I have tried a lot.Maybe you're overestimating your density a bit.
Please, try by yourself and say me if you can find a game, then ask me how you can rank up if you cannot play with noone
It is like you would rank up in combat but there will not be ships to destroy... [big grin]
Or go up in trading but you cannot store supplies in the cargo.
Or go up in the exploring but your scanner does not work.
What can you do?
I do not ask a revolution or others. I would like remove the icon from the panel if I cannot try to rise it.