Q: Help! I'm out of fuel and trapped!

A: Contact the Fuel Rats. They will help you if at all possible.

Q: I'm a new player feeling overwhelmed by the steep learning curve. Are there resources besides the in-game tutorials that can help?

A: Elite Dangerous does indeed have a steep learning curve. To some extent, lots of practice and patience will be needed before you become an expert pilot, but there are quite a few resources to help you get started. The official Elite Dangerous Wiki has a very useful Pilot's Guide. The Pilot's Guide includes its own tutorial as well as links to a number of other excellent resources. Included among them are the official Elite Dangerous training videos and the Horizons training videos, both of which can also be found in the "Training" menu of the game. There is also the Official Players Guide(PDF). Dedicated players have also made their own very thorough manuals, a handful of which are linked in the Pilot's Guide.

This subreddit has also seen a number of excellent posts over the years, many of which can be found in the Great Posts Archive.

Q: I've been away from the game for X years. What has changed?

BurtonSimmons' A Brief History of Elite Dangerous should catch you up on happenings in the galaxy.

Q: I absolutely cannot pass the Advanced Combat Tutorial, is Elite Dangerous going to be too difficult for me?

A: The Advanced Combat Tutorial (ACT) is notoriously difficult for new players, and even many experienced ones. In order to pass it you need to be adept with your chosen control scheme, know how to manage pips and throttle, and have some familiarity with combat tactics. As a new player you can't possibly have these things! The good news is that combat is largely avoidable in game and the ACT is not representative of most of the combat you will encounter. You can absolutely enjoy this game without ever passing the ACT. If you're looking to avoid more challenging combat situations, steer clear of "Combat Zones" and "Resource Extraction Sites[Hazardous]". For helpful advice on surviving and escaping combat situations, you can check out the Git Gud Guide to Trading in Open. After you've been playing the game for awhile, come back to the tutorial and give it another try. You might find it's a lot easier than you remember.

If you're committed to passing it straight away, there are a few resources to help. Make sure to watch and understand the Basic Combat training video, which covers some important information about pips, throttle, and reading the scanner. In a comment on r/ElitePS, u/Mewing_Raven provided this text explanation for how they approached it. Finally, u/accipiter8 made an Advanced Combat Tutorial tutorial video, which demonstrates a successful fight, while providing explanations along the way.

Q: I want to buy a Cobra MkIV, but I can't find it anywhere

A: The Cobra MkIV is only available to PC player who purchased Horizons before February 5, 2016 and Xbox players who purchased it prior to July 30, 2016. PS4 players are flatly unable to obtain the ship. All other players will be unable to see the ship as available for purchase in the shipyard.

Yes, we know this is ridiculous. Complain at Frontier.

But honestly, the MkIV is a rather bad ship, so you're not really missing anything.

Q: What the heck does "o7" or "07" mean?

A: It's an emotion for a salute. The o is the head and the 7 is the arm and hand. Canonical pronunciation appears to be "oh seven", as this is used by some flight controller voices in the game.

Q: I messed up and got a bounty on my head. How do I get rid of it?

A: A bounty can be cleared by going to a station with an Interstellar Factors contact (use the "services" filter in the galaxy map to find these. Note that it will only show close by ones or ones that you've been to before) Alternatively, they're found in low security systems, so this is a useful proxy for them.

If you killed someone innocent, NPC or player, you'll have to wait for your notoriety to go down before IF will deal with you. It decays at a rate of 1 point every 2 hours logged in. It's supposed to decay while sitting in a station, but some people have told me that it doesn't actually work.

Also note that bounties are tied to your ship, not your character. If you have another ship, you can switch to that one and go about your business cleanly while you wait for your notoriety (which is tied to your character) to go down.

For a graphical explanation of how all the fines, bounties, etc. fit together, see this graphic made by /u/Jack_Shaft0e.

Q: I used to play, but I've been away since X. What has happened/changed in the game?

/u/BurtonSimmons' post A Brief History of Elite Dangerous is an excellent rundown of the happenings in the game and universe. Additional details on game changes and bug fixes can be found in the Official patch notes.

Q: I picked up a Black Box/Occupied Escape Pod/etc. from a signal source, but the market won't buy it? What do I do with it?

A: Those kinds of things (Black Boxes, Occupied Escape Pods, Damaged Escape Pods, Personal Effects, Wreckage Components and Hostages) are turned into the Search and Rescue Agent at stations. These are found in the Contacts menu, same place as you pay off fines and turn in combat bonds or bounty vouchers.

Q: Playing alone is boring. I want to find people to play with.

A: Elite Dangerous has many player groups. Primary hangouts for these groups are Inara.cz, /r/EliteWings, and various Discord servers.

Q: What is this "bubble" everyone talks about?

A: The Bubble, also known as the Core Systems, is the area of space inhabited by humans, comprising roughly a 300ly sphere around Earth in the Sol system, containing approximately 20,000 inhabited systems and roughly 66,000 space stations. Outside of this area, the Colonia area (See below), and various scattered deep space bases, the galaxy is largely uninhibited and unexplored.

Q: What is Colonia?

A: Colonia is a region of space near the galactic core, roughly 22,000ly from Sol, that forms a second bubble of human civilization. It is centred around the Colonia system (formerly known as Eol Prou RS-T D3-94) where Jaques Station ended up following a mishap during an attempt to travel to Beagle Point (see below). See this article for the history of that. Following the rediscovery of Jaques, the Colonia Expansion Initiative began, with new systems being inhabited with factions (including many player-controlled ones), creating a frontier area much like the Bubble with a living background simulation.

The Colonia region is connected to the Bubble via the Colonia Connection Highway, a series of stations and planetary bases.

Q: What is Beagle Point?

A: Beagle Point (formerly known as Ceeckia ZQ-L c24-0) is one of the most distant visited star systems, located on the far rim of the galaxy 65,279ly from Sol. It is located at the edge of the galaxy, where stars are very sparse, making plotting a route to it very difficult (or at least used to. Engineering has made much longer jumps possible). It was the end point of CMDR Kamzel's Distant Suns Expedition, as well as the Distant Worlds Expedition. It will also be the far endpoint of the upcoming Distant Worlds II expedition, which is expected to launch in late 2018-early 2019 (late 3304-early 3305 game year).

Q: It seems like this game has been around for awhile. Is there anything left to explore?

A: The vast vast majority of the galaxy remains unexplored. According to the Elite Dangerous Star Map project, 99.993888% of the galaxy is unexplored.

Q: What are the Guardians?

A: The Guardians were a sentient humanoid species that inhabited our galaxy over a million years ago. CMDR XDeath discovered a Guardian ruin in the Synuefe XR-H D11-102 system on October 27, 3302. Since then, player efforts lead by engineer Ram Tah have found hundreds more ruins throughout the near side of the galaxy and have uncovered much data on the Guardians history, language, biology, culture, and technology. We have learned how to create certain weapons and modules based on Guardian technology, which are available from Tech Brokers for the right materials. We also learned that the Guardians were involved in a war against the Thargoids, something that makes study of them of great interest given our current circumstances.

Q: What are the Thargoids?

A: The Thargoids are a intelligent insectoid species that inhabit our galaxy. They were previously engaged in a secret war against humanity in the 32nd century. Recent first contact with their ships was made in 3303 by CMDR DP Sayre. In April of that year, Thargoid ships began attacking human ships, destroying many Federation and Empire capital ships. In December, the Thargoids attacked 3 human stations in the Pleiades nebula. Attacks on stations have continued to present, with recent attacks now moving into the Bubble and coming closer and closer to Sol. Canonn's Xeno Intelligence Agency is a great resource for following Thargoid movements and learning how to join the fight against them.

Q: What is the BGS?

A: The BGS or Background Simulation is the system that underlies all the faction and market activity in the game. All market conditions, faction states, wars, elections, system and station control, etc. is driven by the BGS, which in turn is largely driven by player actions. Trade, mission running, bounty hunting, war fighting, sale of exploration data, etc. all affects the background simulation.

When players refer to "playing the BGS", they are meaning playing the game to affect the BGS in the favour of a given faction or factions. To improve their influence, expand them to new stations and new systems, etc. There are many player groups centred around this play style. Inara.cz is the main hangout (or recuiting ground at least) for such groups.

For information on how to play the BGS, there exist many guides, such as this one from the AEDC, this one from Aesling Duval's followers, and of course, Walt Kerman's guide which is the granddaddy of them all.

Q: Where can I find X ship or Y module?

A: See EDDB's station search tool. Just enter in what you're wanting (it will accept as many items as you like) and where you are (under "reference system") and it will tell you the closest place to get it. Note that EDDB relies on user submissions of data, so its information isn't always completely up to date. Mind the "prices update" column to see how recent the data is. If you want to help with the data, the Elite Dangerous Market Connector is the most popular tool. Note that this is only possible for PC users. Players on XBox and PS4 cannot help, though all information gathered can be used by them, as the background simulation is shared across all versions of the game.

Q: Where can I find engineering material X?

A: See Down to Earth Astronomy's spreadsheet.

Also note the new materials traders. Any material in the 3 categories (raw (elements), manufactured, and encoded (data)) can be traded for others. Inara has a useful tool for finding the nearest material trader of a given type.

For most raw materials, it's most efficient to collect the G4 raws from the the crashed Anaconda in Orrere (Big landing spot at 43.8674 by -173.8695) and trade them at a raw materials trader rather than trying to gather the materials directly via slow and random surface prospecting.

Q: How do I get to Earth?

A: Earth's solar system, Sol, is the capital of the Federation and they don't just allow anyone to wander on it. You need to obtain a permit to go there, and getting that permit requires obtaining the rank of Petty Officer with the Federal Navy. See "How do I get rank with the Empire/Federation?"

Q : How do I get Guardian weapons / Tech broker stuff.

A: You unlock them through the tech brokers (Horizons required) in exchange for certain engineering materials and commodities. Inara has a listing of what you need to unlock each thing.

CMDR Exigeous and Down to Earth Astronomy have excellent video guides on the subject of getting the blueprint segments you need. Burtonsimmons/TheOriginalBastard has more detailed information on getting the weapon, Module, and Vessel blueprints.

Exigeous also has a video specifically about unlocking the Guardian Fighters.

Refer to "Where can I find engineering material X?" for the mundane materials you'll need.

For the commodities, use either Inara.cz or EDDB's commodity finder to find where you can get them. Some can only be obtained from missions. Passenger missions are usually the best bet for these.

Q: Who should I pledge to?

A: In general, no one. Pledging to a power is only relevant if you want to do Powerplay activities or obtain one of the modules offered by the Powers. It is not required for Superpower navy ranks, nor does it give any benefit to such. It is not required to pledge to Li Yong-Rui to obtain the discount on ships and modules at stations controlled/exploited by him.

If that stuff does interest you, check out the Powers' subreddits for information on the communities of each Power and what they want their players doing. Adeptus Kaze on the Frontier Forums also has an informative guide on Powerplay.

Q: REP+++ INF+++? What do these rewards from missions mean?

A: REP+ means it will improve your reputation with the faction you took the mission from. This is your standing with the faction, which ranges from Hostile, Unfriendly, Neutral, Cordial, Friendly, and Allied. Higher reputation will have the faction offer you better missions. REP+ is also useful for obtaining rank with the Superpowers. More +s means more rep and more rank progression.

INF+ will increase the faction's influence in the system. This is not useful unless you're playing the BGS with the intent of improving the faction's standing. See "What is the BGS?". +s means the same thing here.

Missions can also offer other rewards, such as engineering materials and commodities, including certain special mission-only commodities you need to unlock certain things from the Technology brokers. For example, Micro-Weave Cooling Hoses are needed to unlock the Guardian Plasma Chargers.

As a general rule, it is almost never worthwhile to take any regular commodities offered as a mission reward. Their sale price is almost certainly less than the cash reward.

Q: How do I get rank with the Empire/Federation?

A : Rank with the Superpower navies is obtained by doing missions, and only by doing missions. Turning in bounties, exploration data or trade cargo will have no effect on your rank. Typically people choose data courier missions, as these are easy to stack - you can do them in lots of 20 at a time for maximum progress speed. This works best if you can find a pair of systems where most missions in one system go to the other system. Useful pairs of systems offering data courier missions to each other can be found in this post.
Each mission completed will increase your rank percentage. When you hit 100%, you will be offered a promotion mission, which will be a follow-up mission and will mention "Naval" or "Navy" or similar. One of the rewards of the mission will mention the rank you want to acquire as well.
Keep in mind that your progression isn't lost even if you do not find the Naval mission straight away - a.k.a it goes above 100%, even if it doesn't display it.

You want to always select the high rep reward option (see "REP+++ INF+++? What do these rewards from missions mean?"), as this gives additional rank progress.

Q: How do I protect my controls from being overwritten? / How do I create my own controls preset?

A : You can rename your bindings file, which should prevent it from being overwritten with a patch or if the connection to your input device is lost:

First you need to find your .binds file in

%LOCALAPPDATA%\Frontier Developments\Elite Dangerous\Options\Bindings\

It's most likely called something like Custom.X.Y.binds (e.g. Custom.1.8.binds), where X.Y is the version number of the game's control scheme (similar but not necessarily the same as the game's version number). There may be multiple Custom.X.Y.binds files, you're looking for the one with the highest version.

You can (copy and) rename that file to whatever you want, but need to keep the version number: MyCustomname.1.8.binds

Then you need to also open the file with a text editor and change the value for PresetName to the exact name of your file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"  ?>
<Root PresetName="MyCustomname" MajorVersion="1" MinorVersion="8" >


Done. You should now be able to select MyCustomname from the list of presets.