Lave Wiki

Elite Dangerous Frequently Asked Questions

The FAQ for Elite Dangerous has been split into a “gameplay” section to cover questions about playing the game, and “Meta” questions which are questions which are not about playing the game, but about the game itself, e.g. system requirements and so on.

Gameplay Questions

When do Luxury Traders appear in a system?

Luxury traders only appear if the system's minor faction is in a boom-state.

Why cant I route a path to a system in the galaxy map?

The route planner in the galaxy map will only route up to a maximum of 1,000Ly from your current position, so if you are trying to route to somewhere further away, you will need to route to somewhere within 1,000Ly, then re-route as you get closer to your final destination.

Why do AI ships ignore the "traffic lights" on station entrances?

The red and green lights are not traffic lights - there is not a left and right lane. They are “port” and “starboard” lights similar to what are used on boats today. They are purely decorative and you can fly in however you please - left, right or right down the middle.

How can I find trading routes?

You can use the galaxy map to look at the existing trading routes to give you some clues, or just fly around a bit looking at various prices - you'll want to look for places with “high” supply (so their sell price is lower than the average), and then somewhere with “high” demand (so their buy prices are higher).

Or, you can use tools that help you do this, e.g. will tell you what the best routes are.

Why do I lose all my bounties and exploration data when I die?

Frontier did this deliberately to add a risk trade-off to the game. You can stay out bounty hunting or exploring for a long time, but the more you do without returning to claim the bounties or sell the data, the larger the risk you are taking.

Why is fuel so expensive in a Cobra/Viper? Is it a bug?

If you've just upgraded to your first Cobra or Viper from the Sidewinder/Hauler/Eagle then fuel costs might come as a surprise. This is not a bug. The larger ships use a LOT more fuel than the starter ships and so cost more to run.

The solution is to always get a decent fuel-scoop installed in your ship and top up your tanks every time you jump into a system. Ideally you'll never need to pay for fuel again!

What units are the fuel scoops using?

The fuel scoops operate in KG/s. So if you are scooping at 10/s, it will take about 1 and a half minutes to collect the 1000 KGs of fuel needed to make a single tonne.

How can I pause?

You cant really - the game simulation continues all the time. Even if you go to the badly-named “pause menu”, the game is still going in the background, so if you are lining up to dock and you “pause” using the pause menu, the game will carry on and you might crash whilst you are “paused”!

The work-around is to go to the pause menu, and select “Save and Quit”. This will save your position in space and remove you from the galaxy and out of harms way. When you return to the game and reload, your ship will be where you left it. Note that you cannot use this trick while in a dog fight - you need to get out of danger before you are allowed to save and quit.

What do all these things like 'Ls' mean?

Elite Dangerous has some specific terminology - check out the glossary page for some help understanding it all.

I cant request docking?!

If you are approaching a station and there is no option to contact the station and request docking, make sure that your sensor system is enabled.

If you have been disabling systems to save power or heat and the sensor system may be disabled. You may also have too many power-hungry systems (e.g. weapons) hogging the power meaning there is not enough available for the sensors - you can turn other non-essential systems off until you have enough power to supply the sensors.

Why turning left & right is slow?

This is deliberate - Frontier did not want dog-fights to become “turrets in space” where ships sit still and pivot to shoot at each other. Instead they wanted more of a “dog fight” (think WW1 or WW2 fighters) style so yawing (the left and right movement) was deliberately made slow to promote dog fighting. There are more details on the ship control page.

Its hard if you are used to FPS, you can get used to it over time (but you may never grow to like it!)

Can I land on planets/walk around inside my ship & stations? Will there be Thargoids?

Not in Retail 1.0 - its been talked about a lot by Frontier as a potential add-on after the initial release but so far we don't know when or if it will happen.

Meta Questions

What is the difference between 'Solo' and 'Online'

Solo is still online, but it is just you and AI ships. There will be no other human players in a Solo game, but the galaxy is still part of the same galaxy that everyone plays in, so market prices, news, missions etc is still online.

In Online mode you will come across other human players. There is no offline mode.

What are the system requirements?

Currently (Retail 1.0) the PC system requirements for Elite Dangerous are:

  • Direct X 10 hardware GPU with 1GB+ ram
  • Direct X 11 installed
  • 4GB ram
  • Quad Core CPU
  • Windows 7 or 8
  • Continuous internet connection

It appears that a Dual Core CPU with two threads-per-core (e.g. two hyper-threading cores for a total thread count of 4) is enough to play Elite Dangerous.

The Mac requirements have not yet been released.

How much bandwidth do I need?

It has been reported by David Braben himself that the internet connection need not be high-speed when playing in 'Solo' mode - he reported that even playing on a train with a 3G mobile connection was enough.

This is because in solo mode the data usage is fairly small - often only a few tens of bytes a second, peaking to a couple of KB a second during hyperspace jumps. A rough estimate for Elite Dangerous bandwidth usage is about 3MB/hour for solo game play.

Online game play will vary depending on how busy the areas you are playing in are - estimates are currently at about 16KB/s for busy areas which works out at about 60MB/hour but this has not been tested in much detail yet.

A word of caution though if using a very limited mobile connection, if there is a patch for Elite Dangerous (or anything else on your system is doing automatic updates - such as Windows, Chrome etc) then your bandwidth usage will of course increase!

Can players on different platforms interact? (e.g. PC & Mac, Mac & XBox)

Players on PC & Mac can play together and interact. Players on consoles (e.g. XBox) cannot play or interact with those on PC/Mac, although they do share the same galaxy/background-simulation as those on PC & Mac.

We believe this limitation is in place as Frontier control the patching process for PC & Mac and can issues patches as they please, but for XBox/other consoles they cannot issue patches at the same time as PC & Mac meaning that the two platforms might be out of sync with each other which could cause issues (e.g. if there was a new ship released in a patch for PC but not yet for XBox, the XBox version would not know about the new ship so couldn't render it or display its name etc).