Deep core mining is the current credit meta with Elite: Dangerous 3.3. How it works is you look around asteroid belts using a new utility module called a Pulse Wave Scanner, and the previously existing prospector limpets, to find asteroids with a juicy gem core. Once you find one, you can crack it open using a seismic charge launcher to get at the valuable resources inside.

The hard part about this is the "finding" part, though. How can I identify asteroids that may have a deep core that I can crack open? Obviously this can be done slowly by firing a prospector at every glowing rock, but is there any way to identify these rocks before firing a prospector?


Whether an asteroid really qualifies for cracking open can only be determined safely with the prospector limpets.

However, I found that asteroids glowing in a bright yellow after scanning with the Pulse Wave scanner tend to yield the rarest minerals and those usually need to be retrieved from the inside of the asteroid by cracking it open with seismic charges.

Avoid the asteroids and that glow orange-ish / red-ish and focus on the asteroids glowing brightly yellow. This made me a very rich miner.


It's an old question, and there are plenty of guides on the internet that provide better tutorials than this Q&A, so I am only adding this in case someone comes across this SE post:

There is no need to 'waste' prospector limpets on asteroids that have no deep cores.

Asteroids that have deep cores:

  1. Appear bright orange/yellow during a scan as you get close
  2. Will be round-ish in shape but quite lumpy
  3. Will have visible fissures (THIS IS THE IMPORTANT ONE)

I think void opals specifically can only be found in icy rings. I also often find the deep core asteroids are near the edge of the belt, but YMMV on that.

If you use look-around while scanning then be aware that an asteroid to your left or right might not be as bright in color until you swing around to point at it. Meaning; if it is the right shape but not as bright as you like, it may still be worth changing course and investigating it.

The best tip for spotting fissures on the asteroid is to turn on your ship's night vision. I find that fissures stand out a lot better with night vision turned on. The only time that night vision doesn't work so well is when the belt is lit up by a nearby star, but this rarely happens.

Asteroid fissures are more prominent in night vision mode

Don't shoot a prospector into an asteroid unless it has fissures.

No fissure = no deep core.

Other than that, hit YT to find videos on deep core mining.


Since you're referring to the "credit meta" in conjunction with deep core mining, I'm going to assume you're really interested in void opals for that sweet, sweet 1.6 million payday for each void opal. I'm a pretty new player and have just started getting into deep core mining, and so far I've only done void opal mining. I've based my strategy around a video guide by Spite's Corner on YouTube (attached screenshots are from his video).

In regards to finding void opal asteroids in void opal hotspots, you're looking for the pulse wave scanner to show some black in addition to the green/yellow/oranges. With asteroids far away, you'll see your typical bright colors with some black lines/boxes mixed in. The asteroid to the left looks really interesting.

A pair of mineable asteroids, the left one looks really interesting

When you approach the asteroids closely and use the pulse wave scanner again, the scanner will highlight the asteroid in two steps. What you want to see is the first step with a lot of black in the core of the rock, before the second step highlighting replaces it with yellows and oranges.

A really nice black center

Once you find an asteroid like that, it's time for a prospector limpet so you can confirm that there's void opals just waiting to be dislodged with explosives.

Yummy void opals waiting to be dislodged from a rock with explosives

Here is the guide I followed right when he identifies his first void opal asteroid, which assumes you're a brand new player and have just enough money to fit a rudimentary deep core mining ship:

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