Guide / Tutorial Piracy Guide - Crime pays (up to 170 mil per hour)

Hello CMDRs,

Since the april update piracy is a worthwhile endeavor, not only in payouts, but also in regard to gameplay mechanics. Since I've been asked how to do it, here is my guide to become a wealthy criminal:

The possible payout first (This was a T-9 full of LTDs):

Step 1: Know where and who you're hunting
The most important question is, where are the traders/victims? Generally You can find in most systems the "Private Courier" as a semi-rare NPC spawn, this is always a good target and if you are lucky, they carry illegal goods, which will hinder them calling the cops (needs a manifest scan first). The most interesting targets however are in agricultural systems in boom. The miners (ships carrying a mining laser) are 100% guaranteed to carry LTDs. You can roughly expect the following number of carried tons:

Diamondback (Scout and Explorer): ~16 tons
Asps, Keelback: ~22 tons
T-6, Krait Phantom: ~40 tons
Krait MK2, Python: ~65 tons
T-7: ~80 tons
T-9: ~200 tons (!)

As you see, the T-9 is the absolute jackpot for any aspiring pirate lord, but there is even good money in interdicting several Asps. Also important is the experience level of your victim, everything below "competent" is usually easy to subdue. Above "competent" the loadout of the ships usually becomes more dangerous and you should expect at least mines, turrets and point defence. Every pirate should expect a dangerous victim, so get those shieldboosters and engineer them (This is especially true for high sec and med sec systems)! Supercruise the system and scan every ship you come across, if you find one of the above, interdict it.

Step 2:Take what you can, give nothing back

The interdicted NPCs will start running as soon as you arive in realspace and will often be far less shaken than you are, so hit boost to turn your ship towards your victim and get the cannons ready! Your ship should at least get to a boost speed of 370 m/s. Everything below that won't be able to follow the faster NPCs. Now that you're sticking to the heels of your victim, shoot the shield down however you want, but be careful not to wreck the ship at this point. Lasers in general are great for this. The shield is down and your victim probably wants to start the frameshift drive to get away. That's where the more specialised weapons come to play. Target the drives of your victim, because there is no way to jump without drives. The easiest way to disable the drives are seeker missiles, but they can also destroy an unshielded Asp or Keelback quite quickly, so don't use every weapon on board, just two seeker racks is enough. Four missiles will disable almost all of the ships above.

Unfortunately your victim is now adrift in space and keeps his original velocity until something stops the ship. Since simply ramming the ship, will at this point (4 seeker hits) destroy the ship and all the LTDs on board, this has to be done carefully. You should wait for the shields of your victim to regenerate, to give him a chance of survival and yourself a chance to plunder. While the shields regenerate carefully match the speed of the victims ship. Try to do this without boosting first, if you can only follow the ship while boosting the following manouver is still possible, but more difficult. Now both you and your victim are speeding through the void, maybe his turrets are still shooting at you or he keeps spewing mines (remember the shieldboosters?). Very carefully try to overtake your victim and get in front of his ship and brake by throttling to zero (FA On is important here, because it will slowly slow you down). Since you nearly matched the velocity of the other ship, the "crash" won't do much damage, but your victim will start tumbling around at a reduced velocity. This manouver has to be repeated until the ship has a velocity that is below 30 m/s, otherwise your limpets will hate you.

This is the moment you worked for, get your hatchbreakers and collector limpet out and drain that cargohold dry.


The whole manouver takes roughly ten minutes, strongly depending on your skills. In theory this also works with players, but most will know how to reboot or simply combat log (Frameshift reboot dumbfires are also necessary).

Step 3: Call upon your inner Han Solo

You will now be the target of NPC pirates and depending on the mode you are playing, you are also the target of other players(me for example, those hatchbreaker modules are a dead giveaway). Find yourself a spot to rest and go to to look for your long range smuggling target. If you sell the diamonds somewhere near, you can usually expect half a million per ton, but if you choose the station carefully (with a black market!), payouts of 900.000 per ton are possible, but there will be a long range smuggling run necessary.

Some final notes:

Pirate ships are multirole ships, you can forget the mamba or fer-de-lance. Get an Asp, Cobra, Python, Krait or one of the big three. Get yourself good shields and shieldboosters. High sec and medium sec systems are only good for piracy if you are either sitting in one of the big three, or you fly with a wing.

PS: Play in open - piracy shouldn't be safe ;-).
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I am too much of a goody toe-shoes to perform acts of plunder and piracy, but I enjoyed this post.

I also like that piracy CAN be profitable in the game. I am a relatively new player and had gotten the impression (from reddit and forums) that it just wasn't viable. Your screenshot at the top of the post shows that to be really inaccurate information!
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