Beacons are points of interest within each sector, representing a planet, station, ship, or other encounter. You must utilize your FTL engine to jump from beacon to beacon to reach the exit of each sector (except The Last Stand, the final sector, as the exit is defeating the The Rebel Flagship). Beacons are initially unexplored, but the Long-Range Scanners augmentation gives some information about adjacent unexplored beacons, such as the presence of an Environmental Hazard and Enemy Ships.
- Distress Beacon. Someone might need help.'
Distress Beacons will trigger a random Distress Beacon Event. Note that Beacons flagged as distress beacons will remain noted as distress beacons even if the player visits other beacons beforehand.
Distress beacons will appear with a 'DISTRESS' label (with a gray border) on the map, and are seen - even without Long-Ranged Scanners - as soon as you are adjacent to one.
- Unvisited. Reported merchant location.
- You previously found a store at this location.
Stores allow you to repair your ship and trade various resources, weapons, augments, drones, systems and crew members. Since the Advanced Edition, many stores now have 2 pages, increasing their convenience significantly. It is marked on the map as 'STORE', with a gray border.
- Unvisited. Quest destination.
Some random events will trigger quests by picking certain options. To access the newly-spawned quest, you must navigate to another beacon marked 'QUEST', usually across the map, a couple jumps from your current position. Once spawned, quest beacons can be seen on the map from any distance away.
If you are close enough to a sector's exit beacon, occasionally the quest beacon will spawn in the next sector, and thus will not appear on the map until you have navigated to the next sector - it will appear regardless of which sector your chose. When you first get the quest, the event text will specify whether the beacon 'appeared in the next sector', or simply 'on your map', indicating it is within your current sector.
Due to the somewhat random nature of sector layout generation, and the advancing threat of the Rebel Fleet, some quests may spawn in inaccessible locations. This can be particularly frustrating for the rare and difficult multi-part quest Ancestry. Most of the time, however, if you manage your time and fuel effectively, quests can be completed without incident.
- This is the exit beacon. Go here to travel to the next sector.
Sectors other than The Last Stand all contain an Exit Beacon. This allows navigation through the Sector Map to another sector. It is marked on the map as 'EXIT', with a green border, and is seen from the start from any distance.
This is possible even if the rebels have expanded their search to this beacon, however you will have to fight - or escape from - a powerful Rebel ship first with often Anti-Ship Battery present, to be able to access the beacon. Non-hostile exit beacon events can occur when rebels haven't expanded to this beacon, unless the beacon is contained within a nebula.