Elite Dangerous makes space travel possible for all, albeit in a video game. Understandably, interstellar travel requires plenty of fuel, and refilling the tanks isn’t as easy as heading to the nearest station.
Enter the Fuel Scoop, an internal upgrade to your ship that can siphon energy from stars. Fuel scooping isn’t a simple affair, and there are risks. However, if you know what you’re doing, you can keep your ship going for free.
How to Use the Fuel Scoop
The Fuel Scoop is straightforward to use, as the principle is simply to fly near a star. Assuming it’s a star you can scoop fuel from, here’s what might happen:
- Approach the star slowly with your Fuel Scoop enabled.
- Wait for the scoop to activate before slowing down to 30 kilometers per second.
- Wait in supercruise around the star’s corona.
- Your primary fuel tank should be refilling.
- Wait until the rate is at zero and you hear a loud clunk.
- Once your fuel tank is full, you can leave. Take care not to overheat.
As you’re refueling, make sure to face the star, as this will let you increase the scooping rate. Overdoing this can be dangerous, however.
Getting closer to the star’s corona increases the rate as well. If you notice the rate dropping, you’re probably flying away from the star. Keep an eye on the angle you’re traveling in to avoid such deviations.
Also, keep in mind that using a Fuel Scoop doesn’t refill your reservoir tank, and the fuel gathered from stars isn’t available for sale either.
While using the Fuel Scoop sounds easy, ignoring the danger can easily lead to damage. We’ll discuss the risks in the next section.
The stars you can scoop for fuel from are:
The others, such as Neutron or S-type stars, are non-scoopable.
Fuel Scooping Dangers
When your ship gets too close to the star, overheating becomes inevitable. There’s a heat gauge to help you avoid this danger, but the heat gauge can go beyond 100% as well.
Getting to 100% heat isn’t dangerous by itself, as damage to your ship only starts occurring past 150%. However, if you realize this too late, you might not make it out of orbit. It takes a while to get to safe distances where heat isn’t an issue.
As you’re at zero throttle while scooping, you’ll most likely not survive an enemy attack. Slow travel makes Fuel Scooping risky, as you need speed to avoid attacks.
Fuel Scoop Ratings
Fuel Scoops come in various classes and ratings. Classes range from Class 1 to 4, and ratings E to A. Rating is more important than class, as highly-rated scoops of lower class can outperform higher classes with lower ratings.
Free Fuel, Why Not?
Instead of finding a station to refuel from, using a Fuel Scoop saves money, and you can refuel so long as a compatible star is nearby. While doing so can be risky, practicing can help minimize potential risks.
Have you ever died from using a Fuel Scoop? Do you think Fuel Scooping is dangerous? Let us know in the comments below.