- Main article: Materials
Encoded Materials, also known as Data, is a type of material gathered by scanning various technological sources and used in Engineer blueprints. It is stored in a dedicated data store, up to a maximum of 500 units.
Encoded Material Sources
Encoded Materials can be acquired by scanning various suitable source types:
Target any ship (either in Supercruise or sub-light speeds) and centre it in your field of view. Your ship will scan it automatically, and sometimes you will receive data, typically shield or emissions-related.
Planetary outposts (not Starports) typically have 1 or more data points that can be scanned with your SRV's Data Link Scanner. They come in 3 security levels (Low, Medium, High) and 3 sizes (Small '+', Medium '++', and Large '+++').
Higher security outposts provide rarer data, but also have stronger defences.
Ancient Guardian ruins on the surfaces of certain planets are the sole source of Guardian-related data and materials. Obelisks at Ancient Ruins can be scanned by an SRV in order to acquire the various types of Obelisk Pattern Data (Alpha, Beta, etc.), whilst an Ancient Data Terminal can yield Blueprint Segments.
Unlike most other types of Data, Guardian Data Types cannot be acquired or spent through trade at Material Traders.
Surface Scan Missions
Some missions will require you to scan the data point of a nearby small settlement not otherwise listed in your navigation panel. These settlements can only be found as mission targets, and the data point scan will often produce rare and very rare data.
Some missions offer data as part of the mission rewards. It is difficult to predict what missions are available at starports, let alone predict what data will be provided as a reward, so it is not recommended that you rely on these when looking for specific data types. Nevertheless, they are a useful way to acquire data when not looking for specific data types.
List of Encoded Materials