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Getting Started Exploration Navigation Exobiology Modules Outfitting Ships Templates Tools Scenery Glossary

Exploration for Beginners

When I first started playing Elite Dangerous, I knew that my eventual goal would be to explore deep space. While I had spent more time inside the human-occupied "bubble" than not, it had always been with an eye toward getting back out "into the black", building up money, ships, and standing with the engineers to fund and supply those expeditions. Along the way, I discovered how complex and non-intuitive aspects of the game can be. I could have saved myself a lot of time and difficulty if I knew more right from the start, but the learning experience is worthwhile too, and for all the years of gaming that I've done, I'm usually pretty quick to pick up a game's mechanics and specifics fairly quickly. However, Elite Dangerous has a very steep learning curve, and even the beginner content throws you to the wolves very quickly. Even highly experienced gamers will take time to learn all of the intricate details of this game and its universe.

With that in mind, I have tried to compile some tips and information that a new aspiring Explorer might find useful. Some of this is exploration specific, and a lot of it is also general to Elite: Dangerous.

This document assumes you already know how to at least play the game, basically, and understand some of the game's terminology. This isn't meant to be a quick-start guide, but rather a list of tips and details that are easy to miss. It's more like a list of things I wish I knew in the first few weeks of play, rather than discovering slowly over months. :)

This probably goes into a lot more detail than you are prepared for, so you may need to revisit this page more than once. Likewise, even seasoned veteran explorers can miss a variety of details, and therefore may find this page useful too. In fact, I'm sure I've missed some things, and I'm still picking up new things even after 1.5 million lightyears! And so I will add more as time goes on.

-CMDR Orvidius


Getting started:

↑ Index

General Exploration:

↑ Index

Navigation and Maneuvering:

↑ Index

Exobiology and using the "Juicer" (Genetic Sampling Tool):

↑ Index

Ship Systems and Modules:

↑ Index

Building an exploration vessel:

You can explore in any ship, but there are some aspects which are worth considering. Jump range matters most in terms of how long it takes to travel from point A to point B, and will also affect how easy it is to cross gaps or sparse regions. Generally speaking, a jump range of at least 35 lightyears will be sufficient to go almost anywhere except the most remote areas, and deep into the edges of the galaxy. A range of 50 ly or more will effectively allow you to go nearly anywhere. Aside from those caveats, jump range isn't as important as you might initially think. Many explorers prefer to execute lots of shorter jumps in order to more thoroughly explore the stars they travel through. Others like to go places quickly, and then explore "over there". And in terms of earning potential, explorers are paid for scans, not by the lightyear traveled, meaning that the number of jumps is more important than the distance covered. So choosing a ship often comes down to using the ship you enjoy flying the most. You'll be out in deep space for days, weeks, or even months or years, depending on your exploration strategy, so you might as well enjoy flying your favorite ship.

When you have your ship assembled, something to consider is how well it handles high gravity environments, or very hot environments. The choice between Overcharged or Low Emissions power plant mods, and Clean Tuning vs Dirty Drives can be influenced by how far into the extremes you want to go.

High Gravity

All ships can land on high-gravity worlds. The game currently has a limit, in that landable worlds will almost always have less than 10 G of surface gravity, with very few exceptions. Anything above 3 G handles about the same. The reason for this is that Flight Assist cheats in your favor, allowing both the vertical and main thrusters to always provide a minimum of 5 m/s acceleration, even if they're technically too weak to do so. The same is not also true for lateral thrusters (when rolled side-to-side), or for flying upside-down (inverted), so you will want to avoid those maneuvers. Also be aware that it takes time for the thrusters to "ramp up" into this over-powered state, and so it can take a very long time to stop a descent, and it takes longer to get off the ground. If you let go of the thrusters, you may fall very quickly and be unable to recover. Landing on high gravity worlds just requires patience, descending at shallow angles with a slow vertical drop. Try to resist using the vertical thrusters on the way down, since flight assist will try to maintain altitude for you, and instead thrust forward with a shallow pitch of -10 degrees or less. If you want to test your ship before leaving the bubble, a good location is Achenar 3, at 6.73 G.

Extreme Heat

Most ships are capable of overheating when trying to jump or reenter supercruise too close to a star, such as after an emergency stop in its exclusion zone. However, planets can also provide a hostile environment in much the same way, if it is a hot world, or your ship doesn't manage its heat well while on thrusters. To test the limits of your ship's heat management while you're still in the bubble, you can go to Skardee 1, which orbits within the star's scooping zone. You can pull some hard turns while flying upside-down to intentionally heat the ship up, and see what it takes to overheat your ship. Note: Most ships can overheat here. Some will overheat quite quickly, while others will require you to work at it. You will rarely land in places that are this hot while exploring, so this sets an upper-bound on expectations.

↑ Index

Sample exploration templates, by ship:

I've assembled some sample configurations for many of the ships in the game, along with a "target" jump range for that configuration. Many of these jump ranges can be exceeded with a stripped-down build, however you will probably wish to sacrifice some jump range in order to add more equipment to your ship. Don't fret if your jump range is smaller than what is shown here. While they are basic builds, they also assume that you have all of the engineers unlocked and are willing to maximize each modification, as well as undersize several modules. It takes time, and resources, in order to fully optimize your ship. My suggestion is to alternate between exploring and improving your ship, so that neither activity gets stale. Hopefully this can guide your choice of the best exploration ships, to suite your taste.

For most of the templates below, I followed some simple rules for configuring these as examples:

(*) Asterisk-marked rules should no longer affect any of the ships, since all ships now have 6+ optional internals and no longer need to leave behind any of the "standard" exploration kit.

Exploration Ships

Click on the ships below, for Coriolis builds. Columns can be sorted. Column key is below the table. Loadout rules are described above.

MT⁰   Ship   Jump   Slots¹    Utils    Shield    FSD   Scoop  ScoopR²   Sc.Sec³   Turn⁴     Pad    SLY⁵     MS⁶   SCO+⁷   Score⁸
AdderWith jump ranges possible in the upper 40s, the Adder isn't a terrible choice for a small ship, particularly at this price point. However the Hauler is cheaper and is slightly better at jumping.
52.7 ly 89  0   10.2   44.1   1 368.9 0.87 . 218
Alliance ChallengerSuffers from the typical combat-ship limitations, with limited number of internals and lackluster jump range.
49.7 ly 141  1   5.7   34.2   2 347.9 0.08 . 590
Alliance ChieftainSuffers from the typical combat-ship limitations, with limited number of internals. Best jump range of the three alliance medium ships, typically around 50, at the expense of an optional internal slot compared to the other two.
56.7 ly 80  1   5.7   34.2   2 340.2 0.10 . 642
Alliance CrusaderSuffers from the typical combat-ship limitations, with limited number of internals and lackluster jump range. Of the three Alliance medium variants, the Crusader is the only one capable of carrying a fighter hangar. In addition, it is the smallest ship that has four cockpit seats.
46.0 ly 115  1   5.7   34.0   2 322 0.06 . 497
AnacondaBest possible jump range and good internals, this is a very good explorer. The caveat is that it's not very maneuverable, and has some of the most restricted visibility in the game. Jump ranges in the low to mid 70s are typical.
83.3 ly 12  193  1   6.4   20.5   3 999.6 0.14 . 1242
Asp ExplorerOne of the best cockpits for VR, the AspX has what is probably the best visibility in the game. Relatively medium capabilities in terms of internals and thruster performance, but highly maneuverable in supercruise. Jump ranges in the 60s are typical.
70.6 ly 83  1   5.7   43.1   2 564.8 0.18 . 1182
Asp ScoutThe Scout is significantly less capable for deep space exploration than its famous counterpart, the Asp Explorer, as it's hamstrung by having a FSD that's one class lower. However, recently it has enjoyed a small boost in popularity in planetside exploration, due to having significantly better flight characteristics. Jump ranges can reach around 60 ly (pending 4A FSDv1).
62.0 ly 136  1   5.2   55.9   2 434 0.29 . 880
Beluga LinerThe largest number of optional internal slots in the game, in a tie with the Anaconda. Very maneuverable for its size, outclassing the other "heavy" large ships. Very good cockpit visibility above the console. Jump ranges typically in the 50s.
58.6 ly 12  123  -1   14.6   32.4   3 703.2 0.04 . 1063
Cobra Mk.IIIThe iconic ship of the Elite games, a famed small multi-role ship that does well in the exploration role too, especially considering its price. Cockpit visibility is average, but it's a surprisingly nimble ship, able to reach fast speeds even on lighter thrusters. Fly carefully with the relatively weaker shields though. Jump ranges usually around 45-50 ly.
54.9 ly 77  0   8.8   47.6   1 439.2 0.21 . 692
Cobra Mk.IVA status symbol, because it's currently exclusive to those who pre-ordered Horizons, but is inferior to the Mk III in almost every way, except for optional internal slots.
49.6 ly 10  98  0   8.8   39.6   1 496 0.16 . 623
Diamondback ExplorerStill an old favorite among explorers, the DBX has one of the best available jump ranges in the game, second only to the anaconda. Suffers from a terrible maximum fuel scoop speed. Jump ranges in the high 60s to low 70s are typical.
74.4 ly 97  -1   14.6   41.4   1 595.2 0.22 . 960
Diamondback ScoutFor some time, the DBS was The Diamondback, but Lakon later released the Diamondback Explorer, which is much better for exploration in almost every way. Only combat pilots seem to remember that the Scout still exists. Even when considering the price difference between the two Diamondback variants, there are better choices within this price range. Jump ranges are typically in the low 40s.
48.5 ly 122  -1   17.0   49.2   1 339.5 0.24 . 404
DolphinA very capable early explorer. While it can't jump as far as the DBX, it has more internals, costs less, and is the coolest-running ship in the game. Jump ranges in the 50s are typical.
64.7 ly 132  1   5.2   45.0   1 582.3 0.32 . 911
EagleA sleek, fast ship with excellent flight characteristics, that unfortunately does poorly at exploration. If you are based on a fleet carrier, you might want to consider bringing an Eagle along for some occasional canyon racing. Works nicely as a carrier-based short range exploration craft.
42.0 ly 50  0   10.2   53.1   1 252 0.55 . 159
Federal Assault ShipCompared to the other Federal military ships, the FAS does surprisingly well at exploration. It's not only lighter than they are, but also handles significantly better in supercruise. However, its jump range is still 45-50 ly, making it average at best.
50.3 ly 120  0   8.7   46.1   2 352.1 0.07 . 727
Federal CorvetteHandles nicely for a ship of its size, and good internals. Being combat-focused though, it's jump range is limited, typically in the 40s.
47.5 ly 11  275  1   6.4   33.0   3 522.5 0.03 . 840
Federal DropshipThe original Federal military ship, now largely superseded by the other two variants, in the exploration role as well. The Dropship can carry a good amount of equipment, but its base hull is heavy enough that its jump range suffers, barely reaching the lower 40s even in its lightest configurations.
44.3 ly 103  1   5.7   34.2   2 354.4 0.05 . 493
Federal GunshipLots of guns, lots of restricted internal slots, not a lot of lightyears. Performs mostly the same as the Dropship, but the Gunship can mount a fighter hangar.
44.0 ly 129  1   5.7   32.9   2 264 0.05 . 414
Fer-de-LanceFor combat pilots who forgot that they can switch ships before going exploring. The Fer-de-Lance looks and handles remarkably well, but its internals are seriously limited. Jump ranges rarely exceed the low 40s. Has more utility slots than most medium ships.
44.9 ly 201  1   5.2   33.5   2 269.4 0.12 . 405
HaulerA fantastically dirt-cheap shuttle, the Hauler is very inexpensive and can attain jump ranges in the 40s easily with an SRV on board, or reach into the 50s without one. Best suited for getting around quickly when moving ships, as the fees to transfer the hauler back are extremely affordable.
48.0 ly 86  1   5.1   46.0   1 288 1.55 . 114
Imperial ClipperA large ship that thinks it's medium sized. Handles like a medium ship. Fastest potential scooping speed in the game. Nice clear canopy view. Can overheat making graceful thruster maneuvers. Jump ranges typically around 50.
56.8 ly 79  2   4.0   40.8   3 511.2 0.10 . 1012
Imperial CourierAn extremely light and nimble small ship, the courier has very good internals and shield multipliers for a ship of its size. Jump ranges typically in the 40s, low 50s possible. Very sensitive to mass differences.
52.4 ly 295  0   10.2   44.1   1 419.2 0.87 . 286
Imperial CutterA visually attractive ship, slow to steer, and drifts on thrusters. Decent number of optional slots, with acceptable jump range. Quite insensitive to mass differences, for carrying heavy equipment. Visibility isn't bad, but slightly more constrained than in the Clipper.
55.6 ly 10  309  1   7.6   22.2   3 556 0.03 . 835
Imperial EagleWith similar limitations as the Eagle, this variant comes with both a white paintjob and an added spoiler as stock. (There is no ship kit yet, so you can't put a spoiler on top of the spoiler.) More speed, but worse handling.
42.0 ly 67  0   10.2   45.0   1 252 0.55 . 145
KeelbackSmallest ship capable of carrying a fighter hangar. Similar to the Type-6 in many ways, sacrificing several lightyears of jump range and an optional internal slot, to make up for the fighter capability and hardpoints.
56.5 ly 129  1   5.2   41.1   2 395.5 0.21 . 655
Krait Mk.IIA capable explorer, but sacrifices some jump range for better internals, compared to the Krait Phantom. Serves as a viable half-way point between the Phantom and the Python. Jump ranges in the mid to high 50s are typical.
67.2 ly 117  1   5.7   38.8   2 604.8 0.15 . 1170
Krait PhantomSometimes thought of as "AspX 2.0", is the same or better than the AspX in every way, except that it maneuvers a little slower in supercruise, and the cockpit visibility is more constrained, though still quite good. Same optional internals as AspX, with one additional size-5 slot. Jump ranges in the 60s are typical.
72.5 ly 116  1   5.7   38.7   2 652.5 0.19 . 1212
MambaHandles nicely, and has a good forward view, though side views are more restricted. Limited internals, and jump ranges rarely exceed the low 40s. Has more utility slots than most medium ships.
44.4 ly 170  1   5.2   33.5   2 266.4 0.11 . 387
OrcaA surprisingly good "jack of all trades, master of none". Does everything well without excelling at any one thing. Good internals, good visibility, good thruster performance, and good supercruise steering. Jump ranges typically in the low 60s.
68.8 ly 127  1   5.7   33.5   3 619.2 0.17 . 1015
PythonIf you are more interested in internals and on-thrusters capability, the Python is a solid choice. Best internals of a medium-sized ship, and jump ranges are typically in the low to mid 50s.
60.4 ly 10  131  1   5.7   37.9   2 604 0.12 . 1099
Python Mk.IIA more combat oriented version of the original Python, the Mark II model sacrifices internal capacity for more firepower, shielding, and utility slots. Having more mass and more restricted internals means that it is more difficult to achieve a higher jump range for exploration.
49.7 ly 214  1   5.7   37.9   2 298.2 0.08 Y 629
SidewinderThe starter ship of the game, and arguably the worst when it comes to exploration. Its only good points are decent cockpit visibility (especially above), and the best supercruise handling in the game. Working with its small internal slots can be a challenge.
38.1 ly 53  0   12.0   57.8   1 228.6 0.81 . 81
Type-6 TransporterA "cult classic" in some circles. Good forward cockpit visibility, but restricted at the sides. Very light and maneuverable. Jump ranges typically in the 50s.
62.1 ly 99  1   5.2   41.3   2 496.8 0.27 . 756
Type-7 TransporterA viable alternative to the Python, with nearly identical internals, except that one of the mid-sized optional slots is a size larger. Very good visibility, but obstructed by lots of canopy structure. Strong yaw axis steering, making it highly maneuverable on the diagonals. Jump ranges in the low to mid 50s are typical.
61.5 ly 10  78  1   5.7   31.9   3 615 0.13 . 921
Type-9 HeavyOne of the better cockpits for visibility in the forward hemisphere. Among the fastest scooping ships. Large internals, but slow on thrusters, and far slower still in supercruise steering. Gains an additional size-8 slot over the Type-10. Jump ranges typically in the 40s.
49.0 ly 11  122  2   4.8   14.3   3 539 0.04 . 443
Type-10 DefenderOne of the better cockpits for visibility in the forward hemisphere. Large internals, but slow on thrusters, and far slower still in supercruise steering. Compared to the Type-9, it loses a size-8 slot and some scooping speed, in favor of a few more lightyears. Jump ranges typically in the 40s.
52.7 ly 10  159  1   7.6   14.3   3 527 0.03 . 496
ViperA small combat ship that shares the same strengths and weaknesses as the others in its category. The Viper Mk III is slightly larger and slightly more nimble, but performs roughly the same at exploration.
41.9 ly 119  0   10.2   44.1   1 251.4 0.53 . 163
Viper Mk.IVA Viper that wanted to be a Cobra instead. Almost all of its characteristics are similar, but slightly worse. The only aspect where it is better than the Cobra Mk III is the cockpit visibility.
53.1 ly 136  0   8.8   41.3   1 424.8 0.19 . 633
VultureA very capable combat ship that is unfortunately not nearly as capable at exploration, with a jump range that's surprisingly low even among the other Core Dynamics ships. The Vulture is hamstrung by its small internal slots, but it has decent cockpit visibility, and it at least does remarkably well at fuel scooping.
42.6 ly 177  1   5.2   46.0   1 298.2 0.14 . 479

The displayed jump ranges are the unladen, fully fueled ranges. That is, the jump distance that would be used by the course plotter, as it assumes a full tank. And you are travelling without cargo, right? :)

Column key:

  1. Meta-Tier = Roughly the popularity for exploration. Tier "1" are the main exploration ships. Tier "2" have gained some popularity with explorers for a variety of reasons. Tier "3" is everything else.

  2. Slots = Number of unrestricted optional internal slots.

  3. ScoopRatio = Maximum scoop size relative to FSD size (For instance, "0" means they're equal). Higher is better.

  4. ScoopSec = Number of seconds of scooping per jump, at maximum scoop rate, assuming largest A-rated FSD and Fuel Scoops are installed. Lower is better.

  5. Turn = Turn rate in supercruise, defined as a weighted 3D vector of turn rates on all three axes, as degrees per second (Roll is counted with one-third weight). Numbers and some ship descriptions are courtesy of marx from this thread, used with permission.

  6. Slot-Lightyears = Number of unrestricted optional slots multiplied by lightyear jump range. A simplistic measure of how much "stuff" you can bring over a given "distance".

  7. Mass Sensitivity = Change in jump-range when adding 1 ton of mass, based on the linked templates. Smaller is better, for bringing additional equipment. This sensitivity value will be reduced with each additional ton added. Lighter ships and smaller FSDs are more strongly affected by mass changes.

  8. SCO+ = Supercruise Overcharge (SCO) Stabilized/Enhanced hull.

  9. Score = A simple calculation based on jump range, number of unrestricted optional internal slots, supercruise turn rate, scoop time per jump, and mass sensitivty. This score shouldn't be taken too seriously, since it is no substitute for more subjective aspects (such as how much you enjoy flying the ship), nor does it take into account the variety of different goals that individual explorers will have. It is at best a very crude measure of how much a ship can do.

    Current equation:

    $score = ( ($jumprange - 32) * ($slotcount + 3) * ($supercruiseSteering + 4) + (($shield*25) / ($padsize+1))) / ( ($scoopseconds + 35) * ($sensitivity + 0.25) )

General rule of thumb for number of unrestricted optional internal slots:
  • 6 Slots: Basic exploration configuration: Fuel Scoop, Shield, AFMU, SRV Hangar, FSD Booster or second AFMU, Detailed Surface Scanner.

  • 7 Slots: Robust exploration configuration: Fuel Scoop, Shield, AFMU, SRV Hangar, FSD Booster and second AFMU, Detailed Surface Scanner.

  • 8 Slots: Self-reliant exploration configuration: Fuel Scoop, Shield, AFMU, SRV Hangar, FSD Booster or second AFMU, Cargo Rack, Repair Limpet Controller, Detailed Surface Scanner.

  • 9+ Slots: Robust Self-reliant exploration configuration: Fuel Scoop, Shield, AFMU, SRV Hangar, FSD Booster and second AFMU, Cargo Rack, Repair Limpet Controller, Detailed Surface Scanner.

Optionally, any leftover slots can be used for something else, such as a fighter hangar, cargo rack, docking computer, etc. Beyond that, leftover slots should be filled with additional AFMUs since they help absorb heat damage (cargo racks will not), and give you additional repair "ammo".

↑ Index

Websites and Tools for Explorers:

  • Elite Dangerous Database (EDDB, website for finding commodities, ships, modules, and resources based on in-game data of stations and planets.)

  • ED Discovery (Utility for tracking your logs, progress, and discoveries, and can also upload to websites similar to how EDMC works)

  • Elite Dangerous Market Connector (Utility to upload your activity and stats to several websites such as EDSM, EDDB, and Inara)

  • Elite Dangrous Star Map (EDSM, website for mapping and tracking player progress)

  • Elite Observatory (Utility that alerts you to interesting discoveries as you scan them)

  • Inara (Website with engineering blueprints and for tracking your materials, cargo, and progress)

  • Spansh (Neutron route plotter)

  • Visited Stars Cache (Replace your visited stars cache file with one that contains all EDSM systems, to use the GalMap's visited status for EDSM status rather than your own)

↑ Index

Scenic places to visit:

↑ Index

Glossary of Terminology and Abbreviations:

(work in progress)

  •AFMU=Auto Field Maintenance Unit.
  •AL=A less-used, more ambiguous equivalent to GGAL (Gas Giant with Ammonia-based Life).
  •AO=Ambient Occlusion, a graphics feature that renders shadows/shading in concave surfaces.
  •AspE=Asp Explorer (less common).
  •AspX=Asp Explorer (more common).
  •AW=Ammonia World.
  •AX=Anti-xeno. A class of weapons designed to combat the Thargoids.
  •Barycenter=The point in space that a binary pair of bodies will appear to orbit around.
  •Beagle Point=Star on the far opposite edge of the galaxy that used to be the furthest reachable from Sol. This is no longer true, but still serves as a common pilgrimage destination.
  •Body=Any natural orbital object, ranging from small moons and planets up to stars, black holes, etc.
  •Boxel=A subsector (of varying sizes) within a sector of space. The term comes from "pixel", but refers to a 3D cube of space. This usually refers to procedurally generated star systems with shared letter codes and mass codes, in the form "XX-X n", where "n" is the mass code.
  •Bubble=The Bubble is the main area of human occupied space, surrounding Sol. Until recently it was the only human occupied area of space, however in the last few years Colonia has grown into a smaller, mini-bubble of its own.
  •Buckyballing=Racing toward a destination at best possible speed. The name comes from the Buckyball Racing Club. Usually involves "jonking" while only partially scooping at most stars, and starting the hyperjump while still fuel scooping. The fuel scooping deficit is overcome by only occasionally scooping more deeply.
  •CFT=Candidate for Terraforming.
  •Colonia=Technically this is the name of a specific system about 22 kly away from the human occupied bubble, however the term also encompasses the entire nebula's inhabited systems surrounding the Colonia system.
  •Colonia Road=The path through space between the bubble and Colonia.
  •CQC=Close Quarters Combat (Arena) game mode.
  •CZ=Conflict Zone.
  •DBE=Diamondback Explorer.
  •DBS=Diamondback Scout.
  •DBX=Diamondback Explorer.
  •DSS=Detailed Surface Scanner, probe launcher used for mapping the surface of planets.
  •DW2=Distant Worlds 2 expedition, January-June 3305 (2019).
  •DWE=Distant Worlds [1] Expedition, 3302 (2016).
  •E-Stop=Emergency stop, dropping out of supercruise unexpectedly, causing some damage. Can happen for several reasons, such as getting too close to a star or planet, or losing power to your thrusters or FSD while in supercruise. The latter can happen due to power priorities, brown-out due to the power plant taking damage, or attempting to repair the thrusters or FSD while in flight.
  •EA=Less favored abbreviation for Explorer's Anchorage. "XA" is more popular so as not to confuse it with something that destroys game franchises.
  •ED=Elite: Dangerous.
  •EDB=Elite Dangerous - Beyond
  •EDD=ED Discovery, a program for analyzing your game journals and tracking your activities and discoveries with EDSM, Inara, EDDB, etc.
  •EDDB=ED Database, a website (eddb.io) for searching data on bodies, commodities, stations, planets, systems, and more.
  •EDH=Elite Dangerous - Horizons
  •EDMC=ED Market Connector, a more lightweight program for tracking/sharing your activities and discoveries with EDSM, Inara, EDDB, etc.
  •EDO=Elite Dangerous - Odyssey
  •EDSM=Elite Dangerous Star Map, a website (edsm.net) for community based cartography and sharing discoveries.
  •ELM=Earth-Like Moon. An Earth-like world that is a moon to another planet.
  •ELW=Earth-Like World.
  •Exclusion Zone=The area around a star or planet that you cannot enter. Often also refers to the area just outside of the true exclusion zone in which you will be dropped out of supercruise.
  •Exploraconda=An exploration-outfitted Anaconda.
  •Explorca=An exploration-outfitted Orca.
  •FA=Flight Assist, automatic stability control.
  •FAO=Flight Assist Off, flying with flight assist disabled.
  •FAS=Federal Assault Ship.
  •FC=Fleet Carrier.
  •FDS=Federal Dropship.
  •FFS=Same as FSS, but with a more negative connotation. :)
  •FGS=Federal Gunship.
  •Fleetcomm=A Private Group used mainly for exploration and expeditions.
  •Fliving=A portmanteau of the words "flying" and "driving", referring to SRV driving while using the thrusters to mostly stay off the ground, in order to maintain speed.
  •FSD=Frame Shift Drive, which is used for both supercruise and hyperjumps.
  •FSS=Full Spectrum Scanner, which is used to manually discover (and tag) planetary bodies within a star system.
  •GG=Gas Giant.
  •GGAL=Gas Giant with Ammonia-based Life.
  •GGG=Glowing Green Giant (or Glowing Gas Giant).
  •GGGG=Glowing Green Gas Giant.
  •GGWL=Gas Giant with Water-based Life.
  •HazRES=Hazardous Resource Extraction Site.
  •HGE=High Grade Emission (USS that tends to have grades 4 and 5 materials).
  •High wake=Hyperjump to another star system, leaving behind a "High Wake".
  •HMC=High Metal Contentent world.
  •Honk=The sound made by the Discovery Scanner, also refers to use of the scanner itself.
  •Hyperdiction=An extension of "interdiction", which drops a ship out of a hyperjump, and can only be done by Thargoids.
  •Hyperjump=A jump from one star system to another, using the FSD.
  •Inara=A website (inara.cz) which maintains information on engineers and blueprints, material and resource locations, and more.
  •Interdiction=Forcing another ship out of supercruise, into normal space, using the FSD Interdictor module.
  •IOS=Inner Orion Spur.
  •Ishum's Reach=See Semotus Beacon.
  •Jonking=Jump-Honking. Traveling quickly without taking the time to scan anything beyond the initial discovery scanner "honk". Similar to "buckyballing" without the racing connotation.
  •Juicer=Slang term for the Genetic Sampler Tool (Artemis space suit)
  •Jump=Hyperjump, a jump from one star system to another, using the FSD.
  •Jumpaconda=An Anaconda that has been stripped down and optimized for jump range, often at the expense of other exploration-useful functions.
  •Jumpoconda=Same thing as Jumpaconda, alternate spelling.
  •Jumponium=Slang term for using materials for FSD injection synthesis. It can boost a single jump by 25%-100%.
  •KLY=Kilo-lightyear (thousands of lightyears)
  •KOS=Kill on Sight. Something Thargoids will do to you if you have meta-alloys or thargoid parts in your cargo hold.
  •Kylie=Pronounceable version of "kly"
  •Lagrange Cloud=A cloud of dust and other material that as accumulated at the L4/L5 lagrange points of an orbital body.
  •Lagrange Point=Locations of gravitational stability relative to a larger object's orbit. Most commonly, the L4/L5 points which are sustainably stable, 60 degrees to either side of the larger object's position in its orbit.
  •Low wake=Entering or exiting supercruise, leaving behind a "Low Wake".
  •LTD=Low Temperature Diamonds, a valuable mining resource.
  •LYR=Li Yong-Rui, one of the powerplay factions that you can pledge to, which will pay for exploration data with a 200% bonus. This comes with considerable risk of attack.
  •LZ=Landing Zone
  •Mass Lock=Nearby mass of planets, stars, stations, or other ships that prevents you from using the FSD. Other ships can only mass lock you against "low waking" (supercruise), and cannot prevent you from hyperjumping. Larger objects, such as stations and planets can prevent both.
  •Mobius PVE=A popular Private Group for PVE gameplay.
  •MR=Metal Rich.
  •MRW=Metal Rich World.
  •Neutron Highway=A method of relatively faster travel, using neutron star ejection cones to supercharge the FSD, within the galactic layers that are rich in neutron stars (+/- 1000 lightyears from the galactic plane).
  •NHSS=Non-Human Signal Source. These are usually Thargoid combat scenarios.
  •NSP=Notable Stellar Phenomena, usually Lagrange clouds, but can also be life-containing locations in planetary rings.
  •Open=The PVP-friendly (and "anything goes") game mode.
  •PG=Private Group.
  •PLC=Proto-Lagrange Cloud (a specific, more common NSP).
  •PMF=Player-Made Faction.
  •POI=Point of Interest.
  •PP=Power Plant.
  •PVE=Player-vs-Environment gameplay. Specifically, non-PVP play.
  •PVP=Player-vs-Player gameplay.
  •R2R=Road to Riches, a list of valuable worlds to scan for quick cash, both in and around the bubble.
  •Rebuy=Insurance premium to recover your ship if destroyed. Usually in reference to making sure you always have enough money to pay for it before flying.
  •Region=One of 42 subdivisions in the galaxy map, with names like "Inner Orion Spur" or "The Norma Arm", etc.
  •RES=Resource Extraction Site.
  •Sag-A*=Common ED abbreviation for Sagittarius-A* (pronouned A-Star), the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy.
  •Salomé's Reach=See Semotus Beacon.
  •Sampler=Genetic Sampler Tool
  •SC=Supercruise, the "warp speed" travel within a star system, using the FSD. Speeds range form 30 km/s to 2001c (2001 times the speed of light).
  •SCA=Sagittarius Carina Arm.
  •Scoop=Fuel scoop module.
  •Sector=A cube of space 1280 lightyears on each side, having its own procedurally generated name (such as "Eol Prou").
  •Semotus Beacon=Furthest reachable system from Sol, on the far opposite edge of the galaxy (in game as "Oevasy SG-Y d0").
  •SF=StellarForge, the software system that procedurally generates the entire galaxy and the bodies it contains.
  •Sgr-A*=Astronomy abbreviation for Sagittarius-A* (pronouned A-Star), the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy.
  •SOI=Sphere of Influence, the area around a gravitational body where its local gravity is stronger than the other bodies in the system, and controls which body's space your position is relative to.
  •Sol=Our sun and solar System, containing Earth, Mars, etc.
  •Space Legs=A community slang term for the proposed first-person mode, allowing players to walk around the interior of their ships and/or other places.
  •Spansh=A website (www.spansh.co.uk) that will plot courses through known neutron stars. Disadvantages are that it will require a lot of copy/paste and manual plotting in-game, and all neutron stars will already be previously discovered (since it can only use known neutron stars).
  •SRV=Surface Recon Vehicle. Sometimes jokingly referred to as the Sudden Rotation Vehicle.
  •StellarForge=The software system that procedurally generates the entire galaxy and the bodies it contains.
  •Supercharge=FSD Supercharging uses a jet cone from a neutron star for a +300% range boost for a single jump, or +50% in the case of white dwarfs.
  •Supercruise=The "warp speed" travel within a star system, using the FSD. Speeds range from 30 km/s to 2001c (2001 times the speed of light).
  •Supression Zone=Usually refers to regions of the galaxy that lack specific types of main stars. For instance, the "bars" +/- 1000 lightyears centered on Sol, running through the middle of the galaxy that do not have neutron stars.
  •Synth=Ammo refills, FSD injection, and other functions provided by the ship's Synthesis panel.
  •Tag=A commander's name associated with a star or planet, either as "discovered by" or "mapped by".
  •TFC=Terraforming Candidate.
  •Tritium=A heavy isotope of Hydrogen with two neutrons, used as fuel for Fleet Carriers. Pronounced with a soft-i, like "trick".
  •Trojan=Planets sharing the same orbit, 60 degrees apart, with the smaller one residing in the L4/L5 lagrange points of the larger body.
  •UC=Universal Cartographics, the service to which you sell your exploration and scan data.
  •USS=Unidentified Signal Source. These come in a varity of types and threat levels, as opportunities to pick up resources as debris, combat scenarios, and more.
  •VA=Voice Attack, a voice interface for use with ED. Voice packs available from HCS.
  •VO=Void Opals, a valuable mining resource.
  •Wake=A temporary disturbance in space left behind by a ship that has used its FSD. They decay and dissapear after a few minutes, however can be scanned with a wake scanner to determine where the ship went. They come in two varieties, Low (supercruise) and High (hyperjump).
  •Witchspace=Old pilot slang for the alternate dimension that you see during hyperjumps.
  •WL=A less-used, more ambiguous equivalent to GGWL (Gas Giant with Water-based Life).
  •WW=Water World.
  •XA=Explorer's Anchorage, a space station near Sagittarius-A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy. Many explorers favor this abbreviation over "EA" so as not to confuse it with something that destroys game franchises and studios.
  •XZ=Exclusion Zone, the area around a star or planet that you cannot enter. Often also used to refer to the region just outside of the true exclusion zone in which you will be dropped out of supercruise.

This website is not an official tool for the game Elite: Dangerous and is not affiliated with Frontier Developments. All information provided is based on publicly available information and data supplied by players, and may not be entirely accurate. 'Elite', the Elite logo, the Elite: Dangerous logo, 'Frontier' and the Frontier logo are registered trademarks of Frontier Developments plc. All rights reserved. All other trademarks and copyrights are acknowledged as the property of their respective owners.

Special thanks go to all commanders and explorers who graciously upload their data to EDDN, EDSM, and EDAstro to make all of this possible. We wouldn't exist without your data contributions. For any bug reports or feature suggestions, please visit our forum thread.