Want it kill some innocent traders but dont know where to begin? Well this page will give you the basics for starting your own piracy operation.

Choosing the right system for piracy

Before you start piracy you must choose a system (or cluster of systems) to do it in.  While the core systems have the best ships to target for piracy they usually have the strongest police, on the other hand frontier worlds out on the galactic rim have a more lacklustre police force, they have few ships carrying less valuable cargo.  I prefer systems that are fairly close to core systems but far enough away to not have the strongest police force.

Finding Targets

A little known but very handy fact is that you can target incomming hyperspace clouds via the "System orbital map" (two icons along from the red telephone). Use the right mouse button to drag the map around a bit and you will soon notice little free floating dots that dont have any orbit tied to them.

To target these dots press "T" and then click on them, this will have you targetting them with the green navigation target.  If you want to find out more information switch to the red fighting target and the hyperspace cloud analyser will tell you a bit more about the mass of the incomming ship.

Picking the right target

When picking the right target you must consider a number of things: 

The first and most important thing is whether your ship is capbable of destroying the victim, there is no point going after a ship if you are going to be the one comming out worst.  When you target a hyperspace cloud you only get information on the mass of the ship but usually this is enough to make an educated guess on the type of ship that is comming through.  If you see a ship with thousands of tons of mass and your only flying a Cobra, then its a pretty good bet you wont be able to beat them.

The second thing you must consider is whether it is worthwhile to attack the ship.  A number of small ships come into the system every day but they hold little cargo and have the potential to do considerable damage to your ship.  Its not worthwhile going after a Cobra Mk 1 if you are large pirate. 

Other things to consider are the left over capacity of your ship, it would be a shame to destroy a ship that had hundreds of tons of precious metals when you only had 50 tons space.  Also you must consider the distance to the hyperspace cloud.  If the cloud is too far away the ship you are after will be half way to the starbase by the time you catch up to it.  The closer to the starbase you are the higher the chance of  the police catching you.

In my large pirate ship I prefer targets such as the one above. The Skeet is a medium sized ship capable of holding a decent cargo but it is not overly large and is slow to manuver, making it a good target for battle.

Engaging the Target

Once you have decided on a target you must now engage it in battle.  Try and reach the hyperspace cloud before the ship has come through. Use use progressively lower modes of stardreamer untill the target shows up. You must be quick! Once the target shows up attack! If you are quick everything will be over before the victim even knew what was happening.

Often you cant reach the victim before they have entered the system, in this case you must give chase. Never chase a ship too long as you will come close to a starbase and the wrath of the police.

When you are chasing a victim, to prevent you from just flying back and fowards past the ship once it has come near it, send it a "Surrender or Die" message, this will put the ship into "attacking mode" similar to what happens when a pirate attacks you, this way you can have a good ole space battle.

Collecting the booty

Once the ship is destroyed, pick the most valuable booty and scoop it up using your cargo scoops. Often you might want to leave some cheaper items alone, such as metal alloys, water etc.  Once you have collected as much cargo as you can hold, fly back to the local starbase and sell it all.  Make any repairs on your ship that may be necessary and start the whole process again.

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