Meet the galaxy’s needs with trade, piracy or smuggling

Trading is a popular way to make money as a Commander in the Elite Dangerous galaxy.

There are thousands of star systems with one or more commodities markets, each with their own type of economy – Agricultural, Industrial, Hi-tech, Extraction, Refining or Service.

The trading rules are simple and universal: buy goods cheaply where they are most common and sell them where prices are high. Supply and demand drives prices, and every trade you make affects the markets for every player on every platform.

The smaller the market, the more you will influence it through trading. Even mid-sized economies can be influenced by concerted efforts between groups of like-minded individuals.

The majority of trade goods are legal, but some Commanders may choose to trade in illicit goods or human slaves. Trading in jurisdictions where cargo is illegal presents a challenge for smugglers, and will test your stealth skills as you enter starports while avoiding the law. Trading offers a direct progression to the rank of Elite.


If you prefer a life outside the law then you may find profit to be made as a galactic smuggler. Trading in illegal goods means evading scans from starport security and knowledge of the galaxy’s Black Market network, but pilots able to manage their ship’s profile and stay off the authorities’ radars can make huge profits.


Couriers traffic in data, requiring no amount of cargo space in the ship’s hold. Courier missions can be picked up from starport bulletin boards and can be a valuable supplement for commanders piloting ships outfitted for combat rather than heavy goods trading.