Like to work on your own? Get yourself a MB 4 mining machine and try to find a rich planet
in one of the frontier systems. Also covers asteroid mining and trading aswell as the less reputable
careers like pirating and bounty hunting.
If you want to make a lot of money fast, find two (or more) systems that are close to each other.
Go to the Economy screen( F3, F9) for each system and then compare the Major Exports column of one
system with the Major Import column of the other. If you find any matches it will probably work as
a trade route. Now go to one of the systems, load up with cheap stuff and jump to the other system
and sell it for a high price. Don't forget that if something s out of stock there may be someone
desperate on the BBS, willing to pay a lot more than usual for your cargo.
To the more action oriented player this might seem boring; But trading can be interresting.
It all depends on what trade route you have, transporting robots and luxuary goods between
Barnards Star [-1,0] and Sol [0,0] will be very profitable - but also very dull.
If you want more excitement try trading Luxuary Goods from Alioth [0,4] to Phekda [2,5] then fly back with
Nerve Gas or Hand Weapons. Since Phekda is a anarchic system you are bound to be attacked
by pirate gangs when you arrive.
If you are person of dubious moral, trading in illegal goods can be very profitable. When trading in
normal goods you can expect to earn less than 50% of the money invested (unless someone wants to buy
on the BBS). On the black market, however, you can make over a hundred percents profit.
There are also risks involved because sometimes the police place an ad on the BBS claiming to
handle illegal goods and when you try to sell/buy they grab you. Then, you ask, how will I know
who the real dealer is? It requires that you remember the name of the company you used last time,
the police change the name but the real dealers doesn't so just stick to the same starport and
company and it will work fine.
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To mine asteroids you will need a 30MW mining laser and a Tractor Beam Cargo Scoop
(you can also use a regular Fuel Scoop and a Cargo Scoop Conversion, that way you can
gather fuel from stars, but the Tractor Scoop is smaller). I recommend you get a medium
sized ship like a Lanner or Constrictor
and install the mining laser in the stern. That way you can fit a laser more suited for combat
(like the 1MW beam) in the front.
Now to the real problem - how to actually find asteroids. Asteroids look a lot like orange/brownish
stars from a distance. If you have labels enabled (L key) you can easily see the difference, the
asteroids have no name tag.
Now you know what they look like, but where to find them? I'm afraid that there is no easy answer to that
question - You will just have to jump around between systems and hope you're lucky. There are
some guidelines though, you won't find any asteroids in highly populated systems (like Sol or Archenar),
Also some systems seem to have a higher probability of containing asteroids.
I have found asteroids in the following systems:
- Lave [-3, -6]
- Idaol [-1, 6]
- Ackceze [-4, -6]
- Ross 154 [0,-1] (found by Taz)
If you find any other systems you can mail them
to me and I will add them to the list and give you credit.
Ok, now you can find asteroids but how do you actually mine them? That's what your 30MW laser is for,
just shoot the asteroid a couple of times and you will see it spewing out some stuff. What you get varies.
Sometimes you get only Rubbish, then its a good idea to destroy the asteroid so it won't get in your way
when you start mining the others (just increase time-acceleration and keep firing until it is destroyed).
The most common except Rubbish are Minerals and Metal Alloys but it is stated in the manual that you can
also find Gem Stones and Precious Metals, although I haven't come across any.
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Planetary Surface Minding
So you want to do some serious mining? Then get yourself a 30 ton MB4 mining machine (about 5800$) and
head to one of the outer systems (mining is forbidden in most of the populated systems).
Look for a planet with a surface temperature of less than 200 °C, land and deploy the MB4.
The mining machine will then analyse the surface and report what can be mined (look in the mining
installations screen(F2)). If the machine can't find anything valuable try moving it a distance and
try again, else try another planet. When the MB4 is deployed blast of with your ship and go do something
fun for a couple of months while the machine finishes.
Now it's time to go see what your trusty MB4 has dug up! Call up the mining screen, there you will see what system
the MB4 is in (not the coordinates though so it's a good idea to remember what area you were in when
you left it (you can always keep a log book if you like). When you (hopefully) arrive in the right system
go to the mining screen again and press the button next to the machine, this will set your auto-pilot to
target the mining machine. Land again next to the machine (how close?) and press the mining rig icon on your
Combat Control display. Pressing it once will unload what the machine has mined so far into your cargo hold,
pressing it twice will load the machine itself. If you leave it, it will continue mining until you return
the next time.
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Bounty hunting involves fitting your ship with a Radar Mapper and go look for wanted criminals.
Without the RM you won't be able to prove your kill to the authorities, also if you target a ship
the RM will scan it and display hull status, shields and any bounty.
The "scum" of the universe can usually be found on anarchic or unstable systems with little or no
police presence. A good example of such a system is Phekda [2,5] or Ridequat [-3, -6].
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There is no glory in beeing a pirate - you hunt down innocent traders, kill them and steal their
cargo. But hey, everyone's got to make a living.
Beeing a pirate is not very hard, your typical victim has a large trading ship with very
little armament (often they don't even carry shields). One thing you will need to be a sucessful
pirate besides some heavy artillery is a fast ship (both in acceleration and in hyperspace range)
fitted with a Hyperspace Cloud Analyser and a Cargo Scoop of some sort. I like to use the
Cobra Mk3, mostly for it's nostalgic value.
There are 2 ways of finding your prey. The easiest is to fly around starports looking for
suitable ships (large traders like the Panther Clipper). When you
have found one, target it and land a couple of kilometers away from the base. Hit maximum time-acceleration
and wait for the target to jump out of the system (you will know this when the HSC analyser kicks in)
then press escape as fast as you can to pause the game. Target the system your victim has jumped to and
hyperspace there before him. Then target his arrival-cloud and wait for the given date. When the ship arrives
get behind it, match speed and begin to blast away at his hull. When he is destroyed fly around and scoop up
whatever cargo is left efter the explosion.
If you don't like all that jumping around between systems you can just stay in one system and
attack those arriving. To find their arrival clouds go to the 3D map of the system and look
for small blue dots - these are the hyper-clouds. Next set target to them (both attack and navigation target)
and let the auto pilot take you there. Even if you don't get there in time and the ship has already
arrived the auto-pilot will still be locked on and you will probably be able to overtake the other ship.
If the other ship has a real head-start you can call him on the ship-to-ship com and select 'surrender or die'
The other pilot will be so mad that he turns around to attack you! Using this method you loose the element
of surprise but you can probably handle it anyway.
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