I'm new to Elite: Dangerous, and I keep running out of fuel. I have to dock at a station, every few times that I make a hyperspace jump. It's getting tiring to keep refilling on fuel, and I've run out of fuel a few times, which results in my ship getting destroyed. How can I avoid having to refuel so often?
One of the optional components you can install on your ship is a fuel scoop. These are really easy to use. Better yet, the basic level ones are really cheap. Fuel scoops enable you to fly close to a star, and scoop the fuel from it. This means that you can travel very long distances, without having to stop and dock at a station to refuel.
To purchase and equip a fuel scoop, all you have to do is:
- Visit a station with the Outfitting service
- Choose Starport Services
- Choose Outfitting
- Choose Optional Compartments
- Click on one of the open slots
- Purchase a Fuel Scoop
Many stations have the Outfitting service, so you shouldn't have any problems finding one, unless you're in the middle of nowhere.
After equipping your fuel scoop, simply super-cruise or perform a hyperspace jump to the nearest star, fly close to it (but not too close!), and you'll automatically begin scooping fuel.
If fuel scooping doesn't work, and you're gaining too much heat, then there's a good chance that the star you're attempting to scoop from doesn't support fuel scooping. Certain classes of stars do not support fuel scooping.
For a comprehensive list of supported fuel scooping star classes, visit this source: http://elite-dangerous.wikia.com/wiki/Fuel_Scoop
Treat your ship like a car- how do you avoid running out of fuel on a long journey? You take 5-10 minutes to plan ahead. Can you use the more efficient route rather than the fastest route? How many times do you think you'll need to refuel? Can you afford it?
A bigger fuel tank or more efficient FSD or route will only get you so far, you're going to have to refuel at some point so you better understand how to do it:
Begging the fuel rats to save you from yourself
Check your route in the universe map, if it has dashed lines you'll have to refuel somewhere. Routes now display the 'last fuel star' in a route, but if you don't have a scoop you'll have to look for inhabited systems before the line goes dashed (and take a detour if necessary), so check your map and your fuel gauge, often.
Fuel management is your responsibility.
It sounds like you need a fuel scoop.
Get one at station outfitting. When you're ready to refuel from a star, fly near enough that your heat stays at around 60-65%. You should be told you are scooping at around that point.
The exact class of fuel scoop depends on your needs - bigger scoops faster but will mean giving up a bigger slot to accommodate it and is of course more expensive. A-rated scoops are also better if you routinely overheat while scooping.
Also remember that not all star classes are scoopable - KGB FOAM is a good way to remember the ones which you can scoop from - if the star class is K, G, B, F, O, A or M then you can scoop from it.
Beyond a fuel scoop (which is definitely a requirement for any long distance travel, no matter what), you could also benefit from investing in a new ship. The starter Sidewinder has the smallest tank in the game, and small ships in general have small tanks. even with a scoop you are going to be taking many fueling breaks.
You can also just buy additional fuel tanks for your module slots, but again, the sidewinder and small ships won't have too much room to grow.
Pretty much any ship can do better than the sidewinder in terms of fuel (it only has 2T), but as an cheap and early suggestion, the Adder has 4 times the size of internal fuel tank(8T), and has enough slots to modify in both a scoop and more fuel tanks.
After you get some progress in that, The Cobra mk.III has double the size tank in that(16T) and is an excellent multi-role ship until you plan out future larger ship endeavors.