Trading in E:D is an easily accessible profession which can be completed in any ship with a cargo hold. But as you specialize in this profession purchasing the right ships and fitting them correctly it can be a very lucrative career especially if you wander over the line of what is legal! So in this short guide I’m going to look at entry-level trading, some ship builds and eventually long distance trading with a side portion of exploring.
You can start trading in the sidewinder but I wouldn’t recommend it. Run a few data delivery mission, shoot a few NPC’s, keep workin’ on up. Don’t get this the wrong way the sidewinder is a very nice ship and a vastly underused ship other than an early taxi ship. But it’s not ideal for where we want to be. Where we want to be is my beloved Cobra Mk III, a true workhorse of a ship. The first multi-role ship you get access to and you can be in it within an hour of starting to play!
Elegant and a real classic
The real bonus of the Cobra Mk III is that it is a multi-role ship and you can rig it up with very little compromise. It will allow you to try lots of play styles and try many different aspects of Elite. I never sold my original Cobra it’s safe and secure and I occasionally take it out for a drive, because you know nostalgia.
So lets look at the Cobra as you buy it, stock!
The initial upgrades you will want are going to be very cheap and will be easily completed via mission running etc. Rigging for cargo capacity, jump range and refueling ability for a cheap long range hauler.
So this fit costs about 1 million credits its got a downgraded power plant to 2A because of the improved thermal efficiency of it been A rated. The 2A will also allow a FSD upgrade to a 4A. The fuel tank is also down rated to 3C it’s not necessary but you will not need more than 4 jumps without refueling. The 4C will give you 8 it’s you choice!
Rare Goods trading.
So we have our ship-rigged up. An easy way to earn decent money without a huge outlay at the beginning is rare goods trading. These goods are special items that increase in value the further away from the source system they are transported. There are many different routes and these can be searched via google, as I was near Sol I used this route.
So I thought as the start of my route as Altair and Solo Orbiter, it’s a great system for upgrading you ship as well. At Solo purchase Altarian Skins buy as many as you can then head to HIP 80364 and Stasheff Colony purchase HIP Organophosphates then set sail for Rajukru and Synder Terminal, here sell your Skins and fill up on Rajukru Multi-Stoves then plot a course back to Altair. At Altair you sell everything, upgrade you ship and purchase more skins. You make enough money very quickly to upgrade your ship and if you have never done the route before the use of the discovery scanner and net you a little more money.
You make money surprisingly fast and in no time it will be time to get a better ship (if you want!) So the next ship is the Type 6 Transporter. You will want about 3 million to get the ship and upgrades for this basic build.
Most of the Internals have been D rated to improve jump range, with the FSD upgraded to a 4A giving a jump range of 29.7 LY fully laden. The T6 even with stock cargo capacity you will be able to transport all the rare goods you will come across. Strip the weapons out as well, it is better to submit to interdiction and divert all power to engines and boost away from the NPCs. From here you can continue your push via rare trading working up to the next multi-role ship the Asp Explorer(AspX). Or you could upgrade the T6 and do more standard trading/transporting cargo missions. Though income from rare’s trading is great to start off, there are better ways to get income. Saying that I did the rare route until I earned myself an AspX. That is easy to rig for long distance hauling and exploration.
There is the AspX setup for both exploration/rare trading, with this setup the second auto field maintenance is powered off. If you want to make this ship able to explore planets as well exchange the second AFM for an SRV hanger. Both options will need some power management by shutting down the AFM’s when not in use. This setup will cost about 18 million credits and is suitable for both exploration and long distance hauling without any modification.
Once you have this AspX you can be an explorer and set off into the cosmic ocean or do some long-range hauling missions, or do as I do and mix and match depending on how you feel.
Long Range Hauling Missions.
If you head a little away out of the occupied bubble to the star system Ceos/Sothis you can run missions between the 2 doing data delivery gaining rep with the federation faction and local factions. You will eventually see hauling missions for around 400LY back into the bubble. These can be very lucrative and the T6 or AspX are entry-level ships for this operation, you will see a lot of Python’s or Anaconda’s doing this route even with their much smaller jump range but much greater cargo capacity. Doing the run in the AspX/T6 is quick and easy due to their jump range and refueling. With Python/Anaconda you have to be more careful because of the number of brown dwarfs and distance you are jumping. If you accept supply missions you can make the return journey profitable as well. Ceos/Sothis also make a good base for exploring there are still unexplored systems close and get yourself some first discoveries though the local area isn’t lucrative with mainly red dwarf stars but some nice systems with Tauri class stars.
Ready to set off into the cosmic ocean.
You could plan longer routes to nebular once you are ready to go from dipping your toes to wading out through the cosmic ocean.
- It’s important to be having fun and not just grind credits.
- Both rare and long distance hauling routes are stepping-stones.
- If you diversify your playing styles, more missions become available. For example more hauling missions become available from increased exploration rank.
Dont Grind- Have Fun!
See you on the other side…