Elite Dangerous Exploration

In the game Elite Dangerous, one of the things you can do is explore. There is literally a whole galaxy to explore and discover. Maybe with some, even get your name on it as the first person to discover it.

I play on the XBOX One, but these tips will also be useful for PC and PS4 versions of the game.

If you are going to explore, then you are going to need a decent set-up. A good ship, a good engine, good power, a good fuel scoop (because there is no gas station after you get out of the “bubble” (the are where most planets are). When I went exploring, I went to the centre of the galaxy. To Sagittarius A. The black hole at the centre of the Milky Way. Who on earth decided to call it the “Milky Way”. Why couldn’t we get a decent galaxy name like Andromeda, Centaurus, Hoag, Malin. I suppose it wouldn’t have been so bad if a chocolate hadn’t been named after it.

But I digress.

The first thing you are going to need is a decent ship. The best one is the Asp Explorer.


Image courtesy of Frontier

Then you are going to want to start filling it with a decent layout.


Image courtesy imgur

There are a couple of sites that can help you with fitting the ship out. It tells you what it will cost and how much power it will use. The site I generally use is coriolis.

This is the build I would suggest for exploring.



You don’t need much of power distribution because you don’t have much in the way of things to need power apart from the Frame Shift Drive and the thrusters. You have no weapons – nobody will be shooting at you when there isn’t anyone around.

Auto Field Maintenance is to fix the ship when you inevitably stray too close to a star or land on a planet with a bit of a thump.

Advanced Discovery Scanner so you can see what is in a system and know where everything is.

Detailed Surface Scanner when you come close to a celestial body, you can give more of a scan, netting you a few more credits.

Life Support is low because if you lose your canopy, there is no way you are getting somewhere safe in a maximum of 25 minutes, so take the one that weighs the least.

Shield Generator This is one that some people say you don’t need, but I think it is a requirement. When you land on a planet, the shields can take a little of the brunt if you come down too hard, and the AFM (Auto Field Maintenance) only has a certain amount of uses.

Planetary Vehicle Hanger because you are going to want to drive on a planet that no one has ever been to before.

Cargo Rack for the odd bit you pick on the planets.

All in all, the cost is around 54 million credits, including the ship. It is worth it. I have this ship sitting in a station waiting to go off somewhere when I feel like it.

The best thing to do is to find an occupied station closest to where you want to explore from and refuel and refill from there before heading out. With the transfer options as they are now, you can have your ship transferred to a station, get in it and blast off into the unknown regions.

Scooping. When you go on a journey of exploration, you will need the fuel scoop. These scoop at stars as soon as you enter a system.

There are some stars that you cannot scoop from, so make sure there are places where you can pick up from. My own rule of thumb is, if I haven’t scooped fuel in the last three systems, I will deviate from my course to make sure I do. I switch off non-scoopables so I can see where I can go.

Non-scoopables are:

  • DA
  • DC
  • Y
  • T
  • L
  • TTS
  • Neutron
  • S
  • W

There is a phrase that will help you remember which ones ARE scoopable – if you remember the phrase:

Oh Be A Fine Girl Kiss Me


Oh Be A Fine Guy Kiss Me


Always Bring Fuel Or Gonna Kill Myself

Now let’s talk about money.

You will want to hand in your scans when you get back from your jaunt. If you are lucky, you will make a few million. My trip to Sag A, I came back and earned 19 million credits. I hurried some of the way back and only “honked” systems. Honking is when you enter a system, scan and leave. No detailed scans or anything. Just a scan while the scoop refills your tank.

Someone posted an updated image recently of how much each celestial body is worth on a scan. If you find a system with a lot of bodies (I found 101 in one system) then you can make an absolute mint if you want to spend the time there. Click on the image to open it in a new tab / window, then right click on the new one and save the image for your reference. I have no idea who created this, so I can’t give them my thanks. But whoever did – thank you.


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