Elite Dangerous is a massive game, and while there are plenty of ways to waste time flying through space, we’d like to help fatten up your wallet with these advanced tips on some of the more lucrative professions.
First, pick up a Refinery and a Mining Laser from a station for your ship. This works especially well if you’re running a Cobra Mk. III, as the cargo hold is a bit larger than ships like the Eagle Mk. II or the Sidewinder Mk. I. Once you have your new toys attached, you’ll want to pull out your System Map and find a system with asteroid belts marked Pristine Reserves and Metallic.
Once you find a good system, it’s time to put this all to work. We won’t lie, mining takes patience, and you’re going to need to be smart, but if you’re good at applying both of these practices, you shouldn’t have much of a problem making a decent profit.
In order to mine successfully, you’ll need to use your Mining Laser on an Asteroid until a piece of it breaks off. Then you’re going to need to scoop up that piece into your Cargo Hold so your ship can refine it using your Refinery.
Tip: Keep an eye out for Pirates and Bounty Hunters when mining, since asteroid fields are popular areas for them to strike.
Once you have a full Cargo Hold, it’s time to find a system to sell your minerals. There are a couple of things to remember when looking for someplace to sell things. First, you want to avoid areas full of other players. Not only does this increase the chance of dealing with pirates, but it also decreases the amount of profit you can possibly make. Second, normal systems won’t bother buying raw materials from you, so you’ll want to make sure you visit systems with Refinery economies. Styx is a good example of a system with a Refinery economy.
If you need a quick way to make some extra money in Elite Dangerous, all it requires is that you locate a player or NPC ship that is currently Wanted and destroy them (get the last hit on their ship). Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to head to a system where the target was wanted and accept your reward at the Local Security Offices section of the Contacts Menu.
How do you find these targets? First you’ll need to choose your area. A lot of bounty hunters hide out around space stations, so they can scan ships going to and from the station. A couple of other popular places to scan for bounties are Resource Extraction Sites (commonly called RES) and Nav Beacons, as many wanted ships will arrive at both of these areas.
If you’re looking to get into bounty hunting, keep a few things in mind. First you need a fast ship, something like the Viper Mk. III, which is speedy enough to catch up to enemies and escape if things get crazy. You’ll also want to make sure you have some railguns or cannons installed, as they are powerful weapons that can make the difference when dealing with dangerous players. In addition, whenever you take out a ship, keep an eye out for any stolen goods that might be floating around in space, as these will increase your profit.
Perhaps one of the most despicable ways to make a living in Elite Dangerous is to be a pirate. It also happens to be one of the most fun ways to play the game. If you want to get started as a pirate, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind.
First, make sure you have a Cargo Scanner, since this makes it easy to check if your enemy’s cargo is worth the hassle to capture. We also recommend picking up an FSD Drive Interdictor, which will allow you to force ships out of supercruise so you can rob them. You may also want to stick around Nav Beacons if you can’t pick up a Drive Interdictor.
Now that you’re ready to go, it’s time to find a profitable target. Once you have one in your sights, there are a couple of things you can do. Remember that being a pirate isn’t about being a complete jerk. If people add you to their ignore lists, you’ll lose chances to make a profit, so make sure to come at your targets level-headed. To do this, you can demand they cut their engines or die, or drop their cargo or die. Many times players will do as you say, unless of course they have better ships, or are fairly confident in their own skills to fight or get away. If the player won’t drop his or her cargo, you can either shoot the cargo hatch until it is damaged enough to make the cargo eject, or if you have very good aim, you can use a cargo hatch breaker that will destroy the hatch and eject the cargo.
For more strategies, read Prima’s Elite Dangerous Beginners Tips, where we teach you how to become a better trader, upgrade your ship and accept side missions.