COMBAT: Ship Launched Fighter Crew Basics - #00067

It's so hard to find good personell, these days
Every Elite CMDR

First, up front and in capital letters:


This has changed after several years of SLF (Ship Launched Fighters) being a part of the Elite experience.

After complaining for several years, all SLF pilots were donned a survival package so whenever you lose your ship, you do not lose your SLF crew anymore. YEAH!

Important: Contracted, but inactive crew cause no expenses!

The Crew section

In starport services' crew section, you simply select one of the offered potential crew members. After selection, this crew member does have a valid contract with you and can be activated anytime a starport services' crew section is available for you.


You can bind any offered crew contractually. This crew has an initial rank and an initial pay rate.

A competent ranked crew member usually goes for 90.000 credits initial payment with around 9% bonus being paid for active services.

This means, you can buy a competent or expert ranked crew member with basic combat capabilities for a few credits, while giving them 9% of what you earn while they're active.

(You can potentially defraud your crew members while keeping them active while working for your money but setting them inactive while cashing in on your lucrative multi million credit mission... but that wouldn't be nice, would it?)

Training sets in each time your crew member fights with you. Placing shots on a ship that is destructed later on will make your crew member earn some experience, gradually working toward the next higher rank.

Placing the "last shot" counts a lot more and propels your crew member upwards in rank. Stop shooting at your target at several percent of hull and let your SLF do the job. You'll see rank go up fast.

Cost reduction

By training a noob SLF crew yourself, you can save quite a lot of money. Here is why and how.

An expert ranked SLF crew, which should be considered the lowest rank in which they're half way useful, demands about 12% of your income when hired in expert rank.

Hiring a harmless ranked SLF crew and training it to expert rank usually results in a 6% demand.

Imagine you do a few massacre missions with friends for say... 4 hours, resulting in 100 million credits income, the difference in payments due to your SLF crew is 6% thereof, that means you lose 6 million credits only by not training your SLF comrade yourself.

That rank thing

When using SLF crew below master level, consider providing them with some gimballed aim equipped fighter. Why? Because they're absolutely abysmal in aiming below that rank. Expert is halfway bearable with fixed weapons, but still not really useful in a fight.

If you wish to enter real combat, train your SLF crew at least to master level, if anyhow possible to DDE - deadly, dangerous, elite. From master level on their rate of survival reaches a satisfactory level and DDE provides some real hit rate, especially with fixed weapons.


In non-goid combat, I personally prefer GU-97 for no real reason. Others are very keen to use Taipans with fixed beam weapon, others are real fans of the Guardian fighters.

A quick poll in game and on Twitter proved the Taipan with fixed weapons to be "cmdr's choice" for regular combat, although the result was not 100% in favor of it. In fact, quite some people loved the other fighters, too.

In terms of weapon aim, the above about low ranked SLF crew being bad in aiming was mentioned several times: Gimballed are preferred for low ranked crew, fixed weapons for higher rankeds.

Happy hunting, CMDR!