Factions, Reputation and Mining in Elite Dangerous
Making a Name for Yourself via Factions and Mining in Elite Dangerous
I’ve already spoken at length about Elite Dangerous and the complexities of trading and exploration but another deep system in the game involves factions. Each system is populated by a number of NPC factions each with their own name and goals. The controlling faction of a system directly affects the laws of that system. For example, an anarchist faction might make it easier to smuggle goods on the black market while others may allow for more prosperous trade or higher security. Performing missions for any given faction will grant you rewards both in credits and materials but also in reputation for that faction and possibly its affiliated superpower. Below I will summarize factions and reputation as well as mining in Elite Dangerous.
My main source of income since I started Elite Dangerous has been missions for factions. Successfully completing missions for a faction will not only give you increased standing with that faction, allowing for access to more profitable missions but will also increase that faction’s influence over the system. Raise the influence high enough and they can take over that system and eventually even expand to other systems. This leads to an interesting role-playing meta-game in which you can choose to help a particular faction increase its standing. You might want to help out a corporation if you’re eager for credits or a political faction if you don’t approve of the unlawful state of the system. It’s also worth noting that systems with smaller populations are easier to influence than larger ones.
As mentioned earlier, some NPC factions are independent while others are affiliated with one of the game’s three superpowers – Alliance, Federation or Empire. Helping a faction belonging to one of these superpowers will also increase your rank with them offering its own rewards such as access to restricted systems. It’s been a lot of fun using my Commander to help a Federation-aligned faction despite progress being pretty slow. As missions are an easy way to earn credits especially early on it’s fun to jump into this aspect of the game. Another aspect I haven’t delved into is Powerplay – each superpower has a few leaders that you can align yourself to and help expand or sustain their current systems. I think I’ll wait until I have a higher rank and better ship to jump into this feature of the game.
One of the best ways to make credits for missions or general trading is mining in Elite Dangerous. There’s a lot to consider here least of which is finding a system where you can mine the metal or minerals you need plus which station to sell it to in order to make the biggest profit. Once you’ve traced your desired metal to an icy ring or rocky asteroid belt perhaps, you need to outfit your ship properly. A refinery, mining laser and collector drones are pretty important here.
First you mine an asteroid releasing small chunks of material into the atmosphere. Here you can pick the pieces up manually or use the much less time-consuming method of sending out drones to automatically collect the pieces for you. Gather enough pieces of your chosen metal and the refinery will consolidate it into one unit of the metal or crystal. It’s a slow and for some, perhaps tedious process and you’re really better off with a big ship with plenty of cargo space – drones take up space too so it’s important to check you have room. Although time-consuming the potential rewards in terms of credits from mining in Elite Dangerous is pretty substantial.
All my time in Elite Dangerous so far has led me to two different ships aside from the starter Sidewinder with my current ship being a Cobra Mk III, which is a decent all-rounder. After I manage to get my chosen NPC faction into power in my current system, I aim to do some more exploring, mess around with crafting and engineers and work my way towards one of the truly impressive ships.
Those were my thoughts on factions, reputation and mining in Elite Dangerous. Have you played Elite Dangerous? What do you think of the game and the best way to make credits?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.