]> Elite: Dangerous - mining 🌐:aligrant.com

Relevant from 3.3

With Elite: Dangerous - Horizons 3.3 release, a lot of improvements we brought to exploration and mining.  This guide covers mining, but exploration is often key to that.

Basic mining still exists, and is accessible earlier on in the game where space and money are more restricted.

Finding the good rocks

You will need:

  • Pulse Wave Analyser (utility slot)
  • Prospector Limpet Controller (optional internal)
  • Some limpets (cargo)

Basic mining rapidly gets irritating as you're wasting valuable Prospector limpets trying to find a rock that gives you valuable ores.  Science to the rescue, and we now have the Pulse Wave Analyser.  This is a utility slot item, and is fired like any other utility mount, through a fire group.

Repeatedly mash your Pulse Wave Analyser, allowing it to highlight valuable rocks.  The good ones will glow orange.

You may mine as normal now, but safe in the knowledge that your prospector is looking at something a bit more worthwhile.  But wait, there's more.

Surface deposits

You will need:

  • Abrasion Blaster (small hard point)
  • Collector Limpet Controller (internal optional)
  • Limpets (cargo)

Some asteroids will have surface deposits on them that need to be knocked off instead of using a mining laser.  For this, you will need an Abrasion Blaster on a small hard-point.

Simply line up your blaster to the outcrop, and shoot, it will be chipped off ready for scooping and refining.  The use of a prospector allows you to target all deposits for easier chipping, but it isn't required.

Subsurface deposits

You will need:

  • Subsurface Displacement Missile (small hard point)
  • Collector Limpet Controller (internal optional)
  • Limpets (cargo)

Subsurface deposits need to be drilled out.  Use a Subsurface Displacement Missile to do this.

Target the deposit and line up.  Fire and keep held down, the sub-surface displacement missile.  On the bottom left of your screen, in the target information area, you will see a wave form progressing along.  You will see one or more blue lines approach from the right.  Let go of fire when the mark is over the blue line.

If successful, the deposit will be ejected for scooping.  You will likely to have to have two or three goes to completely drill out a subsurface deposit.

Deep-core mining

You will need:

  • Seismic Charge Launcher (medium hard point)
  • Abrasion Blaster (small hard point)
  • Collector Limpet Controller (internal optional)
  • Limpets (cargo)

Deep-core mining digs out the really rare stuff.  Finding suitable asteroids is trickier, but gets easier with experience.  You will need to go for the really, really bright orange asteroids.

If you're looking exclusively for asteroids with a mine-able core, then it is best to eye-ball the asteroid with night vision enabled (ship panel on the right) before wasting a limpet on it.  With night vision enabled you can visually spot the fissures that allow for the core to be cracked open.

When you have found a candidate asteroid, fire a prospector limpet at it and lock onto the limpet.  In the target information area, you will see the core contents listed in blue.  If it is absent then the rock cannot be cracked open.

Placing charges

You will be able to target the fissures around the asteroid - as with everything else, the greyed out targets are on the far side.

You will need to place a number of seismic charges and detonate them to split the rock into several parts.  Once your first charge has been placed you will have 120 seconds to complete placing all of them and moving out of range.

As with sub-surface deposits, you will need to lock on to and line up to fissures on the asteroid.  In the target information you will be informed of the fissure strength (low, medium, hard).

You will need to charge up your, er, charge, before releasing it.  Do this by holding down the fire button.  A short burst does low, medium does medium, long does hard.  There is a HUD indicator of how much you're charging, but can be intermittent to whether it is displayed - it's easier to gauge by sound etc.

When your first charge is placed, the time starts, and is displayed in the top right info panel on your HUD.  Along side what looks like a graphic equaliser off a hi-fi.  There are three bands on the display, orange, blue and red.  The first charge will set you off in the orange area.  You need to continue adding charges of the correct strength to fissures until the display moves mostly into the blue area.

If you do not place sufficient charges and fail to reach the blue area, then the charges will detonate, wrecking the fissures, but not cracking the rock.  If you wreck your fissures you wreck access to the rock.

If you over-egg it and move into the red band, then the rock will split, but destroy the resources inside too, rendering it useless.

Diffusing charges

If you place a charge that pushes straight into the red, you can disarm it by entering the contacts screen on your left hand panel.  Scroll through the fissures that have an exclamation mark next to them, select one and then select disarm.

The disarm process takes ten seconds and renders that fissure inoperable.

I tend to disarm low-strength charges first, but sometimes it's not as clear cut as that.

Cracking it open

You can either kick off the detonation from your contacts panel, or by waiting for the two minute timer to expire.

If you have shields you don't need to move far away for safety, but be careful of low-powered ships and fighters in the vicinity, which won't be able to withstand the shockwave.

As the rock splits a number of fragments will be freed up for scooping by your collector limpets.

Further surface deposits can be found on the side edges of the split asteroid.  The asteroid parts will slowly expand and rotate making for easier access.