Elite: Dangerous Blog

News and events from the Elite Dangerous galaxy

Tips for Beginners: How to scan a Thargoid (and survive)


Doing the strangest thing, loving the alien

Want to scan a Thargoid, but don't want to end up dead? Here's how...

This only applies to players with Horizons.

Lock and load...

First you need to purchase a Xeno scanner from station outfitting and ESSENTIALLY purchase a heat-sink launcher and fit them to your ship. If you cannot find these in the station you are at, use the EDDB.io website to locate a station near you that has them in stock (put "xeno scanner" in the "Station sells" box and then put your current location in the "Reference system" box). You are then set for a close encounter of the non-fatal kind. You'll be making a long trip, so consider fitting a fuel scoop if you don't already have one.

Remember to assign the Heat Sink launcher and Xeno Scanner to a fire group.

Finding Thargoids

Currently in the game the best place to find Thargoids is in the Pleiades sector, which means a trip of 150-200ly from the main bubble (depending where you start). Look on the Galaxy Map for the damaged stations and stations under repair. These systems have the Thargoids in their vicinity. Plot a route to one of these systems and get jumping.

I've arrived! What now?

Fly around the system in super-cruise and look for Unknown Signal Sources. You want to find a Non-Human Signal Source - Threat level 5 is a Cyclops, 6 is a Basilisk and 7 is the Medusa. If a Thargoid is there when you drop into the USS, it will approach to scan you.
At that point as soon as the Thargoid is within 500m, fire the heat-sink to make your ship go cold - this will stop the Thargoid from detecting your heat signature and it will not then consider you a threat.

Waste no time using the Xeno Scanner to get that scan! The scan only works within 500m.

If you don't go cold, the Thargoid will attack you and almost certainly kill you.

Once the scan is complete, back off and retreat to at least 1km away. As long as you don't get close or fire weapons, you can remain and observe the Thargoid. Usually they will wander around scanning wreckage and picking up components before warping away.

Live to scan another day

Once you've scanned or once the ship has left, jump out and head to the nearest station. You did it!

Beyond Open Beta

I wrote a lovely article at lunch today and the browser crashed when I saved, discarding the entire post.

Words were said.

Anyway, the BETA!

Played a few hours last night and I can confirm the Chieftain costs 18,897,696 CR (subject to change) and is a really good ship. That puts it in the price pool between the Federal Assault Ship and the Imperial Clipper – both of which require Navy Rank to obtain!

I like it more than the slightly-cheaper Federal Assault Ship and it is a crazy-fun combat ship. With a Grade 5 engineered FSD (I stripped my old FAS) and A rated modules across the board, I was getting just over 20Ly jump range. The cockpit is really well styled, but lacks clear canopy underside that Lakon ships usually have.

Between real life, the BETA, the ongoing Vehicle Codex project and another side project I’m working on for someone else, I’ve not had a lot of time to post more on the blog.

I may take a day’s holiday and work on the Chieftain blueprint.

Time will tell!

Hail to the Chieftain!

Tonight's Elite:Dangerous livestream gave us the most complete information about the chieftain so far.

"It's Between the Python and the Federal ships"


  Fixed Small Medium Large Huge
Hard points 0 3 1 2 0

The hard-point placement is all along the centre-line and combined with its agility, this makes it a perfect ship for fixed weapons.

The medium hardpoint is on the underside of the cockpit. This means most of your firepower is on the top of the ship.


  Core internals Class Base fitting
Power Plant Power Plant 6 6E
Thrusters Thrusters 6 6E
Frame Shift Drive Frame Shift Drive 5 5E
Life support Life Support 5 5E
Power Distributor Power Distributor 6 6E
Sensors Sensors 4 4E
Fuel Tank Fuel Tank 4 4C


Optional internals Base fitting
Class 5 ?
Class 5 ?
Class 4 ?
Class 2 ?
Class 2 ?
Class 4 [military] Empty
Class 4 [military] Empty
Class 4 [military] Empty


Utility slots 4
Mass lock factor ?
Crew 2
Fighter Bay Capable No
Cargo (Maximum without shields) 88T
Hull mass ?
Pad size Medium
Cost T.B.C.
Armour 504T
Maximum jump range [unladen] 20Ly