The Complete TEST Squadron Mining Guide - V3.11

Black Sunder

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Table of Contents

*Denotes link to section
Introduction to Mining*

General Locations to Prospect

List of Minerals, Ores, & Gems
Minerals, Ores, & Gem Deposit Locations

First Person Mining*
FPM Tools & Accessories
Core Elements
Environmental Armor
Additional Items
FPM Gear Price Table
Fracturing and Extraction of Hand Mineables
The Multi-Tool interface
Fracturing the Rock
Picking up the Pieces & Personal Inventory
Selling Gems
Miscellaneous

Vehicle & Ship Mining Universals*
The General Scanner
Vehicle and Ship Mining Interfaces
The Mining Interface: Fracture Mode
The Mining Interface: Extraction/Collection Mode
Mining Heads
Mining Heads in Contrast
Mining Consumables
Mining Consumables in Contrast

Vehicle & Ship Based Mining*
Mining Vehicles & Ships
Transporting the R.O.C.
Mole Crew Communication & Roles
Fracturing & Extraction
Fracturing The Rock
The X Factor: Instability
A Word on Quantanium
Extraction, Volatile Cargo, ROC Inventory & Interaction
Extraction
Volatile Cargo
ROC Inventory & Interaction
Sharing Profits Made Easy
Strategies for Hard to Crack Rocks
Other Tips & Tricks

Links*

Final Thoughts

The TEST Mining Guide Supplement - Further discussion of Mining Mechanics and Mining Ship related topics.

Past TEST Mining Guide Versions:
3.10
3.10 Supplement
3.9
3.8
3.7.2
3.2-3.6 - Unable to find Part 2
 
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Black Sunder

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The Complete TEST Squadron Mining Guide - V3.11

This Guide is intended to help members of TEST Squadron gain a full understanding of mining gameplay as it currently exists. It contains information taken from the game, gained through personal experiences, or read about from direct sources and is presented in a way that assumes the game and servers are working correctly. While this Guide will contain advice and recommended actions it is not a Zero-to-Hero Mining Guide.

This Guide will be updated with any new information as the game develops and new mechanics are introduced. A Supplement to this Guide which goes into further detail on some topics can be found here.

Introduction to Mining

Mining, in its most simplistic form, is the acquisition of resources. Those resources and their derivative products form the foundation of the economy in the game. There are three types of mining in Star Citizen: First Person Mining(FPM), Vehicle-Based Mining(VBM), and Ship-Based Mining(SBM). Each has its own pros, cons, and differing entry costs.

First Person Mining(FPM) typically involves the player venturing into potentially hazardous areas, searching, scanning, and getting up close to small ore deposits. These rocks, when fractured, yield valuable gemstones which can be sold at most stations and landing zones. It has the lowest barrier to entry, requiring only a few items and a ship. FPM appeals to players looking to explore subsurface caves while having a consistent and personal mining experience.

Vehicle-Based Mining(VBM) customarily has the player scout for medium ore deposits on the surface on moons and planets. VBM stands as a midpoint between FPM and Ship-Based Mining(SBM), taking features from both. VBM requires more up front investment than FPM but will return a superior profit. In addition to the Greycat Remote Ore Collector(R.O.C.) itself, a ship large enough to carry the ROC is recommended to transport it back to a landing zone, station, or Mining Outpost to sell the cargo. Patience will be required to find the appropriate deposits. VBM will appeal to players looking to explore new possibilities in Mining. Solo players gain a solid stepping stone for generating increased profit while groups will welcome the opportunity to add additional Logistics into any planned operations.

Ship-Based Mining(SBM) requires either a Prospector or Mole mining vessel to mine the largest rocks. SBM has the greatest potential for profit, but requires the most patience when searching for those valuable deposits. The miner must exercise discretion and set personal limits on what is to be extracted. These ships can’t just drop their cargo on a whim and start fresh as a player can for FPM or VBM. Not yet anyway. SBM will appeal to both solo players and groups with every trip having the potential to strike it rich or come back with little to show for it.

General Locations to Prospect

Hand Mineables can be found on the surface of planets, moons, and inside caves. This resource can be identified by a diamond icon on the HUD. Small hand mineables are most abundantly found inside caves and can be hard to spot. On planets/moons, these deposits are rarely found as the player must be in very close proximity to detect them. When looking to see if a rock is a Hand Mineable, check to see if it has a colored vein running over its surface or small crystals extruding out.



Larger gem deposits suitable for vehicle mining can be found on moon and planet surfaces. These deposits contain the same gems as their smaller cousins and have the same diamond icon making them difficult to distinguish from one another at a distance. The way to tell the two apart is the vastly increased size and mass for vehicle mineables. These deposits will also have the same colored veins running across the surface and can be detected much further away than hand mineables.

Ship-based mineables can be found almost anywhere in the ‘Verse as single rocks or in clusters. In space, look for asteroid belts around moons and Rest Stops. On the surface of most planets and moons start by looking around existing Points of Interest such as Mining Outposts and Aid Shelters. The rocks will be scattered randomly across the whole surface of the planetoid. Ship mineables are denoted by a rock icon on the HUD and can appear lighter in color than non-mineable rocks.

Of special note is a system-wide asteroid belt that exists roughly just outside the orbit of Delemar and inside the orbit of the CRU-L5 Rest Stop. This is the Aaron Halo Asteroid Belt as denoted on the Star Map from RSI’s website. 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. Note the red arrow: The displayed Asteroid Belt is incorrectly placed and will not yield any results. Stick to the highlighted area in order to access the Aaron Halo Belt.



List of Minerals, Ores, and Gems



When using a Prospector or Mole Quantanium, Bexalite, Borase, Taranite, Laranite, and Agricium are Primary and should always be the player’s Primary target. The more mass and higher concentration the better. All other minerals/ores should be considered Secondary. While it is up to the player to determine their own thresholds for what is acceptable to extract, concentrations of <50% on non-Quantanium with Inert Material should be discarded while those with good Secondary minerals/ores should be considered for extraction if they contain high enough concentrations.

Hadanite should be Primary for both vehicle and personal mining. But, because the player can create storage boxes after inventory is filled up, there is no reason to not mine all gem deposits that the player may find.

Minerals, Ores, & Gem Deposit Locations

Star Citizen has become so large now that the most effective way to keep track of the various minerals, ores, and gems is not through surveying its celestial bodies but to extract the data from the game files. Someone has done just this and created a site called sc-trade.tools. The site mainly focuses on trade routes and commodities but recently a Mining section has been added. It allows a player to use various filters to single out locations for their resources. However, even knowing that a resource can be found there will not save the player from the often laborious exploration process of scanning down various deposits to find those resources. The site itself is very intuitive and both new and old players alike should have no problems using it.
 
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First Person Mining

First Person Mining gives new players an excellent introductory course in the core mechanics of Mining and inventory management. FPM requires the least up-front investment, compared to vehicle or ship mining, only requiring a few basic tools and accessories. As stated previously, FPM gems are most abundantly found in caves which can either be found as a Point of Interest or by various rescue missions in the mobiGlas if the player has the appropriate reputation. These gem deposits can be found on moon surfaces, but the player must be in close proximity(~400m) to even detect them with a vehicle or ship. FPM will teach skills and techniques that the player will use from here on out if a career in Mining is pursued further.

FPM Tools & Accessories

Core Elements


There are three core tools needed to get started with FPM. The first item is the Pyro RYT Multi-Tool. The second is an attachment to the Multi-Tool called the OreBit Mining Attachment. Finally a MacFlex “Rucksack” Core torso armor is needed to store the gems. All of these items can be found at the major landing zones or on orbital station Cargo Decks with the exception of Port Olisar which does not have the Multi-Tool or OreBit Attachment. The player must be mindful of what armor should be worn for different temperature conditions. The Rucksack can be worn in temperate environments with no difficulty but will not protect the player against extreme heat or cold. For those moons and planets, specialized environmental armor is required.


*The Inmate Worksuit can only be obtained and worn by criminals in the Klescher Rehabilitation Facility and has an inventory of 58 units.

Environmental Armor


On planets and moons with extreme hot or cold temperatures, extra care must be taken to ensure survival. This takes the form of Caldera’s specialized Novikov(yellow) and Pembroke(maroon) environmental armors. The Novikov should be worn in frigid environments such as the planet microTech and can comfortably withstand temperatures ranging from -225° / 75° C. The Pembroke on the other hand is meant for scorching hot surfaces like those found on the Arial moon and can navigate temperatures ranging from -75° / 225° C. The main body of the armor is equipped like an undersuit but the helmets are equipped normally.


*The Novikov “Expo” Armor from the CitizenCon 2949 Digital Goodies Pack is identical in function to the regular Novikov Armor.

Additional Items


Optionally, a player can buy and equip a pink QuikFlare, which can be used to illuminate caves or other dark places. This flare can be turned on and then carried in hand, dropped on the ground, picked up again, or carried on-person providing extra illumination in addition to the helmet mounted flashlight. Additionally, CureLife Oxypens can be carried for long outdoor journeys to inject lifesaving oxygen if the player runs low. Finally, CureLife Medpens are an essential item to carry in order to heal quickly from unexpected injuries.



FPM Gear Price Table



Fracturing and Extraction of Hand Mineables

The Multi-Tool interface


Once a hand mineable is found, press the ‘4’ key to bring out the Multi-Tool. If a QuikFlare is also equipped then‘4’ must be pressed twice to bring out the Multi-Tool. RMB will bring up the Multi-Tool’s interface. The interface is a simplified version of the one that vehicles and ships use in Mining Mode. It is divided into three main sections. Upon getting within half a meter of a rock, the Multi-Tool will begin to scan it and after a complete scan, will show the rock data.


  1. Rock Energy Level - Shows how the rock is reacting to the input energy from the Multi-tool.
  2. Integrated Fracturing Meter/Green Zone - When the Rock Energy Level has vertically reached the Green Zone, the Integrated Fracture Meter will then move horizontally from right to left within the Green Zone to indicate fracture progress.
  3. Multi-Tool Battery Power - In the future the Multi-Tool will require its battery to be changed when it is depleted.
  4. Laser Throttle - The energy input level. All of the Mining Laser Power Factors(see below) that affect vehicle and ship mining are applicable to hand mining.
  5. Multi-Tool Aiming Sights
  6. Multi-Tool Status - The tool will either be Scanning or Charging a rock.
  7. Hardness - The ‘Resistance’ of the rock.
  8. Instability - How wildly the Rock Energy Level will fluctuate.
  9. Mass/Gem Count - The Mass of the rock as well as the number of gems that will break out upon a successful fracture. 0.10 means ten gems will spawn. 0.09 means nine and so forth.
  10. Rock Type - Indicates what type of gem is within.
Fracturing the Rock

First, find a comfortable distance from the rock, not to exceed 0.5m(the range of the Multi-Tool). Crouching down to get close enough may be necessary. Once a good distance has been established turn the Multi-Tool on. Clicking LMB will turn the laser on and off and. Keep this in mind. Start increasing power to the Laser Throttle via the scroll wheel on the mouse until the Rock Energy Level meter moves into the Green Zone. One can usually go maximum power to begin with and then adjust down from there, but for new players it is recommended to start slow. During fracturing, distance adjustment may be necessary to mitigate laser energy loss or possible damage to the player.

Once the Green Zone has been attained, immediately start dialing the Laser Throttle back to maintain the Rock Energy Level in this zone. The Integrated Fracturing Meter will begin to fill up from right to left as a green bar. If the player is successful at filling this up, the rock will fracture and it’s gems can be collected. Keep the Rock Energy level as low in the Green Zone as possible to minimize the scattering of gems once the rock is fractured. If the Red Zone is breached, immediately decrease power, turn the laser away from the rock, or cut power all-together and restart again after the overcharge energy has bled off completely. Keep in mind that going into the Red Zone increases the explosive potential of the rock and could easily kill the player. At this time, breaching the red zone does not seem to have the same cumulative damage effect to the contents as it does with ship mineable rocks.

Picking up the Pieces & Personal Inventory

Once a successful fracture occurs, gems can be collected. There are three ways to collect the gems by hand. The first method is to put the Multi-Tool away by holding ‘R’ and then double tapping the ‘F’ key. The second method is to stop aiming down the sights of the Multi-Tool with RMB and double tap ‘F’ to collect by hand. Finally, interaction mode can be utilized to bring up options related to the gem. The Rucksack, when empty, can hold 52 gems while the Inmake Worksuit can hold 58. The Novikov and Pembroke armors can each carry up to 146.



The Personal Inventory UI can be accessed by pressing ‘I’ on the keyboard. This will bring up a new UI interface which shows all of the player’s carried inventory. Depending on the armor components used, inventory may be spread across backpack, chest, and leg storage. The picture below was taken using the Pembroke Armor which only has backpack and chest storage.



If the same item is split across different armor locations, such as chest and leg, it can be combined by dragging and dropping the icons on top of one another as long as that armor area has enough space. Right clicking on an inventory item will bring up a contextual menu with several items with different items having different options available.
  1. Item Name - Name of the item. In this example, Dolivine
  2. Drop Item - Drops a single item from the inventory to the ground. The action will not complete until the player exits the Inventory UI. It is most useful for dropping food or water to friends.
  3. Split - Can split a stack of items. Choose the number to be split by using the arrow markers on each side of the number and then click the word ‘Split’ to complete the action.
  4. Store All Commodities - This will empty and store the entirety of the player’s current inventory into a box. This includes food and drink.
Using the Store All Commodities Option to store inventory can extend a player’s inventory by wiping it clean and putting it all in a box. The UI will ask for confirmation before storing or dropping the items. In order to store items into a storage box, the player must be within the physics grid of a ship. This is not the same as a cargo grid which is used to buy and sell other commodities.



For these boxes to safely register on the kiosk they should be hand placed, not dropped or thrown. Boxes can also be stacked atop one another if space is limited. Additionally, boxes can only be sold from either a Prospector/Mole or from a ship with a cargo grid. Ships without a cargo grid, such as the Terrapin, can not be used to sell gems. The exact location of the box inside the ship with a cargo grid does not matter, only that the ship has one.



Selling Gems

All of the major Landing Zones, Rest Stops, and Mining Outposts can purchase gems. The terminals may vary in appearance but can always be found within an Administration Office or inside the Storage building at a Mining Outpost. Go up to the kiosk and either select the ship carrying the boxes or personal inventory. A listing of what is contained in each will appear and can be selected for selling.


Pictures taken from a terminal at a Mining Outpost. Selling from the ROC is described further down.

Miscellaneous

Multi-Tool Scan Help -
Inside caves it can sometimes be very difficult to spot potential rocks that can be mined. To aid in this pull out the Multi-Tool and aim down sights before looking around at potential places where a rock may hide. Even from a distance the Multi-Tool is able to detect mineable rocks and bring them to the player’s attention.

Food and Drink -
Staying hydrated and eating food is essential. Keep a couple of water bottles and MREs (Meal Ready to Eat) on hand at all times, especially if a long operation is planned. If possible, keep a stash of food and drink in a separate torso armor to be swapped in as needed to get supplies out of. Going without food and drink for long periods of time will lead to the player character experiencing degrading effects such as loss of stamina and even blurred vision before death.
 
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Vehicle & Ship Mining Universals

The General Scanner



The scanning system is accessed using the ‘Tab’ Key. Upon entering Scan mode, the flight/driving interface completely disappears, so be aware of current velocity and heading. The scanner can also be overclocked in the Power MFD’s Items Tab to provide a bit more range and faster cooldown. Press and hold the RMB to charge the scanner and upon getting to 100%, release the RMB. A blue wave effect(a ping) will emanate from the ship and spread outwards, looking for contacts. Any mineable rocks within range should show up in a large blue box and in the center have a distance to the deposit. This effect is short lived and may require additional pings to narrow the exact location down. The scanner can be tuned to scan sharper angles(horizontal arrow) with the scan cone represented by the diagonal arrow

This narrowing of the scan field will increase the scanner’s effective range but decrease the scanned area around the ship. This is most useful where omnidirectional scanning is not necessary. However, there does not seem to be any benefit to go beyond 16x at this time. 2x and 4x should be the go-to options as striking the best balance between coverage and range. Upon moving in for a closer examination, usually within ~1900m, a rock will appear on the HUD if it can be mined by a Prospector or Mole. ROC mineables should appear as a diamond icon on the HUD at around ~230m and hand mineables at ~50m. After getting close enough, an outline will appear around the rock and an animation will play on the scanner telling the player that it can be scanned in more depth. While still in scan mode, hold LMB while the cursor is over the rock to scan the contents within. This will display the relevant data on the rock.



The scanner will then display a number of items. Most of which are also available automatically through the ‘Mining Mode’ detailed below in this guide. However, for getting a quick glance to determine worth, this works best.
  1. Left: General Information - 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 - A % of how much input energy the rock can immediately absorb without reacting.
    • Optimal Power Window - The ‘Green Zone’ range for rock fracture.
  2. Centered: Ship Signature Data - For when scanning other ships, not relevant for mining purposes.
  3. Right: Contents - The names and percentages of the contents of the rock.
For Contents, the scanner will break the minerals down into two percentages. The left hand number (A) is the mineral concentration and the right hand number (B) is how much of the rock that mineral is present in. To illustrate using the picture below, Borase is present in 26.75% (B) of the rock at a concentration of 12.12% (A) while Corundum is present within 73.25% of the rock at a concentration of 33.18%.



There are some drawbacks that come with using the ship’s scanner. First of all, it does consume power, and charging it increases the ship’s signature. Secondly, charging to less than 100% can lead to shortened scan range, although it will also mean a shorter cool down as well. Lastly, a ping will also dramatically increase the ship’s signature on radar to anyone nearby which may attract unwanted attention.

Mole Specific Scanning

All 3 Laser Operators and Pilot, when scanning, should see each other’s pings and returns. Ideally, the two side operators will be scanning to either side of the ship as it moves along and the forward operator will be cooperating with the Pilot in checking distance to target and prioritizing what to mine.

Vehicle & Ship Mining Interfaces

The Mining Interface is pulled up using the ‘M’ key on mouse & keyboard and presents an entirely new UI to the player. This also activates and extends the Mining Laser forward on the ROC and Prospector. A player in a Mole’s cab will need to power it on to see the interface. It is the same as the Prospector’s. Note that the last interface used will be the one which is presented to the player the next time the mining laser is needed.

The Mining Interface: Fracture Mode

The UI for Fracture Mode is the same for the ROC, Prospector, and Mole. The only difference is the color of the UI. It is divided into three main areas. Starting from the left:


  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 - Acts as a pointer indicating where the Mining Laser will hit and allows the ship to bring up relevant data on the targeted rock.
  7. Mode - The Current Mode: Fracture or Extraction/Collection. In this case, Fracture Mode.
  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 - Tells how close the rock is to splitting apart. When it reaches 100% it will fracture into smaller rocks which can either be fractured further or extracted. The Fracture Sensor % will decay quickly if the Rock Energy Level slips into the Blue Zone. The Fracturing Sensor will continue to charge even if the Overcharge Sensor begins to gain power.
  11. Overcharge Sensor - Indicates how much excess energy is being dumped into the rock leading toward an explosive reaction. The Overcharge Sensor in contrast to the Fracturing Sensor bleeds off energy at a slower rate. Even if a rock is successfully fractured, but has acquired any overcharge, the fragments will be more inclined to fly away (potentially violently) from each other. 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.
The Mining Interface: Extraction/Collection Mode

The UI for Extraction/Collection mode is different between the Prospector/Mole and the ROC but not by much.



The Prospector/Mole:
  1. Rock Type - This classification varies between asteroids and surface rocks.
  2. The Cursor - Acts as a pointer indicating where the Mining Laser will hit and allows the ship to bring up relevant data on highlighted rock.
  3. Extraction Throughput - How much mineral/ore(in SCU) is being extracted per second.
  4. Mode - The Current Mode: Fracture or Extraction/Collection. In this case, Extraction Mode.
  5. Mass & Composition - How ‘large’ the rock is and its mineral concentrations.
  6. Cargo Capacity - How full the hold is and how much empty space is available.
The Greycat ROC:
  1. Inertia Graph - Visually shows how much force the extractor exerts to collect gems.
  2. Collection Force - How much ‘pull’ is exerted by the collection mechanism. This is automatic and requires no input from the player.
  3. Mode - The Current Mode: Fracture or Extraction/Collection. In this case, Collection Mode.
  4. The Cursor - Acts as a pointer indicating where the collection beams will hit.
  5. Gem Type - What gem is currently being highlighted by the Cursor.
  6. Cargo Capacity - How full the hold is and how much empty space is available.
 
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Mining Laser Power Factors

Aside from a Mining Head’s stated Power Transfer(see Mining Heads below), there are four major factors that can aid or hinder a laser’s energy input into the rock and its overall effectiveness in fracturing it:
  1. Laser Throttle % - The throttle is the most important contributor to the mining process and is the one the player can control most immediately and effectively. The more energy applied, the more likely the rock will fracture, assuming the fracture meter was kept in the Green Zone. This is the easiest piece to judge because there is immediate feedback when looking at the Rock Energy Level. Rocks generally require a lot of input from the laser to begin the fracturing process, however, once the Rock Energy Level is in the Green Zone, much less input energy is required to maintain the Green Zone. Monitor and adjust the input as needed for a successful fracture.
  2. Distance - Distance from the rock is the second most important factor as well as the second easiest to adjust. The further away from the rock the ship is, the less energy the laser will transfer to the rock. When the Mining Head is at an optimal distance from the rock, minimal energy is lost. If the Mining Head is too far away the laser will struggle to make any impact on the rock. The optimal distance can be determined by the HUD showing distance to target. If this is not available then filling up the circular display on the HUD in mining mode should be sufficient. As a reminder, if a vehicle/ship is too close, the rock may cause damage upon fracture, especially if it has acquired Overcharge.
  3. Resistance - The resistance of a rock is the percentage of energy that it can absorb without causing a reaction. More power is needed on higher resistance rocks and vice versa on lower resistances. High resistance rocks may require a different Mining Head or the addition of a Consumable to successfully fracture. Resistance can also be a good indicator in judging optimal distance.
  4. Mass - Rocks vary in mass greatly.The greater the mass, the more energy will be needed to begin a reaction for fracture. This also means with an increase in mass, the rate at which Rock Energy Level increases is proportionately affected, unless they have a high Instability factor.
Mining Heads

Each Mining Head, apart from the stock Arbor, gives certain advantages and disadvantages to mining capability. Some Mining Heads don’t have the power to crack rocks above a certain mass and resistance necessitating an upgrade or use of a Consumable. Two or miners working in conjunction on the same rock allows for anything to be broken down into smaller chunks. At this time the only difference between a Size 1 and Size 2 mining head is the range. Mining Heads must be equipped to a ship prior to spawning it. Hot-Swapping is no longer allowed.

Note:
There are no other other Size 0 mining heads in the game at this time for the ROC except its default Arbor. Entries within the game files suggest there may be other Size 0 heads in the future but they are not yet implemented for purchase. If/when they are this chart will be updated.


*All stats taken from ingame kiosk descriptions.
  1. Optimal Range - The range at which the laser operates efficiently at with little loss of power.
  2. Maximum Range - The maximum range of the laser.
  3. Optimal Charge Window Size - The percentage increase in the size of the Green Zone.
  4. Resistance - This modifier lowers the target rock’s resistance by a set percentage.
  5. Instability - This value modifies the rock’s instability rating. Negative percentages decrease the rock’s instability. The more positive the number is, the more unstable the rock will be.
  6. Power Transfer - The maximum amount of power available to transfer to the target rock.
  7. Optimal Charge Rate - This percentage denotes how much faster the Fracturing Sensor will fill up.
  8. Catastrophic Charge Rate - This value denotes how much faster the Overcharge Sensor will fill leading to an explosion.
  9. All Charge Rates - This accounts for both Optimal Charge(Fracturing Sensor) and Catastrophic Charge(Overcharge Sensor) rates.
  10. Throttle Responsiveness Delay - How much slower the Laser Throttle will respond to input increases or decreases.
  11. Shatter Damage - Increases the amount of damage dealt on an overcharged fracture or explosion.
  12. Extraction Throughput - How much SCU/s will be extracted in Extraction Mode.
  13. Consumable Slots - The number of slots available to add Mining Consumables.
Mining Heads which offer the same type of advantages or disadvantages, when used in concert, do not compound, but divide linearly. For example, two lasers both cut instability by 50%. If the rock has an instability of 1.00 then the first laser hitting it will reduce that to an instability of 0.50. The second laser is then applied further reducing that by 50% to 0.25. If the lasers had an additive effect then the Instability would have been reduced by 100% but this is not the case in the game. This system creates diminishing returns for each subsequent laser used on the same rock.

Mining Heads in Contrast

As stated previously, the stock mining head that comes with the Prospector and Mole is the Arbor. The Arbor gives no benefits to the mining process and should be upgraded as soon as possible. Its main drawbacks are: lack of power; and no instability dampening. The Lancet has less power than the Arbor but makes up for this by drastically decreasing a rock’s resistance while dampening its instability. The drawback to the Lancet is that it lowers all charge rates by 30%, making the mining process take longer. The Hofstede is a significant upgrade from the Arbor. It not only has more power, but cuts instability in half, allowing a miner to tackle rocks containing more valuable resources. The downside is that this laser has the least range of all the Mining Heads. The Klein and Impact mining heads offer a mixed bag. The Klein is good for large mass, stable rocks, but is unsuitable for much anything else due to its instability modifier. The Impact offers more power and a faster fracture time, while not raising the instability of the rock too much. However, if the Red Zone is breached, the miner should be prepared to cut power and back off immediately.

The Helix is above and beyond the best Mining Head available in the game. First of all, it has the greatest range of all the lasers while also enlarging the Green Zone of a rock making fracturing easier and safer. This Mining Head also decreases both a rock’s resistance and cuts its instability in half. Like the Impact, it projects immense power and shortens fracture time. The disadvantage to this power is that the Laser Throttle is harder to control due to a delay. Additionally, if the rock does explode there is a much higher chance of death due to the staggering shatter damage increase. Even with this, there is little reason to use any other Mining Head over the Helix once it is acquired.

Mining Consumables

Mining Consumables add a unique layer of support for the aspiring master miner. They are equipped the same way weapon attachments are done in the mobiGlas and like Mining Heads must be equipped before the ship is spawned. While they can not be equipped on a pad, they can be equipped if the ship is stored. This also means that to equip new Consumables the ship must be claimed. As with Mining Heads, Mining Consumables offer a range of options with differing advantages and disadvantages. 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. As with Mining Heads, Consumables when used in combination to augment existing buffs, do not compound, but divide linearly creating diminishing returns. This also applies to any additional Consumables from other Mining Heads hitting the same rock. Like Mining Heads, certain Consumables will see more widespread adoption than others.

Once a Mining Consumable has used up its charges it will automatically be discarded. Consumables are not automatically replaced and must be slotted into the Mining Head through the mobiGlas.To quickly use a Consumable press LALT + 1, 2, or 3. These correspond to the order in which the Consumables are arranged in the mobiGlass. Consumables will overwrite each other when activated from the same Mining Head, ending the previous one’s effect immediately. Consumables with a set duration will continue to count down if the laser is turned off.

Note: Mining Consumables can only be equipped to Size 1 and Size 2 Mining Heads.


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

Beginning with the Brandt, this Consumable can be situational due to its drawback of decreasing the Charge Window Rate. It is excellent for helping tame highly unstable rocks but with only three charges and the increase to fracture time, it may be best when used in combination with a 2nd laser. Forel is also situational in that it can help lower power Mining heads make headway on more massive rocks but having a Helix will allow for the mining of all rocks in the game at this time. It’s 20% increase to instability is a downside that relegates this Consumable to being used mainly on stable, large mass, and high resistance rocks. Lifeline is fairly useless for a couple reasons. Firstly, shatter damage can be negated by upgrading the ship’s shield and/or by creating enough distance from the target. Secondly, even a novice miner that begins to overcharge the rock would already be backing away, cutting power, and letting the Overcharge bleed off before restarting.

Optimum is the best consumable available. While it is the most expensive, it will easily pay for itself many times over by enlarging the narrow Green Zone on Quantanium rocks. This consumable synergizes with the Helix Mining Head allowing even the toughest rocks to be broken down safely. The Rime, like the Lifeline, is fairly useless for the same reasons but can instantly reduce a Rock’s Energy Level by 50% if a rock begins to overcharge. The Stampede is best used in support of a 2nd laser. Provided the Rock Energy Level is in the Green Zone, the Stampede will ensure the Fracture Sensor quickly rises resulting in faster mining times. The Surge Consumable is most useful with lower powered Mining Heads against large mass rocks with high resistance factors. It will instantly inject enough energy to raise the Rock Energy Level 30%. Two Mining Heads activating a Surge together will raise the Rock Energy Level to 60%. There is a small cooldown on the Surge before another Surge can be activated. This Consumable will help lower power Mining Heads get to the required level for fracture. The Torpid Consumable like the Forel is situational. Its Resistance Modifier is the same as the Forel’s and it also increases the time to fracture.
 
Last edited:

Black Sunder

Rock Raiders
Officer
Jun 19, 2014
8,097
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3,045
RSI Handle
Black_Sunder
Vehicle & Ship Based Mining

Mining Vehicles & Ships




The Greycat Remote Ore Collector(R.O.C.) is purpose built to mine medium surface gem deposits. The vehicle is quite rugged but can be prone to tipping if it hits an obstacle due to its high ground clearance. It can be bought for 172,000 aUEC. It is operated by a single player and is roughly the size of a Cyclone meaning it can comfortably be transported by a Cutlass Black or similar ship. The ROC comes equipped with a single Size 0 Mining Laser and has 0.8 SCU of onboard storage. As with all vehicles and ships, the ROC can be upgraded with different Size 0 components although selection is very limited at this time. There is a slot for a shield generator but it is locked out and it is unknown if this will be a feature in the future. The only real drawback to the vehicle is its lack of an enclosed climate controlled cabin. Outside of temperate zones, players will need to equip environmental armor to survive in harsh environments.



The MISC Prospector is the starter for ship mining gameplay. This ship can be rent(link goes to Rental Prospector Overview) or bought ingame for 2,061,000 aUEC. It is a small, but rugged ship capable of mining large boulders or asteroids and is meant for the solo miner. For defense, it comes with a Size 1 shield generator and a pair of S1 distortion repeaters, but is not meant for combat. For extracting precious minerals/ores, it carries a basic S1 mining laser and 32 SCU for extracted ore storage. Later on, additional functionality will be added, such as detachable saddlebags and a filter system. The ship handles poorly compared to other ships of its size and does not slow down easily. Fly carefully to avoid any unfortunate accidents. Aside from this, the first order of business should be to upgrade the Mining Head as soon as possible to tackle bigger and better rocks.



The Argo Multi-Operator Laser Extractor(M.O.L.E) is the second ship added to the game for Mining and the first that presents a true multi-crew mining experience for a small group of friends looking to work together and tackle harder challenges. This ship can be purchased for 5,130,500 aUEC. The crew complement is nominally 4(Pilot and 3 Laser Operators), though a 5th crewman could be utilized as a Co-Pilot if desired. For defense, it comes with a pair of Size 2 shield generators and two S2 laser repeaters. For mining the Mole comes with three S2 Arbor mining lasers. The Mole can hold 96 SCU worth of minerals and ore and like the Prospector, will eventually have detachable saddlebags and a filter system. The Mole is larger than the Prospector, but better despite its size. Hydrogen fuel should be monitored closely as the forward retro thrusters consume an inordinate amount of fuel. Similar to how the Prospector should upgrade its Mining Head, so should the Mole as soon as possible.

Transporting the R.O.C.

As a vehicle, the vast majority of what the ROC can mine is well and truly away from a convenient vehicle spawn pad. For the solo player, a Cutlass Black is ideal as a carrier. Driven in backwards, the vehicle fits well against the turret operator’s well wall allowing the player room to exit the ROC and go back and forth from the exit ramp and cockpit. A Freelancer can also be used albeit with great difficulty as the ROC will barely fit with no room for error. A better ship would be the Freelancer MAX or the Valkyrie with their extra-wide cargo bays. Other suitable ships are the Carrack which can hold several ROCs and the Starfarer with its large ramp and cargo bay enabling it to hold half a dozen of the vehicle.

Mole Crew Communication & Roles

Mole crews face different challenges than a group of Prospectors. Communication, first and foremost, is the key to a good mining experience on the Mole. Mole crews must be in constant communication with each other but not so much that it drowns out valuable directional, mining, or hazardous advisory information. It is best early on for Mole crew to adopt a mindset that the ship is meant for work and profit first and foremost when it is in its element trawling asteroid fields or floating across a moon looking for riches.

Pilot - The Pilot is in overall command of the operation and later is tasked with splitting profits once the cargo has been sold. Additional responsibilities include:
  1. Maneuvering the ship into the most optimal position.
  2. Monitoring surrounding space for threats.
  3. Adjusting power flow, monitor shield integrity, keep watch of fuel reserves.
  4. Communicate with the Foreman what rocks should be mined or avoided.
  5. Maneuver the ship away in case of rock overcharge.
Front Laser Operator(Foreman) - The Foreman is the front center laser operator and is in charge of the two side mining stations. The Foreman must have a good knowledge of Mining, not only for training new crewmen but to direct energy flow from multiple mining heads onto one rock for fracture if the need arises. Additional responsibilities include:
  1. Communicating to the Pilot optimal distance, position, angle.
  2. Communicating the Abort signal to the Pilot.
  3. Help train inexperienced miners on what to look out for and efficient laser operation.
  4. Monitoring fractures by the Lancers and extractions
Side Cab Operators(Lancers L1(left) & L2(right)) - The Lancers are usually subordinate to the Foreman when tough rocks need cracking. When this is not the case they operate semi-independently, fracturing rocks into smaller extractable ones, and communicating to the Pilot and Foreman what has been found before extracting them into the cargo hold. Novice Lancers should have the Foreman watching their work so they do not accidentally overcharge the rock.

Co-Pilot(Optional) - In rare circumstances a Co-Pilot may be wanted. Perhaps the crew just want an extra person along to talk to or there is a rotation of miners so more people can gain experience on that mining run. Maybe the Mole is headed to a cave and an extra person could help out. Usually the Foreman will fulfill this role if the ship is not actively seeking rocks to mine. Whatever the case, the Co-Pilot is strictly optional.

Fracturing & Extraction

Fracturing The Rock

After entering Fracture Mode, find an optimal distance to the target, wait for the rock to be fully scanned, and then turn on the laser using the LMB. Clicking LMB again will immediately turn the laser off. KEEP THIS IN MIND. Increase power to the Laser Throttle via the scroll wheel on the mouse until the Rock Energy Level meter starts to rise and then enters the Green Zone. During fracturing, distance adjustment may be necessary to mitigate laser energy loss or possible damage to the vehicle or ship.

As the Rock Energy level approaches the Green Zone, start dialing the Laser Throttle back to ease into and maintain this sweet spot. From here carefully adjust the Laser Throttle or distance as needed to maintain the Rock Energy level in the Green Zone. If the Red Zone is breached, immediately decrease power, turn the laser away from the rock, or cut power all-together before restarting. The Prospector and Mole can equip the Brandt and Optimum Consumables to aid in keeping the Rock Energy Level in the Green Zone. The ROC has no such safety net and must rely on quick Laser Throttle adjustments by the operator. The Prospector and Mole may also equip a Rime Consumable which will immediately drop the Rock Energy Level into the Blue Zone if needed.

Keep in mind that going into the Red Zone for ship-based mineables not only destroys the contents of the rock but also increases the explosive potential of the rock if fractured while having an Overcharge Level. This creates a cumulative destructive effect of the rock’s contents with each breach. For vehicle-based mineables, the rock can explode yielding nothing or scatter the gems over a vast area making them nearly impossible to collect. While in the Red Zone, a rock will act similar to a nuclear reaction, building potential energy very quickly until an explosive end. At a high enough energy level, cutting power will do nothing and the reaction will be self sustaining, causing an explosion when the Overcharge Sensor reaches its limit. This can severely damage or destroy the vehicle/ship.



Once acquisition of the Green Zone is attained, the only thing left to do is wait until the Fracturing Sensor fills up and the rock breaks apart. For vehicle-based mineables, the fracturing process will only need to be performed once spawning numerous small gems, the same as would be found in hand mineables. On ships this fracturing process can be augmented by using a Stampede Consumable to increase the rate at which the Fracturing Sensor fills up. As large mineable rocks become more energized, red hot seams will begin to appear in the rock and show how it will fracture. This fracturing process will need to be repeated on any desirable rock still outlined in gold/yellow to finally break it down enough for extraction(purple outline). Please note that rocks small enough for extraction can not be broken down further and attempting to do so will cause them to be destroyed in the process.

The X Factor: Instability



The instability of the rock varies depending on rock content and the percentage concentration of each element present in the rock. Medium gem deposits generally have an instability ranging from ~1.5 to ~4 and large ship sized rocks can run the gamut from <1 to 10+. At this time Quantanium has the highest instability of any mineral/ore. Instability determines the magnitude of fluctuation in the Rock Energy Level meter. It will cause Rock Energy Levels to move erratically in either direction, which will require fast and careful adjustment to the Laser Throttle. High instability will make mining difficult while low instability means the rock will be predictable and easy to fracture. Instability can be greatly mitigated on the Prospector and Mole by using either the Lancet, Hofstede, or Helix Mining Heads. A Brandt Consumable can further reduce a rock’s instability.

A Word on Quantanium

Quantanium is the raw source of Quantum Fuel and can only be mined by a Prospector or Mole. It can bring great profit to the one able to extract it safely but it carries great risk.The initial risk to mining Quantanium is that Quantanium in any state has a high instability factor that, like other minerals and ores, only increases at higher concentrations. This instability coupled with a tiny Green Zone makes it particularly difficult to mine. Patience and careful watch of the Rock Energy Level will be required during this fracturing process, even more so than other minerals/ores. Even if the ore is successfully fractured and extracted it must be taken to a refinery to be sold within a short amount of time or it will decay and explode. All rocks containing Quantanium should be broken down first before beginning the extraction process. It is highly recommended that players looking to mine Quantanium purchase a Military-class Quantum Drive to shorten quantum travel times.

Extraction, Volatile Ore, ROC Inventory & Interaction

Extraction


To change mining modes click RMB to enter Extraction/Collection Mode from Fracturing Mode. In this Mode, the Mining Scanner is still available to get precise measurements of rock composition by hovering the cursor over each rock. Fractured ship mineable rocks have a variable percentage composition of what the original rock contained. Any gem or rock can be extracted into the cargo hold so long as it is outlined in purple and there is cargo space available. To activate the extraction process, hit LMB. To gather gems, hover the extraction laser over the gems for several seconds, they should visibly be pulled into the mechanism at which point the extractor can be aimed at another location. This process will not automatically turn off and will require the player to hit LMB again. When a ship mineable rock is fully extracted, the process will power off automatically and the rock outlined in purple will disappear. Partial extractions are allowed on ship mineables but, continuing to hold the extraction laser on a rock after filling the cargo hold will result in the rock disappearing and its remaining contents lost.




It is possible that fracturing a ship mineable will yield a 100% pure rock. 50 Mass is equal to 1 SCU of cargo space. For example, a pure 100% Agricium rock with a mass of 200 will yield 4 SCU of Agricium. It is up to the miner to decide personal thresholds of what is good enough to be taken and what will be left on the field. Once the cargo hold is full on the ship then it is time to head back and sell. The ROC however can keep going as it can empty its cargo into a box. Ship mined ore can only be sold at major landing zones. Gems can be sold at any commodity terminal at an Administration Office or inside the Storage building at a Mining Outpost.

Volatile Cargo

Extracted Quantanium is the only volatile cargo at this time. Once extracted it will degrade inside the ship’s ore storage limiting the amount of time it can be carried. This is 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 que. After a while it will begin by slowly flashing a yellow light with a beeping sound. After some time has passed it will escalate to a frequently flashing red light and accompanying audio. Jarring the ship harshly, impacts to the hull, or landing hard will significantly increase the degradation and shorten the time it takes for the ore to explode.

The degradation of the Quantanium ore can be broken down into four stages and depending on the aforementioned factors may have shorter or longer times than the ones listed here. Stage one decay begins shortly after the first piece of Quantanium is extracted. The first stage generally lasts ~8 minutes. Stage 2 should last ~6 minutes and the ship will begin to warn the player about the state of the volatile cargo. Stage three decay is much shorter and will only be ~4 minutes. Reaching Stage 4 means that an explosion is imminent and it lasts about 30 seconds.



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. At this time there are only three methods for stopping the degradation. The first is to simply eject the cargo. This can be done by pressing LALT+J or through Interaction Mode on the upper right panel(see picture below). If both volatile and non-volatile cargo is being carried, all of it will be ejected. Non-volatile cargo can not be ejected by itself. For example, a cargo hold full of Beryl can not be ejected to make way for Taranite.



The second way to stop the decay is to simply store the ship at the landing zone. This is dependent on the game registering the ship properly but if it does then the ASOP terminal will have a ‘Store” option where “Retreive” would be. Alternatively spawning a new ship will force the first ship into storage. Finally, the third way to stop the degradation is to simply sell the Quantanium at a Refinery Terminal before it decays to the point of explosion.



ROC Inventory & Interaction

Unlike the Prospector or Mole, the ROC is not limited to being filled up once before it has to go sell its cargo. The back of the ROC has a hatch which can be opened to extend the vehicle’s internal storage compartment. To continue mining in the vehicle, this hatch should be closed.



Once this compartment is extended, use Interaction Mode to click on ‘Cargo Bay’ to bring up the vehicle’s inventory UI. This will also bring up the player’s personal inventory. From here gems can be put into a player’s personal inventory or vice versa if so desired. The same options that the personal inventory(see above) has for dealing with gems are also present here.



The same rules for storing the gems in a box also apply: it can not be done on a planetary or moon surface, only inside a ship. It should be noted that anyone can access this compartment, party member or not, and take items from it. This also applies to the boxes which are created from the ROC or personal inventory. In other words, cargo can be stolen. Boxing and then independently transporting the gems to a sell point will mean less downtime for the miners and more profit over time.

 
Last edited:

Black Sunder

Rock Raiders
Officer
Jun 19, 2014
8,097
26,009
3,045
RSI Handle
Black_Sunder
Selling The Cargo

After finishing the last extraction and a cargo hold full of valuables is acquired, it is time to sell. Gems can be sold at any trading console at Mining Outposts, Rest Stops, and major landing zones. Selling Gems from the ROC is not unlike selling them from a backpack. Simply go to a trading console and select the ROC. It should be listed first. From here select each gem type to sell. If the ROC has been stored inside another player’s ship, the player who owns the ROC will still be able to sell their own gems at the terminal.



In groups, selling boxed gems comes with a few conditions: 1)The player who boxes the gems from the ROC will need to be the same one who owns the ship where the boxes are sold from or it will show as illegal cargo and can not be sold. 2)Players who box gems, but are not the ship’s owner will likewise be unable to sell their spoils because they can not see the ship on the trade terminal. Currently GrimHex will allow all cargo, legal or illegal, to be sold, no matter who the owner is as long as the boxes are in the ship. Therefore, to legally sell boxed gems, the player that boxes them needs to also own the transport ship to sell them at the trade terminal.


Left) Cargo shows as illegal at Port Olisar and can not be sold by ship’s owner
Right) Cargo shows as illegal but can be sold at GrimHex.


All of the major landing zones purchase extracted minerals/ores at a refinery terminal. The refinery terminals are always near an Administration desk. Go up to the terminal and then select the ship to sell the cargo. A listing of each mineral/ore, their percentages, and aUEC values will be displayed. Inert Materials sell for practically no profit while the other entries bring various amounts as determined by their value per SCU.



Sharing Profits Made Easy

The mo.TRADER app on the mobiGlas allows players to quickly disseminate profits to mining crews and pay security escorts without the need for cumbersome and unreliable public contracts. The app itself is very intuitive, quicker, and safer to use than contracts. Start by opening the mobiGlas(‘F1’) and navigating to the icon shown and press the ‘Begin’ button:



At the top the Select Recipient screen is a Search feature in case the recipient is not a member of the party or on the player’s Friends list. From here Party members or Friends can easily be selected. Simply click on the recipient’s name to proceed to the Transfer Details screen.



There are several items to pay attention to on the Transfer Details screen:



  1. Current Player Balance - in aUEC, before any transfer has occurred.
  2. Merits - Prison Merits. Merits can be traded for supplies or to help free another prisoner faster. Not applicable for this example.
  3. Sending To - The recipient.
  4. You Send - The amount in aUEC the player wished to give to another before tax.
  5. Total Cost - Total amount including the 0.5% Service Fee transfer tax The tax is added on top of what the player wishes to send and is taken from the giving player, not the recipient.
Once a transfer amount has been entered, the Service Fee will automatically be calculated and added to the aUEC being sent resulting in the Total Cost. If this is acceptable the player only needs to click ‘Send’. The transaction will then process and a receipt will be shown showing that the transfer was successful. From here the player has the option to make another transfer with a new recipient or to quit the app. If there is any downside to this app it is that multiple recipients can not be selected at once to create an even profit split.



Strategies for Hard to Crack Rocks

The vast majority of rocks will be easy enough for a new player to fracture and extract. More difficult rocks may require additional strategy, a different Mining Head, a second person to help or the addition of a Consumable.

Case 1: Highly Unstable Rocks:



Strategy 1 - Double Team
In this strategy a second Prospector or Mole laser operator is needed. One operator will raise the Laser Throttle up to a point where the Rock Energy level stays in the Blue Zone just below the Green. The second operator will then turn the laser on and slowly increase the Throttle. This 2nd operator is adding a very small amount of power to make the Rock Energy Level hit the Green Zone. Because the operator dealing with such a small power set, it will be easy to maintain a certain energy level for fracture with little chance of going into the Red Zone. In case of potential Overcharge build-up, the second miner should cut power to the laser completely..This strategy will need good communication between both miners to work effectively. This strategy is greatly enhanced with Mining Heads designed to lower a rock’s Instability and made even easier with the Helix Mining Head as it will increase the size of the Green Zone.

Strategy 2 - Pulsed Laser Power

This strategy involves pushing the Rock Energy Level into the Green Zone as quickly as possible and then completely shutting the mining laser off, preventing it from going into the Red Zone. As the Rock Energy Level decreases, turn the laser back on and ramp up the level just before it exits the Green Zone. Repeat as required until fracture attained. Essentially, the laser is being pulsed although this is much more difficult on a mouse than it is on a HOTAS controller. This attempts to prevent the rock’s high instability from becoming too much of a factor since the rock will not have time to react to the energy input while keeping the rock in the Green Zone. This method is not foolproof and is greatly augmented using a Mining Head which lowers a rock’s Instability and can be made easier with the Optimum Consumable. Even so, through some surveying, this strategy works more often than not.

Case 2: Rock with High Resistance and High Mass

In this scenario rocks are found to have extremely high Resistance and Mass. Get as close to the rock as is safe to do so before turning the laser on at full power. A Surge consumable may be used to jumpstart the process. Moving the laser around in a circle on the rock’s surface can also induce an increase in the Rock Energy Level. For especially high resistance rocks, a laser which lowers the resistance along with a Forel or Torpid Consumable can be used, but the Forel will increase the rock’s instability while Torpid will increase mining time. Another option is to try and overclock the laser under the Power MFD’s Items Tab to get a small boost on output. With patience the Green Zone will be reached. When it gets close to fracturing, back the ship away to avoid any damage. If this does not work, then the rock requires more power than the miner’s laser can give and must be upgraded or a second miner could be needed. See the Double Team strategy above. Patience will pay off in the long run.

Case 3: Surface Rocks cling together upon fracture
A rock is on the surface of a moon or planet and has been fractured but stubbornly refuses to come apart afterwards, making it very difficult to inspect each fragment. To rectify this problem, purposefully overload one of the fragments to explode it, preferably a fragment with no elements within. Before turning the laser on, increase the throttle to 100% and then aim it at the unwanted rock. Immediately back the ship off in reverse at full speed to a safe distance. Keep the laser pointed at the fragment before turning the laser off. This explosion should have spread the other fragments allowing further inspection and fracture with ease. Be aware that different gravities on different surfaces affect the distance the fragments may travel upon explosion. This technique can cause significant damage or death if the operator is using either the Impact or Helix Mining Heads at close range. Alternatively, if explosions sound unsafe, simply keep fracturing any rocks that are unwanted, leaving the desirable ones for later. Once these unwanted rocks are broken down into extractable rocks, ‘fracture’ them again for a final time and they will simply turn to dust and disappear. This method is slower overall but ultimately much safer.

Other Tips & Tricks


Focus Lasers-
All rocks, even those with high mass, resistance, and instability can be mined by a Mole with three Helix Mining Heads working together. As with the Double Team strategy above, this usually involves two of the laser operators focusing on a single rock and activating the lasers at minimum power(0.10%). The third operator will then be the one that raises the Rock Energy Level to and maintains the Green Zone. Very rarely will one of the other operators need to increase power in order for the Rock Energy Level to rise enough to cross into the Green Zone. At this point the third operator will continue to carefully maintain and adjust power as needed until fracture occurs. Repeat as necessary on all rocks.

The Consumable Sanction - As explained before about Quantanium it has a small green zone and high instability which only gets more difficult to mine the higher concentration the rock is. When an extremely valuable rock must absolutely without delay be mined perfectly then a Mole with three Helix Mining Heads and Consumables should be used. Slot two Helix heads with an Optimum Consumable and the third with a Stampede. Focus all lasers on the rock and after activating the lasers activate all Consumables simultaneously. This will be enough to widen the Green Zone to be almost 50% of the entire Rock Energy Level meter and fracture the rock within seconds without any risk of Overcharge. Repeat as necessary for all rocks.

Saving fuel while surface mining -
To save some fuel while skimming the surface of a moon or planet simply go into VTOL mode(press ‘J’). This engages VTOL which uses less fuel than the main engines. In addition, keep the ship at or below max SCM speed and avoid using the afterburner. This is especially important with a ship like the Mole which consumes fuel at an astonishing rate.

Avoiding accidental Overcharge with server lag-
Due to server lag the Rock Energy level and Fracturing Sensor may sometimes appear to be static for a few seconds. Power is still being applied and calculated but when the server sends that data to the client it could mean the rock is now Overcharging. If this lag appears to happen either move the laser to a different part of the rock to force an update, turn the laser away from the rock, or turn the laser off until the server can catch up.

Repair and Refuel at Moon Outposts-
Moon outposts with landing pads can be used to repair and refuel ships. This is especially useful for the Mole due to its high fuel consumption.

Hard to get gems - Occasionally when mining in caves, gems may fall into inconvenient places putting them just beyond reach. What is a player to do? Shoot them! Take out a sidearm or rifle and carefully shoot the gem to dislodge it from its location and move it. Most of the time this will bring the gem forward enough or move it to where it can then be picked up.

Stopping the ROC from sliding - The ROC, when at rest, may begin to slide across the surface of the planet or moon. This is a bug.In order to arrest the ROC’s movement and prevent sliding, simply turn the engine off or power off the ROC’s Drivetrain in the Power MFD’s Items tab.


Mining medium gem deposits with a Prospector/Mole

II is possible to fracture a medium gem deposit with the Prospector or Mole instead of the ROC. However, it will be impossible to extract the gems in Extraction Mode. Only the ROC may collect them en masse. To fracture the deposit extremely short, low energy, bursts of energy are required. It is extremely easy to overcharge the rock and make it explode. An Optimum consumable is also recommended. The best mining head for this is probably the Lancet with its low power output allowing the player to have more control over how much energy is input. A Helix can also be used but even a slight lapse in judgement or lag in the server can send the Rock Energy Level into the red zone. The 30% Green Zone bonus on the Helix, while nice isn’t enough to justify its use due to its overwhelming power output.

Countering Weather
  1. Wind - should be paid attention to first and foremost as this can rock a miner’s ship back and forth or blow it away from a valuable rock. The rocking effect can have detrimental effects on rocks with high instability as the player tried to keep the laser steady. Due to how the rock reacts when the mining laser hits a new area it could lead to the rock acquiring Overcharge. In these cases the ship should either be landed or positioned in such a way that the wind is directly behind or in front of the ship to minimize extraneous movement. Great pilots will usually be able to automatically compensate for most movement while keeping eyes on the prize.
  2. Dust/ice particles - At night these particles can obstruct vision if the ship is moving and it’s lights are turned on. Players encountering this can either turn the lights off and fly relatively blind, turn the gamma setting up in the graphics options or move outside of whatever dust/ice storm is currently present.
New Babbage Commons Area Landing - Quantum from Port Tressler down to New Babbage and find the Commons area domes. From here there is a small area outside the vehicle garage which can be used to land a ship on. This will register on the refinery console inside and can be used to quickly sell volatile ore.


 
Last edited:

Black Sunder

Rock Raiders
Officer
Jun 19, 2014
8,097
26,009
3,045
RSI Handle
Black_Sunder
Links

Aaron Halo Asteroid Belt - RSI Starmap
SC Trade Tools - Filterable mining data from the game files
Universal Item Finder - Searchable item database
Platinum Bay & Dumper's Depot Component Finder - Quick Ship Component lookup spreadsheet, includes Mining Heads & Consumables

Final Thoughts

With Refinery Decks and a new Mining UI on the horizon in Alpha 3.12, Mining in Star Citizen should get another valuable link and improvement in the gameplay loop chain. What these Refinery Decks will really entail on release is not yet known though. Depending on how involved any new mechanics related to these Decks are, a separate Refining Guide may be made. Mining, when it works, is in a good state right now. Improvements could always be made of course but when things are working, they work very well. The new UI for the ROC’s cargo area and personal inventory is a blessing as it now allows solo players groups to go longer when ROC mining.

We’ll just have to wait and see what the future holds in the upcoming 3.12 patch and the Anniversary Sale.

Thank you for reading and thank you to everyone that has supported and linked this Guide. Thank you to all TEST members who contributed tips, tricks, suggestions and other data that has gone into making this the best it can be for TEST.

Signed,

@Black Sunder, @Printimus, @Lima-Seven
 
Last edited:

Lorddarthvik

Space Marshal
Donor
Feb 22, 2016
1,356
4,673
1,610
RSI Handle
Lorddarthvik
Thanks again for this guide! It helped me get into mining and it was the best financial decision I made in-game ever!

Today I bought my ROC in-game, and after some stumbling around on Ita (had my ship impounded, twice, while trying to help a flipped ROC on a pad) I finally made it rain! Rocks, at first, due to server lag. But after 15 minutes of driving and collecting the stuff, on a 20% load, I made roughly 20K uec! Not bad for a first run!

My tips for the ROC so far:
- if it's flipped, apply full throttle, and turn off the engine. Repeat until flipped back
- while collecting, position the visual spot where the sparks come from over the rock, not the X cursor. It picks up more consistently, especially if the target is really close
- if you park up next to the trade building at outposts, there is no need to put the ore in boxes or in personal inventory, the ROC should register on the console. While going back after every full load is more downtime, it's also much less risky with the current state of things imo
 
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Black Sunder

Rock Raiders
Officer
Jun 19, 2014
8,097
26,009
3,045
RSI Handle
Black_Sunder
Thanks again for this guide! It helped me get into mining and it was the best financial decision I made in-game ever!

Today I bought my ROC in-game, and after some stumbling around on Ita (had my ship impounded, twice, while trying to help a flipped ROC on a pad) I finally made it rain! Rocks, at first, due to server lag. But after 15 minutes of driving and collecting the stuff, on a 20% load, I made roughly 20K uec! Not bad for a first run!

My tips for the ROC so far:
- if it's flipped, apply full throttle, and turn off the engine. Repeat until flipped back
- while collecting, position the visual spot where the sparks come from over the rock, not the X cursor. It picks up more consistently, especially if the target is really close
- if you park up next to the trade building at outposts, there is no need to put the ore in boxes or in personal inventory, the ROC should register on the console. While going back after every full load is more downtime, it's also much less risky with the current state of things imo
Another ROC tip is to position the thing being mined off to the right a bit before you mine, this way when you look at it the view of the character will bring the Rock Energy level into closer focus and you'll be able to see the Green Zone better.

Of course this tip is moot since the interface is changing next patch :D
 

AntiSqueaker

Space Marshal
Apr 23, 2014
2,139
5,448
2,920
RSI Handle
Anti-Squeaker
Great overview of mining, top notch. I've only dabbled in mining (mainly because I don't own a Mole/Prospector and hand mining can be quite tedious, those fucking deposits are invisible in caves sometimes) but I'm gonna grind out a ROC and give it another whirl!
 
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Mich Angel

Space Marshal
Donor
Sep 19, 2016
3,354
12,662
1,910
RSI Handle
ARCHANGEL_666
This is amazing, thank you for doing this.
Best damn guide ever, so much great info, I'm seriously impressed.
Awesome job.

CHEERS! 🍻
 
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