The Elite: Dangerous Background Simulation, Factions, and Powers Guide

Elite: Dangerous is a vast and complex universe. There are over 400 billion star systems and thousands of factions. This guide will walk you through Super Powers, Power Play, Factions and more!

Super Powers

The Elite: Dangerous Universe has 3 Super Powers:

Elite: Dangerous Federation Logo

Federation

Based out of the Sol system, a democracy.

Elite: Dangerous Empire Logo

Empire

Based out of the Achenar system, a monarchy.

Elite: Dangerous Alliance Logo

Alliance

Based out of the Alioth system, a group of independent systems working together.

Power Play Powers

Powers are the next level below Super Powers but they are above/larger than Factions. Belonging to a power has its advantages and each is different. Below you’ll find the list of all the Power Play Powers broken down by Super Power affiliation.

Click on each power leaders name to see more info about their power and rewards.

Federation Powers

Zachary Hudson

Headquarters: Nanomam

Allegiance: Federation

Preparation Ethos: Combat

Expansion Ethos: Combat

Control Ethos: Combat

Special Weapon: Pacifier Frag-Cannon (frag cannon); Lower damage, longer range, tighter spread

Felicia Winters

Headquarters: Nanomam

Allegiance: Federation

Preparation Ethos: Social

Expansion Ethos: Finance

Control Ethos: Finance

Special Weapon: Pulse Disruptor (medium laser); Causes module malfunction

Empire Powers

A Lavigny-Duval

Headquarters: Kamadhenu

Allegiance: Empire

Preparation Ethos: Social

Expansion Ethos: Combat

Control Ethos: Combat

Special Weapon: Imperial Hammer (railgun); Multi-shot railgun

Aisling Duval

Headquarters: Cubeo

Allegiance: Empire

Preparation Ethos: Social

Expansion Ethos: Combat

Control Ethos: Social

Special Weapon: Prismatic Shield Generator; Stronger shields

Denton Patreus

Headquarters: Eotienses

Allegiance: Empire

Preparation Ethos: Finance

Expansion Ethos: Combat

Control Ethos: Combat

Special Weapon: Advanced Accelerator (plasma accelerator); A specialist plasma weapon

Zemina Torval

Headquarters: Synteini

Allegiance: Empire

Preparation Ethos: Finance

Expansion Ethos: Finance

Control Ethos: Covert

Special Weapon: Mining Lance (mining laser); A mining laser capable of inflicting combat damage

Alliance Powers

Edmund Mahon

Headquarters: Gateway

Allegiance: Alliance

Preparation Ethos: Finance

Expansion Ethos: Finance

Control Ethos: Finance

Special Weapon: Retribution (small laser); Inflicts enhanced heat damage

Independent Powers

Archon Delaine

Headquarters: Harma

Allegiance: Independent

Preparation Ethos: Combat

Expansion Ethos: Combat

Control Ethos: Social

Special Weapon: Cytoscrambler (burst laser); Highly effective against shields, weak against hull)

Li Yong-Rui

Headquarters: Lembava

Allegiance: Independent

Preparation Ethos: Social

Expansion Ethos: Finance

Control Ethos: Finance

Special Weapon: Pack-hound Rack (missile launcher [seeker]); Launches a salvo of “drunk” seeker missiles

Pranav Antal

Headquarters: Polevnic

Allegiance: Independent

Preparation Ethos: Social

Expansion Ethos: Social

Control Ethos: Covert

Special Weapon: Enforcer Cannon; Reduced fire rate, higher damage

Yuri Grom

Headquarters: Euryale

Allegiance: Independent

Preparation Ethos: Covert

Expansion Ethos: Combat

Control Ethos: Covert

Special Weapon: Containment Missle (dumbfire missile); temporarily disrupt and reboots the target vessel’s frame shift drive.

Factions

There are thousands of Factions in Elite: Dangerous. They all function basically the same. You as a CMDR can sway power of the Factions by performing missions from the Bulletin Board inside stations and by performing actions in system, like bounty hunting and trading.

Faction Government Types

A faction’s government determines how the faction and its population operate in their space. When a faction controls a system or station, it dictates that assets government.


 

4 Faction Government Categories(ETHOS)

These 4 government categories dictate when a conflict between 2 factions is a war/civil war or an election.

War

Means they go to war/civil war with this government category.

Election

Means they go to election with this government category.

Anarchy

Anarchists

Anarchists just don’t give a fuck. They do what they want when they want. All conflicts are war.

War

Anarchists

War

Autocrats

War

Corporations

War

Social

Government Types Under Anarchist

Anarchy

Autocrats

Autocrats

Autocrats believe they deserve complete obedience from their subjects and enemies alike.

War

Anarchists

Election

Autocrats

War

Corporations

War

Social

Government Types Under Autocrats

Dictatorship
Feudal
Patronage
Prison Colony
Theocracy(can vary depending if NPC or PMF)

Corporations Elite Dangerous

Corporations

Corporations believe in the rule of money. If they can make a profit off it, it’s fine by them.

War

Anarchists

War

Autocrats

Election

Corporations

War

Social

Government Types Under Corporations

Corporation

Democrats

Social

Social government types believe in a system of shared government for the people.

War

Anarchists

War

Autocrats

War

Corporations

Election

Social

Government Types Under Social

Communism
Confederacy
Cooperative
Democracy
Theocracy(can vary depending if NPC or PMF)

Faction/System States

States are situations a system/faction is put in by the actions going on in the system. These states affect the statistics of a system. The mission system also uses the state to determine the mission types given. Also, influences the types of ships that spawn in a system and whether or not conflict zones will be present.

States have 3 stages: Pending, Active and Cooldown.

Boom Elite Dangerous

Boom

  • Increases wealth level of a system.
  • Boosts trade (better commodity market).
  • Increases effect of trade on influence.

Symbol means the action will help extend the state.

Symbol means the action will reduce the duration of the state.

Trading

Selling Exploration Data

Smuggling

Bust Elite Dangerous

Bust

  • Decreases wealth level of a system.
  • Lowers trade (worse commodity market).
  • Decreases effect of trade on influence.

Symbol means the action will help extend the state.

Symbol means the action will reduce the duration of the state.

Smuggling

Trading

Selling Exploration Data

Lockdown Faction State Elite: Dangerous

Lockdown

  • Increases the security level of a system.
  • Decreases wealth level of a system.
  • Mission boards owned by the faction will not have missions.

Symbol means the action will help extend the state.

Symbol means the action will reduce the duration of the state.

Murder

Other Crime

Redeeming Bounties

Civil Unrest Elite Dangerous

Civil Unrest

  • Decreases the security level of a system.
  • Decreases standard of living.
  • Amplifies the effect of combat for your faction in that system.

Symbol means the action will help extend the state.

Symbol means the action will reduce the duration of the state.

Smuggling and Trade of Weapons

Murder

Other Crime

Redeeming Bounties

Redeeming Combat Bonds

Famine Faction State Elite Dangerous

Famine

  • Decreases standard of living.
  • Amplifies the effect of trading food on influence.

Symbol means the action will help extend the state.

Symbol means the action will reduce the duration of the state.

Trading Food

Smuggling Food

Selling Exploration Data

Outbreak Faction State Elite Dangerous

Outbreak

  • Decreases standard of living.
  • Amplifies the effect of trading medicine on your influence.

Symbol means the action will help extend the state.

Symbol means the action will reduce the duration of the state.

Trading Medicine

Smuggling Medicine

Selling Exploration Data

Expansion Faction State Elite: Dangerous

Expansion

  • Expansion is how a faction colonizes another system.
  • Search radius is 20ly.
  • Decreases a factions wealth, development and influence to move those resources to the new system.

 

Selling Exploration data has more of an effect.

Selling Exploration Data

Investment Elite Dangerous

Investment

  • Investment occurs if expansion fails to find a system within 20ly.
  • Extends search radius to 40ly.
  • Decreases a factions wealth, development and influence to move those resources to the new system.

 

Selling Exploration data has more of an effect.

Selling Exploration Data

War Elite Dangerous

War/Civil War

  • War occurs when 2 factions of different government types or anarchy are equal in influence. At least 1 must be non-native.
  • Civil War occurs when 2 factions of different government types or anarchy are equal in influence. Both must be native.
  • Only combat actions count during either state. More specifically combat bonds earned in a conflict zone.

Duration is not based on actions in system. Rather the conflict will continue until there is a winner or time runs out.

Election Faction State Elite Dangerous

Election

  • Election occurs when 2 factions of the same government type except Anarchy are equal in influence.
  • There are no conflict zones during elections.
  • Combat actions have no effect during an election.

Duration is not based on actions in system. Rather the conflict will continue until there is a winner or time runs out.

Retreat Elite Dangerous

Retreat

  • Retreat occurs when a non-native faction falls below 2.5% influence
  • The faction will have to stay below 2.5% for the duration of the retreat.

Duration is not based on actions in system. Rather the retreat will continue for its 5 day duration and if the faction has gone above 2.5% the retreat will cancel. If it has not gone above 2.5% by the 5th day the faction will retreat on the 6th day.

Faction State Duration Table(OLD PRE 3.3)

Please use the second table, this table is for before the 3.3 update and is for reference only.

 I kept the duration of the faction states separate so it’s easier to manage multiple states after one another.

Countdown is how long a state will be pending. Cooldown is how long before the state can happen again.

State Countdown Min Length Max Length Cooldown
Boom 2 3 28 3
Bust 2 3 28 3
Civil Unrest 1 3 7 3
Lockdown 1 3 14 1
Famine 3 3 28 25
Outbreak 4 3 28 7
Election 3 3+1* 5 2
Civil War 3 3+1* 28 1
War 3 3+1* 28 1
Expansion 5 3 6 2
Investment 0 5 5 1
Retreat 1 5 5 1

*Election, Civil War, and War have an extra day at the end of the conflict if assets change hands.

Faction State Duration Table(POST 3.3 WORK IN PROGRESS)

 I kept the duration of the faction states separate so it’s easier to manage multiple states after one another.

Countdown is how long a state will be pending. Cooldown is how long before the state can happen again.

State Countdown Min Length Max Length Cooldown
Boom 2 3 28 3
Bust 2 3 28 3
Civil Unrest 1 3 7 3
Lockdown 1 3 14 1
Famine 3 3 28 25
Outbreak 4 3 28 7
Election 1 5 7 1
Civil War 1 5 7 1
War 1 5 7 1
Expansion 5 5 7 2
Investment 0 5 5 1
Retreat 1 5 6 1

*Election, Civil War, War, Retreat and Expansion should be accurate for Post 3.3. Still working on the others.

Influence

Influence is a 100% zero-sum spread between all factions in a system. i.e. if there are 2 factions in a system both can’t have 60% influence because that would equal 120%. Influence is what you raise with your faction in a system to control that system and then expand into nearby systems.

Contrary to popular belief influence does not decay over time. It can only be earned and lost.

Reputation

Reputation is how much a Super Power or Faction trusts you. It does not affect the system, but instead, affects what missions are available for you from that faction on the mission board.

Having a good reputation with a faction not only gives you more missions but also better-paying missions.

Reputation vs Influence

Reputation is your standing with a faction. Influence is that factions standing in the system.

Update 3.3 BGS Changes

(A work in progress)

State Categories

  • Economic status – reflects the wealth of a system.
  • Security status – reflects the safety of a system.
  • Conflict – based on the system influence and represents the control of the assets and population in a system.
  • Movement – based on influence and our new Happiness value these states determine the movement of a faction between systems.
  • Other – Anything not included in the above, and reserved for future states that we are not ready to talk about!

Economy and Security

  • Security Status – represented via a marker moving along a bar. As the marker enters certain sections of the bar, the faction moves into the related state.
  • Economic Status – also represented via a marker moving along a bar. As the marker enters certain sections of the bar, the faction moves into the related state.
  • Both can be found on your right-hand status panel and also in the Squadrons Allegiance page (which we will be talking about in the Squadrons livestream).
  • As Commanders perform various in-game actions and activities, such as trading or completing missions, they will push the marker along one of these Security and Economic bars.
  • Each area on the bar represents different states and when the marker reaches these areas, the faction will adopt that state.
  • The center of each bar is a ‘no state’ region which represents a neutral state.
  • As the marker on the Economic bar is pushed upwards, the faction can move into Boom and then Investment. The other end of the Economic bar consists of Bust and eventually… Famine.
  • The Security bar consists of LockdownCivil Unrest, and a new state called Civil Liberty on the positive end. Civil Liberty represents a period of safety and freedom for the faction’s population.

New State Definitions

  • Lockdown – When a faction experiences a lockdown, the security rating of the system it controls temporarily increases and the system’s wealth temporarily decreases. Bounty hunting activity can shorten the lockdown period.
  • Boom – Boom is usually the result of consistent trade profit and completed trade contracts. When a faction experiences a boom, the wealth of the system it controls temporarily increases, and trade missions completed in the system have double the effect on influence.
  • Bust – When a faction experiences a bust, the wealth of the system it controls is temporarily reduced and the faction’s influence is temporarily diminished. Trade actions do not contribute to boom while a bust is active.
  • Civil War – Civil wars occur when factions compete for control of major assets, such as starports. When a faction is involved in a civil war, the standard of living, development level and security level in the system it controls are temporarily reduced.
  • Civil Unrest – Civil unrest is the result of illegal activity. When a faction is affected by civil unrest, the standard of living in the system it controls temporarily decreases, as does the system’s wealth.
  • Famine – When a faction is affected by famine, the standard of living in the system it controls temporarily decreases. Combat activity has no effect on influence while a famine is active. Completing food-related trade missions can help bring a famine to an end.
  • Outbreak – When a faction is affected by an outbreak, the standard of living in the system it controls temporarily decreases. Combat activity has no effect on influence while an outbreak is active. Completing medicine-supply missions can help bring an outbreak to an end.
  • Election – Elections occur when two factions with a similar political structure resolve a conflict over ownership and influence within a system.
  • War – Wars occur when a faction invades a star system controlled by another faction. For the duration of the war, the standard of living, wealth level and security level in the disputed systems are reduced. Combat activity between the two warring factions determines the outcome of the conflict. If neither faction succeeds in dominating the other, the war ends in a ceasefire.
  • Expansion – Expansions occur when a faction successfully maintains a degree of influence over a happy population for a specified period of time. Expansion is costly, so when a faction expands, the wealth and development level of the system it expands from are temporarily reduced.
  • Retreat – Factions are considered to be in retreat if their level of influence within a system drops below a certain level. If the faction’s influence remains low for a total of five days, the faction must leave the system entirely. If the faction manages to increase its level of influence, it remains in the system.
  • Civil Liberty – The faction is enjoying a period of stability within this system, resulting in widespread happiness among the local population. Bounty hunting activity can help sustain the civil liberty period.
  • Investment – The faction is enjoying a period of economic good fortune within this system, resulting in widespread happiness among the local population. Trade activity can help sustain the investment period.

BGS Changes

How has the background simulation changed for Chapter Four?

  • The background simulation (BGS) now provides more detailed information, useful both for players already involved in the BGS system and helping to introduce it to new players who are less familiar.
  • The Status Tab in the Systems Panel will now show you a list of factions in your current system and their economic and security status. You can select a faction to see a more thorough description of its current state. This information is also available in the Squadron UI, Galaxy Map, Mission Board, Passenger Lounge and more.
  • Where before a faction could only be in one state across all systems where they have presence, factions can now be in multiple states across systems.
  • War, Civil War and Election states are now all 7 day conflicts to allow more time to engage in influential activities.
  • A new Happiness statistic aggregates a faction’s various states and influence to determine if the faction is happy or not.
  • Civil Liberty is a new state, acting as the Boom equivalent for Security.

Conflict and Movement

  • Movement states are based on Influence and work in a very similar way to how they did previously.
  • For example, if a faction loses the majority of its influence, it can enter into a Retreat state.
  • Conflict states trigger in the same way but winning a conflict has changed. This is explained in greater detail below.

Conflict Changes

  • WarsCivil Wars and Elections will now freeze the influence of both factions involved.
  • The conflict between the two factions will be resolved weekly, following a process of winning victories on a daily basis.
  • To claim a victory, players need to complete relevant missions handed out by their faction and take part in the newly revamped Conflict Zones.
  • You can find information on how your faction is doing during the war, and the assets it has on the line, in the status panel.
  • This information can also be found in the Squadrons Allegiance page.
  • At the end of a week, the side that has won the most days wins the war!

Megaships and Installation Population

  • Some of these Megaships will have set routes (moving on the weekly tick) and when in a new system, will be under the protection of the controlling faction.
  • If a Megaship jumps into your faction’s system, you should look after it because if it is attacked, your faction will feel negative Background Simulation effects.
  • Installations have also been added. These are static assets that once assigned to a faction can be fought over during conflict states.

Expansion

  • Expansion is a faction-wide concept and takes the following into consideration:
  • The percentage of Influence of the faction per system.
  • The Happiness of the faction within that same system.
  • Happiness is a new concept and is based on the states that are active within that system.
  • For example: a faction that has Civil UnrestWar and Bust occurring is not going to be the happiest, while a faction experiencing Civil Liberty and Boom will be much happier.
  • To increase your faction’s happiness, you need to defeat negative states and push your faction towards positive ones.
  • Large factions, with lots of influence across many happy systems will be more likely to gain the Expansion state.
  • A faction in Expansion after a certain amount of time will attempt to expand from the happiest system that faction is present in. Therefore, you will be better able to coordinate your expansion efforts to ensure which system you want to expand from.
  • FDev tried to put the above mentioned happiness as a factor for expansion, however currently(6/17/19) expansion still uses the system that is above 75% to trigger the expansion and for the 20ly bubble.

Sources

Many sources were used in the gathering of the data in this document. We used a combination of multiple sources and controlled tests to verify the data, but due to the nature of Elite: Dangerous, updates may render some data incorrect. We will update this document and any relevant data as it becomes available.

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