Oh no. Frontier has nerfed long range passenger missions and the precious opulence is under fire. Well, I've been trying to inform the masses on my twitch stream, that this was bound to happen based on history. Remember Seeking Luxuries? Robigo? Sothis/Ceos? Quince? Massacre Missions? Yeah, all nerfed now, but were great sources of Elite: Dangerous credits back in their prime.
So, now what do you do Commander? Until the next loot cave emerges, here are some common credit making techniques that I've come across in my travels across the universe:
Old faithful. Back in year 1 of Elite: Dangerous, trading was top dog for credit making. Not much has changed in the realm of trading in Elite: Dangerous, but if you have the right tools, it can yield a good amount of credits. I highly recommend eddb.io for finding lucrative routes for your vessel. First off, what should you fly? Here are some suggested builds based on your available credits:
- Hauler (16 Tons / 438k credits) - A good starter for any new player.
- Cobra Mk III (40 Tons / 3.6m credits) - General all purpose, but makes a solid trade ship
- Type-6 (100 Tons / 2.9m credits) - A solid trade vessel for up and coming traders
- Type-7 (264 Tons / 23m credits) - This will carry you for quite a while
- Python (276 Tons / 62m credits) - A fine trader if you have the credits, but also is an awesome all rounder
- Type-9 (492 Tons / 96m credits) - The infamous space cow. A good trader if you can handle the awful turn speed. Recently buffed by Frontier in 3.0 beta!
- Anaconda (450 Tons / 164m credits) - The almighty tradeaconda. An insanely good all arounder, but makes a top trade ship as well
- Imperial Cutter (Reputation Required) (728 Tons / 264m credits) - The current top dog trader on live. Requires imperial rank of "Duke"
You've picked a ship, but you now need a trade route. The best of the best is Imperial Slave trading. I know, it sounds ugly, and some players won't touch Imperial Slave trading, but it is the absolute best trade money in the game. If you don't want to touch Imperial Slaves, use eddb.io to find a good earning trade route. EDDB offers several options such as trade loops, single trade routes, and Multi hop routes. If you're just starting, I would recommend using the "Loop Trade Route" option. Be sure to exclude slaves if you don't want to trade them. Pay attention to Pad Size, Max Price Age, and Distance from the jump star. Here are some recommended filters to get started with:
Note, this filter excludes Imperial Slaves, so adjust as needed. The resulting trade results will be sorted by profit. Simply choose one, turn on Netflix, and space truck the goods! Watch the credits roll in!
If you want to pew pew and make credits, then Bounty Hunting is for you. Bounty Hunting is a great activity (and arguably the best) to perform while in a wing with your friends. It is highly encouraged to find some fellow commanders to hunt targets with. If you've never bounty hunted in Elite: Dangerous, you scan NPC pilots to see if they are wanted. If they are, you blow up their ships and collect the bounty on their heads.
So how do you get started? Of course, you'll need a ship. Here's some choice beginner builds to select from. (These are combat ships and will likely have terrible jump range. You will likely have to tow (ship transfer) your ship to the desired location)
- Viper (1.8m credits) - The best starter bounty hunting ship. Highly recommended for beginners. Feel free to remove the fuel scoop once in the desired system.
- Vulture (23m credits) - The beloved Vulture is loved by many and can carry you far. You will have to juggle module power a bit to use shield cell banks on this build.
- Federal Gunship (Requires Reputation) (130m credits) - The Federal Funship. If you like ship launched fighters, then this baby is insanely fun. Requires Federal reputation of "Ensign"
- Federal Assault Ship (Requires Reputation) (81m credits) - My current favorite combat ship. It's so fun. This build has regular shields for beginners, but I usually run bi-weave and hull tank. Requires Federal reputation of "Chief Petty Officer"
- Fer De Lance (136m credits) - Arguably the best combat ship in the game, it's a monster with this build. All multi-cannons just melt NPCs and you have a great shield tank for sustain.
- Python (212m credits) - Very reliable all arounder, but can pack a punch in the RES. Very safe ship and can make a ton of credits.
- Anaconda (588m credits) - HAHAHA! Happy Anaconday! Just park in the RES and kill everything. LUL.
- Federal Corvette (Requires Reputation) (671m credits) - Just ridiculous. Why is this ship in the game? It's hilarious. Requires Federal reputation of "Rear Admiral"
Note: None of these builds have the Kill Warrant Scanner equipped due to the incoming nerf to the device. If you want to continue using this anyway, just modify the build accordingly.
Next, bookmark this wonderful site that will search for Resource Extraction Sites (RES) nearest you. I recommend you avoid soloing Hazardous RES until you get the hang of the ship you're in. Tow your favorite combat ship there and rake in the credits!
Is that a typo? LOL. Seriously, Exploration can bring in good credits now due to buffs by Frontier. The most popular exploration method is Road to Riches. (alternate dynamic tool) The Elite: Dangerous player base has collected several systems that pay well based on their planet types and stars. You essentially fly though these systems, scan what you're told to scan, and get paid when you sell the data. The beauty of Exploration is that it doesn't take much credits to get started. Here are some decent starter fits:
- Hauler (27.54ly Jump Range / 2.9m credits) - The perfect starter exploration ship. Cheap and good jump range.
- Cobra (26.05ly Jump Range / 6.6m credits) - A bit more expensive, but if you like the Cobra, this is decent explorer fit
- ASP Explorer (34.28ly Jump Range / 14.2m credits) - My recommendation fit. The ASP Explorer is all kinds of awesome at this.
I'm sure there are many more builds out there, but these will get you started. Use the utility sites to find the Road to Riches locations, scan the money making bodies, and then turn in the data for nice credits!
Periodically, Frontier will introduce Community Goals (CG) to the game. These tasks instruct to collaborate with other commanders to reach a common goal for a reward. The most common CGs are for Bounty Hunting and Trading. Use the above fits for each and participate in the CGs and earn credits two ways! Firstly, by performing the tasks (Bounty Hunting or Trade) and then receive a fat paycheck at the end of the CG.
Bonus: Get Palin Missions Back
This not necessarily a way to make credits in the game, but it can bring back a great way to do it: Palin missions. Recently, Obisidian Orbital was attacked by the Thargoids and removed the ability to perform Professor Palin's tasks. The station is currently (as of this post) under a state of "repair". Commanders can assist in repairing the station by hauling commodoties to the station in Maia. If you're not sure what to bring, check Galnet for the up to date status of the stations that were attacked.
Once this station comes back online, Palin missions should return, but it's not guaranteed. Palin missions were a good source of credits before the attack, so if you want another method, consider assisting the effort to repair.
So don't get upset that passenger missions were nerfed by Frontier. There are still ways to make credits (not stupid credits as with passengers) and you should still bring in a fair amount until the next loot cave emerges.
Fly safe, commanders! o7