Influence is a way for factions to have or gain control over a star system. Many factions can share influence within a system. The first row in the system's faction list the controlling faction for a system and always controls the controlling station, which is usually the biggest in the system. It is possible for players to increase influence of different parties.
The factions within a system all share the influence in percentages. Government types vary depending upon the ideas of each faction; there can be anarchy, dictatorship and prison colony amongst other forms and directly correlate on what the factions focus on, such as trading.
Each system is ruled by a "controlling faction" which is determined by whichever faction owns the "controlling station" (usually the biggest) in the system. The controlling faction also determines the system's economy state (economy type cannot change), its government type, and controls its system authority vessels.
Each faction is either listed as Independent or owes their allegiance to one of the three major factions: Federation, Empire, or Alliance. Faction allegiance is displayed under the respective minor faction on the Reputation pages (located under the Status tab) by name and icon, and by icon only under the System Status page.
The system's allegiance is directly connected to the controlling faction's loyalty.
There have been numerous speculations on how the influence works and is still being figured but it is a lot easier to lose influence with a faction than to gain it.
Population within a system does not directly correlate to the influence algorithm, but it should be some margin easier for low-population systems. The amount of missions available of a specific faction is directly tied to the influence the faction has within the system but will be balanced by the developers.
If a faction gets a majority within a system they have a chance of taking the system over given that certain thresholds are met during a civil war. One of the thresholds include that minor stations and outposts owned by the controlling faction will need to be taken over first before the system's controlling station can be taken over. Another threshold is that the controlling station needs to be one of the stations in a civil war. A civil war or elections as a peaceful alternative to war are the ways for a faction to become the controlling faction for a system. The winning faction will be changing, or remain, the system's global faction to what the faction supports and changing the ownership of the controlling station.
There have been various tests to see what works and what doesn't. Here's a list showing what generates influence with a specific faction. Trading might raise the influence more than missions given that the player has a large cargo. The missions on the Bulletin Board vary in effects by completing them, some missions with alternative routes may give the opposite results.
To increase a faction's influence players should focus on performing the following tasks:
- Completing missions for a faction,
- Trading with faction owned stations or outposts,
- Turning in bounty vouchers,
- Turning in combat bonds and,
- Selling exploration data,
For those wanting to get a minority faction into power there's a valid strategy to decrease the influence of the leading faction by performing any actions from the following list:
- Completing a mission's alternate option given through Unidentified Signal Sources
- Committing crimes decreases the influence of the minor faction controlling the system
- Destroying a minor faction's ships decreases the influence of that faction
Abandoning, timing out, or failing missions does not affect any faction's influence; however, failing missions that give you cargo will give a fine on non-completion.
Bounty Hunting within a system will reward influence to the controlling faction. This is good if you're attempting to strengthen the dominant faction within a system. However, if you're attempting to improve the influence of a smaller party this will prove to work against you.
A minor faction can experience multiple different states simultaneously in a system where it has a presence. Which states are active or pending affected by the background simulation and player activity, with the latter having a much more significant impact. A pending state that has "critical" status will be the next state unless there is a rapid change in player activity.
There are four types of states: Happiness, Economy, Security, and Other.
Happiness is a measurement of a minor faction's outlook, and is determined by the number of positive and negative states it is experiencing. More positive states lead to increased happiness, while more negative states lead to decreased happiness. The happier a minor faction is, the more likely it is to grow through the Expansion state and establish itself in a new system. The five Happiness states are as follows, from most positive to most negative:
Economy represents a minor faction's relative wealth and trade activity. In addition to affecting Happiness, the active Economy state has various positive and negative effects on stations that the minor faction controls and systems where it has a presence.
The most positive Economy state, Investment is when a minor faction is experiencing a particularly strong economic upturn and is reinvesting the profits into the population. It is effectively a stronger version of the Boom state.
Boom states start when there are increases in wealth and standard of living. While active it increases the wealth of the system and benefits of trade missions completed for the minor faction.
Generally a Boom state will continue for 3 weeks or until its accrued "boom value" is spent.
"When in boom, the wealth of a system is increased for the duration and all trade missions have double the influence. Boom can also positively increase a minors faction's influence. Boom can be entered by consistent trade profits and completed trade contracts. Boom tends to last until they naturally expire or until some other indicator takes precedence, such as famine." 
A neutral Economy state, where a minor faction is experiencing neither positive nor negative economic effects at the moment, but can be pushed into Boom or Bust.
The opposite of Boom.
A stronger version of Bust. In a Famine, there is a severe shortage of vital Commodities, causing a massive economic downturn.
Security represents a minor faction's stability and capacity to protect the stations and population under its control from external and internal threats.
Civil Liberty Edit
During Civil Liberty, a sustained period of stability has boosted confidence in faction security. A system's security level is temporarily increased by one stage (Low to Medium, or Medium to High), and NPC criminal activity has a lower chance of occurring.
A neutral Security state, where a minor faction's security forces are operating at baseline effectiveness and crime is at manageable levels.
Civil Unrest Edit
Civil Unrest is triggered on decreases of security and standard of living. While active it continues to lower security and standard of living for the system. All combat missions and actions for the minor faction are more effective.
Civil Unrest can be triggered by selling prohibited Commodities to a black market, and countered by bounty hunting.
Lockdown is triggered by a low security and development level for a system, and increases security level and decreases wealth while active. Bounty hunting for the minor faction has a greater impact.
"Lockdowns increase the security rating for a system but also have a negative effect on the system's wealth. Increased bounty hunting activity can shorten the lockdown period."
Lockdown can be triggered by destroying system security forces, and countered by bounty hunting.
These states are triggered by a variety of conditions, such as a combination of states occurring or two minor factions directly competing with each other. They can impact both Economy and Security states while they are active.
When a minor faction's influence reaches a high enough level in a system and Happiness is high, the faction will enter a state of Expansion and attempt to establish a presence in a neighboring system. This state will decrease wealth and increase development level while active. The minor faction who obtained the Expansion state will be added to the minor faction list of a nearby system.
"Expansion occurs when a minor faction reaches a sufficient influence rating and there is a populated system within striking distance. The act of Expansion is a costly one, and the wealth and development rating suffers during the period of Expansion."
While the Expansion state is active missions will begin to appear in a nearby system to allow the expanding faction to build their influence in the new system.
The opposite of Expansion. A minor faction will withdraw completely from a system where it can no longer maintain its presence, resulting in decreased wealth and development in its other systems.
During an Outbreak, a contagious disease has begun sweeping through a minor faction's population. Outbreaks are triggered by a low standard of living and development level, and they further decrease the standard of living while active. Medicine trade missions are more effective, combat missions and actions provide no benefit to the minor faction.
Elections are a peaceful alternative to a civil war.
The factions involved are deciding which should become the controlling faction. This state may occur when a minor faction that is not the controlling power's influence raises to near the level of the controlling faction's influence.
"Elections occur when two minor factions of a similar political structure resolve a conflict over ownership and influence within a system."
Civil War Edit
Triggered by changes in influence between competing minor factions or when a single minor faction reaches a high enough influence level. Standard of living and security level is decreased while this state is active. Generates Conflict Zones and only combat missions or actions provide any benefit to the minor faction.
Civil War cannot be triggered by a faction with less than 7% influence in a system, however any minor faction above 7% can start a civil war with a minor faction below 7%. If a minor faction has greater than 60% of influence, a Civil War will automatically start between the minor faction and the controlling faction unless one of those factions is already engaged in a Civil War elsewhere. A civil war will only be triggered if the factions are not in cooldown (3-25 days).
After a civil war is triggered there is a cooldown of 3 days before another civil war can occur. Civil wars can only occur between two minor factions at a time. Additionally, a minor faction can only be engaged in a single Civil War at a time (i.e. a Civil War cannot break out in a system if one of the factions is already engaged in a Civil War elsewhere). Upon the conclusion of a civil war the most valuable space station is transferred from the losing minor faction to the winning minor faction and thus can cause the system's controlling minor faction to change.
War is triggered by an invading minor faction reaching a high enough influence level. Decreases standard of living, wealth and security for the system while active. Influence changes only apply to the involved parties and are only applied from combat missions or actions. Conflict Zones will be spawned throughout the system.
Pirate Attack Edit
A state added in Elite Dangerous: Beyond Chapter Four (3.3). When a Pirate Attack occurs against a specific faction, pirates will invade a system controlled by that faction and frequently interdict passing pilots, especially traders. Pirate Attacks are likely in systems in a positive Economy state, and temporarily lower an affected faction's security rating.
Notably, a minor faction that is experiencing Investment, Civil Liberty, and Pirate Attack simultaneously will buy mined Mineral Commodities at much higher prices than usual.
Infested & Incursion Edit
Two related states added in Elite Dangerous: Beyond Chapter Four (3.3). Infested is a state that lasts for one week and indicates the presence of Non-Human Signal Sources and Thargoid vessels. If enough Thargoids are destroyed before the next week, an Infested system will revert to normal. If too few Thargoids are destroyed, Infested systems will advance to the Incursion state, which has cumulative negative effects on the entire system. Incursions persist indefinitely until enough Thargoids are destroyed to force them to leave.
Exiled occurs when a minor faction that holds the power to grant access permits to their home system is expelled from that system. When this state is triggered, a Flight Operations Carrier Megaship will be deployed to a neighboring system with the aforementioned permit-giver faction given permanent control of it. This ensures that the permit-giver faction will always be available to distribute its permit.
To date, the Exiled state has only been triggered once, when the player minor faction The Black Fleet expelled the permit-giver faction Conservatives of Tiliala from the permit-locked Tiliala system. The Black Fleet took control of Tiliala and was made a secondary permit-giver for the system, while the Conservatives of Tiliala were relocated to the Megaship Tiliala's Lament in the Akandinigua system.
- ↑ Michael Brookes, https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?t=71327&p=1526930&highlight=#post1526930
- ↑ Michael Brookes, https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?p=1455273#post1455273
- ↑ Michael Brookes, https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?t=97577&page=11&p=1526005#post1526005
- ↑ Michael Brookes, https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?t=97577&p=1532191&highlight=#post1532191
- ↑ Michael Brookes, https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?t=97577&p=1532493&highlight=#post1532493
- ↑ Michael Brookes, https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?t=97577&page=7&p=1522843#post1522843
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 Michael Brookes, https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?t=97577&page=4&p=1517533#post1517533
- ↑ Michael Brookes, https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?t=71327&page=75&p=1526898#post1526898
- ↑ Michael Brookes, https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?t=97577&page=43&p=1692222#post1692222
- ↑ Michael Brookes, https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?t=71327&p=1592481&viewfull=1#post1592481
- ↑ Michael Brookes, https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?t=103448&page=2&p=1610363#post1610363
- ↑ Frontier Forums: Content Recap: Beyond - Chapter Four Livestream - Background Simulation and Scenarios
- ↑ Michael Brookes, https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?t=97577&page=42&p=1691321#post1691321
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 14.6 Michael Brookes, https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?t=97577&p=1691696&viewfull=1#post1691696
- ↑ Michael Brookes, https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?t=97577&page=35&p=1640171#post1640171
- ↑ https://community.elitedangerous.com/galnet/uid/561248da9657ba6f07f31fd4
- ↑ Michael Brookes, https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?t=97577&page=40&p=1664775#post1664775
- ↑ GalNet News, https://community.elitedangerous.com/galnet/uid/560a4ee49657ba303058f74d
- ↑ GalNet News, https://community.elitedangerous.com/galnet/uid/560e4c439657bafe1746f4ee
- ↑ 78 Ursae Majoris left the Federation by an Election. Tour of Frontier Systems Set to Begin Shortly
- ↑ GalNet News, https://community.elitedangerous.com/galnet/uid/560cf1979657ba967258f74b
- ↑ Michael Brookes about civil war influence rules
- ↑ Elite: Dangerous Wings 1.2 Patch Notes
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?t=186969
- ↑ Michael Brookes, https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?t=71327&page=144&p=1665470#post1665470
- ↑ Michael Brookes, https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?t=97577&page=40&p=1753928&viewfull=1#post1753928
- ↑ Michael Brookes, https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?t=97577&page=52&p=1746447#post1746447
- ↑ Michael Brookes, https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php?t=97577&page=55&p=1755639#post1755639
- ↑ Elite Dangerous - Basilisk Takedown and New System State "Exiled"