Elite Dangerous Wiki
Elite Dangerous Wiki
Not to be confused with Data.

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.

Private Data Beacons

Found in Degraded Emissions and Encoded Emissions amongst destroyed ship debris.


Found in Encoded Emissions around populated Earthlike worlds, or at some installations.

Planetary Outposts

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 Ruins / Guardian Structures

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.


Frame shift drive wakes are a source of frame shift related data. You must scan the wake with a Frame Shift Wake Scanner to retrieve this data.

Mission Rewards

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

Name Grade
Aberrant Shield Pattern Analysis Rare
Abnormal Compact Emissions Data Very Rare
Adaptive Encryptors Capture Very Rare
Anomalous Bulk Scan Data Very Common
Anomalous FSD Telemetry Common
Atypical Disrupted Wake Echoes Very Common
Atypical Encryption Archives Rare
Classified Scan Databanks Standard
Classified Scan Fragment Very Rare
Cracked Industrial Firmware Standard
Datamined Wake Exceptions Very Rare
Decoded Emission Data Rare
Distorted Shield Cycle Recordings Very Common
Divergent Scan Data Rare
Eccentric Hyperspace Trajectories Rare
Exceptional Scrambled Emission Data Very Common
Inconsistent Shield Soak Analysis Common
Irregular Emission Data Common
Modified Consumer Firmware Common
Modified Embedded Firmware Very Rare
Open Symmetric Keys Standard
Pattern Alpha Obelisk Data Standard
Pattern Beta Obelisk Data Common
Pattern Delta Obelisk Data Rare
Pattern Epsilon Obelisk Data Very Rare
Pattern Gamma Obelisk Data Very Common
Peculiar Shield Frequency Data Very Rare
Security Firmware Patch Rare
Specialised Legacy Firmware Very Common
Strange Wake Solutions Standard
Tagged Encryption Codes Common
Thargoid Material Composition Data Standard
Thargoid Residue Data Rare
Thargoid Ship Signature Standard
Thargoid Structural Data Common
Thargoid Wake Data Rare
Unexpected Emission Data Standard
Unidentified Scan Archives Common
Untypical Shield Scans Standard
Unusual Encrypted Files Very Common