Any player can collect a bounty by killing a wanted player or NPC. The ship scanner can determine if the selected target is "Clean" or if there is a warrant for their destruction. Bounties outside of the current jurisdiction are not shown by the ship scanner so it is highly recommended that bounty hunters equip a Kill Warrant Scanner to scan for those extra bounties (bind it to a fire group, aim at the target and "shoot" until the scan is finished) as this can significantly increase payouts. It is also recommended to have a Frame Shift Wake Scanner equipped, to scan any High Energy Wakes, in case the target jumps using Frame Shift Drive or FSD, though pursuing NPC pirates will rarely be worthwhile unless they are exceptionally valuable.
Bounty hunters will often loiter outside stations in order to scan other ships when they slow down to enter the docking area, but many bounty hunters are most active at RES (Resource Extraction Sites) or Nav Beacons since many wanted ships will appear at both locations. Most NPC ships will pass through the Nav Beacons making them excellent areas for both NPC and player bounty hunters. The Resource Extraction Sites can be mixed in their populations. Isolated clusters of asteroids rarely contain any activity at all whereas the planetary rings of busy planets are rife with pirates looking to prey on miners. This makes planetary rings advisable for any prospective bounty hunters.
A major problem for bounty hunters is accidentally shooting the regional security services. Stray multicannon shots, turreted weapons and occasional AI stupidity tend to be the causes of this problem. There is some leeway before the security services will set a bounty or even attack, but caution should still be exercised in the event that the security ships are badly damaged. In the event that a bounty is incurred, the player will need to go to a station where their bounty does not apply (this may require travelling to other systems, depending on the source of the bounty)and use an Interstellar Factors contact to pay it off, provided your notoriety is zero.
To claim a bounty a player only needs to find a target with an active bounty on them and destroy their ship. Getting the final "kill" shot is not required to claim the bounty if the following conditions are met:
- No other players who are not part of your wing attack and hit the ship since your last successful hit on the target. NPC attacks do not count as kill credit to a player is prioritized over an NPC.
- Your last successful hit on the target was within a short time frame before the killing blow, usually within the last 15-30 seconds or so. Wing mates getting the killing blow will still award you a claim if your last hit on the target was within a decent time-frame.
Claims can be redeemed in the Local Security Offices section of the Contacts menu at any station in a system where the target was wanted. It is important to note that if you fire before the target is designated as 'wanted' then you will gain your own bounty.
As of 1.03 bounty hunting now gains a reputation gain with the faction you hunt in. Both stations and traders (including their fighter escorts) will appear as green blips on your radar and will assist you if attacked. In the case of traders, they only appear as green when encountering them for the second time, the first time they appear as any other random, non-aligned NPC.
Bounty Vouchers are awarded when a commander destroys a ship that had a bounty on it. These vouchers must be cashed in at an appropriate contact to receive the reward. You can additionally redeem any voucher at Interstellar Factors, but at a 25% fee.
Kills and associated bounty vouchers are recorded in the ship's log, so if your ship is destroyed before you get back to a station contact to present them for payment, then the vouchers will be lost along with the ship and you will not be able to cash them in.
Bounty value on NPC ships is somewhat random, but seems to scale proportionately both with class of ship and with skill of the pilot. An Elite Sidewinder might be worth more than a harmless Asp, even though the effort required to take down the latter may be greater than the effort for the former. Commonly seen ships and their bounties are below (bounties taken with Kill Warrant Scanner in an anarchy system - local system bounties may add to overall value): Bounty Voucher/Values These figures are highly subject to change on an individual basis and are just a vague guide; it is entirely possible for an Anaconda in a non-Anarchy system to award up to 500,000 credits after being warrant scanned.
Most stations will display the 5 most wanted players in the system along with where they were last active and their bounty. Hunting other players can bring in bounty vouchers worth millions provided they do not Alt+F4 before you get the kill.