[Top 5] Elite Dangerous Best Ways To Make Money

Best ways to make money in Elite Dangerous
The classy Imperial Cutter is the most expensive ship in the game

Learn the best ways to make money in Elite Dangerous.

If you want to dominate the Elite Universe, you're going to need credits...and a lot of them.  You'll be buying expensive ships, expensive loadouts, and dreaded expensive rebuys.  Of course you might also want to sport a bank account in the billions just for bragging rights too!  There's always something to buy or upgrade, but don't worry with this guide you'll never be pinching pennies again.  So jump into your cockpits commanders, and let's get grinding!

1. Missions

A concise resource for beginners looking into doing missions

Missions are a great way for new players to learn the ways of the galaxy.  You won’t make as much as other end game careers, but the skills you learn will be invaluable.  Elite Dangerous has an incredibly steep learning curve which can be intimidating to new players.  Missions will help you to get your feet wet and start the long road to earning your Elite ranks . 

How it works

  • Find a system with a population of at least 1 billion.  Make sure the stations are all under 5000 ls from the main star, you don’t want to spend half your time in supercruise!  If there's an Empire or Federation ship you have your eye on, you’ll want to make sure to pick a station under control by the proper superpower to work on your rank.
  • Accept missions from every faction in your station.  Each mission you complete will give you rep. The more rep you earn the better missions you will receive.  Ranking with each faction will give you a great variety of mission types.
  • Try to stack missions.  If you’re lucky you’ll find missions from different factions with the same goal.  This will allow you to earn more credits and rep faster.

2. Bounty Hunting

An informative video outlining the basics of bounty hunting

Bounty hunting is an awesome way to make some serious cash if you love the thrill of combat.  You can help police the galaxy and take down the baddies while picking up some spending money at the same time.  If you can stack bounties, kill warrant bounties, and missions efficiently you will be able to earn a pretty sizable living this way.  Going to popular pirate sites can also offer some great views that you won't want to miss.

How it works

  • Find a system with a decent population that has planets with rings.  Rings are the only place you can find Resource Extraction Sites which are going to soon become your playground.  Resource Extraction Sites come in 4 varieties: low, high, hazardous, and no modifier which is the middle difficulty.  Hazardous is basically the same as high, but there won’t be any system police to help back you up which means there won’t be anyone to have your back if things get dicey.
  • Next head to a neighboring system that haseasily accessible stations.  Ideally you want to find one with the facility “Interstellar Factors.” Head over to those stations and look for massacre missions that take you to the system with  the RES you’re planning on farming. Stacking missions and bounties are how you’ll make some serious dough.
  • Make sure your ship has a Kill Warrant Scanner equipped and now head over to your RES.  You’ll want to focus on big ships like Anacondas and Pythons because they’re worth more than a king’s ransom.
  • Scan the biggest ships and check that they’re both wanted and a mission target.  Make sure to use your kill warrant scanner as this will increase your payout if they are wanted in other systems as well.
  • Once you’ve finished your missions, head to a station in the system with your RES. Talk to an Authority Contact and hand in all your bounty vouchers.
  • Now head back to the station with your missions and Interstellar Factors.  Hand in your mission on the mission board. Finally talk to Interstellar Factors to hand in the bounties you collected with your Kill Warrant Scanner.

3. Exploration

A detailed video discussing how to explore

Exploration is a great way to get out and see the beauty of the galaxy while also making a ton of money.  If you’relucky enough to find an undiscovered Earth-like world and be the first one to map it you’ll be looking at 3,249,900 Cr just for that alone.  Often systems with ELWs also have water, ammonia, and terraformable high metal content worlds which also offer great payouts. On top of all that you have the chance to get your name on a planet permanently!  You’ll have to get pretty far out of the bubble to find unclaimed planets, so you should be prepared for a very long journey.

How it works

  • Hop into a ship with a great jump range and fuel scoop.  Pick a destination and head out into the black. Make sure you have a surface scanner equipped, because you won’t be making any money without it!
  • When you enter a new system honk it with your discovery scanner.  Then open up your FSSand check for any interesting Earth-like, high metal content, water, or ammonia worlds.  Scan any that you find. Next head over to your system map and check to see if any of the HMC worlds are terraformable.  If they are, go map them with your DSSalong with any Earth-like, water, or ammonia worlds. Use your probes efficiently because if you use under the specified number you’llalso get an efficiency bonus which is worth a nice chunk of change too.
  • Jump to the next system.  Then rinse, and repeat.
  • When you’re ready to come back to society head over to any station and turn your exploration data into Universal Cartographics for your well deserved payday.  They’llinform you of how much each system was worth as well as any that you were the first to discover or map. Just be careful to avoid high traffic areas on your way back to the bubble.f you get destroyed, so does your precious data!
  • If you’retrying to unlock a permit and need rep with a certain minor faction, this is a good time to find a station that they own and turn in your data there.  There are also several engineers who accept exploration data for reputation gain.

4. Passenger Missions

A detailed guide on how to optimize passenger missions for maximum credits

Passenger missions are one of the best ways to make a lot of money fast, and you won’t have to leave the bubble to do it!  Depending on your ship and your efficiency, you’ll be able to rack in 100 million credits every hour. Your missions will also bring you to some beautiful and lore rich places.  That’s a huge plus if you like to learn about the history of human expansion throughout the galaxy.

How it works

  • Get in a ship that has a great jump range and a couple of passenger cabins.  Make sure you equip a direct surface scanner because you’re going to be finding a lot of high value planets to map along the way.
  • Check out the available missions and check them on the galaxy map.  If you can find some that are going out in the same general direction that’s great and will really help you speed up the money making!  You’ll also want to make sure to read the mission details because there can be some important caveats that will affect your missions.
  • Plot an efficient route where your jumps will hopefully count towards multiple missions.
  • Start jumping.  Honk each new system and whip out your FSS.  Check for any high value planets and take the time to map them with your DSS before moving on.  The destinations for your missions will also often have several Earth-like or other high value worlds.  By mapping everything of value, you’ll be able to earn millions more credits in addition to your mission rewards.
  • After you’ve hit all your stops, head back to the station where you started to collect your rewards, sell your exploration data, and roll in your pile of money.

5. Deep Core Mining

A great guide on the ins and outs of deep core mining

If done correctly mining can earn you more money than if you were printing it yourself.  Making 100 million credits or more in an hour isn’t unheard of with this method. As an added bonus, this career will take you to some amazing spots in the galaxy.  You’ll be able to relax and look out at a beautiful vista while you’re raking in the cash.

How it works

  • Jump in your ship and equip collector limpets, prospector limpets, a pulse wave analyzer,  a direct surface scanner, a seismic charge launcher, and an abrasion blaster.
  • First things first you’re going to need to find a good system to make this work.  The location is absolutely crucial for this type of mining, or you won’t make a penny.  You’ll want to find a planet with pristine icy rings. If the system has multiple planets that fit this description, that’s even better as it will give you more options.  It’s also best if you can find a low traffic system as the reserves will be more intact.
  • Use your DSS to map the planet and locate any void opal hotspots.  Navigate to those spots and drop out of supercruise.
  • Head into the asteroids and use your pulse wave analyzer to identify which asteroids contain deposits in their cores.  When you pick an asteroid, fire a prospector limpet at it to identify exactly what’s inside. You’re looking for benitoite, alexandrite, low temperature diamonds, and of course those mouth watering void opals.
  • Once you’vefound an asteroid worth mining, target the fissure and launch your seismic charges.  This is the tricky part. You want to damage the asteroid enough to break it open, but not so much that it destroys the minerals inside.  With a little practice, you’ll get the hang of it in no time!
  • Once you’ve cracked the asteroid open, shoot off the goodies using your abrasion blaster.
  • Now launch your collector limpets and sweep up all of those sweet sweet minerals.
  • Finally you’ll want to find a station that’s buying at a high price.  Taking the time to find somewhere with a price above the galactic average can easily double your profits.  You’ll be a billionaire in no time, just try not to spend it all in one place!

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Bryan left the deep snow fields to travel to far away lands in search of ancient adventure. When low on health his feline companion provides him with all the healing salves necessary to continue his
Gamer Since: 1989
Favorite Genre: PVP
Currently Playing: Overwatch, Halo, Elite Dangerous, Dark Souls
Top 3 Favorite Games:Elite: Dangerous, Mass Effect, BioShock
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