You may be interested in reading my Mass Effect 2 combat Guide, for more general information.
It has to be said that this is not the most inspired part of mass effect 2. I preferred the mass effect 1 system, park your ship in orbit, scan, pick up minerals, get loads of credits for doing it. In mass effect 2, the mining system is vital as you need it to access your weapon upgrades and enhance your powers. This guide will go over the minerals and mining system in mass effect 2, so you can get a better idea of how it works.
First of all, you need to stock up on fuel and probes. To do this, find a fuel depot in system these do not occur in every system, but should be present in any place that also houses a mass relay. Simply move your ship over to the depot and check the bottom left corner of the screen to see what you need to stock up on.
Once you have your probes, you need to find a place to mine! Go and orbit any world you like, even named ones. If you can mine the planet for minerals, you will have the option of starting the scanner (check to the bottom of the screen to see if the option is greyed out, if not go ahead).
On the left of the screen you will see the planet and a targeting reticule, on the right (from top to bottom) you will see the planets mining rating, a graph and your current totals for each mineral type. The mining rating is very important as it gives you an idea of how many minerals are left on the planet. As you mine, this rating will drop, so once it’s down to poor, you should move onto a different world.
To mine, simply guide the reticule around the surface of the planet while holding the scan button (shown on the bottom of the screen). Watch for any changes in the graph of the left of the screen. If the white line rises sharply, then you are on top of a mineral deposit! Exactly which mineral deposit will be shown by where the line is rising. If it’s rising over iridium for example, you’ve found an iridium deposit. Deposits will often consist of two or more minerals in varying concentrations.
As a guide, don’t keep scanning the whole time, as without certain upgrades (Which become available through the mass effect 2 story and talking with your crew), the reticule is hugely slow when scanning. Simply scan a strip of the planet, and then move on.
Mining is pretty boring, but you need the minerals to upgrade your weapons and ship systems, so make sure you take some time out to stock up every so often, or mass effect 2 will get very hard!
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