Whether you’re a veteran Commander or a brand new Cadet of The Pilots Federation, fuel scooping in Elite Dangerous is an essential mechanic and skill that can mean the difference between surviving to fly another day or drifting into the black void of space to become space dust.
For new pilots specifically, fuel scooping can be a very daunting and confusing task to accomplish but fret not; we have compiled a few tips and resources for you to make it a more enjoyable experience.
What is fuel scooping?
Fuel scooping is the act of flying in a supercruise close to a nearby star that produces hydrogen to replenish your ship’s fuel tank using a fuel scoop module. The module itself falls under the optional internal category and is not necessary for most spacefarers. However, it is a staple module for explorers and those who want to venture out into the void. It is recommended that every pilot have a basic idea of how it works.
Setting up your galaxy map
There are some planning and steps to take before attempting to fuel scoop yourself. This will involve going into the galaxy map and editing some preferences to ensure that you have plotted a route that utilizes stars that can be scooped. This will ensure that when traveling, every star you come across can provide fuel for your ship. We have provided an image and the steps to take to set this up.
- Open your galaxy map.
- On the left-hand side towards the top, you’ll see some tabs. Select the one that looks like a cluster of stars.
- Select the secondary tab named Map
- Pick the drop-down menu and scroll down until you see Star Class.
- Once selected, refer to the image above for the stars to select, leaving the others unchecked. A nice way to remember the correct stars is a community acronym called KGBFOAM. The letters correspond to the proper star types needed to perform a fuel scoop.
- When the appropriate stars have been checked, go down to the bottom of the star list and check the ‘Apply filter to route’ box.
Once you have completed the above steps, every time you plot a route, it will take you to stars that can be scooped for fuel.
How to fuel scoop
Now that your galaxy map has been set up, you can start plotting your route for the system you want to visit. Once you have completed the jump to Witch Space and find yourself in front of the system’s star for new pilots, we recommend throttling down to zero and gradually throttling up until you see on screen prompt ‘FUEL SCOOP ACTIVE.’ Once you see this prompt, underneath will be two bars for heat and fuel. Move forward slightly, and you’ll begin to see the fuel bar increasing slowly. Congratulations, you are now fuel scooping!
You can increase the refueling rate by moving closer to the star, but a word of caution, this will increase your ship’s heat level. You’ll know you are too close when the ship’s systems begin blaring about overheating and begin to take damage. If you continue to get closer, you will be kicked out of supercruise and find yourself stuck waiting for your frame shift drive to cool down.
Each ship is unique in how it dissipates heat, so we recommend figuring out what your ship can take and adjusting accordingly. Once you start to feel more comfortable, you can try to orbit the star so that you never have to stop moving while performing a fuel scoop. This will take some practice and getting used to, but you’ll have it down in no time.