NPC hunting/chaining is quite profitable, but you will of course try and take your ability to the max because the the more money you will make. The most important thing here is to know your limits, dont try to take on spawns that are a lot higher then your own ship and ability, if you get killed this will ruin your profits for some time. Its better to take pirates a bit below your ability then take them to high, also chaining will mean they’ll instantly respawn, if you had any difficulty in the original spawn that problem might get duplicated when they spawn right after they die.
Commonly, chaining is the best way for making money, however some rumors say this will be removed in the future, still we will discuss the basics:
First you skim through belts trying to find one that suits your own power, then you’ll have to kill the entire spawn except for one pirate, this should be the weakest one, let him attack you constantly and dont let him get away. At first nothing will happen but after some time (can be anything from 5 minutes to an hour for the first respawn) the whole spawn will respawn, again you kill all but the one circling you, then after that it should respawn faster and faster and faster, until it will be nearly instant (right after you kill one he’ll be back).
You need to experiment what chains suit you and your setup, and sometimes you will have to learn the painful way, but eventually you’ll get good at it, or ask corpmates for advice about your abilities.
Another way would be going to a base, this is hard at first because there can be upto 30 pirates at once, but there usually only a few spawn points, and them spamming one at a time at a slow rate ( this rate cannot be increased ).
The biggest prize often comes in the loot cans the ships drop, but can also be their bountys, usually you alone will be enough to chain, unless you’re going to chain battleship pirates (0.0 space) then you might need a group, i’d also recommend shield transfer arrays for everyone in this case (with 4 medium arrays on one ship you will be invincible compared to the enemys, even if its the heaviest npc battleships). Profits killing NPC’s battleships arnt that high because of the group split, but sometimes the loot is very rewarding. A great way to increase your profits is to train up your salvaging skill and salvage the NPC wrecks. People pay a lot of money for salvaged parts as they are used in the construction of rigs and other special manufactured items.
NPC hunting is profitable but it is risky and knowing your own limits its a must. “exploits”: I wouldnt call it an exploit but officially chaining is one, can’t get banned for it though. Another one is when fighting heavy guristia, hide behind a asteroid, since they’re using missiles the missiles will not hit you, and since guristia like blasters, a big rock can hold them far enough not to use them.