Centre of the Galaxy achievement in Elite: Dangerous

Centre of the Galaxy

Visit Sagittarius A

Centre of the Galaxy+0.3
3 guidesOnline Game ModeSingle PlayerCooperative

How to unlock the Centre of the Galaxy achievement

  • Lurking LawyerLurking Lawyer547,902
    21 Oct 2015 28 Oct 2015 27 Apr 2017
    50 0 12
    EDIT - 27/04/17: The game has changed a lot in the 18 months since I wrote the original solution. Everything below still holds good but it's no longer quite such an ordeal to get to Sag A*. Make no mistake - it's still a slog - but with the advent of Engineers it has become less so.

    Before embarking on the trip, it's worth spending the time to visit Felicity Farseer, increase your relationship with her and then collect the necessary commodities to engineer your Frame Shift Drive to increase range. It's possible to see a jump range north of 50Lys on a stripped out Asp Explorer or Anaconda, and the increased jump range obviously reduced the number of jumps it will take you to get to the centre of the galaxy.

    Since update 2.1 (I think) the target for your next jump when you jump into a system will always be behind the star. This means that with a high level fuel scoop you can save even more time by skimming close to the star as you head towards the next jump point and top off your tank.

    Route planning now also allows you to specifically set a route only using certain star types. If you select only KGBFOAM stars, you are guaranteed never to jump into a system with an unscoopable star and so the prospect of running out of fuel is virtually removed.

    --------

    I'm afraid there's no quick or easy way to get this - however you cut it, you're in for a 26,000 light year slog to the supermassive black hole at the centre of the galaxy. And then the same again to make the trip back, if you want to cash in your credits and explorer progress!

    A few tips to assist in the process:

    1. Pick a ship which has a good jump range - ideally 30LY+. The Asp and the Diamondback Explorer seem to be the most common choices, but they're by no means the only ships you can use.

    2. The two most important items (at least as far as I'm concerned) are A-class frame shift drive and fuel scoop of the largest class you can afford and fit. I made the trip in an Asp and fitted a 6A FSD and a 5A fuel scoop. You're going to be scooping a LOT of fuel while you're out, so the faster the rate you scoop at, the less time you'll spend waiting to refill your tanks.

    3. Once you're out of the bubble of colonised space, you won't need weapons. Save yourself the weight and remove them. Shields are optional. I fitted a D class shield unit to minimise weight but to give me the comfort of having at least something in the way of shields. Similarly, minimise weight by fitting class D units for all other systems, like life support, power distributor and so forth.

    4. I also fitted extra fuel tanks, but they're not a necessity. Fuelling gets very repetitive though, so you might save yourself some frustration by fitting extra capacity and so meaning you can jump further between scoopings.

    5. Fitting an Advanced Discovery Scanner and a Detailed Surface Scanner is highly advisable. If you're going to spend a month getting there and back, you might as well get the credits (and the progress in Explorer ranking) by scanning as you go.

    6. You may also want to fit a couple of automated field maintenance units. Your ship systems will gradually degrade as you travel - the AMFUs will help keep them operable. Note: you can't use them to repair hull damage, your power plant or cracks to your canopy. If you do pick up canopy cracks, don't worry too much - they look like trouble but as long as you avoid further mishaps, you should be fine. I did the last 16,000 LYs of my trip home with a very badly cracked canopy after an unfortunate mishap with a neutron star..... It didn't get any worse after the initial incident.

    EDIT: Following the 1.5 update, canopies are now repairable, but AMFUs still won't be of any help if you're unfortunate enough to get a canopy breach before you get a chance to repair it. Thanks to bmlortz for pointing this out.

    7. Avoid the aforesaid hull damage and canopy cracks by always ALWAYS zeroing your throttle after the FSD engages. This means you drop out of Witchspace effectively stationery, whereas if you don't you quickly accelerate - and if you're not paying attention, that is likely to be straight into the gravity well of the star you emerge next to. Being forcibly yanked out of SC will damage your ship and its systems.

    8. The closer you get to the core, the more difficult it becomes to plot a course of more than a few jumps in the Galactic Map. There seems to be a trick to plotting longer routes using near exact multiples of your current maximum jump range, but it's generally easier to limit yourself to routes of 3-5 jumps once you get to within a few thousand LYs of the core. If it doesn't plot a route within 15 seconds or so, it generally won't do so at all or will take an absolute eternity. While the route plotter is working, the game slows down and becomes very jerky indeed.

    9. Route plotting can be made easier by travelling above or beyond the plane of the galaxy. In the Galactic Map, press X to toggle between moving in the X and Y plane (left, right, forwards, backwards) and the Z plane (up and down). Travelling above or below also increases the chances of getting First Discovered status in systems, which increases the payout.

    10. There are large fields of above and below the core of neutron stars and black holes. They're very good for generating credits and explorer progress but you do need to be VERY careful when jumping into a system which has one or other of those as the main star because you'll take a lot of damage when arriving in the system if you get too close, and you tend to emerge very close to them - hence the advice above to always zero your throttle.

    11. In the Galactic Map, change the default setting which shows all stars so that it only shows you stars from classes K, G, B, F, O, A and M. These are stars that you can scoop for fuel.

    12. Also ensure that your map is set to plot Fastest Routes. If you find yourself short of fuel with no stars in range, try swapping to Most Economic Route. The longer the jump, the proportionately more fuel you use i.e. one 30LY jump uses a lot more fuel than 3 10 LY jumps. You may be able to reach a star using more shorter jumps even if you can't do it with one long one.

    With an Asp with an average jump range of 32-33 LY (since range varies according to how much fuel you're carrying), it took me around two weeks doing a couple of hours each day. Admittedly, for about 2/3rds of the trip I was doing a reasonable amount of scanning in each system, so it need not take that long.

    I averaged about 2,000LY per hour on the way back, when I wasn't really hanging around to scan. If you limited yourself to a system scan as you jump into the system and didn't stop to detail scan anything, you could probably reach the core in maybe 10-12 hours. For me, that rather misses the point of the trip though - it's as much about the journey and what you see along the way as reaching the destination.

    Depending on how much you scan, you'll likely net a minimum of 20M credits on your return - more if you're travelling through areas with more First Discovereds. My data sold for around 28M credits. It would have been much higher had I stopped to scan the neutron fields on the way home. As it was, I was bored by then and just wanted to get back to civilisation so didn't bother detailed scanning at all on the way back.

    As a minimum, you should always scan on entering a system. It's then worth having a look at the system map to see whether there are things like Earth-like planets, water worlds, neutron stars or black holes that are worth travelling to and doing a detailed scan - they are all relatively high value. Stars, gas giants and high metal content worlds don't generate much so unless you can scan them from the system entry point, I tend not to bother.

    Good luck, Commander! It will get very grindy, and you'll probably tire of scanning things once the novelty wears off - it certainly did for me! - but it's worth the trip.

    Oh, and don't do what I did - get a bit distracted on arriving at Sagittarius A*, get too close to the black hole and so dragged out of super cruise, and then get so hot on trying to jump out that hull temperature reached 250 and I lost 30% hull integrity in one go. Doh!

    Guide not helping? View 2 more guides for this achievement.

    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    PaddyBaptisteFor speeding up route planning I filtered the stars to only show K, G, B, F, O, A and Non sequence. (Switch of M class as well, there are far too many!) This allowed me to plot 1000ly routes even when in the centre. might take 60 seconds to plot but saves lots of frustration opening the Galaxy map and plotting.
    Also, if you switch of flight assist while stationary, functions panel on the right, it will automatically cut the throttle so you emerge from witchspace and slow down to 30km\s straight away.
    Posted by PaddyBaptiste on 08 Feb 17 at 08:48
    Thanks for all the advice, I'm about to head out with a Diamondback Explorer with a range of 61.73ly - a heat sink (+reloads), a 4A Fuel Scoop, an AFMU (+reloads) and full scanners.

    I'm gonna pop to W Ursa, then Colonia, then Sagittarius smile
    Posted on 06 Apr 18 at 18:19
    I just wanted to throw out another great tip: FSD Injection Synthesis boosts

    All you need to get single boosts of 25, 50 and 100% is a few easily sourced raw materials, they are weightless so it's a great little trick to carry with you out there.

    For a 25% boost (improving a 60ly jump range to 75ly) only requires 1 unit of Carbon, Vanadium and Germanium - you could go to Maca or Junga and get a whole load of all of these on one planet.

    For a 100% boost you'd need some rarer materials - Polonium being the rarest, but you could get about dozen or so from somewhere like Tiris or 5 Puppis in less than an hour.
    Posted on 02 Jun 18 at 15:32
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  • While LivingWhile Living330,140
    23 Jan 2016 26 Jan 2016 14 Sep 2016
    13 0 2
    Ship Selection
    When discussing this achievement, and exploration in general, people tend to believe the "exploration ships" are the best.
    While the exploration ships are awesome, they are also expensive.

    All ship builds that I'm going to post in this guide have and Advanced Discovery Scanner, Detailed Surface Scanner, largest fuel scoop possible, largest auto maintenance unit possible and the lightest parts the ship can operate with.

    For example, the Diamondback Explorer will run you 16 million. Its jump range is just over 33LY.
    DBX

    The Asp Explorer will cost you 51 million. Most of that money goes to the 5A FSD giving you 37LY jump range.
    ASPX

    And the Greatest Exploration ship there is, the Anaconda, is only 146 million. It has superior jump range of nearly 40LY.
    Anaconda


    But, since I've done this before on the PC, I thought I'd give it a try early in the game.
    I started my journey with the Adder, a ship that I used to think I liked.

    I now hate the Adder. 6 million credits and it only has a range of 27.5LY. The view from the cockpit is awful too. I'd go to the core in a Sidewinder before in try to go in an Adder again.

    I came back, went to a shipyard and got myself a Hauler.
    While the view is almost as terrible as the Adder, it only cost me 2.9 million. The jump range is about 1 higher at 28.5LY.

    Honestly, what ship selection comes down to is how much money you've got.
    The DBX and ASPX will get you to Sagittarius in about 800 jumps, depending on where you start from. In the Hauler, it took me just over 900 jumps, 928 to be exact.

    Route Plotting
    In the Galaxy Map, Sol is at Location 0: 0: 0. Sagittarius A is at 20: -20: 25900. Which means you have 26000 light years to travel. Travel along along the 0: 0 line. This is especially important before you reach the core, as travelling too far or below 0, can lead you to finding many unscoopable stars.

    Plan 1000LY straight ahead. 1000 is the most you can plan at once. Around 10000LY planning will start to become a little slower, as the stars become more dense. This is especially noticeable at 20000LY. Planning 1000LY may take up to five minutes. It's definitely worth it to wait on the map while it plans. Stopping every 10, or even 5 jumps to look at the map, will only slow you down more.

    Fuel Scooping
    Your new favorite thing to do! A lot of players will disagree with me, but scoop every star that you can. Then the chances of you getting stranded are much, much less. Believe me, nothing is worse than getting 8000LY in and running out of fuel.

    The way I remember the scoopable stars is FOG KBAM. It doesn't mean anything, that I know of. But it does put a few words in your head to remember.

    Time
    When I timed myself, and when I wasn't distracted by the X-Files, 1000LY was coming out to 35-40 jumps. Each time it took me about 28 minutes. It gets faster, the closer you get. We'll round that to 30 minutes, multiplied by 26 for the number of 1000LY and you get 13 hours. Or roughly 18 episodes of the X-Files.

    Keep in mind that I went for pure speed. I jumped in and jumped out. I took about 45 seconds at each star. 15 for FSD cooldown. 15 for FSD charge. 15 for jump animation. This is why I say scoop every star. You get 15 seconds to refuel, while your FSD cools down. I just fly directly under the star. Turn on orbit lines in your ships options, if you haven't. Fly right under the line. The only times I dropped from Supercruise were when I wasn't paying attention. While we're on the subject, being dropped from Supercruise repeatedly is basically the only way you can die while doing this. You shouldn't see anyone out here.
    Once your fuel scoop disengages, align with your star and jump. Some point during this, you should do an Advanced Scan of the system. You need to make some money.

    Overall, you're looking at 26 hours and almost 2000 jumps round trip. Maybe only 24 hours, if you've got a good ship. A good ship isn't the solution here, persistence is. If you take your time and scan everything you'll make a good 200 million easy. But one detailed scan, at closest range takes an extra 15 seconds, 30 at furthest. Making it very easy to double or triple my 13 hour time with just one scan of a planet.

    Whew, that was exhausting. I'm going back to taking my time. Good luck out there, Commanders!
    Showing both comments.
    bmlortzA solid guide (+1), but you could clean up the links to the EDShipyard. Just edit the links like this:
    Just change the parenthesis to brackets (url="your link")Some Text(/url)

    Hauler Build

    See?
    Posted by bmlortz on 02 Feb 16 at 20:36
    I got my DBX up to 59.13 LY jump range, definitely worth buying a 5A and then modifying it to level 5 at Farseer's.
    Posted on 15 Apr 18 at 14:52
  • No 1 RichyNo 1 Richy343,344
    08 Jan 2017 09 Feb 2017
    5 1 2
    This isn't a solution as such as the guides above have that covered, but one thing I want to show is how to perform a super-charged FSD jump. There is a risk attached to these jumps, however they can significantly cut down the time required to get to the galactic core. I would recommend using it to get to the core, but on your way back out just chill and protect your scan data.

    Sorry, this Game Clip has been removed


    You're looking at my ship, an Asp explorer with a level 3 FSD engineer mod. My ship has a maximum range of 42 LY, when fully fuelled I can jump something like 39.91 (let's just call it 40!). A FSD supercharge quadruples the range, and once supercharged I can jump up to 160 LY. To perform this you need to fly into the tail of a neutron star, and each supercharge deals 1% damage to your FSD, you will need to repair this with a AFM when you get to 80% otherwise you can unexpectedly drop from supercruise etc.

    The video clip shows me selecting a neutron star in the galaxy map (once in the galactic core you really do need to turn the filters off - so I have just carbon stars, wolf-rayet stars, white dwarf and non-sequence starts as my filter. As a note if I need fuel I just temporarily flick on class F, as our sun is F so I might get lucky with a earth-like scan). The clip then shows the speed, angle, and distance from the core of the neutron star that you need to approach. If you are to near the heart of it, you can drop from super cruise and you might not ever be able to escape and end up being destroyed. Equally if you are near the end of the tail, you just escape by putting on the speed. As you can see from my clip, a nice 150 LY jump.

    There are plenty of neutron stars once you start to get nearer the galactic core, if you go direct from sol head to CLOOKIE UO-Z D13-22 - you've basically got a whole ton of neutron stars from there right to the core. There are normally a good handful of Neutron stars within a supercharge range, and generally I've always been able to find a neutron star within 140-160 LY of my current position, which is a good use of the supercharge. Note that I don't plot a route, I just set the destination to where I want to go before I go and get the supercharge.

    A good 20 jumps will clear 3,000 LY here. 75 jumps could net you 10,000 LY, and something that can be done in one session.

    Good luck commanders! o7
    Showing both comments.
    No 1 RichyJut adding that I used supercharge jumps all the way from Colonia to Sag-A in one afternoon (the last 600 LY or so drys up of neutrons though).
    Posted by No 1 Richy on 09 Feb 17 at 22:57
    TheAnonymitykeep in mind that if you don't know how far you can jump, check your right hand command panel under "functions." after supercharging your FSD this will show the boosted change.
    Posted by TheAnonymity on 30 Mar 18 at 06:16
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