Elite: Dangerous Blog

News and events from the Elite Dangerous galaxy

Ship Backbone - Jump range

Looking at the ship backbone by jump range, it becomes obvious which ships are the "explorers".

In the chart I am comparing stock maximum jump range (without any engineering).

Comparing jump range

The thing that stands out here is that there are three gaps of almost three light years in range between the top-end ships; a gap between the herd and the basic explorers, then a gap between the basic and top-end explorers and then another huge gap to the king of jump range, the Anaconda!

Personally I think those gaps need filling, probably with Passenger ships and medium traders..

Tips for Beginners: Fight or flight

beginnersSo you’re in a basic ship without all the toys of combat, or in a trade-ship that simply cannot manoeuvre or fight. What do you do? "Run away" sounds simple enough, but there is more to it than that.

You don't need to "GIT GUD" you just need to "GIT AWAY"


You are minding your own business when a ship flies in close behind you and locks on with a Frame Shift Interdictor. There are three possible options.

  • You submit immediately (cut throttle to zero).
  • You fight it and win.
  • You fight it and lose.

What then?

  • If you submit immediately, your Frame Shift Drive will cool down faster and you won’t go into a flat spin when you drop out of super-cruise.
  • If you fight and win, you can carry on your way, but it is a gamble.
  • Because if you fight and lose, you spin uncontrollably into normal space and your Frame Shift Drive will take a lot longer to cool down before being able to jump once more.

The best option for a guaranteed safe outcome is to submit immediately.

Power management

Having dropped out of super-cruise, you put all power to engines right? Wrong! Put all power to SYS. Your shields will last a lot longer with four "pips" set.

[edit] Your boost speed is no faster at four pips than at two & while your top speed & rate of recharge on the engine capacitor is slightly lower, the shield benefits are worth the trade off.

High wake

When you jump to super-cruise you leave behind a low-energy wake and when you jump to another system through hyperspace, you leave a high-energy wake. You are trying to get away, so does it matter if you jump to super-cruise in the same system or jump through hyperspace to another system? Yes.

If the other ships is bigger than you, it creates a mass-lock, preventing faster-than-light travel (super-cruise) so you cannot jump to super-cruise if your pursuer is close and in a larger ship.
You can however, jump to hyperspace, as this is not affected by mass lock!

As soon as you have been interdicted, get the enemy ships(s) in your rear radar view, hit full throttle, boost as well, then switch to the navigation panel and pick the nearest system in range. Once the ten second FSD cooldown is over, jump.

Run interference

You may have to last twenty five seconds or more between dropping out and jumping safely away.

Got any mines or shock mines? Feel free to share them while your FSD is cooling. They’ll leave a nice surprise in your wake as you run.

Any chaff or a heat-sink? Firing these makes you a harder target for gimballed weapons and missiles. ECM too if you have it.


If the ship that just interdicted you was an Eagle. On its own. And you are in pretty much any ship from a Viper up.

Kill it with fire and laugh. A lot.

Tips for beginners: The galaxy, far, far away

elite_noobOkay, so I am assuming you have done the basic tutorial missions. You haven’t? Well, do them! No arguments. They teach you the basic basics. What’s the difference between this and those? The same difference between driving lessons and road experience. One gets you a licence, the other keeps you alive afterwards.

Getting to planets and stations in other star systems is about having a Frame Shift Drive that can “throw” the weight of your ship far enough and sufficient fuel to get there.

Rule#1 - Don’t run out of fuel

Never set out with an empty fuel tank. Ever. There will be tears. Then gasping, followed by death. Bad idea.

Pick a star

You are out of the station, you’ve cleared mass-lock and you’re ready to see the galaxy. Unlike most other games the starry sky is not a painted backdrop, but a realistic render of the stars as viewed from that position in space. If you can see it, you can go there!

“All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by”

- John Masefield

The first to be aware of is what your ship’s jump range is in light years. This is show on the Systems Panel on the Functions TAB. For the basic Sidewinder that will be 8Ly. Not much. With upgrades the humble Sidey can leap 22ly in a single bound, so don’t dismiss the capability of ships before you’ve upgraded a few systems.

The Target Panel

On the left-hand side of the HUD, triggered by the “1” key, the Target Panel shows the Navigation TAB, which lists local bodies and (towards the bottom) the nearby star systems in range of your Frame Shift Drive (FSD). If you select one of these, you can then engage your drive with the joystick (or keyboard) and make the jump into hyperspace. A hyperspace tunnel lasts ten seconds and drops you out close to the Nav beacon of your target star.


When you target a star, your fuel gauge shades a section in blue, indicating the amount of fuel needed for the FSD to make the jump. If there is little or none left AND the system you are travelling into doesn’t have anywhere to refuel, don’t make the jump! Remember rule #1.
You use more fuel the further you travel in one jump. Eh? What? Yes, the amount of fuel used increases with distance, so you use less fuel making 2 jumps of 8Lyrs that 1 jump of 16Lyr. Short jumps are "economic" while long jumps are "fast".

If you want to make more than one jump to get to your destination, you need to plot a route. To do this, or to see information on the target star system, you must open the galaxy map

The Galaxy Map

Open the galaxy map from the Navigation TAB of the Target Panel. This will display your current location and the nearby stars in a 3D map. I will write an article on the galaxy map, but for now we’ll concentrate on what’s needed here.

On the tool panel, there are four TABs; Info, Navigation, View and Options. Select the Navigation (2nd) TAB and enter the name of the system you want to travel to into. This moves the view to centre on the destination system.

You can then click on the system and select from the pop up menu. The options are Target, Plot and View. Target selects the star for a direct jump (not possible if too far away). View displays the system information if it is available. You want the Plot option. The route type will be determined by whether you’ve selected the economic or fast route methods.

The route is plotted as a series of orange lines.

If the lines change from solid to dotted, that leg is the point where you’ll have run out of fuel.

Remember rule #1. Don’t let that happen! Find a station on route, or purchase a fuel scoop for your ship.

When making a trip using a plotted route, the total number of jumps remaining is displayed in the Target Panel's Navigation TAB. As you make a jump, your FSD charges for 15 seconds, then counts down from 4, the jump takes 10 seconds and your FSD needs to cool for another 15, so each jump cycle takes 40 seconds.

If you jumped 30Ly per jump you'd take 2200 jumps to get to the other side of the galaxy!

Okay, so I did run out of fuel. Now what?

What did I say? Never mind. All is not lost. There are a group of players in the game who make it their mission to rescue people in your position. They are The Fuel Rats. These guys will fly to your location with fuel and get you moving again. All the information you need is on their site.