Mining is a nice profession as it provides you with X.P. during the mining process and with resources you can sell later. There is some initial cost involved as you will need to purchase some basic equipment, though this cost is relatively cheap in comparison to other professions.
How to get started
Mining is pretty straightforward. For a pictorial walk through, please see How to mine ore.
A mining laser is required to mine asteroids. However, with only a mining laser, you won't find anything but Ore, a Remote Mining Drone can do that too. No, you'll want to go after more valuable goods. For this, you need to increase your scan rating. So while you can get away with only a mining laser at the first few levels, pretty soon you'll want to get yourself a Asteroid Scanner. (Asteroid Scanner, mind you, not Asteroid Data Scanner!). Once you reach level 25, you might even decide to get yourself some Babylon Scan Units, to raise your scan rating even more.
If you want to see what the asteroid you're about to mine has to offer, you can get yourself a Asteroid Data Scanner. By equipping this system, you can see (using the blue button) which ores are located in that asteroid. However, it will show you all ores, regardless of the scan rating you have. If you're not getting any of the ore you know is there, you'll need to raise your scan rating.
Note that your scan rating only determines which ores you find, while your level determines how much. The amount will increase to a maximum of 25 ore per slot at around level 75.
You'll need a bit of mining skill to equip your mining laser. Just enough to equip it, spending more IP won't help you. If you want to equip an asteroid scanner, you'll also need Scan Tech. Again, only enough to equip it, spending more won't get you anything.
After getting up in levels a bit you will equip also Mining scanners - using scan tech skill to equip the different scanners.
A miner can get a maximum basic scan rate of 74 - at level 180 using scanners and Babylon pod.
DOs and DON'Ts
- Federation of Mining (F.O.M.) offices are located in the Sphere, VP and Furnace galaxies. These offices offer a reward for mining an unidentified ore in a specific location. If you plan on mining, always get a F.O.M. mission before you start. The farther or the more ore it needs you to collect, the greater the reward.
- Mine plain old Ore beyond level 15. That's when you can equip the first scanner. Get Remote Mining Drones instead. - this is disputable - I (Sukayo) and other miners pick up everything
- Upgrade scanners before mining lasers. Mining lasers give a % bonus to scan rating, and a billion percent of zero is still zero!