The Complete Background Simulation Guide

Nicou   0   BGS, Simulation 12 December 2018

This post is also available in: Français (French)

Localized by Larmakosa

The Background Simulation is a very fragile and hard to master mechanic. This guide will help you understand some of the game information in order to better understand the why and wherefores of missions, how it fosters influences, system states, minor factions. Everything is tied together, Marty!

All right, still with me? Administrator, let’s go!



The BGS, which stands for “Background Simulation“, relies on many factors using all the same simulation, whether you’re on PC or Consoles.

We’re all in the same galactic simulation. Maybe you’re unaware of it, but your daily actions affect this simulation: your combat bonds, trading, the ground base you attack or the ship you’ve just destroyed have more or less pulled some strings that slightly change the balance of powers, and made the galaxy alive. The legend has it that even the colour of your socks might be paramount!… Ok, no, maybe not.

This system relies on the following functionalities:

  • Influences
  • States
  • Missions and actions
  • The colour of your socks (Enough with that joke already!!)

These functionalities make the human civilization go round and change little by little the face of our universe. We will therefore go over each of these points, and dive further into the details as we go.

Back to summary


Influences and governments

Influences indicate the representation of a minor faction in a system. They decrease and increase according the players actions in a given system.

There are three ways to increase the influences of minor factions, and the precise percentages are available in the system map, details tab. You will also find information about their types of government.

All the factions percentages once added equals 100% ; the higher the percentage of a faction, the more powerful it is, and the more likely it will control the system. if a faction loses influence, the others will gain that lost influence.

For them to change, it’s very simple; actions have to be made in the system:

  • Fight and gain bounties/bonds;
  • Trade with spaceports;
  • Sell exporation data;
  • Do missions;
  • Destroy civil or police ships…

Systems will change power allegiances, economies and securities because of/thanks to the players actions (and in a much lesser way, those of the NPCs).

Note that the higher a system population is, the more difficult and the slower it is to change its influences.Whereas a population of approx. 20.000 inhabitants is easy to shift, administering 1.000.000 inhabitants is a completely different story.

There are 12 types governments which I will list from more common to less common.

Each brings their own gameplay style:

  • Corporation – Companies aiming profits, they usually have a very high security and low population. Tobacco is illegal.
  • Democracy – Citizens are often happy thanks to their liberties and good security. No war, but elections.
  • Dictatorship – Ships can be destroyed with the police actively looking for you. Although security is pretty high, smugglers can often be found bending the system strict rules. Weapons and drugs are legal.
  • Cooperative – A group of low population working together to a common goal. Security is weak and pirates are numerous.
  • Communist – The population shares all its means of production and exchange. They distribute wealth to each according to his/her need and everyone is the equal of the other (in theory). The sales of personal weapons and battle weapons is common.
  • Confederacy – A union of governments helping each other for a mutual benefit. States can change quickly.
  • Feudal – Often a multitude of groups fighting for more power. They look like anarchy but have bounties on outlaws. Security is nonetheless low.
  • Anarchy – If someone wants to kill you, he will try to. End of story. No laws, no master.
  • Patronage – The people puts its government above everything else and will help it prosper as much as possible.
  • Imperial – Never seen in game
  • Theocracy – A low security group , often protected by a superpower. They believe in a higher purpose.
  • Prison Colony – High security
  • Colony – Land base newly acquired. I feel like the state changes a bit later once an economy is decided.

Back to summary

Missions and actions

As explained earlier, players missions and actions in systems will shift the balance of influences. Here’s how I define those terms:

  • Mission: doing missions for a faction (Duh !)
  • Action: trading, bounty hunting, smuggling, exploring… In short, everything else.

There are many different categories of missions in Elite: Dangerous. With this influence, you can change the course of history and manipulate the background simulation of the game for your systme and those surrounding it. Doing missions is the main part of the BGS, this is how you may be able to get your own station.

Here are their details:

Type de missionFaction donnanteFaction ciblée
Livraison de nourriture
Livraison de médicaments
Livraison d'armes
Livraison de bio-déchets
Essor Économique ↑
Famine ↓
Épidémie ↓
Loi martiale ↓
Épidémie ↓
Essor Économique ↑
Famine ↓
Épidémie ↓
Émeutes ↓
Épidémie ↑
Contrebande d'armes
Faillite ↓
Loi martiale ↓
Faillite ↑
Loi martiale ↑
Massacre surface
Assaut de base
Chasse à la Prime
Loi martiale ↓
Loi martiale ↓
Loi martiale ↓
Émeutes ↓
Loi martiale ↑
Famine ↓
Famine ↓ / Émeutes ↑
Loi martiale ↑
Donation crédits
Donation nourriture
Donation médicaments
Donation armes
Essor Économique ↑
Famine ↓
Épidémie ↓
Émeutes ↓
MinageEssor Économique ↑
TourismeLogique selon les passagers (Docteur = Épidémie ↓)

The different changes of states by tourists have been worked out by Hansow, see spoiler.


And finally, there are the players actions:

  • Missions – As detailed below
  • Bounty Hunting – Selling your bounties to a faction owned station raises this faction influence  and the system security level, which will make police force appears more often and wanted ship less often. Civil Unrest ↓ / Lockdown ↓
  • Trading – Selling your commodities to a faction owned station raises this faction influence  . Commodity trading, famine ↓ / Medecine trading, outbreak ↓, …
  • Smuggling – Selling your illegal commodities to a faction owned station’s black market lowers this faction influence . Bust ↓
  • Exploration – Selling  your exploration data to a faction owned station raises this faction’s influence . Boom ↑
  • Security force murders – Destroying system authority vessels lowers the influence of the faction controling the system and its security level. Lockdown ↑
  • Civilian murders – Destroying civilian ships of the faction controlling the system lowers its influence and its security level. Civil Unrest ↑

Back to summary


Human civilized space is a bubble of roughly 20.000 systems.  Each of these systems shelters multiple minor factions. These minor factions have an influence on their systems. Depending on these influences variations, different states can appear, adding different bonuses or means to the systems.

One state per faction per system

They are split in several categories:

  • Economic state – reflect a system’s wealth.
  • Security state – reflects a system’s security.
  • Conflict – based on the systems’ influences, it represents the assets of each factions.
  • Movement – based on influence and a new happiness value, this state will determine a faction movement between systems.
  • Other – Some other states like the Thargoids Incursions, Expansions or the Outbreaks

The currently known states are the following:

  • Lockdown – When a faction is under Lockdown, the security level of the system it controls raises temporarily and the system wealth lowers temporarily. Bounty hunting may shorten the Lockdown period.
  • Boom – It’s usually the result of trading benefits and concluded commercial contracts. When a faction is going to the Boom state, the system’s wealth it controls temporarily increases and the missions impacts are doubled.
  • Bust – When a faction is experiencing a bust, the wealth of the system is temporarily decreased and its influence is lowered temporarily. Commercial actions like Trading can’t help as long as bust is active.
  • Civil War – Civil War happens when factions are competing for the control of stations. When a faction is involved in a civil war, its economical, security and happiness levels are reduced temporarily.
  • Civil Unrest – Civil unrest happens because of an illegal activity. When a faction is hit by Civil unrest, the happiness and wealth levels in its system temporarily decrease.
  • Famine – When a faction suffers from Famine, happiness level in its system decrease temporarily. Combat activities have no effect on influence when Famine is active. Trading food commodities can contribute to end famine.
  • Outbreak – When a faction is struck with an outbreak, the happiness level in its system is lowered temporarily. Combat activity has no effect on the influence as long as an outbreak is ongoing. Medicine commodities trading mission can contribute in ending the outbreak.
  • Election – Elections happen when two factions with the same political structure solve an influence and ownership conflict within a system ; like two democracies.
  • War – Wars happen when a faction invade a system controlled by another faction. As long as the conflict lasts, happiness, wealth and security levels are decreased.  Fighting activities related to the two factions will determine the outcome of the conflict. If none of the two factions can dominate the other, the war ends on a ceasefire.
  • Expansion – Expansions happen when a faction has successfully maintained a certain level of influence (75%) over a happy population for a set duration of time. Expansion is costly. So, when a faction is expanding, wealth and development levels of the system it comes from are temporarily decreased. If you’re aiming at an expansion in a system you’re not in control of, a conflict with the controlling faction will start at 60%.
  • Retreat – A faction is considered in retreat if its influence withing a system falls below a certain level (2.5%). If the faction influence remains weak for 5 days total, it must completely leave the system. On the contrary, if that faction can increase its influence level, it can stay in the system.
  • Civil Liberty – The faction knows a time of stability within its system, generating a general happiness in the local population. Bounty hunting can contribute to maintain a time of civil liberty.
  • Investment – The faction knows a prosperous economic time within its system, generating a general happiness in the local population. Trading can help sustaining a time of investment.
  • Incursion – Thargoids are attacking the system, players will have to counter the threat by helping with special missions and destroying Thargoids fleets in USS and AX combat zones. If the fighters can’t hold the waves of Thargoids, the system will fall into Infestation.

Economy and Security

  • For Economic and Security states:
    • Security States – represented by a cursor on a bar, it changes states when it moves to the left or to the right.
    • Economic States – represented by a cursor on a bar, it changes states when it moves to the left or to the right.
    • You will find this information in the system (right) panel, and also in the Allegiance page in the Squadron that we’ll talk about next week.
  • Every action of commanders in game, missions, scenarios, … influence Economic and Security States.
  • Each subdivision of the bar represents different states and when the cursor move over a zone, the faction will switch to that state.
    • At the center, it’s “None” or “No current state”
    • When the economic state cursor has moved to the right, the faction can enter a Boom and then an investment state. The other end of the bar is for Bust and Famine.
    • Security bar has the Lockdown and Civil Unrest and a new state called Civil Liberty. Civil Liberty represents a time of freedom and security of the faction population.

These states have a delay before they’re triggered, a minimum and maximum duration and a refresh indicating that this state can not be reproduced before X days.

ÉtatMise en placeTemps minimumTemps maximumRafraîchissement
Guerre civile1771
Essor financier13283
Loi Martiale13141

Finally, they have priorities. This means if two states are triggered at the same time, they will prioritize themselves in the following order:

  1. Conflicts – War, Civil War, Election // Freezes influence of the involved factions, rounds have to be won over 7 days.
  2. Expansions – Expansion, Investment, Retreat // Based on Satisfaction of factions and their influence.
  3. Other – Boom, Bust, Famine, Outbreak, Lockdown, Civil Unrest

Retour au sommaire

Managing your minor faction

Administering your faction in game is a time-consuming activity. It’s even worse if you have to look around for information about the mechanics. Remlok Industries offers you some tips in order best manage your minor faction!

▲ 1. Settle in the good system

Keep in mind that the more citizen a system holds, the more difficult it will be to change influences. System with 10.000 citizens are easily shifted by one very active pilot, let’s say up to 50.000 citizens; beyond, a group of 3/5 active players will be necessary and probably a dozen for 1.000.000 inhabitants over several days to make things move. Don’t forget you are not the only pilot to support a minor faction and it’s as easy to raise a faction than it is to lower it.

For example, the Leesti system sees players activity explode every day! Find a rather quiet system to start your activity as an administrator. You can see the number of pilots (players) having set foot in that system in the information located at the bottom center of the station interface panel. If you are motivated, explore systems and take note of the number of pilots that went through them, of the  stations, of their government, economics and population in order to choose then the best system in which to thrive!

▲ 2. Observe your system and work on it

Once settled in a system, take note on a regular basis of the influence level of your minor faction. This way, you’ll be able to watch the evolution and the impact of your efforts, which is very motivating ! The best is to use an Excel sheet. You can even do graphs ! 🙂

Perform mission and activities for your faction in order to support it and increase its influence. Come back the next and assess the impact by writing down your activities. Don’t forget to check on your system State also, as well as the surface colonies.

If you work in group or non solo, you can manage way more populated system, bigger and even several systems! Different corporations of players are specializing in the BGS manipulation, like our faction Remlok Industries or Alliance of Statistics, Alliance Elite Diplomatic Corps, and others.

Influence and States of systems only change once per day, and even if there’s no precise time, it’s usually around 6:30pm GMT. Developers hate when we try to predict the tick time, so don’t predict the tick!


▲ 3. Conflicts

You have chosen a faction or you have got your own ? It’s not time to gain outposts, stations, planetary bases and other spaceports! For that, you will need to enter a conflict with other minor factions in order to capture their spaceports.

The goal is to balance influences between your faction and the faction you wish to get into a conflict with, so that they’re at the same level . If the rival faction’s influence is a bit low, don’t hesitate to do some missions for it in order to equalize your influences and therefore get into conflict, a state which should put “on hold” and arrive very soon.

Note that this requires an influence at a minimum of approx. 7%. If you’re unable to equalize the two factions, it’s because one of them is already in a conflict in a neighbouring system (20 LY), so wait a little.

  • Once war and conflict started, you have 3 days to realize as many combat missions as you can and destroy targets in conflict zones and gain a difference of 5% over the targeted faction. 3 days for the operation to be quick.
  • If it’s a civil war, the difference in influence at the end of the 3 days must be of at least 3% between the two factions.
  • If it’s an election, you will have to perform much trading and many missions to gain an advantage of 3%.

Once the results set, station will change of owner in favor of the winner.


▲ 4. Expansions

Now that you control the system thanks to your previous conflicts, you might want to expand to a new system.

In order to expand over another random system (within 20 LY maximum range without investment), you will need to raise your influence up to 75% no less, in that system.

This ratio will make you enter a state of expansion in order to expand your minor faction to a neighboring system. Don’t push to quickly to another expansion from that new system, wait to be well installed ; this decreases the influence on your originating system and reduce its hidden wealth score (which contributes to missions, influences, …).

It is possible to direct the expansion, it’s not totally random. 7 factions maximum can be placed in a system, the game will determine the closest system with the fewest factions to settle you. Keep the influences in the neigbouring systems low (even if your systems are part of them) while the desired system will have high or unchanged influences.

Congratulations, you’ve successfully expanded your faction influence to another system! You are now at the bottom of the scale and you will have to work on the BGS to climb it and claim that system as yours. Start conflicts with the other factions for that.


▲ 4. Management

It’s up to you manage the influence in your systems by doing missions, trading without going into a boom, destroy ships from this or that faction or manually start wars to avoid certain annoying states like economic boom which generally increases the influence too much.

It’s more interesting to keep your influence under control, at the top of the ranking but not too high. This will bring you the benefits of being able to react quickly to changes on the system. If you want to conquer the other spaceports of the system, it will be necessary to bring your influence to the same level as the minor factions concerned managing these other airports.

Some BGS tips & tricks:

  • Trading: 700Cr / unit is excellent, selling a unit at 2000Cr profit / unit is as effective as selling at 700Cr / unit. For a Type 9, 180/250 units of the same product is the best tonnage possible. Selling three to four different products at the time of sale is much more effective than selling a single product. Double effect during Booms.
  • Negative Trading: Smuggling, selling on the black market if available and trading at a loss (negative profit) on the station of a faction decreases the influence of this faction.
  • Assassination: Look for an installation own by a faction, a ship of this faction will almost always appear with each logout/login. No powerful ATR to counter us for a quick and easy effect.
  • Retreat: 1 + 6 days, must be under 2.5% on the 6th tick. The best tip is to miss VIP passenger transport missions by damaging your ship the last days of the state. You can also gather missions (20max) the tick before if it has 24h before Fail. Then accept that you failed the mission to decrease INF.
  • Bounty Hunting: It’s more interesting to make 200k bounty by 200k bounty rather than 2M in one go by a factor of 10 point of BGS values. At Remlok Industries we try to sell the bounties once we reach 700k max whenever possible in operation.
  • Missions: Prefer missions with ++++ and +++++ instead of lower INF.
  • Expansion: Since the Update Chapter 4: 5d Pending + 3d to 7d Active. Missions help to shorten Active Time

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