[Top 5] Elite Dangerous Best Mining Ships (2020 Edition)

Best Mining Ships in Elite Dangerous

Discover the best ships for mining in Elite Dangerous.

The gold rush on Earth may be long over, but the void opal rush in the Milkyway is just beginning!  It won’t be easy though, and it’ll definitely be dangerous. There’ll be pirates lurking around every corner to crack open your hull and steal your precious cargo.  Mining can be one of the best ways to maximize your in game time to earn those millions. Choosing which ship to start min-maxing is always a bit daunting, but this guide has you covered!  Before you know it, you’ll be sitting on a mound of credits and reminiscing about the old days when all you could afford was a sidewinder.

1. Cobra MkIV

Cruising past an ice world and onto the more lucrative rings

This ship is the latest model in the highly successful and popular Cobra line.  The MkIV is slightly less agile than its predecessor, but it’s significantly more durable and has much better internals.  This is a very versatile ship that can easily be tuned to a variety of jobs.

What’s Awesome about the Cobra MkIV

  • The Cobra MkIV is great to use as a stepping stone.  It’s an inexpensive entry level ship that even the poorest commanders can easily afford to begin their rags to riches story. 
  • The internals are well suited for mining equipment.  The distributor can power a medium mining laser indefinitely.  That leaves 3 small hardpoints and one medium to still pack some nice defensive weaponry.  
  • There’s room for a 6 slot refinery and 4 collector limpets to keep the process running smoothly. 
  • Depending on the importance you place on shields, you can also hold up to 68 tons of cargo space.  Of course if you’re feeling vulnerable you can always slap on a class 4 shield at the cost of 16 tons of cargo space.

Cobra MkIV Details

  • Cost: 764,720 Cr
  • Hardpoints

           -3x Small

           -2x Medium

           -2x Utility

Optional Internal Compartments

           -2x Class 1 

           -2x Class 2 

           -2x Class 3 

           -4x Class 4

How to Get the Cobra MkIV

This ship is very inexpensive and doesn’t require any rank grinding, so head over to just about anywhere with a shipyard, and pick one up today!

2. Asp Explorer

Cruising a ring around a beautiful water world

The Asp Explorer is a versatile variation on the Asp Scout.  The ship is popular for its multipurpose nature. It can be outfitted for a variety of purposes including exploration, trading, mining, and even bounty hunting.

What’s Awesome about the Asp Explorer

  • This is the second stepping stone ship that you’ll want to get your hands on.  Once you have earned a little cash pick one of these bad boys up and continue to rake in the dough.
  • Unlike less expensive ships the Asp Explorer’s distributor is capable of powering 2 medium mining lasers simultaneously which is going to drastically increase your productivity.  Additionally, you also have 4 small hardpoints to load out with defensive weaponry to keep those pesky pirates at bay. 
  • There’s plenty of room for a 6 slot refinery and  4 collector limpets to keep the production line moving smoothly.
  • The asp’s internal compartments allow you to pack in a sizable 98 tons of cargo while still running a class 3 shield.  Alternatively you can ditch the shield and gain 8 more tons of cargo space.

Asp Explorer Details

  • Cost: 6,661,153 Cr
  • Hardpoints

           -4x Small

           -2x Medium

           -4x Utility

  • Optional Internal Compartments

           -1x Class 1 

           -2x Class 2 

           -3x Class 3 

           -1x Class 5 

           -1x Class 6

How to Get the Asp Explorer

The Asp Explorer is a little expensive, so you’ll want to farm with a smaller ship until you can afford it.  There’s no rank grind required, so once you have the credits head over to just about any shipyard and pick one up!

3. Imperial Clipper

Fitting for the long trip out to a secret hotspot

This elegant vessel is a mainstay of the Empire.  The Clipper is the little brother to the Cutter. It has less firepower, but it’s much faster, more maneuverable, and more versatile.

What’s Awesome about the Imperial Clipper 

  • It’s fast...really fast.  The Clipper has the fastest top speed of any mining ship on the market.  While prospecting, you can bounce from asteroid to asteroid in the blink of an eye.  It’s also fast enough to out run just about any pirate without even breaking a sweat.
  • The distributor can easily power 2 medium mining lasers simultaneously which will yield a great output.  At the same time you still have 2 large hardpoints to mount some formidable defensive weaponry which will allow you to blast just about any pirate out of the sky.
  • There’s enough room to comfortably carry a 6 slot refinery as well as 6 collector limpets.
  • The clipper can carry a respectable 194 tons of cargo while still sporting a class 4 shield.  Of course you always have the option of dropping the shield for 16 more tons of cargo space. 

Imperial Clipper Details

  • Cost: 22,295,860 Cr
  • Hardpoints

           -2x Medium

           -2x Large

           -4x Utility

Optional Internal Compartments

           -1x Class 1 

           -2x Class 2 

           -2x Class 3 

           -2x Class 4 

           -1x Class 6 

           -1x Class 7

How to Get the Imperial Clipper

The Imperial Clipper requires a significant rank grind.  You’ll have to reach the rank of Baron with the Imperial Navy before you can purchase it.  It’s also relatively expensive, so it may be worth your time to head over to Ray’s Gateway to pick on up at a discount.

4. Imperial Cutter

Heat sinks out trying to cool down by a massive star

The Cutter is a massive ship used by the Imperial Navy.  This luxurious battleship is the most expensive vessel in the galaxy that doesn’t require multiple crew members.  The sleek form factor of this ship is the epitome of Imperial class.

What’s Awesome about the Imperial Cutter

  • It’s a luxurious endgame ship that’s definitely worth considering putting the time and effort into min-maxing.
  • The power distributor can power a respectable 3 medium mining lasers.  That leaves you with 1 medium, 2 large, and 1 huge hardpoint for defensive weaponry.  Needless to say, pirates aren’t going to be a problem while you’re in this ship.
  • You’ll be able to rock a 9 bin refinery as well as 9 collector limpets.
  • It can hold a truly astounding amount of cargo.  In fact it has the largest cargo capacity available to commanders.  When outfitted for mining this ship can haul a whopping 578 tons even with a class 6 shield fitted.  While it’s mining output can’t keep up with the Anaconda, being able to stay out longer and go home less is a big plus.  Especially if there isn’t a station anywhere near your super secret hotspot.

Imperial Cutter Details

  • Cost: 208,969,451 Cr
  • Hardpoints

           -4x Medium

           -2x Large

           -1x Huge

           -8x Utility

Optional Internal Compartments

           -1x Class 1 

           -1x Class 3 

           -1x Class 4 

           -2x Class 5 

           -3x Class 6 

           -2x Class 8 

           -2x Class 5 Military

How to get the Imperial Cutter

The Imperial Cutter requires an intense rank grind with the Empire.  You’ll need to reach the rank of Duke before you can get your hands on this sweet ride.  It’s also astronomically expensive so you’ll save millions by going over to Ray’s Gateway to purchase and outfit it.

5. Anaconda

Drifting through the void looking for a sweet mining spot

The Anaconda is the king of versatile ships.  It’s hard points and internal compartments allow it to be tuned to just about any job.  No fleet is complete without at least one of these amazing ships

What’s Awesome about the Anaconda

  • Once again the versatile Anaconda comes in as a top tier endgame ship that you’ll want to min-max.  If you’re serious about mining, buying an Anaconda is a no-brainer.
  • The massive power distributor can run four medium mining lasers.  Your limpets will definitely have their work cut out for them trying to keep up with you.  If you’re worried about pirates that leaves you 2 small hardpoints, one large, and one huge to mount some serious defensive weaponry capable of vaporizing a small fleet.
  • You’ll be able to fit a 9 bin refinery and 11 collector limpets to collect all those tasty minerals.
  • Even with a class 4 shield you can still hold 322 tons of cargo which is plenty for a sizable payday when you return to the station.

Anaconda Details

  • Cost: 146,969,450 CR
  • Hardpoints

           -2x Small

           -2x Medium

           -3x Large

           -1x Huge

           -8x Utility

Optional Internal Compartments

           -1x Class 1

           -1x Class 2

           -3x Class 4

           -3x Class 5

           -3x Class 6

           -1x Class 7

           -1x Class 5 Military

How to Get the Anaconda

There’s no rank grind required, but the Anaconda is still extremely expensive.  Once you’ve saved up the millions of credits to buy and outfit it, head over to Ray’s Gateway.  The credits you’ll save with the discount make it well worth the travel time to get there.

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