What determines whether or not System Data is available for a particular planetary system via the galaxy map? Is it related to the population or status of the system in some way? The number of pilots who have visited it?

Most of the information I could find is a lot of player speculation, and not verifiable. Is there any rule or logic to why System Data is only available for some planetary systems?

  • What do you mean by "available"? Commentary in the thread you linked indicates that data can be purchased under some (uncertain) circumstances. Is that what you're referring to, or are you asking about having it directly accessible (no special action - e.g. "purchase" - necessary) in the Galaxy Map? System maps are definitely accessible for any system you've "honked" yourself, in my experience.
    – Iszi
    Aug 9, 2016 at 14:37
  • @Iszi by available i mean purchase-able, or freely visible, from the galaxy map. some systems just have a red icon for the system data, with no option to purchase. the purchase cost is so low that i dont mind paying for all of them to avoid the old jump-n-honk routine, but some are just unavailable.
    – Dpeif
    Aug 9, 2016 at 14:54
  • In my experience, it seems that system data may be available (e.g.: pre-installed to the nav computer) for some populated systems even if you've never been there. I've yet to find out what criteria a system must meet for this, though. To be able to purchase data that you don't have for a system, you need to find a station with Universal Cartographics services that is within 20 Ly of the system you want data for.
    – Iszi
    Jan 16, 2017 at 18:05

1 Answer 1


When you start in Elite, your ship's nav computer comes pre-loaded with the system data for some systems. I can't find an official statement for this, but the community consensus seems to be most systems with over 1 million in population are pre-loaded (there are exceptions).

For the rest of the systems, you have to visit yourself to get the system map (and other data).

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