An important feature to keep in mind when playing (living FE2) is that most of the bugs can be circumvented in one or another way. The Cardinal Rule to remember is SAVE OFTEN. It's also important to understand that you can live with these small problems - really.
To begin with be aware that there are several versions of the game.
This is important because many bug reports are particular to that version and platform only. As I have only played the US IBM version, the below concerns mainly that experience:
One difference between the US and UK IBM version concerns the "Mining Bug". There is a patch around for this thing but it seems contained to the UK version. This is what happens:
The program will crash after you have unloaded a mining machine and leave the star system. As I do not have the UK version I am not sure if the patch fixes this problem, but I heard one report that it did not. Using the patch on the US version can cause other problems. There is no mining patch for the US version. This bug was corrected prior to U.S. release.
Autopilot will not lock relative to mass of target
In some systems (mostly large systems with more than one sun, e. g. Cegreeth [-1, -3]) the reference mass selection is broken and will not switch to the nearest planet or station. In some cases it is sufficient to avoid the autopilot and fly by hand. In some systems even this does not work and the target will jump around wildly. Sometimes it helps not to use maximum time acceleration or fly by hand. Ultimately you may just have to avoid such systems - hey, not everyplace is friendly...
Another approach to there problem has been reported as:
If you absolutely have to dock or land in such a system use the autopilot to accelerate under maximum time acceleration, switch off your engines until you are 1-2 AU from your target and reactivate autopilot (still under maximum time acceleration) to decelerate and teleport to your target. If this fails, try again from another angle.
This whole problem can come to haunt you with taking reconnaissance missions to such systems - because they become quite difficult to fly.
Dreaded Passenger Cabin Bug
When a passenger gets impatient waiting to be delivered and leaves at the next starport, you get cabins that are falsely reported occupied, preventing you from selling your ship or using the cabin again. The only way out of this situation seems to be to buy an escape capsule and use it at the next opportunity. You will lose your ship but you can at least buy a new one. Of course, you can always go back to that save game BEFORE you took that passenger on board.
If you fly towards the horizon of a planet, strange graphical effects may happen, showing pie slices of the planet flashing everywhere. Also the horizon may jump wildly up and down. The same effect happens if you are in the midst of a fight at the right height above a planet. Your enemies may wildly jump around making them impossible to hit.
There is no collision detection on all ground objects so can fly through mountains, transparent domes, buildings and the walls of spaceports.
For an extensive list of bugs and other information on Frontier Elite II, there's really not a better place to go than Commander Robin Sharrock's:
Back to the Pilots Lounge...