Elite Dangerous Wiki

A Nav Beacon, one type of System Signal Source

System Signal Sources are encounters in star systems that can be targeted as a destination and traveled to via supercruise. They typically indicate the presence of at least one ship or artifical object in normal space, with the name of the signal source denoting what kind of ships may be found there and what activities are taking place. Unidentified Signal Sources are a subset of signal sources that must be targeted and scanned to reveal what they are.

Signal Source Types

AX Conflict Zone


  • Checkpoint
    • Spawns during Civil Wars with one party being a controlling minor faction.

Conflict Zone

  • Conflict Zone - can spawn as Low, Medium or High Intensity
    • Created during Civil War or War. You can temporarily align yourself to one of the factions and will receive combat bonds for the destruction of enemy ships.
    • The amount you get from each combat bond depends the ship you destroyed
    • (assuming one spawns) Earn 150,000 CR for routing a capital ship

Convoy Beacon

  • Convoy Beacon
    • Much like conflict zone where trade convoys have been interdicted and attacked.

Cruise Ship

Debris Field

Experimental Habitat

Nav Beacon

  • Nav Beacon
    • These locations are located close to the primary star of every inhabited star system. These locations spawn a variety of NPCs. The most commonly spawned NPC types are traders, freighter convoys, smugglers, bounty hunters, pirates, wanted, and security vessels.

Notable Stellar Phenomena

Pirate Activity Detected

  • Pirate Activity Detected
    • High threat (5-7) signal sources populated by several pirate ships from various criminal factions. These ships are heavily-armed and piloted by high-ranking pilots; some ships may also be Engineered.

Resource Extraction Site

  • Resource Extraction Site
    • The rewards here are higher but equally the NPC's are harder than the Nav Beacons. You DO NOT need to join a faction here. You simply target other ships, scan them and if one of them is wanted you take them out and, if they have cargo, steal their haul which you can sell on the black market. These areas, along with Nav Beacons, are full of pirates and bounty hunters. A Resource Extraction Site outside of a planetary ring is far less likely to contain NPCs.

Salvageable Wreckage

Search and Rescue Patrol

Seeking Foods

Seeking Meds

  • At this location, Basic Medicines are sought and can be sold for a good price. "Seeking Meds" appear, if a faction is in state "Outbreak" (see also Faction State).

Seeking Weapons

  • Sometimes seen near conflict zones and in systems in a state of War or Civil War. Similar to 'Seeking Meds' only in this case weapons are the items being sought. Further investigation is needed to ascertain if armour and all weapon types can be sold at these locations.

Unidentified Signal Source

USS are a subcategory of signal sources.

  • Unidentified Signal Source
    • Once scanned, Unidentified Signal Sources will resolve into one of several subtypes. They may contain squadrons of pirates, large 'wanted' cargo vessels (which you can destroy and steal the cargo without becoming wanted yourself) and sometimes just empty space with low value cargo laying around. Typically these areas have more than one bad guy, so you can visit these locations without being attacked (as long as you don't have cargo) and have a look around, but bounty hunting or piracy at these sites may require a combat focused ship due to the random nature of the encounter (there may be Anacondas!).
    • Assassination missions require you to visit these sites in order to locate the target. Usually you will find a damaged trade convoy that will tell you the last known location of the target, but are usually no more specific than a system.

Non-Human Signal Source


  • Over time, some System Signal Sources have been removed from Elite Dangerous, either for balance purposes or because they were being replaced by other signal sources that served similar purposes. Removed signal sources include:
    • Weak Signal Source - Implied the presence of a small number of ships. Involved in missions. Often contained NPC smugglers with contraband.
    • Strong Signal Source - Implied the presence of a large number of ships. Involved in missions. Often contained NPC pirates and criminals.
    • Seeking Luxuries - Spawned traders in large freighters who would purchase Performance Enhancers.[1]