Background Simulation – BGS

What is BGS?

The purpose behind BGS, the “background simulation”, in relation to Simbad, is to expand Simbad to new systems and to take control of the stations within those systems. However, BGS dictates much more within Elite Dangerous. It is how players inadvertently or intentionally cause system state changes. Combined with station economy, it determines trade profits for certain commodities, future states that the factions will enter, and how a faction will exit a state.


Please do not raise Simbad’s influence in any system unless specifically requested to do so. This may seem counter-intuitive, but as is explained later, Expansion can be triggered by any system above 75%. For this reason, we work hard to keep Simbad below 75% in all but one of our systems.

Refer to the #bgs-goals channel to see where to contribute in Simbad space, and feel free to ask any questions in the #BGS channel. We are always happy for the help.


The first step to understanding BGS is to understand how influence works. Influence is the standing of a minor faction (such as Simbad) in a system. You can see influence of the factions on the right panel (4), Status Tab, first dropdown.


Influence is measured in percentage. This can be visualized as a pie graph. For a minor faction to gain influence requires 1 or more other factions to lose influence.


Within the Simbad discord, those with the “Bgs” tag can use the bot to display useful information about system states, influence, etc. The common commands are ‘!trend [system name], [days to look back for chart]. For examples: !trend farowalan, 38 or just !trend Farowalan for a 30 day chart. You can also have just a chart presented with the !chart [system name] command. You may add a day argument to the chart command as well.

Affecting Influence

Raising influence can be done in several ways:

  • Turning in Bounties for a faction in that system (raises that particular faction)
  • Turning in exploration data at the Universal Cartographics (raises the controller of that station)
  • Trading for a profit (raises the controller of that station).
  • Completing missions for the faction (the more +’s behind the INF+, the higher the gain)

We reduce influence by:

  • Raising the influence of a different faction (usually the one with the next lowest influence).
  • Killing clean ships of the specific faction.
  • Trading stolen goods to a black market (controlling faction of the station).
  • Fines or bounties (reduces the controlling faction).
  • Letting missions expire.

The point of manipulating influence is to create the changes in the BGS states. As a player minor faction, we want to expand, trigger (and win) wars and elections.

Common BGS States

Expansion – Expansion requires a player faction to push the influence above 75%. At that point, the minor faction will enter a state of expansion. After the state, the player faction will appear in the nearest system with a vacancy. Expansion has a 5 day pending expansion, meaning a location to expand from has been chosen.


You can see this system in the Simbad Faction Status Summary when docked at a station Simbad is present in. After the 5 day pend, a 5 day Expansion is entered. At this point, a system within a roughly 20 LY distance that has an open slot is selected within the game. If there isn’t an available system, there is a chance that Simbad will automatically force a weaker system from the targeted destination system.. However, we prefer to ensure that there will be an open space for Simbad to expand to, as that will take less time. Once expansion completes, there is a 2 day “recovery” period before the process repeats. Note: your expansion point is determined by which system or systems have gone over the 75% influence mark. If there are multiple systems, the game will randomly choose one. In this regard, we want to control our expansions by only keeping 1 system above 75%. 

War – War is a type of conflict state (the other being election) in which a player faction takes control of stations. To trigger a war, you manipulate the influence of two factions so that they match. You do not need to worry about overtaking or passing another faction. Once they meet, the 2 factions will lock influence and trigger a war. Wars require combat action in order to progress. This is usually done through winning conflict zones, combat missions, and other actions that require combat such as bounties. Data deliveries and trade to not effect that status of a war. The winner of the war gains control of one station the opposing faction controls. To view the stations and ownership within discord, the command is ‘!stations [system name]’. bgs_war_graph

Take note that the two factions will lock influence for the duration of the war. This is important because you can use that lock to your advantage. In the case of the above image, EN KUNTHURS GROUP had a station. By raising them up while TELIN ORGANIZATION was still at war with Simbad, we were able bring EN KUNTHURS GROUP above that of TELIN ORGANIZATION, skipping a proxy war (where we as Simbad will support a different faction in a war not involving Simbad).

Wars will naturally take 7 days if no clear victor is determined. War will also have a cooldown of 1 day, as well as pend for 1 day, meaning you cannot chain 1 war to another without a gap in time. To win a war in the most effective manner, your faction needs to dominate 4 out of the 7 Days. Upon the end of the 4th victory, the war will end due to the other faction not having a chance to win the overall conflict. You can view the progress of the war in the Simbad Faction Status Summary, within the Status Tab of the right screen when in system, or under Squadron, Squadron Allegiance, [system name].


This representation in game does not accurately show the 4/7 progress. It will measure in a tug of war style ranging from Total Defeat, Defeat, Close Defeat, Neutral, Close Victory, Victory, and Total Victory. A win or a loss for a day will move the progress up or down by 1 level.

Election – Election occurs when both factions are have a similar government type. For example, two democracies that match influence will trigger an election. The exception to this is Anarchy factions – those will always have war. It is triggered the same way as war, by matching influence. However, the status of elections are determined by non-combat actions. Trade, data deliveries, and non-combat missions will affect the status of an election. The winning faction gains control of one station the opposing faction controls. Besides winning through non-violent actions, election behaves in the exact same manner as war.