Elite Dangerous Wiki

Salvage refers to retrieving lost or stolen Cargo Canisters found in space or on a celestial body's surface, using a Cargo Scoop or Collector Limpets. Salvageable Commodities are divided into two classifications: "Legal Salvage" and "Illegal Salvage". An item's legal status is identified by the HUD when it is targeted. Trafficking in illegal salvage is a crime and may result in penalties from local security forces.

Cargo that a pilot both jettisons and abandons becomes legal salvage, while if they only jettison it, it becomes illegal salvage for everyone but them. Cargo that is already marked as stolen can only be jettisoned.

Salvage Types

Legal Salvage

Legally salvaged cargo functions just like purchased cargo and can be sold to Commodity Markets unless prohibited there. Some types of legal salvage can be handed in to a Search and Rescue Agent.

Legal salvage can be found in the following locations:

  • Points of Interest on the surface of planets and moons.
  • Scattered inside the docking bays of damaged starports.
  • Non-Human Signal Sources.
    • Signal Sources that only have "Xeno Hunting" as a related activity still have a chance of containing legal salvage. However, investigating these sources risks encountering hostile Thargoid Scouts.
    • Signal Sources that have "Search and Rescue" as a related activity will always contain legal salvage.
  • Degraded Emissions.
    • Signal Sources that have "Search and Rescue" as a related activity will always contain legal salvage.

Illegal Salvage

Scavenger and a drone

Illegally salvaged cargo is marked as stolen and functions similarly to Illegal Goods - it can only be sold to Black Markets and you can get a fine or bounty for being fully scanned by law enforcement while carrying it.

Some missions on Bulletin Boards ask you to illegally salvage something floating in space in a certain system and smuggle it back into the starport.

Illegal salvage can be found in various System Signal Sources - especially Weak Signal Sources and Salvageable Wreckage.