Limpet Controllers are a series of ship modules used to program and control simple limpet drones. The drones can be launched from the ship to perform various tasks depending on the type of Limpet Controller. Most Limpet Controller modules are specialised and only capable of managing one type of task, and if a pilot wishes to use multiple functions, they must either install multiple Limpet Controller modules with the appropriate functions or a Multi Limpet Controller.
The limpets managed by Limpet Controllers are cheap, disposable munitions stored in a ship's Cargo Racks. They can be replenished at ports or via Synthesis. Limpets remain blank templates until they are deployed, at which time they are programmed by whichever Limpet Controller is activated by the pilot before being launched from the ship to carry out their assigned task.
Limpet Controller modules
- Basic Limpet Controllers
- Collector - Retrieves commodities, materials, and asteroid fragments.
- Decontamination - Removes caustic Thargoid enzymes from a targeted ship.
- Fuel Transfer - Draws fuel from the ship's Fuel Tanks and transfers it to a targeted ship.
- Hatch Breaker - Attaches to a targeted ship's Cargo Hatch and forcibly opens it.
- Prospector - Analyses the composition of asteroids.
- Recon - Hacks data points on Bulk Cruiser Megaships and Installations.
- Repair - Repairs the hull of a targeted ship.
- Research - Extracts and retrieves samples from Thargoid Interceptors, Scouts, and certain vacuum-dwelling lifeforms.
- Multi Limpet Controllers
- Mining - Can perform the Collector and Prospector functions.
- Operations - Can perform the Collector, Hatch Breaker, and Recon functions.
- Rescue - Can perform the Fuel Transfer, Hatch Breaker, and Repair functions.
- Universal - Can perform all eight Limpet Controller functions.
- Xeno - Can perform the Decontamination and Research functions.
- The original four Limpet Controllers (Collector, Hatch Breaker, Fuel Transferer, and Prospector) were added to Elite Dangerous in the 1.3 Powerplay update released on June 5, 2015.
- The five Multi-Limpet Controllers were added in Elite Dangerous: Odyssey Update 9 on December 9, 2021.
- Limpets are stored in the ship's cargo hold, unlike most other consumables. Each Limpet takes one "ton" of storage space.
- Limpets are consumed when first activated, and cannot be recovered even once their task(s) are completed. The following conditions will result in Limpet (self-)destruction;
- Task Completion. Limpets will self-destruct when their task has been successfully carried out.
- Life-time Expiration. Limpets will eventually self-destruct when the control timer (as listed in the Controller's specifications) reaches zero.
- Control Range. If the Mothership flies too far away from its Limpets, they will automatically self-destruct.
- Enemy Fire. Point Defence Turrets may fire upon Limpets, especially Hatch Breakers, and subsequently destroy them.
- Electronic Countermeasure. Firing an ECM will destroy all friendly and hostile Limpets in range.
- Collision. Limpets sometimes do not attempt to maneuver around objects such asteroids, wrecks, or other ships; they can easily slam into something and will be destroyed as a result.
- Between December 16, 2018 and December 16, 2019, over 200 million Limpets had been used or abandoned in space.