Elite Dangerous Wiki
Not to be confused with Data.

Main article: Materials

Encoded Materials (aka 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 with a maximum of 500 units.

Encoded Material Sources[]

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