I always found it rather odd that just sitting in a station for too long was a death sentence. Can anyone give me good in-world reasoning behind the rule? I understand the game design reason, but I really don't get why it's explained like that in the game.

  • Loitering is not sitting in a station to long. Loitering is taking off from the pad and then sitting there basically blocking the entrance and exit for every ship that wants to enter/exit the station.
    – Lyrion
    Aug 1, 2018 at 13:00
  • Still, how is that a death sentence? Normally when I get blown up I'm stuck due to my dumb ass missing the mail slot.
    – Twinleaf
    Aug 1, 2018 at 16:57
  • @Twinleaf if you are stuck in the mail slot, try lowering your landing gear fully and then folding it back up. That usually solves the issue.
    – Eric
    Aug 2, 2018 at 8:24

4 Answers 4


I'm not aware of an explanation for it in the text of the game, but I think the logic is there. It's not an analog to like, blocking the entrance to a parking lot. It's probably more like trying to blockade a bay city, or yelling "bomb" in an airport. Stations are cities, economic centers and military bases all rolled into one, and there's a lot that makes them vulnerable to aggression. "Loitering," or interfering in any small way with the traffic or operation of regular station activities by misusing your armed spaceship can be treated as hostile, even terroristic activity if it means the station is less able to defend itself.

Perhaps in-universe this lesson was learned early when some supposedly harmless, innocent citizen floated inside the entrance and blocked fighters while his pirate buddies buzzed the station and attacked civilians.

  • That really makes a lot of sense actually. Stations really are just huge cities in space so I get why they'd defend them against any percieved threat!
    – Twinleaf
    Aug 1, 2018 at 20:46

It's a harsh and unforgiving galaxy where death isn't very permanent. Loitering inside a station blocks the entrance or a landing pad, impeding commerce. Stations live on imports and exports and a blockade would kill residents. The easiest way to clear that blockage and keep commerce flowing is to destroy the ship that's in the way.

I think the game design reason is to help make stations a relatively safe place for "innocent" players, to make it harder to blockade stations, and to give you an automatic escape if you get stuck in some part of the station (like the rack around the slot).

Also, the voice message in stations is pretty funny and really sets a nice "harsh galaxy" vibe.

  • What do you mean by death not being permanent? I don't think I've seen any in-lore explanation about why that is. Appreciate the detailed answer though!
    – Twinleaf
    Aug 1, 2018 at 20:43
  • I don’t know of any in-lore explanation, but no matter where or how you die, you’re quickly resurrected. Aug 2, 2018 at 15:01

I don't think I've ever seen an in-world reason for the penalty for loitering. It seems to be designed out-of-game to prevent griefing of the landing areas (by blocking access to them).

The speeding penalties are the same way.

  • speeding doesn't accrue a penalty - speeding and then colliding inside a station safe zone accrues a penalty, speeding and cause another pilot's destruction inside the safe zone gets the death penalty. May 29, 2020 at 10:19

Lore-wise, it's not a death sentence. In fact, nobody ever really dies in Elite: Dangerous. So they're really not killing you, they're just getting you out of the way and making you pay your deductible. Still feels a little harsh, but it's not as bleak as it appears.

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