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Thargoid Surface Site

A Thargoid Surface Site,[1] also designated an Unknown Structure Scan, is a sprawling, seemingly ruined Thargoid structure found on planetary surfaces. The first site was discovered on June 26, 3303 on planet B 1 C of the HIP 19026 system, and over 200 other sites have since been confirmed. They are devoid of any significant Thargoid activity aside from Scavengers, but the systems they are located in are usually swarming with Non-Human Signal Sources.

The layout of these structures are similar to those of the Thargoid Titan class motherships first discovered in 3309, possibly implying that Surface Sites are the wreckage of an older generation of motherships killed by the Mycoid virus.



Thargoid Surface Sites consist of a central, organic-like structure in a crater or depression at the center of a spiral formation with more organic formations protruding from the spiral's eight arms. The central structure is a smaller spiral with shorter arms, reminiscent of a Thargoid Interceptor's general shape. A possible eight-panelled door that is oriented flat with the surface can be seen at the center of the structure. Tunnels lead below the surface and seemingly deeper into the site itself, but are blocked by doors that can only be opened by carrying a Thargoid Sensor or Thargoid Probe. Vehicles that approach or enter the central structure will experience some light electromagnetic interference that disrupts their HUD. There are two types of sites, "active" with no collapsed areas, and "inactive" with collapsed areas. As new sites are discovered, some also appear to be more developed or complete than others, with a greater proportion of their structure visible above ground.


Thargoid Surface Site at HIP 14909 as seen from above

Scattered around the site are "Thargoid Uplink Devices" and salvageable but highly corrosive "Unknown Technology Samples". Scanning these can produce three kinds of Material data: Thargoid Material Composition Data, Thargoid Residue Data Analysis, and Thargoid Structural Data. In addition, the Organic Structures across the site can be destroyed to obtain Materials ranging from Sulphur and Iron to Meta-Alloys.

Drone-like entities called Scavengers can also be found throughout the site, but are not hostile until fired upon. They drop various Materials, including Thargoid Fragments, Thargoid Carapaces, Thargoid Energy Cells, Thargoid Organic Circuitry, Thargoid Technology Components, Thargoid Ship Signatures, and Thargoid Wake Data.

Thargoid Device[]

Thargoid Machine

A Thargoid Device

Inside the central chamber of a Thargoid Surface Site is a mechanism identified as a Thargoid Device", originally known as an "Unknown Device". Activating the Device requires one Thargoid Sensor, Thargoid Probe, and Thargoid Link. Any of these three items can also be carried individually just to open the door leading into (and out of) the structure.


The star map

Thargoid Links can be found at Surface Sites, but Sensors and Probes must be sourced elsewhere and transported to the Sites; Corrosion Resistant Cargo Racks are helpful in this matter. Thargoid Probes can be found orbiting Ammonia Worlds in Threat Level 2 Non-Human Signal Sources. Thargoid Sensors can be found at Crashed Thargoid Ships, such as at HIP 17403 A 4 A or HIP 17862 6 C A, or free floating in various systems within an approximate 150 light year radius from the Merope system.

Once activated with all three objects, the Thargoid Device generates what appears to be a holographic star map highlighting specific systems across a galaxy, and emits three "Unknown Signals" that are logged in the Notifications tab. Spectrograms of these signals produce maps.[2] The dot positions appear to change when the star map is generated.

Thargoid Device signal spectrograph

The spectrogram from an Unknown Signal received after scanning a Thargoid Device

It was also discovered that any one of the various artifacts found at the Ancient Ruins of the Guardians produces an adverse reaction when placed in the Thargoid Device. The machine begins pulsing with energy and producing intense heat that can rapidly damage any non-Thargoid vehicles in its vicinity. This reaction lasts for five minutes. In Odyssey, if a Guardian Relic is placed in each of the three slots instead of the correct Thargoid components, they will be converted into Unclassified Relics during this process, but any nearby Thargoid Scavengers may become hostile when the Device is data link scanned. The heat damage from the reaction can be avoided by simply activating the device from one of the hallways leading into the central room. Note that Unclassified Relics can only be created this way in "batches" of three, and only in game version 4.0 or higher (currently only Odyssey).

Following Unknown Signals[]

Thargoid Links can be combined with Unknown Signals to lead the way to other Thargoid Surface Sites. After activating a Thargoid Device and acquiring its Unknown Signals, take an Unknown Link into space and deploy it. Next, play one of the Unknown Signals. The Thargoid Link will react and point the way to the location of a system and planet that hosts another Thargoid Surface Site. Notably, these systems usually also feature Ammonia Worlds and a high concentration of Thargoid Sensors.[3][2]


Thargoid Surface Site above

The Thargoid Surface Site on HIP 19026 B 1 C

The first Thargoid Surface Site was located on HIP 19026 B 1 C on June 26, 3303 by CMDR Lightningwing. The Site was the origin of an "Unknown Signal Source" identified after a beacon in Maia directed CMDRs to comm relays in the Electra and Calaeno systems. Logs obtained from Communication Hub Zeta 12 orbiting the planet Electra 4 and Relay Station PSJ-17 orbiting the planet Calaeno 1, both locations associated with the mysterious Black Flight unit, contained the following coded message:


Which decrypted to:


This led directly to the first Site.[4][5] By the following day, four additional Sites had been discovered in nearby systems. The discoveries were hailed by Professor Palin, a noted Thargoid researcher, as a remarkable development.[6]


Thargoid Surface Site

On July 5, 3303, Palin acknowledged that the structures provided valuable insight into Thargoid technology and also confirmed a connection between Thargoids and Unknown Artefacts and Probes. Ram Tah, the lead researcher on the Guardians, commented that the reaction Thargoid Devices have to Guardian artefacts suggests the Thargoids and Guardians may have had prior contact, and that this may not have been peaceful.[7]


The first 15 sites discovered by CMDRs are listed below. The Canonn Interstellar Research Group maintains a 3D Unknown Site Map with additional known locations, and a full list of all 229 sites can be found here. Note that an additional site is believed to exist in the HIP 22460 system, which is also the location of the Megaship Overlook, but this system is currently permit-locked and the site cannot be confirmed.[8] A 229th site was discovered on planet 2 A in the Outotz ST-I d9-6 system, well away from the known Thargoid sites, following a Thargoid attack on The Gnosis on September 6, 3304.[9]

Note that since they launch of the Odyssey expansions, planet-side points of interests have moved.

System Planet Surface Coordinates Status Notes
HIP 19026 B 1 C Lat: -17°

Long: -152°

Inactive First site discovered by CMDR Lightningwing on June 26, 3303[5]
Pleiades Sector OS-U c2-7 Body: 4 A Lat: 58.21°

Long: -177.04°

Inactive Discovered by CMDR MadRaptor[10]
Aries Dark Region DB-X d1-63 A 7 A Lat: 25.53°

Long: 78.18°

Inactive Discovered by CMDR StarfireIX, HD Zak L33T, Emerius, Mr. Pink and SmotheryZorf of Lavigny's Legion[11]
Col 285 Sector CV-Y d57 AB 4A Lat: 4.7863°

Long: 136.2453°

Inactive Discovered by CMDR StarfireIX, Mr. Pink and Emerius.[12]
HIP 14909 2 A Lat: -26.5°

Long: -27.5°

Inactive Discovered by CMDR Tomsen Jaden[13]
Mel 22 Sector ZU-P c5-1 4 A

Lat: -63.5°

Long: 8.02°

Inactive Discovered by CMDR Two Quiet Suns[2]
Mel 22 Sector NX-U d2-27 5 A Lat: -39.8°

Long: -56.2°

Discovered by CMDR OhBelgium and Bioann[2]
Mel 22 sector NX-U d2-31 3 A Horizons:

Lat: -51.8°

Long: -109.9°


Lat: 39

Long: 23.64

Active Discovered by CMDR Painbeaver[2]
Mel 22 Sector YU-F B11-1
AB 5 A Lat: -52°

Long: -5.68°

Active (Not found within Odyssey) Discovered by CMDR Nanoexplorer[14]
Mel 22 Sector UT-R C4-4 1 A Lat: 16.14°

Long: 25.45°

Discovered by CMRD Liquid on 30 Jun 3303, 22:05[15]
Mel 22 Sector UE-G B11-0 A 2 Lat: -33.2°

Long: 141.7°

Active Discovered by CMDR NanoExplorer on 30 JUN 3303, 22:57[15]
HIP 16985 A 4E Lat: 45.4°

Long: -18°

Discovered by CMDR Julian McCoy and wingmates on 30 JUN 3303, 00:32[15]
MEL 22 Sector KC-V D2-28 1 C Lat: -77.5°

Long: 110.4°

Discovered by CMDR Julian McCoy and wingmates on 30 JUN 3303, 03:32[15]
Mel 22 Sector BV-P C5-2 1 A Lat: -22°

Long: -112°

Active Discovered by CMDR Ace Homefoil on 30 JUN 3303, 04:14[15]
Mel 22 Sector TT-R C4-2 3 A Lat: -27.65°

Long: 63°

Active Discovered by CMDR Julian McCoy on 30 JUN 3303, 04:15[15]


  • Thargoid Surface Sites are labeled "Unknown Structure Scan" in-game, and unlike items such as the Thargoid Sensor (originally named "Unknown Artefact"), they have not received an updated name since their introduction. Frontier Developments internally refers to the sites as "Thargoid Imprints", which can occasionally be seen in Elite Dangerous patch notes.[16]
  • Attempting to log-out of the game while at a Thargoid Surface Site triggers a prompt alerting the player that they "are currently in a dangerous region", and that their vehicle will be moved outside that region when they log back in to ensure the player won't be immediately endangered.
  • After activating the Thargoid Device, there is a chance that a Thargoid Interceptor will jump in and scan the player in their SRV after exiting the interior of the central structure.


  • It was long theorised that Thargoid Surface Sites were the wreckage of Thargoid Motherships that were destroyed by mycoid at the end of the First Thargoid War. This is based on datamined file names for assets used in the sites. Following Aegis's successful penetration of the Maelstroms in 3309, this has tentatively been confirmed, given the close structural similarities between surface sites and the underside of Thargoid Titans.