Howdy folks! Let’s take a look at mining in Empyrion. I did a mining video a few months ago but a lot of updates have come out since then so I thought it would be a good idea to revisit the topic. Now I had plenty of questions and did a lot of mining to test them. You are welcome to try any of these or try your own tests, but remember, folks: the difference between science and screwing around, is writing it down. The first thing we need to do is look at the different ways to mine.
There are five different ways, some of them not well known. First is with SV weapons or a rocket launcher. This can do in a pinch if you have absolutely no other way to mine and you only need a very small number of ores. It’s also really hilarious because as you can see, the ores magically appear above your ship. However it’s really wasteful on ammo and also only get a tiny fraction of the available ores, so only use this in emergencies or when you need a laugh. The other four methods all yielded a comparable amount of ores. For this deposit, which was labeled as containing 160 ores, it ranged from 125 to 184 ores with an average of 150 ores. Yes, you heard that correctly, I got up to 184 ores out of a mine containing 160. Anyway, the real differences between methods are how much time is spent, and how much fuel. Next up is the slow mining. When you hold the right mouse button, the drill works slowly. I tried this and it took over six and a half times as long to empty out a deposit, and it also used up almost four times as much drill ammo. I do not recommend using this method at all unless you have a very specific reason to go slow.
Next is using only the left mouse button on the drill. This method is somewhat fast and is very “fuel efficient” but when you consider that a whole drill pack costs only two ores, the savings here are truly not worth the extra time spent. Look at it this way: you can mine over thirty more ores in the amount of time it takes you to save two ores. Next is the Fill & Flatten tool. What you do is drill down several meters and then flatten out to that level. Time-wise this method is equal to the left mouse button with the drill. Not that fuel is really a concern, but I ended up using less fuel overall. But some of that ‘fuel’ was in the form of rock dust, so whether this is better than the previous method depends on how much you value rock dust vs promethium. Finally we can use the drill with both mouse buttons.
This method was the fastest and used about 1.5 times as much fuel. In my opinion this is the best method, and it is the only method I use for mining. Now I also had some other questions that needed testing, so let’s look at those as well. When you mine does it make a difference if you hold the drill on one spot, or if you sweep the flame quickly all over the place? The answer is it does not make a difference. I’m very grateful for this too because that was giving me a headache! I also wanted to know if distance between your drill and the rock face makes any difference in speed or ores collected. I tried shoving up against the rock face the whole time, and I also tried standing back as far as possible. Again I found no difference. The other thing I tried was using a macro to switch the mouse buttons on/off at different timings. The idea was that possibly the drill had more effect at the very start or end of its cycle, and if it does this would take advantage of the effect to speed up mining.
I tried various timings from 10 ms to 200 ms, and none of them were faster. In fact the 200 ms timing was slower. The last thing I wanted to see was if any ores dropped out of the world while mining. I set up a way to test this, as you can see here, and the result was that from mining out two deposits, over 300 ores and at various distances from the rock face, this one chunk was the only one that dropped. And notice that it dropped only after it rolled down. Now I’m happy to admit that this test was not nearly comprehensive. I did not cover the many different patterns people use to mine such as going around the outside or creating a flat area or making a funnel in the middle, and so on. But with T-spamming, which I highly recommend, this is a non-issue anyway.
Now that we know the fastest way to mine, here are some tips and tricks to make your mining experience more enjoyable. First is T-spamming. This means using an external program to send a “T” keystroke to the game many times per second. I know the game should have this built in, but until it does you can enhance your mining experience this way. When T is being spammed while mining, unless you are sweeping your mouse around like crazy, the ores will go straight into your inventory and you might have to pick up one every several minutes. I personally recommend using a gaming mouse that can do macros. But there are also programs that send a keystroke to the game every so many milliseconds.
You can try Auto-Keyboard, or google “key spammer for games” or similar. See the links in the description. Next up is how to defend your mining site and/or keep your vehicle safe from wandering drones while mining. There are several ways you can do this. First is to set your vehicle down, drill a crater and fill over the top with the fill & flatten tool. Next you can bring a hover vessel with turret(s) on it, and leave it running. On many planets the terrain is too much for an HV so this is not always an option. The other easy strategy is to build an SV for mining, give it as small a footprint as possible. Then you park it on top of the mine and just start drilling. As you drill down the ship can sink down with you, and when you are done mining, you can simply get into the ship and fly out.
This not only solves the defense problem, but the “getting out of a huge mine” problem as well. Speaking of this, you might sometimes have difficulty getting out of your mine, especially in huge deposits if you didn’t bring a ship in with you. For this reason you always want to keep a couple of extra drill packs for getting out. The most straightforward method is to point your drill upward at the steepest angle you can walk, and just keep pushing forward as you drill. You will eventually reach the surface. Don’t forget, if you have a fill and flatten tool you can use this to build up ledges to stand on, as well. But generally it gets trickier and takes more time anyway. Thanks for watching, guys. That’s all for this video and I’m sure as mining changes again I’ll have to make more updates to this. If you have any comments be sure to leave them below. And if you thought this video was useful and want to help other people find it, please leave a like.