|Turning ability||Poor (20)|
|Cost||2000 credits (cannot be purchased, but can be hired)|
|Energy capacity||2 jumps|
|Crew||Integrated droid brain|
|Total mass||10 tons|
|Free space||0 tons|
|Cargo space||10 tons|
A Cargo Drone is a simple droid-piloted escort ship, used for short-term/short-range transport. A drone uses a one-time cipher key system to indicate who the ship's current user is, and returns to its parent corporation when the contract expires or the temporary user runs out of funding. They are extremely flimsy, destroyed by even the lightest enemy fire.
- If you have any gameplay tips, hints, or background information relevant to this topic, please post them here.
Cargo Drones are known to be the weakest ships in the game, even more so than the Shuttle, as they have no weapons, nearly zero shields and armor, and cannot move quickly at all. Some plug-ins do allow you to use them as ships, but it is very hard to get far in any missions or do anything at all in a Drone, due to its low survivability. On the other hand, it is an incredibly cheap way of increasing one's cargo capacity early in the game, costing only one-fifth of the amount required to hire a Shuttle, for the same amount of cargo space.
An unorthodox use for Cargo Drones is to use them as meatshields. Their hiring cost and pay per day is negligible, you pay no penalty for losing them, they follow you no matter how far you go (according to specifications, the drone should only have 2 jumps worth, but escorts ignore that stat), and your ship can shoot right through them without damaging them. Thus, Cargo Drones may pass for makeshift cover in a tight pinch. They might not be able to take more than a single hit, but if you have a whole fleet of them, that sometimes can mean the difference between breaking through a blockade and ending up a crater on a planet's surface. They're not very effect for any sort of weapon with area of effect damage (like Hellhound Missiles and EMP Torpedoes)
Of course, should you be flying a regular Cargo Drone, remember not to get shot. You may survive one hit, but not much more.
And don't bother disabling and attempting to steal the cargo from a Drone, as due to the design, cargo cannot be transferred from one to a different ship.