Ship Builds & Load Outs Ships Engineering for Trading

Hi guys,

I wondered what engineering you'd recommend for trading ships?

I haven't really done much engineering before, being an explorer who has only just come back after a long trip away and then a break

I heard that you pretty much needed to engineer your ship for defence in order to survive anything against any ships nowadays, as they've all have engineering weapons (both in open and in closed).

I often play in open, so just wanted to know what you think I should do for defence before I start trading again (both in open and closed)

Some places I looked said don't bother with anything other than FSD...but I'm sure I read in other places that you really needed to engineer your defence...so I was not sure what to think

Thanks, guys!
 
I'll start. Felecity Farseer in Deciat will most likely be your first engineer to unlock and visit (with the proper materials on board). She can get your FSD engineered to the max And she can get your started on thrusters, sensors and the DSS. She also does level-1 engineering on Shield Boosters (*), power plant and FSDI. After that, its up to you to decide who to unlock next. I think iirc, the next two I used was The Dweller (for beam weapons) and Todd the Blaster for kinetic weaps (rail guns, MC, etc.).

Those will get you started to engineering a trade ship. Elvira and Liz Ryder can help you with other defense engineering. It all depends on who you unlock (pita), and how much you want to grind for mats (with imho, raw mats being the most painful to acquire).

GL HF Commander

Edit: also, I would suggest going to Deciat and the other engineer sites in Solo. Those places have a lot of Cmdr activity at times and can be a challenge if you're not a good combat pilot, interdiction evader or in a heavily engineered ship. GL HF again
 
Last edited:
What ship do you intend using?

Personally I engineer everything and will cut down on cargo slots to add Hull + Module packages as well. If you're happy to take risks or operate away from known player hot spots then you can get away with less engineering I guess. I'm sure some players operate shield-less trade builds, in solo at least, preferring to win the interdiction mini-game against NPC pirates which is not difficult to do. In open all bets are off if you're flying a max cargo shield-less build.

I always G5 engineer the Armour, Power Plant, the Thrusters, the FSD, the Distributor, the Shield Gen and the Hull packages. If I go with Shield Boosters I'll G5 engineer those as well. That requires a lot of mats which requires a lot of time and of course, means you have to have most of the Engineers unlocked, which is another time consuming exercise.

I'm pretty sure I'm just paranoid though and others go with far less.
 
I don't know. It really depends on if it is in pve environment or in pvp. In pve environment you basically just build up enough shields and that is it. In pvp environment it is trickier and you also probably want to build for speed too. I built an example build here for clipper:


Basically that is a ship that is very fast 628m/s and has semi-decent cargo capacity at 208 tons. It has OK shields and decent hull with module reinforcements too. It has some defensive weapons, whose only function is to either making it harder for the attacker to target you, being knocked around so it is harder to shoot you, or to having to go around mines (and lose speed) or having its drives disrupted or shield generator attacked (that makes many people hesitate the wisdom of attack).

Some modifications you may consider depending on your needs: you can switch the smaller cargo rack for guardian fsd booster if you want more jump range. If you don't need even this much jump range and are worried about fsd reset missiles, you can switch fsd to fast reset instead.
But using these same principles you could build a plenty of other ships also if clipper is not to your taste. You can also build a huge shield tank cutter if you want to and have access to it, while still having very much cargo space. Just use the same principles on having layered defenses and good speed and also using your hardpoints defensively. No matter how you build your ship, you will always be at a disadvantage against a ganker who does not need to consider anything related to trading and whose only "sacrificed" internal module is a smallish FSD interdictor. If you are really good at pvp or just do not care you can always also build a trader with little cargo space and mostly offensive modules and just play the tough guy. Just take your weapons advice from Olivka for example and start running if getting out of SCBs.
 
Last edited:
Selena Jean for armour is good, and Lei Cheung for shields is also good. Felicity Farseer can help a lot as well with FSD and drives. Also, for space truckers I'd strongly recommend prismatic shields. You are optimizing for one-on-one encounters with pirates and often you end up using a smaller slot for shields to max out your cargo capacity. Prismatic shields are roughly equivalent to the A-rated shields one size higher. So the 6A prismatic shields on my trade Cutter are roughly equivalent to 7A shields. Engineer the shields and SCB's as much as you can.
 
Definitely do not neglect your defenses.

If I had a Cutter to outfit for trading, I'd do something like this: https://s.orbis.zone/3pyx

Any pirate or ganker will have their work cut out for them with those shield and armor values. And it also has decent module reinforcement and reinforced essential modules (PP, Thrusters, FSD), so it should be resilient against module sniping. One thing you may want to consider is exchanging a shield booster or two for even more point defense against reverb Cascade torpedoes, and Grom bombs if PD works against those.

PS.: Even with only grade three engineering it's still a very decent protection
 
Last edited:
I'll start. Felecity Farseer in Deciat will most likely be your first engineer to unlock and visit (with the proper materials on board). She can get your FSD engineered to the max And she can get your started on thrusters, sensors and the DSS. She also does level-1 engineering on Shield Boosters (*), power plant and FSDI. After that, its up to you to decide who to unlock next. I think iirc, the next two I used was The Dweller (for beam weapons) and Todd the Blaster for kinetic weaps (rail guns, MC, etc.).

Those will get you started to engineering a trade ship. Elvira and Liz Ryder can help you with other defense engineering. It all depends on who you unlock (pita), and how much you want to grind for mats (with imho, raw mats being the most painful to acquire).

GL HF Commander

Edit: also, I would suggest going to Deciat and the other engineer sites in Solo. Those places have a lot of Cmdr activity at times and can be a challenge if you're not a good combat pilot, interdiction evader or in a heavily engineered ship. GL HF again
Thanks for this. I did get as far as going to Felicity Farseer before my break, and sold a lot of exploration data to level her up, but didn't actually get around to engineering things

I did get some of the ingredients last night, so just need one more to get the FSD upgrade (being an explorer, I just have to get that haha)

Is it all necessary then to have these upgraded defences etc? Are you a sitting duck if you don't have them, and will be killed instantly upon interdiction? Previously, in my ASP Explorer, I just submitted to any interdictions, then ran off...it usually worked...with bigger ships that I may upgrade to now, is that not a viable tactic?
 
What ship do you intend using?

Personally I engineer everything and will cut down on cargo slots to add Hull + Module packages as well. If you're happy to take risks or operate away from known player hot spots then you can get away with less engineering I guess. I'm sure some players operate shield-less trade builds, in solo at least, preferring to win the interdiction mini-game against NPC pirates which is not difficult to do. In open all bets are off if you're flying a max cargo shield-less build.

I always G5 engineer the Armour, Power Plant, the Thrusters, the FSD, the Distributor, the Shield Gen and the Hull packages. If I go with Shield Boosters I'll G5 engineer those as well. That requires a lot of mats which requires a lot of time and of course, means you have to have most of the Engineers unlocked, which is another time consuming exercise.

I'm pretty sure I'm just paranoid though and others go with far less.
Well I'm not sure on the ship, to be honest. I guess that was another question! There were arguments for and against certain ships...currently I'm in an ASP Explorer, but have money saved up now to buy a better ship. I can't actually recall the ship names off the top of my head now - Been that long! But there's the big all-purpose ship (was it the Anaconda) that sounded nice...but some said just to for the Type N Heavy (can't recall the number...10?). But then you're stuck to large pads, so wasn't sure really

And thanks for the other advice! I think the armour is definitely something I'd look into, but while you're at it, it can be tempting to go all out. I take it you can't transfer upgrades between ships and the like, so have to get things multiple times (silly question, but I do hope!)? What about all this Guardian tech too?
 
I don't know. It really depends on if it is in pve environment or in pvp. In pve environment you basically just build up enough shields and that is it. In pvp environment it is trickier and you also probably want to build for speed too. I built an example build here for clipper:


Basically that is a ship that is very fast 628m/s and has semi-decent cargo capacity at 208 tons. It has OK shields and decent hull with module reinforcements too. It has some defensive weapons, whose only function is to either making it harder for the attacker to target you, being knocked around so it is harder to shoot you, or to having to go around mines (and lose speed) or having its drives disrupted or shield generator attacked (that makes many people hesitate the wisdom of attack).

Some modifications you may consider depending on your needs: you can switch the smaller cargo rack for guardian fsd booster if you want more jump range. If you don't need even this much jump range and are worried about fsd reset missiles, you can switch fsd to fast reset instead.
But using these same principles you could build a plenty of other ships also if clipper is not to your taste. You can also build a huge shield tank cutter if you want to and have access to it, while still having very much cargo space. Just use the same principles on having layered defenses and good speed and also using your hardpoints defensively. No matter how you build your ship, you will always be at a disadvantage against a ganker who does not need to consider anything related to trading and whose only "sacrificed" internal module is a smallish FSD interdictor. If you are really good at pvp or just do not care you can always also build a trader with little cargo space and mostly offensive modules and just play the tough guy. Just take your weapons advice from Olivka for example and start running if getting out of SCBs.
Thanks for the build! I guess it's all the getting back into just what makes a good ship as well, as I've been out of doing that for ages too. What made you go for the Clipper rather than the Cutter? Would you not prefer one with more cargo space, or are those too hard to use for defense?

What's SCB stand for by the way?! I may have missed that!
 
Selena Jean for armour is good, and Lei Cheung for shields is also good. Felicity Farseer can help a lot as well with FSD and drives. Also, for space truckers I'd strongly recommend prismatic shields. You are optimizing for one-on-one encounters with pirates and often you end up using a smaller slot for shields to max out your cargo capacity. Prismatic shields are roughly equivalent to the A-rated shields one size higher. So the 6A prismatic shields on my trade Cutter are roughly equivalent to 7A shields. Engineer the shields and SCB's as much as you can.
Ahh okay...prismatic shields are the generators on top of your regular shields aren't they? It's been awhile, so I'm a bit rusty with it all! I still can't quite get what SCB is haha I'm sure it's something obvious, but I don't know...shield booster of some kind?
 
Thanks for the build! I guess it's all the getting back into just what makes a good ship as well, as I've been out of doing that for ages too. What made you go for the Clipper rather than the Cutter? Would you not prefer one with more cargo space, or are those too hard to use for defense?

What's SCB stand for by the way?! I may have missed that!
Here are answers to your questions.
1) Cutter is obviously better than clipper in most cases (when extreme speed is not needed). It also costs almost 1 billion and not many people have access to it so I wanted to post something that is easier to reach and that can be more easily generalized to other ships also. Cutter build is a bit hard to generalize from except to anaconda and corvette (which are slow ships).
2) SCB is a Shield Cell Bank. You can pretty easily double your effective shield with them especially if you have OK resists.
 
Definitely do not neglect your defenses.

If I had a Cutter to outfit for trading, I'd do something like this: https://s.orbis.zone/3pyx

Any pirate or ganker will have their work cut out for them with those shield and armor values. And it also has decent module reinforcement and reinforced essential modules (PP, Thrusters, FSD), so it should be resilient against module sniping. One thing you may want to consider is exchanging a shield booster or two for even more point defense against reverb Cascade torpedoes, and Grom bombs if PD works against those.

PS.: Even with only grade three engineering it's still a very decent protection
Thanks for another good build! So it really is that bad at times is it? The problem I sort of have is that it's kind of learning to run before I can walk haha I don't really know much about combat - it's not an area I've usually bothered in that much (I did the odd few combat missions, but only basic stuff in a Vulture about 3 years ago), so you kind of don't know just what it's all about

But yes, I think the Cutter was what I was aiming for when I played it last, and can afford it now with all the exploring I ended up doing. But will look into getting the engineering stuff first! Which may take some time
 
Ahh okay...prismatic shields are the generators on top of your regular shields aren't they? It's been awhile, so I'm a bit rusty with it all! I still can't quite get what SCB is haha I'm sure it's something obvious, but I don't know...shield booster of some kind?
Prismatic shields are one type of shield generators that can be gained from "Power Play".
https://elite-dangerous.fandom.com/wiki/Prismatic_Shield_Generator
Basically they just up the shield's effectiveness by one size rating. For traders they are good because you need to sacrifice less cargo space to get to the same shield level, but as they take at least 4 weeks to get, they are not a necessity.
 
Prismatic shields are one type of shield generators that can be gained from "Power Play".
https://elite-dangerous.fandom.com/wiki/Prismatic_Shield_Generator
Basically they just up the shield's effectiveness by one size rating. For traders they are good because you need to sacrifice less cargo space to get to the same shield level, but as they take at least 4 weeks to get, they are not a necessity.
Ahh thanks for this - yes, power play is yet another area I perhaps need to look into! So many questions there as well

Does it result in more attacks on you though? I heard that the rival factions or what not will be after you?

And do you then get prismatic shields for all your ships, or just the one you're currently in (after 4 weeks)?
 
Okay, I've basically got the FSD up to G5 now, after some faff

I see that there's still a level up ring to complete for Felicity Farseer on G5 for her FSD...does it matter if I don't have this ring completed (it has optimised mass in blue...it doesn't seem to increase, but perhaps it does depending on how close I am to completing the ring)

So I guess what I'm asking is should I try to complete the G5 ring by keeping engineering an FSD G5, or does it not make any difference?
 
So it really is that bad at times is it? The problem I sort of have is that it's kind of learning to run before I can walk
Learning to run is essential for survival in open and a ship build to help with that is actually easily build. There some general rules, which were already mentioned. Make sure to get a reinforced double braced A grade shield gen, prismatic is not necessary. Your armour also needs to reach a certain threshold so that shield breach attacks cannot easily kill you. Make sure to have positive resistances. Speed is also very important for blockade running, because of mass lock. Weapons are useless if you cannot fight.

This Krait MK2 would be an example of a difficult to kill trader. And it doesn't need every engineer.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom