Elite Dangerous Spotting Traders, Pirates and Bounty Hunters

Elite Dangerous Spotting Traders, Pirates and Bounty Hunters by Klyka

Hey everyone! This is not really an in depth guide but I have been flying around in the Elite Galaxy for a while now and have learned a lot about the game,including how to properly spot the different “classes” of NPCs flying around that you may need for a kill mission!

So here are my findings that will hopefully help some people:

Pirates: These guys usually have single names like “Slade”, “Xander” or “Molerat”. They usually fly in more cheap, combat oriented ships like Sidewinders or Eagles. They can also be found in Cobra MK3s or even Anacondas, but that’s more rare. When checking their sub-targets you will see them equipped with a cargo scanner which they will use on you as they get close, usually followed by some comms saying stuff like “What goodies you got?” or “Let’s see your cargo,fool!”. If you check their faction, a lot of the times they will be associated with the more “sinister” faction in the system, often with names like “… Mafia” or “… Cartel” and “…Rats”. They are also almost always Wanted, unless you are in an Anarchy system. You find them mainly in Unidentified Signal Sources or Resource Extraction sites. Rarely in Supercruise or Nav Beacons.

Traders: These guys usually have normal names like “Pete Malloy” or “Jonas Warzenegger”. They fly in transport ships, so look for Hauler and Type 6/7/9 ships. Their subsystems are usually the maximum amount of cargo space or a majority of it. They usually belong to a normal faction or a more corporate faction with “… Corp” or “…Limited” in the name. At Nav Beacons you will often see them flying in a straight line in one direction until they hyperjump out. They are never Wanted. You find them mostly in Nav Beacons or in Supercruise on their way to a station.

Bounty Hunters: Normal names on these guys, sometimes a nickname like “The Eradicator”. They fly Eagles and Vipers, I have also seen an Adder but only a few times. Rare hunters can be seen in a Federal Dropship. When checking their sub-targets they will have kill warrant scanners equipped. They usually belong to either no faction or to one of the lawful ones, typically the one in control of the system. You find them mainly at Nav Beacons where they will usually fly around and once they spot a wanted target will engage in combat with it. They always start Clean but can sometimes turn Wanted when they hit a wrong target in combat.

Smugglers: (Added by CMDR void* ) They fly Haulers or Adder, rarely Type-6 or Asp, are often wanted and carry some illegal stuff most of the time. I never really keep an eye on the factions but I would assume they are similar to pirates in that regard.

Miners: Normal names, usually in Sidewinders, sometimes Hauler or even a Cobra MK3. They have Mining Lasers and Refineries equipped and can be found at Belt Clusters or Resource Extraction Sites.

Extra Info:

  • Civilians are every ship that is not part of a military/authority/pirate group.
  • Authority are the security ships that patrol the system/respond to crimes.
  • Military are the ships that belong to the Navy of the faction in the system, they are called “Navy” in the name too.
  • There are also “Psychos” who will interdict you and immediately start attacking without scanning your cargo. They are NOT Pirates!

I hope this helps people find their targets!

Safe Flight Commanders!

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