Guide / Tutorial Unidentified Signal Sources: A Complete Guide

USS Guide: (Unknown Signal Source)

1) Supercruise System regions:

A supercruise instance is separated into different regions, and can be identified in the lower left HUD panel (system & target information):


  • Shipping Lanes: Areas traveled between arrival star and various population centers (planet bases, stations, etc)
  • Orbital cruise: Area around any land-able body where Altimeter is shown, (Seen as a blue line around the body when Orbital lines is enabled
  • Celestial Bodies/Planets/Stations/Etc: Area around these bodies, represented as that bodies name (Ex: Sirius, Serebrov Terminal, Mars, etc). Stars have the largest area, often 100ls or great, gas giants several million kilometers, and stations average about 1000km
  • Deep Space - Basically anywhere else.

2) General USS information


  • Only during supercruise flight at random.
  • Generated in a cone in front of player. Cone angle & distance which USS appear depends on ship speed (higher speed = less angle and farther distance)
  • Non-persistant (Except in very rare cases with story related content, or other FDev hand crafted content)
  • Other players or NPCs can drop into a USS instance by following your low-wake.
  • USS's time out and disappear after about 30s if NOT targeted.
  • USS threat level of anything other than zero means NPC ships will be in the instance. These could be hostile or neutral. Higher the number, the higher threat.
  • Spawn more frequently in high population systems

3) Type of USS spawned is determined by several factors:



  • System population
  • System superpower allegiance
  • System state
  • System security level
  • System area (See section 1)
Degraded Emissions
location: Any area in any system
Threat level: 0
Description: Very common USS, can be found anywhere. Engineer materials inside depend on system (see material description).
Rank 1-3 materials, biased towards the low end. Sometimes nothing but cargo.

Variants:

  • Debris field: Mix of either commodities, private data beacon (Scanned for grade 1-2 data), grade 1-2-3 materials. (just one or two of these options)
  • Search & rescue ships may be rarely encountered special orange paint job and unique dialogue). The S&R ships will scoop all cargo present unless driven away or destroyed.
  • Debris field with one or several escape pods and exploration data caches. These usually appear in uninhabited systems and away from the bubble.

Degraded Emissions (Anarchy)
Location: Populated anarchy system, no further than 1000 Ls from any populated body (station, etc)
Threat level: typically 3
Description: Special "anarchy" variant which spawns pirate vessels as you approach commodities


Encoded Emissions

Location: Any area of populated system.
Threat level: 0
Description: Materials and/or data. Materials inside depend on system.

Variants:

  • Debris field with private data beacon and several grade 1-2-3 materials. The beacon can be scanned for data
  • Debris field, several grade 2-3-4 materials
  • Regions around inhabited Earth-like world: Satellite that can be scanned for some grade 1-2-3 data.


High Grade Emissions

Location: Deep space (primary) and around celestial bodies (Infrequent)
Description: High grade USS contents depend on system variables (allegiance, state, etc.) For example, If you need Imperial Shielding and Pharmaceutical Isolators, look for an Imperial system in Outbreak. will spawn ). It's recommended to choose a system that can spawn only one type of high grade USS if searching for something specific.

Variants:

  • Federal systems: Core Dynamics Composites
  • Imperial Systems: Imperial Shielding
  • Civil Unrest: Improvised Components
  • War & Civil War: Military Grade Alloys, Military Super-Capacitors
  • Outbreak: Pharmaceutical Isolators
  • Boom: Proto Heat Radiators, Proto Light Alloys, & Proto Radiolic Alloys

Combat Aftermath
Location: Regions surrounding system bodies & shipping lanes of populated systems
Threat level: 0
Description: Debris fields with several materials, and sometimes cargo (Stuff that high-end transports might drop.)


Convoy Dispersal Pattern

Location: Any area of populated system (More common around system bodies & shipping lanes than Deep space)
Threat level: 0-4
Description: Convoy of one or several navy or security transports with escorts. Neutral unless provoked. They will eventually high-wake if left alone. If engaged and destroyed, they may drop CZ-grade material such as thermic alloys, polymer capacitors, etc.


Weapons Fire

Location: Any area of populated system (More common around system bodies & shipping lanes than Deep space)
Threat level: 1-4

Variants:

  • - Low threat level: Mix of transports, pirates, and/or system security ships, up to 4 total and usually small ships (Hauler, Adder, Viper, Cobra) with low combat rank.
  • - High threat level: Pirate ambush


Distress Call
Location: Any area of populated system, rarely in uninhabited systems in or near the bubble.
Threat level: 1-4

Variants:

  • - NPC requesting fuel (Pirates may drop in)
  • - Damaged trader who is under pirate attack. Pirates will proceed to attack the player. If engaged, several waves of pirates will spawn with increasing difficulty
  • - Debris field and several S&R ships (Very Rare)
  • - Threat level 4: Farragut battlecruiser under pirate attack. Pirate Farragut will jump in shortly after player. If engaged, all pirates need to be destroyed an pirate battlecruiser needs to be driven away

Ceremonial Comms
Location: Around system bodies and shipping lanes of populated systems
Threat level: 0-1
Description: Wedding Barges & Funeral Ships (Needs more info)


Anomaly

Location: Systems within 150 Ly of Merope in the Pleiades Nebula, surrounding Ammonia worlds
Threat level: 4
Description: Spawns Unknown Artefact/Probe. Can be destroyed to gather Unknown Fragments


Mission Target

Location: Mission dependent, typically around a system body
Threat level: Mission dependent
Description: Contains target/Item(s) needed to complete mission (Assassination, Liberate and Salvage)

Trading Beacon
Location: Unknown
Threat level: Unknown
Description: Rarest USS. Visually Similar to Mission Target USS with blue text and "Mission Objective Detected" audio message, but an active mission is not needed. Contains a Lakon Type-9 offering trade missions to deliver goods to nearby system.


5) Recommended method for finding USS's

This takes into account sudden region changes, time allowed to react to USS spawning, speed control, etc.


  • Research and travel to desired system, and region within system (See section 1)
  • Set speed around 0.5 Ls\second.
  • Ensure that ship is flying straight.
  • Open Navigation tab, set filters to show signal sources, and monitor
  • As soon as USS appear, target it. The ship will adjust speed accordingly
  • Maneuver to identify the USS type.
  • Drop into USS instance if desired, if not, disable target lock and ship should automatically resume previous speed

Happy hunting!!!

EDIT: Formatting and adding some newer data
 
Last edited:
The only legit English copy of this guide can be found there: http://teabaggers.bplaced.net/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=267

As for this thread, I consider it copyright infringement, and thus a report has been filed.

Hello, Maybe it was missed but I did give you credit in the very first line.

I'm not sure how you can claim copyright infringement, as any game related information/assets related to Elite belong to FDev, and you never had a copyright claim to be infringed in the first place since you do not "own" this information. It's fair to say the info contained herein does not belong to you specifically, but to the community as a whole, and is free to be discovered, discussed, and written about, by anyone who plays Elite. I also believe any info related to elite should be here, on Frontier's forums.

Anyways, I have reformatted, and re-written parts, and added some from other sources to make it a bit more comprehensive, and will continue to add and tweak as I come across new information. If anyone comes across errors, or any new information, please post, and I will do my best to keep this up to date.

Cheers
 
Last edited:
Nice little summary. Even after 700 hours in game I've never really got the USS thing. This help a great deal cheers o7
 
The only legit English copy of this guide can be found there: http://teabaggers.bplaced.net/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=267

As for this thread, I consider it copyright infringement, and thus a report has been filed.

Considering that the Forums are Public Domain;
im sure that your idea of "copyright" does not even apply.
Also most, if not all, of this information can be found in fragments from other sources like INARA.
Oh well,
Fly Crazy,
CMDR Sirrus Tamus
 
Original information was gathered by biohazard15 & BastarWizard, and numerous other tidbits and sources, along with my own observations but since some of the original information was deleted, and the rest is pretty spread out, I'm re-posting as it's immensely useful:



USS Guide: (Unknown Signal Source)

1) Supercruise System regions:

A supercruise instance is separated into different regions, and can be identified in the lower left HUD panel (system & target information):


  • Shipping Lanes: Areas traveled between arrival star and various population centers (planet bases, stations, etc)
  • Orbital cruise: Area around any land-able body where Altimeter is shown, (Seen as a blue line around the body when Orbital lines is enabled
  • Celestial Bodies/Planets/Stations/Etc: Area around these bodies, represented as that bodies name (Ex: Sirius, Serebrov Terminal, Mars, etc). Stars have the largest area, often 100ls or great, gas giants several million kilometers, and stations average about 1000km
  • Deep Space - Basically anywhere else.

2) General USS information


  • Only during supercruise flight at random.
  • Generated in a cone in front of player. Cone angle & distance which USS appear depends on ship speed (higher speed = less angle and farther distance)
  • Non-persistant (Except in very rare cases with story related content, or other FDev hand crafted content)
  • Other players or NPCs can drop into a USS instance by following your low-wake.
  • USS's time out and disappear after about 30s if NOT targeted.
  • USS threat level of anything other than zero means NPC ships will be in the instance. These could be hostile or neutral. Higher the number, the higher threat.
  • Spawn more frequently in high population systems

3) Type of USS spawned is determined by several factors:



  • System population
  • System superpower allegiance
  • System state
  • System security level
  • System area (See section 1)
Degraded Emissions
location: Any area in any system
Threat level: 0
Description: Very common USS, can be found anywhere. Engineer materials inside depend on system (see material description).
Rank 1-3 materials, biased towards the low end. Sometimes nothing but cargo.

Variants:

  • Debris field: Mix of either commodities, private data beacon (Scanned for grade 1-2 data), grade 1-2-3 materials. (just one or two of these options)
  • Search & rescue ships may be rarely encountered special orange paint job and unique dialogue). The S&R ships will scoop all cargo present unless driven away or destroyed.
  • Debris field with one or several escape pods and exploration data caches. These usually appear in uninhabited systems and away from the bubble.

Degraded Emissions (Anarchy)
Location: Populated anarchy system, no further than 1000 Ls from any populated body (station, etc)
Threat level: typically 3
Description: Special "anarchy" variant which spawns pirate vessels as you approach commodities


Encoded Emissions

Location: Any area of populated system.
Threat level: 0
Description: Materials and/or data. Materials inside depend on system.

Variants:

  • Debris field with private data beacon and several grade 1-2-3 materials. The beacon can be scanned for data
  • Debris field, several grade 2-3-4 materials
  • Regions around inhabited Earth-like world: Satellite that can be scanned for some grade 1-2-3 data.


High Grade Emissions

Location: Deep space (primary) and around celestial bodies (Infrequent)
Description: High grade USS contents depend on system variables (allegiance, state, etc.) For example, If you need Imperial Shielding and Pharmaceutical Isolators, look for an Imperial system in Outbreak. will spawn ). It's recommended to choose a system that can spawn only one type of high grade USS if searching for something specific.

Variants:

  • Federal systems: Core Dynamics Composites
  • Imperial Systems: Imperial Shielding
  • Civil Unrest: Improvised Components
  • War & Civil War: Military Grade Alloys, Military Super-Capacitors
  • Outbreak: Pharmaceutical Isolators
  • Boom: Proto Heat Radiators, Proto Light Alloys, & Proto Radiolic Alloys

Combat Aftermath
Location: Regions surrounding system bodies & shipping lanes of populated systems
Threat level: 0
Description: Debris fields with several materials, and sometimes cargo (Stuff that high-end transports might drop.)


Convoy Dispersal Pattern

Location: Any area of populated system (More common around system bodies & shipping lanes than Deep space)
Threat level: 0-4
Description: Convoy of one or several navy or security transports with escorts. Neutral unless provoked. They will eventually high-wake if left alone. If engaged and destroyed, they may drop CZ-grade material such as thermic alloys, polymer capacitors, etc.


Weapons Fire

Location: Any area of populated system (More common around system bodies & shipping lanes than Deep space)
Threat level: 1-4

Variants:

  • - Low threat level: Mix of transports, pirates, and/or system security ships, up to 4 total and usually small ships (Hauler, Adder, Viper, Cobra) with low combat rank.
  • - High threat level: Pirate ambush


Distress Call
Location: Any area of populated system, rarely in uninhabited systems in or near the bubble.
Threat level: 1-4

Variants:

  • - NPC requesting fuel (Pirates may drop in)
  • - Damaged trader who is under pirate attack. Pirates will proceed to attack the player. If engaged, several waves of pirates will spawn with increasing difficulty
  • - Debris field and several S&R ships (Very Rare)
  • - Threat level 4: Farragut battlecruiser under pirate attack. Pirate Farragut will jump in shortly after player. If engaged, all pirates need to be destroyed an pirate battlecruiser needs to be driven away

Ceremonial Comms
Location: Around system bodies and shipping lanes of populated systems
Threat level: 0-1
Description: Wedding Barges & Funeral Ships (Needs more info)


Anomaly

Location: Systems within 150 Ly of Merope in the Pleiades Nebula, surrounding Ammonia worlds
Threat level: 4
Description: Spawns Unknown Artefact/Probe. Can be destroyed to gather Unknown Fragments


Mission Target

Location: Mission dependent, typically around a system body
Threat level: Mission dependent
Description: Contains target/Item(s) needed to complete mission (Assassination, Liberate and Salvage)

Trading Beacon
Location: Unknown
Threat level: Unknown
Description: Rarest USS. Visually Similar to Mission Target USS with blue text and "Mission Objective Detected" audio message, but an active mission is not needed. Contains a Lakon Type-9 offering trade missions to deliver goods to nearby system.


5) Recommended method for finding USS's

This takes into account sudden region changes, time allowed to react to USS spawning, speed control, etc.


  • Research and travel to desired system, and region within system (See section 1)
  • Set speed around 0.5 Ls\second.
  • Ensure that ship is flying straight.
  • Open Navigation tab, set filters to show signal sources, and monitor
  • As soon as USS appear, target it. The ship will adjust speed accordingly
  • Maneuver to identify the USS type.
  • Drop into USS instance if desired, if not, disable target lock and ship should automatically resume previous speed

Happy hunting!!!

EDIT: Formatting and adding some newer data

Nice guide,all in one thread, and on the ED forums,where it should be :)
 
Convoy Dispersal Pattern - As well as the Military/Security varieties, there are some that contain one or more Traders in a convoy instead, or sometimes a group of Explorers when near a planet.
 
Reaper
Wicked guide, thanks :cool: +rep, I was lost after Biohazard deleted the information from his thread :rolleyes:

Btw, you're not including NHSSs?

A brief summary of NHSSs :-

Threat 2s in some systems within an unknown distance from Merope (insufficient data due to extreme rarity of event) - IDK what they usually contain as I've not experienced them & I don't really recall what's been said by those that have, but possibly just Thargoid probes or sensors?? See Thargoid data gathering thread et al.
Threat 5s in some systems within 150 LYs of Merope - usually contain Thargoid Cyclops & various cargo
Threat 6s in some systems within about 40* LYs (so far) of Maia (but ultimately likely to be centred on Merope) - usually contain Thargoid Basilisks & various cargo
Threat 7s in some systems within 34* LYs (so far) of Merope - usually contain Thargoid Medusas & various cargo

*So far, we're still acquiring data, see Thargoid data gathering thread, & this post by Factabulous recently. We could still find thr 6 & 7s further out (7 more likely as they haven't been mapped as much).

The only legit English copy of this guide can be found there: http://teabaggers.bplaced.net/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=267

As for this thread, I consider it copyright infringement, and thus a report has been filed.

Which we can't access without creating an account, I really can't see what your problem was with leaving the information in your original post in the 1st place, or allowing other people (e.g Reaper) to evolve it in this forum, & he's given you credit!
Plus the rest of what Reaper & sirrus tamus said.
 
Last edited:
I still wish we had the ability to save "custom filter groups" in the Nav panel instead of having to manually go in and select each and every one every time.

Would make it a hell of a lot easier for certain activities, at least.
 
Top Bottom