Be ready to get your hands dirty.
Elite: Dangerous is a fantastic game that I’ve recently gotten back into — we’ll have more on it coming soon, don’t worry. But with the launch of the Fleet Carriers, many players are left staring at the buy cost with jaws dropped, and not in a good way. Developer Frontier Developments has since drastically reduced the total costs, but it’s still a massive investment, especially upfront.
So, that has left people asking: how do I make enough money to even think about buying one, let alone maintaining and fueling it? Elite: Dangerous is a live service game, and the economies change every so often as supply and demand wax and wane. This is good for content creators who stay up on how to rake in the credits fast, but can be frustrating when you have to switch up your money-making routine (like when Void Opals fell out of favor).
How do I make money in Elite: Dangerous?
There are plenty of ways to earn credits in Elite: Dangerous, but there are a few standout options.
Long-time players of Elite: Dangerous will be familiar with mining, an in-game profession all of itself. I’ll be honest, I resisted the call to mining for years, preferring bounty hunting or exploring. And while you can make good money doing those things, they pale in comparison to what mining can bring in during the same period. Newer players can also benefit from this, but you’ll want to make sure you get into a larger ship as soon as you can afford it.
Still others will remember the glory days of Robigo Mines. I’m happy to tell you that it’s back on the menu and, though less profitable per hour than Low Temperature Diamond (LTD) mining, you can net multiple millions in just 10-15 minutes.
As I was writing this, Frontier deployed the full Fleet Carrier update, which shuffled around the mining hotspots. So Borann A 2 is no longer a viable mining spot, but the Elite: Dangerous community is hard at work trying to find another way to score credits fast. We’ll be sure to update this guide as things change, as they so often do, in the Milky Way.
So while we wait for the next big thing, we’re going to run passenger missions in Robigo Mines. It’ll do for now.
Your first task is to get yourself some passenger cabins. Find a system near you (check Inara) that has them and fill up most of your optional internal slots with them. I used a Python for this, so I had plenty of cabin space. However, I tried it in my Asp Explorer and did fine, too. If you have a smaller ship, then use what you can. Ideally, you want a ship with a jump range of at least 30ly so that you can make the jump to Sothis in just two hops.
Before we get started, bear in mind that these passengers that we’ll be ferrying back and forth are considered illegal. If you get scanned, that’s a big problem. Luckily, you aren’t likely to get scanned whatsoever doing this run.
- Set a course for Robigo Mines: In the Galaxy Map, set a course for the Robigo system. If you’ve already been there or bought the map data, select Robigo Mines as your destination. Make sure you’re in a small or medium ship since you can’t land a big ship at an outpost. Open the services menu and head to the Passenger Lounge.
Grab as many Sightseeing Adventure missions as you can: You’ll first be excited to see missions offering tens of millions, but don’t be fooled. Those are often for passengers who wish to go out tens of thousands of lightyears into space. We’re looking for ones around the 5mil or less mark that can fit in the cabins we have equipped. You want to pay attention to the goal destination on the right side of the mission board. Look for “Sirius Atmospherics” and something about a sightseeing adventure.
Set a course for Sothis: Open your Galaxy Map and select Sothis. Your goal is Sothis A 5, specifically the Sirius Atmospherics beacon on the far side of the planet. Your first time there, you need to be within 1,000 light-seconds for the beacon to appear in your navigation panel.
Scan Sirius Atmospherics and return to Robigo Mines: Once you’ve locked in your approach to the beacon, drop out of supercruise when you’re within range and immediately target the beacon. You’ll get mission update messages when done. Set a course of Robigo Mines again and head off.
- Land at Robigo Mines and turn in the missions: Pretty simple here. Just land at Robigo Mines and turn in your missions. You’ll get a lot of credits for your paltry amount of work. Load up again and repeat.
It’s worth noting that the best missions come from being allied with the three factions at Robigo Mines. If you’re not, grinding out rank is pretty straightforward. Just do missions and lower-paying passenger missions for them, and you’re fine.
Although passenger missions are less profitable per hour than LTD mining, they’re what’s available right now while we wait for intrepid explorers to find the next LTD spot. Unfortunately for new commanders, it’s a bit more challenging to get set up making money fast this way.
Even with raking in tens of millions of credits per hour with passenger missions, it’ll still take you some hefty grinding to be able to buy a Fleet Carrier. But they’re meant to be aspirational, and not every player will be able to attain one.
Once new money-making opportunities pop up, we’ll be sure to update this guide as soon as we test them for ourselves. I hope you found this helpful, Commanders. Good luck out there and fly safe.
Elite: Dangerous Horizons
Take to the stars in this massive 1:1 scale Milky Way galaxy. Pilot a variety of ships, choose your profession, and engage in power plays, exploration, battles with aliens, and much more.