What are the pilot ranks in Elite Dangerous?

Combat, Trader, Explorer, and more.

Image via Frontier

Ranks are an excellent way for pilots to flex their prowess in Elite Dangerous. However, achieving these ranks is no simple feat and will require grinding to max out each one. On top of getting a new badge to represent a pilot’s status for one of the particular fields, pilots will also gain access to some cosmetic items for their ships and suits.

There are six fields available for pilots to rank up, covering nearly all the activities available within Elite Dangerous and requiring experience exclusive to the desired rank a pilot would like to chase. Below we have provided some lists breaking down the different field’s ranks and a brief explanation of what is required to achieve said ranks.


Requires experience gained through ship combat to rank up.

  • Harmless
  • Mostly Harmless
  • Novice
  • Competent
  • Expert
  • Master
  • Dangerous
  • Deadly
  • Elite


Rank is calculated based on total profit earned while trading.

  • Penniless
  • Mostly Penniless
  • Peddler
  • Dealer
  • Merchant
  • Broker
  • Entrepreneur
  • Tycoon
  • Elite


Rank is calculated based on the total profit earned when turning in exploration data.

  • Aimless
  • Mostly Aimless
  • Scout
  • Surveyor
  • Trailblazer
  • Pathfinder
  • Ranger
  • Pioneer
  • Elite


These ranks are a bit different and are organized based on a numeric rank structure found in most PvP based games. In total, there are 49 ranks with eight prestige rankings that follow it. To rank this up, pilots will need to partake in Elite Dangerous’s PvP activity.


Introduced with the Odyssey expansion. This field requires profit gained through on-foot combat activities.

  • Defenceless
  • Mostly Defenceless
  • Rookie
  • Soldier
  • Gunslinger
  • Warrior
  • Gladiator
  • Deadeye
  • Elite


Also introduced with the Odyssey expansion. This rank requires pilots to turn in complete biological samples to a Vista Genomics facility. When turning in samples, the transaction amount will count towards rank progression.

  • Directionless
  • Mostly Directionless
  • Compiler
  • Collector
  • Cataloguer
  • Taxonomist
  • Ecologist
  • Geneticist
  • Elite