Elite Dangerous is a vast and wide-open universe. Those who want can go out and make their fortunes in the stars, bringing back untold wealth and power to the bubble of humanity. But to get those rare items and resources, you have to find them and mine them out.
Mining is also a great way to get more fuel and items to sell. in fact, that’s what most new players do to make a few million Credits, in order to afford a new ship or two. The ability to jump longer distances is the first goal for many players, so that’s a great way to spend money. So with the goal set, let’s talk mining itself.
Basics of Mining in Elite Dangerous
There are three types of mining in Elite Dangerous. Each one has its own requirements, and ways to get it done. You first need to learn the tools you’re going to use to actually do the mining. The
- Miners – These lasers extract metals, minerals, and other resources from asteroids that can then be refined. Upgraded versions of basic Mining Lasers, like the Mining Lance, have greater range and DPS.
- Refinery – The first optional module, allows players to refine raw ore for more profit. Each refinery has a number of bins, and can hold more types of process materials at a time.
- Detailed Surface Scanner – Used to scan Rings for mining sites. Use these first to identify mineable resources before dropping into a system.
- Pulse Wave Analyser – Used to scan asteroid belts for mineable asteroids within.
Then there are items like Limpets, which allow for faster and more focused mining efforts
- Prospector Limpet – These items are probes that scan asteroids and ore site for ore deposits, giving Commanders a readout of what they can find. Prospecting asteroids before mining results in double yield, generally a good thing to always do when you have the Credits to spare.
- Collector Limpet – Used for faster acquisition of mined materials. Limpets have a set lifetime and will automatically collect items with no user input required. Useful for the most valuable materials. kind of a waste on low-end ores.
Mining is currently possible at asteroid belts or planetary rings. You must first probe for a mining site, then scan the assets within. The general idea is to use your specialized mining tools to prospect for ore, then blast a fragment out with your tools. Collecting fragments can be done with a cargo scoop or a collector limpet. You can then refine it, or transport the raw ore.
There are a few types of mining that you need to be aware of. What type you do will depend on the tools and Credits you have available. Surface Mining is the most basic kind. You will simply scan the asteroid belt with the Pulse Wave Analyser to find the most resource-rich roids. Break them apart and collect the fragments to make cash. Hang on, there are two other types of mining for more advanced players.
Sub-surface Mining (SSM)
This requires a Prospector Limpet and Sub-surface Displacement Missile. The idea is to shoot the missile into a prospected asteroid to then blast it to bits. When scanned, the deposits inside the roid will be marked, you will need to fire the missile into the deposit as close as you can. The HUD should help direct your shot with a marker for said deposit. Once the missile reaches the deposit, detonate the explosive to send fragments out. Now you can collect the fragments.
Deep Core Mining (DCM)
Deep Core Mining is the most intensive, and rewarding, mining in Elite Dangerous. You will need to have all your hardpoints out and do plenty of planning to do this right. The scanning and prospecting for valuable sites will likely take a long time.
The best asteroids to do this with are the ones that have a distinct teardrop shape. Hit these with the analyzer to see if they light up. If they show up as brightly colored, they’re a good mining candidate. Use a Prospector Limpet to find the resource pockets, then fire a Seismic Charge into the fissures of the rock. Watch the HUD for the depth readout. When you reach the optimum depth relative to the ore deposits, blow the charge.
From here it’s as simple as using an Abrasion Blaster on the ore nodes to break off chunks.
What kind of ship is good for mining in Elite Dangerous?
You usually want to get a ship that has four hardpoint modules and decent cargo space. This allows you to use all the basic mining tools, as well as hold plenty of ore. Secondary considerations for things like Fighter Bays for defensive fighters are a great thing to think about.
Speed is one of the more overlooked things when it comes to choosing a ship for mining in Elite Dangerous. If you can’t chase down asteroid fragments, your mining efforts and Limpets go to waste. One such ship that got nerfed for mining is the Type-9 Heavy. The speed nerf it took in Beyond made it much less useful, even though it has good hardpoint loadouts and cargo space.
The Adder or Asp Explorer are great early-game options for new miners. You can get a decent amount of speed and cargo size, and a few hardpoints. The Keelback is another early option, with the bonus of added fighter defense.
The Python turns out to be one of the best mid-game options for miners, thanks o the cargo space and hardpoints. It’s also got solid durability and speed for its size. But really, the ship you choose is up to you.