Golden Elite Logo is the emblem of the Pilots Federation.

The Pilots Federation ranks all pilots in Elite: Dangerous from harmless to elite.[1] A pilot's rank can be improved through trade, exploration, combat and CQC.[2] All players are a part of the Pilot's Federation by default.

They are present as an independent minor faction, based in the Shinrarta Dezhra system.


Rank requirements under heading links.

Combat Trade Explorer CQC
Harmless Penniless Aimless Helpless
Mostly Harmless Mostly Penniless Mostly Aimless Mostly Helpless
Novice Peddler Scout Amateur
Competent Dealer Surveyor Semi Professional
Expert Merchant Trailblazer Professional
Master Broker Pathfinder Champion
Dangerous Entrepreneur Ranger Hero
Deadly Tycoon Pioneer Legend
Elite Elite Elite Elite
For Federal and Imperial Navy ranks, see Federation/Ranks and Empire/Ranks.


Formed in 2805 after the great surge in private ownership of smaller starships, the Pilots Federation soon found a role as a conduit for trade route information exchange between trusted pilots and provided the infrastructure for a mutual protection scheme against the rising scourge of interstellar pirates. Planet-siders began to distrust the generally itinerant nature of starship captains, who always seemed willing and able to jump to a new system before the law caught up with them. The Pilots Federation’s zero tolerance policy of dishonourable behaviour amongst its members is enforced by a system of bounties automatically placed on the heads of transgressors. This built a galaxy-wide respect for the badge, which then started to be worn with pride by members. However, the organization’s official adoption of the 9-level ‘kill tally’ ranking system (Harmless through to the coveted Elite status) ensured the Pilots Federation retained a level of blood-thirsty notoriety.

Ranks online

Over the centuries the Pilots Federation has remained secretive in nature and neutral in conflicts, and has grown into one of the dominant financial superpowers of the galaxy through its GalNet data network. Originally a star chart, ship data and bounty management system, GalNet has evolved into an effective galactic infrastructure and content monopoly on news, market pricing and communication systems. This has not been without controversy, with periodic claims of data hoarding and abuse of its position.

It’s not surprising that an organization founded on status, and with such influence and power, has several cliques (The Dark Wheel being the most infamous). Or that those of Elite rank have further exploited their status and the incredible demand for their services, by forming an organization within an organization; the Elite Pilots Federation.

Relentless, increasingly well organized piracy and the need to maintain their reputation and influence as the best of the best caused the Elite Pilots Federation to start opening its membership to candidates from the Deadly rank who were able to pass a rigorous test and then, as demand continued to soar, to those from the Dangerous rank.

The Pilots Federation has eschewed being tied to any particular system in favour of roaming the stars. With one exception – the Founders World.

The elusive Founders World system is governed by the Elite Pilots Federation, and run exclusively for the benefit of their members. Its location is closely guarded, heavily protected, and the subject of extensive misinformation on GalNet.

Maybe one day you'll be one of the Elite who get to go there…

— Newsletter #22[1]

The Origin of the Pilots Federation Edit


A scan of the Pilots Federation logo from the original Space Trader's Flight Training Manual, which was issued with the 1984 version of Elite as issued for the BBC Microcomputer 32K

Continuing our popular series on significant episodes from human history, noted historian Sima Kalhana discusses the foundation of the Pilots Federation.[3]

"The Pilots Federation was established in 2805 in response to a surge in private-starship ownership. It was created principally to allow pilots to share reliable trade-route information, and to provide them with a system of mutual protection against the rising scourge of interstellar piracy."

"At the time, independent pilots were generally mistrusted, the itinerant nature of their profession giving rise to perceptions of irresponsibility. The Pilots Federation's strict code of conduct put an end to this, and over time a galaxy-wide respect for its members emerged."

"As piracy became more prevalent, the Pilots Federation started issuing bounties on known pirate vessels. Some of those outside the organisation condemned the initiative as bloodthirsty, but few were able to argue with the impact it had on piracy. Shortly thereafter, the Pilots Federation introduced an official ranking system to reflect the number of combat victories achieved by each of its members. Pilots who accumulated the largest number of kills were awarded the title of Elite – a citation that became highly coveted among independent pilots."

"The Pilots Federation derives the bulk of its wealth from the GalNet data network. Originally a system of ship, bounty and star-chart data, it evolved into an interstellar aggregator of market information and galactic news. By 3300, the Pilots Federation was not only the dominant provider of this information, it was also the main manufacturer of the hardware and software serving this data. Today, Pilots Federation systems are fitted as standard on virtually all independent starships."

"In 3290 the Pilots Federation expanded its ranking system to encompass the fields of trade and exploration. In 3301 it expanded it again to include pilots who had distinguished themselves in the Close Quarters Combat championships."

"The Pilots Federation has always remained politically neutral, avowing that it exists to support pilots rather than nationalities or political factions. The organisation is based in the Shinrarta Dezhra system, which can be accessed only by invitation. Receiving an invitation is typically dependent on achieving a high rank in the Pilots Federation. This stipulation has contributed to perceptions of the organisation as secretive – a perception compounded by the fact that the Pilots Federation has very little direct interaction with the public."


  1. 1.0 1.1 Newsletter #22
  2. Newsletter #50
  3. Galactic News: The Origin of the Pilots Federation

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