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MINING GUIDE – 3.9.x – Bo’s Collated Version

Credit, and thanks for much of this content goes to Black Sunder of TEST Squadron, Benjamin Danneberg, and the folks at Gallog.

I have made some edits, stylistic choices, and other additions/subtractions to make this guide more helpful to me. Each of the above resources goes far more in-depth than this version, and I highly suggest that you read them in addition to this one.


First Person Mining – (FPM)

Involves the player venturing into potentially hazardous areas, scanning, and getting up close to small rock deposits. These rocks, when fractured, yield valuable gemstones which can be sold at most stations and landing zones.

Three required items to FPM mine effectively

Be sure to equip these items using your Mobiglas before you set out.

  1. Pyro RYT Multi-Tool (~425 aUEC): A tool with attachments for mining, cutting through stubborn ship hulls, and impromptu self-defense.
  2. OreBit Mining Attachment (~340 aUEC): Multi-Tool attachment most relevant to this guide
  3. MacFlex “Rucksack” Core torso armor (~3,100 aUEC): Armor with extra storage for your gems, and other items.
    1. -38°C – 68°C safe temperatures
    2. 6 cSCU capacity
  4. Novikov armor (~10,330 aUEC) and Novikov Helmet (~5,050 aUEC): Double the storage for minables, and better suited for cold climates than the MacFlex “Rucksack” Core
    1. -225°C – 75°C safe temperatures
    2. 13 cSCU capacity.

Be mindful of different temperature conditions. The “Rucksack” can be worn in temperate environments and in space with no difficulty but will not protect the player against extreme heat or cold. For less temperate moons and planets, specialized armor – like the Novikov – is required.

Additional items you will want to equip:

Again, be sure to equip these items using your Mobiglas before you set out.

  1. CureLife Medpens (~50 aUEC): An essential item used to heal quickly from unexpected injuries – which are frequent when you’re just getting started
  2. CureLife Oxypens (~50 aUEC): Should be carried for long outdoor journeys. If you can’t breathe, you can’t mine
  3. Pink QuikFlare (~25 aUEC): Used to illuminate caves or other dark places. Helpful in caves as a trail-marker
  4. Vestal Water (~3 aUEC): You’ll need a cool drink to keep mining, or you’ll die
  5. Food (varies): While less important than water in-game, you’ll miss it when you need it most. Take a look at the link, and choose wisely. Foods have buffs/debuffs

What can be mined:

FPM rocks inside caves can be hard to spot, but are abundant in quantity. A colored vein running over its surface or small crystals extruding out will be the indicator that a rock can be mined by hand.

The color of the vein/crystals indicates the gems that can be extracted from the rock.

  • Hadanite – pink/light-purple.
  • Aphorite – darker purple.
  • Dolivine – green.

Where to mine:

FPM rocks can be found on the surface of planets, moons, inside caves, and even on some mineable asteroids. These types of resources can also be identified on the ship scanner by a diamond icon on the HUD.

Gems are listed in order of value (high to low) with Hadanite being the most valuable gem as of 3.9.1

How to FPM:

Diagram of Multi-Tool display info.
  1. Find a rock worth mining.
  2. Use your Multi-Tool with the “4” key.
  3. Right-click to switch to mining mode.
  4. Aim at the rock to begin a scan. (See above diagram
    • The left arrow points to the meter indicating the rock’s Energy Level.
    • The green-zone is the Energy Level you want to maintain, but not exceed.
    • Remaining battery power is the indicator to the left of Energy Input.
    • Energy Input is the amount of power the Multi-Tool is applying to the rock.
    • Resistance indicates how hard the rock is to crack.
    • Instability indicates how much the Energy Level will fluctuate.
    • Mass indicates the number of gems in the rock. (0.10 is 10 gems, 0.9 is 9 gems, etc)
    • Gem type indicates the type of gems in the rock.
  5. Left-click to activate the mining laser.
  6. Use your mouse wheel to control the Energy Input applied to the rock.
    • The green “Target” area will fill with bright green from right to left as the rock breaks.
    • Avoid going above the green “Target” area into the red, or bad things will happen.
    • If you end up in the red area, point your Multi-Tool away, or left-click to deactivate while the rock loses the excess energy.
    • When in doubt: RUN!
  7. Once the rock breaks, collect your gems and STOW them in your pack.

Caves also have “harvestables”:

While you’re down there, caves have a plethora of other items which can be collected, and then sold on the open market. Ranging from 40 aUEC down to 18 aUEC, collecting these items is a good way to supplement your income.

Emptying your pack:

Different armors can only store so much, but that doesn’t mean you need to stop when your pack is full! You can store your gems and harvestables within storage boxes, and place those boxes inside your ship so you can keep mining!

In order to store items within a storage box, the player must be within the physics grid of a ship (inside a ship). This is not the same as a cargo grid for a cargo-type ship (how the ship knows it’s holding cargo), however both grids are required to be used appropriately in order to store, and sell your items!

In order for these boxes to safely register as sellable on the ship via kiosk they must be hand placed, not dropped or thrown, and be inside a Prospector/Mole or on the cargo grid of a ship. Additionally, storage boxes can be stacked upon one another.

The Personal Inventory can be accessed by pressing ‘I’ on the keyboard. This will bring up a screen which shows all of the harvestables grouped together into their own tabs and the quantity of each.

Once the inventory HUD is brought up, the player may choose to drop some or store all of the backpack’s contents into a storage box.

Once the inventory HUD is brought up, the player may choose to store all of the backpack’s contents into a storage box.

How do I get paid?

Below are approximate sale prices, and locations for each gem you may collect on your mining excursions (3.9.1), but it is wise to check this great site (Gallog.co) for locations to sell your gems – and their current market value – before you set out.

  • Hadanite: ~275 aUEC – Port Olisar
  • Aphorite: ~150 aUEC – Port Olisar
  • Dolivine: ~130 aUEC – Port Olisar

Ship-Based Mining – (SBM)

Requires a ship (either a Prospector or Mole) to extract the bigger rocks. These ships have onboard lasers designed to fracture large rocks and then extract resources. For maximum results, it is key to exercise discretion on what is to be extracted – as the ship cannot discard less-valuable ore if you find the motherlode later in your journey!

Upgrades for your ship:

Mining heads/lasers:

As mentioned before, the stock lasers on the Prospector, and the MOLE should be upgraded ASAP to maximize your profits, and minimize the amount of frustration by having to leave a major ore deposit behind due to having inadequate tools-for-the-task!

Mining head/laser stats taken from in-game kiosk descriptions.

Despite the above chart, there is only one choice to be made: The Helix I for the Prospector, or the Helix II for the MOLE.

The Helix I (108,000 aUEC), and Helix II (also 108,000 aUEC) have the power, range, and selection of consumables to break even the largest rocks with ease. The price may seem steep, but these pay for themselves in as few as 2 runs.

Mining consumables:

Mining consumables offer a range of options with differing advantages and disadvantages, and can be equipped in the same way that weapon attachments are in the mobiGlas. Simply select the desired consumable to equip and save.

The majority of Consumables increase a ship’s signature and heat generation on activation making it easier for potential enemies to spot the wayward miner.

Consumables stats taken from in-game kiosk descriptions.
  • Optimal Charge Window Size – The percentage increase in the size of the Green Zone.
  • Heat Generation – The percentage the IR signature of the ship will increase or a time.
  • Signature Size – The percentage the ship’s overall signature will increase for a time.
  • Resistance – The value by which a rock’s resistance is lowered.
  • Instability – The value by which a rock’s instability is increased or lowered.
  • Charge Window Level – The percentage at which the Rock Energy Level is immediately increased or decreased.
  • Charge Window Rate – This modifies the rate at which the Fracture sensor fills up.
  • Shatter Damage – This modifier increases or decreases the damage caused by a fractured rock that has acquired energy in the Overcharge Sensor.
  • Catastrophic Charge Rate – This modifies how quickly the Overcharge Sensor fills up if the rock acquires any Overcharge.
  • Duration – The time, in seconds, which the consumable is active.
  • Charges – The maximum number of charges the consumable offers. Charges can not be refilled like ammunition at landing pads.

Where to mine:

Ship-Based Minables can be found almost anywhere in the ‘Verse as single-rocks, or in clusters. These rocks can be found in asteroid belts surrounding moons and rest stops, or they can be scattered across the surface of most planets and moons. Ship extractables are denoted by a rock icon on the HUD and can appear to be lighter in color than non-mineable rocks.

Asteroids:

Ore found in asteroids, listed in order of value (high to low) with Quantanium being the most valuable (volatile!) as of 3.9.1.

The Aaron Halo Asteroid Belt exists roughly between the orbits of Delemar and the CRU-L5 Rest Stop. To get to this belt, simply cross into this highlighted zone and shut down the ship’s quantum drive. The ship may need some time to slow down after powering off, but if done correctly the player will find a veritable treasure trove of rocks to mine.

Planets/Moons:

Ore found on planets/moons, listed in order of value (high to low) with Quantanium being the most valuable (volatile!) as of 3.9.1.

How to find rocks (scanning):

In asteroid fields:

  1. Approach the field carefully at a speed that allows you to stop quickly.
  2. Activate your scanner (Tab)
  3. Set the scope of your scan to 2x (mousewheel up or down) to scan only ahead.
    • 1x will scan all directions, but has less range.
    • Higher than 2x is good for homing in on an area you’ve found, but shrinks the field of view.
  4. Hold right-mouse-button to charge the scanner. Higher is better, but takes more time.
  5. Release right-mouse-button to scan.
  6. Look for cuboids to appear, and travel toward them.
  7. Adjust the scope of your scan as you approach the area to maximize the accuracy.
  8. Once you’re close enough (100m), you will see a blue rock icon appear on the rock which contains ore.
  9. Center the scanner’s circle over the rock and hold left-mouse button until useful data about the rock populates on the HUD,

On planets/moons:

  1. Fly low at 80-120 m/s over the ground.
  2. Activate your scanner (Tab)
  3. Set the scope of your scan to 2x (mousewheel up or down) to scan only ahead.
    • 1x will scan all directions, but has less range.
    • Higher than 2x is good for homing in on an area you’ve found, but shrinks the field of view.
  4. Hold right-mouse-button to charge the scanner. Higher is better, but takes more time.
  5. Release right-mouse-button to scan.
  6. Look for cuboids to appear, and travel toward them.
  7. Adjust the scope of your scan as you approach the area to maximize the accuracy.
  8. Once you’re close enough (100m), you will see a blue rock icon appear on the rock which contains ore.
  9. Center the scanner’s circle over the rock and hold left-mouse button until useful data about the rock populates on the HUD.

How to read the scanner’s results:

Useful data from scanning.
  • LEFT (Yellow): Mass, Instability, Power Transfer Resistance, and Optimal Power Window.
    • Mass – How ‘big’ a mineable rock is.
    • Instability- How volatile the rock is in relation to input energy. Higher instability rocks are harder to mine.
    • Power Transfer Resistance – How resistant the rock is to energy transferred.
    • Optimal Power Window – The ‘Green Zone’ Range for rock fracture.
  • CENTER (Green): Ship signature data – For when scanning other ships, not relevant for mining purposes.
  • RIGHT (Red): Contents – The names and percentages of the contents of the rock.
    • Name – The type of ore found in the rock.
    • Composition –
      • The number on the right is the percentage of the rock that is ore.
      • 39.93% of this rock is Tungsten.
    • The number on the left is the mineral concentration percentage.
      • 1.78% of that 39.93% is pure Tungsten

How to SBM:

The SBM Mining Interface:

  1. The Energy Transfer Graph – visually shows how the rock is reacting to input energy.
  2. Instability – How volatile the rock can be. High instability will require frequent and careful adjustments to the Laser Throttle to prevent overload. Resistance – A % of how much input energy the rock can immediately absorb without reacting.
    • (A) is the real time modified Instability and Resistance when one or more mining heads/consumables with modifiers to those attributes are being used on the rock.
    • (B) is the rock’s original Instability and Resistance.​
  3. Laser Throttle – The energy input into the rock. This is adjusted in 1/10 increments via the scroll wheel on the mouse.
  4. Rock Energy Level – The rock’s current energy level and where different reactions will occur.
    • The Blue Zone means it is not reacting at all.
    • The Green Zone is the sweet spot that enables fracturing.
    • The Red Zone is the danger zone and the rock will build Overcharge while in the red, which is discussed in #11.
  5. Rock Type – This classification varies between asteroids and surface rocks.
  6. The cursor – gives relative indication of the ship’s proximity to rock.
  7. Mode- Fracture or Extraction. The cursor will outline mineable rocks.
    • Orange means the rock needs to be fractured.
    • Purple means that the rock is ready for extraction.
  8. Mass & Composition – How large the rock is and its mineral concentrations.
  9. Cargo Capacity – How full the hold is and how much empty space is available.
  10. Fracturing Sensor – How close the rock is to breaking.
  11. Overcharge Sensor – Indicates how much excess energy is being dumped into the rock leading toward an explosive reaction.
    • If the rock is Overcharged then a % of the ore is lost even if a successful fracture occurs later. Repeated breaches into the Red Zone will result in a cumulative percentage loss of valued elements

Breaking the rock:

  1. Activate mining mode (M)
  2. Center the rock in your sights/reticle.
  3. Wait for the rock to be fully scanned.
  4. Toggle the laser. (Left mouse button – clicking again will deactivate)
  5. Increase power to the Laser Throttle (mousewheel) until the Rock Energy Level meter starts to rise.
  6. Find the “sweet spot” for Laser Throttle once the Rock Energy Level meter reads in the “green zone”.
    • It will take time to feel the appropriate power levels quickly, and accounting for instability is key.
    • If you overshoot the “green zone,” and the Rock Energy Level goes into the red:
      • Deactivate the laser, or aim the laser away from the rock until the beeping stops.
    • If you REALLY overshot, back your ship off as quickly as possible and hold your breath for impact.
  7. Keep the Rock Energy Level in the “green zone,” and wait for the rock to break.
  8. Repeat the scanning/breaking process on rocks with an orange outline.
  9. When you have found a rock with a purple outline, move ahead to “Ore Extraction” portion of this document below.

Ore Extraction:

The Mining Scanner is still available to get precise measurements of rock composition. Any rock can be extracted into the cargo hold so long as it is outlined in purple and there is cargo space available in the ship.

Fractured rocks have a variable percentage composition of what the original rock contained. Hover the cursor over each rock and inspect them for desired elements.

It is up to the miner to decide personal thresholds of what is good enough ol be taken and what will be left on the field. Once the cargo hold is full then it is time to head back to the closest landing zone to sell.

1 SCU is equal to a mass of 50. For example, a pure 100% Agricium rock with a mass of 200 will yield 4 SCU of Agricium.

  1. Click the right mouse button to enter Extraction Mode from Fracturing Mode.
  2. Activate the extraction process (click left mouse button).
  3. When a rock is fully extracted, the process will power off automatically and the rock outlined in purple will disappear.

Let’s talk about Quantanium:

It is important to note that Quantanium is a volatile substance which will eventually explode in your hold. Knowing what to do ahead of time is essential to your bottom line, and your survival.

Once extracted, Quantanium will degrade inside the ship’s ore storage limiting the amount of time it can be carried. Additionally, impacts to the hull, or landing hard will significantly increase the degradation and shorten the time it takes for the ore to explode.

In short, you’ve got about 25 minutes to reach (and store your ship at) a port that is willing to buy this precious resource. If you’re unable to make it to port in time, there is an option to save yourself, and your ship: JETTISON CARGO. (This can be done by pressing LALT+T).

Depending on the quantity of Quantanium present in the ship and current decay state, the final explosion may only destroy the saddle bags or the entire ship.

  • The degradation process is mainly denoted by a light on both the Prospector’s and Mole’s control panels which will light up and begin to flash along with an audio cue.
    • For ~15 minutes, the panel will begin to slowly flash a yellow light with a beeping sound.
    • For the next ~10 minutes, it will escalate to a frequently flashing red light and accompanying audio.
    • Once you’ve reached the red light, you’ve got ~3 minutes before your ship explodes.

How do I get paid?

Considerations:

Depending on several factors that need to be considered PRIOR to setting off on your mission, where you intend to sell the ore you’ve collected is also an important detail that needs to be taken into consideration.

  • Some locations are known for griefing (Port Olisar).
  • Others have quirks which require a partner to position the ship so that the terminals “see” your ship, and allow you to sell your ore (New Babbage).
  • Others may have a long trek from the spaceport to the kiosk (Lorville).

Locations:

All of the major landing zones currently purchase extracted ore, and the Refinery Terminals are always near an Administration desk. After selecting “sell”, and choosing your ship filled with ore, a listing of what percentage of each mineral (and the payment) will be displayed on the Refinery Terminal.

Prices:

Below are approximate sale prices for the ore you have mined (3.9.1), but it is wise to check this great site (Gallog.co) for your ore’s current market value, as prices may fluctuate.

Ore prices as of 3.9.1