Permits are needed in order to be able to travel to permit-locked star systems. Commanders can check what permits they have in their possession in the Permits section of the Status tab of the right HUD panel.
A permit is a special access code that is downloaded into a ship's navigation computer, and it allows that ship to plot and execute a hyperspace jump to the corresponding permit-locked system. Commanders who lack the appropriate permit cannot enter a permit-locked system, and are also blocked from plotting any route in the Galaxy Map that passes through that system. Furthermore, Fleet Carriers are barred from traveling to all permit-locked systems, regardless of whether their owners have the permit. Possession of a permit may be granted on a permanent or temporary basis.
The Pilots Federation holds the authority to place permit restrictions on systems, and will seal off systems at the request of a faction, or in response to the presence of significant hazards or threats. Generally, it is up to the permit-holder faction for a restricted system to decide whether or not to distribute their permit to the public. Permit-holder factions who do allow distribution of their permits typically set specific criteria that commanders must satisfy in order to earn them. Permit-locked systems may offer exclusive commodities, ship and module discounts, or simply access to unique locations.
In general, permits can be acquired through one of three methods:
- Achieving the required rank in one of the professional fields tracked by the Pilots Federation, or in the Federal Navy and Imperial Navy, will unlock the permit.
- Earning a Reputation level of Allied with the minor faction that controls distribution of the permit will cause that faction to offer an invitation mission at a station in a system in close proximity to the permit-locked system where that faction has a presence. Completing the invitation mission will unlock the permit. Most of the factions that distribute permits in this manner have a specific megaship under their permanent control to ensure that pilots seeking their invitation mission have a consistent place to access it.
- Some permits are awarded either permanently or temporarily through Community Goals or participation in other limited-time activities.
List of Permits
- According to Drew Wagar, author of the official Elite Dangerous novels Elite: Reclamation and Elite Dangerous: Premonition, there was originally intended to be an explanation in the game's narrative for why multiple areas of the galaxy required "Unknown Permits". One such permit-locked area near Barnard's Loop was also reserved for certain content that was apparently shelved or retconned out in late 2017, and subsequent narrative developments such as Aegis and Eagle Eye represented a change in direction from the original plans for the game.