[Top 10] Star Citizen Best Combat Ships

Star Citizen Best Fighting Ships
If you don't like the idea of firing missiles, maybe you could just...drop them in space with the Nautilus? Maybe in the form of mines?

Find out which ship in Star Citizen is best for your style of combat.

Combat is a large part of most MMOs, and an even larger part of a spaceship-driven, multi-system, pirate-riddled, first-person, space-sim like Star Citizen. In a game with over 100 unique ships, there are bound to be a couple dozen combat-focused ships.

These ships can be small 10-meter snub fighters, attached to the outer hull of larger ships, or full 1/2 kilometer destroyer class vessels with crew sizes of over 50 players. Every ship in Star Citizen is controllable by the players, save for 1 or 2, and thus are modeled both inside and out. It can be almost frustrating how detailed the ships are.

The Bengal-class carrier (right) is so large that it makes even the Idris-class Frigate (left) at 242 meters look small.

Ships in Star Citizen are built from the ground up with specific roles in mind. Because of this, every little detail of a ship factors into how well it will perform at whatever role you want to give it. In this guide, we will look at the bigger picture when determining the combative value of each ship. 

Ship weapons are split into 3 groups: ballistic weapons which primarily damage the ship hull, energy weapons which primarily damage shields, and distortion weapons which primarily damage shields and components in the ship. Weapon mounts are also sized from size 1 to size 5 in-game currently, and can be either fixed or gimbaled mounts.

Systems consist of your shields, coolers, and power plants. Your shields are your first line of defense against enemy fire. There are shields that contain more health overall but recharge more slowly, and shields that do not contain as much health but recharge quickly. Your coolers are responsible for keeping your ship working at speed and hidden from the enemy. Your power supply is responsible for keeping everything running. Systems are sized small, medium, large, and capital.

Pricing and availability are different for each ship. Many ships are limited to the point of only being available at a once-a-year anniversary sale, while others are always available to purchase on the online store. Of course, most ships are also available to purchase or rent in-game, but only at certain locations.

It is very important to remember that as a game in development these statistics can change at any time due to testing purposes. While the stats will generally stay the same, the weapon loadout, or ship system modules may change. In addition, some ships are currently not functioning properly, and thus, are excluded from this list. 

10. CNOU Mustang Delta (Best Starter Combat Ship)

The Mustang Delta is an incredibly capable ship for its size, and a group of good pilots can get a lot done.

While you cannot actually start the game with the Mustang combat variation, the Mustang Delta, it is a short journey to upgrade from the starter ship, the Mustang Alpha, to this small but effective single-seat fighter. It provides a healthy upgrade in firepower and components from the basic Mustang.

Why the Mustang Delta is a great fighter:

  • The Mustang has recently been reworked from its original design, giving it a 2019 brand new spaceship smell.
  • With a nose-mounted remote turret that can be slaved to the pilot’s aim, this ship has a full suite of weapons that one might not expect from the silhouette.
  • This ship has a ton of small missiles if you’re into that sort of thing.

Mustang Delta Details:

  • 1046 DPS
  • 1,227 m/s max speed
  • Maximum crew of 1
  • S2(x2) fixed laser repeaters
  • S2 remote turret
  • S1(x32) missile
  • S1 power plant
  • S1(x2) coolers
  • S1(x2) shield generator (10,080 HP, 504 hp/s regen)
  • 2 Main Thrusters
  • 12 Maneuvering Thrusters
  • 2 Retro Thrusters

How to get the Mustang Delta:

  • The Mustang Delta is available to buy in-game at the ship shop Astro Armada, located at the landing zone Area 18 on planet ArcCorp. The ship price is 763,600 aUEC.
  • Wait for the annual anniversary ship sale in late November, which will require real currency. This is also a method of supporting the development of the game and will cost $65.

9. Banu Defender Light Fighter (Best Alien Combat Ship)

The Banu Defender is a transforming ship, taking on a slightly different shape while landed.

Currently one of the most unique ships in the game, the Banu Defender is an alien ship belonging to the merchant race, the Banu. It features an ornate, but very organic design on the interior and exterior. 

What makes the Banu Defender a great fighter:

  • The Defender has an edge in maneuverability over human fighters like the Super Hornet and Sabre, which themselves have edges in durability and armament, respectively.
  • Due to the dual-cockpit design, the pilot can control flight while the co-pilot, if they desire, can control engineering, weapons, or shields to make for an efficient fighting team that can easily outmatch an opponent.
  • This ship uses special made Tachyon cannons for its main armament. While slow-firing, these cannons provide high damage energy projects that strike almost instantaneously, providing hit-scan like gameplay. The origin of this technology is long forgotten.

Banu Defender Details:

  • 908 DPS
  • 1,200 m/s max speed
  • Maximum crew of 2
  • S2(x4) tachyon cannon
  • S3(x4) missile
  • S1(x2) power plant
  • S1(x2) small cooler
  • S2 shield generator (38,460 HP, 419.29 hp/s regen)
  • 2 Main Thrusters
  • 12 Maneuvering Thrusters
  • 2 Retro Thrusters

How to get the Banu Defender:

  • This ship is available for purchase on the game’s website for $220, this is also a method of supporting the development of the game.
  • Upgrade to this ship from another ship via the online store.

8. Roberts Space Industries Mantis (Best Interdiction Ship)

As the first ship with interdiction capability, the Mantis is in a unique position to surprise a lot of unsuspecting players.

The Mantis is the newest ship to the Star Citizen Universe as of Alpha 3.7, and with it comes a new style of gameplay. The Mantis is currently the only ship that can pull other ships out of quantum travel, which is a method of quickly traveling throughout the solar system at 20% the speed of light.

What makes the Mantis a great fighter:

  • Interdiction is difficult to pull off, and should not be done with a Mantis alone, as the ship is not incredibly powerful, and leaves itself vulnerable when interdicting other ships.
  • Not only can the Mantis pull other ships out of quantum travel, it can also keep ships from entering quantum travel as well. Once you’ve found your prey, you can keep them from running away.
  • While other ships will be able to equip components that allow them to interdict others, the Mantis is purpose-built, and thus, will be the most effective in this style of gameplay as it continues to evolve and improve.

Mantis Details:

  • 1360 DPS
  • 1,236 m/s max speed
  • Maximum crew of 1
  • S3(x2) fixed laser
  • S2(x4) missile
  • S1 power plant
  • S1(x2) cooler
  • S1(x2) shield generator (10,800 HP, 540 hp/s regen)
  • 1 Interdiction Module
  • 2 Main Thrusters
  • 8 Maneuvering Thrusters
  • 2 Retro Thrusters

How to get the Mantis:

  • This ship is available to purchase on the official Star Citizen website. This is also a method of supporting the development of the game and will cost $150.
  • You can upgrade to this ship from a lower-priced ship for the difference in cost.

7. AEGIS Gladius (Best Light Fighter)

With the look of a futuristic jet fighter, the AEGIS Gladius is one of the sleekest, aerodynamic ships in the game.

One of the older ships in the game, the AEGIS Gladius has seen a few updates and tweaks to keep it relevant and competitive in Star Citizen. As a military-first ship, the Gladius has everything a light fighter could need.

What makes the Gladius a great fighter:

  • Despite the ship being armed to the teeth, and equipped with a multitude of components, the Gladius is actually quite small at 30 meters, making it a difficult target to hit.
  • The Gladius is one of the best ships in-game for flying in-atmosphere, which will put you at an advantage during ground assaults and low altitude dogfights.
  • The Gladius is often a  testbed for new development in Star Citizen and is currently being used to test the brand new HUD UI elements in the game, so if you want to make sure you see new features first, the Gladius is a good bet.

Gladius Details:

  • 1360 DPS
  • 1,236 m/s max speed
  • Maximum crew of 1
  • S2(x2) gimbaled laser repeaters
  • S2 gimbaled ballistic repeater
  • S2(x4) missile
  • S3(x2) missile
  • S1 power plant
  • S1(x2) cooler
  • S1(x2) shield generators (10,800 HP, 540 hp/s regen)
  • 2 Main Thrusters
  • 8 Maneuvering Thrusters
  • 2 Retro Thrusters

How to get the Gladius:

  • The AEGIS Gladius is available to buy in-game at the New Deal ship shop located at the Lorville landing zone on planet Hurston. The ship price is 1,169,900 aUEC.
  • This ship is available to purchase on the official Star Citizen website. This is also a method of supporting the development of the game and will cost $90. Worth noting is that for the same price you can buy the Gladius’ direct competitor, the Anvil Arrow, which comes with the Star Citizen game package as well, that’s a $135 value.
  • You can upgrade to this ship from a lower-priced ship for the difference in cost.

6. MISC Freelancer MIS (Best Cargo-Hauling Combat Ship)

The MISC Freelancer MIS is a hard-hitting hauler that will allow you to play out your violent space trucker fantasies.

She’s not pretty, and she doesn’t look faster than your average space school bus, but the MISC Freelancer MIS is the best of two very different worlds. With the MIS you’ll be able to take out some bounties while carrying 50,000 credits worth of diamonds in the back, earning money double as fast (and who doesn’t like diamonds).

What makes the Freelancer MIS a great fighter:

  • Cargo running is currently the most lucrative career option in Star Citizen, and the MIS will give you the ability to take advantage of that while not sacrificing much in the way of combative potential.
  • With a large interior and multiple beds, the MSI will allow you and your friends to spend days on end running missions without ever setting foot on a planet or space station....unless you want to sell some goods.
  • The cargo hold has enough room to fit your hoverbike, so you and your buddies can go racing across planetary surfaces if you get tired of winning fights.

Freelancer MIS Details:

  • 1920 DPS
  • 28 Standard Cargo Units (SCU)
  • 1,005 m/s max speed
  • Maximum crew of 4
  • S3(x2) ballistic repeater turret
  • S2 ballistic repeater turret
  • S3(x28) missile
  • S2 power plant
  • S2(x2) cooler
  • S2(x2) shield generator (43,752 HP, 546.9 hp/s regen)
  • 2 Main Thrusters
  • 12 Maneuvering Thrusters
  • 2 Retro Thrusters

How to get the Freelancer MIS:

  • The MISC Freelancer MIS is available to buy in-game at the New Deal ship shop located at the Lorville landing zone on planet Hurston. The ship price is 2,537,800 aUEC.
  • While the Freelancer MIS is not available on the official website, the regular Freelancer is. The standalone regular Freelancer is available for $110, or you can purchase the ship + game package for $125 which includes the whole Star Citizen game package.
  • Wait for the annual anniversary ship sale in late November. This is also a method of supporting the development of the game and will cost $175.

5. Anvil Aerospace F7C-M Super Hornet (Best Medium Fighter)

The F7C-M Super Hornet bristles with firepower and allows a co-pilot to take independent control of its turret.

The Anvil Aerospace Hornet lineup is quite confusing, as there are many variations of the ship. The F7C-M Super Hornet is part of the Mark I generation of Hornet ships and is the closest variation to the military variant, the F7A, that a civilian can buy in-game. While it is not the prettiest ship, with a design dating all the way back to 2012 (this is a first-generation version of the ship, in lore), it is certainly one of the best small combat fighters, dealing out quite a bit of damage for its 22.5-meter footprint.

What makes the F7C-M Super Hornet a great fighter:

  • The F7C-M comes equipped with much more firepower than the regular Hornet. With this upgrade, you get an additional 2(x2) laser turrets. That’s 4 more lasers painting your target with damage, along with upgraded components.
  • While the turrets will fire where you aim, along with your other weapons, the F7C-M allows for a co-pilot to take control of your top turret, providing a means to defend your back or focus on flying while a friend takes aim.
  • This ship is often paired up against larger fighters such as the AEGIS Sabre, proving its combat prowess.

F7C-M Super Hornet Details:

  • 1616 DPS
  • 1,228 m/s max speed
  • Maximum crew of 2
  • S2(x2) gimbaled laser repeaters
  • S2 gimbaled ballistic repeater
  • S2 gimbaled laser turret
  • S1 gimbaled laser turret
  • S1(x4) missile
  • S2(x4) missile
  • S1 power plant
  • S1(x2) cooler
  • S1(x2) shield generator (10,800 HP, 540 hp/s regen)
  • 1 Main Thrusters
  • 8 Maneuvering Thrusters
  • 2 Retro Thrusters

How to get the F7C-M Super Hornet:

  • The Anvil Aerospace Super Hornet is available to buy in-game at the Astro Armada ship shop located at the Area 18 landing zone on planet ArcCorp. The ship price is 2,132,600 aUEC.
  • While the Super Hornet is not available on the official website, the regular Hornet is. The standalone regular Hornet is available for $110, or you can purchase the ship + game package for $125 which includes the whole Star Citizen game package.
  • Wait for the annual anniversary ship sale in late November. This is also a method of supporting the development of the game and will cost $180.

4. AEGIS Sabre (Best Stealth Fighter)

The Aegis Sabre is what some would consider to be the best single-seat fighter currently available in-game.

The stylish, stealthy, hard-hitting AEGIS Sabre is not a ship you want to come up against solo. It is a hard ship to earn for yourself, but worth the time invested if you are serious about combat. It’s difficult to find a more powerful and demanding single-seater in Star Citizen. 

What makes the Sabre a great fighter:

  • Designated as a stealth fighter, the AEGIS Sabre will be more difficult to spot via radar than its counterparts. Though, this gameplay has not been implemented into Star Citizen yet.
  • The Sabre is yet another great ship for flying in-atmosphere, which will put you at an advantage during ground assaults and low altitude dogfights.
  • Many consider the Sabre to be the most solid all-around combat ship in the entire game. There are no worries of turrets, co-pilots, or gimmicky EMPs. The Sabre is all firepower, all control, and no joke.

Sabre Details:

  • 1760 DPS
  • 1,235 m/s max speed
  • Maximum crew of 1
  • S3(x4) fixed laser repeater
  • S3(x4) missile
  • S1(x2) power plant
  • S1(x2) cooler
  • S1(x3) shield generator (7,020 HP, 918 hp/s regen)
  • 2 Main Thrusters
  • 8 Maneuvering Thrusters
  • 2 Retro Thrusters

How to get the Sabre:

  • The AEGIS Sabre is available to buy in-game at the New Deal ship shop located at the Lorville landing zone on planet Hurston. The ship price is 2,183,300 aUEC.
  • Wait for the annual anniversary ship sale in late November. This is also a method of supporting the development of the game and will cost $180.
  • There is also a variant of the Sabre, the Sabre Comet, which is available with a different paint job and slightly different loadout. This variant is available for slightly higher prices at the same locations and times.

3. Anvil Hurricane (Best Heavy Fighter)

The Hurricane features excessive firepower for its size and can benefit greatly from a custom loadout.

The Anvil Hurricane is scary. It’s scary to come across, it’s scary looking, it has a scary name, it’s just scary. It is the top available heavy fighter to normal citizens in the Star Citizen universe, and it’s efficient. At only 22 meters long it packs enough firepower to punch through practically any ship it comes across....if you have a good turret operator.

What makes the Hurricane a great fighter:

  • The Hurricane is an insane package of maneuverability and firepower, but without the ability to slave the turret to the pilot’s control, you lose 4 of your 6 weapons if you don’t have a skilled turret operator to back you up.
  • The flashy design of this ship isn’t just for show. The Hurricane is another ship that is highly maneuverable when flying in atmosphere.
  • Even without a turret gunner, you have command over 2 large cannons as well as a slew of missiles.

Hurricane Details:

  • 2426 DPS
  • 1,232 m/s max speed
  • Maximum crew of 2
  • S3(x2) fixed ballistic scatterguns
  • S3 ballistic cannon turret
  • S1 power plant
  • S1(x2) cooler
  • S1(x2) shield generator (10,800, 540 hp/s regen)
  • 2 Main Thrusters
  • 8 Maneuvering Thrusters
  • 2 Retro Thrusters

How to get the Hurricane:

  • The Anvil Hurricane is available to buy in-game at the Astro Armada ship shop located at the Area 18 landing zone on planet ArcCorp. The ship price is 1,218,800 aUEC.
  • Wait for the annual anniversary ship sale in late November. This is also a method of supporting the development of the game and will cost $195.

2. AEGIS Vanguard Sentinel (Best E-War Ship)

As a heavy fighter with a full e-war suite in the interior. The Vanguard Sentinel is great for special operations.

The AEGIS Vanguard Sentinel is just one variant in the whole Vanguard series, and while it is not the combat-oriented variant, it is the top choice for special operations and E-War currently available in Star Citizen. With a fully decked out electronic warfare suite, the Vanguard Sentinel is ideal for fighting smart, rather than hard.

What makes the Vanguard Sentinel a great fighter:

  • While the ship does not feature its full functionality of an augmented reality cockpit, external e-War pod, and decoy missiles, it does include its EMP which can be used to knock out other ship systems and shields.
  • As a brand new variant for Alpha 3.7, the Vanguard Sentinel benefits from the newer more refined methods of ship building used in Star Citizen.
  • While designed for E-Warfare, this ship is still capable of dealing massive amounts of damage with weapons including a manned turret for the 2nd crewmate.

Vanguard Sentinel Details:

  • 3193 DPS
  • 1,022 m/s max speed
  • Maximum crew of 2
  • S4 gimbaled laser cannon
  • S2(x4) fixed distortion repeater
  • S2 distortion cannon turret
  • S4 EMP
  • S3(x4) missile
  • S2(x8) missile
  • S2(x2) power plant
  • S2(x2) cooler
  • S2(x2) shield generator (21,876, 656.28 hp/s regen)
  • 4 Main Thrusters
  • 10 Maneuvering Thrusters
  • 2 Retro Thrusters

How to get the Vanguard Sentinel:

  • This ship is available to purchase on the official Star Citizen website. This is also a method of supporting the development of the game and will cost $275.
  • You can upgrade to this ship from a lower priced ship for the difference in cost.

1. AEGIS Hammerhead (Best Large Group Combat Ship)

The scale of the Hammerhead is unmatched by any other combat ship currently in-game. At 115 meters long, the interior of the ship is large enough to double as a 4 vs 4 FPS map.

No other ships can export as much first-class explosive force as the AEGIS Hammerhead fast patrol boat. An incredibly difficult ship to come by, this ship is your best bet at handling any combat-related mission currently available. Allowing up to 7 people to deal out damage while in flight, this ship is something you never want to come head to head with as an enemy.

What makes the Hammerhead a great fighter:

  • This ship contains everything a full crew might need to spend days if not weeks away from space stations and landing zones.
  • Separate turrets placed on each side of this ship means, with a full crew, you will always have a defensible position when facing off against multiple enemies.
  • You also have a full internal hangar with a ton of space for material storage, or even a ground vehicle.

Hammerhead Details:

  • 15,840 DPS
  • 40 Standard Cargo Units (SCU)
  • 1,000 m/s max speed
  • Maximum crew of 9
  • 6(x4) S4 laser repeater turrets
  • S3(x32) missile
  • S3(x2) power plant
  • S3(x2) cooler
  • S3(x2) shield generator (179,868 HP, 3,855.176 hp/s regen)
  • 4 Main Thrusters
  • 12 Maneuvering Thrusters
  • 2 Retro Thrusters

How to get the Hammerhead:

  • The AEGIS Hammerhead is available to buy in-game at the New Deal ship shop located at the Lorville landing zone on planet Hurston. The ship price is 12,459,900 aUEC.
  • Wait for the annual anniversary ship sale in late November. This is also a method of supporting the development of the game and will cost $725.

Some combat ships, like the highly anticipated RSI Polaris, are large enough to have hangars for short-range fighters.

These ships will continue to grow and change based on what role they are meant to hold. There are 100 unique ships available to the player in this game, many are combat-oriented ships that aren’t included on this list. For many, it would be worth looking into what other ships Star Citizen has to offer.

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I love walking, flying, running, gunning, crafting, casting, shooting, looting, and building empires. As long as we aren't talking about real life.
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