A Drone is a robotic NPC machine that hovers and follows a player's ship (once bought) and are used to increase certain statistics of a ship. They are able to be equipped with:
As you progress through the game, your Drones also gain Experience Points and can level up to a maximum of 6 levels. This can mostly be seen by their change of appearance throughout level 1, to level 6. Any current ship is capable of holding up to a total of 8 Drones at once, increasing by 9 if you own an Apis or Zeus drone, or 10 if you own another Apis and a Zeus drone.
Everytime your ship gets destroyed, your Drones get damaged by 2.5%. After reaching 100%, you lose the drone and can't get it back. You can repair your Drones on the hangar to 0% again through two ways. One way is using 500 Uridium (or repair bonus) and lower the drone one level (except if it is level 1, when it's only going to cost Uridium or a repair bonus). Another method is gaining enough drone point at the level 6 to "level up", but instead of leveling up, you remove all damage on the drone.
If your drone gets destroyed, the equipped elements will appear back in your hangar.
(BD-01 F) Flax drone is a battle drone with one slot and is bought with Credits, it does not tend to be FE ship status, but is good for new players. Although a full ship of 8 Flax is not bad, you're only Sub-Elite. to be called Full Elite, you must have a full ship of Iris Drones instead. Bonus at level 6: 10% (lasers) / 20% (generators)
(BD-02 I) Iris drone is an elite battle drone with two slots and is bought with Uridium. (can be bid on in Trade) It is recommended to have a ship full of these and not have any Flax. Flax only have one slot while these have two. Bonus at level 6: 10% (lasers) / 20% (generators). (All with HAVOK design + 10% lassers)
Apis is a battle drone with 2 slots (similar to the Iris) but is only attained by collecting 45 blueprints from pirate booty, which is later exchanged in the tech center. If one has 8 Drones, the Apis drone can be added as a 9th drone.
Zeus is a battle drone (similiar to the Apis) which is only attained by collecting blueprints from golden pirate booty, which is later exchanged in the tech center. You can also purchase it for 1,500,000 uridum in the tech center. The golden booty boxes also come out every once in a while, which many FE players take advantage of to get the drone. It is really difficult to get, and is not worth the uridium spent looking for the blueprints, because this drone will still just give you 2 more spaces, that's all.
Battle Drone's experience earning
HM7 is the only trade drone available that allows you to sell ore no matter where your location is. Action is limited to 100 uses. This drone is only Payment bought. However, if you purchase the Amber, Jade, or Sapphire designs for the Goliath, you get unlimited number of HM7 trade Drones. You can not see this drone because it isn't a battle drone. The cost of an HM7 trade drone remains constant.