Having trouble Commander, are you lost in the void?

Have no fear, you can view the frequently asked questions below to help.

It’s a large intimidating Galaxy out there commanders, and as with most professions, the art of Exploration can be a little unclear at first.  Here is a short guide to some of the basics that you will need to understand to get out there and start exploring.

  • Step 1 – Fly to an unexplored system

As a new commander in the Galaxy, you already have some basic exploration data which is common to all Commanders.  This mainly consists of cartographic details of the more populated areas of human space and the locations of stations and celestial bodies within those systems.

When looking around on the Galaxy map, you will know if you already have cartographic data for a

system as you will be able to select the Star and then open the System Map revealing its contents.  However, when you select a system which your commander has not yet explored and does not have any cartographic data for, the ability to open the System Map will not be available.  This type of system as far as your Commander is concerned is unexplored.

See the screenshots below illustrating this difference:

An Explored System with the System Map data already available

An Explored System with the System Map data already available

An Unexplored System. Note how the System Map is unavailable

An Unexplored System. Note how the System Map is unavailable

It is important to understand that an “unexplored” system such as this does not mean that no other Commander has ever visited this system, other intrepid explorers may well have already been through there.  It simply means that to your Commander, the system is unexplored.

Once you have found an unexplored system, you should use your FSD drives hyperspace jump ability to jump there which will bring you out close to the systems main star.

  • Step 2 – Use a Discovery Scanner Module to identify gravitational anomalies within the Unexplored System

When you arrive at the new system, the sensors in your ship will automatically be able to locate the main star within the system and potentially any other companion stars if they are close enough and massive enough.  You will see a message that one or more astronomical bodies have been discovered and now when you open the System Map, you will be able to see these objects as shown below.

The System Map View after first jumping into a system revealing the systems main binary stars

The System Map View after first jumping into a system revealing the systems main binary stars

There may well be other objects in this system such as far out stars, planets or moons which you ships sensors are just not capable of locating so the first thing most explorers do when arriving at a new star system is to fire up their Discovery Scanner module.

This is a module which can be bought at most major stations with outfitting facilities and can be bound to a fire group just like any other weapon type module.  You should activate your discovery scanner and wait for it to charge up.  Once activated, the discovery scanner will send out a blast of energy from your ship propagating across space and will detect other gravitational anomalies within the system.  As an example, see below where in this newly found system, I activate my discovery scanner which detects the presence of 17 other astronomical bodies within the system.

Firing off the Discovery Scanner reveals 17 other bodies within this system

Firing off the Discovery Scanner reveals 17 other bodies within this system

Note how the system map now appears much more complete

Note how the system map now appears much more complete

There are 3 different types of Discovery Scanner available to purchase, a basic discovery scanner, intermediate discovery scanner and an advanced discovery scanner.  All operate in exactly the same way, the only difference being that of range.  A basic discovery scanner will only send out enough energy to detect objects within 500 light seconds of your current location, an intermediate discovery scanner can detect objects within 1,000 light seconds and finally, an advanced discovery scanner sends out a blast of energy so powerful that it will travel across the entire system revealing all objects.

With this step complete, you now have a basic understanding of the make up of the system and its time to perform some more detailed scans.

  • Step 3 – Perform a detailed scan of an object

Blasting off the Discovery Scanner as described in step 2 is enough to give you an understanding of the objects which exist within a system but it is not enough to give you the full information for each of these objects.  You will see on the system map and in your ships Navigation panel that each of the objects is labelled as “Unexplored” and only the most basic of information about the objects will be visible on the system map as shown below:

Note how this planet is labelled as "Unexplored" and only some basic data is available to the left of the System Map

Note how this planet is labelled as “Unexplored” and only some basic data is available to the left of the System Map

The Unexplored status of objects is also shown in the ships Navigation panel

The Unexplored status of objects is also shown in the ships Navigation panel

To perform a more detailed scan of each object, you need to target the object, orient your ship so that you are facing it and approach to within a certain distance.  As soon as you are close enough, your ships scanners will kick in and begin scanning the object.  Once this is complete, you have then fully scanned the object and all the data associated with it will be stored within your ships computers.

Targeting and facing the main star kicks in the ships scanner which can be seen at the bottom left of your HUD.

Targeting and facing the main star kicks in the ships scanner which can be seen at the bottom left of your HUD.

With the Scan Complete, the name of the object and its type is revealed

With the Scan Complete, the name of the object and its type is revealed

Once the object has been scanned, note how in the System Map, full information is now available

Once the object has been scanned, note how in the System Map, full information is now available

You have now completed a full scan of that object and you have enough information to be able to record this object at Elite Galaxy Online if you so wish.

One other point as well which is worth mentioning is the effect of installing a Detailed Surface Scanner module in your ship.  This is a passive module so does not require any special attention but if you install one then the scan which you have just completed will be even more detailed and a message will appear in ship showing that a detailed surface scan has been completed.  This becomes relevant when you sell the data to Universal Cartographic’s as they will pay more for detailed surface scans.

  • Step 4 – Sell your newly acquired data to Universal Cartographics

The data you have just acquired is stored in your ships computer but to get the best out of it you should fly to a station at least 20 light years away from the discovery and choose Universal Cartographics from the station services menu.  From here you can sell the data for sweet credits.

Remember, that if your ship is destroyed before you can sell this exploration data, you will lose it all so fly carefully and avoid trouble areas when returning from your exploration voyages!

If when you sell the data, you are the first commander in history to ever sell data for that object, you will be notified and marked in game as the “First Discoverer” of that object.  Every Commander who in the future ventures into that system will see that you were the first.  Note though that to record objects at Elite Galaxy Online you do not have to be the first discoverer of the object.  The “First Discovered By” and “Recorded By” are separate data fields here at the site.

Additionally, selling exploration data will benefit the owning minor faction of the station where you choose to sell so take that into account when deciding where to sell all of your precious data.

New discoveries can be recorded here at Elite Galaxy Online in four different ways:

  • Manually recording an object by entering all of the required data
  • Uploading a system map screenshot to the discovery scanner which will then use OCR to capture the data
  • Uploading multiple system map screenshots to the multi scanner and letting them be processed in the background
  • Uploading your ship log (player journal) to the Ship Log Reader – This is probably the easiest and most accurate method.

Remember though that to submit a discovery you must be logged into the site so make sure you register and login first using the user options from the top menu.

Once you have created your user and are logged in you can begin the process of recording a new discovery by selecting the new discovery option from the top menu. This will take you to the New Discovery page where you can choose which method of discovery to use.
If you choose to manually record your discovery, the main data entry form will appear where you can enter all of the required data.  This area of the site will respond dynamically to your choices to ensure that it only ever asks you for the relevant information for your object.  Don’t worry if you enter some wrong information as you can edit all of the data at any point after the discovery has been recorded.

Once you have entered all of the required data and submitted it, your observation will be processed by the Elite Galaxy Online servers and if everything is in order will be immediately added to our records.  Additionally, the site will check your new discovery against all of the Galactic Records lists and will notify you if you have discovered something exceptional.

You can then view your object and upload your best screenshots to really do your discovery justice. If you have discovered a new system as well, then take a look at it in the System View and upload a screenshot of the whole system to document it for all time.

If you choose to use the advanced discovery scanner, the site will ask you to upload a screenshot from the in game system view with your discovery selected.  The advanced discovery scanner will then scan all of the information from your discovery.  Once the scan is completed, you will be redirected to the normal data entry form and this will be pre populated with all of the scanned data.  This gives you the opportunity to correct any errors which may have occurred due to scanner malfunctions.  Please remember that in order to use the advanced discovery scanner in this way, you must first have completed a scan of the object in game to reveal all of the data associated with it as described in the exploration guide above.

If you have multiple screenshots of multiple objects which you wish to scan, you can upload them in one go to the multi-scanning device.  From here these scans will be processed by our scanning servers and you can access the results at any time from the My Scans option in the commander menu.

To upload a Ship Log directly to the site, use the Ship Log Reader option.  This log will then be scanned for any discoveries and these will be automatically recorded at the site.  You can access the results of your Ship Logs at any time from the My Ship Logs option in the commander menu.

If you are having difficulties recording your object here at Elite Galaxy Online then please submit a report of the problem to us using the button below

I have found a problem when trying to record my discovery

Exploration points are a way of tracking which commanders have had the most impact here at Elite Galaxy Online.  The current rankings of commanders can be viewed at any time from the Rankings menu option.

Each time a new object is recorded here at Elite Galaxy Online, you score a certain number of exploration points.  The base amount of exploration points awarded is first calculated based on how much effort is required to document that particular object.

For example, if you are documenting a single star with no binary companions and no ring system, then the amount of data you will have to enter will be quite low and hence the number of exploration points awarded will be low as well.  However, if you are documenting a complex terrestrial planet with atmospheric information and ring systems then the amount of data to record is comparatively high which is reflected in the base amount of exploration points awarded.

To substantially increase the number of exploration points awarded, you can make use of the description fields.  If you enter a description of your object or some narrative which helps to bring that object to life then your base exploration points will be multiplied by 2.

Additionally, if you are the first Commander to ever document an object within that Star System you can also enter some narrative describing the overall system in general.  This again has the effect of multiplying your exploration points by 2.

These multipliers can be combined to achieve some really high points values.

Another way of earning Exploration Points is through the community editing system.  If you make some corrections to other discoveries on the site which are then accepted you will receive a points transfer from the commander who owns the discovery as a means of payment for helping to improve data quality at Elite Galaxy Online.

Sometimes, it can be easy to accidentally record an object in the wrong system especially when you are recording details of multiple objects in a system but the discovery scanner makes a mistake reading the system name of one of your objects.  If this happens, you can easily move an object between systems by selecting the move object button from the Other Options section at the bottom of the Object View page.

At the bottom of the discovery page for any object or System you have recorded, you will see a section called Other Options. This section allows you to manage your discovery by performing actions such as editing, deleting or changing images.

Open this section by clicking on it and then select Edit to amend any details of your discovery.
Within the commander menu, there is an option called My Discoveries which will give you an overview of all discoveries you have recorded at Elite Galaxy Online.  From this page, you can search and filter your discoveries as well as view some charts of all of your discoveries.  You can also see any galactic records which you currently hold.

My Discoveries

If you spot an error with another Commanders discovery, then you can submit a change to that discovery.  To do so, scroll down to the bottom of the screen when viewing that object and open up the Other Options section, you will then see a button to allow you to edit the objects details as shown below:

Edit Option


As you are not the owner of this discovery, once you have made your suggested changes, a notification will be sent to the commander who owns this discovery and they will be asked to accept or reject the change.  Once a change has been proposed to a discovery it will be shown as “Under Dispute” in the main object view to show that the details of the discovery may be inaccurate.  You can track the progress of any changes you have suggested from the My Changes option in the Commander menu.

If after 10 days, the suggested change has not yet been processed then it will be redirected to a moderator who will accept or reject the change.

If one of your suggested changes is accepted then some exploration points will be transferred to you from the owner of the discovery as payment for helping improve data quality at Elite Galaxy Online.  The actual amount of points transferred is proportional to the number of data fields which have been corrected.

If another commander, suggests changes to one of your own discoveries, then you will be notified of this and an alert will appear in the main menu when you are logged into the site as shown below:

Pending Changes


I would love to hear from you here at Elite Galaxy Online whether you have a problem or just some feedback that you would like to offer.  To do so you can use the contact link which is contained in the footer of every page or alternatively you can use the button here.

Contact Us

Elite Galaxy Online has an API which allows data to be retrieved and discoveries to be submitted via external applications.

For full details see the API documentation below:

Elite Galaxy Online API Documentation v2.1

With the introduction of the scanning device, the server running costs of Elite Galaxy Online have been rising.  This is not a huge problem at the minute but it has reached a point where I am starting to notice it.  The donate button was added as a way of potentially helping with this and to avoid the alternative of covering the site with adverts.  If you like what I am doing here at the site then any small donation towards these costs would be hugely appreciated.