Elite Dangerous: How to Scan Nav Beacons

Learn how to scan Nav Beacons and why you should seek them out in Elite Dangerous.
Image by Frontier Developments

Nav Beacons can be confusing if you’re new to Elite Dangerous since they appear under a slightly different name in different parts of the UI. This depends on whether you are reading the point of interest or the actual object. Let’s clear the confusion and show you how to scan Nav Beacons in Elite Dangerous.

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How to Scan Nav Beacons in Elite Dangerous

The first step to scanning one is finding it. This can be done through the Navigation panel where they’ll appear as Nav Beacons. You can then lock onto a Nav Beacon, fly to it, and drop in when you are within the appropriate distance.

Now, the main distinction to make is that Nav Beacon is the Point-of-Interest listing. The orange visual aid saying Nav Beacon is just its local area on the map. The actual object will appear in the Contact tab as “the navigation beacon”. This can cause some confusion when dropping into the beacon’s area. All you need to do is access the Contacts section, select the navigation beacon object, and face the object from an acceptable distance.

As you are facing it there will be a small spinning circle in the lower left which will update your navigation and you just have to reach it. Once you’re close enough, your sensors will automatically begin to scan it for around ten seconds. A notification and an audio cue will confirm the scan once it’s done.

What Does Scanning Nav Beacons Do in Elite Dangerous?

The neat thing about Nav Beacons is that scanning them will reveal all unexplored locations within their system. Furthermore, specific mission objectives as well as import and export data will be provided for all local ports and Fleet Carriers. Therefore, they’re valuable POI and great sources of intel.

With that, you now know how to scan Nav Beacons in Elite Dangerous. can get confusing due to their dual name in the UI. One is a POI and the other is the actual object. For more clarifications, guides, and tips, check out our Elite Dangerous guides hub.

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From playing RPGs and dungeon mastering for his D&D group to reading novels and scribbling about his fantasy setting, Gordan is a full-time nerd and devoted writer for GameSkinny. He loves to overshare and discuss literature, music, animation, and trees with fellow geeks. Also, he may or may not cook too much food for his friends. Cholesterol is one hell of a drug.