There are two main combat pages. The active fighting page, this is where you are engaged with the enemy, and the loot collection page. There is a page between these two but it simply states that you killed the target and shows your xp and credit reward with a button to continue to loot collection. This guide will break down these two main pages, the active fighting page, and the loot collection page.
Download file as mp3 Finding a Ship To Attack AKA Performing a Combat Scan
The first thing you need is a weapon, and a scanner. If you don't have these just do the starter NPC missions and you will get them for free from the NPCs. That being said there is something important to note.
If when you do a scan the buttons for each ship are labeled as view and attack you have a problem, but it is easily fixed. The view button should be reading as the threat level, and if it is reading as view then you need to change how Jaws or NVDA is reading your buttons. You need to change this to read the Alt Attribute.
To do this:
While in your browser press insert + V to open up the jaws quick settings.
Hit tab to get into the actual list of settings you can change.
Press B and it should jump you directly to the button show by option.
Hit space until it cycles through to alt attribute.
Tab down to OK and you are all set, your view button will now read as something like, "Current Actual Threat 6 : 5".
Now that is taken care of, you can tell what the danger of attacking a ship is. The only other stat you need to check before attacking a ship is its speed, if it is more than yours no matter what you will not be able to catch it, and you will waste fuel every time you try. You can increase your speed through specials, buying an engine from the CE store, or upgrading your ship.
The Active Fighting Page
This is assuming you have already scanned and found a target to attack.
This page is a nice mix of confusing and yet simple. There are tables to navigate in but they are pretty useless because of their odd layout and spanning cells. The way I go about navigating it is by graphics to check my ship stats, and B to jump by button.
Lets take it from the top
Jumping By Graphics To View Ship Stats
If you jump by graphic by hitting G you will run across graphics in this order.
Help, click this and read it, opens in a new window.
shields, your shields.
enemy shields , their shields.
armour, your armour.
enemy armour, their armour.
Hull, your hull.
enemy hull, their hull.
speed, your speed.
enemy speed, their speed.
For reading the values read the text located after the enemy value. It will say two numbers, the first is yours, the second is your enemy's. This is the case for all four stats, shields, armour, hull, and speed, though speed is useless and you don't need to read it. I commonly take a few shots then hit shift G twice to jump to the graphic for my speed then up arrow and read only the hull numbers. This is because I can't breach unless my hull is gone so that is the only number I care about. This is only useful if you know all the targets you are attacking, how many average shots it takes to kill them, what they hit for, and you are very use to combat. I have over 83,000 kills so I'm fairly familiar with combat.
Jumping By Buttons/forms To Attack and Recharge
If you press F from the top of the page to jump by forms you will run across options in this order.
Wep 1, this is probably your gun, click to fire.
wep 2, maybe, if this is your gun click to fire.
Combo box, Select Drone, if you use combat drones this is where you select and launch them.
Launch button, this is the button you hit to send your combat drone out to fight along side you.
Combo box, Use Device, this is where you select a matrix to recharge your shield if you have one.
Use button, this is the button you press to activate the selected matrix.
For using things like combat drones or matrix, they use up 1 action point each and you only get a total of 3 action points for fighting and collecting loot. If you use 1 drone then kill your enemy, on the combat collection screen you will only have 2 action points left. If you use both a drone and matrix in your fight you will only have 1 action point on the loot collection screen.
At the very bottom of the page you have a link to exit combat, it is best to do this if you are losing, never get your hull low enough to where one hit will kill you, even if the enemy is down to 1 hull. If you miss and they don't you breach which results in you losing your cargo and fuel. Exiting means you lose some credits and some xp but you don't lose precious fuel and cargo.
I'm going to assume you read the help guide on your game page, it gives you a basic understanding of how the mechanics of combat work, and now we will move on to loot collection.
The Target Killed Page
Assuming you didn't go and get yourself blown up, you will see something like this.
Vessel Destroyed - (Guild Combat Special: Not Fitted)
The enemy has been destroyed. I suggest we continue on to scour the area for lootable items.
After all we are the first ones on the scene and you know what that means! The Salvage rights are ours!!
XP Awarded : 431 XP - Bounty Awarded : 539 CR
The values of xp and credits can go up to 4-5k for quick kills at higher levels up to 7-8k for slower harder kills. I haven't done combat in a full load out recently but I'm sure it is possible to go higher without much problem. So if combat is something you can handle allot of it can be very lucrative for very little fuel spent.
As a side note, my suggestion, put on an audio book and listen to that while you plow through some combat, it makes a huge difference, you get to the point where you don't even think about it, you just do it automatically while getting 2-5 kills per minute.
The Loot Collection Page
I grabbed an example of what a standard loot table would look like on core-exiles after combat, I didn't create this, I just grabbed it from the game and all credit goes to coops, I only copied the source to show everyone what to expect and what I'm talking about here.
The formatting of the ship stats is not the same, normally it would be separated and each value and graphic would be read as if it was on its own line, but this is enough to get the point across, and the important thing is to understand the table layout.
How you navigate in this table is completely up to you, just realize a few things. The first line of buttons goes from left to right and they are all re scan, these allow you to use 1 action point to try and get a better resource in a window. It is only worth scanning windows 1, 3, and 5, these are the rarer resources, windows 2 and 4 are common resources and not worth the time or action points. In this example my second window is empty but I wouldn't rescan to fill it. I would use my action points on trying to hit something better in 1 3 or 5.
You can jump by graphics to read what resources you got, this can be done quickly by hitting B from the top of the page to jump to the first rescan button, then hitting G to jump through the graphics. Even on this page you can do this and see what I mean. This is how I do it, I hit b, G; GG; GG. This will read window 1, 3 then 5. Then I can hit B to collect one if I want it now, or use shift B to rescan window 5, BBB to rescan window 3, or control home B to rescan the first window. Then after you are out of rescans or have all the resources you ant you simply hit the loot all link and it collects them all and places them in your ship's cargo hold.
You can then choose to do another combat right from this screen, or to repair. If you repair it brings you to the repair screen, you choose the E.B.K kit you want to use and click use for the proper kit. If you have to repair both armour and hull first repair one then the other. Down the road starting at level 25 you can use Omega Drones which repair for 1200 armour and hull both at once. They go up to 4200 of both at once for bigger ones at higher levels. Then after you are done repairing, there is a link at the top of that page to do another combat scan.
Jumping by Visited links is useful here, for example you can jump by V to get to repair or combat scan or even loot all fairly fast. The same is true for repair options, that is my first visited link on that page.
I also have a custom place marker attached to the text of "loot all", this makes it much quicker and simpler to collect all the loot.