Ranking in Horizons / 1.5

I’ve been playing Elite: Dangerous since day one. I tried a bit of everything. I was a bounty hunter, an assassin, a trader, a miner, an explorer… Elite is a fun game and (despite all the criticism) it has enough content to keep you hooked. Well, unless you end up grinding for something, then it gets boring. And I just can’t play like that. I hate grinding. I can’t play games who make you grind like a mindless zombie…

EmpireInsignia   FederationInsignia

The thing is, I didn’t care for Empire or Federation ranks because I knew I would eventually get them maxed by doing missions. I just didn’t feel pressured to rank up. Until they added ships with rank requirements… It was kind of annoying but as I didn’t really care for the ships, I didn’t care much. Then, Horizons came. And with it, two awesome ships… the Federal Corvette and the Imperial Cutter. I knew immediately I wanted both these ships, as the Corvette is an awesome combat ship and the Cutter is clearly the best trading (and mining) ship in the game. Neither of these two ships is multi-role, so the Anaconda is still the best Jack-of-all-trades, but…


Long story short, once Horizons launched I decided to rank up with both the Empire and the Federation to be able to buy the new ships. Tough luck… the missions are really awful for ranking… it takes ages. I didn’t have time for that. I needed a way to rank up faster. A lot faster. So I started researching for a good way to do just that. And apparently the best way to rank up were the donation missions. These are basically missions where some station asks for money and you give it to them, gaining rank in return. So, a lot of players would just stay inside a station, accept and complete donation missions and then bounce the server (jumping from Solo to Private Group to Open) in order to get a new batch of missions. This method would get you the desired rank in a few hours… days max (depending on how much you were willing to play per day).

Donations 1   Donations 2

With a little luck, I found one such hub for Federation missions. There are more, like Tun, or Exbeur, but by far the best is 17 Draconis. I mean, just look at the two images above. It wasn’t fun and it didn’t “feel good”, but two days later I got my rank: Rear Admiral. I could get my Federal Corvette now. But first I wanted to get my Empire rank up as well. So I started looking for a similar system for Empire missions. Guess what? They’ve all been nerfed into the ground. TamarLiabeze… even Cubeo. They do still give donation missions, but they are so rare, I don’t think it’s viable anymore. It’s not a fair deal and everyone’s asking “what about the balance?” but I knew I wanted my Imperial Cutter no matter what. So, after a little more research I found THIS post on Reddit. It’s a post where CMDR Rathour talks about an alternate way of ranking up with the Empire. It involves stacking up planetary missions in Cubeo – the trick is, you get a lot of missions on the same planet and can complete a whole stack in less than 15 minutes… You should follow the link and read the post, leave a well deserved “thank you” to CMDR Rathour and get to work!

Planetary Missions 1   Planetary Missions 2

Why is this better than donation missions? It isn’t. It’s still a grind and it’s slower, but you don’t really have a lot of options for Empire ranking. So, all things considered, I found this to be the best and most fun way to get that Cutter.

If you’re going to watch CMDR Rathour‘s video, I do things a little different and would like to share something with you. First of all, like Rathour says, you don’t really need a large, heavily equipped ship. In fact, you can do this in a Sidewinder. Just don’t pick the “kill number of sentries” missions. I don’t, they eat up too much time. I just pick up the missions that require you to destroy the power generator and scan the… scannable thingie 🙂 . Basically, you need a ship with an SRV equipped. Stack a lot of missions and get going. And watch the video below to see my way of doing this routine.

Hope you found this useful. Fly dangerous!

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