I love playing Elite:Dangerous (E:D), seen as I’ve now spent over £150 pound on the game since Kickstarter! That breaks down to £100 pound Kickstarter on PC, then when I bought the Xbox One I bought E:D then also bought Horizons when it was released. The only games I’m really playing on the XBox at the moment are WoT and E:D. Depending on what time of day and how I’m feeling I can pick an activity that suits my engagement level.
I’m a miner!
In beta on the PC I tried out mining, but I didn’t like it, a little too much management with not enough payout! When I started this blog I was playing a LOT of Eve and had mainly been a miner/manufacturer. I used to spend a lot of time mining in my early days of playing Eve, even though it was not the most engaging of activities and really was a bit of a drag. I feel that mining in E:D gets the right balance between prospecting for rich ‘roids and micro managing your collecting and refining process. While playing E:D I’m in no great rush to reach the heights of owning an anaconda etc. The biggest ship I own is my Asp Explorer which is rigged for deep space exploration. I recently re-rigged my Asp to try out mining and found it compelling and enjoyable. More so than rare goods trading. So I couldn’t abandon exploring completely so I bought a Larkon T6 and set it up for mining and returned by AspX to its explorer/long distance hauling design. So below is my entry-level mining ship the T6 transporter. You can try in a smaller ship but the T6 is the first ship where you don’t have to compromise.
This is an entry-level requirement, It has an optimal setup with mining equipment but is sub-par on core modules. The Keelback does have access to medium mining lasers you loose 1 collecting limpet and therefore slows down collection once the asteroid has been mined. With this setup I would be reticent to accept mining missions because if the mission triggers a pirate, this ship will not be able to outrun anything! For this basic fit you are looking at 3.2 million credits. Upgrading all internal modules to A rated except life support and scanner will cost another 4 million credits. If you like mining and want to make your time more efficient you might want to upgrade to an AspX miner.
This build will cost about 25 million credits. But you now have 4 collector limpets and 96 tonnes of cargo capacity and class 2 mining lasers. This setup does include some weapons and shield boosters useful if your been chased by a pirate sidewinder or adder but not essential, I see this as more an armoured transport and I would still RUN than engage! So it’s a big jump from 3 million to 25 million it’s an even bigger jump to the mining python so how do you earn these credits?
Location, Location, Location…
As with most operations location is everything. The primary factor is looking for systems with Pristine Reserves. In pristine reserves any mining you undertake will be more time efficient as you will get better quantities of higher value resources. Then you need to look for metallic rings around gas giants because mining metals is more profitable than ice mining. Then you need somewhere to sell your refined products so a manufacturing or tech economy with a station that allows you to restock your limpets! Now to make it the perfect location it would be nice if it was a small solar system to reduce travel times. All this probably will not all align in one system, if you have somewhere to sell products and purchase limpets within one jump that is a great setup.
What to mine.
When mining in metallic rings you want to mine the three P’s:- Panite, Platinum, Palladium are your primary objectives then Gold followed by Osmium, Praseodymium and Samarium everything else gets ejected back into space unless I’ve accepted a mission to supply that mineral. This mining style will give you the sweet spot between just strip mining everything and laboriously hunting for just those 3 P minerals. I always use prospector drones to improve yields by 50% on asteroids but also avoid cruising over to asteroids that only contain gallium etc. There is also something I find rewarding about firing off drones in the direction of far off asteroids. It’s like pinging a system when exploring. I generally don’t mine ice rings because the pay out is less unless you find low temperature diamonds and those iceberg’s rotate in annoying ways!
How to earn the big bucks!
Accepting mining missions before you leave space station or checking for missions before you sell minerals can greatly increase your profits. Finding a mission with a payout of 600k for 12 osmium can increase your income by x5. When you first start mining I would not accept loads of these missions because occasionally they trigger a pirate response and can make your life a misery. But once you have A-rated your ship, submitting to interdiction and then boosting away although a pain if you have a few thousand light seconds to travel just an occupational hazard.
- Mine with the belly of your ship away from the asteroid. This helps keep your limpets safe(er.)
- Mine at the pole’s along the rotational axis. This avoids been whacked by the asteroid and gives your limpets less choice to suicide into the rock.
- Hit your lasers on the edge of the asteroid to get the fragments away from the rotational dangers of the asteroid.
If you get bored of mining, just change what you doing you don’t have to grind or choose the most profitable thing to have fun.
See you on the other side…