Elite Dangerous 12 Quick Tips for Beginners

Do you want to start playing Elite Dangerous? Check out these quick tips first.

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Frontier Developments’ Elite Dangerous is massive both in scale and in its fan base. Most recently released on PlayStation 4 back in 2017, the game has been garnering hardcore fans for years now. That being said, the game is not exactly friendly to new players. Consequently, we have dredged up ten quick tips for new players.

Do ALL of the Tutorials

When you first boot up Elite Dangerous, you will find yourself at the main menu. It may be tempting to simply dive right into the game’s multiplayer mode, but you will need to do a few things first. There are a good number of tutorials you can first delve into after booting up the game. From learning about trading to understanding the game’s warp mechanics, there are quite a few things you will need to learn.

The tutorials are certainly not the most thrilling part of Elite Dangerous. That being said, this game is complex and largely unforgiving. For some games, it is alright to simply skip the tutorial and learn on the fly. When it comes to Elite Dangerous, however, it is highly suggested that you start your playing experience off by completing every tutorial.

Put in Some Practice Within Solo Mode

Now that you have completed the tutorials within Elite Dangerous, you are almost ready for multiplayer. There is one more stop you will have to make, however.

The world of Elite Dangerous is, well, dangerous. While the game’s galaxy is not bustling with hoards of players in every star system, traveling space will still be increasingly more dangerous as you begin to accrue wealth and resources. Beyond that, the game is not interested in holding the player’s hand or offering a proverbial cushion every time the player fails.

Consequently, it is best to make your early mistakes within the game’s solo mode first. This mode will be less dangerous, as the entire multiplayer element will be phased out. You will still have NPC pirates to worry about, but this threat is far less than the one crafted by real players.

Take Ample Notes

Elite Dangerous will not hold the player’s hand. Consequently, it is up to the player to keep up with the many intricacies within the game’s Milky Way Galaxy. During your playthrough, you are going to find yourself leaping from one star system to the next. Jumping from planet to planet and solar system to solar system, you are going to accrue a mass of easily forgettable information.

Whenever you come across a planet that is chock full of valuable resources, you may want to remember that fact for later in case you find a way to profit off of those valuables. That being said, Elite Dangerous is not going to help you remember. Consequently, you are going to want to have a notepad, tablet or phone nearby at all times so that you can take ample notes throughout your journey.

By taking these notes, you will be able to fully utilize the universe at your disposal.

Remember to Remove Your Upgrades Before Selling Your Ship

One of the first major decisions you will likely make once you have had some time in the game is choosing a new ship. To save money, you are likely going to want to sell your old ship. However, it is important to note that you will likely receive a terrible price from the shipyard on your ship concerning any upgrades you have equipped on the vessel.

Consequently, you are going to want to remove any upgrades you have placed on your ship before selling the vehicle. You can accomplish this by visiting the nearest Outfitter and exchanging the upgrades for less expensive parts.

Find a Group That is Right for You

Elite Dangerous is an awfully large game to play alone. The many threats and challenges the galaxy forces on the player can be overbearing. That being said, there is an answer to this problem. You should join a group.

For instance, the Fuel Rats are a group of players that deliver fuel to stranded pilots throughout the galaxy. There is also the famous The First Great Expedition group that puts travel and exploration above all else. The Code is an interest group filled with pirates and the like that all run various missions, both good and bad, throughout the galaxy. Whatever your fancy, there is likely a group of players already experienced in the game that are more than happy to welcome you into their ranks.

If you want to search around for the active groups in Elite Dangerous, try checking out the forums /r/EliteDangerous and

Here’s An Easy Way to Make Money Fast

Upon beginning your journey in Elite Dangerous, you are going to want to make money fast. You are going to need money for fuel, ship upgrades and eventually even a better ship. This, of course, only grazes the surface of your future spending habits. Consequently, money is key to success in Elite Dangerous.

One of the easiest ways to make money when you first start playing is to take on bounty hunting. In order to take on bounty hunting, you will need to find a nearby high security system and make your way to the nav beacon that will be within the vicinity. These will always be listed as points of interest within your navigation panel and will often be found close to the most central star in any given system.

After reaching the nav beacon, target and scan each individual as they pass through. Eventually you will find someone wanted by the local authorities. If you are involved in the destruction of their ship, then you will be able to claim money for the bounty. Track the wanted individual, but do not immediately engage. Wait for security forces to arrive and attack the vessel, then follow suit. This will minimize your risks throughout the process.

Don’t Forget About Rebuy

As mentioned before, Elite Dangerous is brutal. The game is difficult and unforgiving. If your ship gets destroyed during your travels, you will have to pay an insurance excess in order to regain your ship. If you do not have enough money for the insurance rebuy, then you will lose the ship and be planted back into the game’s starter vessel.

Consequently, it is important to always keep enough money on you to be able to afford the necessary rebuy whenever you are flying around.

Don’t Be Afraid to Get Into Combat

As mentioned before, fighting wanted individuals can be quite lucrative. With that in mind, it is important to not be afraid of combat in Elite Dangerous. It may not happen immediately, but you will almost certainly find yourself in a scrap at some point during your playthrough in this game. Just like controlling your vessel for space flight, mastering combat in Elite Dangerous will take time and practice.

Rather than avoid combat until danger finally strikes, it is advised that you familiarize yourself with combat early on so that you will be prepared to defend yourself when you have more valuable resources to risk later in the game.

Get a Cabin as Soon as Possible

If you do not feel comfortable tracking down wanted vessels for bounties, then you are going to attack a cabin to your ship as fast as possible. The in-game mission board will have plenty of open contracts for transporting players from one location to another. Playing the role of space taxi can, after all, be quite lucrative. A smart move is to maximize your ship’s storage space so that you can transport players for a taxi service while simultaneously transporting resources for trade along the way.

Plan Your Flights Ahead of Time

Traveling to different systems will be an almost immediate necessity for you. However, your ship will not be able to travel far. Consequently, plotting out a flight path for longer travels can become quite complicated.

Always take the time to view the map first so that you can plot out just how exhausting your trip will be. If the trip will take you multiple days to complete, then the relevant contract is likely not worth your time during the early phases of the game.

Don’t Worry About Buying a Flight Stick

Many Elite: Dangerous players enjoy the game from behind a rather pricy flight stick controller. In fact, using these often expensive peripheral devices has become somewhat of a norm for Elite Dangerous. That being said, you shouldn’t feel pressured into purchasing one yourself.

Elite: Dangerous can be played effectively with a mouse and keyboard. If you want a different experience, then try playing the game with an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 controller. Either way, the game can be quite a lot of fun without using a pricy flight simulator controller.

Make a Playlist

Elite: Dangerous can get rather lonely. Sure, there is a thriving community within the game. Plus, there are always exciting space battles to get involved with.

But, you will still find yourself spending a significant amount of time playing this game within the silence of space. Rather you are simply exploring the galaxy or farming for resources, Elite: Dangerous is filled with quite moments.

These quiet moments can still be quite pleasant, however, Consider spooling up a playlist of music or a series of podcasts to listen to as you explore the expanse of space in order to add a little extra to the soothing calm of this game’s more meditative moments.

Hunter Boyce is a writer, which probably seems pretty obvious with "author" prominently displayed. He mostly writes about video games. However, he was previously a mixed martial arts news writer. When not writing about people pelting each other in the face or about leveling up in the latest RPG, he tends to spend his time as a web producer in Atlanta. You can shout all of your MMA and video game related quandaries at him at @SomthinClever on Twitter. Feel free to make your demands to him in ALL CAPS. He loves that.

1 Comment

  1. John Fritz

    I have dreams where Bioware is back on its feet, and they buy the Elite Dangerous engine and add space legs so you can get out of your ship and walk around on planets and stations. Then they craft and incredible storyline with NPC’s and missions that span dozens of planets across the galaxy, with space combat as well as land based missions. When I finish the story I realize that there is still an entire Galaxy waiting to be explored, and Bioware has stocked it full of right storytelling with exciting gameplay moments mixed in. Then I wake up and realize that the current owners of Elite Dangerous are determined to see the game become the exact opposite of my dream.