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Crime & Punishment refers to the game mechanics in Elite Dangerous that punish certain player actions that are classified as "criminal behavior" according to in-universe rules. Typically, players who commit crimes will accumulate Notoriety, bounties, and fines, which incentivizes other players to hunt them down or attracts the attention of NPC security forces. Criminal players with active bounties who are destroyed in combat by other players, system security, or Advanced Tactical Response (ATR) are sent to a Detention Centre, where they are forced to pay all legal fees and repurchase their ships. Alternatively, criminals with sufficient funds can clear their records by waiting for their Notoriety to fade and using Interstellar Factors to pay off their bounties and fines.


Fines and Bounties

Main article: Bounty

As a player commits crimes, they will receive either a fine or a bounty depending on the scale of the crime. Fines are accrued for minor crimes, such as littering by dropping Cargo Canisters inside a starport, while bounties are accrued for major crimes, such as murdering another player or a non-criminal NPC. Fines and bounties are directly recorded against the player who committed them, whether they are piloting a ship or On Foot at the time. If the player receives a bounty, the ship they using during the commission of the crime will be marked as "Wanted", which will trigger a hostile response if it is scanned by system security.

Scanning a ship normally by targeting it with active Sensors will reveal if it is Wanted, while the Kill Warrant Scanner can be used to uncover a detailed list of fines and bounties, either involving a ship or On Foot, that are attached to that player. If the player is On Foot, any crimes or contraband related to the player can be detected by NPCs using a Profile Analyser, but this tool can only be used to scan On Foot individuals, not ships.

Players can pay off fines at station Security Contacts while docked or inside a Concourse, while bounties can only be paid off at Interstellar Factors if the player has zero Notoriety.

In addition to criminal bounties, there are three other unique bounty types applied in certain situations:

  • Interstellar Bounties - Bounties applied by a superpower (Federation, Empire, or Alliance) across all systems in their jurisdiction when fines and bounties for individual factions aligned to superpower exceed a certain threshold.
  • Power Bounties - Bounties issued for Powerplay-related crimes.
  • Pilots Federation Bounties - Bounties issued solely for PvP crimes, which are valid in all non-anarchy systems.

Hot ships and modules

At the time a bounty is applied to the player, the player's ship and any modules installed on that ship are also marked as "Hot". This greatly reduces the sale value of those ships and modules, prevents Hot modules from being installed on clean ships, and causes all ports under the jurisdiction of the faction that issued the bounty to restrict their available services. Players who dock at these ports are forced to circumvent these restrictions by using "Anonymous Access Protocols", but are still unable to access most services; the Refuel service is always available regardless of criminal status.

Note that crimes committed On Foot are recorded against the player directly, and their ship will remain clean as long as it was not involved. If a player uses a ship to commit a crime related to On Foot activities, such as using a ship's weapons to attack a settlement, then both the player and their ship will be associated with that crime, and the ship and its modules will be marked Hot.

Hot ships that are not in storage can be cleaned at an Interstellar Factor if the player has zero Notoriety. Hot modules can be cleaned in the Outfitting menu at any port for a fee equivalent to 5% of each module's rebuy cost.


Main article: Notoriety

Notoriety is used to track a player's recent criminal activity. As a player commits crimes, their Notoriety will rise from 0 to a maximum level of 10. The greater the Notoriety, the more likely Advanced Tactical Response forces will intervene to defeat and apprehend the player in inhabited systems. Having any Notoriety above 0 prevents the player from being able to turn themselves in at a port's Security Contact or use an Interstellar Factor to pay off bounties. Notoriety decays automatically over time provided that the player remains logged-in and does not continue committing crimes.

Interstellar Factors

Main article: Interstellar Factor

Interstellar Factors are a unique service that allow players to pay off any bounties they have accrued, regardless of faction jurisdiction, without being sent to a Detention Centre, and to redeem any Bounty Vouchers and Combat Bonds in their possession. Both of these options have a 25% fee attached, however.


Main article: Detention Centre

Players with active bounties who are critically injured in On Foot combat, lose their ship in battle against security forces, or who voluntarily turn themselves in at a Security Contact, are sent to the nearest Detention Centre with jurisdiction over them. There, they are forced to pay off their accumulated fines and bounties before they can leave; if they lack sufficient funds, they must declare bankruptcy, foregoing any chance to rebuy their previous ship.

Additionally, any of the player's ships that retain any uncleared bounties at the time the player is apprehended will be "Impounded" by authorities, and the player must pay a "Release Fee" to have each one returned. This includes stored ships, and ships that the player last used before disembarking for On Foot activities.

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