On Tuesday, 17th of January, the developer Dav Stott (Lead Server Developer) has been invited by Edward Lewis (Senior Community Content Manager) in order to answer the community’s questions regarding Background simulation and instances on Elite: Dangerous

Here are the information I’ve gathered for you during this Q/A session.


  • Minor faction states may appear without the action of the players, such as Famine due to lack of food;
  • Having a planetary base for a minor faction opens the door to more attacks against it;
  • It is not possible to know exactly where a minor faction will extend once the state of expansion has been reached. It is in a bubble of 20AL around the expansion, the simulation will take into account all the surrounding systems and create a queue with this data in order to decide which extends where first on a system. First come, first served;
  • When a minor faction is eligible for a state change, the latter goes into the queue with the other data and appears as « Pending » in game. Some states have more weight than others and therefore different priorities. For example, an expansion will be stronger than a state of economic boom and the latter will last less longer. Developers are considering to add new information for the players to better understand these states;
  • Governments of Criminal, Authoritarian, Social and Corporations factions trigger different « wars »;
    • War : Two minor factions, one already in place on the system and the other just settled, are in conflict.
    • Civil War : Two minor factions of the same system are in conflict.
    • Election : Two minor factions with the same type of government are in peaceful conflict.
  • Every day, around 1Gb of data are generated;


  • The tick is the time when the background simulation will refresh the data and states. There is no exact time when it happens, (Usually it’s around 6pm GMT);
  • Markets are not influenced by this tick and are updated every 5 to 15 minutes depending on their needs, exports, imports, illegal commoditites, governments, factions, systems states;
  • Apparently, Frontier is working on visual and audio changes according to the states of minor factions and stations. Nothing concrete to announce at the moment;
  • The security systems can change according to the states and factions that govern them. Trading between systems of different securities is rather lucrative;
  • The factions can not fall into a state of retreat (occured when a faction is low influence) if there are only 4 factions left on the system; In order to avoid depopulation of the system;
  • There are planetary bases and populations that have not yet been discovered in the galaxy! ;
  • Statistics, 1/3 of the systems have changed their allegiance since the launch of the game;
  • Yes, the conflict zones remain active some time after the declaration of a ceasefire. It takes time for the population to learn about it and stop the wars;
  • The states of the minor factions influence the market, for example a famine will allow selling of foods at a better price but also lower the prices on weapons, an economic boom will boost the market and sales, … the rare commodities do not influence the market;
  • The stations produce the commodities, if there is little convenience, it is because a pilot has already bought a lot of it, or that the system does not produce enough (depending on its population);
  • Yes, the jump between two systems is a loading screen;
  • Different connection errors and their causes. Do not modify your port (intentionally not noted here) because Frontier is working to improve this problem:
    • Matchmaking Server – Port UDP, Instance issues
    • Adjudication Server – Latency, Missions
    • Transaction Server – Port TCP, Can occur with a change of state (when you pop into a system for example)
    • Authentication Sever – Port TCP, communication issues machine ↔ server
  • The instances are a gigantic task right now, and for a while thanks to the cooperation of various groups of players (notably the Fuel Rats). An improvement was made on Tuesday 17 January but more powerful ones will follow. Each player creates his own instance around him, but the server merges those instances when one player passes next to another. If you have instances issues when you play, press CTRL + ALT + L to send a report to Frontier. Data are collected with this tool and are carefully analysed in order to improve the instances.
  • Squads are the best way currently to join the same instance as a person. This system forces all instance barriers.

Thanks for reading our article. I look forward to reading your comments.

See you later on @RemlokEN or on Remlok Industries!