I am a fairly new player in Elite Dangerous (well, "new" being relative to the veterans who have played it for years… I only started this year, but have already accumulated 1035 hours so far)
I am a meticulous type of player who likes to do a lot of research on game mechanics and strategies before I delve in, so early on (while I was still flying around in a Viper Mk3), I read a bunch of money-making guides. Efficient mining being out of financial reach at that time, I saved up just enough money to buy a barebone Python with some passenger cabins, and headed for Robigo Mines (I had to do 4 jumps each way when I started, but it got me on my feet very quickly).
By now, I've run Robigo probably at least a thousand times (I actually just got Elite rank in exploration from it lol), and there were a lot of little things I learned along the way that were not mentioned in any of the guides I read. I would like to share them here, in case any fellow players find them helpful.
Section I: Outfitting
You may have read in other guides that you need a 30 LY jump range in order to do Robigo Mines in 2 jumps. This is incorrect (I found out the hard way while grinding through Engineering early on):
30.15 LY is the magic number! The star system Wredguia TH-U C16-18 is the closest midway point between Robigo & Sothis, and it is 30.15LY from Robigo. Therefore, your build must meet this jump range requirement to do the run in 2 jumps!
If you have access to full Engineer modifications, this is the fully optimized build I recommend:
Power Plant: 3A is slightly heavier than 4D, however it has much better thermal efficiency. This helps shave a few precious seconds by allowing you to fly past the central star in close proximity in Wredguia TH-U C16-18 without overheating. I applied Armoured Power Plant + Thermal Spread to improve this further, with negligible mass gain.
Thrusters: 6A with Dirty + Drag Drives for fastest possible docking/undocking from stations.
Power Distributor: 6D is the lightest PD class that will allow boosting without resorting to capacity modding (I went with Charge Enchanced + Super Conduits for maximum vroomvroom). You can use 5D with capacity mods to allow boosting if you don't care about recharge rate. I just prefer recharge, and 6D still fits my hull mass budget.
Class D + Lightweight mod for the rest of the modules wherever possible.
If you do not have much engineer modifications unlocked, below is an effective interim build that will allow you to meet the jump range requirement (only FSD modding is required, and that is easy to unlock).
Note that the size 6 compartments are sporting class 5 Economy cabins, which shaves off 60T.
Section II: Passenger Cabin Selection
This is the controversial part – the guides I read and the comments for them all contain different recommendations for passenger cabins. My recommendation below is based on my own observations and experiments:
6D Business Class Cabin x3
5E Economy Class Cabin x2
4E Economy Class Cabin x1
3E Economy Class Cabin x1
3D Business Class Cabin x1
Explanation of cabin choices:
Why no First Class cabins? The highest-paying missions possible are 16-passenger Economy (5,005,900 credits). Passenger count has a far heavier impact on mission reward than cabin class, which means maximizing the number of 16-passenger capacity cabins.In all my time running Robigo Mines, I have NEVER seen a First Class passenger mission to Sirius Atmospherics with more than 4 passengers. Since class 6 and 5 compartments are off-limits (they hold 16-passenger capacity cabins), this leaves only the class 4 slot for a First Class cabin (3 passenger capacity). However, a 3-passenger Frist Class mission will not make nearly as much money as the 8-passenger Economy cabin you sacrifice (2,785,500 credit max reward for 8-passenger Economy).If you MUST have a First Class cabin, the most sensible thing to do would be to swap out one of the 6D Business cabins (downgrading to 12-passenger capacity). Since most of the time you wouldn't fill up on x5 16-pasaenger missions, the impact of this should be negligible – however, you will want to kick yourself on those rare occasions when 5x+ 16-passenger missions do show up.
Why the 3D Business cabin instead of another 3E Economy? I find the chance of 2x 4-passenger Economy missions being offered at the same time to be pretty slim (2-passenger ones are fairly common), and there are sporadic 2 or 3-passenger Business Class missions offered. Mixing these cabins seem a good middle-ground to maximize occupancy.
Ditch Supercruise Assist or Docking Computer for a 2E Economy? Supercruise Assist is actually essential for maximizing the speed of the runs, so I wouldn't ditch it. Docking Computer you can ditch if you can dock quickly with manual – just keep in mind you are flying shieldless.
Section III: Max Payout
16 Passenger: 5,005,900 x5 = 25,029,500
8 Passenger: 2,785,500 x1
4 Passenger: 1,675,300 x1
3 Passenger: 1,397,750 x1
Max Possible Total: 29,630,050 / run
Section IV: Travel Tips
Set Supercruise Assist to Manual Throttle.
Have hotkeys set for full throttle, half throttle, and Galaxy Map.
Have both Robigo Mines and Sothis 5A bookmarked. Name them such that they are sorted at the top of your bookmarks.
Outbound to Sirius Atmospherics
Right after jumping into Sothis, full throttle toward Sirius Atmospherics until speed is just over 41c. Note: If you do not see Sirius Atmospherics in your Navigation tab, honk the system with the Discovery Scanner. You should only need to do this once per game session (on your first run after logging into the game).
Throttle to half; this will engage Supercruise Assist, and deceleration will start. Keep an eye on your deceleration: if as the distance closes to 1Mms, your speed is dropping below 1c, you will be fine (IGNORE any "Slow Down!" warning message).
Watch the Supercruise Assist module pop you out of supercruise at 1c without hull damage. 😀
If you think you decelerated too late, pitch up/peel off and circle back around. Use it as an opportunity to practice exploiting the Supercruise Assist deceleration trick.
Sirius Atmospherics Beacon Scan
Upon dropping out of supercruise, target the tourist beacon and open the Galaxy Map immediately (the beacon scan will proceed in the background, ignore it).
Select the Robigo Mines bookmark and plot a route. Immediately hit the Galaxy Map hotkey again to close the map.
The beacon scanning should still be going on, as should the FSD cooldown, if you did the previous step quick enough. Keep your eyes on the FSD cooldown – the moment it finishes, hit the hotkey for FSD to start charging the drive for return trip (this should occur about 2 to 3 seconds before beacon scan completes once your muscle memory is in place).
The moment the beacon scan finishes, throttle up and turn around for return trip. FSD should be almost fully charged.
Inbound to Robigo Mines
Full throttle & accelerate toward Robigo Mines until speed reaches 22c, then half throttle.
You will be approaching Robigo Mines much faster than you did Sirius Atmospherics, and it will feel like you won't stop in time. Don't panic – the gas giant's gravity will slow you drastically as you near the station (sometimes too much, depending on where in orbit Robigo Mines is).
CAUTION: sometimes Robigo Mines' orbit puts it out of line of sight from the star. In this case, proceed as above but approach slightly off-angle, and as the gas giant decelerates you, swing around the gas giant at half throttle to engage Supercruise Assist (whilst still being technically way too fast to exit supercruise)