Salvaging is one of the most helpful activities you can do for your alliance, and it's consistently the best way to earn industry points. The money is also adequate, particularly for newer pilots.
There are two types of debris: small free-floating debris, and much larger debris chunks. Your ship's autopilot has trouble telling these apart, but a closer look at your sensors (via the STARMAP or RUNDOWN commands) can reveal which is which.
Salvaging debris chunks requires three components, which come preinstalled on most ships:
- Salvage sensor: Detects debris chunks and tells you what they are.
- Salvage grapple: Grapples on to debris chunks and pulls off useful bits.
- Salvage EM manipulator: Pulls in any free-floating pieces of debris that might remain.
1) Choose an empty sector. Some examples of empty sector clusters that have debris are the Spinward Cluster and The Dusty Reaches. There are more, too. Ask other pilots!
2) Jump to your chosen sector. For instance, type JUMP SPINWARD CLUSTER in your ship's control room.
3) Look for debris. Type RUNDOWN and make sure there are objects listed under the Debris heading. Or if you prefer a semi-graphical interface, type STARMAP and look for squiggly symbols (~). These are debris. You may also want to use the DEBRIS command to see the type and grade of debris chunks in the sector.
4) Type MOVE (or M) and choose the closest debris.
5) When your ship arrives next to the debris, type SALVAGE.
6) If the debris is free-floating, it will be secured in your ship immediately and you're done with this step. If not, your ship will direct you to grapple it, so type GRAPPLE, and then:
6a) Simply follow the prompts to attempt to dislodge pieces of debris. It's essentially a hot-or-cold guessing game!
6b) Once you have broken off enough pieces, the object may break up completely. If this happens, type SALVAGE to recover the pieces.
7) Repeats steps 4-6 until your ship is full.
8) Jump back to your home sector. AEU: New Earth Orbit. League: Old Earth Orbit. Fringe: Chetumal Orbit. Mutuality: Helios Station.
9) Move to a planet or space station and land.
10) Type TRANSFER to unload your debris and be paid.
Going directly after debris chunks and ignoring free-floating debris is usually the best use of your time. Try altering the above process by using the RUNDOWN command to locate debris chunks, then using the MOVE command with the coordinates of a debris chunk to move there directly. Ask another pilot if you need help with this!
Breaking up debris chunks goes faster if more than one ship is working on it!
As you progress in industry points, don't forget to visit the ship store at your capital spaceport and upgrade your salvaging equipment! As you increase the grade of your debris grapple, you can find sectors with better debris!
Check Space Vermin Command and, later, Accord of Free Worlds Command for salvaging missions. These are a great way to earn industry points!
Grapples, used to salvage large debris chunks, are the most complicated piece of salvaging equipment with three separate statistics.
- Grade: This is simply the grade of debris that your grapple can handle and corresponds to the grades you see when you use the DEBRIS command. If the local debris grade exceeds your grapple grade, you will have a hard time salvaging. Keeping your grapple's grade up to date will ensure your industrial ability grows with your needs!
- Strength: This is the ripping power of the grapple and determines how quickly it will break apart chunks.
- Grade bonus: Grapples with a grade bonus have traded off on other aspects for a lighter touch and will retrieve higher quality debris. For example, if your grapple has a grade bonus of 10 and you grapple a grade 30 chunk, the debris you retrieve will be grade 40, with a higher point and credit value.
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