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Introduced Retail 1.3

Elite Dangerous Power Play

A meta-game about powers within the Elite Dangerous Galaxy that are trying to expand their territory. You optionally elect to “pledge” support to align yourself with a power and have to conduct missions for that power (you can leave a power at any time).

Powerplay is entirely optional and unrelated to the core gameplay of Elite Dangerous. As it has no impact on normal gameplay, it can be entirely ignored and forgotten about. A recent poll on the Elite forums found that only about 20% of players like powerplay.

However, rightly or wrongly, the “effects” applied to systems by powers affects all players.

The powers are unrelated to the existing major factions (e.g. Empire, Federation) and minor factions (e.g. smaller in-system factions such as “Social Tarach Tor Union Party”).

Control Effects

Each power has certain control effects that it will apply to all controlled systems, for example a power might force all black markets to close or affect the price of commodities.

Command Capital

Command Capital (known as CC) is the resource/currency used by powers to perform actions to expand their territory, and is derived from the systems that a power controls. Larger systems with larger populations generate more CC than smaller systems with smaller populations.


A Cycle is a week-long period. At the end of a cycle, the powers' actions are completed and their new CC values calculated.

Merits & Rating

If you pledge support to a power and complete tasks you will be awarded “merits”. At the end of the cycle, the number of merits you have will dictate the Rating you get from that Power.

Merits from previous cycles are halved each cycle and added to your current total for a maximum of 3 cycles. E.g. if you have 32 merits at Cycle 1, in Cycle 2 you will have 16 merits add, in Cycle 3 you have 8 merits added, Cycle 4 you get 4 then in Cycle 5 all of your previous merits have decayed and are no longer added to your current total.

Higher power ratings leads to different mission types.


All Powers have a Home System. In addition they may have one or more Control Systems, which are systems that this power is said to control. Any systems within a 15Ly radius of a Control System is considered an Exploited System. Both Control and Exploited systems cannot be expanded into by other powers.

All systems cost CC for upkeep (the amount varies based on distance from the Home system), but all Control and Exploited Systems generate CC.

If a power does not have enough CC to cover the cost of upkeep at the start of a cycle, systems will change to a Turmoil state. If the CC is not increased to cover the cost of upkeep by the end of the cycle, the systems will move into Revolt status.

Expansion Process


A power may select a system to “prepare” for expansion - the system must be inhabited and not controlled/exploited by any other power. To prepare a system, players who have pledged support to a power must complete missions. Once preparation is complete, an expansion attempt for the next cycle can be purchased with CC.


To expand into a system, players who have pledged support to a power must complete missions. Each mission add points which will trigger an expansion if they go over a certain trigger value.

Members of different powers can “oppose” an expansion attempt by conducting missions.

Control & Fortification

Once a power has expanded into a system - and so gained control of it - it can “Fortify” that system. Fortification makes “undermining” (by other powers) more difficult.

Power Effects

When a power is exploiting a system, these are the impacts on those systems that apply to *all* players, even if they are not taking part in power play. For instance if you are a bounty hunter, you may want to do so in an area controlled by a power that pays increased rates for bounties.

“P+C” is shorthand for “production and consumption”

Power Empire Federation Alliance Independent
A Lavigny-Duval Bounty payout +20%
Blackmarket goods price +5%
Aisling Duval Greater P+C of high-value goods
Archon Delaine Security -50%
Blackmarket goods price +10%
Denton Patreus P+C high-value goods +30%
High-value goods price +5%
High-value goods price -5%
Edmund Mahon P+C agricultural goods -50%
Agricultural goods value +5%
P+C agricultural goods +400%
Agricultural goods value +10%
Agricultural equipment price -5%
Felicia Winters Imperial slaves price +10% P+C basic foods and medicines +200%
Security +20%
P+C basic foods and medicines +200%
Li Yong-Rui P+C high tech goods + 200%
High tech goods price -10%
Pranav Antal Received fines + bounties +50%
Blackmarket goods price + 10%
Zachary Hudson Security -40% Weapons price -10%
Security + 20%
Security -40%
Zemina Torval P+C Imperial slaves +200% Mined materials -5%