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How do I find out my current oxygen level in Elite Dangerous? I've looked at every panel in my craft, but nothing obvious jumps out.

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You don't actually have an oxygen level in Elite: Dangerous. Instead you have a timer that triggers when your canopy is destroyed and counts down to 0. The length of timer is determined by the quality of the Life Support unit you have installed.

The default length of time is 5 minutes, which can be increased to 7.5, 10, 15 or 25 minutes. When you next dock at a station with an Outfitting section, take a look at the Life Support options that are available.

It's worth considering how much air you have available when running combat missions, as you'll die if you don't make it back to a station in time. Note that you don't have to dock with the larger stations (Coriolis, Orbis or Ocellus) you just need to make it inside.

It's also worth adding that your Life Support is (by default) one of the first systems that shuts down when you run out of power. So, if you try to shoot something and find that all of a sudden you're struggling for breath, fit a bigger power supply or look at prioritising your power-draining modules.

  • The oxygen depletion timer also starts at any time that Life Support is powered down or disabled - not just by power prioritization. This can be done manually, caused by module malfunction/destruction, or due to (extreme) fuel depletion. – Iszi Jan 16 '17 at 16:48
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I have not played in a few months but when I last played the only time the countdown timer appears is when your cockpit is shattered or your life support is turned off or disabled.

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    It's also worth potentially noting that as long as your life support system is active and your canopy is in-tact, your cabin will stay pressurized indefinitely, and you will have 5:00, 7:30, 10:00, 15:00, or 25:00 of emergency oxygen, depending on the class of life support systems. – Unionhawk Feb 4 '16 at 16:31
  • I agree with this answer, just wanted to mention you should be able to trigger the oxygen alert by powering down the Life Support module I think, unable to test at the moment though – Dpeif Feb 4 '16 at 19:32
  • @Unionhawk I don't believe that statement is accurate. For example, if you manually disable life support for 2 minutes, you're not going to get that 2 minutes of oxygen back until you return to a station. – Iszi Jan 16 '17 at 16:52
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The Life Support module is capable of keeping your ship full of breathable air so long as it has power and there is no compromise in containment (e.g.: breach of Cockpit Canopy). So, under most conditions, you should not need to worry about how much oxygen you have.

However, there are of course situations where your reserve oxygen does come into play.

When Reserve Oxygen is Important

Breach of Cockpit Canopy or Destruction of Life Support Module

This generally only happens during combat, if the enemy has been especially diligent in focusing fire on the Cockpit Canopy or Life Support. However, it could possibly occur during other mishaps involving collisions with environmental objects.

If either of these modules fail, your reserve oxygen will be gradually depleted until you either enter an area with a breathable atmosphere (e.g.: interior of a large station) or repair the compromised module(s).

Your Cockpit Canopy must be repaired at a facility. For Life Support, you may be able to use the Reboot/Repair function (under the Functions section of the right-side panel in your cockpit) to get it back up and running. This may take several attempts.

Life Support Module Disabled

There are a few ways this can happen. Most of them are self-recoverable, but some are not. Until you get Life Support turned back on, your reserve oxygen will slowly be depleted.

  1. Disabled manually in the Modules panel.
    Really, what were you thinking? Turn it back on!

  2. Disabled automatically due to power management settings and low power conditions.
    Best way to avoid this is by keeping Life Support at Priority 1 and set everything else separate. However, if you do encounter this issue, you generally have two options.

    • Increase the priority setting for Life Support (make the number lower) until it turns on. If Life Support is already at Priority 1 and it still isn't coming on, or you have your own reasons for not making it the top priority, move to the next step.
    • Retract Hardpoints and/or disable other modules until Life Support turns on.
  3. Disabled due to fuel shortage.
    In cases of extreme fuel shortage, all of your ship's modules will shut down. You will be left stranded in space, able to do practically nothing, unless someone comes by to refuel you. Fortunately, we have the Fuel Rats for just a situation. If your fuel is completely out, and your Life Support timer has started, make note of your location and exit the game immediately. Then, follow the instructions on the Fuel Rats website to get help.

Finding Out How Much Reserve Oxygen You Have

The amount of reserve oxygen you have available is affected by two things:

  1. The quality of Life Support module you have installed.
    You can see this in the Modules section of the right-side panel in your cockpit. On the Life Support line, there should be a number indicating the size of the module (which will be standard for your ship) and a letter indicating the class. Below are the Life Support module classes, and the amount of reserve oxygen available for each - this is the same regardless of what size module you have.

    • A: 25 minutes
    • B: 15 minutes
    • C: 10 minutes
    • D: 7.5 minutes
    • E: 5 minutes
  2. How much reserve oxygen you've used since you last docked.
    Every time you dock, your reserve oxygen is refilled. This is the only time your reserve oxygen refills. If you haven't encountered any of the situations listed in "When Reserve Oxygen is Important" since the last time you docked, then you should have the maximum capacity of your Life Support module (listed above) remaining. If you're not sure, the only way to tell is to manually disable Life Support and observe the timer - of course, this will use up a few seconds of reserve oxygen (until you turn Life Support back on) in the process.

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