Sidewinder MkI
Sidewinder MK I - Profile
ManufacturerFaulcon DeLacy
Years Produced2982-Present
Cost32,000 CR
Insurance1,600 CR
Default Specifications
Landing Pad SizeSmall
Dimensions14.9m x 21.3m x 5.4m
Pilot Seats1
Fighter HangarNo
Hull Mass25 t
Mass Lock Factor6
Armour Hardness20
Shields52 MJ
Top Speed220 m/s
Boost Speed321 m/s
Unladen Jump Range7.56 ly
Cargo Capacity4 t
Fuel Capacity2 t
Hardpoints2x Utility Mounts
2x Small Hardpoints
Internals2x Size 1 Compartments
2x Size 2 Compartments
Maximum Non-Engineered Specs
Top Speed229 m/s
Boost Speed334 m/s
Unladen Jump Range24.43 ly
Cargo Capacity12 t

Most pilots start their careers in the Sidewinder. It is a classic ship design that has been in use (in various configurations) since 2982. Its original design was as a light support ship and it lacked jump capability. Modern compact drives have enabled jump-capable versions to be created, making this a useful all rounder. Some navies still use these ships as fighters and patrol craft.

— In-Game Description

The Sidewinder MkI, built by Faulcon DeLacy, is a superb multipurpose ship suitable for any role. It is inexpensive and can be used for light transport and combat duties. Most pilots begin their career in a Sidewinder.

Its manoeuvrability makes it an excellent choice for both green and experienced pilots. The Sidewinder is a dependable vessel that will get you where you need to go, safe and sound.[1]

Uses the DeLacy Spin Ionic MV.


The Sidewinder is the default craft offered throughout the game. The player starts in one, and if at any time their ship is destroyed they can get a free Sidewinder (lent by Pilots Federation) if they can't or don't want to replace their previous ship. New players who still struggle with learning the game, may find themselves flying in a Sidewinder for a longer time or going back to it often.

Although the Sidewinder is cheap, it is not harmless; it is among the top when it comes to manoeuvrability compared to other ships. In particular, it can out-turn most other ships, being topped in that category only by the Eagle, Vulture, and Imperial Courier, and has solid lateral thrust.

It is, however, one of the slowest-moving and weakest-hulled ships in the game; only the Anaconda and certain pure trade ships have slower maximum speeds, and only the Eagle has a weaker hull (but makes up for it with stronger shields.)

The Sidewinder is therefore an acceptable ship in a (figurative) knife-fight, but lacks firepower. When flying one, using its excellent turning to lock opponents into circling matches, and burning away opposite of the enemy to escape are advised tactics. When fighting a Sidewinder, keep it at range and lay down heavy fire if the current ship can't outmanoeuvre it, and it should be destroyed quickly; with a ship that can keep up with its turning, close in and blast away, making sure to stay away from its front. While it has terrible damage output, it still beats out Hauler for damage and is better than Type-6 and Dolphin in combat, due to superior mobility and cheaper price.

As a Trader the Sidewinder is the least useful ship in the role. With a cargo capacity of only 12T its rare to find missions that even allow such small cargo transfer. Therefore it is advisable to make profit with data delivery missions instead until either Hauler or Adder become options. The same applies to its role as a miner.

With 24.5Ly of potential jump range without engineering the Sidewinder is not a terrible option for exploration and can be a good introduction to the role before Hauler becomes an option. It surprisingly beats out several high tier ships like Fer-de-Lance and Type-9 because of this.

Overall the Sidewinder is the very first ship pilots fly and it fits that role perfectly; it is functional in most roles but is one of the worst ships usable in each individual role. The Sidewinder lets pilots come to grips with what exactly they want to do to earn credits, then whether to buy Eagle or Hauler (or whether to skip the Hauler and go straight to the Adder) being the first decision most pilots take. In late game the Sidewinder really only has one practical application as a kamikaze ship where you aren't expecting or wanting to escape something alive due to its very cheap rebuy, and was commonly used to clear bounties prior to changes in Beyond Chapter 1. It is also commonly used for griefing purposes near starports.

The weapon hardpoints are located as follows: 2 small hardpoints in front of cockpit on upper surface of ship.

The Sidewinder MkI has an available 16 piece cosmetic ship kit that can be purchased from the Frontier store which allows you to "remodel your ship in your personal style". The ship kit does not affect gameplay.

Lore Edit

The official Elite Dangerous Player's Guide explains the lore behind why players start with a loaned Sidewinder:

Every player starts as a new member of the Pilots Federation. After being notified of your successful membership a secret benefactor has a transmission delivered to you with a secure code. It gives you access to a starship account that's preconfigured with your credentials. This is how you gain an indefinitely loaned and insured Sidewinder.[2]

Behind this windfall is a secret organisation which seeks those with the potential to become real movers and shakers who can mould and shape the galaxy. This gift is a test so they can see whether you have those qualities.

Purchase Locations Edit

The Sidewinder can be purchased at nearly any shipyard.


Main article: Outfitting

All ships are highly customisable through the Outfitting menu of Station Services. Listed below is the default load-out for the Sidewinder MkI.

Category Default System Default Rating Default Class Max Class
Small Hardpoint Pulse Laser (L) G 1 1
Pulse Laser (L) G 1 1
Utility Mount Empty -- -- 0
Empty -- -- 0
Bulkheads Lightweight Alloys I 1 8
Reactor Bay Power Plant (L) E 2 2
Thrusters Mounting Thrusters (L) E 2 2
Frame Shift Drive Housing Frame Shift Drive (L) E 2 2
Environment Control Life Support (L) E 1 1
Power Coupling Power Distributor (L) E 1 1
Sensor Suite Sensors (L) E 1 1
Fuel Store Fuel Tank [x2] C 1 1
Internal Compartments Shield Generator (L) E 2 2
Cargo Rack [x4] (L) E 2 2
Empty -- -- 1
BDS (L) E 1 1
  • (L) = Loaned
  • [x#] = Capacity
  • BDS = Basic Discovery Scanner

Trivia Edit

  • The Sidewinder MkI length (14.9 m) is similar to a General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon (15.06 m).[3]

References Edit

  3. Elite ship scale 3.0