Fuel scooping is an automatic process provided the fuel scoop is active. Only certain star types can provide fuel to be scooped. The rate of fuel gain is based on the quality and size of the scoop and by the proximity to the star in question. Be aware; remaining close to a star can cause your ship to suffer heat fatigue and potential destruction.
— In-Game Description
A Fuel Scoop is a module that is attached to a ship's Internal Compartment slot and allows for the filling of a ship's internal fuel reserves with hydrogen while in space, for free. This module is a critical device for any exploration-oriented pilot, as it allows for much faster travel without a need to dock for fuel, and no reliance on a system to be inhabited. A ship with a fuel scoop can theoretically travel in unknown regions of space indefinitely.
The hydrogen is gathered from a star's corona directly. Larger and higher quality scoops allow for faster fuel harvesting. Fuel scoops will activate automatically so long as they are powered, and both deploy and retract on their own with a displayed HUD indicator showing ship heat status and rate of fuel-gathering.
Great care must be taken when using fuel scoops, as it requires a ship to be in Supercruise inside of the corona of a stellar mass, which subjects the vessel to intense heat from the star. Flying too close can easily overheat a ship to the point of equipment damage, or force a ship out of supercruise while overheating, which is a dangerous proposition considering escape back into supercruise subjects the ship to even more heat. It is advisable to upgrade the ship's Power Plant since it will help the ship dissipate heat when fuel scooping.
It is important to note that a ship must only be in supercruise while scooping fuel; it is not required that the ship be travelling at more than minimum speed. In such a case, a pilot can place their ship close enough to a star to scoop without being too close to risk overheating, and simply set their engines to minimum and wait for their Fuel Tank to fill. Flying around the star or doing 'strafing' runs is low efficiency and will take longer, and subjects the pilot to considerably more risk.
When fuel scooping, a notification will appear in the centre of the HUD which lists the projected/current heat level, the current rate at which fuel is being scooped in rate/sec, and shows a progress bar for the amount of fuel in the main fuel tank.
Currently, the fuel scoop does not refill the active reservoir tank, which automatically takes one tonne of fuel from the main tank when drained.
Scoopable starsAn essential skill for any would be fuel scooper is the ability to identify stars which you can scoop fuel from. You don't want to end up stranded in a system that doesn't have a suitable star when you're running on fumes. The first thing you should do when plotting a route is check the INFO tab on the Galaxy Map. The one thing that is always available for any system regardless of exploration state is a list of Star Types contained within the system.
|Star types which are scoopable||Star types which are not scoopable|
If there are multiple star types in the system with at least one being scoopable, you need to be aware that you always jump in to the star with the largest mass and this is not necessarily the scoopable star. You may well jump in at a white dwarf (DA/DC) which has a much greater mass than a scoopable M-star in the same system. In this scenario you will need to search for the scoopable star so bear this in mind if you're running on fumes.
One easy way to remember which stars are scoopable is to remember the phrase: Oh Be A Fine Girl Kiss Me or Oh Be A Fine Guy Kiss Me (O,B,A,F,G,K,M) which lists the main sequence stars in descending order of temperature. An alternative phrase is KGB FOAM or FOG KBAM. This matches the spectral classification of Main Sequence stars in reality which make up the majority of observable stars in the universe.
|Class||Rating||Integrity||Power Draw|| Max Scoop|
The following modifications can be applied to this module by Engineers to enhance its abilities:
- Fuel Scoops have no mass so upgrading is worthwhile due to increased Integrity.
- Only one Fuel Scoop can be equipped at a time.
- Increasing the Class and/or Rating of a fuel scoop will increase the amount of fuel scooped per second.
- A Fuel Scoop is required for supercharging the FSD at a White Dwarf or Neutron star.