The Frame Shift Drive or FSD is a revolutionary ship-board hyperdrive system manufactured by Sirius Corporation. It features two modes: supercruise, which allows travel at faster-than-light speeds within a star system, and jumping, which allows rapid travel through hyperspace from one system to another. All ships produced since 3297 come equipped with a Frame Shift Drive by default, and cannot be operated without one.
Device that allows super cruise travel and hyperspace jumps between star systems.
— In-Game Description
In order to activate the Frame Shift Drive, Hardpoints and Landing Gear must be retracted, the Cargo Hatch must be closed, and the ship must break away from any Mass Lock caused by proximity to a nearby ship, station, or planetary body. Heatsink Launchers, Frame Shift Drive Interdictors, and certain Scanners still function during supercruise.
When in supercruise, rather than accelerating a ship through space, the Frame Shift Drive moves space around a ship to allow it to travel faster than light without using extreme amounts of energy or experiencing time distortion. This is a modified form of the Alcubierre Drive design.
Hyperspace jumps rely on quantum mechanics, as the destination of any given jump must be known before the jump is made, and the amount of energy needed to complete the jump is discrete.
While the maximum hyperspace jump range of a ship is limited relative to the Frame Shift Drive's Class, Grade, and the total mass and available fuel of the ship, this range can be increased:
- Engineering can increase a Frame Shift Drive's base jump range by over 60%. This modification is always active and applies to every jump unless it is removed from the module.
- A Guardian Frame Shift Drive Booster can increase jump range by a flat amount of light years that differs based on the class of module that is installed.
- Using Synthesis, an FSD Injection can be produced to increase jump range for a single jump. Depending on the grade of the FSD Injection, the increase is +25%, +50%, or +100%.
- A Frame Shift Drive can be supercharged for a single jump by passing through the polar emission jets of white dwarf stars or neutron stars. This is a dangerous maneuver that strains and damages the FSD each time, but the jump range increase is considerable: +50% for white dwarfs and +300% for neutron stars. FSD supercharging cannot be stacked with an FSD Injection.
Hyperspace Fuel Equation
With the help of the formula below the effective fuel consumption of a ship travelling in hyperspace can be calculated. The formula is speculative and was in part deduced from user experimentation.
- f = fuel consumed per jump in tons
- l = linear constant. This constant depends upon the rating of the frame shift drive.
Rating A B C D E Linear Constant 12 10 8 10 11
- d = jump distance in light years
- mShip = the mass of the entire ship including its cargo in tons and before fuel is consumed for the hyperspace jump itself
- mOpt = the optimal mass of the frameshift drive in tons as indicated in-game by the outfitters. The total mass of the ship can exceed this value.
- p = power constant. This constant depends upon the class of the frame shift drive.
Class 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Power Constant 2.00 2.15 2.30 2.45 2.60 2.75 2.90
The first primitive hyperdrives capable of propelling ships to faster-than-light (FTL) speeds were created in the early 22nd century by a team of engineers led by Li Qin Jao. In 2151, this innovation allowed humanity reach Tau Ceti and establish its very first extrasolar colony on a planet that would later be renamed Taylor Colony. The hyperdrive quickly rendered Generation Ships obsolete and spurred a wave of colonization in the Core Systems.
By 3125, most hyperdrives were powered by a fuel known as Quirium, a high energy density material produced exclusively by the Galactic Cooperative, which carefully guarded the secret formula. Most Quirium-based hyperdrives had a limited jump range, but some people were allegedly able to engineer drives to jump across the galaxy or even to other galaxies. It is rumored that the Quirium hyperdrive was reverse-engineered from captured Thargoid ships. When GalCop collapsed in 3174, it took the secrets of Quirium production with it, and without any fuel, Quirium hyperdrives quickly became inoperable. For the next 100 years, faster-than-light travel was done using slower and more primitive methods.
During the first Thargoid conflict, the Galactic Cooperative captured a number of Thargoid ships which fell into the possession of the Alliance decades after GalCop's demise. By the 3270s, the Alliance was able to reverse-engineer Thargoid technology to produce the single most consequential hyperdrive innovation in centuries: the Frame Shift Drive. The FSD reduced travel times in hyperspace from hours to mere seconds, opening the floodgates for human exploration and expansion. Due to the machinations of The Club, however, the Alliance did not leverage FSD technology to gain superiority over the Federation and Empire; instead, the tech fell into the hands of Sirius Corporation, which monopolized it and distributed it to all the powers and factions, ensuring no one gained an advantage. The FSD was unveiled to the public by 3290, but was still in the experimental stages and did not become available for retail distribution until 3297.
|Class||Rating||Mass (T)||Integrity|| Power|
| FSD Optimal|
| Max Fuel|
Per Jump (T)
This module can be modified by Engineers to enhance its abilities.
The following modifications can be applied to this module:
The following Experimental Effects can be applied to this module:
|All||All||Shinrarta Dezhra||Jameson Memorial|
|All||All||Brestla||i Sola Prospect|
|All||All||LHS 3595||Chaudhary Hub|
|All||All||Slink's Eye||Kelleam Ring|
|All||All||LFT 1103||Kirk Ring|
|All||All||Beta-2 Tucanae||Mouchez Orbital|
- Being close to any mass will affect the FSD charge time. While being next to a heavier ship will merely make it charge slower, the FSD will get mass-locked should the ship be next to something extremely massive (station, asteroid field, etc.) and will be unable to charge at all.
- The FSD generates a small amount of heat while it charges up for the impending jump, this is amplified significantly within the scooping range of stars, multiple careless charges within the scooping radius of a star could lead to significant damage so care should be taken when charging the FSD near stars.
- For the original documentation of the hyperspace fuel equation, see this reddit post.
- Class 8 Frame Shift Drives are also available in Outfitting inventories at some stations, but because no existing ship is capable of equipping a FSD of that size, they cannot be purchased or used.
- The Frame Shift Drive is nicknamed the "Friendship Drive" due to the similar pronunciation. Some people made fan art. For example: 1."My girlfriend shouts, "yay friendship drive!" whenever I charge my FSD for the first time in a session. Every time. It's like she forgets.", 2. "So funny thing, my wife asked me what game I was playing with the friendship drive. I was like, what? Now I get it.", 3. "My SO and my stepdaughter loved this. They always say Friendship Drive Engaged when I'm playing."
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Elite Encounters RPG
- ↑ https://www.drewwagar.com/lore/elite-dangerous-lore-hyperspace/
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Elite Dangerous: Premonition
- ↑ Friendship Drive Engage ♥