Capturing a ship

If you want to capture ships you will need either a load of Wasp missiles (ie. 20,+ each around 1,000 credits) or an equiped ship with Ion cannons, a laser (something like a Gamma PAC), and some shields (as you will be getting hit, so around 50Mw, +).

If you try missile way, you will need around 22 missiles (in fast firing) to get an ship with around 75Mw of shielding. You might have to load your game a few times to get the pilot to bail and/or the right hull level. You might even have to try a different ship if he doesnt bail after a few tries, as not all pilots will bail.

The other way (which is better) is to use an ship with Ion cannons and a laser. Use the Ion cannons to take the ship shields down quick, then change one Ion cannon to an something like a Gamma PAC to take his/her hull to 87% or less (higher the hull, the more money its worth) after the hull is took down to 87% or less then switch back to the Ion cannons in all guns and just keep shooting at the ship. Ion cannons can be found at Boron Equipment docks.

Using missiles to capture is a lot quicker way of trying to capture ships, as you dont have to have an fulled armed ship to try this, and with the missiles you can even use your Argon Discoverer (M5) to fire them, the ion way you need an better ship than the Argon Discoverer (M5). If you do capture an M3 ship, like an Argon Nova (M3) then its worth around 400,000 credits, which then could get you an better ship.

For capturing ships with ions I recommend using either the Argon Nova (M3) or the Split Iguana (TP) depending if you rather have an extra shield or an extra ion cannon.

You can capture any ship of the class TP, TS, M5, M4, M3, M6 (only by mission) and Xenon M1/M2 (only by mission).

Often the quicker you reduce the hull and shields, the higher chance of the pilot bailing, however not every pilot will bail, some never bail their ships.