I have handwritten a hooning ship guide for Elite: Dangerous in its current state, with in-depth description of how all of the recommended ships are useful and what cases they fit best. Thanks to CMDR Dthen, who recommended I put this up on the Subreddit. Written by myself.
Nova’s HOON SHIP GUIDE:
Sidey: one of the very best Off boost (commonly called “Zen” hooning) ships. This is an AMAZING first pick.
Hauler: You can use this for some light fun with off/on boost hooning, but not really recommended for a full first ship. Although, it’s worth noting that it does have its followers.
Eagle: AMAZING on boost ship with a great maneuverability curve and PD. Tough to use as a first ship, but it’s a very very good pick for those who have amassed their first few tastes and experiences. Highly recommend.
iEagle: Don’t really recommend, as it has low acceleration, is not very maneuverable, and is nearly twice the cost. But, more importantly than all of that, it is a PAIN to make any kind of turns with. It handles very badly. A no-go for a hoon ship in my books. Of course, you can give it a go, but no, I don’t recommend.
Adder: Fun little runaround, but as a more hardcore hooning ship, it does overall lack in performance. It can be used to an advantage, but there are better options. Its saving grace however, is the multi-crew seat. Bring a friend! Also has a nice boost sound, if you’re into that.
Viper MK III: Brilliant on boost ship for those with enough experience and skill. Can be mastered to the highest level and has all the speed and acceleration out there. Personally, for hooning, do not go with a maxed out speed-build. (932 build). You will sacrifice too much in PD, hull strength etc. Go for slightly slower, but more hull and more PD capacity/rate. Keeping a 932 will end up in much too weak of a build, and 1 crash sends you straight to the rebuy screen, meaning less time to hoon. Not recommended as a first hoon ship but one of the greatest endgame ships.
Viper MK IV: Brilliant step-up from the Sidey that can happily take you up to near-endgame quality. Handles boost, and off boost equally great. Surprisingly good maneuverability when Grade 3 or above on thrusters, and some lovely boost characteristics. Highly recommend as a first or second (after Sidey) hooning ship. Great pick!
Diamondback Scout: In a hooning environment, a rather poorly handling ship, but can take a beating if outfitted right, although there are plenty of better options out there. (Yes, for non boost… Its the sidewinder)
Diamondback Explorer: Again, as above, comparatively a rather poorly handling ship. Although, it can hold its own against cliff faces. If you do feel the need to pick one Diamondback ship, the Scout will be a slightly better pick due to its edge in maneuverability.
Cobra MK III: The “Space Jesus” as it’s namesake is, doesn’t so apply in hooning. It lacks maneuverability and can be quite annoying with its weird shape. Again, like the hauler, it has its hooning followers… but there are better picks out there.
Cobra MK IV: If you have this ship, shy away from using it to hoon with, as *Unlike* the Viper MK-IV it loses too much maneuverability and speed to be worth using. Definitely stay away from this for hooning.
Imperial Courier: An intermediate-advanced ship suited heavily to off boost flying, with a rather unique flight style.
Vulture: It *can* be a great on-boost ship for hooning in the right pilot’s hands, but if you are looking for similar characteristics… See the Eagle stated above. Although, the vulture does reasonably well unengineered, so that is a great pick if you do not want to get into the engineering.
((Note: I am only covering the medium ships that are commonly used for hooning. If it isn’t listed, it definitely isn’t worth your time as a hoon ship.))
Asp Scout: Yes, actually a great use case for this ship! It has a great maneuverability curve and very fun flight characteristics. I would recommend this for a first hooning medium. Although, beware of it possessing a similar downfall to the Cobra MK-III, it has a hard-to-fit shape and its size. Copes with both on and off boost equally great.
Keelback: I personally tend to shy away from this ship, but it has a very loyal following due to it being able to daily drive, and hoon. Admittedly, has a lovely boost characteristic. I don’t personally recommend it as a hooning medium, but a good few would disagree.
Alliance Chieftain: Albeit on the slower side, a rather fun and tough medium to change up the way you hoon. In the hands of the right pilot, a real good choice! Although not recommended for beginners as it is harder to recover form difficult situations.
Fer-De-Lance: A surprisingly great on boost hooning ship, with a smooth characteristic and nice boost times. Also can take a great beating if outfitted right while still maintaining amazing speed and handling. Hard to handle, but incredibly fun!
Conclusively, it doesn’t matter too much what you fly, as long as you’re having a damned good time. Although, if you want to learn in an easy way… This is what is commonly used, and what I’d recommend.
An amazing Discord Community to learn FAoff:
Thanks for reading, and happy hooning!