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Numerous asteroids can be found careening about solar systems the player visits. Some of these are designated as minable, meaning that they can be shot at and destroyed, leaving behind chunks of debris that can be collected by flying over them. Minable asteroids are visually distinct from other rocks; for example, iron-rich asteroids tend to be reddish and slightly larger than unminable asteroids.
Mined materials are listed in your ship's cargo (hotkey I to bring up your ship list, view individual ships to see their cargo. In port, all cargo can be seen in your flagship's info screen.) Minerals can be sold via the trade screen's sell all button, which will sell any and all commodities and 'harvested materials' in one click, leaving plundered outfits alone. Minerals can also be sold manually in the outfitter screen, where they will be listed under the 'Special' category, alongside local maps.
The map tracks mineral deposits you have discovered and mined. They are treated as outfits: when selected the map shows where you've found them, similar to the way other outfits show where they are sold.
Players can also retrieve cargo from destroyed ships in a similar manner to mining. Merchant ships will sometimes jettison cargo when threatened, which can be collected by any bystanders without impairing relations.
Each pilot has a number of associated 'snapshots' that can be selected from the load screen. By default, the game autosaves every time you take off from a planet or station, ensuring that unlucky pirate raids (or accidental acts of piracy) are not excessively punishing. You may also create new (uniquely named) snapshots manually at any time, in case, for example, you aren't sure about what story branch you would like to select and want to be able to return to the decision point. You may re-load your save at any time, to your most recent save or a previous snapshot of your choice.
The most recent 3 autosaves can be loaded by selecting snapshots "~previous-1" -2 and -3, in case you've landed after a mistake and wish to return to a slightly earlier state.
Some story missions will also create additional snapshots, titled 'autosave,' before important missions, particularly long distance, time limited escort missions where it is possible to land on several planets en route and render the mission un-completable from existing autosaves.
note: since the many of the game's fleet spawns rely on chance, resetting to to an earlier snapshot does not guarantee the same events to occur.
A pilot's combat rating is a ballpark estimate of how dangerous they are. A pilot gains rating 'points' equal to the minimum crew complement of each ship the destroy or disable. The combat rating visible on the player info page is equal to the natural log of the pilot's rating points, rounded down to the nearest integer. In short, CR=ln(crew killed). Many jobs and some missions require the player to have a certain degree of combat experience before they are offered. Pirate bounties, for example, require 300 CR points, or a Combat Rating of ~5.7. The Kestrel unlock mission requires 8000 points, nearly Combat Rating level 9.