A Gold Rush is an informal term in Elite Dangerous for when a confluence of various Background Simulation factors and player knowledge leads to the mass exploitation of a specific activity for unusually high profits with a minimal investment of time or effort. Most Gold Rushes were unintentionally caused by the BGS and quickly altered or removed by Frontier Developments within days of being reported. With Elite Dangerous: Beyond Chapter Four (3.3), naturally-occurring Gold Rushes were incorporated into the BGS for mining, allowing prices for Mineral Commodities to spike under certain conditions and result in an emergent gameplay event.
The first gold rush was in the premium beta of Elite Dangerous. There were only a few systems in the game, and getting credits was very hard. This was around the time they added Unidentified Signal Sources. Some of the USSs spawned gold canisters that could be looted.
Notable Gold Rushes
|Robigo Mines, Robigo||January 2016||Slave smuggling missions from Robigo Mines allowed players to accept the missions and then immediately sell the slaves in Robigo Mines' black market without leaving the landing pad, allowing for profits of 300 million per hour with a Python with maximum cargo capacity. Doing this damaged the players' reputation with the mission giver, Robigo Cartel, but a bug caused reputation to automatically return to Neutral or even Friendly.|
|Oxley Keep, 35 Leonis Minoris||March 2018||High-paying skimmer massacre missions at nearby stations that listed Oxley Keep as the objective could be stacked and completed very quickly, resulting in players earning 200-300 million credits per hour.|
|Obsidian Orbital, Maia|
|Allen Hub, Upsilon Aquarii||January 2018||Economy passenger missions from Allen Hub, Upsilon Aquarii to Smeaton Orbital, LTT 9360 had payouts in the tens of millions and required only one jump and a lengthy, low-effort trip in supercruise to complete.|
|Krylov's Inheritance, Batz||Krylov's Inheritance, Batz to Dedekind City, Teaka cargo missions|
|Viktorenko Holdings, CD-33 8748||December 2018||Viktorenko Holdings offered 1.6 million credits per unit of Void Opals. Players who accumulated loads of over 600 Void Opals (carried in Imperial Cutters) over several hours were able to sell them for upwards of 1 billion credits in a single transaction. This was the first naturally-occurring Gold Rush post-3.3.|