|Landing Pad Size||Small|
|Dimensions||14.9m x 21.3m x 5.4m|
|Hull Mass||25 t|
|Mass Lock Factor||6|
|Top Speed||220 m/s|
|Boost Speed||321 m/s|
|Unladen Jump Range||7.56 ly|
|Cargo Capacity||4 t|
|Fuel Capacity||2 t|
|Hardpoints||2x Utility Mounts|
2x Small Hardpoints
|Internals||4x Size 1 Compartments|
2x Size 2 Compartments
|Maximum Non-Engineered Specs|
|Top Speed||229 m/s|
|Boost Speed||334 m/s|
|Unladen Jump Range||24.43 ly|
|Cargo Capacity||16 t|
The Sidewinder MkI is a ship manufactured by Faulcon DeLacy that utilizes the DeLacy Spin Ionic MV. The Sidewinder was originally released in 2982 as a light support ship and lacked any jump capability until the advent of the Frame Shift Drive, which was compact enough to allow jump-capable versions to be produced. As a small, inexpensive vessel designed to tackle a variety of roles, including light transport and combat, the Sidewinder is often the first ship that a newly-registered Pilots Federation pilot will fly and own. Its dependability, versatility, and agility combine to make it a useful all-rounder and an excellent choice for green and experienced pilots alike. Some independent navies still use the Sidewinder as fighters and patrol craft, and it is also one of the four vessels permitted in the CQC Championship.
The Sidewinder is a multipurpose ship manufactured by Faulcon DeLacy. Its versatility and comparatively low price point have made it popular with novice pilots, but the Sidewinder's reputation as an entry-level vessel should not be seen as a sign of inferiority - it is one of the most manoeuvrable ships on the market.
— In-Game Description
The Sidewinder MkI is a low-cost starter craft given to newly-licensed pilots. At any time that a pilot loses their current ship, they can elect to accept a Sidewinder on loan from the Pilots Federation if they are unable to afford a replacement for the destroyed ship or do not want a replacement.
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 MkII, Vulture, and Imperial Courier, and has solid lateral thrust. It is, however, one of the slowest-moving and weakest-hulled ships available. Only the Anaconda and certain dedicated trading ships have slower maximum speeds, and only the Eagle MkII has a weaker hull.
The Sidewinder is therefore an acceptable ship in combat, 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 Transporter 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 the Fer-de-Lance and Type-9 Heavy 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 an Eagle or a Hauler (or whether to skip the Hauler and go straight to the Adder) being the first decision most pilots make. In late game the Sidewinder really only has one practical application as a kamikaze ship where you are not expecting or wanting to escape something alive due to its very cheap rebuy cost, and was commonly used to clear bounties prior to changes to the Crime & Punishment system. 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 can be purchased at the vast majority of shipyards, and is the only ship available at Detention Centres.
- 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|
|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|
|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 Sidewinder MkI has an available 16 piece cosmetic ship kit that can be purchased from the Frontier Store. The ship kit does not affect gameplay.
- 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. 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."
- The Sidewinder MkI length (14.9 m) is similar to a General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon (15.06 m).
- Larger ships such as Anaconda are capable of carrying a Sidewinder in-universe but this is currently not possible in-game.
- On December 16, 2019, it was reported that the longest total distance travelled by a single Sidewinder was 167,277 LY, a feat accomplished by CMDR RinceWindCymru.
- ↑ Sidewinder MkI Blueprint
- ↑ Sidewinder MkI In-Game Description (pre-September Update)
- ↑ Elite Dangerous Player's Guide (2.2 - The Guardians)
- ↑ Elite ship scale 3.0
- ↑ Frontier Forums: Celebrating 5 years of Elite Dangerous!