'Documentation is a love letter that you write to your future self.' - Damian Conway

10 minute read - Videogames

Elite Dangerous

Github Link

I bought this game in 2015 but did not really play it. Logged in back and played with my old starter ship a bit. Manual docking and manual launch (got a fine for hovering over the wrong pad, essentially was fined for loitering in space). Then I deleted the character and started a new one. The new starter ship has autodock which is something that was added later.

In general, it's a good game but most of the game is spent traveling. Which is boring. Even intra-system travel is boring. Five minutes of traveling to a signal and then 1 minute to collect the materials and then leave. I guess exploration outside of the bubble (populated by humanity) is more exciting?

What I Wish I Had Done When I Started

  1. Don't unlock Felicity in the beginning. You have to go to Maia and then Deciat. It's less painful with a ship with a decent jump range.
  2. Stay in the starter area for a while to make 2-3 million or enough to equip a decent hauler (not specifically the ship named hauler but any ship with a decent cargo space).
  3. Use the hauler to make 15-ish million with Single Hop Trading. It's relatively safe and decent money. Find two stations that give you a decent payout and run the same route over and over.
  4. Equip a decent Asp Explorer with decent jump range. This allows you to everywhere faster. Believe me, 15 to 25 LY jump range is a huge upgrade.
  5. Do Road to Riches.
  6. Controls are a mess. Search here to see which control is under what section.
  7. The Collector Limpet is super useful.
    1. Go into the mission.
    2. Open the hatch.
    3. Release the limpet.
    4. Picks up all items.
    5. If you have something targetted, the collector limpet will just pick that up and die. This is useful if you just want to pick up one item and GTFO before the enemies arrive. But usually not the intended behavior.
  8. To scan the nav beacon (or data beacons in missions). You have to select the nav beacon from Contacts and not from the navigation tab. The navigation tab allows you to warp to it but you gotta select it yourself. Then you just need to reorient your ship to look at the beacon and it will be automatically scanned (the indicator in the bottom-left should show when it starts scanning).


Great website for this game:

Which stations sell a specific module

  2. Top-right field Station sells Modules: Enter the module. There's autocomplete.
  3. Bottom-left field Reference System: Enter the name of the target system.
  4. Get a list of stations sell a module in that system or nearby ones.

Which system has which rings for mining

As of now (2022-06-13) it appears that Platinum is the best item to mine.

  2. Find which ring type has the material that you want
  3. Top-right field Ring Type: Choose ring type.
  4. Bottom-left field Reference System: Enter the name of the target system.

Another website:

Rocks are refreshed after 2 hours.

Some Ship builds


Travel - Landing - Docking

Space Docking

Personally, I drop the throttle to roughly half of the blue bar around 8 seconds to be sure. Then I throttle up every few seconds when the speed is in the blue zone (bottom-left part of the screen and not the throttle bar).

  1. Bind a key for 75% speed (or reduce speed in 25% increments)
  2. Press when you are in the last 00:06 to supercruise.
  3. Accelerate when you speed is near the blue zone, prepare to exit supercruise.
  4. Put the supercruise assist in the storage, or sell it.


Planetary Landings

They are a pain in the neck. If you are trading, be sure to avoid them.

75-20-25 method by /u/agnoristos/.

  1. As I get closer to the planet/moon, I move to position the target location near the "upper" horizon, preferably on the near side. This gives me a shallow-ish approach angle, but not so much that I lose too much speed.
  2. I try to drop from orbital cruise at 75Km from the settlement. This happens at an altitude of 25Km, so if I'm close to dropping but farther than that I'll pitch up a little. Conversely, if I'm getting close but I'm still too high up I'll pitch down, maybe circle around if I mess up and lower my altitude too slowly. I keep my throttle around 50% most of the way down. Sometimes I drop a little closer than 75Km, but as close as 60Km seems to be okay.
  3. Now I'm gliding. I'll keep my nose at 20° until the settlement is 25Km away, then I'll pitch down to point directly at it.
  4. When I do this, more often than not I finish the glide within 7.5Km from the settlement.

A video linked in the thread above:


Some definitions:

Useful links:

  1. /r/EliteExplorers/:
  2. Spreadsheet jump range comparison of all ships in exploration builds:
  3. Visual guide to Exploration by CMDRs Fru and Angr: Rough payouts and what they look like.
  4. 2020 New Explorer's Getting Started Guide still works.
  5. Deep space outposts.
  6. The Deep Space Support Array (DSSA) | A FleetComm Initiative.
    1. Network of support carriers over the galaxy.
    2. DSSA Network Tracker.
    3. DSSA carriers map.
  7. Just got Elite on exploration, what should I do next?.
  8. A guide to unlocking the Guardian FSD Booster.

Before going out-system exploring, unlock Felicity Farseer (see the Engineers section) and get an engineered FSD. This will help you a lot.

In-System Exploration

I am using these right now.

  1. Rescue Multi Limpet Controller: Does Repair, Fuel Transfer and Hatch Breaker. You can also use individual ones.
    1. Repair limpet controller for distress calls.2
    2. Fuel limpet controller for distress calls.
  2. Collector limpet controller for picking up stuff.
  3. Fuel Scoop.
  4. Heat sinks for dumping the heat when scooping fuel. Ammo is cheap (25cr).
    1. This is not needed for better ships and fuel scoops but still a good module to have.
  5. Cargo racks for picking up stuff but it's mostly crafting materials.

Road to Riches

There are websites that create exploration routes for you in the known world. They tell you which systems to go and which planetes to map manually for the best payout.

  2. (I have not used this one, yet).
  3. Easy Earths-Road 2 Riches Variant For New CMDRs, forgot who posted it on reddit.
  4. 550 planets route by CMDR VicTic/SchmicTic.

How to do it:

  1. Plan a route.
  2. Use a exploration ship.
  3. In every system with a scoopable star KGB FOAM, scoop some fuel on arrival.
  4. Honk the system == Use the Discovery Scanner.
  5. Map the system with FSS.
  6. Travel to the bodies in the route and map them with the DSS.
  7. Go to the next system.

Before selling stuff to cartographers, check the engineers guides. If you do not need the money it might be better to sell them in specific places to unlock engineers.



Engineers allow you to create better modules. You have to unlock them. To track them:

  1. Press 4.
  2. In the first tab (the left-most tab), select the Engineers button to the right.
  3. Fox's Comprehensive Guide to Engineer Unlocking

Felicity Farseer

The first one will probably be Felicity Farseer for a boosted FSD.

  1. You need a Meta Alloy.
  2. If you don't have 2 million or so, take the long trek to Darnielle's Progress in Maia.
  3. If you have money to spare, there are fleet carriers that sell it for 2 mil or so around the Deciat system.
  4. Again, don't go into these systems in open play.

The Dweller

Sell items in five different Black Markets. If you are tracking it in the Engineers tab. You need to logoff and login for the number to go up.

Black markets are usually in low security and anarchy stations. But you can usually find them via Put in the system and then check each one for BlackMarket.

Some smuggling tips (I am sure the are entire guides on this):

  1. If you are smuggling, it's faster to use stations without Large landing pads. These are usually Outposts and Installations.
  2. You can use the heat sink to avoid getting targetted.
  3. Neat trick to avoid smuggling stolen items into stations (credit /u/psychicEgg):
    1. Take five cargo missions.
    2. Land in a station with a black market.
    3. Abandon one mission. The goods are now considered stolen goods.
    4. Sell the items.
    5. Rinse and repeat.
    6. Source: How the hell do I unlock the dweller? on reddit.

Do some these things while you play normally to help with unlocking them:

  1. The Dweller: If you have stolen goods, go to a station with a and sell them. You need to interact with five different ones. Find stations with black markets via eddb.
  2. Sell your catography data to specific vendors. You need rep to unlock some engineers. See the guide for the exact names/locations.


There's also Colonia which is far away. You can technically get there with normal ships but it takes like 500 jumps in a ship with a 20 LY range. There are fleet carriers who make the trip and you can get a ride. Check the Fleet Carrier Owners Club subreddit for more details.

Some advice how to get there:


Driving controls are not mapped by default. So the SRV does not move.

Controls > Drive Throttle > Accelerate/Decelerate Button.

To launch the SRV:

  1. Land (it's a pain)
  2. Press 3.
  3. Select the SRV and then deploy.

To get back:

  1. Move under the ship in the designated place.
  2. Make sure the Board light is on.
  3. Press 3.
  4. Select the SRV and then board ship.

We can also launch the ship and recall it. This is useful if you get stuck under the ship or if you are away from the ship. The ship will find a proper place to land.

  1. Press 3.
  2. Launch or Recall ship here.

Pick up items:

  1. Open cargo scoop.
  2. Target the item you want to pick up.
  3. Slowly run over it.


Single Hop Trading

Shield can be skipped because you can usually win the interdiction game.

  2. Max Hop Distance: Your minimum jump distance. We're assuming the ship will be full.
  3. Max Price Age: 1 (day).
  4. Cargo Capacity: Ship's capacity.
  5. Available Credit: Default is 1000, make sure to increase it to your budget (don't forget rebuy).
  6. Inclue Planetary: No. Planetary docking is slow and painful.
  7. Set your current system and station.
  8. (Optional) Install the Elite Dangerous Market Connector to update the prices.

Interdiction Game

You gotta keep your reticule on the blue target. If you think you cannot win:

  1. Slow down to surrender. This will only give you a 5 second FSD cooldown cycle. If you lose, you get a 30 second.
  2. Speed up and boost.
  3. Release Chaff and Heat sink. Heat sink makes you cold so you cannot be targetted.
  4. Target some random system (because you cannot be masslocked for inter-system travel).
  5. Fly away.


I have a Thrustmaster T16000M FCS. Here are the mappings for the extra keys:

Select Target AheadCargo HatchHeatsinkSTICKTarget Next System
in Route
Enter Free Camera
Cycle Next TargetShip LightsDeploy HardpointsSTICK75% ThrottleShip Toggle CameraSRV Toggle Camera

Other Items on my Paper Note

Starting system: LHS 3447.