The Fastest Methods to Gather ANY Engineering Materials

Of the many methods to gather raw, encoded, or manufactured materials for engineering, three stand out as most efficient.

Table of Contents

In this video we look at the three most efficient methods to gather ANY engineering material—raw, encoded (data) or manufactured. Use the Crystal Shard sites, CMDR Jameson Crash site and High-Grade Emissions to maximize gathering each material type in a fraction of the time.

If you’re using wake scanners, Dav’s Hope or collector limpets during combat you absolutely, positively could be doing it faster!

Reference Videos

Ship Builds

High-Grade Material System Types

Note: These are general guidelines and in no way guaranteed.

  • Core Dynamics Composites | Proprietary Composites
    Federation, Election/None
  • Military Grade Alloys | Military Supercapacitors
    Independent or Alliance, War/Civil War
  • Improvised Components
    Independent or Alliance, Civil Unrest
  • Imperial Shielding
    Empire, Election/None
  • Pharmaceutical Isolators
    Independent or Alliance, Outbreak
  • Proto Heat Radiators | Proto Light Alloys
    Independent or Alliance, Boom
  • Proto Radiolic Alloys
    Independent or Alliance, Expansion

Crystal Shard Sites

  • Outotz HD-J d9-3 | B 8 D | Antinomy
  • HIP 36601 | C 1 A | Polonium
  • HIP 36601 | C 1 D | Ruthenium
  • HIP 36601 | C 3 B | Tellurium
  • HIP 36601 | C 5 A | Technetium
  • Outotz LS-K d8-3 | B 5 A | Yttrium


Artist: Miguel Johnson
Album: Citizen of the Stars
Track: The Unexplored

Complete Script

Today we’ll be looking at possibly the most important part of engineering, material gathering. While there are many ways to gather the various materials you’ll need to engineer your ship. Here, we’ll be looking at the most efficient methods for each type of material.

The types are raw, encoded and manufactured. The key to all these methods are the material traders, which we’ve covered in a previous video. Let’s look at the fastest and most efficient methods to gather any material you may need.

We’ll start with possibly the easiest method, data gathering. Here we need only use the crash site of CMDR Jameson, which we’ve covered previously. Begin your loop by leaving from Ray Gateway in Diagundri, that way when we respawn we’ll already be at the closest data trader.

You’ll want to start by ensuring that you’ve traded all your adaptive encrypter captures so you start the process empty. Once you arrive at the site park just behind his ship, as from this position you’ll be able to scan the 4 comms control beacons placed around the site. Jump into SRV your turret and scan each beacon with your data link scanner.

Once you’ve scanned the fourth beacon log out to the main menu then log back into solo mode, as you’ll need to have the site all to yourself. Repeat this process until you’ve reached the maximum of 100 ADAPTIVE ENCRYPTORS CAPTUREs, the single G5 material you’ll receive.

Once you’ve taken your fill self-destruct your SRV to speed entering your ship, then lift off, drop your shields via silent running and boost yourself into the ground, quickly destroying your ship. You’ll then respawn back at Ray Gateway so you can immediately use the material trader, saving you over 10 minutes in the process.

Trade for the specific data you need—using this method you can gather 18 of any grade 5 data in under 15 minutes. Repeat this process until you’ve gathered all the data you need.

Now let’s look at the most efficient method of gathering raw materials. As with collecting data, you’ll want to start at the nearest raw material trader to your home system, such that when you respawn you’ll be able to use the trader immediately.

While this method takes several hours to complete you’ll have the maximum 150 of every high-grade raw material, save for selenium which you’ll trade for. The most efficient method is to head to the Crystal Shard locations, something we’ve covered previously. There are 6 sites, about 1500 light-years from Sol; each site is between 150 and 300,000 light seconds from the main star. The whole process should take about 4 hours if you hit all six sites.

Before heading out trade down all of your high grade raw materials, save for selenium, so you start the process empty. Once you’ve collected 150 of each material from each specific site self destruct to avoid the long trip back, saving yourself over 30 minutes.

If you started at the raw material trader you’ll spawn right there allowing you to very quickly trade down for all the lower grade materials you need. If you’d like to max out every raw material repeat this process twice and you likely won’t need to collect raw materials for a very long time.

Finally, let’s look at manufactured materials where the key is the infamous High-Grade Emission signal source. These are now much easier to find with a much higher spawn rate, with material traders being key.

If you’re looking for a specific grade 5 material see the list on screen detailing the system allegiance and state where they spawn. Once arriving at your target system, drop in on the NAV beacon, scan it and jump to supercruise. With your navigation panel filtered to only signal sources look for any High-Grade Emissions.

Once targetted ensure that you can reach it with at least 15 minute remaining on the instance timer, even if it’s a rather long distance away. Once you drop in collect all the materials in the instance (collector limpets are key here, you’ll want at least 4 active limpets).

I’ve included a build for the Krait Phantom I use for this in the description below as I can’t stress the importance of collector limpets. When you’ve gathered everything in the instance exit the game and when you restart log into the same game type you used before. Once you’ve spawned back into normal space charge your FSD but keep your throttle at zero, when your FSD is ready, boost and you’ll jump.

Then, when in supercruise look at your navigation panel and there will be an unknown signal source right next to your ship, likely behind you. Target this, flip around and drop back in where all the same materials will spawn. Repeat this process until you’ve gathered all you need. You should be able to collect 100 of any given material in under 15 minutes. Once you’ve exhausted your limpet supply head to a manufactured material trader using the excellent trading-down rates to acquire any materials you need.

With material-gathering being possibly the most important aspect of engineering, if you are using any other methods to collect materials—in short, you’re doing it wrong. Being able to quickly and efficiently gather materials can dramatically transform the game giving you faster, stronger, longer jumping ships, with much more fire-power and the ability to synthesize virtually anything you’ll ever need.

If you’ve not yet unlocked some engineers due to the amount of time required to gather materials, I hope these methods will encourage you to tap into one of the deepest and most powerful aspects of Elite. The difference in a full grade 5 engineered ship and stock ship is immense, adding to every type of gameplay from exploration and trade, to Thargoid and PvP combat.

Hopefully, this guide will encourage those of you who don’t play in open to take the plunge or those interested in PvP to get into the fight. This has been CMDR Exigeous reminding you to fly dangerously and thanks for watching.

If you found this look at material-gathering helpful, I hope you’ll have a look at my series covering builds for every ship in the game, putting those materials to good use.