This post is a follow up to my original guide on how to do passenger missions in Elite: Dangerous. If you want detailed instructions on what to do, feel free to peruse the original (now nerfed) "opulence" guide.
It's back! Time to rejoice! Right? Right?
Well, it's not quite back per se, but it's re-enabled. Recently Frontier Developments lifted a temporary nerf on Elite: Dangerous passenger missions, since they were utterly broken. If you missed the situation, long-range passenger missions paid over 1 million credits per passenger prior to the nerf. Frontier found that this was way too much and decided to temporarily disable the missions until a rebalance was achieved.
As of today, if you conduct a long-range passenger mission, each passenger is capped at 100,000 credits per passenger. No matter the reputation, no matter the trade rank, you will receive no more than 100,000 credits per passenger. Most of the larger passenger ships, including my favorite Anaconda, hover around 200 passengers.
QUICK MATHS: 200 x 100,000 = 20,000,000 credits
Essentially, Frontier removed a zero from the calculation. This has been confirmed at popular locations such as Haiden (Searfoss Enterprise), MEDB (Vela Dock), and LTT 9360 (Smeaton Orbital). Now before we all panic, take a step back and realize that this is still pretty good money. In fact, it's on par (if not better) than top level bounty hunting and trading. I haven't ran the numbers, but my guess is that is still some of the best money in the game. As I stated many times on my live stream, prior to the nerf, passenger missions yielded the silliest amount of credits in Elite: Dangerous history.
With that said, I wouldn't bother with any locations with greater station distances than Haiden. Searfoss Enterprise is 561,665 ls from the Haiden star and reaches the 100k credit limit. If you go to MEDB or LTT 9360, you'll essentially be earning the same rate as Haiden, but for 3x's the distance. DEFINITELY NOT WORTH IT. I REPEAT, IT IS NOT WORTH IT TO USE MEDB OR LTT9360!
There is something I haven't had time to verify which may make this even better. I need to verify if stations that are 200k to 300k ls away from the star cap at 100,000 credits per passenger. If this is true, alternate routes could be much quicker than Haiden, but yield the same profit. True opulence? We'll see. Let me know in the comments if someone has confirmed/denied this.
Fly safe commanders, and welcome back passenger missions! You are still somewhat viable!
It has been CONFIRMED that distances as low as 100,000 ls are capable of paying (up to) 100k credits per passenger! Thanks to BOC-Soma for providing this information:
- System: Ratri
- Starport: Sterling Ring (97,644 ls)
- Credits: 14 Aid Workers -> 1,429,792 CR
BIG CAVEAT is that this type of mission payout is not very common even at Elite Trade rank. So in order to maximize the credits per passenger, you may have to flip the board often.
We have also confirmed at 14,000 ls route that pays (up to) 100k per passenger! Easily the shortest distance for maximum payout. Here are the details: