Elite: Dangerous Blog

News and events from the Elite Dangerous galaxy

Tips for beginners: Launching from stations

elite_noobOkay, so I am assuming you have done the basic tutorial missions. You haven’t? Well, do them! No arguments. They teach you the basic basics. What’s the difference between this and those? The same difference between driving lessons and road experience. One gets you a licence, the other keeps you alive afterwards.

When you leave the station you need to be aware of other traffic, station security and leaving the access corridor on the correct side.


Don’t fire your weapons – the station auto-guns will ventilate your hide in seconds. That polite announcer is actually a psycho killer. Don’t give them any excuse.

Don’t speed – if your gear is down, speed is limited – but if gear is up and your speed over 100m/s, any collision will result in a fine. Any serious collision will result in your summary execution.

Don’t loiter around the pad, or inside the station. The timer that ticks from when you undock is how long you have before the station kills you. No polite warnings. When the time is up, you’re toast!


The radar is your friend. It’s 3D. No really. Since 1984 no less. The triangle in the middle is you. The oval is an area around you. The triangle forward is representative of your forward view – what you can see out the cockpit window. Learn to read the radar. It’s important.

Elite: Dangerous radar

Thanks to Rolf Thomassen for pointing out the block shape indicates hard-point deployment.

When you fly out of the station access corridor (letter box) you don’t want to collide with the fast-moving lunatic in a super-massive Type 9 that will grind your Sidewinder to paste, so use the radar to look for ships in front of you heading toward you. Also, check behind. As you rise from the landing pad, there could be an Anaconda doing the same thing on the pad behind, whose pilot is reading GalNet and not looking where they are going!


The coast is clear and you want to leave. But were you parked on the ceiling, or the floor, or the wall? No gravity means “yes” to all those answers. That presents a dilemma. If the floor is the wall, the wall is the ceiling, then which way up is the door? Well those clever bods in the Pilot’s Federation thought of this. Well, actually they borrowed the idea from sailors.

When entering or exiting the station, keep right. That’s all. How do I know which side is “right”? There is a green light on that side and a red flashing light on the other. Red bad, green good. Got it? Cool. Chances of a head-on collision just went down a lot.

Elite: Dangerous station exit

Once you are outside, get clear of the station entrance. You need to be 5km away before the mass of the station stops locking your FrameShift drive from being able to jump. After that you are away!

Quick question

Q: The phone rings/baby cries/godzilla is coming and I need to quit the game in a hurry without leaving the station after I've taken off. What happens to my ship?

A: From the moment your ship leaves the pad, if you quit the game, then when you log back on, your ship will spawn, unharmed, 10km away from the station in space. You can either re-dock, or fly elsewhere.

Comments (1) -

  • Rolf Thomassen

    8/26/2016 4:03:04 PM | Reply

    Just little bit of info. If the marker is a square then hardpoints are retracted. If it is a triangle then the mark jag hardpoints deployed.