Elite Dangerous Getting Rich Guide by toddells
There are lots of elite guides out there, but when I started a couple weeks ago, I couldn’t find any guides about how to best spend my time in this sandbox world. This guide isn’t about basic mechanics or the intricacies of each profession. It’s a guide on how to get rich as fast as possible when all you have is a Sidewinder and 1,000 credits. I will assume that you have at least played all the training missions and have access to Google search.
1,000c – Explore – Sell all hardpoints and replace your shield with the cheapest available fuel scoop. Start exploring nearby unexplored systems. You can tell if it is unexplored on the galaxy map when the “buy system map” button is red. Don’t bother scanning anything over 500ls from the star and prioritize scans of stars, gas giants and blue or green planets that show on the system map with polar ice caps. Don’t scan asteroids or spend too long in any given system. Every hour or two, stop at a starport to sell your data. Upgrade to the D-2 FSD to improve your jump range and fuel consumption. Don’t forget to fuel scoop each time you jump to a system. (expect to earn ~10k/hr depending on luck)
+20,000c – Mine – Open your galaxy map and set the view to show only high tech and refinery planets. Start clicking on these until you find a system with a gas giant that has “metallic” rings and the reserves are either “pristine” or “major”. Ignore binary systems or systems where the starport is more than 500ls from the gas giant. Once you have found a suitable system visit the starport. Sell your discovery scanner for a Cargo Rack (~1,000c). Sell your fuel scoop for an E-2 refinery bin (~12,000). Buy a mining laser hardpoint (~6,000c). Head to an resource extraction site within the metallic ring. Put all power towards weapons and fire away at the nearest asteroid. Target the chunk that comes off. If it has 10% or more of palladium, platinum, or gold pick it up and keep mining the rock until it stops dropping chunks. Most likely, however, the chunk will have some other metal, so just move on to a different asteroid. Continue this process until your storage is full, then return to the starport to sell your booty. Mining is a lonely profession, but if someone starts to scan you and they don’t look friendly, stop what you are doing and jump into supercruise. Compared to exploring, you will be making money hand over fist now. Feel free to pick up a second mining laser or upgrade your refinery bin (for additional slots) and power core (to avoid overheating). Feel free to experiment since you can sell components back at cost. If the starport sells an Adder, you can pick that up too for some extra cargo space. Once you have more cargo space, picking up silver starts to become worthwhile. (expect to earn about 60k/hr depending on luck, skill and cargo capacity)
+500,000c – Bounty Hunt – At this point, if you aren’t bored of mining yet, upgrade to a cobra and keep powering through those asteroids. With some practice and expensive mining tools, you could earn over 120k/hr. If you are looking for more excitement, head over to the nearest high tech starport with a decent sized population and buy a viper. Buy two F-2 pulse lasers, two G-1 multi-cannon hardpoints, the cheapest warrant scanner and the chaff launcher utility hardpoints. Upgrade the power distributor, shield, and power core as much as possible, in that order of prioritization. If you have some money left over buy the best class 2 shield cell bank you can and fill the other slots with cargo racks. Head back to your resource extraction site and scan ships. Destroy anyone (even allies) with a bounty, but I would avoid any anacondas or pythons with a deadly or higher pilot rating unless you have some help from the local authorities. Continue to upgrade your ship and weapons as you turn in bounties. Alternatively, you can hang out at Nav beacons in any system. I have had great luck with these when they are in large, wealthy systems with both a federation starport and anarchy starport nearby. The largest NPC bounty I saw here was 222k (expect to earn ~100k/hr, varying greatly with luck)
+1,000,000c – Rares – When you tire of bounty hunting, trade in your viper for a cobra. Sell all your hardpoints. Buy the B4 FSD, any class 2 fuel scoop, and put cargo racks in all your other internal compartments. We don’t need no stinkin’ shields. Upgrade or downgrade all your other components to the smallest mass version available but be certain to save enough money to cover your insurance costs. Getting set back now that you actually have some money would be a drag. Find a rare trade route on reddit or make one of your own using some of the tools available online. Personally, I did a route that hit 5 systems near Lave and 5 systems near Fujin. As you make money, keep upgrading your internal components, starting with the FSD. (expect to earn about 1.2mil/hr, depending on your route)
+10,000,000c – More Rares – Keep trading rares, but at this point you should upgrade to the Asp following a similar loadout as before, but now that you are running some expensive hardware it could be worthwhile to put on a shield and a chaff launcher. Now that you have a ton of cargo space, you can also make a tidy profit trading regular commodities between stations when picking up rares, or even doing some smuggling if you are a bit unscrupulous. (expect to earn about 1.4mil/hr, depending on your route)
+20,000,000c – Trade – Now you can buy a Type-7 and deck it out with cargo racks and a FSD. Use thrudds trading tool to find a system near you that is selling cheap “performance enhancers”. The further from Sol and Achenar the better, since there will be fewer players to compete with. Look on your galaxy map to see if that station is having a boom. If so, zip on over to it and check your targeting computer to see if there is a “seeking luxuries” near the starport. 10ls or less is ideal. Any further than that will greatly cut into profits. Buy performance enhancers and bring them to the seeking luxuries. When you fly by the freighters you will get paid for the cargo. Continue this loop until the profits dry out and then find a new system. Alternatively, you could find a nice trade route for normal commodities, but you probably won’t make quite as much as the seeking luxuries.
You’ve got loads of money now. More than me probably. Go spend it on something.