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Smuggling Tutorial

While trading legal goods can be quite profitable, many traders soon succumb to the temptation of the larger profits that only illegal trading can bring. As you can imagine, the authorities take a dim view of the smuggling and trading of illegal goods, and penalties can be severe if you get caught.

Identifying a route

The best way to make money from smuggling is by buying products that are legal in one system but illegal in others (this is most likely if you are trading between systems owned by different powers). For example, there are virtually no illegal goods in the Empire, but quite a bit in the Federation.

You'll need to study the galactic chart to identify the routes that are most likely to bring you big profits. Ideally, the systems you're trading between will be fairly close (within two hyperjumps). The system information page will tell you which goods are illegal. For the best results, the goods you're trading in will be legal and major or minor exports in the system you're buying from.

Once you've decided on a route, it's wise to scout it while doing a spot of legitimate trading. The reason for this is that while the illegal trading company that advertises on a particular starport's BBS is always the same, there is often a fake company advertising too. This fake company is a police sting operation - any attempt to trade with it will result in you getting fined. While you're on, you can check the prices on offer for the illegal goods. After a few visits, you should have found out which company is always there. Now you can get in business.


By now, you should have decided what goods you're going to be smuggling. Go to the stockmarket, and buy as much of the cargo as you can. If you still have room and have bought all of the available smuggling cargo, fill the remaining space with legal goods so you can make some extra money. A full cargo hold is always good for business, even if some of the stuff isn't illegal at the destination.


Once you arrive in the destination system, fly to the starport where you know the name of the illegal trader. On landing, you may get fined for smuggling illegal goods. Don't pay the fine just yet (but make sure it's paid before midnight). Go to the BBS screen, and look for the advert for the black market.

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