Best way to make money Solo? (2021)

Simple one really, I’m just getting back into elite and need some tips on the best ways to make space cheddar as solo.

Specifics too, rather than just “mining” or “pirating”, what’s your formula and what is your cr/hour on that formula.

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Settle in a system that has a single anarchy around it (within 10-15ly i think) get allied with the factions and stack massacre missions
Once you get allied with all the factions you can easily shoot paper planes for big bucks. If you equip a KWS, you can get even more, but i did not actually bother.
Sure, you'll need a strong engineered ship to be really efficient. (i'm using a fully engineered corvette)

Just 2 examples from recent CG:
If you settle in LHS 54, you'll get to stack missions to Parutis
Same for settling in Maring and getting missions to LTT 2545

You can use EDTools to find more such systems and i strongly advise you to do so and get allied in 5 or more systems.
This you can change the base of operations fast if the BGS states in one system makes the missions boards dried of massacre missions

if i wasn't clear enough: the big money come from stacking massacre missions, not from the actual bounties, but every bit helps i guess :)
You said "getting back" into Elite so I'm going to assume you have an older account with a few credits and maybe some ships laying around. Here's what I did for credits as a new player but you can probably skip to Step 2.

Step 1. "Road to Riches" exploration grind with a Detailed Surface Scanner. Earth-Like and Water planets are a good chunk of change. I made like 130m cr doing a 100'ish system scanning loop.

Step 2. This is the big one, the space cheddar money BOMB. I took a Python and turned it into a stripped down flying passenger cabin and headed to Robigo Mines. Be sure to explore along the way though! Once you hand in your Exploration data you'll get enough Rep so that you'll unlock the good Passenger Missions to "Sirrius Atmospherics ". Grab every passenger mission you can from all three factions destined for Sirrius Atmospherics and ONLY Sirrius Atmospherics.

I trust you to Google the details but it's pretty easy to pull off, I would bookmark between the two systems in your Galaxy map though.

I think I started with 80 million credits after the Python build and like the next day or two had 1.2 billion credits. Also this maxed out my Sirus Corp rep and I got "Elite" explorer rank so I have the permit to get to Jameson Memorial too.

Mining just got the nerfbat and "stacking" massacre missions without a fully engineered ship was certainly NOT a money maker in my experience.
It depends, but alot more choices now make decent money, Fdev has been nerfing the top end money makers (mining) and buffing the lower end (combat) money makers

Bounties and all forms of combat got buffs recently. Mining was mostly nerfed for VO's, LTD's, and Painite. Platinum and Osmium (among others got buffs), however overall mining is worth less now than during this summer or previously.

3rd party sites I use that help: edtools cc; eddb io; inara cz; spansh road to riches;

Specifics for me:
  • I have tried stacking pirate massacre missions and once allied with the local factions I can get 6-10mil per hour doing that in a Vulture. It is fun, but I scoop the engineering mats, since I need them, which means less kills per hour and less money, but eng mats...
  • Road to riches in hauler, dbx or AspX is several millions per hour if you focus on AW, ELW, WW's etc with the DSS scanner
  • Using eddb io for single hop trading runs or a b a trade loops (much more money) can make a bunch of money as well. I can make about 20 mil per hour doing a b a loops from eddb io
  • AX combat (thargoids) and Robigo mines passenger missions are things I will try out soon, and should from what I have read, make even more $$$
Simple one really, I’m just getting back into elite and need some tips on the best ways to make space cheddar as solo.

Specifics too, rather than just “mining” or “pirating”, what’s your formula and what is your cr/hour on that formula.

I occasionally do wing missions that earn from 30-50M each. If you want to wing up later this week, I could help you earn around 500M to 1B on Saturday morning. This method usually earns about 350-450M/hr.
Get allied first..
Sidewinder/Eagle bounties collection in HIGH res site to complete bounties by love tapping on kills the AI do in the last low hull percentage... zero risk...
Massacre missions for those pirates optional...

Cargo runs any were...

RNG or Mapped laser mining in a Platinum and Osimum. Metalic rings, RNG mining 320+ tons, Mapped 500-700 tons per hour... Time in ring depends on SIZE of ship...

RNG mining...
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But then you have to do combat for extended periods of time, and chasing a goal rather than for the fun of it. Do you know how insanely boring that is? I bet combat players don't even do this.
Was there some other point to this thread than "making money"? Cos if so, i missed it.

And no... i don't know how insanely boring that is because, well, it isn't? If you don't enjoy fighting, don't do it? It certainly rips shreds of most things.

I mean, what's the comparison here? Mining? Source missions? road to riches? Not really much competition there... or in this thread. But i'd equally concede "maybe i just find those things incredibly boring, but others enjoy them"
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I recently bought a type 9, equipped for trading (720 tons of cargo, or 712 with an automatic repair module), and I'm doing 100mil/h doing simple trading with few missions (~20K profit per ton). On the first two hours I paid my T9 back and could afford all the upgrades I needed. Boring? Not much but when I'm bored I jump into my python and do some side missions that involve fighting.
Simple one really, I’m just getting back into elite and need some tips on the best ways to make space cheddar as solo.

Specifics too, rather than just “mining” or “pirating”, what’s your formula and what is your cr/hour on that formula.


Sorry if this is late, but I didn't see anyone mention deep core mining. I just got back into this game like 2 weeks ago. I only play at night and some on the weekends because of work and kids. But, I have been pretty much exclusively deep core mining for credits. Is it the perfect most efficient way to make money, I have no idea, but it works for me and in a somewhat timely manner. Plus its cool and less boring than running trade loops. Example, I spent about 1.5 hours or so mining last night and made around 90 million credits. (I apologize in advance for the length of this post)

You will need to move up in ship size a couple times to get better cargo capacity, but you'll profit and be able to trade in old ship towards the cost of each new ship. So:

I started with a Cobra MK III but the outfitting needs are the same across all ships for this application. After 2 or 3 runs, I traded up for an asp explorer. 1 run with that and I traded for the Krait MKII. I used this for multiple runs, bought a few ships and played with outfitting. I then traded the Krait MKII for a python. The Python is a great medium size mining ship. Yes you can get a bigger ship with more cargo, yes you can get a smaller ship for more agility. The Krait MKII is an awesome ship and I'll probably buy another eventually, I just wanted to maximize cargo space. I am now considering upgrading to a Type-9 even though I have been advised not to deep core in a giant ship. I'm less worried about maneuverability as I feel I'm very comfortable with my maneuvering skill level. I'm just not sure I have the time to fill 600 cargo in one go. (Also worth noting, if you turn the game off in mid mine when you come back you will get scanned and blackmailed every time. Fight, run, or pay, you decide.

Outfitting necessities are as follows:

Optional Internals:
Detailed Surface scanner
Collector Limpet Controller (you will want to be able to deploy as many as possible up to a max of around 6 to 10, I think at first you'll only be able to fit like 2 to 4)
Prospector Limpet Controller (only need to be able to deploy 1)
Shield Generator (don't consider sacrificing this for cargo cap, trust me)
as much cargo as possible
Anything else is extra

Hard Points:
Seismic Charge Launcher
Abrasion Blaster
Anything else is extra

Utility Mounts:
Pulse Wave Analyzer
(Shield Boosters never hurt)

Also, before each run you need to go to Starport Services in a station, hit advanced maintenance, and resupply. Fill your cargo hold with limpets.

As for core internals, do what makes sense. Really all you should consider is that thrusters can make you faster in flight and maneuver better while mining (we will get to that), and FSD can help you travel to your sell system more efficiently. Also, if you do hook your ship up with a bunch of other stuff, make sure your power plant is actually powering your load out, nothing worse than getting everything put together, getting to your extraction site, deploying hardpoints and boom, ship loses systems.

So, There are tons of guides on deep core mining, but ill explain the basics:

First, I hop on EDDB and check the commodities tab to see what minerals are selling high that day (Void Opals, Grandiderite, and Alexandrite are usually the big hitters). Next you'll want to find yourself a system nearby that has planets with rings. I usually target Icy rings (the three minerals I listed are all found in Icy Rings), but you can make money in other rings too. Cruise on over to a nice planet w/ring and while in super cruise use your detail surface scanner to shoot the ring. It will reveal hotspots. Target a hotspot that offers the valuables that make the most money that day and drop on in to the hotspot. Once your in, you will be spending the next hour + (takes longer you first times, you'll get faster) flying around looking for the right asteroids to mine. Using your Pulse Wave Analyzer, you'll fly through the asteroid field scanning for asteroids that shine bright solid yellow, with red inside. This will be the thing you'll need to get good at. Takes practice knowing which ones to focus on. In a given ring type, you'll find that the asteroids worth probing all have a similar shape/surface texture. And not just every old shiny asteroid, specifically ones that seem like the color is a lot more intense or solid, not really transparent. If you see an asteroid from afar that seems brighter than ones that seem closer, that's a good place to focus. Once you think you've found a good shiny asteroid, shoot it with a prospector limpet. Whilst the limpet is flying out in front of you, target it and wait. Once it hits the asteroid, it will tell you what the asteroid is made of. You only want asteroids that say "Core Detected". And it should be the mineral you are looking for, if not, decide using EDDB if that mineral is worth your time.

Once you've found your baby, fly around and place seismic charges using seismic charge launcher. Target fissures and place charges. There are 3 levels of fissure hardness: low, average, and high. This corresponds with the hold to charge amount of the launcher. There are three bars and you guessed it, 1st is low, 2nd is average, and 3rd is high! Once you place the first charge, a 120 second countdown will start. Place charges until you see on the meter on the top right that you are in the blue zone and see the words, optimal yield efficiency reached or something to that effect. MOVE AWAY BEFORE THE CHARGES GO OFF OR YOU GO BOOM!!!! id slide like 2 kms back. seriously, if you are still messing with charges when the clock hits 15, cut losses and move. Also, if you overshoot your charge yield amount, you can go into contacts and disarm charges.

Once the roid blows, chunks of precious ore will start to fly away. Deploy all of your collector limpets and they will go fetch and bring back (make sure you open you cargo scoop for this part). While your little buddies are playing fetch, you fly around the broken asteroid pieces and shoot the surface deposits with the abrasion blaster. Again, your little buddies will grab everything for you so when your done with the splosions and blasties, chill and wait.

Repeat this process until you run out of limpets/fill your cargo. Ideally you will have to get rid of limpets slowly to make room for cargo. Now you simply fly to the station that offers the most money for your goods based on EDDB and get paid. Sometimes you will have to decide how far you are willing to transport materials for top dollar. The bigger the load, the harder the decision.

I mentioned earlier that I made 90 mil in about 1.5 hours. My cargo was only half full, and I was running kind of slow as sometimes it can be hard to find the good roids quickly back to back. But, depending on how good you get, the market that day, and your cargo cap, you can easily make 50-100mil+ cr/hour. Hope this helps, good luck!!
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