Don't Panic: BGS guides and help

Jane Turner

Volunteer Moderator
The Collected Knowledge of the BGS Community on the Background Simulation

misquote said:
There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Background Simulation is for and how it works, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

There are many guides to the BGS and much generously shared knowledge on understanding on these forums. Existing guides and resources are listed at the bottom of this post. The BGS is subject to change - some announced and some not. This is the collected understanding of groups and indivoduals who have experimented and tested the workings of the Black Box!

Put very simply:
  • Actions of commanders (missions, trade, selling data, bounty hunting, smuggling, murder and fighing in CZs, cause positive and negative changes in influence of minor factions.
  • The BGS records these different actions as >TRANSACTIONS< though note that transactions are now value-based, not purely transactional, and the net difference between positive and negative transactions is converted to changes in influence. Changes are higher in low population systems.
  • In addition to influence changes, player actions also result in >STATE< changes.
  • State and influence changes are updated approximately every 24 hours at what is known as the >TICK<
  • The maximum >INFLUENCE< that you can gain by completing positive actions for one faction varies with population and starting influence.

Douglas Adams said:
Protect me from knowing what I don’t need to know. Protect me from even knowing that there are things to know that I don’t know. Protect me from knowing that I decided not to know about the things that I decided not to know about. Amen

This is one of those Red Pill/Blue Pill moments.

After this, there is no turning back. If you stop your search for the truth here, the story ends, you carry on in the game doing whatever you want to without a care in the world. You click the links and you enter Wonderland, and we will show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all we are offering is the current best guess at the workings of the black box... Be careful what you choose, its an addiction playing the BGS. If you want to go deeper into the rabbit hole click the links above and below

Guides to the BGS and other resources

LIVE HELP (well liveish) ED-BGD Discord

Last edited:

Jane Turner

Volunteer Moderator
Cheers - will check them out and add if they are new

edit: and yes they are already in - but no harm in checking!
I hope we don't have to dig out all those old Michael Brookes quotes from the forum. It was great info and engagement while it lasted. Not sure how much of it is relevant today, probably all superceded by the Jan 2016 dev post.

Jane Turner

Volunteer Moderator
I know that most if not all were immediately locked aways for safekeeping by us and then added to the Merc's guide if they were not already present

Jane Turner

Volunteer Moderator
In my opinion no. Its not got any information that isn't already in the links above - but I am open to persuasion.
A few questions regarding the BGS, as I'm quite new to it (our PMF was just added to the game a few days ago).

1. Despite reading some BGS guides, I am not entirely sure what exactly counts as a "transaction". A clear definition with some examples would be great.
Some examples that are not clear for me:
a) If I hand in bounties, would be "redeem all" only one transaction and I should click every faction I collected bounties for seperately instead?
b) If I sell commodities, do you have to sell one ton after another, so that it counts as seperate transactions?
c) Example from the 3-year-report thread: "Similarly killing a couple of ships in a warzone and then turning it in is far more efficient. I could kill a couple ships in the war zone and turn in 11 times (11 transactions) and beat ten players fighting against me who play all day and turn in once (ten transactions)." That basically means, going into the CZ for a few minutes, killing a few ships and flying back and so forth is generating more transactions and does count more towards the influence of a faction?

2. Handing in bounties, exploration data, CZ bounties etc. should only be done, if the faction you want to support is the controlling faction of the station?

3. Any general tips for a new faction how to efficiently increasing the influence?


Jane Turner

Volunteer Moderator
from the link in the 1st post...
Influence changes in factions are brought about by player activity. A transaction is defined for each activity and given a value and each tick the BGS calculates the net points for each faction and converts them into a new influence value. Best current thinking on transaction definiitions are listed below:

ActivityTransaction DefinitionValue [Fdev or best guess*]
Bounty HuntingA drop of one or more bounties, over a low threshold value, at a station at which the faction is present is a transaction
Combat BondsA drop of one or more more bonds, over a low threshold value in the system where obtained
TradeA profit making sale of any volume over a low threshold profit per visit per source location of goods.
BM Tradepresumed to be a profit sale of any volume
-1 unless Anarchy (+1)​
ExplorationA sale of one or more systems over a low threshold value
+1 reduced from +2​
MurderEach clean ship lost
Reduced from -5​
FinesA fine occured over a low threshold value
reduced from -2​

*Transaction values were revealed by FDev in January 2016. Subsequent changes have been listed in patch notes as higher or lower. NB some states may increase the value of some activities See >> HERE << for details.

This is a useful test. What isn't clear?
Top Bottom