A newbies guide to combat in Elite Dangerous

Combat in Elite: Dangerous is one of the core aspects of the game and something all players should try to learn.

I am going to break down combat first into different sections as the first task is to be aware of the ships and their abilities in the game. Weapons their effectiveness and energy usage, utility/support modules that can provide an added boost. i will also go through different hardpoint combinations for different roles. Once all the information is available, we can look into techniques using what we have learned dog fighting.

Combat ability of ships in Elite: Dangerous

Below is a summary of the ship abilities in Premium Beta 2.02:

Sidewinder – 2 weapon mounts, 2x class 2, max thrust: 220, basic speed: 100
Eagle – 3 weapon mounts, 3x class 2, max thrust: 240, basic speed: 180
Hauler –  1 weapon mounts, 1x class 2, max thrust: 200
Cobra Mk III – 4 weapon mounts, 2x class 4, 2x class 2, max thrust: 280, basic speed: 140
Lakon Type-9 – 5 weapon mounts, 2x class 4, 2x class 2, max thrust: 130, basic speed: 40
Anaconda – 8 weapon mounts, 1x class 8,3x class 6, 2x class 4, 2x class 2, max thrust: 180, basic speed: 93

For my playing style, I would like to be the fastest ship to control the engagement. The Eagle has the fastest basic speed currently available at 180, but when full power is diverted the Cobra Mk III is faster. So, for PvP (player vs player) battles, the Cobra would most likely be the fastest. Against NPC’s (non-player controlled enemies), it really depends on the AI as to whether the enemy will transfer power and pursue. I believe from my experience, they did not.

Power usage is a big factor in combat and if you are diverting full power to the weapon systems, the engines are not going to be to full. I found with the Eagle and Cobra that all energy weapons just didn’t work with the power usage. I cobra with 2 x Class 2 Beams (fixed) and 2 x class 2 pulse (fixed). It literally lasted a second.. that is no way enough for dogfighting, so I have since been looking into missile and multicannons.

In my most recent hardpoint configuration for the Cobra Mk III, I went for 2 x class 4 multicannons and 2 x class 2 beams on a primary/secondary switch. So, in both cases I can fire both weapons at a target. But, due to the difference in projectile speed, you would need to be very close to a target or have them flying directly towards you.

Combat ability of equipment in Elite: Dangerous

This isn’t quite clear yet as the weapon abilities are not currently available. I will put together some effective ranges for the different weapon types. I know energy weapons have a range of 3,000m and Multicannons have a slightly longer range. I will check out missiles, railguns and see if gimballed weapons have the same ranges.

Effective hardpoint combinations in Elite: Dangerous

My current hardpoint configurations for the following ships are as follows:

Eagle:
[Upper] Class 2 Railgun (Fixed)
[Under] Class 2 Multicannon (Fixed)
[Under] Class 2 Multicannon (Fixed)

Cobra Mk III
[Upper] Class 4 Multicannon (Fixed)
[Upper] Class 4 Multicannon (Fixed)
[Under] Class 2 Beam (Fixed)
[Under] Class 2 Beam (Fixed)

The position of the hardpoint is a factor with some ships and the Eagle has to weapon hardpoints below the ship and one above. All of which have a limited firing arc due to the shape of the vessel and mounting position. I will try using some gimballed weapons, but I am aware there is currently a bug with gimballed class 1 beam lasers.

Combat techniques in Elite: Dangerous – Attacking

Coming soon

Combat techniques in Elite: Dangerous – Evasion

Coming soon

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