Wings Fully Explained

In this tutorial we look at the social systems of Elite, how to add friends, create wings, communicate with those players, share trade profits and targeting data.

Table of Contents

In this tutorial we look at the social systems of Elite, how to add friends, create wings, communicate with pilots in your wing, share trade profits and targeting data. Correct use of wings is essential to all multiplayer gameplay, offering many extremely useful tools to enhance it.



Artist: Miguel Johnson
Album: The Explorers
Track: Night Forever

Complete Raw Script


Today we’re going to take a look at wings. Wings allow a group of up to four commanders to group together to better find each other on the galaxy map and in supercruise, to easily drop into the same instance with each other, to be able to easily share targeting data during combat and other gameplay and to communicate via chat and voice. Let’s take a look at how to add friends in Elite and how the various wing mechanics work.

Adding Friends

First things first—you’ll need to add each player you want to wing up with as a friend. To do this you’ll open the main menu, choose social, enter the commander’s name in the upper right-hand corner and search. You’ll then be shown the commander which you’ll select and Add Friend.

You can also add someone from your history or in your local instance from the friend’s list by selecting them from the third tab of the chat window and selecting Send Friend Request. 

When the other player receives the request they’ll need to open their chat window, switch to the third tab and scroll down to pending friend request, selecting that then approving the request. When it’s necessary you can block players in a similar way, selecting them from the chat or social menu and selecting “Block” or “Unlock.”

It should be noted that this is less than perfect and while it should block chat messages it won’t necessarily keep you from instancing with that player.

Creating Wings

Now that you’ve connected as friends with the other player or are in the same instances to create a wing, you’ll again open your chat window, switch to the third tab, select them from the list and click “Invite to Wing.”

You’ll need to ensure the other player isn’t already in a wing (if they are they’ll need to either leave that wing and wait for the cool down or they’ll need to add you to their existing wing). Once in a wing, anyone in the wing can add others by selecting and inviting them.

Wingman Nav-Lock

Once you’re in a wing there are several very useful tools available—the first of which is wingman nav lock. This allows you to drop into the same instance as your wingmate, usually from a much greater distance than you’d normally be able to drop from.

To use this feature your wingmate will first need to enable their nav beacon by opening the chat window, selecting the third tab, then options just below the list of wing members. Once they’ve enabled their beacon you’ll see them in supercruise and normal space as their wing signal will go active, you’ll need to do the same to allow your wingmates to see you.

Once their beacon is enabled you can select them from the list and engage wingman nav lock. Once enabled if you’re in supercruise you’ll drop into their local instance when close enough (this range is dictated by the distance, your current speed and any gravity wells in the area).

You need not throttle down for this, you can keep full speed and again when in range you’ll automatically drop into their instance. It should be noted this can be buggy and at times you’ll drop rather far away—this usually happens around gravity wells or when you approach a ring at a very shallow angle.

Once you drop into your wingman’s instance it’s best practice to immediately disable nav lock—if you jump to supercruise before your wingmate you’ll instantly drop back in, sometimes to deadly consequences. To do this you’ll again select your wingmate and disable wingman nav lock.

Wingmate Location & Targeting

You can also see the location of all wingmates on the galaxy map, so long as you have that icon enabled on the final tab of the left panel in the Galaxy Map. This will allow you to see their location as they jump so you’ll know how far away they are. Each member of the wing is assigned a symbol in the wing, yours will show in the upper right-hand corner of the chat window. This is very useful when in the same instance, either supercruise or normal space as you’ll be able to visually see what they have targeted as it will have their symbol on the target. If you’re in range of that target you can also use wingman targeting to quickly select their target (the default binds for this are 7, 8 and 9 to select the first, second and third wingman as listed on your hud respectively).

Once you’ve selected that wingmate you’ll then press 0 to lock to their target, again assuming you’re within range. This is extremely useful during combat as you can very quickly select their targets without having to use the contacts tab or visual identification.

Text and Voice Communication

You can use the chat system to message only your wingmates, the way you’ll do this is based a bit on your settings. If you have wing chat set to tabbed it will show as a separate tab on the left; you’ll use your tab key to cycle between them or you can begin by typing /w (slash w enter) to engage wing chat. On-screen are the various commands that can be used in chat to select other groups, clear your window, etc.

You can also use the in-game voice communications to speak with your wingmates. You’ll first need to ensure this is enabled on the settings tab. Once enabled and if set to do so voice communications will start automatically, this will add a radio-like effect to voice comms for a bit of immersion, showing us that even a thousand years from now mobile communications still suck. If you use other voice services, such as Discord you’ll want to ensure this is disabled so you don’t get echoes from the dual voice systems.

Sharing Trade Profits

You can also use wings to share profits from trading or mining and to share missions, rewarding you with 5% of any profits earned in the commodities market. Please see my previous tutorial on wing missions for the full details. Wings are one of the most important aspects of multiplayer in Elite and are critical for situations where you want to engage in any sort of gameplay together.

Hopefully, this tutorial will have you engaging in that gameplay quickly and easily. If you’re looking for players to wing up with you’re welcome to stop in my player group’s Discord, Level 11 which is linked below. Once again this has been commander Exigeous of reminding you to fly dangerously and thanks for watching.