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Basic Careers

Tinker, tailor, soldier, spy? The modern pilot has a vast range of careers open to him, but the choice can be confusing! Each of the different careers available has advantages and disadvantages, not to mention the returns available.

Here's the careers you can do, and the pros and cons of each. More detailed instructions, and other handy tips can be found elsewhere in the Tutorials Section.


One of the oldest professions in the space game. With trading you are basically buying goods in one system, and selling them in another, hopefully at a profit.


If you find a good route, you can make quite a bit of money.

Trading is (usually) completely legal, and therefore you're unlikely to have much trouble with the Law.

Trading is generally very safe, providing you keep to systems you feel safe in. Precisely how risky a run can be varies from system to system. Some systems carry a very high risk of pirate attacks.


Not many. The main 'problem' will be that you get sick of shuttling cargo between the systems, as it can get repetitive.

Sometimes the profits can be quite small.

Pay careful attention to the legal status of goods in your destination system - what's legal where you are buying might not be where you intend to sell.


While legitimate trading is a nice safe way of making money, some pilots prefer the excitement and glamour of forbidden cargos.


The profits are potentially huge, especially if you buy the cargo in a system that's legal.


Smuggling is illegal, and you could get a large fine if caught.

Trading in illegal goods is also an offence, and the police often put fake illegal trading operations on the boards.

Parcel Courier

This can be a useful sideline, as the parcels don't take up any cargo space. You'll be usually taking the object from one system to another.


You can sometimes get additional revenue from a trading trip if there's a contract to where you are going.

Sometimes there are people willing to pay good money.

The parcels don't take up much space.


The prices on offer are usually very small. You might not recover your fuel cost! That's why you should trade too...

High price = high risk. You may be taking something that someone doesn't want you to have...

Useful contracts are usually rare. You may need to go out of your way. In this case, it's a good idea to check if there's any useful trading to be done in the destination system.


Another A to B job, much like being a courier except that you will be taking people instead of packages. You will need to fit some passenger compartments.


As courier, but the fees are a lot higher, especially for contracts with more than one person.


As courier, but you need cabins, which take up space.

Also, to do the job properly you really need 8 permanent cabins to retain flexibility or take multiple contracts.

Miner (Asteroid)

Another of the old, traditional, ways of life. Asteroid miners, as the name suggests, search systems for asteroids, and then shoot at them with specialist lasers to fragment them into collectable chunks.


The most obvious advantage is 'free' cargo, which can be sold on the stock market.

Sometimes you may find items that are quite valuable.


It's still not exciting.

You usually only get minerals, if anything.

If you can't find any asteroids, you can't do any mining.

The required laser has a low rate of fire (although it is very powerful), so you could have trouble in combat if this is your only laser.

Miner (Mechanical)

With the invention of the new, portable, mining machines, a new type of mining has become popular. Mechanical mining is done by dropping the machine on a planet's surface and the machine drilling for materials. The machine can be left in place and visited later to pick up the spoils.


As Asteroid mining, and...

Planets are a lot easier to find than drifting asteroids!

There is an increased likelihood of getting something worthwhile.


As Asteroid Mining, and...

The machinery's heavy - it'll eat 30t of your valuable cargo space per MB4.

Virtually all of the systems in the core of human space are mined out, and mining an inhabited planet is illegal. You may have to travel quite a distance to find a viable claim.

Even if you do find something to mine, you might not be covering the cost of the journey to and from your claim if you don't have a standard drive and scoop fuel.


Inevitably, some of you will decide that honest endeavour is just not lucrative enough, and look for more excitement. Taking the assassin's path is to deal in death, and in space there is no such thing as a clean kill.


Some clients offer serious money to get the job done.

Can help the combat rating.


Could land you with a fine and attract the attention of the police.

Often requires careful journey planning.

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