Material Farming in Elite Dangerous
How to farm materials efficiently with the new changes to HSS and BGS in 3.3.
Firstly, material collection from signal sources in Elite Dangerous 3.3 is seriously unbalanced and terribly nerfed at the same time. Using one to cancel the other out can give a consistent and repeatable material farm rate of 50 G5 per hour or more. Here is how I used the mechanism to get full material storage for all manufactured materials + my advice and experience.
First, there is a really good video by DTEA(here) which I recommend everyone to watch. It explains the new method of G5 material gathering from signal sources, but the crux is that all G5 sources behave in the same way as Dav’s hope, you can log and they will be there again while the timer is running.
This enables very fast collection of 100 G5 materials of a given type in the signal source. Very nice. If immersion breaking.
Not all materials have the same ease of acquisition. Some material types are now nerfed in their collection, mostly due to what I guess are BGS changes to make their acquisition close to impossible(compared to how it was before). On the other hand some materials can be farmed consistently at a rate of at least 300/hr.
Categories of Material
Ludicrously Easy to Acquire
- Imperial Shielding
- Core Dynamics Composites + Proprietary Composites
- Military Grade Alloys
- Proto Heat Radiators
- Proto Radiolic Alloys
- Military Supercapacitors
- Pharmaceutial Isolators
- Improvised Components
- Exquisite Focus Crystals(+Combat)
- Biotech Conductors
I spent a lot of time flying around to work this out. Pharmaceutical Isolators spawn so infrequently(3.3) and there is such a high spawn rate of Core Dynamics Composites to dilute the spawns that they are basically not obtainable, especially that BGS changes seem to have seriously limited Outbreak systems. Civil Unrest systems there was only 1 I could find(3.3, early Jan). So Improvised Components are just a no-go right now. Dont even try and find them, you are just wasting your time.
What IS possible, however is that given the ludicrously easy method of finding the materials in the ‘Ludicrously Easy to Acquire’ list, 600 of them can be farmed easily(in 2 hrs) and then swapped for 100 Improvised Components or Pharmaceutical Isolators.
I recommend the ‘Nariansan’ system to do this in, as High Grade spawns very frequently and there is a material trader in the system. The only material that spawns is Imperial Shielding, which is much better to farm than Core Dynamics Composites as there is no dilution with G4 materials, and they are slightly easier to find than Military Grade Alloys.
Materials on the ‘Obtainable’ list CAN be found if one looks in the right place and has some patience, but if they just cant be found, it is best to cut losses and just use the Imperial Shielding farming/material trader route. It will save you a lot of sanity. An hour flying around searching could have netted 50 of what you are looking for.
It is far easier and faster to use Nav Beacons to scan a system rather than the new discovery scanner if jumping into a new system to look for HSS.
Best ship to do all this in is an AspX with collection limpits.
I really wish some design folks at Frontier sitting down and deciding how many G5 materials an experienced, properly equipped CMDR looking in the right place aught to get in an hour. Then adjust the RNG and number of materials found to make sure that is what they get on average. Stop G5 HSS being repeatedly farmable and properly balance things. And make sure materials across all types do spawn and frequently, maybe by increasing the system type they spawn in. Right now it is just a total mess, with some materials being ludicrously easy to acquire and some being impossible.