Elite Dangerous Wiki

Salvager is a career to retrieve lost or stolen commodities found in space or on celestial bodies, by using a Cargo Scoop or Collector Limpets. Cargo can also be looted from Megaships. The collected items can be sold for credits.

Salvage types[]

Salvageable Commodities are divided into 2 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. However, if it's only jettisoned then it becomes illegal salvage for everyone except them. Cargo that is already marked as stolen can only be jettisoned.

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[]


Salvager Type-9 and a limpet

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.

Looting Megaships[]

Megaships can be looted for cargo, data and materials. Note; profitability is currently low and the risks are high. You ship must be equipped with:

Recommended ship is the Alliance Chieftain which it can run cool and has decent optional space. Running cold helps you to avoid turrets. For weapons optional is 3x Seeker Missile Rack.

Find a Megaship[]

To find a megaship you need to check their Flight Operations Plan, because they move around the galaxy. Canonn Research has Flight Operations Plan details. Megaships show up as a Signal Source in a star system. They are not visible on the system map.

Cargo Bays[]

When you're in a star system do not filter POI. Select a target and visit it. Fly within 4 km of the ship and scan it with the Data Link Scanner. Once you see the scan animation you can check the Contacts tab in the left HUD panel. That will show Cargo Bays and Data Terminals. Select the Cargo Bay and scan it with the Manifest Scanner. The inventory tab in the left HUD panel shows all the cargo and quantity.

Scan the cargo bay with the Data Link Scanner. Select Sub-Targets. The left HUD panel will show a Recon Limpet Docking Point. Select the Limpet Docking Point, then switch to the Hatch Breaker Limpet Controller and fire a limpet. Let your ship run cold by enabling Silent Running and have a heatsink ready. Move the ship back at least 1 km from the Cargo Bay, because this avoids getting charged for the act and become wanted. When the cargo is ejected, you can disable Silent Running, then deploy (open) the Cargo Scoop and let the Collector Limpets retrieve the loot.

The Cargo Bay must be opened with the Hatch Breaker multiple times to get all the loot. Continue to do so until you fill your cargo hold.

Data Terminals[]

The Megaship has a Hackable Comms Array. Move to within 350 meters and scan it with the data link scanner. It will show a new Recon Limpet docking point on the sub target tab. Fire the Recon Limpet. If there are 2 docking points then do 1 after the other. When the limpets finish hacking the Comms Array it will eject a couple of cannisters with the data. These data cannisters must be scooped up. However, once the hacking is complete, you will become wanted and all the System Authority Vessels will attack your ship. It's faster to manually scoop the cannisters.

Clear fines and bounty[]

Go to an Interstellar Factor to pay any fines and to clear your bounty. For example the Inara website has a list of the nearest Interstellar Factors. Also check that the Interstellar Factor has a Black Market. In the station menu: go to General Services -> Contacts -> Interstellar Factors Contact to pay your fines and bounties. Then go to the Black Market via the station menu to sell your stolen goods.


These salvage commodities can be obtained through piracy or retrieved from sites with preexisting wreckage, abandoned structures, or alien structures. Salvage is usually marked stolen or illegal in most systems. Certain Salvage items, such as Escape Pods and Black Boxes, can be given to a Search & Rescue Contact at most Stations.

Name Type Location Notes
AI Relics
Ancient Artefact
Ancient Key Guardian
Anomaly Particles
Antimatter Containment Unit
Antique Jewellery
Assault Plans
Black Box Can be handed in to a Search & Rescue contact.
Commercial Samples
Damaged Escape Pod May be ejected from a destroyed NPC ship. Can be handed in to a Search & Rescue contact.
Data Core
Diplomatic Bag
Earth Relics
Encrypted Correspondence
Encrypted Data Storage
Experimental Chemicals
Fossil Remnants
Gene Bank
Geological Samples
Guardian Casket Guardian
Guardian Orb Guardian
Guardian Relic Guardian
Guardian Tablet Guardian
Guardian Totem Guardian
Guardian Urn Guardian
Large Survey Data Cache
Military Intelligence
Military Plans
Mollusc Brain Tissue
Mollusc Fluid
Mollusc Membrane
Mollusc Mycelium
Mollusc Soft Tissue
Mollusc Spores
Mysterious Idol
Occupied Escape Pod May be ejected from a destroyed NPC ship. Can be handed in to a Search & Rescue contact.
Personal Effects Can be handed in to a Search & Rescue contact.
Pod Core Tissue
Pod Mesoglea
Pod Outer Tissue
Pod Shell Tissue
Pod Surface Tissue
Pod Tissue
Political Prisoner
Precious Gems
Prohibited Research Materials
Prototype Tech
Rare Artwork
Rebel Transmissions
SAP 8 Core Container
Scientific Research
Scientific Samples
Small Survey Data Cache
Space Pioneer Relics
Tactical Data
Technical Blueprints
Thargoid Basilisk Tissue Sample Thargoid
Thargoid Biological Matter Thargoid
Thargoid Bio-Storage Capsule Thargoid
Thargoid Cyclops Tissue Sample Thargoid
Thargoid Glaive Tissue Sample Thargoid
Thargoid Heart Thargoid Dropped by destroyed Thargoid Interceptors.
Thargoid Hydra Tissue Sample Thargoid
Thargoid Link Thargoid
Thargoid Orthrus Tissue Sample Thargoid
Thargoid Probe Thargoid
Thargoid Resin Thargoid
Thargoid Sensor Thargoid
Thargoid Medusa Tissue Sample Thargoid
Thargoid Scout Tissue Sample Thargoid
Thargoid Technology Samples Thargoid
Time Capsule
Titan Deep Tissue Sample Thargoid
Titan Drive Component Thargoid Thargoid Titan debris field
Titan Maw Deep Tissue Sample Thargoid
Titan Maw Partial Tissue Sample Thargoid
Titan Maw Tissue Sample Thargoid
Titan Partial Tissue Sample Thargoid
Titan Tissue Sample Thargoid
Trade Data
Trinkets of Hidden Fortune
Unclassified Relic
Unoccupied Escape Pod Signal sources in a system experiencing Thargoid Alert or Thargoid Invasion.
Unstable Data Core
Wreckage Components Can be handed in to a Search & Rescue contact.