Mining Guide

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BlueWarningTriangle.png This page has been retired but kept for historical or other reasons, The information on this page may be incorrect, out of date or just not relevant to this version of Discovery. It should not be taken as canon nor any authority on the current version of Discovery. It is kept simply to show some history of the Discovery Mod:
The mining mod went through a thorough redesigning process for version 4.86, and many referenced ships have since been removed due to the imported model purge or the ship simply being replaced.

See also:

What Links HerePage HistoryHistorical Articles

Mining Guide Sections
How to Mine • Mining Areas • Mining Ships

Hi, welcome to my guide on mining in Discovery 4.85. This guide was written with information coming from the Discovery UK server, if you aren't playing on this server some information might not be 100% correct, so don't shoot me for something like that. Also, this guide reflects some of my personal opinions, whether you agree with me or not is entirely up to you, this guide is mainly to help out those that are new to the fascinating world of Discovery Role Playing.

Ok, now on to the more interesting stuff, mining. Some people love it, others hate it. Me, I love it, otherwise I wouldn't be writing this guide. Mining is without a doubt one of the most profitable things to get money from, if you do it correctly. The main reason for this is that mining is supposed to be a team effort, with several people working together, although you can still make quite allot money mining on your own, it isn't nearly as fun as doing it in group, nor is it as save. Always keep this in mind.

I would like to conclude this introduction by saying that you are best to read through Discovery RP 24/7 Server Rules (or the rules of the server you are on) before going ingame, so that you know what can or can't be done on the server.

Mining for Rookies

This section of the guide is meant to help those that are first time players on the server. If you already have some experience, feel free to skip this, though it might be interesting to read.

1. Press here to open your cargo hold
2. These are the items I was talking about, make sure you have read them. After that, you can sell them on any base.

The Basics

Ok, so you made your first character and now you find yourself on the surface of Planet Erie with a brand new Starflier at your disposal. But, since you want to be a miner, the DiscoveryGC team has set up a special character template for you. To activate it, type "/restart miner". This will disconnect you from the server briefly, but you can login rightaway. Once you come back, you will notice your ship has changed. You now have a Basalt, which is a very basic mining ship. First thing I would recommend is reading the info cards of the special cargo you have on board your ship (Image left), there should be three items there, and reading them shouldn't take more than a few minutes, but they can make your stay on the server so much easier.

Now, I suggest you take off and start flying around a bit, see if you can find some people in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is the new starting system introduced in version 4.85 of this mod, and it has a lot to offer new players. Pennsylvania and the New York system are often the most populated systems the server, so it shouldn't be too hard finding someone there if the server population isn't low. Player interaction including Role Playing, co-operative play and making friends are all very important on this server. Why do you need friends? Because as I said before mining is best done in groups. Now chances are that you will find some other new players, or maybe even experienced players, and if you talk to them I am convinced that you will find someone who is willing to help you. Of course you can have your friends from real life help to, just remember that interacting with others is still very important.

One final note, only try to find friends, don't go doing missions or even fighting NPCs, otherwise you might not be able to follow this guide. If you can't find anyone else to work with in getting started in the manner described below see the Going Solo section.

Now, let's start with the assumption that your newly made friend is, such as yourself, a new player. In this case, the two of you will have to decide. Are you both willing to trust each other and work together to climb up the financial ladder? If so, the next thing you'll want to decide is who of you will become the Miner, and who the Hauler.

Wait wait, what's a hauler? A hauler is the best friend of the miner. Haulers usually have ships with large cargo holds, which the miner can then fill up with mined material. Miners need haulers later on because they are limited to ships with a maximum cargo hold size of 2750 units, while haulers can get ships with cargo holds up to 5000 units. This makes Haulers more efficient at moving ore.

Getting all Set up

If you have several friends, it's best to divide the labor like this: miner, hauler, miner, hauler,… This means that if there are 2 players it's best to have 1 miner and 1 hauler, if there are 3 players, its best to have 2 miners and 1 hauler, if there are 4 players, it's best to have 2 miners and 2 haulers, and so on.

Now that that's decided there are there is a special server command everyone should use (for a full list of server command see Server Commands). To use this command first make sure you are docked on a base. Now open the chat bar (default: press enter). Miners should type: “/restart miner” and the haulers should type: “/restart Liberty” (ps. don't type the “ ”). If you did this, you will be kicked off the server, but don't worry, this is normal. Now log back in, and you will see that everyone is back on planet Erie, only you now have new ships. Miners will have a light fighter called the Basalt, whilst Haulers will get a ship called the CSV.

Next up, the hauler needs to go to the ship dealer on Planet Erie, and buy a Rhino freighter. When buying a new ship, always make sure that you transfer your ID along with you, ID's are a necessary part of your ship, as they are your tractor beam, and they tell you what you can or can't do. Note that ID's are MANDATORY on the Discovery RP 24/7 server as well as most other role playing servers.

Now that the hauler has bought the Rhino, both the hauler and miner should undock and meet up in space. Here, the Hauler should give all the credits he has left to the miner, so that the miner can also buy himself a Rhino. Like the Hauler, the miner should make sure he transfers his ID, but also one specific weapon, the mining laser. Whatever you do, don't sell that one, you'll need it! Now, you start mining. Once you have filled up your own craft, select your hauler friend from the HUD, so that you have your hauler targeted. Any cargo you mine while you have another ship targeted, is sent into the cargo bay of the ship you have selected. This allows all miners to fill a transport without risking the ore being stolen in space.

This picture shows the area where you should be mining for helium looks like. The ship you can see is a Basalt light miner.
1. This is what the helium looks like after you shot some rocks
2. These smaller rocks are the ones you need to shoot, you can't miss noticing them, as they are the only objects that move.

Start Mining!

If all went well, both of you should now have a rhino freighter, each capable of carrying 225 units of cargo. Now you can get to mining. Our first mining site can be found behind planet Erie, inside the Hallam Nebula. Fly into the nebula until you see large asteroids. Now, to start mining, you need to shoot, not the big asteroids, but the smaller ones that move around (Image right). For now, both the miner and hauler can shoot the rocks. Do this until both of you have your cargo bays full with Helium (this is what should come out of the rocks you shoot). Now there are two places to sell your freshly mined helium, either sell it for 400 credits on Planet Erie, or take the trade lane and sell it for 550 credits on Philadelphia Station. The choice is yours.

Continue to do this until the both of you together have at least 2.250.000 credits (or 2.25 mill). Reaching this amount will mark the end of your helium mining career, and the beginning of your career as true miner/hauler.

But what to do with all that money?


Now, it is time to go to Bethlehem Station. To get there, go to Philadelphia Station, and take the trade lane to the right. Once you get there, make sure that the hauler has 2.2 mill, and the miner the remaining cash. Now, both of you should dock with Bethlehem. The miner should now buy a basalt again, which should cost somewhere around 75.000 credits (75K). Yes you will now buy the exact same ship you sold earlier, if you hadn't done that, it would have taken you allot longer to get the 2.2 mill you needed for the hauler. Speaking of the hauler, he should now buy the Dromedary freighter, a nice little ship capable of hauling a whooping 650 units of cargo. Don't forget your ID's and miner(s), don't forget your mining laser(s).

So, what now? Now you read on with the guide. Later on, in the Mining Areas section, I will tell you about the real mining sites and what you can mine there as well as related information. Use this to decide where you will be mining. Also, the miner will be a miner/escort. I'll explain later what that means and how you can do this.

Going Solo

Now, if you couldn't find anyone to help you out, or you just didn't feel much for searching one, you have 3 options if you want to become a miner.

  1. Use the /restart miner command, this will give you a basalt to mine with. Now you should fly around and offer people your services as a miner/escort. This, however, largely depends on how much a miner/escort is needed, so success isn't guaranteed.
  2. Use the /restart Liberty command. Like the hauler, you should sell it and buy a rhino freighter. Use this to mine helium (see Start Mining). Do this until you have enough to buy a dromedary, then use the dromedary to mine helium. Now you will be better of selling it at Philadelphia Station, since it offers a better price than Erie. Keep doing this until you have roughly 6.5 mill credits. Go to the Kepler system, and dock with Ames Research Station to buy yourself a new ID, the independent trader ID. After this, go to planet New Tokyo in New Tokyo, and buy a bumblebee there, this little baby has a cargo hold of 1800 units, and should help you reach your next goal. Start trading with this one until you have around 25 mill. You can then use this ship to buy yourself a Hegemon mining ship, and become a miner/hauler. Again I will explain later on what this means.
  3. This is the option I suggest the most, go to the forums, and look for a mining faction to join. The members of this faction will no doubt be happy to help you become a respectable miner, as well as a respectable member of the community.

Facts/tips about mining

I'll use this section to tell you a bit over mining in general, as well as give some tips. Like stated in the intro, these are based on my own opinion and what I think of it, others might not share my opinion.

Mining bonuses

Mining bonuses are a special feature that is allowed by flhook. What this means is that you will get an increase in mining droppings depending on what ship/equipment/ID and IFF you are using. Later on I'll explain more about which ships/IDs/IFFs can be used for this. There are four things that are all needed to get mining bonuses:

Mining weapons : There are two types of turrets that give you a mining bonus. There is no difference between the two other than which ships can mount each; fighter classed ship can only mount the BL0-D0 Mining Emitter, which is a class 2 turret, whilst transports use the M4-TT Mining Emitter, which is a class 7 turret. Transports can still mount the fighter turret too. Only when a ship equipped with one of these turrets (you only need one) is shooting rocks will you get the mining bonus. You must hit the rocks you are mining from with mining turrets, or you will not get ore. This makes mining ships without a forward firing turret (like the Basalt) not easy or fun to use.

ID : The miner ID, the one you get when using the /restart miner command, gives a mining bonus for almost every type of ore you'll be mining, however the size of the bonus is significantly less than what you would get from specialized IDs.

IFF : The miner ID works with any IFF, both lawful and unlawful. However do remember that this is a role playing server, and the IFF you take will show the other players where your allegiance lies. I would personally suggest that you use the miner ID to look for a mining spot that is to your taste, and then do missions to get the proper ID/IFF of a specialized faction.

Remember, you will need both an IFF and a proper ID to get the bonus. For detailed information about mining as part of specific factions see the Mining Areas Section of this guide. For a general overview of which factions get bonuses for which commodities see Mineable Commodities.

Ship : The basic mining ship is the Basalt. It is important to note that junkers and ALG do not get bonuses with the standard set of mining ships, they have their own specialized mining ships. For more information on ships see the Mining Ships Section.

Best way to mine

The best way to mine, and this method is generally considered to be the best way to mine, not only by me but by a lot of people.

For small ships, all you need to do, is go into cockpit view (The default way to do this is by pressing ctrl+V), then put mouse view (default: press space). Now all you need to do is go from one moving rock to the other, and that should do the trick.

Custom keyboard controls for mining.

However, for bigger miners, this method isn't as effective because of their decreased turning rate. For them I suggest you do the following. First, you need to enter cockpit view. Next what you need to do is move backwards, while turning upwards. The best way of doing this selecting two keys on your keyboard that are close together, and put them as secondary commands. You will need one for reverse trusting, and one for pitch up (Image left).

This method is so good because it allows you to see more minable rocks in a shorter period of time (for some reason unknown to me). However some people don't like this because chances are you'll crash into stationary asteroids, or they just got nauseous from the spinning.

As a final note, I would like to point out that some ships only have rear facing turrets, as a result the mining turrets on those ships can only fire backwards. Should you be mining using one of those ships, the best way to use them is using turret view (default: press H). While some people might say that turret view is the best way to mine, I find it one of the worst, as your ship is usually blocking a large portion of your view, so you can't see if there are rocks behind it.

Haulers and escorts

Haulers transport the mined ores to the places that sell them. They usually fly the large Transports, which miners can't use because of the bonus system (the big ships don't get a mining bonus).

Some haulers will also make a miner char to help fill their ship when working in teams. Because more people are mining, they can fill up a transport twice as fast. When they think they are almost done, the hauler will go get transport which is usually docked on the closest base. He will then pick up all the ore, and if his ship still isn't full, his partner can do the final mining to fill up the entire cargo hold.

If you plan on becoming a hauler, than there are two ships I recommend for you, the Akegata and the Shire. These two ships are almost identical, apart from their looks. Both costing a little over 100 mill, they have a cargo hold of 4200. This isn't the largest available, but these ships have one very nice extra feature that well outweighs their lack of cargo space, and that is their 12 turret mounts. These allow them to fend off many possible attackers, and combined with one or two escorts, only pirates in gunboats stand much chance against them.

Which brings me to the next part, escorts, something every ore hauler should get himself. Unfortunately there are very few escorts available at best, and most people would rather risk losing their cargo than pay for an escort. This is one reason many miners are mining factions or have friends in the community they regularly work with.

The best way to escort an ore miner is not by flying beside it, but by flying ahead of it. What this means is that the escort will take the trade lane/ jump gate first, and the hauler will wait until the escort gives the all clear. This way, the hauler will not be exposed to possible danger from pirates. If there are pirates, the escort can make arrangements with the pirate(s) to insure that when the hauler passes, the pirates won't destroy it and the ore you worked so hard for will remain in your hands. However, if the pirates are unreasonable, or for some reason untrustworthy, the transport can still make a large detour around them and make it safely past them. Though this will slow you down considerably, your cargo, and hard earned credits, will be safe.


Miner/escorts are, like the name suggests, miners who after the mining also serve as escorts for the haulers they just filled up. This is in my eyes how things should be. Not only will this improve the chance of your cargo reaching its destination, it's also a lot more fun to stop shooting those rocks and just do some flying every now and then. Unfortunately there are very few miner/escorts, because this requires teamwork, and for some dark, obscure reason, people prefer making money on their own instead of making it in groups. Fighter miners like the Dacite or Mafic work well for this role.


These are people who do theit mining and hauling in the same ship, usually the Hegemon. This way they can do everything all on their own without the need for anyone. These miners often prefer to mine alone, although some will readily group up, or sell their cargo to passing traders. A miner/hauler will often encounter pirates, both while mining and on the haul, so hiring an escort and/or equipping the miner with weapon turrets is highly recommended. Most miner/hauler ships also have very high hull rates, making the use of armor very effective on these ships.

Miners for hire and miner/sellers

Miners for hire are often people who offer their services to anyone willing to pay them for it. Deals are made before the actual mining begins. Miners for hire don't care who hires them, nor do they care about how and where the ores are going to be sold, as long as they get paid.

Miner/sellers aren't much different from miners for hire. The big difference between the two is that a miner/seller mines before he searches for someone to sell his ores to. These miners often use mining ships, because of their large hold.

The big disadvantage of being one of these types is that this won't provide a steady source of income, as it is very dependent on having other players being willing to hire you/buy your ores. If the miner uses a transport class mining ship, they will often switch to miner/hauler if no buyer can be found, and deliver the ore themselves.

Stationary miners

These miners always work with a hauler. While the hauler is on his way delivering the ores, these miners will stay in the mining zone and continue mining, so that when the hauler return, the next batch of ore will be waiting for him. This is the fastest way to make money, since the hauler rarely has to wait for his ores, so he can keep moving back and forth without long intermissions. The disadvantage of this is that it will require a third person to provide the escort services, and while the hauler and escort are away the miner and all he is mined since they left are vulnerable to pirates.

Mining Guide Sections
How to Mine • Mining Areas • Mining Ships