This is a 3-step process to owning a ship capable of going anywhere in the galaxy. It will take 3-4 days of playing in a relatively casual manner. If you think you may eventually want to get into this game then take this opportunity to make credits.
For the VR experience you need either HTC Vive or Oculus
HTC Vive Virtual Reality System See at Amazon
Oculus Rift Virtual Reality System for PC See on Amazon
You really need a HOTAS joystick like the Thrustmaster - without this your experience in VR will be challenging.
Thrustmaster T-Flight HOTAS Joystick for Windows See on Amazon
Set up your HOTAS - this is a good starting point
Update your Render on the Vive for extra boost in visuals - I set mine to 2 and it makes a big difference.
Buy the Horizon DLC for Elite so you can land on planets
Elite Dangerous Horizons Game DLC See on Steam
Step 1: Make 4.6 million credits
You need this in order to purchase and equip a decent starter ship to get to the Ancient Ruins (more of this later). You can do whatever you please to make this money and there are many guides online - this is how I did it:
Load out the SideWinder for Mining
The Sidewinder is the ship you get from the start and you should be able to afford all of the equipment by just trading what's in there to begin with. I personally also run a collector limpet because it's faster. This is the ideal setup but if you cannot afford it just go with lower level equipment. Just make sure you can jump far enough to get to Bhotho, that your refinery has 2 bins and you can haul at least 6T of cargo.
Here is a good setup if you can afford it. Once this is set up make your way to the Bhotho system - this sytem has a Gas Giant with a rare minerals which is extremely hard to find. Check in at Baker Holdings and pick up any mining mission you can - these are extra bonus only so don't worry if you cant grab any.
If done right you can make at least 500k per run.
Next you want to set aim for Bhotho AB 3 - Gas Giant. As you come close enough to see the rings, and the various zones, steer towards the inner rings but ignore the high risk zones. Allow your ship to be emergency-stopped by effectively crashing into the ring. Turn your lights on and move to the first rock you see.
Divert all power to Weapons and shoot at a rock until a piece comes loose - target it and see what you have. You are specifically looking for Painite as 1T sells for between 40-70k. In fact, right now it sells for 70k+ at the Ride Market in system 42 Aquilae.
Once you find Painite it's time to Open your Cargo Bay and unleash your Collector Limpet. Be aware that if you have something targeted when you release your Limpet it will expire after collecting. De-select your target first and then release it - this way it stays around for a longer time and collect whatever you blast off with your mining lasers.
Keep doing this until your cargo is full of Painite and your two Bins are at 100% Painite - watch a video on how to micro manage your Refinery, you won't regret it.
Once full - jump to where you want to sell the Painite and rinse and repeat. If done right you can make at least 500k per run.
Step 2: Buy your starter Explorer ship
But before you do, use your current ship to fly to Felice Dock in Meene system. Dock here and you should receive a mission to Explore the Ancient Ruins (Active until end of February 2017).
Buying your explorer ship is easy but you may have to shop around the systems near you to ensure you get a 4A FSD.
Here is how you can build your first ship capable of exploring the Ancient Ruins.
Step 3: The Ancient Ruins
The real fun is about to begin - it's time to play Star Lord, and make millions of credits. The Ancient ruins is a Timed event so get there quick!
To start, there are Aliens now in Elite and players have found these Ancient Ruins. Each set of ruins have a number of items that become active at random and they can be scanned from ground level. I will not go into detail here but things are pretty wild and there is a [ton of work being done by the community] as I write this.
Make your way to Synuefe XR-H D11-102 and scan the planets until you find Planet 1B. Go into orbit around 1B and get as close to coordinates -31.7877, -128,9711 as you can. This is not easy and if it's night time when you arrive it makes it even harder. When you get close enough you should be able to spot the ruins. Land here and use your SRV to explore the ruins. There are 6 items and you need to collect 2 of each before even starting to scan the Obelisks.
I will frequently net 8-15m credits within 10 minutes of arriving.
Once all of these items are in your ship hold you are ready to scan the obelisks that light up randomly. Each successful scan will net you 1m credits and by playing in Open you also get credits for other players doing correct scans. I will frequently net 8-15m credits within 10 minutes of arriving.
Here is a guide to how to scan correctly - you need to hold the right combination of items in your SRV hold.
Finally, if you go back to Felice Dock and hand in the quest after 10-20m credits have accrued you can get the quest again by leaving and docking back.
As soon as I could afford it I bought the Asp Explorer, one of the best Explorer ships in the game, and now it's even faster to get to the ruins and back.
All of this is incredibly satisfying and enjoyable in VR - in fact, many of the tasks are much easier! Also, the As Explorer has a glorious cockpit that's just made for VR.
Have you checked out the Ruins yet? Do you know any tips on how to make money in Elite? I look forward to chatting with you about it in the comments below!
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