battle Orcas that can manage to work, but it’s impossible to do things like mining or trading with its cargo capacity.
Unfortunately, the biggest flaw for the Orca comes with its price tag in general. It’s barely better than a Dolphin at the jobs it performs, but a Dolphin can be purchased for a fraction of the price. Even with large ships, it’s more likely players would opt for a Type-7 Transporter over it.
7 Type-7 Transporter – 17,472,252 CR
The appeal of purchasing a Type-7 Transporter over other ships really comes down to price. It manages to have defenses, maneuverability, and a respectable jump range that makes it a much more accessible option for trading than other large ships.
It’s also the smallest large ship (yes, read that over again) on the market which does give it less flexibility than other vessels. It can manage to be a miner and explorer, but it’s rarely worth the added effort to do so when saving up a few more credits will likely yield better results.
6 Imperial Clipper – 22,295,860 CR
It’s easy for any pilot to admire just how fast the Imperial Clipper can go once it has fully upgraded thrusters. It’s also capable of carrying 248T of cargo, which is impressive given how fast it can do so. It may cost a bit more than the Type-7 Transporter and carry a little less, but it severely outclasses that vessel in terms of maneuverability and the likelihood it will survive a firefight.
It’s also capable of being used as a miner or an explorer if players choose to, though it should be noted that the Asp Explorer can do everything the Imperial Clipper can and costs significantly less. Still, this added flexibility is something to be desired when making such a big purchase.
5 Type-10 Defender – 124,755,342 CR
It’s hard to see just how much the Type-10 Defender costs without our jaws dropping. Still, players that can invest that many credits can find the ship is very rewarding to pilot. Calling it the Defender makes sense as it has the highest armor rating among all large ships, which makes it a powerhouse for taking hits.
It also has the best theoretical damage output in the game, though it’s practically impossible to use this to full capacity in a real battle situation. Still, this makes it the best ship for those that like to leave their ships on autopilot while they do battle in Ship-Launched Fighters.
4 Federal Corvette – 187,969,450 CR
The Federal Corvette is specialized for combat, and boy does it pack a punch. In a one-on-one fight it can take down an Anaconda, Imperial Cutter, and even a Type-10 Defender due to its massive damage output and exceptional mobility considering its enormous size.
The biggest problem with this ship is the massive price point at which it sells for. Still, the potential to still use it as a freighter with massive combat capability makes it tempting to do the work to get one. Not to mention its battle capabilities make it one of the best large ships for PVP battles.
3 Type-9 Heavy – 76,555,842 CR
While not one of “the big three” as dubbed by the community, it’s easy enough to argue the Type-9 Heavy deserves to be considered alongside them. It has the capability to use a niche build and actually be effective as a combat vessel while having massive fuel tanks, which makes for nice long breaks in between expensive refills.
It also has the second-best cargo capacity of all ships in the entire game. And if players choose to downgrade to a Class 5 Shield Generator it becomes the best available. Overall, it’s an impressive ship that players should consider if they don’t have the credits to buy one of the traditional “big three” ships.
2 Imperial Cutter – 208,969,451 CR
The biggest problem with this ship is the time and dedication required to get to a high enough standing with the Navy in order to be able to purchase it. That and it’s literally the most expensive ship in the game. Still, anyone that gets past these hurdles will find themselves with one of the best ships in the entire game.
It has enough armor and shields to ignore any attacks that aren’t downright brutal — it’s the defensive powerhouse of any pilot’s dreams. It’s capable of being a solid multipurpose ship as well. so at least if players make the large investment to buy it, they can do just about whatever they want with it.
1 Anaconda – 146,969,450 CR
It’s basically impossible to deny that the Anaconda is the best ship in the entire game, not just in terms of large ships either. It has the highest potential jump range in the entire game and is flexible enough to be incredibly effective as a miner, explorer, trader, or combat ship.
The ship is incredibly sturdy and sports serious defenses that are a challenge to get through for any ship. Its only real downside is it’s got stiff handling compared to other ships, but that’s easy to overcome with piloting skill.
NEXT: Elite Dangerous: 10 Best Ships For Exploration, Ranked
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