X4 Foundations Mining Guide
Mining in X4 Foundations is a very interesting activity with a couple different paths you can follow. An equally important to Trading profession, that supplies the X4 Universe with necessary minerals and resources.
Mining may look like a simple activity to perform but there is more to it than meets the eye.
Mining Ships & Equipment
In general we can distinguish Mining into three major categories. Extracting Minerals, Gas Mining and Crystal Mining. To perform each one of these types of Mining you will have to use specific ships and equipment.
X4 offers a great variety of dedicated mining vessels that can fulfil a specific role when mining. Some can extract and store Minerals, while other can collect and store Gas. The easiest way to distinguish them is by the type of their storage.
A mining ship with a Solid Storage can only extract and store minerals while a mining ship with a Liquid Storage can only collect Gas.
To extract Minerals from an asteroid you will have to equip your mining ship with a Mining Drill or a Mining Turret. To collect Gas you only need the appropriate ship, since the collect Gas function is already built in it.
Where to Mine
You can find a suitable for your ship mining location by taking a look at the game’s very detailed map. More specifically the available Legend will show you where to find Minerals or Gas to collect.
Mineral regions are colored red on the map, Gas regions are colored blue and mixed regions are colored purple.
Types of Mining
This is the main type of Mining, where you extract minerals from asteroids. The process is rather easy. Head to an asteroid field, find an asteroid that contains a mineral you are after and use your mining laser on it.
When the hitpoints of the asteroid reach zero it will break into several smaller fragments. Each fragment will contain some of the resources. You can fly over to the fragments to collect the minerals or use your built-in tractor beam function, to draw them to you, which by default is set to the “O” key.
Once your storage is full, find a refinery or another station to sell the minerals for profit. Some times asteroids drop rare items like Spacefly Eggs or Unstable crystals that can fetch a better price or use them to craft other products.
Gas Mining is a lot more interesting in my opinion. Visit a blue or purple area on the map and look around for dark clouds of Gas. There are pockets of Gas everywhere in these areas, that are easy to find once you know what you are looking for.
Get closer to the clouds and collect the Gas with the appropriate ship. ( At the moment only AI crew can perform this action, so send a ship with AI crew to mine Gas for you.)
Another type of Mining evolves crystal clusters on the asteroids’ surface. On some asteroids you can find colored crystal clusters, that when destroyed drop several crystals of the same color.
These crystals have a value between one thousand credits and several hundred thousands credits and can make you rich fast. To find the clusters, fly inside an asteroid field while paying attention to the surroundings.
Occasionally you will see something sparkling on the asteroids. That is a crystal cluster. Head to the asteroid, target and destroy the cluster. Do not hit or destroy the asteroid.
The crystals are considered inventory items and you can sell them everywhere, to an NPC trader. Your ship’s storage does not affect this activity, you can carry hundreds of them at the same time.
You can destroy the clusters with every weapon, you do not necessarily need to use a mining drill.
Resource probes can save you a lot of time. When arriving at an asteroid field, deploy a resource probe to see what minerals and gases are present in the area. That way you can see if the mineral you are after is there or move on.
If you find a nice mining location you can deploy a nav. beacon to mark it on the map and return back easier next time.
A good way to make money fast with Mining, is to find an asteroid field rich in a specific mineral or gas, close to a refinery that buys that specific resource. For example, a Silicon rich asteroid field next to a Silicon refinery.