Saturday, 17 January 2015

Elite Dangerous Rules of Acquisition - Rare Run Route in a sidewinder

In a previous rare runs article I talked about a few different ship configurations that a new pilot can use for minimum expenditure to reach maximum profits.  This week I've put two of those builds to the test to demonstrate the difference between the ships, and the profit margins they provide.

Since the Sidewinder is the starting ship, and therefore the cheapest base, I've used it as my example for a starting pilot to race rare cargo across the galaxy.
There are a number of routes to choose, and while Leesti-Heike has some advantages I've recently had the Leesti-Esusuke journey reccomended to decided to fly that in a Sidewinder

So, I bought a sidewinder and gave it a slimline refit to drop the weight as low as possible and get the best jump range. I upgraded the cargo space to 8T and fitted that much needed fuel scoop. The entire refit costs maybe three or four few thousand credits.
The Performance Class-B Frame Shift Drive costs about 51,000 Credits more than the shop-floor Class-E model, and that is the majority of my capital outlay. A cheap fuel scoop can be had for a thousand credits, but you should buy the largest scoop you can afford after your refit if you want to save time.

In my space planes refits article I talked a little about the advantages of different classes of upgrades, and in the Ship Focus - Adder article I recommended the Adder as a galaxy jumper that would be ideal for long range rares. With its extended ranged and twice the cargo space of the Sidewinder, its a great choice for profitability but its purchase and upgrade costs are a little higher.

This is the ship that takes the crown for new pilots.  The Zergon Peterson Hauler with a similar configuration costs a little more but gives you more cargo space and a higher jump range, but rare runs are all about pure cut-to-the-bone profit margins, and the sidewinder build is by far the cheapest option for your first space hopping trip across the galaxy,

If you choose the Leesti-Esusuke route, I managed the journey in 17 Jumps which took about thirty-one minutes door to door.  [Pilots note: I did this with a Class-1A fuel scoop, which is going to be quicker than the Class-1E or Class-1D that a new pilot might afford, but the route is the same]

So I bought the two rares - Juice and Milk at Leesti and set off. A 17-jump route took 31 minutes, with 8T of cargo. The Azure Milk made 17,459 Credits profit per tonne while the Leesi Evil Juice made 15,967 Credits profit per tonne.
The profit for the outbound journey was about 4168 Credits per minute, or 70 Credits per second, which we will call a quarter of a million credits an hour for a more understandable figure.

Outbound journey

For the curious, the route looked like this:

  1. Placet, 14.6 Ly
  2. Sandagaray, 15.6Ly
  3. LTT 5855, 15.5Ly
  4. 8Alpha-1 Libra, 10.9Ly
  5. BD10 4011
  6. Mamito, 12.1Ly
  7. LP 561-68, 9.63Ly
  8. LHS 399, 13.7Ly
  9. LP 329-18, 13.8Ly
  10. 14 Hercules, 13.7Ly
  11. Paul Fredrichs Star, 14.6Ly
  12. LP 102 320, 13.7Ly
  13. 36 Draconis, 9.31Ly
  14. STKM 11676, 9.97Ly
  15. Marasing, 15.1Ly
  16. BD+64 1452, 12.6Ly
  17. Esuseku, 10.7Ly

While the route is reversible, and you can make the same journey on the way back I decided to upgrade to the Class-A Frame Shift Drive to measure how much time the longer jump will save you.

Esusuke was chosen as a destination as you can buy the rare Esusuke Caviar there, and bring it back home for a similar profit so the return journey had the same importance as the outbound.

With its extended jump range of 19 Light Years, you are likely to use less fuel per jump and have a reduced fuel scooping time, and the return journey took me only 14 Jumps. So on the way back I managed a door-to-door time of 22 minutes.

Return Journey

Again for reference the jumps were:

  1. Cephei Sector IR-W C1-21, 12.4Ly
  2. Marsinatani, 13.6Ly
  3. MS Draconis, 15.8Ly
  4. ADS 10329, 13.4Ly
  5. CR Draco, 12.5Ly
  6. LHS 3075, 17.5Ly
  7. Eta Coronae Borieolis, 14.7Ly
  8. Lakota, 16.2Ly
  9. Utu, 15.9Ly
  10. LP 907-37, 18.4Ly (White star, I didn't scoop fuel here)
  11. Ackcanpi, 14.2Ly
  12. Dadal, 17.0Ly
  13. CD 35 9019, 16.1Ly
  14. Leesti, 15.9Ly

The return journey saw me sell my full 8T of Esusuke Caviar at 19,299 Credits each - A profit of 16779 and a total of 134,232 credits.  Divided by my reduced travel time this is a much more impressive 6101 Credits per minute and 101 Credits per second.
This is a 360K/Hour route - but its worth more than the outward journey because of the faster travel time, not the increased profitability.

Were either of these the most efficient routes? Possibly not. With a little experimentation on the star charts you may be able to do it in one jump less and shave a minute off the travel time.  Also, if you are blogging the route it slows you down - hopefully you'll have slightly shorter flight times than I did.  Both routes are obviously reversible, so next time out I suppose I'd start with the shorter route and see if I can straighten it up and reduce the number of jumps.


If you are doing this for the quick credit score, then upgrade that FSD and Fuel scoop as soon as you can afford it.  Remember that for the last two or three jumps, you won't need to scoop fuel as you can arrive at your destination with an empty tank.

There was only one star on that route I couldn't scoop at - the white giant at LP 907-37. Everywhere else was fine so you shouldn't find yourself stranded. If you are jumping blind and don't know where the next fuel stop is, then always jump with a full tank to be safe.

A larger ship - the Zargon Peterson Hauler, would have a higher cargo capacity and make a little more money in a little less time, and as mentioned the impressive 22Ly range on the Adder will speed this trip up too.  If there are enough requests, then I'll repeat this run in other ships, to show off the difference, or I might demonstrate other journeys too.

A profit rate of 360K/Hour is very good for the small investment required but doesn't really compare to the money to by had in moving freight which I've talked about a lot before, including Rules of Acquisition - Freight and my roundup of the entry level freighter Ship Focus - Lakon-6 shows a freighter build you can try.  Rare run trading is a great way to get into the big leagues and make early game profits, but doesn't hit peak income later on.

With any ship build or trade route, consider the alternatives and play around for maximum profitability.
If you have a ship focus you'd like to see, a pilot academy article, or more rules of acquisition leave a comment below. Please like, favorite, share, and subscribe.

As always, fly safe.