We have to make some assumptions, of course, because Frontier isn't providing any hard data on the subject:

- The PowerPlayer base reflects the overall Elite Dangerous player base.
- The overall player base reflects the Steam player base.
- The Steam player base represents about a quarter of the overall player base, with an even distribution between non-Steam PC players, XBox, and PS4 players.

From

Steamspy, the average

*and* median player plays about five hours over a two week period. That seems really low to me, but who am I to argue with actual data? Also from Steamspy, the sum of peak players over the last week is 39,746. From

SteamCharts, the sum of concurrent players per hour over the last 24 hours at the time of this writing is 83,651, and the relationship between that sum and peak players that day is 15.5:1. This brings the total number of "hours played" on Steam, over the last seven days, to 617,964. Divide this by 2.5, and you get 247,000 "players" on Steam. Let's round that up to 250,000 just to make the math easier in the future. Double that, and you get 500,000 "players" on the PC.

Time for another assumption: the PowerPlayer-base represents about 10% of the overall player base. This means that there are 50,000 "players" each week involved in PowerPlay. Of those, roughly 20% are involved with shift work, and thus face no effective opposition when they play. This brings the total "players" that can potentially be your opposition down to 40,000. According to

Inara, there are 709 control systems. Divide the "players" equally between these systems, and you get 56 "players" per system. Spread out those "players" evenly throughout the week (2.5 hours in a 168 hour period), and you get an effective player density, at any time, of...

0.8 "players" per system per hour. And this for everything: fortification, undermining, preparation, and expansion. If time spent on these activities are roughly equal, which is one last assumption, that means that there are 0.2 "players" fortifying (aka hauling) and 0.2 "players" undermining (aka "opposition") a system within any particular hour.

But wait, I'm not finished!

That fortifier isn't spending

*most* of their time in that particular system! A good Commander can "speed trade" a

T9 from station to station in about four minutes, only one of which would be spent in Supercruise at their destination. Add in an average of four jumps there, and four jumps back, at 45 seconds each, and you get about ten minutes per trip, or six trips per hour, during which there's only six minutes where they could potentially share an instance with an underminer... if said underminer spends

*all* their time hanging around in Supercruise waiting for the fortifier to arrive, instead of, you know,

*undermining the system*.