Exploration Notes


  • Carry a fuel scoop with you
  • D class components are the lightest, they help you get the best jump range
  • Carry at least one AFMS (Automated Field Maintenance System) with you to repair wear and tear on your ship
  • Carry a second AFMS to repair the first AFMS :grinning: (but no, really, it works)
  • Carry an SRV with you, it will help you gather components to build materials for stocking your AFMS (and they’re a heck of a lot of fun :grinning:)
  • If you don’t have a cargo bay in your ship, you have to discard any cargo from your SRV before boarding
  • If you go far enough away from your ship in the SRV that you can’t see it on your scanner, you can “recall” it … the autopilot will bring it to you

Making Money

See the Elite: Dangerous wiki article on exploration rewards for the full details. Here are the highlights:

  • Asteroid belts make you 0 credits — filter them from your navigation targets
  • Everything else will make you some money
  • “Metal-rich” worlds are worth more than “high metal content” worlds
  • To maximize your intake per unit time, you want to search for Water, Ammonia or Earth-Like Worlds (ELW)
    • They are most likely found orbiting F, G, and K class stars in the habitable zone
    • The habitable zone is a narrow band at a distance of solar_masses2 in AU from the parent star

Formulae for calculating payouts

Materials Gathering

The more materials you gather, the longer you can stay out exploring :clap:

  • Refuel SRV
    • Basic — Sulphur and Phosphorous
    • Standard — +100% Fuel Efficiency — Sulphur, Phosphorous, Arsenic, and Mercury
    • Premium — +200% Fuel Efficiency — Sulphur, Arsenic, Mercury, and Technetium
  • Repair SRV
    • Basic — 2 x Iron and 1 x Nickel
    • Standard — 3 x Nickel, 1 x Manganese, 2 x Vanadium, and 1 x Molybdenum
    • Premium — +50% Hull Strength — 1 x Zinc, 2 x Chromium, 2 x Vanadium, 1 x Tungsten. and 1 x Tellurium
  • FSD Injection — Jumponium
    • Basic — +25% Jump Distance — 2 x Vanadium and 1 x Germanium
    • Standard — +50% Jump Distance — 1 x Vanadium, 1 x Germanium, 2 x Cadmium, and 1 x Niobium
    • Premium — +100% Jump Distance — 1 x Arsenic, 3 x Niobium, 1 x Yttrium, and 1 x Polonium
  • AFMS Refill
    • Basic — 2 x Nickel, 2 x Zinc, 2 x Chromium, and 2 x Vanadium
    • Standard — +50% Repair Speed — 1 x Tin, 2 x Manganese, 6 x Vanadium, 1 x Molybdenum, and 1 x Zirconium
    • Premium — 2 x Zinc, 4 x Chromium, 6 x Vanadium, 2 x Zirconium, 1 x Tellurium, and 1 x Ruthenium

Reading the Scanner

  • The width of the trace indicates how far away it is - the wider it is, the further away
  • The pattern of the trace indicates what kind of thing it is
    • Close to the radar ring, it is a resource node
    • Furthest from the radar ring, man-made structure of some kind

Planet Visual ID guide:

Road to Riches calculator - will calculate the highest possible circular or point-to-point exploration payout from any known system in the game.