One of the most compact vessels on the market, the Imperial Courier is a lightweight combat ship from Gutamaya. With agility to rival the Viper Mk III, the Courier is adept at evading incoming fire, while its three medium hardpoints have made it popular with those who want a balance of power and style.
— In-Game Description
The Imperial Courier is a ship manufactured by Gutamaya for the Empire. Described as the quintessential Imperial ship that epitomizes elegance of form while packing a good punch, the Imperial Courier is one of the smallest ships available, barely larger than the Sidewinder MkI and with a lighter mass than all ships except the Sidewinder and Hauler. Although able to be adapted to several roles, the ship's agility and three medium hardpoints make it especially well-suited for combat. Officially, the Imperial Courier is used to provide transport for Imperial officials who do not warrant the privilege of an Imperial Cutter or a Majestic-Class Interdictor. However, its flexibility means that it fills many roles for the Imperial Navy and prominent citizens of the Empire.
The Imperial Courier is well armed and very well shielded for its small size, making it a punchy and evasive fighter in combat. In terms of agility, it ranks somewhere close to the Viper MkIII. While it has a good pitch rotation speed, its slightly weaker vertical-lateral thrusters cause the Courier to drift more than the Viper. Even though the Courier has the same top boost speed as Viper, due to its low hull mass relative to modules, it is slightly slower and can't boost as often as the Viper, dropping down from the top speed faster.
The Imperial Courier's shields are much better than the Viper MkIII's and Cobra MkIII's, being almost on par with those on a Vulture. Unlike the Vulture, the Imperial Courier does not have such severe power management issues, and is thus better able to equip Shield Boosters and Shield Cell Banks.
While the Imperial Courier can achieve an excellent jump range between 30-50 ly with Engineering, it is not suited for long-term exploration. The Courier's diminutive size and light weight works against it in this situation: it can only fit a Class 3 Frame Shift Drive. Thus, to keep the ship's mass low and achieve that 50 ly jump range requires undersizing the core internals and eschewing utilities along with most modules suggested for exploration, including a Planetary Vehicle Hangar. While this does not mean the Courier should never be used for exploration, there are better ships to choose from for the role, such as the Diamondback Explorer.
The weapon hardpoints are located in the following places: one Class 2 hardpoint at the front of each engine nacelle, and one Class 2 hardpoint underneath the nose. Of the four utility mounts, one is located on top of each nacelle, and the remaining two are behind the cockpit canopy on the ship's dorsal surface. The cockpit has only one pilot seat, and thus the ship is not compatible with Multicrew.
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- Main article: Outfitting
All ships are highly customisable through the Outfitting menu of Station Services. Listed below is the default load-out for the Imperial Courier.
|Category||Default System||Default Rating||Default Class||Max Class|
|Medium Hardpoint||Pulse Laser (L)||F||1||2|
|Pulse Laser (L)||F||1||2|
|Reactor Bay||Power Plant||E||4||4|
|Frame Shift Drive Housing||Frame Shift Drive||E||3||3|
|Environment Control||Life Support||E||1||1|
|Power Coupling||Power Distributor||E||3||3|
|Fuel Store||Fuel Tank [x8]||C||3||3|
|Internal Compartments||Cargo Rack [x4]||E||2||3|
|Cargo Rack [x4]||E||2||3|
|Cargo Rack [x2]||E||1||2|
|Cargo Rack [x2]||E||1||2|
|Advanced Docking Computer||E||1||1|
|Planetary Approach Suite (H)||I||1||1|
- (L) = Loaned Module
- [x#] = Capacity
- (H) = Requires Elite Dangerous: Horizons, reserved solely for Planetary Approach Suite
- The Imperial Courier was added to Elite Dangerous in the 1.3 Powerplay update released on June 5, 2015.