Passive Credits Income - Taxes from a planet's population. The higher a planet's population, the higher the Credits earned in taxes. Since the starter planet is perfectly habitable it's recommended that nearly every building slot be used for Habitats. Optimal starter planet build is: (Ground) 9 Habitats, 1 Water Harvester, 1 Medical Facility, 1 Capital (Orbital) 1 Orbital Solar Array, 1 Comm Satellite, 4 Orbital Habitats.
Note: You may not be able to go straight for 9 habitats when first starting, but you can always demolish other buildings and replace them later. Also, Capitals are not super important early game but become vital late game.
In general it is advised to use planets with decent Habitability (at least 50) as population center planets, and planets with under 50% habitability as industrial centers. Lack of water available could also make a planet more suited to industry.
Passive Credits Income - Selling Consumable goods to your Population. You can determine how much to sell each consumable resource to the population for, or not sell any at all. Selling goods at a lower price will make you less income in Credits, but will increase the Standard of Living of the planet, which could end up making you more in the long term.
Passive Credits Income - Supercomputers set to generate Cryptocurrency generate Credits faster than taxes from population, but the number of Supercomputers one can build is limited, and often it is wiser to generate Research Points with Supercomputers to progress research instead of making extra money.
Active Credits Income - Destroy NPC fleets or do Party Raids to obtain some Credits and Resources instantly.
Active Credits Income - Sell Resources for Credits. No matter how you obtain them, selling resources to either the Black Market or to players is a very lucrative way to make money. Rare resources like diamonds can fetch large sums of money from established players that need them and have cash to throw around.
Tip: A full Building Tree that shows how to make every resource can be found in-game on the "Build Building" page. (The page with the list of buildable buildings.)
Generate Resources passively with a Building - First and foremost, it is important to place buildings on a slot where they have access to the resources they need to function.
Buildings that require a Building Slot have resources available on the slot:
- Mine - Requires metal ore of any type be present on the Building Slot.
- Quarry - Requires Quartz be present on the Building Slot.
- Gem Harvester - Requires Diamond, Emerald, Sapphire, or Ruby be present on the Building Slot.
- Gas Extractor - Requires Oxygen, Hydrogen, Nitrogen or Helium3 be present on the Building Slot.
- Greenhouse and Algae Farm require water be available on the same planet, so a Water Harvester will have to be on the same planet for them to maintain production.
Buildings that require Input Resources:
Tip: Input resources don't have to be on the same planet as where they are refined, you can just as easily produce and refine a resource on separate planets.)
- Refinery requires any type of metal ore to create metal bars.
- Glass Factory requires Quartz to create Glass.
- Solar Panel Factory requires Quartz, Copper and Platinum to create Solar Panels.
- Biomass Printer requires Biomass to create Meat, Oil or Nylon Fabric
- Plastic Factory requires Biomass and Hydrogen to make Plastic.
- Computer Chip Factory requires Quartz and Silver Bars to produce Computer Chips.
- Metal Foam Refinery requires Titanium and Aluminum Bars to create Metal Foam.
- Nanotube Factory requires Plastic and Neodymium Bars to create Nanotubes.
- Super Alloy Refinery requires Titanium, Tungsten, Zirconium and Molybdenum to create Super Alloy.
Active Resources Income - Destroy NPC fleets or do Party Raids to obtain some Credits and Resources instantly.
Active Resources Income - Abandoned Cargo can occasionally be found in orbit around a planet. Click on one to get Credits, Resources, or even Ships.
Active Resources Income - Pirate another player's planet. Piracy can be done with the pirate button on another player's planet, or the much slower way: you can conquer the planet and sell off the buildings.
Understanding the "Efficiency" variable
One of the most critical values when it comes to a Corporation's Economy is their Efficiency value.
Efficiency is a percentage value that starts at 100% and goes down as a Corporation acquires more planets.
Efficiency is the mechanic that reduces snowballing when a Corporation gets larger. It is similar to the "Corruption" mechanic in the Total War series.
The amount of efficiency lost per planet can be reduced by building a Capital on the planet. Early on when you only have a planet or three efficiency isn't that big of a deal and can for the most part be ignored. Late game it is recommended that every planet have a maxed Capital Building.
A maxed out Capital lowers the efficiency lost from a planet from 2.75% to .0075%. (That's huge when you have dozens of planets.)
Special Case for Gas Giants:
Since gas giants lack surface slots and Capitals can't be built, they only reduce efficiency by .005% out of the box to prevent them from being completely trash.
Perhaps the best way to get rich is to manage how much you are spending.
Ships, Modules and even Mines cost Credits in upkeep.
While you can't exactly turn off ships and have them stop costing money, you can unequip modules, making the fleet cost less in upkeep.
It is also noteworthy that ships in need of repair do not cost upkeep, so keeping ships in the un-repaired state can be a viable way to save Credits.
Mines that are disabled don't cost credits, which can save some upkeep costs, but probably ends up being less profitable in the long run.