Trading can be an extremely lucrative method to build your bankroll if done properly and thankfully there is a great third party resource which allows you to plot routes between systems to make a great deal of money very quickly.
As you trade between systems you will go up in ranks as you gain more and more profit. Though not 100% confirmed the rankings and the current believed profit margins needed to reach them are:
Penniless - Starting Rank
Mostly Penniless - 5,000Cr
Peddler - 100,000Cr
Dealer - 800,000Cr
Merchant - 3,700,000Cr
Broker - 30,000,000Cr
Entrepreneur - 140,000,000Cr
Tycoon - 390,000,000Cr
Elite - 1,050,000,000Cr
Once you hit the rank of Merchant you will unlock:
And if this is your first Elite ranking upon reaching it you will also unlock:
This will also give you progress to another achievement which is awarded for reaching Elite rank in all three career paths
Reach a rank of Elite in Exploration, Combat and Trading
NOTE: If you are coming to this portion of the guide from either Exploration or Combat then simply scroll down until you find the section that relates to the highest possible ship class you either own or can afford and go from there.
This section of the walkthrough will guide you from the very beginning in your Sidewinder and help you work your way up to the Anaconda class ship which cost roughly 150,000,000Cr. Getting you a good deal of achievements along the way. Trading is not a quick career path and depending on a few factors such as if this is your starting career or if you have done Exploration or Combat beforehand to start with larger ships right away etc you should expect reaching Elite rank to take between 250-400 hours. With that said lets begin.
You should begin your game in a station within the system LHS 3447 if you just have the base version of the game, or Asellus Primus if you have Horizons in your Sidewinder which should be equipped with two Pulse Lasers. The Sidewinder itself is essentially useless for trading as it has no room for any substantial amount of cargo so our first objective is going to be a ship upgrade which will be paid for through bounty hunting (combat in the trading guide!). This process is a little slow at first but it is still a good fast way to make some money for the purposes of upgrading your ship.
Press + to open your Navigation panel and select the Galaxy Map option (You can also press +). When the map opens up you want to press which will take you to the route plotting interface. If you are in LHS 3447 go to the Search field and type into it Asellus Primus then hit enter and it will zoom over to the system for you and highlight it. Next press and hit and the game should automatically plot the best possible course for you based on your ships hyperspace jumping capabilities.
Launch from the station you are currently docked in and begin the trip to Asellus Primus. If you happen to start running low on fuel feel free to dock in at a station in a system along the way to purchase more (it's really cheap), to do this just open up the Navigation panel and in the large window it will list all the stations in the system you're currently in so just select the closest one and fly over to dock.
Once you're done refueling open up the Nav panel again and in that same larger window scroll down until you see a list of other systems, one of which will have a zig-zag like symbol next to it, just select this and choose to lock onto it to get back on course. Once you arrive at Asellus Primus open up your Navigation panel once again and select Beagle 2 Landing and dock there briefly, this will become your home for a little bit and as you have docked here it will be where you return should you die.
Select the Outfitter here and select Hardpoints then choose either of the pulse lasers and select Browse Shop. If the station has a cheap Kinetic cannon or Multi-Cannon (preferably a gimballed one that automatically tracks enemies) then select it and if you can get it super cheap or even free/with money back by trading in your laser do so, if not then just remember it for later. Next go to Utility Hardpoints and select one of the empty slots, this time you are looking to see if the station carries a Kill Warrant Scanner and make a mental note of how much the cheapest one available costs. If there is none available you want to visit https://eddb.io. Once on the page select the Station and enter the following into the fields available
- Station Sells Modules - 0E Kill Warrant Scanner
- Reference System - Asellus Primus
Once these are entered hit Find Station and the page will automatically generate a list of stations that sell the desired module based on location and their distance/time to travel to for you and usually you will be able to find one even within the same system. You won't be able to buy it yet so just keep a mental note of where it's located.
If you were able to purchase a cannon you would have been urged to assign your fire groups. To do this press + to open the Status panel and press to reach the Fire Groups tab. Here you will see your available hardpoints on the left and when assigned the fire groups will be on the right where a 1 should be. In the fire group 1 column you want to press on your laser so that it has an orange 1 next to it, this means that the laser will fire when the is pulled, next go to your cannon and press until it has a blue 2 while still in the same column as the laser which will assign the cannon to . The end result should look like this
When you're ready to leave, open up the Nav panel and in the large window to the right you want to look for any listings called Resource Extraction Site (Low) and lock onto it. If the area you arrive in is not within an asteroid field then open the Nav and select the next site (make sure it is listed as Low) and try again.
Once you do reach an asteroid field fly around the place and press to lock on and scan ships, if there are none appearing other than police force ships then exit the game and load back in as this tends to help spawn them. If when you scan another ship they come up as clean leave them alone, but if the come up as wanted you may want to engage them under the following conditions
- They are in a ship classed as Sidewinder, Eagle, Adder or Hauler
- They have a danger rating of Harmless, Mostly Harmless or Novice
If you were unable to get a cannon and only have your lasers right now simply follow the enemy ship for a little while and the 'police force' ships in the area will eventually begin to attack them, when they do just join in and you will get some of the bounty when the enemy is destroyed. If you have a cannon and pulse laser then you can go ahead and attack on your own, remember if the enemy has shields up then just use your laser and use both weapons when the shields are down. If you are finding that your lasers run out of power quickly then tap to dedicate more of your ships power to your weapons.
Once the enemy is destroyed you will be alerted to the bounty reward in the top right of your screen and you should see some bits of loot floating around in the general vicinity where they died, you can collect this loot with your Cargo Scoop which you would have learned to use in the training missions. Collecting these items will give you progress to achievements, but I will cover these in the Combat portion of the guide.
After three or four bounties you want to return to Beagle 2 Landing to turn them in. Always turn in your bounties every few kills because should you actually lose a fight and be destroyed you will lose any you racked up and won't be able to collect.
When you arrive back at Beagle 2 Landing select the Contacts option and here you can collect your bounty rewards. If this is your first career path and your first time collecting a bounty you will unlock:
With your newly acquired funds go ahead and purchase a cannon if you were unable to before then go and buy your Kill Warrant Scanner from wherever it is located. You will now need to open up your Fire Groups screen and assign your KWS (and cannon if you didn't get one before). My preferred way to go is to have the KWS bound to and my laser to in fire group one then create a second fire group with the laser on and the cannon on . Remember when flying you switch fire groups by pressing +.
With this set up you can lock on to a wanted ship and fire your laser at them to weaken their shields while you scan them then once the scan is done press + to switch to your laser+cannon combo to finish off the fight. The KWS is extremely important as it allows you to find out if the wanted ship has bounties in other systems as well as the one you are currently in which can increase rewards greatly.
Continue flying out to the REZ (Resource Extraction Zone) and back to Beagle 2 Landing until you build up a bankroll of 200,000Cr. Once you have this and you are docked at Beagle 2 Landing go to the Outfitter and sell your lasers, cannon and KWS then back out and go to the Shipyard, here purchase an Adder by trading in your Sidewinder towards it which will unlock:
Then go to the Outfitter and load it out like this
Remember that if the current station does not have the modules you need you can use https://eddb.io to find the closest possible station that does. The Standard Docking Computer will be a great benefit as once you have received permission to dock in a station it will put you into autopilot mode and dock the ship for you. Now that you have your starter Trading ship you are going to need to make quite a long journey compared to what you are used to.
Open up your Nav panel and go to the Galaxy Map and search for Orrere and plot your course which should take you around 15 to 20 hyperspace jumps to reach. With your map plotted press until you get to the map tab (second to last one). Go down to where it says 'Show By Colour' and press for a drop down where you want to choose 'Star Class' then in the grouping below make sure only the top seven of them are checked (Star Types KGB FOAM) then go down and check the 'Apply to route' box. This will ensure that every system you ever travel to will have a star you can refuel at.
Along your journey you are going to need to keep your fuel at a decent level, I try not to let it go under halfway, but I prefer to be cautious. When you need to refuel you can use a process called Fuel Scooping which lets you refuel by flying close to a suitable star. Trying to teach how to do this via text may not translate well so I would recommend you watch the following video to learn how
Over the course of your game you are going to be scooping a lot and once you have scooped at least 100 and then 250 tonnes of fuel from stars you will unlock:
Once you arrive in Orrere you are ready to start trading rare commodities. To purchase these go to the Starport Services menu and select Commodities Market then scroll through the list and look for any that are highlighted in yellow, these are the rare items so purchase as many as you can. You then want to follow this route
When your cargo reaches maximum capacity (will happen quickly in the beginning) use the Galaxy Map to plot a course directly to either Witchhaul or Orrere (whichever is the next selling destination) and sell your inventory. Each time you sell up see if the outfitter has a better FSD for you to buy (Frame Shift Drive) if it does you should purchase it, make sure to leave yourself enough funds to keep buying rares and or rebuy your ship should something happen and you die (your rebuy cost can be found on the status screen +).
It's worth noting that as you progress through the trading ranks you are likely to be interdicted by pirates trying to pull you out of supercruise to steal your cargo. Below you can find videos showing how to escape interdictions. There are also a number of achievements tied to escaping interdictions and I will list those at the bottom of the page.
Continue buying and selling rares until you have 600,000Cr banked up. When you arrive at the next starport with an Outfitter and Shipyard you want to go to the Outfitter first. Go to your FSD, Fuel Scoop and Docking Computer and select them then go to Transfer and select Store which will remove the module, but it will not sell it though in the case of the FSD it will force you to buy the most basic version the ship can use as it is a core module. Once you've done that go into the Shipyard and purchase a Cobra Mk3 by trading in the Adder (sell any rares you have or you lose them) then give it the following loadout minimum:
Remember to go back to the Outfitters and choose 'Stored Modules' and add the Fuel Scoop and Docking Computer and if the FSD is better than the stock one that your ship has equipped add that too, if it's worse just sell it. Your new ship comes with a decent increase in storage and jumping ability. Continue along the trade circuit buying and selling rares until you reach a bankroll of 2,000,000Cr, at this point you should have unlocked:
With your 2,000,000Cr you will want to again store any essential modules like your FSD etc. then go to the Shipyard and purchase a Type-6 which you should give the following loudout:
You want to add the extra Cargo Rack because you won't need to worry about fuel scooping for the next section.
Your new ship should give you a healthy 100 cargo spaces allowing for much more stock with this we are going to stop trading rares for now and instead move to what is called a trade loop in which you simply fly back and forth between two systems buying and selling the same two items. To find your best loop you will need to go to https://eddb.io and select the Loop Route option. On the next screen you need to fill in the filters like so
- Max Hop Distance - The furthest you can travel in one jump (to find this go to the status screen + and go to the Functions tab where you will see a field marked Jump Range the number on your left is your current max range if your cargo hold is full the number is brackets is if your cargo hold is empty. Try to fill you hold with something cheap like water as your minimum distance is the one you want to enter in this field.
- Min Supply - You usually want to make this about 15x your maximum carry capacity so type in 1500
- Min Demand - 0
- Max Price Age - Leave at 30
- Min Profit - between 2,000 and 2,500 usually gets best results
- Result Order - Profit
- Your Location - Type in the system you are currently in
- Distance - Between 200 and 400 is best
Leave all other settings as is and click Find Loops to have multiple possible trade loops displayed which will look like this
In the top-left it will show you your starting system and station for the loop (you may have to travel several systems to reach the starting point, if so equip the Fuel Scoop again and change it for a cabin when you reach the destination). The top-right will show you the second system and station location for the loop. In the centre on the top commodity (in this example Conductive Fabrics) is what you want to buy from the starting station, when you fill your cargo with it you want to fly to the second station and sell all of your cargo for a nice profit. Before leaving the second station you will buy the bottom commodity shown in the centre (in this example Basic Medicines) then return to the first station to sell them all. This what you will be doing for some time now until you reach a bankroll of 31,000,000Cr so make sure you have some music or a TV show or two you can watch to help pass the time. This will be quite slow but a decent loop should see you making a profit of roughly 2,000,000Cr+ p/hour
If this method ends up being a bit too boring for you the other option (which is almost exactly the same) is to do multi-hop trading. Again go to https://eddb.io and go to the Multi-Hop Route option. Here you want the following settings
- Max Hop Distance - Your max jump distance, see above to find this.
- Hop Count - 6 is the max, you can just click load more at the bottom of the screen for extra though
- Avoid Loop- Up to you if you want to always be going to a new system/station
- Fuzzy Mode - Ignore
- Cargo Capacity - How much you can hold (should be 100)
- Available Credits - How much you want to spend (remember to keep enough for a rebuy just in case)
- Max Price Age - Any
This will give you a trade route moving from system to system and is pretty easy to understand in terms of what you should be buying and selling. As with the first method you want to do this until you have a bankroll of 31,000,000Cr. This method can be quite a bit slower than the first so it really depends on how you want to play, personally I would stick with the first method.
Once you eventually hit 31,000,000Cr you want to again store any important modules and trade in your current ship for a Type-7 which should be equipped like this
Your next milestone will be 70,000,000Cr but this should be much faster than the last milestone thanks to the massive boost in cargo space you just received. Go back to https://eddb.io and re-enter all of the information just like before but this time under Station Settings-Landing Pad you want to click the Any space so that it displays an L instead. This is because you are now flying an oversized ship and some ports will not accept you as they will not be able to accommodate your ships size.
Once you have your loop or multi-hop route plotted you can get back to trading goods between system markets.
When you finally reach the 70,000,000Cr you can now decide for yourself what to do next. You can either take that money and purchase the next ship up which is the Python or you can continue in the Type-6 until you reach the next milestone up at 110,000,000Cr. Personally I went with buying the Python, the benefits are small (only an extra 16 cargo spaces) and it allows you to land at any port again instead of just those with large landing pads and I find it was good for morale to have the 70,000,000Cr goal for the Python on the way to the next ship rather than try to go from 31,000,000 all the way to 110,000,000. If you do go with the Python it should be kitted out like so:
If you went with the Python go ahead and re-plot your loop/multi-hop route as you aren't restricted by size anymore and start moving product again until you do eventually hit that 110,000,000 goal.
At 110,000,000Cr you can go ahead and trade in whatever ship you are flying (remember to store your modules) and use it towards purchasing a Type-9, this ship has one of the largest cargo capacities in the game with just shy of 500 cargo spaces, the ship should be set out like so:
Your final financial milestone will be at 180,000,000 and this will buy you the Anaconda. This ship is easily one of the better ships in the game as it is extremely versatile and a great all rounder for trading, exploration and combat. It does have a slightly smaller cargo hold capacity compared to the Type-9, but it's jumping range far surpasses it and makes up for that slight downfall. Once you have bought your Anaconda there is still more to do.
Here I will group and list the remaining achievements based on their requirements and give some good methods on getting them done efficiently.
This group is pretty simple and you should easily get them all as you work your way up to Elite rank.
Buy 50,000 units of goods
On top of the above there is one achievement focused on buying a specific commodity
For focusing on tea specifically you want to go to our favourite resource site https://eddb.io and click on the Find Commodity button then on the next page fill in the fields as such
- Commodity - Tea
- Include Planetary - Up to you if you want to bother landing on planets, I usually opt for no
- Current System - Wherever you are currently located
- Buy or Sell - Buy
- Landing Pad - If you are in your Anaconda you want to pick L, if in a smaller ship pick Any
Once the fields are done click Find Stations and it will list all possible purchasing locations based on distance from you and also arrange them based on buying prices. Next, duplicate the tab in your browser or open a new tab and fill in the fields again exactly the same as above but this time choose Sell in the Buy or Sell field. This will now list all stations you can sell tea to by distance to you. Use these pages to find a good quick and easy trade loop to just buy and sell tea until the achievement pops. Alternatively you can sell the tea right back to the station you bought it from for a slight loss to quickly grind the achievement.
NOTE: Just because two stations are in the same system doesn't mean it will be faster. If two stations in a system buy and sell tea but one is 400Ls away from when you enter the system and another is 9,000Ls from when you enter the system it is going to be much faster to instead hyperjump to another system and go to a station there within 400Ls of entry.
Overall these are also fairly basic though a few are specific in what you actually need to be selling, first of all the achievements gained simply for selling goods regardless of what they are
The next achievements are for specifically selling illegal goods
Sell 50,000 credits worth of illegal goods
Finally the last of the achievements are for selling at multiple station markets over the course of play
The first achievements that will likely stick out for you are those for selling illegal goods, these are thankfully a lot easier than you think.
First you want to purchase yourself a smaller ship than the Anaconda you currently have (don't sell the Anaconda, just store it), an Asp Explorer or a Diamondback Explorer are well suited. The key is to make your ship as heat-efficient as possible, if your ship gives off little heat it is much more difficult for police ships to scan you. A good example of a smuggling build is like this:
As you are only running illicit cargo though you shouldn't have to worry a great deal about police forces.
Return to the site https://eddb.io and choose the Stations option. Here simply fill in these specific fields
- Reference System - Enter the system you are currently in
- Has Facilities - Select Black Market in the drop down
- Landing Pad - Any or L depending on your ship
Second open the Systems search in a second tab and enter in
- Reference System - Where you are
- Security - Low
Click Find on both pages then cross reference them to find a station within a system that has a Low security rating meaning it will be much easier to bypass security and avoid any fines.
When you find the most convenient station, you want to right-click the name of it and open it in another tab. On the Stations information page you should see on the right hand side a field marked Prohibited with a bunch of commodities listed next to it, if not then search for the system using the in game Galaxy Map in game then purchase System Mapping and/or Trade Data if you need to, go to the System Map and find the station then scroll through the info to find what is prohibited. These as far as this station is concerned are illegal goods. Choose one of the illegal goods (the more expensive the better really) and open a new tab with https://eddb.io and go to the Find Commodity tab, fill in the fields just like you did for tea, but in the Current System field put in the system that the Black Market you are going to sell to is located so you can find the closest possible place to source your illegal goods.
Once you know where to go, plot your course and just do a trade loop going back and forth buying and selling your illegal goods until the achievement pops (if you can find something to take back with you to sell for a profit even better). When you arrive at a spaceport or outpost station you want to come to a dead stop before you get within docking range (7.5km) and look out for any police ships that may be in the area.
For space ports you want to locate the mail slot (entrance) while staying at least 8-9km away. Once you have the dock entrance lined up fly as fast as you can towards it. Once you get within range request to dock as you fly in and keep your speed up, you should get inside before any police ships get a chance to scan you and if they do start to they will stop scanning as soon as you get through the entrance field. If you still have a little distance to cover and they start scanning you launch one of your chaffs to throw off the scan and get into the dock safely.
For outpost stations you want to get to exactly 7.5km away then come to a complete stop and request to dock until your request is granted (when denied it is usually because all landing pads are occupied. When accepted look for the orange pad that you need to land on and fly over to it as fast as you can so the auto-docking module doesn't take over. Once you have pretty much hit the pad slow down and let the auto-docking sequence take over. As soon as your options come up enter the hangar as here you can still be scanned while your ship is exposed.
As you work towards selling your illicit goods you should endeavor to visit and sell to at least five different black market locations, this will give you progress towards The Dweller, an Engineer that you can use to upgrade parts of your ship. Engineers will be explained in full on their own dedicated page.
To actually sell your goods on the Black Market and/or pay a fine should you get one, go to Starport Services after docking then choose the Contacts option and conduct your business here. Repeat until you are done. When finished go to any station with a shipyard and go to the Ship Transfer tab then select your Anaconda and have it delivered to you, this will unlock
Once you have your Anaconda ready to go I would recommend just storing your Asp Explorer for later as it does give you progress to other achievements I will cover elsewhere.
The final achievements specifically focused on trading are for visiting a large number of starport commodity markets. You could just fly around aimlessly and land wherever you like when you find something, but the best way is to use the Multi-Hop Trade Route generator over on https://eddb.io. Go to the required page and fill in the fields as needed but make sure you have Yes marked in the Avoid Loop field. If you are having trouble finding routes with one jump between systems try doubling your jump range in the search fields, this just means you may have to do two or three system hops to reach the target system/station but shouldn't add more than a minute of travel time.
Once the route is generated just follow it six stops at a time. If you want to make things go a little faster you should try to stop at all stations within the same system so long as traveling to them is reasonable (I tend to avoid anything over 1,000Ls). Occasionally the route finder will hit a road block and will either start looping back the way you came or just won't be able to find anywhere else for you to go, if that happens just open the Galaxy Map and pick a system around 250Lys away from you. Once you reach the new system start a new multi-hop route. The 500 markets achievement will take a bit of time, but it all works towards Elite status.
Another way to help your sales at 500 markets go even faster is to simply forget about making a profit for the time being. Jump back in your Asp Explorer and just give it a single cargo rack to maximize your jump range, this will allow you to get around fairly quickly and won't limit what stations you can dock with like the 'Conda does. With your Asp Explorer ready to go open up the Navigation Panel and use Eddb on the Systems page. Go through the closest systems to you on your Navigation Panel and type them into the Search for a system field at the top of the Eddb page. If it finds the system and it has stations there it will list the, if it has no stations it will just find the system name.
If the system does indeed have stations available click on it to go to the system page and see how many lightseconds from arrival they are. If they are less than 1,000 I would go to that system and visit all available stations. When you dock simply purchase 1 unit of something cheap like Hydrogen Fuel or Biowaste then sell it back to the same station, this will net you a loss but it will only be around 3 to 15Cr at a time so the loss is negligible. Once all stations are visited just repeat the process, open up the Nav Panel and search for each system to find the next viable one and keep going until you are done - just remember to use Notepad or something similar to keep track of what systems you have already visited so you don't start repeating yourself.
Whatever way you decide to go you will likely still have a ways to go before you reach Elite status once you've unlocked all the other Trading relevant achievements. You can go back to loop trading for maximum profits in your Anaconda, but I would highly recommend moving on to Passenger Missions as if done right they can be extremely profitable and will boost your rank exponentially faster than buying and selling commodities. Other activities you can do (including passenger missions) to increase your trade rank include the following -
- Data Delivery Missions
- Commodity Delivery Missions
- Passenger Missions
- Community Goal Missions (if they are for trading goods)
If you are interested in trying out these optional methods of increasing your rank head over to the Factions & Missions page for more information including a how to make the most out of passenger missions. I have given them their own page as they come with a range of achievements as well. It should be noted that money made does not track with your profits from trading so it will be a bit tougher to gauge your progress solely going by the the benchmark profit margins at the top of the page.
Once you finally do reach Elite status you may or may not unlock one of the achievements mentioned at the start of this page depending on if it is your first, second or third time reaching Elite.
Along the way you should have unlocked or made significant progress towards the escaping interdiction achievements. If you are still short just load up your cargo with whatever you like and fly through low security or anarchy systems where you are highly likely to meet with pirates. You should soon have the following all unlocked:
Once you are done with Trading feel free to move onto Exploration, Combat, CQC (Multiplayer) or one of the other extra curricular activity pages.
Find anything you think is wrong with this walkthrough? Help us fix it by posting in its Walkthrough Thread
This walkthrough is the property of TrueAchievements.com. This walkthrough and any content included may not be reproduced without written permission. TrueAchievements.com and its users have no affiliation with any of this game's creators or copyright holders and any trademarks used herein belong to their respective owners.