A fighter is a classification of strike craft designed for precise assault, support, and reconnassaince duty and characterized by its tiny size. Fighters are the smallest of all ships with the exception of microships and are designed to work in squadrons in order to overcome larger foes. With rare exceptions fighters are almost entirely piloted by living beings rather than through AI or remote control.
The main advantage a fighter possesses is its maneuverability and speed, which allow it to evade slower weapons like Plasma Bombs or ion cannons, as well as slow tracking turrets often present aboard larger Capital Ships. This allows these small spacecraft to carry out missions that would otherwise be dangerous for larger ships, even relatively small ones like corvettes. Fighters are therefore often the first part of an offensive as they serve both to harry and distract the enemy while also being able to avoid damage themselves. Some fighters, like defenders, are meant strictly for defensive escort roles, sacrificing the maneuverability typical to their class for added firepower.
Because fighters have so little firepower and armor they are often deployed in large numbers.