These are the available ship-launched fighters:
- Main article: Fighter Hangar
To carry Ship-Launched Fighters, a ship must be fitted with a Fighter Hangar (where permitted), which is then equipped with fighters, both of which are done in the Outfitting section of a station (where available). Destroyed fighters can be restocked at a station with the rearm function.
Control bindings for orders can also be set in the game's Option menu.
When docking with the mother ship you have to fly through glowing blue guide rings under the ship.
No NPC Pilot Crew Edit
If there is no NPC Pilot crew, the player can control the fighter while leaving the ship on "autopilot". The ship will follow the fighter and fire its turreted weapons (based on "fire at will", last-targeted before deploying, etc.). It will also use shield cell banks if needed. If you switch back to controlling your ship, the fighter will behave similarly. The uncontrolled fighter cannot dock itself with the ship.
With NPC Pilot Crew Edit
With an NPC Pilot crew member, the player can control either the fighter or the ship while the Pilot fully controls the other craft. The player uses the Role Panel to give Attack and Movement orders to the Pilot to direct how the other craft will behave. The Pilot can dock the fighter with the ship while the ship is still moving (as long as not moving so fast as to require boost).
At the moment the only way to have more than one fighter deployed is to use multicrew and have at least one of them controlled by a player.
Fighters have a limited control range from their host ship. At 26 km from the host ship there will be a warning, and at 30 km the fighter will begin a 10-second self-destruct countdown. The self-destruct is aborted if the range is reduced in time.
Fighters cannot enter supercruise or jump to another system as they are not equipped with a Frame Shift Drive. Charging the ship's FSD while a fighter is still deployed will give a warning that the fighter will be destroyed if left behind.
Fighters cannot be deployed within a station's No Fire Zone, and ships cannot dock while a fighter is deployed.
Fighters can dock only in the host ship's Fighter Hangar and cannot dock at a station or on a planet (no landing gear).
Fighters cannot collect/carry cargo or materials.
Fighters cannot be launched when the host ship's cockpit/canopy is breached.
- Each ship-launched fighter is available in multiple variants with differing weapons and utility modules, which cannot be changed. They have no user-configurable hardpoints or internal compartments, and cannot be upgraded by Engineers.
- Ship-Launched Fighters and Fighter Hangars were introduced in The Guardians (2.2) update of Elite Dangerous: Horizons.