Best Vulture Loadouts in Elite Dangerous

After buying your shiny new Vulture in Elite Dangerous, you'll probably want to know exactly what loadouts are best for it. We've got you covered.

If you've ever looked into the best builds for fighter ships in Elite Dangerous, you've no doubt heard about the Vulture. With its high maneuverability, thick armor, solid speed, and strong firepower, the Vulture is the fighter of choice for many Elite Dangerous players. Though its nearly 5 million CR price tag (plus loadout upgrade costs) might seem a bit scary, it's hard to deny that the fearsome Vulture is one of the best -- if not the best -- fighters in the entire game. Provided you have deep enough pockets, that is.

Obviously, you'll want your pricey purchase to serve you well in the rough and tumble galaxy of Elite Dangerous, but figuring out which build to use requires a lot more trial and error time that could be better spent earning credits. Luckily, we've done the leg work for you and come up with the best Vulture loadouts for bounty hunting, PvP, and PvE right here, as well as usage tips. So let's go through these one at a time.

Best Vulture Loadout for Bounty Hunting in Elite Dangerous

  • Hardpoints: 
    • 3E/G Pulse Laser
    • 3E/G Pulse Laser
  • Utility Mounts: 
    • OD Kill Warrent Scanner
    • OI Chaff Launcher
    • OA Shield Generator
    • OA Shield Generator or Heat Sink Launcher
  • Optional Internal Compartments: 
    • 5C Bi-Weave Shield Generator
    • 4D Hull Reinforcement Package
    • 2D Hull Reinforcement Package
    • 1D Hull Reinforcement Package
    • 1D Hull Reinforcement Package
  • Core Internal Compartments:
    • Military Grade Composite Bulkheads
    • 4A Power Plant
    • 5A Thrusters
    • 4A Frame Shift Drive
    • 3D Life Support
    • 5A Power Distributor
    • 4C Sensors
    • 3C Fuel Tank

The strategy behind this bounty hunting build is to take down your target's shields using the twin Pulse Lasers and finish them off by ramming them while your shields are still up (thanks to the additional shield generators). If you are a particularly trigger-happy player; however, you may be better served to swap out one of the OA Shield Generators for a Heat Sink Launcher just in case of overheating.

With this loadout, it is important to note that you will have an energy deficiency (a common problem with Vulture builds). The way to alleviate this problem is to shut off the Cargo Hatch entirely and drop the priority of the Frame Shift Drive while keeping Thrusters and Sensors at priority 1. If you decide to include a Fuel Scoop in your build to help with traveling longer distances, remember to shut that off in combat as well.

Best Vulture Loadout for PvP in Elite Dangerous

  • Hardpoints:
    • 3B Plasma Accelerator or 3B Advanced Plasma Accelerator
    • 3B Plasma Accelerator or 3B Advanced Plasma Accelerator
  • Utility Mounts:
    • OI Chaff Launcher
    • OI Chaff Launcher
    • OA Shield Booster
    • OA Shield Booster
  • Optional Internal Compartments:
    • 5C Bi-Weave Shield Generator
    • 5D Hull Reinforcement Package
    • 4D Hull Reinforcement Package
    • 1D Hull Reinforcement Package
    • 2D Module Reinforcement Package
    • 1D Frame Shift Drive Interdictor
  • Core Internal Compartments: 
    • Military Grade Composite Bulkheads
    • 4A Power Plant
    • 5A Thrusters
    • 4A Frame Shift Drive
    • 3A Life Support
    • 5A Power Distributor
    • 4D Sensors
    • 3C Fuel Tank

This is a solid all-around PvP build with high damage output. Though the 3B Plasma Accelerators will dish out plenty damage, the 3B Advanced Plasma Accelerators should be used if available, thanks to their higher potential damage output against larger ships. While the 5A Shield Generators are arguably better for PvP than the 5C Bi-Weave Shield, including them would cause a severe energy shortage that even excellent module priority control won't be able to fix. 

Just like with the bounty hunter build above, you'll want to make sure you shutting off the Cargo Hatch and lowering the Frame Shift Drive's priority in order to keep energy in your Thrusters and weapons. Additionally, if you have access to engineers, the weapons should be further modified to increase efficiency and thermal resistance should be added to the shield. 

Best Vulture Loadout for PvE in Elite Dangerous

  • Hardpoints: 
    • 3B Plasma Accelerator or 3D/F Pulse Laser
    • 3B Plasma Accelerator or 3C/G Multi Cannon
  • Utility Mounts:
    • OI Chaff Launcher
    • Heat Sink Launcher or OI Chaff Launcher
    • OI Point Defense
    • OC Shield Booster
  • Optional Internal Compartments:
    • 5A Shield Generator
    • 4B Shield Cell Bank
    • 1D Hull Reinforcement Package
    • 1E Basic Discovery Scanner
    • 2A Fuel Scoop
  • Core Internal Compartments: 
    • Lightweight Alloy Bulkheads
    • 4A Power Plant
    • 5B Thrusters
    • 4A Frame Shift Drive
    • 3C Life Support
    • 5A Power Distributor
    • 4C Sensors
    • 3C Fuel Tank

You'll notice that this PvE build drops the Military Grade Composite Bulkheads in favor of the more travel-friendly Lightweight Alloy, plus a Fuel Scoop to further serve that purpose. Like always, remember to keep the Cargo Hatch, Fuel Scoop, and Frame Shift Drive from taking up energy in combat. 

As far as the weapons go, the choice between wielding dual 3B Plasma Accelerators or the Pulse Laser+Multi Cannon combo is dependent on if you prefer an all-out offense build or a more balanced one. Just be aware that if you utilize the Plasma Accelerator loadout you will need to drop one of the additional Chaff Launchers in favor of a Heat Sink Launcher to cope with the additional heat generated. 

[Images courtesy of Elite Dangerous Wiki]

So now that you know how to build your Vulture, get out there and show the galaxy what you're made of. If you have a different build that you like to use or think these loadouts can be improved in any way, let us all know in the comments below. And while you're here, check out the rest of our Elite Dangerous guides for even more tips:

Published Jul. 11th 2017

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