Elite Dangerous Advancing Past the Sidewinder

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Elite Dangerous Advancing Past the Sidewinder

October 24, 2015 - 00:00
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New to Elite Dangerous? This article series will help you find your way! This installment will help you advance out of the Sidewinder and into an Adder fitted for cargo hauling helping you make more credits per hour on your way to bigger and better ships.

Elite Dangerous New Player Guide Part 1

This article is for the new commander in Elite Dangerous. We discuss how to advance your career from the starter Sidewinder to an Adder efficiently jumpstarting your trading career and increasing credits earned per hour!

Elite Dangerous New Player Trade Ship Progression

This article assumes you have completed the in-game starter tutorials and have a basic understanding of how to control a ship in flight including docking and un-docking and how to frame shift into a new system.

When I started playing Elite Dangerous I found the learning curve to be very high with little to no recent information available to help new players progress so I forged a path on my own making many basic assumptions, some were good and some were bad. This article series will detail my experience and method for progressing in Elite Dangerous as related to making in-game currency and ship progression.

I found after playing a few hours that getting into basic bounty hunting at a Nav beacon was the best course to take because it taught me the basics of how the ships fly, basic combat and made me some credits to move into a better ship quickly. The method I used will be detailed out over the course of this article step by step.

To bounty hunt effectively you only need one thing the stock Sidewinder does not come with a kill warrant scanner. I found the best way to get the credits to purchase this and learn more about the game at the same time was to do a few basic delivery mission from the bulletin board. I will describe how this system works from the assumption you are in the LHS 3447 system where you started the game however if you have moved to a different system you can still follow these steps but may need to make adjustment based on location.

To accept your first bulletin board mission open star port services when docked at a station then select bulletin board on the left side. Missions to look for when just starting out are simply delivery or courier types, you will want to stay away from missions that involve the transportation of illicit or stolen goods and mission that require you to hunt down someone for a kill as these can take a lot of time and have very negative results if you are not able to complete the mission correctly. Once you have accepted your first mission you can find it via the target menu “left console in the ship” under transactions, if you select the mission you just picked up you will see an option at the bottom to open the galaxy map once open this will show you the location on the map where you need to take the cargo to. Just select the location listed and plot a route, once plotted un-dock from the station and frame shift to the system and dock at the location named in the mission.

Elite Dangerous Bulletin Board

Once you have docked at your destination open star port services and select the bulletin board once open you will see your mission as a turn in at the top of the list, just click the mission and select give cargo at the bottom. You have now completed your first delivery mission and earned some credits, you can accept a new mission from the station you are at if they have something available or fly back to LHS 3447 and pick something up there but you will need to repeat this process a few times until you have about 20,000 credits to work with.

Now that you have earned about 20,000 credits it is time to go buy and equip the kill warrant scanner and get into some combat! The closest system to LHS 3447 that has the low rated kill warrant scanner at the time of this article is Cleve Hub in the ERAVATE system.

Open your galaxy map and plot a course to ERAVATE Cleve Hub and travel to the location, once you are docked open star port services and select Outfitting.

Elite Dangerous Galaxy Map

Elite Dangerous System Map

Once in Outfitting select hard points if not already selected and then choose your first utility mount, when you click on it a window will pop that gives you some options for this case we want to buy so select the buy and equip option. Once you have click that a new list will come up with a whole lot of different modules that can fit on that utility mount, for our purpose we just need a kill warrant scanner so click the drop down menu at the top and chose module type instead of the default price the scroll down the list to find an E0 kill warrant scanner. Select the scanner by clicking on it then chose the buy option, once you have purchased the kill warrant scanner you can close out of the Outfitting window.

Elite Dangerous Hard Point

Elite Dangerous Sorting Modules

Elite Dangerous E0 Kill Warrant Scanner

At this point you should see a pop up on screen that says you have new modules that need a fire group, to add this to a fire group so you can use it in combat open the system menu “right side console” in your ship and navigate over to the fire group section then highlight the kill warrant scanner under column one and click the menu select button until you see the circle blue and showing a 2 in the middle. This will set the kill warrant scanner to work on your fire group one but activate with your secondary fire button simplifying use.

Elite Dangerous Fire Group

You are now ready to get out and kill some pirates! 

It's time to head over to a Nav beacon to start making some credits and learning the game even more. Open your galaxy map and plot a route to LHS 3447, once you have plotted the route leave the station and frame shift into the system. Once you are in the LHS 3447 system back your power down to 0% and open the target menu “left console” then in the list of navigation points select the Nav beacon, this will be very near the top because the Nav beacons are always at the system star.

Elite Dangerous Target Pannel

Super cruise to the Nav beacon and frame shift the same way you would if you were going to a star port, once out of super cruise you will start to see a number of ships in the area, many of these will be security forces or other NPC bounty hunters and should never be attacked. I found the best way to work the Nav beacon areas is to move between the groups of NPC security forces and continue to watch the contacts screen “target menu – contacts” for new ships coming into the area.

To scan a ship for a wanted status at a Nav beacon you simply need to pull up near the target ship and keep them in your field of view, your basic ship scanner will scan them right away for a status. When the scan completes you will see in the lower left corner of your UI the ship, pilot name and wanted status.

If they are wanted you will see in bright red letters WANTED but before you just go shooting them use your kill warrant scanner on them so you pull up all of the bounties they have not just the local system bounties “the basic ship scan will tell you they are wanted in the local system you are in, the kill warrant scanner will pull up all additional bounties they have in other systems netting you a lot more credits”. To use your kill warrant scanner if you have followed along you will just need to keep them with in 2km distance and within your field of view in the cockpit while holding down your alt fire key bind. While scanning you should see a small blue progress bar come up in the right center of your screen denoting the time left for the scan to complete.

Elite Dangerous Kill Warrant Scanner Progress Bar

Once you have the full kill warrant scan you can open fire on them!

After your first kill open the target menu “left console” and navigate to transactions, on this tab you should now see a new transaction for a bounty claim with the location for turn in. If you see Empire, Alliance or Federation that will denote a major faction and can be turned in at any station in the solar system that is allied with them. If you see a faction specific name like Dynamic and CO LHS 3447 that is a smaller sub faction and must be turned in at a station in that system that Dynamic and CO controls.

To turn in your hard earned bounties simply fly to a station that you can turn the bounty in at based on the pervious information and dock, once docked open star port services then contacts. Once in contacts you will see local security office, simply select that contact and then at the bottom select the turn in all bounties option you will then be paid for all bounties that are relevant to that station.

Elite Dangerous Local Security Office

At this point you will just need to continue bounty hunting with this method until you have reached approximately 250,000 credits. While out hunting please take care to turn in frequently because if you are killed while you have active bounties you will lose them, they are tied into the ships computer.


When you reach 250,000 Credits please continue reading part two!