Last Update: Apr 24th, 2019: F8C Lightning added; Improved Taxi Section
New players and veterans alike tend to ask me ‘what is the right ship for me, what should I buy’? Its easy to get lost in the wealth of choices RSI provides, especially since based on your skill level, your hardware and gear, your preference in game style, and even your aesthetic preferences, the right ship for two different people may vary greatly. So while there’s no generic answer to this question, this guide aims to make your decision easier, providing a quick and easy overview on what choices are available to you and by providing all any links you can possibly need, to find more detailed information and to support your decision!
That said, note that I now also have a similar Vehicle Guide available!
If you’re looking for a more intrinsic and personal recommendation, find me on Star-Hangar’s discord live chat, where we can gladly discuss details to help you find out what really fits you best, as well as other frequently asked aspects such as whether or not to go for ships with LTI (Life Time Insurance).
As a note to veterans, its a good idea to search this page before buying a ship you’re potentially interested in, as you can quickly find the links to what alternatives are worth investigating, before making your choice. Have fun and see you in the ‘verse! 🙂
If you’re new to Star Citizen, remember to check this out first:
1) Refferal Program:
Before you enlist a Star Citizen Account with RSI… Star-Hangar is sponsoring new players with its own referral program. Just check the “Star Citizen Account” in the FAQ or ask their staff in Discord Live Chat about it!
2) Game Package:
If you don’t have a game package yet, remember that you can start with any cheap pack, but you may just want to make sure it also includes the Squadron 42 single player campaign. Buying this from RSI has become expensive, but Star-Hangar has cheaper options available: Starter Packages
The main purpose of this guide is that if you think “hey, that’s a cool ship” then you can browse the star citizen ship list and see what alternatives we have to choose from that you might want to consider. So here’s your overview:
These ships are a good choice to check out the game while keeping cost low. Being budget all-rounders, they can be used for traveling, to move a bit of cargo, and to engage in easy fights.
Core ships of this class are:
Mustang is slightly more nimble but also more fragile.
Some variants exist, offering minor improvements:
Whichever you choose, you’ll want to upgrade sooner than later.
All-rounders can transport small quantities of cargo, are suited to take into combat they offer basic exploration capabilities. Versatile, customizable, and fit for a variety of missions.
Core Ships of this class are:
300i and Avenger are rather similar single-seated ships, whereas the Reliant is made for two. Alternate ships and variants you’ll want to check out:
All ships listed are versatile, somewhat customizable and useful improvements as compared to starter ships.
Ships single-purposed to cargo transportation. Thanks to their small size, they can traverse small jump points, allowing for shorter routes when time is money. They are also useful as entry-level ships for traders with a limited budget and small crew.
These models will be of interest to you:
All of these are transportation focused ships, assuming a typical crew of 2. The Cutlass is an exception, as that is built with the capability to hold itself in a fight. Alternate options worth checking out are:
These ships are well fit for new and independent traders alike.
Versatile Cargo ships with significant capacity, they still retain the capability to act independently. These ships offer a good balance of risk vs. reward for small crews of typically 2-4 people.
These ships will be of interest you:
The ships above seem a solid choice for anyone who wants to specialize on trading runs.
Alternatively worth checking out:
These ships are good to make money off trading. Andromeda and Retaliator may be good choices for more risky trade missions.
Costly high-capacity ships that are vulnerable on their own. They have increased crew requirements of typically at least 4 crew and operations need to be well planned.
Typical ships of this class are:
High Capacity makes your trade runs worthwhile. Alternatively these ships are fit to this role:
It is recommended to never operate any of these ships alone and/or without military escort.
Top of the line capacity – but these ships will also require tedious planning on each trip you take. Expect high crew requirements and mandatory escorts if you want to operate these ships.
Typical choices include:
It is recommended to never operate any of these ships alone and/or without military escort.
Where capacity is all that matters… these ships go beyond what’s normally thought possible. Loading but one of these ships may drain the funds of a moderately sized guild – you’d better make sure not to lose that cargo!
These ships are typically not for personal use but for large-scale guild operations.
These transports are designed to shuttle liquids rather than solid goods.
Starfarers have the capability to refuel other ships in flight.
If you want to extract minerals from asteroids and planets, these ships will be of interest to you:
Please note that mining operations can be dangerous and protective escorts are advised.
Repair other ships wherever you go, these ships are equipped with drones and repair tools for small to large vessels:
You’ll probably want to ensure additional escort. Additionally you may want to check out these ships, which may help your repair & recovery:r
Extending the range of your ships is possible, by refuelling them in deep space. These ships can support to keep your combat fleets going, or to enable extended long distance trips for your transport ships and other operations.
Make sure you never run out of fuel in deep space, it’s cold and lonely there!
Dismantle and deconstructing relics and destroyed ships on large scale salvage operations.
While you can always use mobile gear for small scale salvage, there’s currently but one choice for industrial dismantling operations.
Additionally you may want to check out these ships, which may help your salvage operation:
If you want to get into exploring alone or with a friend, there’s a lot of ships capable to explore new frontiers:
Also you may want to check out these options:
Above explorers are limited to short and moderate Range, however they are also mobile and capable to explore small jump points.
To go boldly where no man has gone before, these ships are to your liking – travel vast distances and handle any situation you encounter. Be advised though, that you’ll need several crew members to operate them:
Note that all ships have the possibility to bring at least one of its own snub fighters for defense – but remember, they are built and equipped to overcome natural obstacles, not military engagements.
What’s the purpose of going to remote places, if you can’t stay there? If your dream isn’t just about discovering strange places, but about colonising them, then look no further:
Whether you want to expand your business or to build yourself a new home – the frontiers are rich in opportunity for everyone!
Star Citizen is well-known for its tough and highly competitive race tracks. Think you’ve got what it takes to be the fastest? These ships may be of interest to you:
All of the above are ships built for racing. In addition, the ships below are known to be very fast, albeit not dedicated to space racing:
You may find that not every racer is equally suited for each race track.
For earning money as a bounty hunter, you need the capability to bring your victims home alive. These ships provide the required holding cells:
There’s no alternate options here, unless you’re happy to transport your ‘passengers’ without security.
This category includes small, typically open canopy snub fighters, that are also capable of levitation land travel.
While preferable used as land vehicles and barely fit to space combat, they still find popular use on transport ships for combat duty, since they easily fit into most cargo bays and can be used as both, an additional defense craft and for planet-based operations.
Most of these ships are just racers with guns tagged to them whose purpose is to irritate and distract your enemies. They are typically used in conjunction with larger craft, allowing them to escape if attacked.
These ships are meant as interceptors and escort – you’ll rather not want to use them for dogfights on their own. Alternatively also check out these ships:
Light fighters are fairly cheap, but built to kill. Utilizing solid firepower, combined with high speed and maneuverability, these ships can be deadly even to larger enemies. However, lacking heavy armor and shields also makes them vulnerable to hostile fire.
The fighters above were built for their task. Additionally, the hybrid fighters below fill a similar role:
Light fighters are best used by good pilots. Superior speed and agility allow the pilot to control and dominate the engagement, but these fighters are also unforgiving: lacking heavy shields and armor, even a slight mistake in combat may proof fatal.
High Firepower, decently maneuverable, and extremely deadly – medium fighters are your front line troopers. While fairly expensive, these state-of-the-art fighters are currently dominating the Arena:
Also of these class and capable:
As opposed to Light Fighters, medium fighters are a little more forgiving to mistakes thanks to armor and/or shields provided. While not as nimble, these ships typically make up the main body of a fighting force.
Heavily armed multi-crew ships, capable of dealing devastating damage against other fighters and medium sized ships alike. Don’t expect them to be superior to other fighter classes – but they can take a beating while they take out attackers with their own guns, turrets and missiles.
Also check these ships, they can work well in this role too:
Heavy fighters are probably less ideal for dogfights as they aren’t very nimble, so you’ll mostly find them where you expect heavy and/or chaotic incoming fire, or against larger craft.
If you need to break targets that heavy fighters can’t, bringing some torpedoes might be a wise choice. Check out these options:
Alternatively you may want to take a look at these ships too:
Most Bombers can handle themselves well enough in a fight. Since they’re prime targets for fighters though, you probably want to bring an escort.
Capital Warships offer unparalleled firepower, and the mere presence of such ships is a threat to its enemies! However, be prepared that take-off alone is a massive undertaking: Crew requirements are immense, often requiring 30 people or more, and the cost of operations, weapons & ammunition, fuel, maintenance… expect Capital Ships to be operated by successful guilds only.
These characteristics define a capital ship: if the capital ships are beaten, the navy is beaten. But if the rest of the navy is beaten, the capital ships can still operate. Another characteristic that defines capital ships is that their main opponent is each other. The ships below are large scale warships too that might interest you – though of different roles hence they don’t quite fit said ‘capital’ term:
Note that Idris-P and Javelins are not simply transferable like other ships. To acquire one, please contact Star-Hangar Staff in chat.
You can’t fight opponents that you can’t find to begin with. These ships will change that:
Note that capital ships tend to have advanced sensory capacity as well, but mobile reconnaissance craft will help increase your detection range.
Looking for alternate methods to disable your enemies? Check out these ships:
Alternatively also these ships offer limited EMP capability:
Also check out Communication & Info Runner Ships for options how to protect data.
Preparing for a landing or an invasion? Here are the ships that can transport and support your troops:
Additionally, these ships are also available with troop transport modules:
All these ships are capable to transport and support soldiers in battle under enemy fire. For non-combat transportation, you may find additional alternatives in the Taxi & Transportation section.
These ships can transport large numbers of people between sites and planets:
While the above ships are large volume transports, there’s alternative choices for more individual or short range transportation
Ready to build your own transportation business?
For additional options, you may want to check the Troop Transport section above. While you’ll not need the extra armor, those ships are of course perfectly fit to transport persons too.
Medical Ships to treat the wounded.
Whereas the cutlass is limited to stabilizing patients, the Endeavor supports a proper hospital environment.
Data needs to be broadcast between locations. These ships can help ensure data is gathered and transmitted:
Make sure you are where the news is happening – there’s money to be earned with that!
True Luxury doesn’t need a purpose… just relax and enjoy yourself!
Also check out these tiny Luxury ships, that may make a nice addition to your Luxury Yacht:
There’s no better way to travel in style 😉
Vehicle Guide: Click here to read my respective Vehicle Guide
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