Star Citizen Money Making Guide
Hello everyone! I have lately been noticing a lot of posts of people who are worried about upcoming rental prices and the fact that 100k or 200k credits is a very huge amount of money and it’s hard to earn that much without playing a lot. I wanted to write this small guide to help new and more experienced players alike by listing some of the most efficient ways of earning money (as of now).
I hope that I can list things that can be done by totally new backers that only have starter ships and backers that have pledged a little more and own more expensive ones.
Important: The profit rates mentioned below are directly tied with the ship you are using and your game experience. Expect to start on the lower end and slowly get to the higher end of profit ranges as your skill level raises and the quality of your ship gets better
Option 1: Skimmer Destruction Missions
Requirements: Starter ship is fine!
Profits: It depends greatly on how many missions will spawn for you. You can always change servers after missions run out. They are VERY easy to do and since they pay around 6k each you can expect to do around 6-10 of them every hour which ends up being 36-60k credits per hour.
- When you go to mission tab, you will likely see missions that require you to destroy skimmers. Those missions pay well (usually around 6k credits) and are VERY easy to do, as skimmers don’t resist your attempts of destruction. The AI that spawns to intercept you is usually quite bad at flying and will likely not even reach your location or hit you, as long as you are moving.
- Skimmer missions will send you to Communication Arrays or Security Port Kareah. Once you arrive at the destination use your ship’s scanner to find their locations. They will show up as little squares after a scan pulse is sent into space. You have 5 minutes to destroy 3 of them which is easily doable if you use the scanner well and don’t waste time fighting the AI.
Warning: AVOID skimmer destruction missions under “Personal” tab – they will likely give you a crime stat!
Warning 2: If skimmer missions stop spawning you can try returning to Port Olisar and changing server. Usually this lets you get new missions on new server. If this doesn’t work, try Option 2 (or Option 3) for a while and return to Option 1.
Option 2: Delivery Missions
Requirements: Starter ship (Aurora) is fine!
Profits: In general delivery missions greatly range in payout. In my experience, they should ONLY be done when Option 1 is not available or if you really don’t like combat. My friend is a big fan of delivery missions but even with his tenacity he only manages to earn 30-40k credits per hour due to long travel times (and missions sometimes glitch out).
- Try your best to avoid missions that send you across the entire system when carrying just one or two packages, as the QT travel time in small ship will lower your profit by a LOT.
- After you get a bit more experienced: when taking missions, check the delivery destinations and take a few missions (up to as many as you think you can handle) at once. There are often times where you can take many boxes at once and deliver them to areas around another planetary body which makes the long distance travel worth it and increases profit. Just don’t take too many or you might not make it!
Option 3: Bounty Hunting – especially Northrock Security Bounties
Requirements: This will be harder (but possible) to do in a starter ship, but easily doable in Avenger Titan which is also great for a lot of other things. In general, a very efficient ship (price to quality) that you can get if you want to pledge a bit more than for a starter.
Side note: After ship rentals are out, I recommend starter ship owners to unlock the initial bounty and stick to options 1 and 2 until they can rent Avenger Titan for a day. You can then use the Avenger Titan during a day where you think you can play a bit longer to hunt bounties are make enough money to keep going.
Profits: If you know how to travel quickly around Delamar, you can expect profits of 60-100k credits per hour. It will usually be less than 100k, but it’s possible depending on mission spawn range. My friend has been doing those missions and earned around 6 MILLION credits (over last 3 patches) so I am pretty sure this has been tested and verified enough by us.
- The hardest part of Northrock Security Bounties (Pro Tem bounty) is unlocking them. The initial mission points you to a location near Delamar… and you don’t find any ship there, and thus you are unable to finish the mission. This happens because mission markers aroung Delamar are glitched (as of 3.6 they are still bugged). The marker points you to a location, but it does not update. The ship that initially spawned there (often a buccaneer) had since moved position and you are unable to find it. I had lots of experience with this mission and the best workaround is Change server until you get the mission to spawn in Hurston. Rarely, Northrock missions spawn around Hurston moons. When they do, look at the marker that appeared and zoom-in on your map. If you see the marker moving, the enemy is 99% there and waiting for you to kill them.
- After you complete the initial mission the following missions have MUCH less chance of glitching out. For example, I’ve had the initial mission ALWAYS glitch out for me 2-3 times while I was able to complete the following missions 20-30 times in a row without a single glitch, all in one patch.
- If you own a starter ship you will have great problems destroying Constellation Andromeda that spawn in some of the missions and you will be unable to destroy Caterpillar and Hammerhead that rarely spawn as well. In Avenger Titan you can destroy a Caterpillar if you use Scattergun loadout. In general, if you get a Hammerhead spawn just cancel the mission unless you have great firepower.
- You can use orbital markers and turn off your engines mid-QT to travel quickly around Delamar. The bounties tend to spawn 300km away from each other which otherwise means a 4 minutes travel time even in quick ships. Target any QT destination marker that leads to your bounty and kill QT shortly after engaging for a fast travel.
Warning: If you get a non-initial bounty to spawn near Hurston, cancel it. It’s not worth travel time, even for 10k credits.
Warning 2: If you run out of missions, changing server fixes it. Land at Levski.
Option 4: Cargo Hauling (mid-tier)
Requirements: Freelancer Max or Constellation Andromeda (Freelancer Max preferred), initial funds (300k credits to maximize profits)
Profits: 100k+ credits per hour (with 300k credits funds).
Side Note: Using a calculator for trade routes can help you increase profits. There are few of them available, and most can be found with simple google search “star citizen cargo calculator X.X” (where X.X is the current patch number). Find one you like!
- While I believe that people who have cargo ships, such as Freelancer Max already know how they can earn a lot of money with it, I think it’s still nice to inform newer players how much money they can expect to make once they own the ship.
- Sorry, Cutlass owners. While Cutlass has nice amounts of cargo I have found out that doing bounty missions is better than hauling in a Cutlass. However, if you don’t like combat, hauling in Cutlass is perfectly viable!
- If you follow good trade routes you can avoid combat which leaves you with only one sworn enemy: game crashes. Sadly, there is not much you can do and losing entire cargo feels really bad. But servers have been more stable lately so you should easily be able to earn more than you are risking.
Warning: Stick to “legal” trading. CIG has adjusted drug prices and the low refresh rate of outposts for VICE items makes it very annoying to trade drugs. It could be more profitable, but in my experience is not worth the hassle. The Jumptown times are over.
Option 5: Cargo Hauling (high-tier)
Requirements: Caterpillar, initial funds (1,3M credits to maximize profits)
Profits: 300k+ credits per hour (assuming trade route is not congested and with 1,3M credits funds).
- As with Option 4, I believe that every Caterpillar owner knows what they are doing already. There are many sites that can help your hauling adventures and I believe it’s only fair to inform players how much they can expect to earn by hauling in a bigger ship.
Warning: Please keep in mind that Caterpillar’s cargo capacity is higher than most outposts can provide. As thus, having more than 1 Caterpillar on the same trade route on the same server will greatly decrease trading speed, and thus profits.
Side note: If you are a new player with starter ship, please don’t worry about this. Eventually you will be able to earn your way to ships like those! For now stick to options 1, 2 and 3 and make your way to Freelancer Max if you are interested in starting hauling journey!
Special option: Mining
Requirements: Prospector (in 3.7 we will get FPS mining but I won’t cover this until then)
Profits: Greatly depends… but usually less than Bounty Hunting and definitely less than Cargo Hauling.
- I decided to cover mining last because… well… it’s not really that profitable right now. And I don’t expect everyone to own a Prospector which is REQUIRED to start mining. The price of prospector in-game right now is too high to justify the purchase, as you will likely not earn enough credits with it until the next reset to make the money back.
- Many people have had lucky mining trips where they found very high-quality material, but sadly this happens very rarely on its own and is often a combination of luck and experience. And even then, you can earn more money by hunting bounties or trading cargo.
- I hope mining will be buffed at some point in the future because it’s a very nice job and as soon as the efficiency increases, I am sure many people will be willing to try it out.
New Player’s (starter ship owner’s) journey:
With the upcoming ship rental system I would like to talk about how I expect a new player to make their way to next ships as of 3.7. Please note that this is only MY approach to this and I don’t say it’s perfect. But this is definitely what I would do if I only had a starter ship. This is also assuming rental prices that we see in 3.7 leaks would not change (and they definitely could)
- Start by doing Skimmer Destruction Missions and Delivery Missions to earn initial 20k credits to be able to rent Avenger Titan for one day. Then unlock initial Pro Tem Northrock Security Mission, but don’t rent Titan yet!
- Keep using starter and play little-by-little (2h per day or so, depending on how much free time you have) until you find a day where you can play longer.
- Rent Avenger Titan for 20k credits for one day. Use it to farm Northrock Security Bounties for that one day. You will likely end up earning 400-500k credits.
- You can repeat Point 3, but you can also repeat Point 2 instead until you earn 860k credits. Even if you play a little, this should not take more than a week. Congratulations, now you can purchase Avenger Titan and permanently farm bounties! You can also keep using rental system to try out new ships. Renting a ship for 30 days is 2 times cheaper than buying it and will likely last you until next database wipe.
- From this point onwards you can use your Titan to earn money and rent other ships for a day to try them out and find a ship that you like. Then you can work towards purchasing it.
- If you feel like you want to start trading, you will have to earn 2,1mln to purchase Freelancer Max because from what I’ve seen the MAX version can’t be rented. With bounty hunting (Option 3 above) this will take around 25-30 hours of gameplay, so 10-15 days if you play casually. Perfectly doable before a reset hits and will give you a feel of cargo hauling for the future.
Since rent prices have been drastically lowered, you can also rent other ship and use it to earn money via trading! Just remember to have initial funds!
I think that around 2 weeks of gameplay (just 2h daily) with starter ship to unlock proper cargo hauling is pretty good, actually. And for people who play a lot (there are many of us) 25-30 hours is around 3-4 days.
What are your thoughts on the guide? Anything I have missed? Anything that you think I listed wrong? If there is anything wrong in the guide I will fix it, just let me know please!
See you in the verse, fellow backers.