Elitist achievement in Elite: Dangerous


Get an Elite Ranking

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How to unlock the Elitist achievement

  • ZiggaManZiggaMan258,458
    25 Aug 2015 22 May 2016
    68 4 19
    Update May 22nd 2016: It seems with each patch/update to the game the amount of credits/kills/experience needed in order to achieve each rank gets adjusted. The list I've provided below at the end was pulled from the Frontier forums while the game was still in its initial preview so it is inaccurate as of now. The requirements seem to increase with each update. I will search for more current requirements and adjust them in the future.

    In order to get this achievement, you have to reach the maximum rank (Elite) in any of the 3 Pilots Federation career paths: Explorer, Trade, or Combat. You can check how far along you are and what your rank is in each of these by checking your ship panel (the right one - hold cn_X+cn_right) - on the left of the first tab of that panel (status tab) you'll see progress bars in each with your rank in text above it - explorer is cyan, trade is white, and combat is orange.

    The easiest/fastest path to this achievement is in trading (white). Get a ship with a high cargo capacity and just keep choosing delivery, trade, or smuggling missions with high payouts off of the bulletin board and completing them. Smuggling missions net the most (in a Cobra Mk III the average high-payout smuggle mission a few systems away pays around 100,000CR). You can also buy/sell on the commodities market. Basically any sort of cargo-related activity where you gain money will count. Selling on the black market and mining profits will not count. Once you get around 1,015,000,000 credits (it varies depending on player) overall from trading you will reach elite. Exploration is the slowest/hardest path (since income is low and it takes months to gather scans/data), and combat depends on how skilled you are (also costs of maintenance are high).

    If you would rather choose another path these are the requirements for each rank (pulled from the Frontier forums):

    Explorer (by CR): scanning systems, selling universal cartographics data
    AIMLESS: 0
    MOSTLY AIMLESS: 10,000
    SCOUT: 85,000
    SURVEYOR: 300,000
    TRAILBLAZER: 1,050,000
    PATHFINDER: 2,500,000
    RANGER: 9,000,000 ~ 11,500,000
    PIONEER: 30,000,000
    ELITE: 100,000,000

    Trade (by CR): delivery, smuggling, commodities, piracy
    PEDDLER: 100,000
    DEALER: 750,000
    MERCHANT: 3,800,000
    BROKER: 33,779,000
    ENTREPRENEUR: 134,000,000
    TYCOON: 385,000,000 ~ 420,000,000
    ELITE: 1,015,000,000

    Combat (by CR / kills): termination missions, bounty hunting, conflict/combat zones, warrant scanning, piracy
    HARMLESS: 0 / 0
    MOSTLY HARMLESS: 152,167 ~ 250,000 / 15
    NOVICE: 500,000 ~ 750,000 / 75
    COMPETENT: 1,717,370 ~ 3,500,000 / 172 ~ 400
    EXPERT: 5,022,829 ~ 8,000,000 / 450 ~ 750
    MASTER: 11,437,575 / 1,100 ~ 1,253
    DANGEROUS: 42,000,000 / 2,100 ~ 2,600 [4,335]
    DEADLY: Unknown / 4,200
    ELITE: Unknown / 8,600 ~ 8,750

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    StarwiseEasiest path to this is mining - using eddb.io find the most expensive minerals (void opals, painite, serendibite, benotoite, etc;) then mine them using either motherlode or laser mining. I did about 64t a night using motherlodes - with a good motherlode returning about 15t and about 4 asteroids a night before I got bored.
    On the plus side this will also set you up with close to a billion credits that you can use to outfit expeditions, engineering, etc;
    Posted by Starwise on 25 Aug 19 at 05:00
    SPACE ODDITYExplorer

    Aimless - 0
    Mostly Aimless - 40,000
    Scout - 270,000
    Surveyor - 1,140,000
    Trailblazer - 4,000,000
    Pathfinder - 10,000,000
    Ranger - 35,000,000
    Pioneer - 116,000,000
    Elite - 318,000,000


    Penniless - 0
    Mostly Penniless - 5,000
    Peddler - 100,000
    Dealer - 800,000
    Merchant - 3,700,000
    Broker - 30,000,000
    Entrepreneur - 140,000,000
    Tycoon - 390,000,000
    Elite - 1,050,000,000
    Posted by SPACE ODDITY on 06 Oct 19 at 16:21
    SashamorningI think bulk passenger missions help a lot toward trading. I took a break from trading to do some of those, and my rank went up. Just got Elite, show 916 million in trading profit after transporting over 1000 passengers. Two birds, one stone.
    Posted by Sashamorning on 27 May 20 at 05:09
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  • SashamorningSashamorning2,093,948
    27 May 2020 17 Feb 2021 17 Feb 2021
    0 0 0
    While the guide above is very good, it's now several years out of date. At this point, exploration is the fastest way to elite, if you know what you're doing, and can be completed in a couple of days if you know how to play the system. This means finding the right planets to scan, and ONLY scanning the ones that net you a lot of credits (unless you want to scan all of them; I'm focusing on the fastest way to reach Elite).


    I'm going to assume that at this point you've stepped out of the Pilots' Federation zone and are playing the game proper. The Road to Riches planner ( https://spansh.co.uk/riches ) is an excellent way to work up to the approximately 320,000,000 credits you will need to reach Explorer Elite.

    The key is having a Detailed Surface Scanner, which will run you 250,000, fits in a 1 slot, and has the best return of any item in the game. Previously, scanning systems was a bit harder (so I gather) and it's become a lot easier. That makes for much greater earning potential.

    When you enter a system, **always** "honk" using the Discovery Scanner. Once you've seen how many bodies are in the system, switch to FSS (Focused System Scanner) by bringing your throttle all the way down (while still staying in supercruise) and pressing cn_Y+cn_RB. Move your cursor around the system, hovering over the lighted areas. Use the right stick to move the signal to the different types of bodies. Once the signal matches up with the planet/moon that you're looking at, arrows will show up pointing to a circle. Pull cn_LSu to zoom in. You may have to zoom in a few times if you're looking at a crowded area. Repeat until you've scanned the entire system.

    Once you've done that, look to see if you've found any Earth-like worlds (ELW, green dots) or Water Worlds (WW, blue dots). If you have, you're going to set a course for them and use your DSS when you're in range. You should also look at your system map using cn_Y+cn_right. Zoom in on the WWs and the High Metal Content (HMC) bodies. Use cn_RB to bring up the info tab on the left.

    If you see anything that says "this planet is a candidate for terraforming", those are your targets. In order, you should prioritize:

    Terraformable WWs
    Terraformable HMCs
    Ammonia Worlds
    Terraformable Rocky Bodies

    Generally, when running through systems, I definitely scan ELWs and tWWs, and maybe the next two if I have time. I don't scan anything after ammonia worlds myself. Planets have more value if they've never been discovered before (generally when you're outside the bubble; this will almost triple the value) and if they have a higher mass. A useful table to guide your scanning can be found here: https://elite-dangerous.fandom.com/wiki/Explorer#Value_Calcu...

    Once you've selected a target, you're going to map it using the DSS. Note the bottom right of the screen where it says a target number, like 6 or 7 probes. (An ELW or a tWW greater than 7 probes is quite the find!) If you use less than this number, you will earn an efficiency bonus. You need to reach 90% for the planet to be fully mapped. It may be worthwhile to engineer a more effective DSS, but that's a conversation for another time.

    This all sounds more complicated than it will be, I promise you.

    Your own technique may vary, but here's mine: if the target is 6, I approach the planet with the cursor as high up as it can be without saying Miss. As soon as the probes turn blue (in range), I fire. Then I quickly fire probes at 9, 6, and 3 o'clock, firing when the little mark is in the center of my cursor. (That mark tells you whether you'll shoot over the horizon or hit on this side.) Once you've made those four shots, hold cn_LB to see how you did on the far side. Once all of the scan circles are finished growing, aim your other 1-2 probes to the unmapped spaces. I've been doing this for a while and even without an upgraded DSS I can sometimes come in one probe under the target.

    If your target is 7 probes, do the same thing, except make 5 shots (around 12, 9:30, 7:00, 5:00, 2:30 or thereabouts), holding back those last two probes to fill in the gaps.

    Once you've hit 100% (actually >90%), move on to the next planet or system. Repeat frequently.

    Once you're ready to redeem, go to any starport and turn it in at Universal Cartographics. If you are the first to discover or map a planet, you'll receive extra bonuses. You can keep track of your exploration income by going to your Codex => Stats => Exploration. The number will likely keep increasing, but as of 2021 the number is approximately 320 million credits.


    The best way to maximize your trading profits is to go to https://eddb.io/trade/loops and look for trading loops. I usually set landing pad to large, and demand/supply to around 1000 (season to taste). I set distance to no more than 25 LY because I don't want to spend as much time warping. FDev has played with the settings, and you may not be able to keep selling to the same place for the same profit. As a rule, selling a full T9 to a port with less than 2000 demand is going to hurt your sale price.

    I use a Type-9, filled with cargo racks. With no shield (living dangerously), but with an advanced docking computer (not quite so dangerously; I'm not that crazy) I can carry 784 units. EDDB will give you loops where you can buy/sell back and forth between stations. TBH, my first Elite was trading like this. It can be tiresome looping, looping, (looping...) but it works.


    ...good luck. FDev recently nerfed combat XP by changing Thargoid Scouts from counting as Elite ships sto something lower. Already, Elite takes thousands of kills... this just makes it longer. A *LOT* longer.

    Focus on higher ranked kills. The higher rank you beat, the more XP you will earn relative to your rank. Once you reach Expert, the lower ranks will not count toward your XP at all. Look at this table for guidance: https://elite-dangerous.fandom.com/wiki/Combat#Ranks

    Best of luck, Commander! o7 toast
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