LIFE ON TITAN
Bounty-Hunting is really more of an essential skill than a profession in HardWar. You will need to gain amnesty by killing other people's enemies from time to time. It's also the only way to make money when you don't have a pod. As a profession, bounty hunting pays poorly. A typical kill garners less than $1000 at the start of the game. Later you can generally get $2000 or more for someone wanted by more than one faction. The real money in bounty hunting, however, comes from selling the bounty's cargo.
The easiest way to find a pirate is to go to a Police station and target them from the Police's 'Wanted List'. You can also go to various faction headquarters and target their enemies. The typical 'Enemies List' contains both independent pilots (pirates not affiliated with any faction) and especially wicked members of the opposing faction. I tend to work the independent pilots to prevent making too many potent enemies.
Once you find a Wanted List, you need to shop around for bounties. Higher is better, but remember that you cannot tell who is carrying what valuable cargo or who else has a bounty out for them. That comes later. If you plan to add a little piracy or you target a lot of pilots during flight, you might want to consider 'locking in' your selected bounties. Do this by opening your 'Pilot Menu' from your Main Navigagional Menu and using the 'Lock/Unlock' button. If a pilot is locked in, he won't be overwritten by subsequent targeting.
After a little experience, you'll notice that you can tell a pirate by his name alone without having to load them from the Police. The "Moonbanes" and "Darkblades" are always pirates. Just about any non-faction ship in Haven or Midway is a pirate.
Now comes the fun part. Always spend some time cycling through and targeting your bounties from your Pilot Menu. Check your Target View on your HUD to see what cargo they are carrying, if any. Always target by cargo. Choose the bounty with the most valuable cargo. I usually do this while I'm charging up at a Light Well. You have to be outside a hangar to use your HUD and Target View.
Distance should also be considered when selectiong targets. A bounty that takes too long to get to may well sell his cargo or get killed before you get there. The distance you choose to travel should depend on how fast your Moth is and how badly damaged your prey may be. If you are Downtown in a Silver-Y and the bounty with valuable cargo is in The Mines with 20% shields that are dropping rapidly, you probably won't get there in time to reap the cargo. On the other hand, a Neo-Tiger with Engine #3 will probably get there in time to assisst in the attack or at least target and salvage the dead bounty's cargo. In essence, don't chase after a bounty that's going to be dead by the time you get there unless you think you can still find and salvage the cargo.
Once you select a target go straight to it. When they appear as a red triangle in your radar, check out your Target View to see their attitued relative to you. Try to make a flight path to them that will bring you in behind them. Also look to see if they are twisting and turning a lot. They may already be in a dogfight. Check out the situation. Your target may be attacking someone with valuable cargo. If so, you may want to kill them first and then kill the original bounty to make more money.
The two biggest rules on approaching your prey is to get behind them and stay behind them, and to get close to them before opening fire. By being behind them they can only attack you with a Laser Turret. It's the only weapon that fires backwards. As long as you are behind them, they can't fire missiles or more powerful cannons at you. By staying close you minimize the odds of an accidental misfire. This also means that more shots are striking your target.
Take your time getting an advantageous position, select your initial weapon, and fire. If you are using a Plasma Kannon or missile, you may stun your prey for a few seconds. Use the time to keep stripping shields. As soon as the bounty's shields drop near 10%, switch to your killing cannon (laser or laser turret). Stay with this and concentrate on your flying.
Keep your throttle forward as much as possible when your target is pulling away. Remember that every time you slam in reverse to make a quick turn, your bounty pulls away from you. Always be ready to slam into reverse in case your target tries sudden stops and other shaking techniques. Good throttle control is as important as good shooting.
If you are near building or a crater wall, try to force your target into the obstacle by aiming at his Moth's nose. Conversely, aiming at your opponent's Moth's tail will bring you in behind him. Both techniques have their place.
Stay with them until they explode and then grab any cargo from the surface. If you begin losing the dogfight, duck in a building before you lose your shields. Entering a hangar automatically recharges your shields to 100%. Re-target your bounty before leaving the hangar and then return to battle.
Bounty Dies Before You Arrive
This is annoying. If the bounty wasn't carrying any cargo just go to the nearest Light Well and start selecting another bounty. If he did have cargo, enter the crater where he died, target the Light Well there and see if you can find the booty with 'Radar Range'. I say go to the Light Well because that's where a weakened Moth may go to recharge. You might also find the cargo near a local hangar that would normally purchase the type of cargo your bounty was carrying. If you are near the crater when your bounty dies, or you are desperate for cash, trying to find the booty is worth a try.
Bounty is Over Water
This is another annoyance because the bounty might dump his cargo over the water where it well sink and be unsalvageable. As a rule, I don't target bounties in Haven, Midway, or Resevoir if I'm looking for cargo. If I don't have any choice I try to drive the foe over land before starting my attack. In Haven and Midway I try to drive my target high and toward the cavern walls. If worse comes to worse, I just stay off the trigger until they are over land. The key is to strip their shields quickly and then lay off of them while they are over water. Most of the Craters have some water in them: Haven, Midway, Resevoir, Alpha, and Riverside
A lot of pirates think they'll avoid trouble by constantly flying back and forth in a tunnel. The danger to you is an accidental misfire that hits the Moth ahead of your target. To avoid this get behind them and get close. Use the laser turret or missiles to help prevent misfires. If your radar indicates a nearby innocent pilot ahead, lay off the trigger or change your angle of attack so as not to hit the innocent pilot
Like the tunnels, the big threat is in hitting an innocent pilot or a faction ship. Avoid this by getting close and selecting an angle of attack that doesn't leave anyone behind your target. Make sure you have your target in sites and not a Moth in front of him. You may want to just wait it out if the crowd includes several faction or Police Moths. Crowds generally occur when several pilots are trying to get some valuable cargo.
Try to lock in six pirates wanted by the Police, followed by two Laz bounties, followed by two Klamp-G bounties. That way you can quickly get amnesty if you need to.
Be careful about deleting dead pilots you've locked in or you may forget which bounty is wanted by which faction. Nearly all of them are wanted by the Police.
Keep your bounties updated. Things change quickly on Titan.
One of the best talents any HardWar pilot can develop is the ability to recognize pirates (crooks) by their name alone. Names like "Moonbane" and "Soulrot" are always pirates. Usually you'll get the general idea of pirate names after spending a couple of "HardWar weeks" on Titan. The more you bounty-hunt, the quicker this recognition comes to you.