How to Get Started In Elite: Dangerous

I spend lots of time playing Elite.  I’ve been playing since release and I’m still learning stuff about it.  Which is great, as there’s always something new to discover.

But if you’re new to the game, it can seem a bit intimidating.  I remember being overwhelmed when I first started playing with some disastrous results

So if you’re starting from fresh, what’s a good start?

The Tutorials

These are pretty mandatory now.  They’re nicely voiced and don’t take too long either.  No reason not to do them!

The other big advantage is that you can customise your controls correctly in a safe environment with no consequences for boosting into an asteroid by accident 😀

Get everything configured and just make sure you’re comfortable flying around…

“Fly?  Yes.  Land? No.”

There’s lots that can go wrong with landing in a station.  You need to request permission correctly (can’t be too near or too far).  You need to approach correctly (Not too fast!  Not at the wrong angle!).  And then you need to find your landing pad without getting shot by the internal guns.

So, best to get all those bad landings out of your system early.

You can’t lose anything with the default ship (you get it back for free) so you can blow yourself up as much as you like.

It looks great. But that’s to lull you into a false sense of security…

Make sure you can land with your eyes closed before you try and do it in an ungainly whale of a trading ship with 1000’s of credits of cargo on board (which you don’t get back on death).

Quick checklist;

  • Ask for permission to and (within 7.5 KM of the station)
  • Come in slow and stick to the side of the docking slot with green lights on it.
  • Drop your landing gear!

Yo-Ho-Ho Eek!

Jump to a whole new system

Once you get yourself out there you’re not likely to meet human pirates but NPCs are pretty common.  Just remember if you can’t / won’t fight, pirates can’t stop you jumping to another system (“High Waking”).  They CAN stop you engaging your FSD within the system (“Low Waking”)  so just remember to play it safe if you want to definitely escape.

Speed != Maneuverability

Keep your throttle in the little blue arc for maximum maneuverability. elite-1

With Great Responsibility Comes Great Power

Balancing your power distributor is important but it has a few quirks.  For each of System, Engines and Weapons there is an allocation of power from your plant (pips, maximum of 4) and a bar representing how much power is in that system’s “battery”.

  • Power to System doesn’t improve your shield regeneration:  It increases it’s ability to resist damage.  The bar is pretty meaningless though if it’s empty your shield won’t regenerate at all.  Remember though when you put all your pips into guns or engines your ship will probably be able to take all the damage of a wet paper-bag…
  • More pips to Engines increases maximum speed and charges the battery bar.  That battery is drained by boosting.    It also moves the “peak maneuverability” arc up as well (so you can go faster while still being nimble).

  • Increasing power to Weapons doesn’t directly increase your damage;  it does allow you to fire your guns more though.
  • If the bar for weapons is empty, your weapons will generate a lot more heat.

Show Me The Money

As in life, it takes money to make money in Elite.  But a decent way to get some money to get you going is bounty-hunting in a Low Resource Extraction site.

Miners go to these areas to, well, mine.  And pirates go to those areas to steal mined resources.  Finally, police go to hunt the pirates.  If only the miners would eat the police we’d have the great Circle Of Life.elite-3

A Low-risk Resource Site is a good place to start.  Low threats and plenty of police.  Just fly around with an empty cargo hold (the pirates may scan you, but you’re not worth robbing).  Wait for them to start picking on an innocent miner.

At that point the miner may start to run or fight but wait for the police to descend on the pirate like little blue wolves.  Once the pirate is getting a kicking from the fuzz, “helpfully” join in.  You’ll get credit and the bounty.

Make sure you’ve scanned the pirate first!  Keep him targeted in front of you until the details on him says “Wanted”.  Even if he’s shooting up the local space-orphanage in a ship covered in blood you’ll get a bounty on you if you shoot him until he’s scanned.  And then the police will go for you….

Turn in the bounties at a station for free cash!  Once you’ve got a bit, buy a Kill Warrant Scanner.  If you scan the pirates with this before you kill them you’ll get even more money!



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