An Unidentified Signal Source (or USS for short) is a targetable location that will randomly spawn throughout star systems during Supercruise. It can be targeted and used as an exit point from Supercruise to a variety of events (e.g. Combat, Engineer materials, mission targets, etc...) depending on the signal source type.
These locations can contain anything from unique NPCs to Commodities and more. Missions can send players to find specific NPCs or Commodities which will generally be found in a USS.
A USS remains unidentified until you target it and centre it in your field of view. After a few seconds, the type of signal source will be displayed, followed by the threat level. In most cases, the threat level ranges from 0 (no threat) to 4 (dangerous hostile forces present), but Non-Human Signal Sources represent an even greater danger and can rise as high as 9.
Where to find Signal Sources Edit
USS's spawn anywhere in populated (and occasionally unpopulated) space, with USS's spawning more frequently in higher population systems.
The type of USS (and its contents) that will spawn in a system is determined by several factors:
- System allegiance (Empire, Federation, or Independent)
- System state
- System security (Anarchy, Low, or High)
- System area (identifiable from the bottom left hand corner HUD panel)
The system areas which spawn different types of USS's are as follows:
Deep Space Edit
Any part of space that is not a Sphere of Influence or a Shipping Lane. The easiest way to enter 'Deep Space' is to fly 200 ls away from the primary star, above the orbital plane.
Shipping Lane Edit
A commonly travelled route between arrival point and any inhabited place (as well as between such places). Traders and pirates usually fly along shipping lanes.
Sphere of Influence (SOI) Edit
An area around any celestial body and Space Station, identified by the body's name. The SOI size is dependent on the body's size and mass.
NOTE: Around landable bodies, the SOI will contain an area where Orbital Cruise is engaged. Any objects found in normal space inside this area is subject to the body's gravitational forces.
Types of Signal Sources Edit
There are several different types of USS:
- Ceremonial Comms
- Combat Aftermath
- Convoy Dispersal Pattern
- Degraded Emissions
- Distress Call
- Encoded Emissions
- High Grade Emissions
- Mission Target
- Non-Human Signal Source
- Weapons Fire
- When searching for USS's, drop your throttle to 0% and Supercruise at around 30km/s. The signals spawn just as often as at faster speeds, but they appear only around 500km from you, so you can immediately drop out into the USS.
- USS's are unique to each player. If a player sees USS, the same USS cannot be accessed by another player unless the original player drops into the USS. Then, players or NPCs can follow the original player via their low-wake signal.
- USS's are not persistent objects:
- An unidentified USS will disappear after about 30 seconds.
- An identified, but not targeted, USS will disappear after at least 30 seconds.
- A targeted USS will not disappear unless the player unlocks it as target.
- If the player drops out of Supercruise into a USS, any other USS's present will disappear.