If you are following a direct progression track through the game, then unlocking engineers, technology, collecting materials and climbing ranks in the Federal and Imperial Naval Auxiliary will be your priorities, and these aspects receive attention in this codex accordingly. However, we can’t stress enough that, for rewarding experiences, fold this into other open-ended and freeform activities that appeal. For a broad menu of activities, see the Elite Careers Chart.


A High-Performance Fleet

You can’t just buy engineering, and that’s where the longer-term reward for investing time comes in, as your ship’s capabilities grow. This shows the Engineer Paths to unlock ship module improvements.

Follow Fox’s Step-by-Step Guide to Unlocking Engineers Quickly and Sell exploration data to build reputation to then rank up.

Once you’ve unlocked the engineers you need for your chosen module modifications, you’ll need to collect Materials. And for the extensive engineering required to fully-engineer a fleet’s worth of modules, the collection of all required materials will likely be become a grind. So to get up and running quickly:

  • Prioritise Jump-Range with Felicity Farseer ‘Extended Range’ Grade5 FSD.
    Whilst you won’t have any engineers unlocked yet you should at least work on Farseer she is easy to unlock and offers you many great modifications without needing to unlock any other engineers. Whilst not max grade except FSD Range, all useful upgrades that are quick to unlock and will improve your ship:
    - FSD Range G5   or even better the CG FSD v1 from a Tech Broker if you have the materials
    - Power Plant Low emissions G1  
    - Sensors Lightweight G3  
    - Thrusters Dirty Drives G3  
    - Detailed Surface Scanner Expanded probe radius G3  
  • You have to visit an engineer in person in order to add experimental effects.
  • To Easily get the Alioth permit — to visit the heart of the Alliance and access Engineer Bill Turner gain an allied reputation with the Alioth Independents. This can be done either by turning in a batch of exploration data at any station that is controlled by Alioth Independents or ply trade routes supplying stations with the Alioth Independents as the controlling faction. Bring Salvaged alloys for lightweight mods for your Life support and scanner modules.
  • Colonia engineers ~22k ly from the bubble give you 4 extra blueprint pins for modifications – so be sure to unlock these prior to making the trip out there.


The 3 types of materials

Raw, Manufactured and Encoded materials underpin human technology. Collecting these materials has 3 main purposes: Synthesis, Engineering, and unlocking specialized weapons. Travelling to collect these, just as IRL, can be done independently, or more rewardingly for some, in guided tours. The fatherhood runs some of the best in the galaxy. See the Materials Collection Expedition aboard Fleet Carrier The Argo (V2M-10Y) or visit the Fleet Carrier Owners Club (FCOC) Discord.

For a concise summary, read the Dummies Guide to Gathering Engineering Materials (3.3 Beyond).

5 grades of rarity

Each material type comes in . To collect them: 1. Read PSA: 2020 Farming engineering materials, a compiled guide. 2. Track engineering requirements with pinned Missing Components and 3. you can trade Grade5 to any other G5 data at 1:6 at your Nearest Material Trader — see Material Trading.

rates at which all Material Traders exchange materials
+ Trading for a material that is one grade lower gives a 3:1 return
+ Trading for a material that is one grade higher gives a 1:6 return
- Trading one category for another gives a 1:6 return (so try to avoid)
- Changing both grade and category, and/or changing by more than one grade, multiplies the relevant factors together (again, avoid)
- Don’t max roll a modification if you are going higher grade. 4 rolls only on G5 mods is fine

Surfacing prospecting Distant worlds

Surface prospecting in special locations on Distant worlds, offers a route to rapid-collection of high-grade materials. Below we set out the steps steps for each material type. First, as preparation, familiarise yourself with planetary landings and driving your Surface Recon Vehicle (SRV):

Raw Materials

Raw Materials at capacity

Raw Materials are materials made up of basic, naturally occurring, chemical elements. They are used in synthesis and in many Engineer Blueprints

Geology & Surface Organics

Select surface features offer a route to rapid-collection of high-grade raw materials. Systems HIP 36601 and Outotz LS-K d8-3 1686 ly further out are the best combination, yield a full set of high-grade mats in only two systems.

The ‘crystalline shards’ in the HIP 36601 system are structures created by colonies of micro-organisms containing Technetium/Tellurium/Ruthenium/Polonium. Found at biological planetary sites C 5 A/C 3 B/C 1 D/C 1 A, start at HIP 36601 planet C 1 d to fill your bins with these high-grade Raw mats and trade down or across for everything you need (especially Selenium) at any Raw Materials Trader. E.g. Ruthenium trades down to Manganese at the trade rate of 1:9.

If you don’t mind a ship rebuy, you can self-destruct at Outotz LS-K d8-3, for a total trip length of about 2000 ly from the bubble, but here’s the full itinerary:

 Part A

  1. Travel to HIP 36601 C 1 a and collect Polonium
  2. Travel to HIP 36601 C 1 d and collect Ruthenium
  3. Travel to HIP 36601 C 3 b and collect Tellurium
  4. Travel to HIP 36601 C 5 a and collect Technetium

 Part B 1686 ly beyond

Add the following destinations to your trip:

  1. Travel to Outotz LS-K D8-3 B 5 c and collect Antimony
  2. Travel to Outotz LS-K D8-3 B 5 a and collect Yttrium
  3. Go Home! or to also fill the Selenium bin—as this is the only high grade material for which a shard has so far not been discovered— take two trips to the the material trader. Once you’ve filled up on Antimony and Yttrium, fly to a Raw Material Trader, and trade all 300 for 50 Selenium (6:1), and repeating this twice, finally refilling your Yttrium and Antimony.

Also here’s a Step-by-Step guide to the process. Alternatively, watch this video guide or read this Crystalline Shards Prospecting Guide.

HIP 36601
‘Shard Forests of HIP 36601’ (CMDR Dutch Gaitan)

As it is a Long 1500 ly and 130k ls trip out to the crystalline shard forests the Fatherhood suggests a Hitchhiking with a Fleet Carrier or use an extended-range outfitted ship such as the Krait Phantom or ‘Jumpaconda’ which, with a 83 ly range, can do that in 15 jumps or less if you use neutron stars and FSD-injections. For the full range of ship-builds, Squadron members should visit the Fatherhood Shipyard.

‘Tip-off’ Sites

You will receive ‘Tip-off’ messages from time-to-time for lucrative Data including rare material location coordinates, with an expiry date. Many of these locations are suitable to farm, collecting 3 materials every 45-60 seconds, running a circuit in the Surface Recon Vehicle (SRV), stopping for a quick relog to respawn the resources. The cargo targeting is trivial as the location is likely barren except 3 cargo racks, a comm point, and your ship. The cargo can be shot from any direction and you need never waste time entering SRV turret mode.

Synuefe IL-N C23-19 A 1 A is a good spot to farm raw mats

Raw Material Local prospecting: Try Robigo 3 e Icy body Planetary Mining – Rich Geological Site (17) – Manganese (5.0%) Selenium (4.2%) Vanadium (3.0%) Cadmium (0.9%) Tin (0.7%) Yttrium (0.7%)

Manufactured Materials

Manufactured Materials at capacity

Manufactured Materials are salvaged materials used in Engineer Blueprints

Dav’s Hope’ on Hyades Sector DR-V c2-23 Body A 5 is an abandoned planetary base that has a large amount of grade 1-4 manufactured materials ready for scooping with an SRV. Plan your run with this base layout.

⁞⁞⁞ ‘A Run around the abandoned base’ … ⁞⁞⁞

Honk your Discovery Scanner within 1k ls of the planet to reveal the Dav’s Hope site—the coordinates are (44.82, -31.39). Following descent, land by the sign and deploy in your SRV. Scan the data point to start each run, driving a counterclockwise circuit around the site picking up the 10 material drops, ranging from Grades 1 to 4. Plan your route with this base plan. Keep running this circuit at Dav’s Hope between relogs, until your ‘Missing Components’ refresh on Inara shows you have all grade 4 manufactured materials needed, or can trade for across or down them.

If you prefer to stay in orbit rather than surface collecting. Watch this Hot Jupiter Vs Dav’s Hope – Best Source for ≤ Grade 4 HGEs guide. Hot Jupiter: Col 285 Sector RF-C B14-7

Grade 5 Manufactured Materials – ‘Materials for Combat’

Very rare Grade 5 Manufactured Materials—do not occur inDav’s Hope.’ This table sorted by rarity shows locations.

In short: Use this D2EA Material Finder to get a location to focus your search, and then follow their guide.

Your three options are: 1. Trade across from other Grade 5 at 1:6 or — 2. Salvage at High Grade Emissions (HGE) signals (guaranteed to have Grade 5 manufactured materials), and/or — 3. If you don’t wish to farm manufactured mats—try a more freeform approach running PvE Missions, say but this will likely mean carting around collector limpets and controller. Make sure to visit a nav beacon when in a med-high population systems on arrival and check for HGEs whilst travelling across the bubble. Revisit traders when your bins are full or close to it. When in Imperial space make room by trading down G5 Imperial Shielding down as they are common.

Persistence of High Grade Emissions USS spawns

As of Beyond Chapter Four (3.3), USSs are semi-persistent objects. A USS will remain for a period of time after spawning; this period of time is displayed when targeting the USS. The USS can be harvested during this period. After collecting the high-grade manufactured material, quit to Desktop (rather than Exit to Main Menu), relaunch the game, enter supercruise, turn around and drop back in to re-harvest the HGEs within the timer.

High grade USS’s spawn when it says “Deep space” on your lower left. To do this fly above or below orbital plane by at least 200ls will keep you in “deep space” as you fly. This avoids picking up convoy USSs. Cruise around till you find one. . Pick any nebula as a distant visual reference and supercruise towards it at around 1c until a High Grade Emissions USS spawns in.

Spawns are related to the controlling faction state: The system state reported in the galactic map often does not cover all factions in the system, so an HGE in an outbreak system could originate from a faction that isn’t in a state of outbreak and so the HGE will not be Pharmaceutical Isolators. If you not seeking Core Dynamics Composities, I’d try to stick to Empire space, because an HGE with Imperial Shielding drops only Imperial Shielding; you’ll average about 12 IS per HGE.

Boom High-Population (>1Bn) systems UNO:

System Filter Only Populated Systems – yes Allegiance – independent Primary Economy – High Tech State – Boom Reference System – (the system you are currently in) Security – High. Example: Alliance nr Osha

Outbreak gives Pharmaceutical Isolators.

War and Civil War give Military Grade Alloys.

Empire gives Imperial Shielding.

Federation gives Core Dynamic Composites.

Independent/Alliance give Proto Light Alloys and Proto Radiolic Alloys *without the chance that RNG gives you one of the above instead.

Military Supercapacitors, Improvised Components and Pharmaceutical Isolators are the rarely occuring materials.

On arrival at a system, scan the Nav Beacon then directly supercruise to the HGE without hanging around, more often than not if a HGE is on short timer (under say 10-15 minutes) it will have the rare component. These new HGE locations will go stale if you don’t head straight to them.

Encoded Materials

Encoded Materials at capacity

Encoded Materials, also known as Data, is a type of material gathered by scanning various technological sources and used in Engineer blueprints.

Jameson crash site for Surface Farming Encoded Data – This crash site is a rich source of high grade encoded materials.

Starting out at Dobrovolskiy Enterprise, plot a course for HIP 12099. This is 214 ly away so bring a ship fitted for exploration with good FSD jump range. Squadron members should visit the Fatherhood Shipyard.

‘Crash Site Encoded Data Prospecting’

Encoded - You will need a Surface Recon Vehicle (SRV) hangar and a SRV for this

+ Trade down the following first: Modified consumer firmware, cracked industrial firmware, atypical encryption archives, adaptive encryptors capture (as you will get lots during this)

+ HIP 12099 – 1B

+ Surface scan using DSS.

+ Goto Jameson Crash site.

+ Put SRV between all 4 comms beacons. Go into turret mode. Target the thing you want to scan, hold down secondary fire to allow the scan to complete. Make sure you keep pointing at the target for the duration of the scan.

+ Scan all 4, begin log farming by logging off to main menu then back on, scanning again, log off, back on etc.

+ Repeat this process until you have maxed one of the following: Atypical Encryption Archives (Grade 4) Adaptive Encryptors Capture (Grade 5)

+ At this point, go to close by encoded material trader such as Ray Gateway in Diaguandri
If you take a small ship, you can land at the trading station nearby first, then blow yourself up when full of the T4 and T5 mats to end up back at the station to trade down quickly.

Xeno-Technology Research

Technological advancements through alien species’ weaponry, communication systems, and computing technology.

Your first introduction to alien sites in the galaxy will likely stem from your desire to get your hands on powerful hybrid alien-human ship modules. For the in-game history of exploiting these discoveries see this brief history of INRA, but what most want to know is that, once unlocked:

Technology Brokers provide access to the latest advanced developments

The Timeline of discoveries of the Unknown Artefact, Unknown Probe, Barnacle, Unknown Wreck, Unknown Ship, Unknown Site and Ancient Ruin mysteries in the galaxy were part of the Cannon Research Group search for the Thargoids. The Canonn is the largest and most active scientific community throughout the bubble, operating out of Thompson Dock, Varati.

The Thargoids

The Thargoids are an intelligent, highly advanced insectoid species that have existed for millions of years.

Thargoid discovery: In 3303 a Pilot was interdicted while en route to the Aries Dark Region XU-O b6-3 by a mysterious spacecraft non-human in origin. This ‘Unknown Ship’ disabled all systems on the CMDR’s vessel, yet on departing, the Commander’s ship suddenly returned to life. Later that year Unknown Ships are observed apparently harvesting Barnacles at Pleiades Sector OI-T C3-7 A 6.

Thargoid Barnacle SourcesCanonn List

The Guardians

Guardians – ‘An Advanced Race long predating humans’ (CMDR Sparky)

The Guardians were a technologically advanced humanoid species whose civilisation collapsed over a million years ago, and who were engaged in hostilities with the Thargoid race. They colonized an area of the Orion arm long before humans achieved interstellar travel.

Discovery: In 3302 CMDRs located remnants of apparently ancient alien temple-like complex on the surface of Synuefe XR-H d11-102 1 b. Several different objects of interest were found at the site. Subsquent explorations of this region uncovered numerous *Ancient Ruins*—now attributed to the Guardians—that provided rich and detailed archaeological interest leading to the synthesis of hybrid alien technology.

Guardian Modules

Guardian modules are hybrid modules created from a combination of human and guardian technology. With the right materials and blueprint fragments sourced, the modules can be unlocked at a Guardian tech broker, after which they will be available to buy, just as any other module. The Guardian Frame Shift Drive Booster is by far the most useful module. Whilst in Guardian space you might want to unlock some Guardian Weapons if you think you might later take on the Thargoids. Check out the later Anti-Xeno (AX) Combat Section for more.

The materials and blueprint fragments you need are located at Ancient Data Terminal Sites and Guardian Beacon Locations that are clustered in one region of space. The Best spot to collect guardian materials is the Ancient Site on Synuefe NL-N C23-4. Both because it spawns 4 guardian technology components and also the site has 3 guardian ruins close by where you can collect Obelisk Data very quickly. Guardian structure map in Synuefe GT-H B43-1Each Material tower is marked. To rapidly collect Pattern Obelisk Data this site also has 2 active obelisks close to each other so you can scan both without moving before re-logging.

Watch this video Follow This guide to unlock it, or unroll these summary requirements and unlock guide:

⁞⁞⁞ Guardian Module Requirements …‘FSD Booster, Shield Reinforcement’ ⁞⁞⁞

Guardian FSD Booster1 Guardian Module Blueprint FragmentGuardian Blueprint Fragment
21 Guardian Power CellGuardian Material
21 Guardian Technology ComponentGuardian Material
24 Focus CrystalsManufactured Material
8 HN Shock MountCommodity
Guardian1 Guardian Module Blueprint FragmentGuardian Blueprint Fragment
Shield Reinforcement17 Guardian Power CellGuardian Material
Package20 Guardian Technology ComponentGuardian Material
24 Pattern Delta Obelisk DataGuardian Data
8 Hardware Diagnostic SensorsCommodity

⁞⁞⁞ Guardian Module | ‘Unlock Guide’ … ⁞⁞⁞
Map for Guardian Module Blueprint run at Synuefe NL-N C23-4 B3

The Module Blueprint Fragments are required by a total of 6 blueprints, so 6 full runs of the instance should be enough to never need them again, as of Version 3.7 of the game.

After landing, make your way to the top of the structure where the data vault is. If you take a direct centre path from bottom to top, you will likely not spawn any Sentinels initially. If you can, make a detour to one of the pylons that rise from the ground, shoot the glowing assembly on top, and pick up a Guardian Relic that drops from it. You will need this later.

After landing, make your way to the top of the structure where the data vault is. If you take a direct centre path from bottom to top, you will likely not spawn any Sentinels initially. If you can, make a detour to one of the pylons that rise from the ground, shoot the glowing assembly on top, and pick up a Guardian Relic that drops from it. You will need this later.

Once you have all 6 pylons charged, you can head on to the data vault again. Eject the relic you picked up earlier in the glowing area right in front of it, and the data vault will trigger. Give it a few seconds to open, target it, and scan it with the data link scanner. Warning: Sentinels will spawn—although they spawn in the farther reaches of the site—but sentinel AI pathing is rather half-witted, you can pick them off when partially obscured at a distance, peeking from behind cover to take potshots. Your ship’s point defense will take care of the majority of missiles. When engaging sentinels, keep 4 pips in WEP and 2 in SYS. Your SRV won’t need increased engine power for this.

Target the data vault, Scan it, and you will get a blueprint fragment.

Go just outside the site, relog, and repeat until you have your desired number of Module Blueprint Fragments.

Some of the Sentinels have some sort of proximity spawn, with either 1 or 2 popping up. Once the Pylons are all charged, a few more will spawn. You can repair SRV damage in the field with Synthesis.

Some of the Sentinels have some sort of proximity spawn, with either 1 or 2 popping up. Once the Pylons are all charged, a few more will spawn. You can repair SRV damage in the field with Synthesis.

Similar to base assaults, put Point Defense in your top-side utility slots. The AspX has 3. Reminder to land CLOSE. Regarding pips its good practice to land with 4 to shields and 2 to engines, then put 4 to weapons and 2 to shields prior to engine shutdown.

Use INARA to Track your CMDR progress toward unlocking your selected GUARDIAN MODULES – before visiting the guardian technology broker

Aside from collecting Relics as detailed above, whilst at ancient sites, you can also collect the other Guardian Artefects—Commodities—caskets, orbs, tablets, totems and urns that are occasionally needed for Community goals. But as your SRV can only hold 2 Commodities at a time, ferrying them back to your ship in any quantity gets repetitive.


Mega Starfield
‘Starfield’ (Cmdr Donosporidium)
Traverse the Stars
‘Traverse the Stars’ (CMDR Sporbash)
Staring into the Void
‘Staring into the Void’
‘Lagrange Cloud’ (CMDR Hirjo)

“Space is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly hugely mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist, but that’s just peanuts to space.”

‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’

Explore the Galactic Sights or tread new ground heading off into the unknown to catch a glimpse of the wonders of the galaxy, and hopefully return with a trove of galactic Cartographic Data. Be wary of black holes!

Tip: Don’t turn in all your exploration data at one place, use it to build reputation with engineers or Minor Factions to gain system permits. See Where should I sell exploration data for the most benefit?

D e e p space

First-discovery of an Earth-like World

To head off in search of an unclaimed Earth-like World (ELW), the minimum kit you need to start out into the black is a fuel scoop, Detailed Surface Scanner (DSS) and an Surface Recon Vehicle (SRV)–your rover. ELWs appear to be more common orbiting M class stars that share systems with A,F,G stars.

For longer expeditions, take a craft with an Automated Field Maintenance Unit (AFMU), and materials for FSD-injections. For the very longest solo trips, shield your AFMU and take repair limpets.

Before you go

  • Outfit with a fuel scoop — then you can plot your route with the scoopable stars filtered. That’s KGB FOAM class stars.
  • Internals Repair — an Automated Field Maintenance Unit (AFMU) can fix internal Modules damaged by emergency drops from supercruising or overheating
  • Extend jump-range via: Supercharging FSD “Use Jet-Cone Boost“ — see how to supercharge your FSD without risk this will damage hull, or synthesize FSD Injections if neutron stars are not available. High-grade materials: Yttrium and Polonium are needed for Premium “FSD Injections“

    Fuel Bleed: Some explorers have been known to equip weapons such as rail guns engineered with “plasma slug” special effect, which means that their ammo is drawn from ship fuel. This is useful when you want to bleed your own tank down a bit, to drop weight for a big jump

Once out in the black

To earn first-discovery for an ELW, travel far-from the bubble, a fair distance above or below the galactic plane and avoid direct routes to nebulae and other tourist destinations.

  • Sphere CalculatorShort on Fuel? Enter system name and distance list populated systems within the given distance from current location
  • You can repair or shutdown the FSD drive during glide down to a planet without dropping out of glide
  • Hull repair considered finally by taking repair limpets — needing two internal slots: one for the repair limpet controller, one for a cargo rack to hold limpets.

The smallest ship to fit all this is a Dolphin. This linked 170T build extends range over 60 ly with a lot of engineering. Squadron members have a range of explorer ship-builds to choose from at the Fatherhood Shipyard. Downsize shield to class 3 shield if you want to bring a 2 bay SRV hangar, and downsize the AFMU to class 2. Consider downsizing to a 5A scoop and Guardian FSD booster to class 4. Downgrade shield if you have a guardian shield reinforcement module.

Mobile Base of Operations

Hitch a ride on a mobile Fleet Carrier (FC), and base operations from there, along with others. If the FC CMDR has elected to install the service you can access Universal Cartographics aboard Fleet CarriersNote that as a visitor you can sell system scan data to the carrier-based service, but a fee of 25% is deducted from every transaction and split between the Stellar Cartographer and the Fleet Carrier Bank.

Scanning and Mapping

Thorough Cartographics involves a 100% Full Spectrum Scan (FSS) of each visited system. Main mapping targets for Detailed Surface Scanning are high value scans: all ‘Terraformable’ bodies, Earth Like Worlds, Water Worlds and Ammonia Worlds. Additional targets are Notable Stellar Phenomena. Here are the charts and infographics you’ll need for easy reference:

Filtered Spectral Analysis Diagram

Cartographic Scan Data Prices

Goldilocks Zone

FSD SlingShotting

Planetary Landings

  ⁞⁞⁞ ‘HIGH GRAVITY Planetary Landings’ … ⁞⁞⁞


Attempting touchdown on high G planets (>3G) is enough to kill you with a steep approach. A few tips:

  1. Keep re-entry angle <30 degrees during gliding
  2. Once in sub-orbital glide, *zero* the throttle
  3. Once the glide is complete, level your nose to 0 degrees—Do not pitch forward or roll, you will loose control and plummet to the ground!—only yaw
  4. During landing do not thrust down, you will likely slam into ground. Briefly turn Flight Assist (FA) off and back on to start descent and then just wait for your lateral thrusters to slow you down. Repeat until touchdown
  5. To take off turn FA off and thrust up to 2 km, then engage FSD or, if you want to hover, thrust up to ~500 m and wait till ascent stops and you start going down. Turn FA back on then. Do not thrust up with FA on!

En-route Services

Search for nearby Private Fleet carriers or Use the Deep Space Support Array (DSSA) chart for the locations of Fleet Carriers to Refuel, Repair, Armoury, and re-outfit in mobile a Shipyard. For more see DSSA Operations. The initial trip allowed scientific teams to jump with the fleet to study, analyze and map for several weeks the various clusters of planetary nebulae. All discoveries made can be transmitted directly to Universal Cartographics installed on the Fleet Carrier.

Repair and Recovery

If you get stuck, try the FCOC Rescue-Centre or contact the Fuel Rats. See some of their rescues here or the The Hull Seals, a group of players dedicated to rescuing these ailing commanders out in the black.


Uncover mysteries from the early days of galactic exploration. You may come across Generation ShipsGeneration Ships are a particular class of Megaship, launched in the days before true FTL travel. They traversed the space between the stars at subluminal speeds, while their inhabitants were born, lived, procreated, and died onboard. Find them. They have audio data logs allowing to to piecing-together and unveil the compelling stories of their fate.

Passenger Missions, Search and Rescue

Rescue and Recovery from burning stations

Passenger/Rescue Missions. With the increasing number of starport attacks, it is profitable to support the Passenger rescue and recovery efforts at damaged stations, plus its a compelling way to build naval rank and learn manual docking.

  ⁞⁞⁞ Pilot objectives: Rescue and Recovery from burning stations … ⁞⁞⁞

Passenger/rescue missions, a quick How-to:
Use refugee rescue missions to quickly ascend Federation or Empire rank. Outfit Python or Anaconda loaded with economy cabins. Pick up missions from the nearby rescue ship, taking the highest-paying or rep+++ missions. The intial runs are thrilling, coming into land at the burning stations, heat rising, avoid debris and course-correcting from nearby explosions. REMINDERS:*

Hot key your heatsinks. Ship outfit: If you can only outfit one launcher, stock materials required to craft them on the go. Fit a decent shield and thrusters ‘dirty-drive’ engineered ideally, for good heat management, fit a class A power plant and most core internals. If you take a small cargo bay, collector limpets and controller hover above your landing pad hatch tilted up, with heatsinks ready and salvage the valuable items— *Occupied Escape Pods, Damaged Escape Pods, Personal Effects, Wreckage Components, Encrypted Correspondence, and Black Boxes, along with some manufactured materials—those white dots on the radar.

No auto-docking in a damaged station! This is the best opportunity to perfect docking manually.

Request landing permission first. If you get jammed in a station just relog, and your ship will be transported to ~10km away from the station.

Pay off any fines at the Rescue ship orbiting the station, avoid debris and collisions as a fine means a wasted trip.
Part of the lure of the rescue missions is hands on docking. You get really good at it if you stay with it for a while.

↠ Your ‘compass ball’ will point to your pad assignment when you get past the starport airlock or immediately if you are at an outpost.

↠ While outfitted for Rescue, undertake Mega-Ship Encoded Data Farming nearby are doable, just add Hatch Breaker Limpets.

↠ Follow-up Damaged-Station Supply runs. Outfitted for holding cargo, buy ‘Basic Medicines’, supercruise to the Damaged Station (or its rescue ship) in the same system and either sell the Medicines to the station on fire, or the rescue ship for half that. Either way, you make ~9s600 cr or ~4400 cr in profit per ton per run. Which is about 3.6M in a Type-6 or 7.7M in a Type-9 Heavy, that holds 780+ tons.

‘Passenger Rescue From a Burning Station’ (CMDR Sparky)


Track the Market

TL;DR: Harness external tools to become a magnate. With the use of the datafeed harnessed by third-party browser-based tools such as Inara Trade Routes you can easily check the latest opportunities to profit from the dynamic economy within the BGS. Take a big ship, track your credit-balance on Inara as you go looking for new openings in the market.

The BGS calculates demand with the commodity market updating daily at every BGS tick which ripples across systems at around 16:40 UTC.

Support a building effort. Once allied with the controlling-faction in an Expansion state

Take High value Mining Expansion missions. Most precious metal loops near well-trafficked systems have an issue of the supply cratering quick, leaving mineral trading the consistent way to get good volume. These are 50M Cr commodity trading missions looking for ~1100T of Bertrandite, Indite or Gallite mineral deposits. Bring a large ship outfitted for max cargo capacity.


Profitable Mining TL;DR

Guardians – ‘Omicron_Capricorni BB’ (Cmdr MorallyGreyArea)

As-of Q1 2021, Laser Mining Platinum in a hotspot overlap in pristine planetary rings is the current meta. Use our Laser Mining Guide for a summary and see below:

  • Hotspots in Icy or Metallic rings in Pristine systems – populated
  • Mining Location Tool. Use this to choose where to most profitably mine Platinum overlaps or Painite Overlaps. Some of the still-pristine locations:
    • Col 285 Sector KM-V d2-106, 5 ring A (CMDR Churly) – 190ly from Nauni, Closest Sell: Frimout Horizons, Zandu 105ly
    • Omicron Capricorni B, B1 ring A (CMDR Nexdemise) Closest Sell: LTT 9360. Consistently gives roids with +55% platinum in the overlap.
    • Platinum/Painite Overlap – Hyades Sector DB-X d1-112, Planet 2 Ring A
    • Platinum/Painite Overlap – HIP 100449, Planet 5 Ring A
  • Tip: Use a friendly Fleet Carrier to store any Mining Commodities required for any subsequent engineer unlocks such as painite and bromellite.
  • Sold mining commodities will count toward your trading profit and so trade rank.

Additionally, you can learn about core mining in our Core Mining Guide.

Combat and Mercenary Work


With some basic tactics and practice whilst flying a decently-outfitted ship—i.e. not a paper ship—combat is largely an optional activity in Elite: Dangerous. NPC Interdictions can be evaded, and direct encounters avoided. Once prepared with a suitably outfitted ship however, and employing certain tactics, PvE Clashes can be an exciting and profitable activity. Squadron members have some effective ship-builds to choose from at the Fatherhood Shipyard.

Mercenary work

After acquiring a mission, head to a Conflict Zone (CZ) and begin killing the requested mission targets. For confirmed kills you will also receive Combat Bond Vouchers which provide extra income and gain you Reputation.

Combat Bond Vouchers are earned with each ship that the player destroys. They can be redeemed for credits through the Contacts section of the station services menu at stations controlled by the minor faction that issued the bond. As with Bounty Vouchers, bonds are also awarded for assisted kills.

One site is the Aquarius Class Tanker with (FBY-8839) sometimes in the Deciat System.

Massacre mission-stacking

‘Combat in a Resource Extraction Zone’ (CMDR Sparky)

With pirate massacre missions stacked, multiple factions will pay out bounties for the same kills, this can be very profitable, particularly when in a wing. Again, check the PvE missions systems finder for a list of systems nearby that give pirate massacre missions in only one ‘Target’ system. From surrounding stations, build reputation with each faction by taking available solo massacre AND assassination missions. Once friendly/allied, take one solo ‘kill 24/30/40 pirates for ~40 million credits’ missions per-faction, AND assassination missions, avoiding ‘Elite’ ranked pirates. The efficient route is to stack high-value high-target-count missions from 7-10 factions and lesser paying ones from the rest. Things to consider:

  • To maximize the number of available factions that post combat missions, use the linked tool to find systems with the most faction mission-givers, by checking the number of factions per system.
  • If the missions are not from separate factions then they will not stack
  • If you are looking to rinse-and-repeat, you want to take missions evenly from all factions to avoid influence shifts in the BGS that can cause war/election states that would then restrict your available missions. The mission board refreshes every 10th minute, so its worth waiting for the board-flip to fill out your stack.
  • Flying to low-intensity RES mission signal sources first in your Target system, you can likely clear 25+ novice NPC pirates in less than an hour. For Example, try Maia a pirate-infested wasteland of a system, with currently 16 factions from the surrounding systems all offering pirate massacre missions.

AFK PvE Combat in a ‘Floating-Fortress’

There is an away-from-keyboard (AFK) meta for those with a well-equipped 608M Cr Engineered Tanky Type-10 ship or similar that—without pilot input—can survive and takedown Pirates with Point Dense and auto aim turrets in a low-intensity Resource Extraction Site (low-RES) in Solo mode. Watch this Guide on how to operate your own ‘floating-fortress.’ If you don’t want to do lots of engineering, use this 420M Cr AFK PvE T10 build, the only engineering here is extra ammo on the point defenses. Again, use the PVE Mission-Stacking finder. Reminder: You’ll need enticing cargo to attract the pirates to their demise!

  • The Fatherhood has over the years actively worked with the Background Simulation (BGS) to expand squadron influence across many systems. Join the Fatherhood squadron, and check BGS Massacre missions for the Fatherhood on the #Combat-Missions channel at the Fatherhood Discord. This will track the latest systems in which to wing-up and pool effort toward player-faction goals. To aid your CMDR’s efforts, The Fatherhood Squadron Carrier Ships (TFCS prefixed) will be stationed in the target system(s) with Redemption, Shipyard, Outfitting, Refuel, Resupply and Repairs Facilities.
  • Remember: You can pay off fines and receive bounties from the faction Authority Contact at the appropriate Starport. You can clear bounties on you—issued for killing clean ships—at any nearby Interstellar Factor, assuming your notoriety has dropped back to zero.
  • When resetting NPC combatants in a RES you don’t have to fully depart the Site. Get out of mass lock distance and commence the supercruise (SC) sequence, then—before engaging—point your ship back at the ring. You will drop out of SC as you contact the ring both without travelling away at SC speeds and resetting the instance with fresh ships to take on.

   PvE Combat ship builds

Thermal is usually the default engineering as NPCs prefer lasers, and then either Low Draw or Fast Recharge depending on what ship you’re in (specifically your power distributor capacity). A Krait MK II with a 7A power distributor engineered for Charge Enhanced: Thermal + Fast Charge would be the main line. Squadron members get a comprehensive guide to engineered modules and combat ship-builds at the Fatherhood Shipyard.

Pirate Activity Detected (PAD) instances involves fighting Spec Ops Wings for okayish rewards. PADs are about the toughest vs Human NPC PvE combat in the game. Anti-Xeno (AX) encounters—the pinnacle of PvE content—means taking on a totally different animal (literally!) and is largely confined to the late-game due to the extensive preparations you need to make and the different ship outfitting required. When you are ready check out the later Anti-Xeno (AX) Combat Section.

Hacking and Infiltration

Illegally Hack a ground facility

Soften your target, get on the ground in your SRV and escape with valuable illicit data. Follow the steps in this roll-out:

There are number of lower-risk approaches to tackling surface Data acquisition missions.

1.   Preparation
Collect two or three of these missions at a time, in close-by systems. If there is a planetary scan within the mission-giver’s system, do that one first as the (8-minute Out-of-System) ‘Wanted’ flag will have expired by the time you have completed the remaining missions, and can safely return to the in-system station to collect your rewards.

2.  ⨭Aerial Sweep
A surface outpost or building search zone will appear an arrival at the target planet. When you find the target I fly low across the site as this will trigger the warning for any restricted zone, indicating a Private data source. Turrets show as green when targeted is you are allied with the controlling faction. If the alarm is raised, attempt to take out the defence turrets and the skimmers before landing. This can be easily done piloting your Ship Launched Fighter (SLF deployed >600m above the surface) if you have a T-10 AFK Tank (swapping in SRV for cargo bay) as the defensive fire will be focused on your Crew-piloted impregnable fortress, giving you all the time you need to neutralise the threat.

If not using a SLF, Ship Hardpoint Location is important for strafing: A DBX for example has the main weapon hardpoint ideally located, centrally below the cockpit. Use a ‘charge-engineered‘ power distributor and tank the AA – shields usually give out just as the ground laser goes down. If there is no restricted zone, then it is safe to go on to the next stage.

Fly low over the site with lowered landing gear and take the first opportunity to land with the rear end of the craft pointing towards the site so the SRV is lined up for a quick exit and return.

If there is a ship parked next to the site, it’s safest to boost out to Supercruise at altitude and then return after the unwelcome guest has left.

3.  ⨮ Ground Assault
In the SRV, taking down any remaining Skimmers is easy as long as you trigger them from far away to give you plenty of time to track them with your turret. Whilst the commissioning faction will fine you for your transgressions, it will also reward you for destroying the hostile skimmers, go figure. Use your SRV Data-Link scanner on the target to complete the mission.

If avoiding wheels-on-the-ground, and instead using your ship to scan, use a compact ship as the scanner is short-range and needs to be deployed, like a weapon. Ensure you assign the Data link scanner to a button in a fire-group (or key). When in range, target the beacon and white chevrons will mark the target. Press-and-hold, and stay close whilst the data link completes.

Smuggling AND PIRACY


Trading Illicit or Rare-goods at Black Markets

Slave-trading from Empire systems to surrounding powers is moderately profitable, but as-it-stands, sadly for most the rewards do not make smuggling illicit goods worthwhile over the rival more profitable activities on offer as the silent-running, low heat-signature approach to starports gameplay is a fun challenge.


A trade-loop of rare-goods—considered illicit in some systems—around key systems offering them is no longer the meta, again as the time-invested does not pay sufficient dividends. Use the Rare Trading Distances Calculator if you fancy some exotic experiences.

Black Markets around Terra Mater

‘Terra Mater Blood Bores‘ are a Rare Commodity exclusively sold by Gr8minds in the Terra Mater system) (Permit Required) when it is controlled by the Brotherhood of Terra Mater minor faction. Sampling these goods are akin to ‘surfing a rainbow on the back of unicorn‘ according to squadron-members familiar with the rush, and surprising no one, they are considered illegal in some systems and transporting them can result in a fine or bounty if scanned by system security. If you need to boost creativity and productivity, the Fatherhood are partial to glass or two of Eranin Pearl Whisky—which can be legally bought in Black Markets at Azeban City in the Eranin system.


Free stuff is always better right? Not hugely profitable, but can shift influence in the BGS, and is a fun spare-time activity worth trying for those with the moral elasticity. NPC Pilots can be caught unawares, as the AI won’t immediately recognize the threat and only returns fire rather than respond to manifest scanning/hatch breaking. Even with a small ship you can pirate cargo.

For more agile targets, take down the shields with lasers first, then switch to seeker missiles sub-targeting the thrusters to immobilise the ship. If you’ve unlocked them, Packhounds are best as the splash damage is amplified on modules.

Then you either have to bump stop or orbital slingshot to slow the ship down. After that, hatch break. Ideal speed is under 60m/s when collecting stolen goods. If you find your target’s hull is often too low, bring a repair limpet controller with you to patch up their hull.

Choosing a Home

‘Somewhere to keep your fleet’

Settler or Nomad?

As your ship collection grows you’ll want to choose a home base. You can use the Station Filterto find a Home System For your fleet. In terms of Station Design, The Ocellus Starport or an Asteroid Base are this Author’s choice.

If you are joining us in ‘The Fatherhood’, bear in mind our squadrons are based out of Schwann Port and Lee Orbital in the Hajangai system  when choosing a home.

If a nomadic galactic lifestyle suits you better, then with a few billion credits to hand you can instead keep your fleet mobile on a fleet carrier. The Fatherhood Squadrons have a Fleet of Fleet Carriers.

Community Goals (CG)

Reshape the Galaxy

Cooperate with Commanders en masse to reshape the galaxy by taking part in Community Goals. You can come up with your own CG and push for its approval.

Recent Community goals

‘Fight for the Jupiter Division,’ ‘Rare Goods Required for Galactic Summit,’ ‘Defense of the Galactic Summit,’ ‘Fight for the Epsilon Fornacis Empire Group or the Neo-Marlinists.’

The Fatherhood Squadron missions discordis where to check for squadron goals aligned to BGS objectives