Choosing the Best Career in Elite Dangerous - Pirates, Traders and Bounty Hunting - Prima Games

Choosing the Best Career in Elite Dangerous – Pirates, Traders and Bounty Hunting

by Prima Games Staff

The world of Elite: Dangerous is filled with all kinds of people. There are Traders, Bounty Hunters, Pirates, Explorers, Smugglers and Miners. What kind of person are you? Do you want long trips filled with beautiful space-flight spectacles? Do you want to sit in hiding until the next big score comes along? Are you content hovering around massive asteroids, cutting these giant rocks with lasers until the precious ores break off and float into your Cargo Scoop? Conversely, are you looking to dispense vigilante justice on the galaxy’s bounty boards?

No matter what you’re looking to accomplish, there’s a place for you in the world of Elite: Dangerous.


Traders are the lifeblood of the galaxy. Although their jobs may seem boring, they are are the wheels that keep the clock hand turning. Being a trader is about more than simply flying back and forth between two stations. To be a trader you’ll need to be smart, cunning and willing to research and find the best selling prices for your products. It’s all a numbers game when you’re a trader, and you’ll want to make sure you’re good at handling those numbers in order to turn the greatest profit.

The most common trading ships include the Cobra Mk. III, Hauler, Adder, Lakon Type 6, Lakon Type 7 and Lakon Type 9. You may also see some traders sporting ships like the Asp Explorer or the Anaconda – though these are fairly rare occurrences. Notable add-ons include as much cargo space as your ship can hold.


Smuggling is a tough job in our galaxy, and if you’re looking to smuggle goods into the biggest stations, you’ll need to be light on your feet and an expert at piloting your ship. You’ll want to avoid large ships, as piloting them is a massive sacrifice of your speed and maneuverability. Despite popular belief, you don’t have to be a pirate to be a successful smuggler. Several stations throughout the galaxy sell goods that can’t be legally sold on the open market in certain systems. However, the Black Markets of those systems are more than willing to pay a hefty wage for your high-risk work.

Smugglers will commonly be seen flying small to medium sized ships with great speed and maneuverability. These ships include the Sidewinder, Viper, Cobra Mk. III and Asp Explorer. Notable add-ons include Heatsinks, upgraded thrusters and as much cargo space as you can carry.


As a miner, you’ll spend most of your days staring at cold hard space rock while whistling your favorite tune as you cut away at the minerals hidden under the surface. While you may be tempted to drop your shields for extra cargo space, it’s highly recommended that you don’t, as miners are a prime choice of prey for most pirates. Keep your head on a swivel, and make sure not to take the most direct Supercruise route back to your selling point, otherwise you’ll open yourself up to possible FSD Interdictions, and the possibility of losing your hard-earned cargo. Common miner ships include the Sidewinder, Hauler, Adder, Cobra Mk. III and the Asp Explorer.  Notable add-ons include the Refinery, Mining Laser and as much cargo space as you can obtain.


You are the scum of the galaxy, and the most feared. You’re patient, cunning and willing to murder for what you believe is yours. As a Pirate you’ll want to make sure to always run a Cargo Scanner and an FSD Drive Interdictor. The Interdictor will allow you to pull targets from Supercruise, which will then allow you to scan their cargo. If what they have to offer is worth it, take it. If it isn’t… well then you’ll want to move on. As a Pirate, you’ll want something fast and powerful. Ideal Pirate ships include the Eagle, the Viper, Cobra Mk. III. Sometimes larger ships like the Python or Anaconda make great Pirate ships. Notable add-ons include Cargo Scanner, FSD Interdictor and the Cargo Hatch Breaker.

Bounty Hunting

You are the citizen’s justice of the galaxy. Equipped with your Kill Warrant Scanner, your large powered laser weapons and maybe even a set of Gimballed Turrets, you set out throughout the galaxy on the prowl for the rule breakers of our space. You’ll want to check Bulletin Boards for bounty missions, as well as scan every ship you see, and investigate every Unidentified Signal Source you happen upon. As a Bounty Hunter speed and power are just as important to you as they are to a Pirate. You’ll want to take to the stars in ships such as the Eagle, Viper or Cobra Mk. III. Anything bigger or smaller is bound to cause problems. You’ll also want to focus on upgrading your shields, weapons and power systems. Some notable add-ons include the Kill Warrant Scanner, FSD Interdictor and FSD Wake Scanner.

Making Your Choice

Now that you know more about the various career choices offered in Elite: Dangerous it’s time to weigh your options. Are you the patient miner or the trigger-happy pirate? No matter what you choose, always remember that you’re more than welcome to try out another career at any given point. Of course, we would like to note that trading wouldn’t be easy with a 50,000-credit bounty on your head, so you might want to take care of that first.

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