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Long Range Travel

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Long range travel refers to journeys, consuming hours, days or even weeks, to reach destinations beyond 10000 ly, as targeted by serious explorers or travel agents. Those distances require hundreds of hyperspace jumps and therefore it is quite important to properly prepare for it and have a proper strategy to travel as fast and efficient as possible.

Equipment Edit

  • Fit the largest FSD and the best Fuel Scoop you can.
  • If possible, upgrade Fuel Scoop and FSD with the help of an engineer.
  • Remove everything of weight, which is not necessary for your travel, but consider the following sections.

Armament Edit

In regards to armament and armour (Hull Reinforcements, Module Reinforcements, Bulkheads), you have to consider the following facts:

  • At passenger destinations (even very far out) may occur quite some traffic, including pirates which can be a threat.
  • Except of the above or other players, there are no ships to be found in systems beyond (lets say) 1000 ly from civilised space.

Thus, travel agents carrying passengers, should consider to keep at least shielding, but pure explorers don't need any weapon or armour. The probability, to meet another player, or accidentally hit a system, which is a sight-seeing destination, is very, very low (it is like putting on armor before crossing a street).

Auto Field-Maintenance Unit + Refill Resources Edit

It does not take weight and there are some plausible accidents that may happen, such as

  • Accidentally dropping from super cruise: Large black holes can catch you by surprise.
  • Underestimating planet gravity: Hitting the surface of a planet with significant speed can cause a lot of damage.
  • Getting interdicted by pirates: Worst case scenario as travel agent, pirates can cause a lot of damage to poorly protected ships.

All of this may add up and the only way to fix the FSD will be the AFM. Also, carry some materials to refill it via Synthesis.

FSD Boost Resources Edit

Sometimes you get stuck inbetween stars, which aren't fuel-scoopable and only the FSD Boost can help you out. Materials can be used for an FSD Injection (Synthesis) in order to increase the ship's jumprange.

Planet Exploration Equipment Edit

Some passengers may ask you to land on a planet and gather some materials or data. [citation needed]

Travel Duration Edit

Just to explain what impact a travel strategy and serious preparation can have, we do a rough estimation of travel duration (not considering optimisations).

An Asp Explorer with a common exploration-fitting performs a single jump in about 30 seconds and 1000 ly will require about 30 - 40 jumps. Thus, 30,000 ly (travel to core) will comsume 9 hours of pure travelling. Lets say we can reduce the amount of jumps by 5 and a single jump by 3 seconds, then we can gain 45 minutes.

Travel Strategy Edit

Method Edit

There are different approaches to travel:

  1. Fuel scoop when empty: Jump until fuel is empty and then stop to fuel scoop to maximum and plan next route at the same time.
  2. Fuel scoop between jumps: You alternate between jumping and fuel scooping but you still have to stop every 1000 ly to plan the next route.

Interestingly, the second approach is faster if you have a decent fuel scoop. When you enter a system you always have a cool down time of the jump drive which lasts about 5 seconds. This time can be used to fuel scoop while manoeuvring around the star towards the next jump target. Having a decent fuel scoop will allow you to refill the fuel required for the last jump in about the same time (see Section Efficient Fuel Scooping below). This way you save the entire time you would need for fuel scooping according to the first approach. In the last system of a 1000 ly route you can scoop a bit longer while you are planning the next route.

Travel Height Edit

A higher star density improves route planning and thereby reduces the amount of jumps significantly. Looking at the galaxy from the side, the highest density of stars is between heights of -100 to +100, especially in the outer regions of the galaxy. Star density is also significantly higher at less than 20000 ly from the galactic core.

Fuel Level Edit

Fuel has weight and thereby reduces jump range. If you are travelling at the edge of your FSD's capabilities, you might get stuck frequently, because the jump distance exceeds your maximum jump fuel consumption of 5T due to the increased weight. You can avoid it by carrying less fuel. On the other hand, you have to have enough fuel to compensate for a sequence of non-fuel-scoopable stars. So, you want to find a reasonable compromise in between those. Mine was at 16T with a 32T fuel tank.

Fuel Scooping Opportunities Edit

There are cold stars which are very fuel scoop friendly, hotter/larger stars which will heat you up significantly when you launch the FSD while scooping, and those stars you can't scoop which are usually uncommon. But there are clusters with high amounts of non-scoopable stars as well. Getting stuck in such a cluster is no 'disaster' but annoying, because you have to stop, search for a proper star, and take a detour.

Those clusters with low scooping opportunities are cubic in their shape and very large. One of these clusters is pretty close to civilised space starting at a height of -20 going down to about -40 and a depth of 10000 ly, I believe. When travelling at a height of 0 the automatically calculated route over 1000 ly will often deviate by approximately up to 100 ly in height and you may end up in this cluster rather frequently. So, aiming for a height of about +70 is better until you've reached about 7000-10000 ly distance from civilised space.

Efficient Fuel Scooping Edit

You want to scoop as quick as possible which basically means getting in and quick out quickly. Thus, you want to turn toward the star at a 90 degree angle, then fuel scoop at close to maximum rate, and then fire up the jump drive while you are turning out at a 90 degree angle to escape the star as fast as possible and to avoid heat damage.

Most efficient fuel scooping technique

Obviously, this technique is dangerous, especially in the "turn in"-phase, because you can't judge how close you are to the star. Thus, you need to practice it. An important thing to keep in mind is, that the closest you can get to the star is displayed by a yellow circle around it on your screen. However, this circle is displayed only when the star has been detected by your ships sensors. So, when you start you can first aim for this circle slightly away from the sun and observe the maximum fuel scooping rate. Maximum scoop rate is reached in reasonable distance to the star, so you don't have to be as close as possible. Once you know the maximum rate, you can slightly increase the angle until you know how long you can aim towards the sun before you reach maximum scooping rate.

However, larger stars will slow you down significantly and heat you up. So, you might find it more comfortable to keep a greater distance, scoop less at large stars and then compensate for the loss of fuel at more scoop-friendly stars.

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