Introduction

This guide shows an alternative way to gather manufactured materials. Its based upon the Exigeous video “The fastest way to gather any engineering materials” from 3:00 onwards, and the Hawkes video “The best ways to farm all engineering materials….” from 00:50, together with updates and improvements based on testing and observation.

PREPARATION

Empty your G5 bins & prep your ship

The method is based around collecting G5 materials to trade down, so firstly you may wish to get your Inara lists for Guardian modules and ship modules in order so you know what lower-grade materials you need. Then do any materials trading you need to, so your bins have space. Our own home base Lanier Ring has a manufactured trader, so you can randomly trade down there until your G5 bins are empty, or simply make the trades you need based on your Inara lists.

Quick Method:
In each row where you have G5 materials, trade them down for items in the same row, so your G5 bins are empty for farming. Leave space for G4s as you’ll sometimes get those too.

Best Method:
Get your ships planned out first so you know exactly the trades you need to make using the Inara Missing Components Service.

SHIP PREP

Your ship will need cargo space (for limpets, the materials go in your Bins), and collector limpets to help you empty the HGE sites as fast as possible.

Decide what you want to collect

There are several approaches:

– randomly fill all G5 bins (fastest and most efficient overall)
– hunt specific G5s (more frustrating)

If there are particular G3 or G4s that you’re after, you can use the Manufactured Materials Table to pick the appropriate G5s that you’re going to want to use to trade for them.

Either: make a shopping list of G5s and skip to the second G5 Spawn Locations table; or make a shopping list of lower materials, then use the Material Groupings table below to work out from which G5s you’re going to obtain them; or skip ahead to Collecting Materials if you’re just going to try and fill up generally.

Material Groupings

This is the table of all the materials in their groupings; you’re going to want to pick G5s in the same group as the lower-grade materials you want:

CHEMICAL
Chemical Storage Units Chemical Processors Chemical Distillery Chemical Manipulators Pharmaceutical Isolators
THERMIC
Tempered Alloys Heat Resistant Ceramics Precipitated Alloys Thermic Alloys Military Grade Alloys
HEAT
Heat Conduction Wiring Heat Dispersion Plate Heat Exchangers Heat Vanes Proto Heat Radiators
CONDUCTIVE
Basic Conductors Conductive Components Conductive Ceramics Conductive Polymers Biotech Conductors
MECHANICAL COMPONENTS
Mechanical Scrap Mechanical Equipment Mechanical Components Configurable Components Improvised Components
CAPACITORS
Gride Resistors Hybrid Capacitors Electrochemical Arrays Polymer Capacitors Military Supercapacitors
SHIELDING
Worn Shield Emitters Shield Emitters Shielding Sensors Compound Shielding Imperial Shielding
COMPOSITE
Compact Composites Filament Composites High Density Composites Proprietary Composites Core Dynamics Composites
CRYSTALS
Crystal Shards Flawed Focus Crystals Focus Crystals Refined Focus Crystals Exquisite Focus Crystals
ALLOYS
Salvaged Alloys Galvanising Alloys Phase Alloys Proto Light Alloys Proto Radiolic Alloys

G5 Spawn Locations 

Since 3.4, the High Grade Emission spawns are no longer linked to the system state. They are linked to the state of the faction that owns the HGE, which is much harder to predict.

Nonetheless, the system state is still linked to the controlling faction state, so the table below is still useful as a dropping-off point. I’ve reworked this from the original Exigeous table to include population (previous wisdom was that HGEs occur only in high-population systems, but I’ve disproven this), and the state is the HGE state; but of course you can’t search for HGEs by state, you will need to search for systems in this state and then take the HGEs you are given.

The best approach is to generally aim for the items you want, but make sure you have space for other G5s, and when you arrive at your closest suitable system, rotate around nearby systems, jotting notes of what you are getting. For example, I was hunting Pharmaceutical Isolators, and ended up finding my best HGEs in a 2,655-pop Empire system in Outbreak, where I found an HGE owned by an Empire faction in the Outbreak state. The original table claims this isn’t possible. 

So you’re best just to rotate around a few systems, you’ll luck out eventually and in the meantime you can fill up on G5s you don’t need as and when you find HGEs, which you can keep for later or cross-trade for other items you do need.

Biotech Conductors Exquisite Focus Crystals can’t be obtained this way. Cross-trade for them with other G5s or do a few missions for them. 

Core Dynamic Composites

Federation Election|None
Military Grade Alloys Independent or Alliance War|Civil War
Military Supercapacitors Independent or Alliance War|Civil War
Improvised Components Independent or Alliance Civil Unrest
Imperial Shielding Imperial Election|None
Pharmaceutical Isolators Independent or Alliance Outbreak
Proto Heat Radiators Independent or Alliance Boom|None
Proto Radiolic Alloys Independent or Alliance Expansion|None

Finally, ensure you have plenty of collector limpets; ideally you want 2 controllers dispatching 4 limpets minimum. A fuel scoop is also a good idea as you try to find a system.

Set the mode you are going to play in: Solo, PG or Open (you can’t change this later).

Then use EDDB to find a nearby system meeting the criteria above.

Double-check you have limpets; then fly out to the system.

When you arrive, use your LHS navigation panel and set the filter to signal sources as per the below:

Head to the Nav Beacon using Supercruise/Supercruise Assist and drop in to scan it. Or do a Full System Scan to add to your Exploration Data bankroll.

Once scanned, re-enter Supercruise; you should see the Signal Sources in the system displayed as follows. You are looking for High Grade Emissions (HGEs). If you don’t see any, move to the next system, or log out and back in to obtain a new instance.

You may have to flip 4-5 systems before hitting gold, but this is (a) why we packed a Fuel Scoop and (b) not a worry, because once you find a single HGE, you’ll be able to farm it over and over. Another approach is to enter orbit of the main star, and just check back every 10-15 minutes to see if an HGE has popped.

Once you’ve found your HGE, make sure there is a reasonable amount of time remaining on it. If there isn’t, flip systems or take 20 mins to let things refresh, reboot your game and have a break, logging back into an alternate mode such as Private Group to get a new instance.

Eventually, you’ll be set with a HGE spawn with decent time remaining on it.

Drop into the instance, making sure you know what mode you’re using (Solo, which PG, or Open). Fire your collector limpets and empty the Emissions site, then quit out of the game entirely back to your ‘desktop’.

Boot back into the same mode, and keep your throttle at zero while firing up Supercruise. When you get the prompt, hit boost and you’ll enter SC at a low soeed.

Go back to your RH panel and you’ll have an Unidentified Signal Source really close to you. Target it and you’ll see its the same HGE as before, with less time remaining. Repeat until the HGE dies, then start finding a new HGE!

 

Head to the Nav Beacon using Supercruise/Supercruise Assist and drop in to scan it. Or do a Full System Scan to add to your Exploration Data bankroll.

Once scanned, re-enter Supercruise; you should see the Signal Sources in the system displayed as follows. You are looking for High Grade Emissions (HGEs). If you don’t see any, move to the next system, or log out and back in to obtain a new instance.

You may have to flip 4-5 systems before hitting gold, but this is (a) why we packed a Fuel Scoop and (b) not a worry, because once you find a single HGE, you’ll be able to farm it over and over. Another approach is to enter orbit of the main star, and just check back every 10-15 minutes to see if an HGE has popped.

Once you’ve found your HGE, make sure there is a reasonable amount of time remaining on it. If there isn’t, flip systems or take 20 mins to let things refresh, reboot your game and have a break, logging back into an alternate mode such as Private Group to get a new instance.

Eventually, you’ll be set with a HGE spawn with decent time remaining on it.

Drop into the instance, making sure you know what mode you’re using (Solo, which PG, or Open). Fire your collector limpets and empty the Emissions site, then quit out of the game entirely back to your ‘desktop’.

Boot back into the same mode, and keep your throttle at zero while firing up Supercruise. When you get the prompt, hit boost and you’ll enter SC at a low speed.

Go back to your LH panel and you’ll have an Unidentified Signal Source really close to you. Target it and set Supercruise Assist, flip 180° and you’ll see its the same HGE as before, with less time remaining, you should drop straight back in. Repeat until the HGE expires, then start finding a new HGE!

Again to find a new HGE either head back to the nav beacon and re-scan the system, change systems, change instances or have a cup of coffee and wait!

You may need to go and trade down 20-30 of your G5s if you get too full on any particular item. A single HGE with 15-20 mins remaining should be enough to fill a bin of 100 G5s within 10-15 mins of doing this.