If you are like me, then you may have been lost or overwhelmed with what you can do in Elite: Dangerous. You may have a good idea of what you’d like to do, or just interested in seeing what all E:D can offer, but not ready to commit to something just yet. E:D is a very open game that doesn’t want to box you in, so you are free to do what you want. This can lead to decision paralysis, so I hope to help clear this up with my series of Elite: Dangerous Beginner’s Guide.
The Basic Pilot Roles guide will help build structure on what kind of pilot role to take. I’ll go over the most basic roles and add some definition to them to explain what these roles do. The first rule of this guide is that it’s completely subjective. You can change the role as you see fit (I encourage you to do so) and come up with your own ideas for these roles, but this guide is made to get you started. You can check out the rest of the guides at the bottom, new ones will be added when they’re finished.
Basic Pilot Roles
Fighting is in your blood. Your job is to attack or defend a target and love to show your dominance on the battlefield. You're not a long range pilot, in fact you prefer sticking around a small group of systems. Battle calls to you, so listen for it.
Places to go: You find yourself most at home in Conflict Zones. These are pockets of space that are in wartime and need all the help they can get. Find these, and then choose a side. Be careful though, as you can be the target easily once you choose a faction.
Equipment: The equipment you will focus on are Weapons, Armor, and Shields. These are your tools of the trade, so don’t go cheap on them. Find ships that have higher armor, shields, or maneuverability. The Sidewinder is cheap, but the Eagle is a good starting ship.
The unknown stars are your home, not space stations. You want to get out into untraveled space and find sights that few or no one has seen before and record your findings. The more data you can amas, the more you can sell it for.
Places to go: Any system that isn’t explored yet. This can be uninhabited space, or even innerspace, as long as you can scan the stars and planets, you can get data on it. Once you have the system scanned, you’ll need to move beyond 20 light years from it to sell to a station.
Equipment: The equipment you will focus on are discovery scanners, thrusters, and frame shift drives. These tools are crucial to your line of work and helps get you around quicker. Find ships that have higher jump range. The Sidewinder is decent at this job, but you’ll want to get a Hauler soon because they can travel farther distances faster.
You like to get your hands dirty. Guns aren’t your thing and you don’t want to travel aimlessly among the stars, so you join the family trade and become a miner. It’s hard work, but someone has to do it and the pay and work is stable.
Places to go: Find Extraction systems that have higher concentrations of metal and higher security. These give you your advantages for finding wealth. A good starting place are the asteroid clusters near the parent star, but you’ll also want to look into the rings of a nearby planet or gas giants since they have far more resources to haul.
Equipment: The equipment you will focus on are mining lasers, refineries, and collector limpets. These tools cut down the time dramatically and make your job much easier. You’ll definitely want to have the largest cargo space you can handle, but remember, the more you carry, the slower you are (when trying to get away from pirates). Find ships that have more internal compartments. You start with a Sidewinder, but you’ll want to get to the Hauler as soon as you can to carry more limpets and get a larger refinery.
You like moving things, for a price. You watch the markets and make your move when you see an opportunity show itself. A system is in need of resources and you know where there’s an abundance. And from making all these deals, you pocket the profit and feel good that you are the lifeblood of the galactic economy.
Places to go: You’ll want to find a nice cluster of diverse systems, the more secure the better. Ones where you can buy lower than the galactic average at one and sell higher at another. A good starting place is looking for a High Tech system close to some Extraction systems. High Tech systems are always in need of raw materials.
Equipment: The equipment you will focus on are cargo and thrusters. Not much else is needed to get the job done. Most of your investment credits are being used on the resources you’ll buy and sell while making profit off the margins.Find ships that have more internal compartments and jump range. The Sidewinder can get you started, but you’ll want to invest into the Hauler as soon as you can. The name of the game is moving cargo, and you’ll want to be able to move as much as possible.
Remember - I am Elite: Dorkus and you can too!
Elite: Dangerous - Beginner’s Guide List