Earning credits via exploration is one of the easiest ways for commanders of all skill levels and game progression. You can use any ship you’d like, only needing a Fuel Scoop and Detailed Surface Scanner—making the cost of outfitting very low.
- Hauler (32LY – 1.5M)
- Cobra Mark III (27LY – 5.2M)
- DiamondBack Explorer (41LY – 10M)
- Asp Explorer (36LY – 41M)
- Krait Phantom (37LY – 70M)
Artist: Miguel Johnson
Album: The Explorers
Track: Forever Night
Today we’re going to look at the Road to Riches—that is, using exploration tools to earn credits and exploration rank. We won’t be covering how to use those various tools, for that please see my previous video, The Ultimate Guide to Exploration Tools. We’ll simply focus on the most efficient way to earn credits and rank with exploration.
Why Use the Road to Riches
As I said the goal here will be to earn credits and rank as quickly as possible, not exploring to discover or see new things. Using this method I was able to earn right around 30M credits per hour (the key being you could do this in virtually any ship and at any point in a play-through).
I’ll include several builds in the description for players of all levels and experience. If you are new to exploration please do review my exploration tools guide as you’ll need to understand that first.
The key to this method is spansh.co.uk by Commander Spansh. When you visit the site, you’ll need to switch to the road to riches tool under Route Planners > Road to Riches. Here you’ll enter your starting system and a destination system—I’d suggest opening the Galaxy Map and going either straight up or down say 500 to 1000 light-years.
Don’t worry, you won’t necessarily go that far—we just need an ending point for the tool. Next you’ll enter your jump range, radius and maximum systems where I’d suggest the defaults for the latter 2. Now tick Use Mapping Value, un-tick Loop, set the maximum distance to arrival around 750-1000 ls and minimum scan value to 650,000.
This will ensure the bodies you scan are close to the star, saving supercruise flight time which is the biggest time saver. Setting minimum scan value to 650,000 will ensure you only get earth likes and water worlds which are the most valuable types.
Once you’ve plotted a route, copy the first destination system name to your clipboard, paste this into the game and start jumping. When you arrive at each system you’ll fire your discovery scanner (or honk) and once the results are returned open the system map and target the body listed in the name column, with the body being the data after the system name.
Once you’ve targeted the body use your targeting reticle and head for it. If the body listed isn’t shown that means you’d need to use the FSS to scan for it, in the interest of efficiency I’d simply skip this system and move on to the next one.
Scanning a Body
As you approach the body, select your detailed surface scanner (selected as this module is required, but as it only costs 250,000 credits it’s obtainable by all but absolute beginner players). As you approach you’ll see “Out of Range” and once you see “Too Fast” or the scanner goes active you’ll throttle down and enter the detailed surface scanner by pressing the appropriate fire button.
As these bodies will require 6 or 7 probes to reach the efficiency bonus see the firing pattern I’m using on-screen now, as this pattern will ensure you always hit that bonus.
Once you have the hang of this, as soon as you fire off your 5th probe switch back to your cockpit, copy the next system from Spansh’s website and tick off the one you just scanned. Enter the galaxy map, paste in the next system and plot your route.
When you return to your ship begin charging for jump but keep your throttle at zero, waiting for the probes to finish their scan to ensure you have the data. This will let you complete the scan in the event you didn’t place them all perfectly—when you have and see the scan is complete throttle up for a jump. Once you get the hang of this you’ll be probing, grabbing the next system, pasting it in, plotting and then jumping very quickly.
Reaching Exploration Rank
As it requires $350 million in exploration profits to reach Elite—using this method you’d be able to achieve that in roughly 12 hours of gameplay. This is also an excellent way to ally with factions which many times is necessary for system permits and to unlock engineers, etc. Selling $8 million in exploration credits to a faction that controls a station will ally you with that faction instantly. If you’re a new player (or a veteran) using the Road to Riches will help you earn credits and exploration rank quickly and easily. Once again this has been Commander Exigeous, reminding you to fly dangerously and thanks for watching.