Ships Exploration Loadout Advice?

After just gaining the rank of Elite in Trade, I'm looking forward to
trying my hand at Exploration.
I would rather not Engineer the ship, although I would look into
using Guardian Tech as it seems there are advantages to it, one
being that it doesn't involve as much grind.
That said, first off, which ship should use? And best loadout for said ship?
I have at the moment an Anaconda, A Python and a Federal Corvette.
Or is there a better ship to use?
I would more than likely work on getting a Guardian FSD for whichever ship.
Any input is appreciated!
Of those, I think the Anaconda can make the best exploration ship....but you know, with engineering. I'm not sure what kind of jump range it can get to without engineering...maybe it is great even then. It's the top dog with engineering.

If you're not engineering you may be better off getting one of the ships with a better off-the-shelf jump range I think. For exploration, I'm still quite happy with the AspX I bought when I was still very, very new. Engineered, the jump range on mine is 65 Ly and I have all of the modules needed for exploration fitted. It's main weakness is shields are not so great (makes High G landings a bit nail biting). I'm told the Phantom is also an excellent choice.

P.S. You really should reconsider your stance on engineering and, at the very least, unlock Farseer or Martuuk and engineer the FSD. Just mho. This would only take a few hours of game time seeing as both are base engineers that you start with access to.

Here is a link to a site that shows some example exploration builds for most (if not all) ship types, if you want to see more ideas/thoughts:
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Since the FSS (Full Spectrum Scanner) is built into every ship, you can do some decent exploration with even a combat fitted ship if preferred like your Corvette. Guardian FSD boosters will add a flat jump range to whatever ship you place it on, so it will be of the most benefit to ships with smaller jump ranges (like the Corvette), and useful, but proportionally less effective on ships like the Anaconda (at least those of which aren't fully geared out for combat).

In any case other things I would add to an explorer in no particular order:
-Fuel Scoop is absolutely essential (unless you are trying to see how far you can get without refilling eg something like the "No fuel scoop challenge" ).

-DSS (Detailed Surface Scanner) for discovering where points of interest might be located on a newly discovered planet (and if you are after extra cash for exploration data)

-AFMU (Auto Field Maintenance Unit) for repairing modules in your ship (of critical importance if you use Neutron Star boosting as you will need to repair your FSD)

-Planetary Vehicle Hangar to house an SRV (Surface Recon Vehicle) to collect essential materials for synthesizing. You can refill your AFMU, or collect materials to give your FSD a range boost. If you aren't doing these things, it's not so important, but can be a bit of a boredom buster if you want to try some planetside driving.

Engineering your FSD can makes a huge difference to exploration. While others say that jump range isn't the be-all of exploration, it does allow you to fly a little higher above the galactic plane or dive a bit deeper below it where the stars start to thin out and the distances between them become greater. It also allows you to cover more distance faster. If possible, I would at least unlock Felicity Farseer even if you don't bother with any other engineer. There are a few guides out there, but this one by Commander Exigeous is reasonably short:
Unlocking Felicity Farseer

You can make use of your current ships if you don't want to outfit a new Hauler.

A lot of ships can make great explorers:
-Type 6 (A budget explorer with great views..)
-Dolphin (Recently discovered how nice this ship is for exploration, not quite as open views from the cockpit compared to others, but still great to explore in).
-Diamondback Explorer (2nd Best jump range after the Anaconda, it's small size makes it great for the Guardian ruins as it is easier to find spots to land close by with).
-Asp Explorer (Best views in the game IMO).
-Krait Mk II/Phantom (Make for great robust exploration ships, the Phantom has comparable jumping range to the Asp Explorer).
-Imperial Courier (sensitive to weight changes, so not as good for jumping range as the others, but it is a fast, fun ship).
And the Anaconda and Python that you already own can make for great exploration ships (Not familiar with the Federal Corvette unfortunately).

There really isn't any best load-out for exploration ships, but there are a few things to consider (besides the above mentioned Fuel Scoop, DSS, AFMU and PVH):
-Use the best FSD you possible can. That means using the biggest possible A-Graded FSD that you can fit in a ship. They are expensive, but they are worth it.

-Use A-Graded Power plants, of the smallest size that will power your ship. Sure you might be able to 7A power plant on your Python, but it adds weight and if you aren't using all that power it is a waste. So keep downgrading the size of the power plant (keeping it A-rated), until any further downgrade will mean you can no longer power everything (There are some exceptions; the Planetary Vehicle Hangar doesn't need power while your in space, so you can safely power that down to free up some power. In addition with some power management you can set your ship up so that if you do go over the power limits, you can control which sub-systems turn off in response, freeing even more power).

The reason for using A-Grade power plants is because they are the most thermally efficient ones. Each ship has a fixed heat capacity and choosing a less efficient B/C/D/E power plant means that your modules will all contribute more heat to your ship. This can easily be seen while exploring during Fuel Scooping; with a less efficient power plant you may find yourself overheating when you refuel your ship.

-Use a Fuel Scoop of the same size or bigger than the FSD. eg if your using a Python with a 5A FSD, use either a size 5 or size 6 Fuel scoop. A-Graded Fuel Scoops are very expensive, but if you happen to be able to go one size above your FSD drive for the fuel scoop, you can happily make do with B or C-Graded. This is probably one of the biggest set backs of the Diamondback Explorer in that it can only equip a size-4 Fuel Scoop which is one size down from the size-5 FSD that it uses.

-Use D-Graded modules for everything else (well except AFMU's which don't weigh anything). D-Graded modules are the lightest and tend also to use less power than higher grades of the same module; this is especially important for engines which are the biggest power drain of the entire ship (Also you can sometimes use a slightly smaller sized engine while still being D-Graded for even more power/weight savings). If you do decide to try unlocking Felicity Farseer, you will get access to Grade 3 Engine mods which while not the best of the best, will add a significant boost to your overall speed.

-Offensive/Defensive Options. If you want to get the best jumping range possible for the ship you are currently in, then that is easily possible, but sometimes you only need to sacrifice a few light years of jump range to enormously improve your defensive/offensive capability. Even if you are out exploring in solo, an unsafe landing on a High-G world with an AspX using the lowest grade shields can easily result in destruction, where by adding a higher grade of shield, some lightweight 0E shield boosters, and even a 1D Hull Reinforcement Module can give your ship quite a bit more durability without sacrificing all that much jump range.

Here are some of my own ships, they are however fully engineered, but you will see that they share quite similar characteristics (Coriolis is a great tool for experimentation):
Type 6
Diamondback Explorer

If you want a basic template, let's say your Python:
Non-Engineered Explorer Python

Some build commentary for the above:
3A Power plant
- The smallest A-Grade power plant I could place on the ship un-engineered. Sure I'm at 97.9% power usage, and switching on the Planetary Vehicle Hangar will cause it to exceed the power that the 3A provides, but you don't ever need to have the PVH on while traveling in space, so once you land you can switch it on and you will have no power problems since your engines turn off once you land, freeing up heaps of extra power.

A final note here is that I used "Priority 5" the lowest power priority for the PVH; so even if I accidentally switch on the PVH on the above Python, by default the power management will switch off all Priority 5 modules first if a power shortage occurs, which happens to be the PVH, so apart from the warning you get about power being overloaded, it will have no affect on your other modules.

5D Thrusters - One size down from a 6D, I save 8 Tonnes of weight while only losing 6 m/s. This is where a bit of experimentation is needed to find a balance that you are happy with.

6D Power Distributor - This is the smallest (lightest) un-engineered power distributor that will allow the Python to boost. The amount of energy required from the distributor for each ship to boost varies considerably; some like the Krait Mk 2 needs very little distributor capacity to boost so can actually make do with a smaller distributor, but the Python is more distributor hungry so requires a bigger distributor.

4D Life Support, 6D Sensors - You can't use a smaller size for these modules, so the D-Grade is the lightest version of that module you can get.

6B Fuel scoop - It's only 1/4 of the price of the 6A, and since the Python is using a 5A FSD drive, it will give us a pretty good refuel rate since we are using a fuel scoop one size larger than the FSD (even a 6C Fuel scoop will collect fuel faster than a 5A, while being much cheaper)

5D Shield Generator - I find this size of shield generator has a pretty decent protection/weight ratio for the Python in particular, but you can go smaller to save on weight further by using a 4D or even 3D generator. For each ship I tend to experiment with sizes by stepping down and seeing the effect that the size downgrade has on the overall shield capacity, vs how much the additional weight saved gives me (or whether or not I need those larger sized slots for something else) and work from there at finding an optimal balance.

3B AFMU - I don't think personally it matters what size you use for your AFMU as long as you take one with you. The reason I go with B-Grade AFMU's is because I only ever take a single one with me, and B-Class modules have the greatest amount of integrity (And second fastest repair rate); which in the case of the AFMU means that it takes less damage from ship overheating conditions. If you take another AFMU with you, you can then have each AFMU repair the other, so grade doesn't really matter here, although A-Grade AFMU's will be the quickest to repair modules if you are looking to cover as much ground in the shortest time possible using Neutron Star highways.

2G Planetary Vehicle Hangar - Not much to say here, except that I generally take the lightest version I can. the 4G though will give you an extra SRV vehicle so that if you accidentally destroy your first while being far from civilization you don't need to immediately head back to replenish the lost SRV.

This is a bare-bones build however, and as far as ships go is very fragile, so with my engineered explorers I try to pack in a bit more survivability by sacrificing a bit of the maximum jump range, but here is where you can experiment yourself on adding those characteristics that you yourself want your ship to have (More shields, weaponized, faster (you don't have to use D-Graded engines, put some A-Graded ones on to have a fast explorer)).
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Thanks guys for all the input!
If I do the Guardian stuff i may do that with my Python
to get the guardian stuff
and am seriously considering using my Anaconda for
the main exploring. I think I have A-rated everything, So
i'll definitely take your advice in lightening the ship more.
I've already got 2 SRV's in it and the rest cargo space
so i'll replace the cargo and drop 2 AFMU's in there.
Two things often overlooked when deciding on ships by the numbers, but I find important factors, are supercruise handling and cockpit visibility. I rank the Python and the Anaconda low on both of those counts. Others maybe won't care or even notice. But when you are making your 271st consecutive jump and mapping your umpteenth celestial body, these factors start to tell, at least for me.

For these reasons I recommend a new ship, the Asp X. Great jump, great view, nice supercruise handling. Has room for all exploration essentials (SRV, AMFU, etc). My DBX outjumps my Asp X, but the Asp is what I pull out when I want to head back to the black.
I had been thinking about the Asp Explorer as well. I used to have one and sold
it for more cargo space at the time. Hummmm That would work.
Do you have a loadout you would share?
I have 500mil+ credits, so problems there.
Thanks !
Baqar79 has some really good advice above, so definitely take some of those suggestions. Here’s two quick exploration builds for an ASPX. The first without and engineering: and the second with minimal engineering and guardian fsd booster: the latter could be engineered further (and should) but I’m not sure which engineers you have unlocked yet, you’ll definitely want to unlock Felicity and The Dweller at least.
I would like to add something to consider to a basic loadout.

If you have trouble with overheating g while fuel scooping, then a heat sink or two would come in very handy as damage prevention.

I can't tell you how many times those things have saved me from a lot of damage from that and making a quick jump to get away from a stray pirate or two.
Looks at post above

I can't believe I didn't make any mention of heatsinks, whoops!

Heatsinks are probably not really going to be an issue as long as you have 2 AFMU's since you will be able to repair module damage easily enough, providing you keep your heat below I think 165%. Above this and you start taking hull damage...but if you have a 'Repair Limpet Controller' AND some cargo storage you can deal with this damage also.

What can't be repaired is damage to your power plant. There are several ways in which that can happen, but the most common for me was getting up from my chair to do something during a jump and coming back too late to avoid a SC (Super Cruise) collision. SC collisions cause random damage usually to all modules and the hull.

How does one avoid a SC collision? well what is actually happening is that you are being forced to exit SC unsafely, often caused by entering the exclusion zone (that transparent spherical area (well volume, but that seems to sound funny to me) marked by a line that surrounds stars/planets) of a star, or a planet/ring at 200 km/s or greater. So you can actually safely enter the exclusion zone of a star without a forced drop if you can keep your speed below 200 km/s, but it's very hard to do with stars because of how insensitive I found the throttle when in fuel-scooping range of a star. If you don't think you are able to avoid a collision with a star, you are better off throttling down to take the heat damage, as it is far less severe than dropping unsafely from SC.

In any case, power plant damage isn't as bad as it sounds, since even if you do manage to get it to 0%, a reboot/repair will bring it back to 1%...and as far as my testing went, a power plant at 1% functions the same as a power plant at 100%, unlike modules such as the FSD, which get flaky below I think 80% integrity.

Oh right, I was supposed to be talking about heatsinks!
As I've recently learned (well this isn't all set in stone, just the evidence points that way), not only do ships have differing thermal capacities, but they also have differing 'heat reflectivity' as well. I discovered this when testing the Dolphin and Imperial Courier; despite the Imperial Courier having a much better thermal capacity than the Dolphin, it will run hotter while fuel scooping given the same power plant efficiency and same power consumption (Note: It wasn't discovered by me first at least, one of the people behind ED Shipyard mentioned that this was the case and that they were adding that additional information to that online tool).

Heatsinks on my Imperial Courier I felt were needed since it is possible to over heat if I spend to long fuel scooping, so for peace of mind I installed them, giving me a window of opportunity to escape if I am ever caught between two close orbiting stars which start to overheat me. In addition I only ever carry a single AFMU on my exploration ships, so if I do overheat, I can't repair heat damage done to them (although I can reboot/repair a 0% AFMU, much like the power plant).

I originally installed the heatsinks on the Dolphin since I thought it would actually run hotter than the Imperial courier, but when I found this was not the case, I just sort of left them there.

I went with an engineered Orca on a second PC explorer account but I have many years and thousands of hours playing this game. Maybe past 10,000 hours with three accounts but only an expert in my game play styles. It is a big game. I often learn something new checking into the Forum also remembering what I forgot long ago. The game is complex and unforgiving. I once setup an Anaconda with all the exploration toys before the Guardian FSD booster showed up. Now I know better. The real deal with exploration is so much more per the amazing astronomy that Frontier seriously added to this game. There are tons of YouTube videos figuring out what all those system names mean in the black and how to find interesting systems in the galaxy. It is a good thing that we don't have to deal with Gamma rays and microscopic particles penetrating our ship hull if we went there in real life.

If a player is going to Colonia just because it is there then they are missing the scientific astronomy that Frontier put into the game. Take another look while jumping and honking. Meanwhile if one wants to develop an exploration ship then set it up possibly with engineering later and then fly out 5000 LYs and back for a test. The more one learns about this game with experience the easier it gets.

This game is nothing like any other games many have played and often expect the same coming to ED with a view just being a MMO game. They get upset about it with Forum posts. It has a huge learning curve having to deal with multiple issues that change with every play style and the current ship setup a player is flying.Other ships are needed per specific goals and the more engineering the better. But with experience and time it is so very easy to play once a player figures out what to do and accomplish efficiently. Then we get more posts on the Forum per how the game is too easy! Go figure...

What is the best exploration, combat, trading, passenger or Thargoid attack ship? It is all about the player experience, abilities and learning from them. Never the ship. Work on these experiences and find the answers then you can be an expert on the Forum per your limited play style. Note that others will be better.

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I saw a post on Reddit about the Beluga.. Humm.. looks like it could be the best
for viewing with the large windows?
What do you guys think?
I saw a post on Reddit about the Beluga.. Humm.. looks like it could be the best
for viewing with the large windows?
What do you guys think?
With me, I'm currently not to worried about exactly which ship I'm using so much as what I'm getting out of it performance wise.

I started off with short range performance doing Courier work in an Imperial Courier. Which is a very nice little hot rod. Then I experimented with various ships for Bounty Hunting. Had some fun with an Imperial Clipper and a nice Type-7 Mining and or Shipping and Transport.

The more I play the game and interact on the Forums, the more I love this game I remember playing back in the day when it was VERY rudimentary.

My basic point being, while we do what we can to get the most out of the game we can with what we have. In the end all that matters is how much enjoyment and personal pride we manage at accomplishing something in game. Even if someone else has already done it.

All the charts, stats, and standings really don't matter when we do what we enjoy doing in game.

So, to anyone reading this thread; be they noob or Vet. Take this Gals advice and don't be afraid to experiment with what all of us share or on your own. As long as you learn and have fun doing it, that is all that really matters in the end.
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I have a heavily engineered Krait Phantom built pretty much along the lines of conventional wisdom, though it also has some extraneous components I've added to my own amusement, like few weapons (undersized and lightweight-engineered). Jump range is in comfortable low sixties even while carrying a few limpets.

Also according to conventional wisdom, it has a D-rated life support and I have been thinking if it might be worth it to switch it to A-rated. In the old days losing your canopy out there in the black meant certain doom no matter what. However now there's the ability to synth more oxygen and whether you need to synthesise every 7.5 or 25 minutes could mean a lot. The life support is also not the heaviest of components and with grade 5 lightweight engineering (Thanks Etienne) the reduction of jump range is fairly minuscule.
It's main weakness is shields are not so great (makes High G landings a bit nail biting). I'm told the Phantom is also an excellent choice.
HI. Have you tried modifying the hull to be light weight but reflective and then modifying the shield for 70% kinetic resistance. Then fly shield less except when landing or in asteroid field when you are outside the bubble?
HI. Have you tried modifying the hull to be light weight but reflective and then modifying the shield for 70% kinetic resistance. Then fly shield less except when landing or in asteroid field when you are outside the bubble?
I'm told collisions (with asteroids/planet surfaces/etc.) don't have a damage type, so resistences don't help with that.
HI. Have you tried modifying the hull to be light weight but reflective and then modifying the shield for 70% kinetic resistance. Then fly shield less except when landing or in asteroid field when you are outside the bubble?
Jaggid is correct.
Collisions are absolute damage.
Resistances don't help.
Nice build Bob,

But this highlights one of the things that bothers me about the AspX; it's lack of size 4 slots.

Even the Type-6 has 2x4 size slots after it's two biggest ones (2x5 size).

Changing a single Size 3 to a Size 4 would give a bit more flexibility with the ship I think (you can install a single 4G hangar instead of 2x2G hangars), or size 4 shields would give a nice boost to your overall durability, or you would only have to step down to a 4H Guardian FSD booster and have fantastic shields...or finally you could run it with a 4A fuel scoop and have the best of shield defense and jump range, but the poor fuel scooping of the DBX.
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