Why are there still numerous stargate addresses the Goa'uld and/or Asgard don't know? The Goa'uld are able to program dialing macros (see e.g. Ba'al vs Replicators) and the Asgard are much smarter. I think it is safe to believe that they would know all the valid addresses.

There should be around 2 billion possible gate combinations in the Milky Way system. Assuming a dialing sequence takes about one minute, the simplest approach (trying all combinations using a single gate) should take about 4,000 years. More advanced algorithms, like using a newly found gate to automatically search a given set of combinations would solve the task in a couple of years, probably even faster.

Given the fact that the Goa'uld are incredibly power hungry and the possibility that they could find Ancient technology to gain an advantage vs all other Goa'uld it is strange that they never tried.

The Asgard are not power hungry but have some real problems that Ancient technology could help with. The Replicators were extremely vulnerable to O'Neill's weapon and their cloning problems might be tackled with Ancient technology.

Possible Solutions

The Asgard already have a "copy" of Ancient wisdom. Thor mentions this when fighting the Replicators. They do not believe there is much to gain by finding technology they might not being able to use (lack of Ancient gene, etc.). Considering how desperate they are, it is not a strong reason.

Goa'uld would admit to be not all-knowing by just making trial and error approaches. I don't think this is a real reason because finding unknown planets could be considered "god-like" by Jaffa.

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    I think the number of mistakes and plot holes in Stargate is about equal to that number of stargates, but I think one can at least argue that this is in character with the Gua'uld. They aren't that big on science that doesn't give them a clear advantage and focus mainly on being evil
    – Raditz_35
    Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 15:25
  • Also, they have ships that can fly places. Spending thousands of years cold-calling gate addresses is a colossal waste of their time
    – Valorum
    Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 15:26
  • They don't sit there and wait... And it will be fast with a good algrotithm... It would probably be a notifcation, that the macro found a new address and then the Gua'uld says his Jaffa to check the new address...
    – Glostas
    Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 15:46
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    Ba'al was something of an exception among the Goa'ulds, and I can totally buy that having a real challenge (the Taur'ri) inspired him more than he had been before. Before that, he might not have even considered that there were valid Stargate addresses that weren't on the Goa'uld list, like the rest of them. Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 16:49

2 Answers 2



  • I think it boils down to priorities.
  • Even the SGC appears to care less and less about exploration as time goes by.
  • Asgard, and likely other advanced races, dont care.
  • Goa'uld are too busy infighting and "doing things the way they have always done"
  • Such a list would be pointless without a followup search to see if it is a useful address as well.
  • Also I would argue that it is not possible...

So, priorities come into play quite a bit here. When the SGC first starts its exploration they care quite a bit about finding everything they can; but as the story progresses there are more and more episodes where we see SG1 on some specific mission and exploring less and less. I did a really quick scan of the seasons on wiki, and as you would expect, as the seasons progress there are less and less "exploration" episodes and more are keyed to progressing the story line or us needing to revisit something/someplace we already have before. Below I have a quick list of the seasons and how many episodes within that are purely exploration based:

  • Season 1 - 13
  • Season 2 - 10
  • Season 3 - 11?
  • Season 4 - 8
  • Season 5 - 5?
  • Season 6 - 4?
  • Season 7 - 5?
  • Season 8 - 3
  • Season 9 - 1?
  • Season 10 - 1?

I relate this because as Earth gains more and more influence in the galaxy and more and more pressing matters arise, SG1 is less and less concerned about the SGCs mandate.

Considering the short time compared to other advanced species in the series, everyone else has gotten past the "honeymoon" phase of the Stargate network long ago. Even if they all cared to search the network for available planets way back in the day, they are beyond that now.

The Asgard were much more concerned with the replicators to find new planets; and I suspect resources would have been the only benefit to finding something new. Plus they had their own galaxy of gates I would assume!

The Nox, Tollan, etc. I expect to all have been happy with their little corners of the universe carved out.

The G-men were also extremely busy with both infighting and the SGC screwing everything up all the time to really care about what else is out there. Sure, when a situation arises that they can take advantage, but they are not necessarily looking for it. Anubis only knew stuff because of his unique situation and I think there were only a handful of other occurrences of them thinking outside the box.

That said however, it is possible that someone was trying to find them all for whatever reason. The G-Men do not always disclose with one another their plans and research; so it is possible someone was, but never disclosed it. Also we have seen that some Asgard do their own thing (Loki cloning Jack for example) and maybe there was some rogue scientist that was doing that research.

But even if someone was making a list, what good would that really do? Even if you wrote a program that looked for all possible connections to gates in the system you would not only just have a big list of possible doorways you probably will never go through, but you have also just taken your gate out of the system as well. If you are busy dialing out to a random planet... you can't dial out and no one can dial in.

But you also have to consider the gates that are in network, but inaccessible. A situation similar to my favorite episode Season 4, Episode 6 "Window of Opportunity" could arise where a gate is even temporarily out of network at the moment you try to connect and you cross it off your list thinking it is destroyed or non-existant.

Another troubling situation you might need to be prepared for is Season 2, Episode 15 "A Matter of Time" where you gate into a black hole and can not break connection. Is your phone book worth that risk?

And the sheer amount of gates in the network might make this a life's work. I direct you to this related answer: Is there any indicator as to how many planets have Stargates?

I understood from that episode that at the start of the update it would take two hours maximum; but even still that is a bunch of gates. (Which also begs the question, how would buried gates get the update if a connection can not be made? Season 3, Episode 19 "New Ground" is such a situation. Without the update that gate must have been close enough for drift to have not come into effect I guess... once you have had a gate buried long enough would it even be possible to connect anymore?)

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    I think you're confusing focus with fact. Sure, SG1 are doing a great deal less exploration, but we know that by Season 6 there are no less than 9 SG teams. We're always hearing about things other teams have found while they're exploring.
    – Valorum
    Commented Nov 18, 2017 at 10:18
  • Kind of, but I calculated that in my scan of the episodes. For example, I did not include the exploration of the Russian team that broke into the vault where the goa'uld was entombed alive within the sarcophagus, etc. But at the same time it is inevitable that even the other "non-flagship" teams would have more direction to the current situational objectives in the galaxy; such as the teams looking for new /alpha/beta sites and etc. Exploration doesn't stop, even for SG1, it is just not a priority with greater and greater threats.
    – Odin1806
    Commented Nov 18, 2017 at 17:59
  • What do you define as exploratory? I count at least eight episodes based on exploring new worlds in S09. Episodes 1,2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 12, 20. Yes, they had specific reasons to go to these planets in all episodes, except for 1-3 and 8, but how does that make it less exploratory? It only means that they have learned more about the Galaxy in which they live so now they can base their destinations on some intel, instead of just randomly dialling planets. Also, SG-1 being the flagship team, they are more likely to get sent to dangerous places which usually means active missions rather than pure explor
    – a20
    Commented Feb 17, 2018 at 12:40
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    It's been a while since I built that quick list (as I stated in the answer it was a quick scan)... but there is a difference between going on a mission and exploring. When you explore everything is new and nothing planned, on a mission you have a general idea of what lies ahead and a purpose, you're not really exploring, that is just a happy by-product. My answer tries to make a point. When you go somewhere new, at first you explore, but then you have other priorities and start to live your life. You still have new experiences, but if you know what's coming you're not exploring, its a trip.
    – Odin1806
    Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 22:56
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    Indeed, this. Jack to Othalla Asgard: "We are a very curious race." Perhaps that's a uniquely human trait. Not everybody has to have the drive to explore. Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 15:22

The Goa'uld were the ones to bring humans from Earth out into the Galaxy, so their records of Stargate addresses should, from their point of view, already contain all the planets where there are humans. Their whole reason for being is to rule over enslaved humans and engaging in war with the other Goa'uld. While exploring planets for new technology could give them the upper hand in their conflicts, it is after all extremely time consuming taking up a lot of man power, so in order for it to be worthwile and not just a pure gamble, they need to have at least some idea that they will find something concrete on a certain planet.

One example of this is S01E07 the Nox, where Apophis has heard rumors about a creature with the ability to become invisible, and then sends Teal'c (among others) to retreive the it. Even this seemingly simple task was a failure, on two separate ocassions. Also we do hear in Teal'c's and Bra'tac's stories that they did in fact go on various exploratory missions while in the service.

We know that the Goa'uld likely have the knowledge to figure out all the Stargate adresses from Avenger 2.0 where they could trigger an automatic update spreading throughout the whole Stargate network (meaning that the gates at the very least have access to the whereabouts of other gates or they could not communicate). Also in S08E17 Reckoning Part 2 we know that Ba'al (or rather, his subject Nerus, S09E06 Beachhead) are able to dial all gates within the network. We further know from S09E16 Off the Grid, that Ba'al has enough knowledge about the gate system to create his own network outside of the ordinary one.

Thus, it keeps coming back to a matter of priorities for me.

  • Does raise the question of how, for example, the nomads found their way to Vis Uban. Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 15:23

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