[Top 10] Elite: Dangerous Best Mining Ships (And How To Get Them)

A Python digs deep within an asteroid to get at those tasty void opals!

Mining is a great way to earn money within the Elite: Dangerous universe. It’s infinitely more rewarding than activities such as combat, but is also more tedious. But, you might find it super fun! This guide will hopefully recommend some great ships for you to start earning big bucks through the Elite: Dangerous mining system!

10. Cobra (Best low budget multipurpose ship)

The Pilot reviews the Cobra MkIII
The Cobra MkIII is likely one of the first ships you will buy in your time in Elite: Dangerous. At just 349,718 credits, commanders can use the Cobra for anything. While not an expert at anything, it will handle everything you throw at it, including mining. 
It can hold two class 2 mining lasers, and have space in optional internals for the required limpets and refineries needed for mining. While not as flexible with optional internals as larger ships, the Cobra is a great place to start if you're seeking a multipurpose ship. It can be refurbished for any purpose, such as combat or exploration, if mining isn’t for you!

Ship Stats

  • Costs 349,718cr
  • Small size
  • Doesn’t contain fighter hanger
  • Base top speed of 282 m/s
  • Manoeuvrability score of 5

What makes the Cobra MkIII great for mining? 

  • Can hold two mining lasers
  • Has enough space for the required optional internals
  • Has an acceptable cargo hold, allowing for miners to take longer trips
  • Very manoeuvrable, meaning you can easily escape pirates if needed 

9. Adder (Best for low budget mining)

The Pilot reviews the Adder
The Adder is better than the Cobra MkIII, but not by much. Thus, it is the next natural step for miners. It has an average cargo hold, and can equip three mining lasers, but will not be able to defend itself against pirates. It is slower and less manoeuvrable than the Cobra, meaning miners must be aware of their surroundings unless pirates attempt to steal your haul.
It is also capable of deep core mining due to the class 2 hardpoint slot, which is a more time consuming but lucrative mining method for rare materials.  The Adder also has a decent jump range, meaning that you will be able to jump to other systems to sell your mined goods at a reasonable price!

Ship Stats

  • Costs 87,808cr
  • Small size
  • Doesn’t contain fighter hangar
  • Base top speed of 220 m/s
  • Manoeuvrability score of 4

What makes the Adder great for mining?

  • Can hold 3 mining lasers, including a laser which allows for deep core mining
  • Has a decent cargo hold
  • Decent jump range, making trade trips easier. 

8. Asp Explorer (Best for low-to-mid range mining)

The Pilot reviews the Asp Explorer
The Asp Explorer provides the perfect stepping stone between the cheaper Adder, and the more expensive Python and Krait series. 
Primarily built for exploration, the Asp Explorer can easily double as a mining ship due to a significant amount of internal compartments to use for cargo, as well as possessing 6 hardpoints for mining lasers on top of other armaments. This means that the Asp Explorer is more than capable of defending itself against weaker pirates, a significant advantage over the smaller Adder and Cobra. The Asp Explorer’s extended jump range allows for more efficient trading routes, leading to a greater profit at the end of a trip. One thing to keep in mind is that this ship has awful breaks, so don’t approach an asteroid too quickly. You’ll probably find yourself crashing into it.

Ship Stats

  • Costs 6,661,153cr
  • Medium size
  • Doesn’t contain fighter hangar
  • Base top speed of 254 m/s
  • Manoeuvrability score of 4

What makes the Asp Explorer great for mining?

  • Possesses a large amount of hardpoints for mining lasers
  • Can defend itself in a fight 
  • Good amount of internal compartments for mining modules and cargo
  • Long jump range, meaning trade trips are highly efficient 

7. Krait series (Best for mid-range armed mining)

A video comparing the Krait MkII and the Krait Phantom - which one suits you?
The Krait series is more costly than the Asp Explorer, but the Kraits are even more primed to defend their mining haul. A large amount of internal compartments means that both variations of the Krait easily fit in the required modules for mining.
The Krait MkII comes with the bonus of a fighter bay, a smaller independent ship that can serve to protect the mothership from hungry pirates. Whenever you fire your hardpoints, you can see the weapons on either side of your cockpit. Honestly, this ship is pretty cool to fight in!
On the other hand, the Krait Phantom is a smaller, faster variant of the Krait, and can outrun any enemies that may be eyeing up your hard-earned material fragments. The Phantom also possesses an extended jump range in exchange for lesser firepower, meaning that both variants are suitable for miners in different areas.

Ship Stats

Krait MkII

  • Costs 45,814,205cr
  • Medium size
  • Contains fighter hangar
  • Base top speed of 245 m/s
  • Manoeuvrability score of 3

Krait Phantom

  • Costs 37,472,254cr
  • Medium size
  • Doesn’t contain fighter hangar
  • Base top speed of 256 m/s
  • Manoeuvrability score of 3

What makes the Krait series great for mining? 

  • More than enough room for multiple mining lasers and weapons
  • Many internal components mean that miners have access to varieties of limpets, refineries, and good cargo space 
  • Makes for a great multipurpose ship, and is extremely flexible in all fields including mining
  • Firing the mining lasers next to your head is a bunch of fun

6. Python (Best for mid-range mining)

The Pilot reviews the Python
The Python is the little brother of the Anaconda, and massive internal compartments run in the family. The Python has more than enough space for all mining modules as well as mining lasers and weapons, meaning that it can easily defend itself against pirates. 
It’s good to keep in mind that the Python is slow and sluggish, meaning that you cannot expect to be able to flee from a fight, as you would in a Krait. However, the Python makes for a great multipurpose ship, and can be a sturdy combat ship or passenger liner if mining doesn’t appeal to you. Generally, players will gravitate towards either the Krait series or a Python for mid-range medium ships.

Ship Stats

  • Costs 56,978,180cr
  • Medium size
  • Doesn’t contain fighter hangar
  • Base top speed of 234 m/s 
  • Manoeuvrability score of 2

What makes the Python great for mining?

  • Massive internal component space for mining modules and cargo space for a medium-sized ship
  • Can be a toothed trader, able to defend itself against pirates 
  • A multipurpose ship to rival the Krait series 
  • 5 hardpoints, meaning you have more than enough options for mining lasers and weaponry 

5. Anaconda (Best for mid-to-high-end mining)

The Pilot reviews the Anaconda
The Anaconda is the larger version of the Python, and boasts an impossible amount of internal compartments and storage compared to the ship’s mass. The low mass combined with the large frame shift drive means that the Anaconda has one of the biggest jump distances in the game, meaning miners can travel great distances to maximise profit.
The Anaconda has a massive amount of hardpoints and internal components, meaning that players will easily be able to fit multiple mining lasers as well as modules such as refineries. While the Anaconda is relatively slow in terms of handling, the sheer power of this ship can easily offset any negative aspects. 
How did Falcon DeLacy make this thing? It’s magical, honestly!

Ship Stats

  • Costs 146,969,450cr
  • Large size
  • Contains fighter hangar
  • Base top speed of 183 m/s
  • Manoeuvrability score of 1

What makes the Anaconda great for mining?

  • Massive jump range allows for great trading routes
  • Good amount of hardpoints for weapons and mining lasers
  • Stores a large amount of cargo from mining trips

4. Type-10 Defender (Best for an armed mining ship)

The Pilot reviews the Type-10 Defender
The Type-10 Defender is one of the largest ships in the game, and is often used as a competitor against the Federal Corvette and the Imperial Cutter. While it holds less cargo space than the Type-9, the Type-10 possesses the most hardpoints in the game, as well as a higher speed and manoeuvrability than the Type-9 (it even has an added spoiler!). The Type-10 is as large as a flying city, and is a beast to behold. Seriously, this thing is chunky!
The massive amount of hardpoints allow for multiple mining lasers for peak efficiency, and the 13 internal compartments leave more than enough space for refineries, limpets, and other modules. The Type-10 is therefore seen as a more aggressive mining ship, which has the potential to defeat most pirates in the games through the sheer number of hardpoints and armour alone. The ship doesn’t come cheap at 124,755,342cr, but is still significantly more affordable than the Anaconda, the Federal Corvette and the Imperial Cutter. 

Ship Stats

  • Costs 124,755,342cr
  • Large size
  • Contains fighter hangar
  • Base top speed of 179 m/s
  • Manoeuvrability score of 0

What makes the Type-10 Defender great for mining?

  • Holds less cargo than the Type-9, but has increased mobility
  • Far too many hardpoints, which allow for mining tools and weapons for self defence 
  • Deploying a fighter makes this ship a formidable force against pirates
  • Cheaper than the Anaconda, but still just as viable in combat against pirates. 

3. Type-9 Heavy (Best for bulk mining)

The Pilot reviews the Type-9 Heavy
The Type-9 Heavy holds the 2nd most cargo in the game, following the Imperial Cutter. It is also slower than the Cutter and Corvette, making it extremely difficult to manoeuvre. It has 5 hardpoints, meaning that offensive capabilities are reduced, but it can also deploy a separate fighter jet to add to DPS against pirates.
It can still comfortably hold mining lasers and other modules while being viable in a fight, but its lumbering size may make it undesirable for miners. However, the Type-9 costs just 76,555,842, over 100 million credits cheaper than the Corvette. Therefore, players may consider the Type-9 as their first step into high-end mining. 

Ship Stats

  • Costs 76,555,842cr
  • Large size
  • Contains fighter hangar
  • Base top speed of 132 m/s
  • Manoeuvrability score of 0

What makes the Type-9 Heavy great for mining?

  • Good price for the capabilities of the large ships
  • Holds the 2nd most cargo in the game 
  • Fighter hangar allows for additional DPS
  • Very good at mining - but not so great at other tasks

2. Federal Corvette (Best for toothed mining and fighting against pirates)

The Pilot reviews the Federal Corvette
The Federal Corvette remains one of the most famous ships in Elite, despite being extremely hard to unlock. To be able to buy the Corvette, players must achieve a Federal Navy rank of Rear Admiral, which involves grinding missions for hours to gain reputation with the Federation. The ship is costly at 187,969,450cr, meaning this ship is often towards the endgame of Elite players. 
The Corvette can carry up to 618 units of cargo, the third-highest in the game. Furthermore, it has 14 internal compartments, meaning that miners can fit the necessary refineries, limpets and cargo racks to increase efficiency. Perhaps most importantly, the Corvette has 7 hardpoints, including two huge hardpoints. This gives the Corvette the ability to hold multiple mining lasers, as well as enough weapons to defend itself against any pirate that may approach you. Known as one of the best offensive ships in the game, the Federal Corvette is not afraid of doubling into a mining ship. Some part of me would still be tempted to flaunt my newly found diamonds, just to get into a fight to use this monster!

Ship Stats

  • Costs 187,969,450cr
  • Large size
  • Contains fighter hangar
  • Base top speed of 198 m/s
  • Manoeuvrability score of 2

What makes the Federal Corvette great for mining?

  • Insane amount of hardpoints combined with a great conversion point makes for highly efficient mining 
  • Holds itself in a fight against pirates even while equipped with mining modules
  • Good jump range for trading routes 
  • Holds a massive amount of cargo

1. Imperial Cutter (Best for mining in luxury)

The Pilot reviews the Imperial Cutter
The Imperial Cutter is the peak of luxury in the Elite: Dangerous universe. While more sluggish in terms of manoeuvrability, the Cutter boasts a decent forward speed. The Cutter holds the most cargo in the game in exchange for handling, at a whopping 794 tons.Similar to the Corvette, the player must grind Imperial Navy rank to achieve the title of Duke in order to purchase the Cutter. It is also the most expensive ship available, at 208,969,451cr. This pitches it directly against the Federal Corvette.
Ultimately, the choice between the Imperial Cutter and the Federal Corvette depends on a player’s personal preferences regarding playstyle and aesthetics. If you like the rough industrial type, the Corvette would likely be up your alley. If you prefer a more curvy ship, the Cutter is for you! The Cutter lacks firepower compared to the Corvette, but can still easily defend itself against any pirates due to a massive size 8 internal slot for a shield generator. Both ships can hold the necessary equipment for mining, and both are deemed perfect for the high-end ship of an affluent miner. 

Ship Stats

  • Costs 208,969,451cr
  • Large size
  • Contains fighter hangar
  • Base top speed of 202 m/s
  • Manoeuvrability score of 0

What makes the Imperial Cutter great for mining?

  • The largest amount of cargo in the game allows for highly efficient mining trips
  • Highly defensible due to a massive size 8 shield generator 
  • Decent hardpoint placement allows for easily being able to mine asteroids 
  • Undeniably the most luxurious mining vessel


I hope this guide has helped you find the right mining ship for you. The recipe for a great mining ship is a good amount of hardpoints combined with a large amount of optional internal slots. That said, any ship can be a mining ship with varying levels of success. Why not try your hand at building your own?

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Kathy Miller is an aspiring robotic wildlife photographer in Horizon: Zero Dawn. She is also a reluctantly good spaceship pilot in the world of Elite: Dangerous, too.
Gamer Since: 2005
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
Top 3 Favorite Games:Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Elite: Dangerous, Borderlands 2

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