Nor's Guide to Scavenging
Salvaging is probably the most underrated, under-appreciated, and most-scorned mechanic in the game. In my opinion, it happens to be the easiest way to make a ton of money––after a while.
The main argument against "wasting processor" on salvaging is that "all you get is garbage". While this may not be the most false statement made about the mechanic since much of what is floating in the space lanes is miscellaneous garbage, the lanes also have energy cells, martian foods, water, as well as some extremely valuable items such as supercharged fuel cells, Nesselium, and even a few supply crates.
So I think, if the right strategy is used, Scavenging can be one of the most lucrative play styles in the game.
The overall strategy is to collect as much space-loot as you can as quickly as you can. To do that you'll need to prioritize your mod load out.
Step 1: Mod Priorities
Your Salvage Scan rating is unique in that there is nothing to counter it, and it has a ceiling. It's literally the success chance you'll find something with a scan. So max that baby up to 100% so each scan is a find. This will ensure you don't waste any processor on failed scans.
Your second priority is cargo space. Expand your cargo space as much as you can without sacrificing engine efficiency. We'll want enough space on the ship to keep everything you find.
Any remaining mod slots should be used for engine efficiency mods. It'll only take a few seconds to scan and claim cargo, so there really isn't any issue with being too fast.
Step 2: Short Trips
Pick a space lane with a short travel time––Earth/Gem or Mars/Gem is prob your best bet. Start on Gem and set course for Earth or Mars. Scan for debris and, if you have enough processor, only claim spaced goods that you can sell at the location you're heading towards. Once you land, sell your goods and immediately set course for Gem. If you were unable to get a sellable good, fill up your cargo hold and, upon landing, set course for Gem.
Store and Run
Once you arrive on Gem, dump all your cargo into your warehouse and set course for Earth or Mars again. Do this until you run out of processor, then return to Gem. From here you can:
- Sell your goods to Gem's Trade Depot
- Sell your goods on the Auction House
- Plan trade runs to distant locations like Eris or Jupiter
Admittedly, this is more of a longer-term plan to gain money, but if you're methodical, you can end up finding some valuable items. Additionally, since ships can salvage goods that exceed your ship's max cargo rating.
And who knows, scavenge enough goods and maybe you'll get to join the ranks of the GemReckers...