There are eight starfighter models. Each one of them has different movement capabilities, in terms of speed, acceleration and turning radius. Some can take a beating, others are quite fragile. Each model can equip a different combination of upgrade types, making them suitable for specific roles on the battlefield.
The Arrowhead is the most basic starfighter in the game. A jack of all trades, is good at everything but excels at nothing.
The Adder is fast and maneuverable, and can equip the best engine upgrades. You’d better not get hit, though, as its shields are quite weak.
The Templar is a support starfighter. Which is a nice way of saying that on its own it kinda sucks. But it can provide some much-needed protection to allied starfighters, or improve their damage output, depending on the chosen upgrade loadout.
The Valkyre is something like the child of an Arrowhead and an Adder. On steroids. Its main feature is the ability to mount two primary weapons, making it the hardest hitting starfighter in the game. The drawback is that such a build is very expensive, so you won’t be able to field many of them in most scenarios.
The Wraith is another less than stellar starfighter. Until it mounts a cloaking device, that is. It’s currently the only starfighter that can do so, and this allows it to hide in plain sight, revealing itself to attack and then hide again. Just remember that a decloaked Wraith is no match for most other starfighters, so play it smart.
The Shaman is a basically a drone-carrier. It’s, big, slow, and almost unarmed. But it can bring into battle an insane amount of drones, making it a threat to be reckoned with.
The Moth is the fastest, most agile and most fragile starfighter in the game. And it’s cheap, so you can field a whole bunch of them. They usually don’t last long, but can be annoying, especially if equipped with the right upgrades.
The Guardian’s main feature is its ability to take a beating. While “punchability” may not sound too exciting as a defining trait, having a tank and knowing how to force the opponent to shoot it instead of other, more fragile, starfighters is a huge advantage in battle.