Elite Dangerous Beta 2 On Sep 30th, Original Elite Is Free

I continue to find Elite: Dangerous‘s version names slightly confusing. Premium Beta 2 came out back in June, but the new update coming September 30th is called “Beta 2”. Thankfully I can overcome my confusion for the exciting feature list, which includes a reputation system, the introduction of exploration mechanics, 500 new star systems, a vaster collection of upgrade spaceship modules…. And so on. The full list is below the fold.

Here’s the full list:

  • Combat ratings from ‘Harmless’ all the way up to ‘Elite’.
  • Reputations per system and galaxy-wide that influence attitudes and prices offered to you.
  • Ability to discover and explore and scan new systems and sell the data on them.
  • Detailed system maps.
  • Around 500 additional star systems to explore.
  • Lakon Asp Explorer ships added.
  • Much greater variety of upgradable Life Support modules, Engines, Hyperdrives, Power Distributors, Sensors, Shield Generators and Cargo Racks for all ships.
  • Ships are subject to gradual ‘wear and tear’.
  • New weapons including mines and a new non-lethal missile-deployed cargo hatch disruptor for piracy.
  • Outposts (small, exposed ‘roadside café’ stations in remote locations)
  • Occelus starports, a version of which can move around for early civilization of new systems and space tourism.
  • Visibility of other ships in supercruise, and track others through supercruise and hyperspace.
  • Newsfeeds about events from the rest of the galaxy and player activity in your local system.
  • All backers names (from the appropriate crowd-funding reward tiers) have been added to the NPC naming database.

Elite: Dangerous already feels great to fly and fight around, but each added detail to its expanding galaxy is exciting because it offers not just more to do in the inky black, but a further expansion of its space-venturer fantasy. I want to rocket around between its’roadside cafe’-style outposts next, like a space trucker…

Oh no, I just remembered.

While the Elite Dangerous Beta may also be too expensive for you at its current £50 price, you could always of course celebrate the series’ 30th anniversary by grabbing the original Elite for free. Also, I wouldn’t normally casually link to DLC – and I wouldn’t pay £10 for this – but the wireframe Cobra paintjob on sale is kinda cool too.



  1. Joshua says:

    Wasn’t the original Elite free for a while now? On braben’s website and such.

    • KDR_11k says:

      I think it’s Ian Bell’s page, he has ALL the versions of Elite on there. On Giant Bomb’s UPF they said that the devs recommend the NES version.

    • Lord_Santa says:

      Ian Bell’s webpage

      link to iancgbell.clara.net

      and on that note, if you can get it running; I’d say Acorn Arhimedes is the preferred version

  2. Themadcow says:

    Seems to be a bit of an event happening this weekend in the current beta, with the Federation planning a bit of a lesson for Independent Eranin…

    Time to take my gimballed multicanons for a ‘spin’.

    • MrThingy says:

      I shall be arriving soon in “Mr Tickles”, aka my Anaconda with gimballed C5 lasers and Missile Launchers. :}

    • Continuity says:

      Not a fan of the multicannons myself, they just run out of ammo too quick. On a side note I hope cannons with get their due nerf in beta 2.

    • Big Murray says:

      Aren’t multicanons that thing that happens when loads of Star Wars novel authors make up conflicting stuff?

  3. LexxieJ says:

    Hoping to get ‘er indoors to go out this weekend so I can jump to Eranin and enjoy some quality time with my Viper

  4. Telkir says:

    It’s interesting to read the GalNet news about the 30th anniversary event but that’s about all I’m letting myself absorb right now. The regular drip-feed of info about every aspect of the game is turning into spoilers for me – I just want to get my hands on the final game and have some secrets to discover for myself!


    • Carr0t says:

      What exactly is it you’re worried about being spoilered? There’s no ongoing personal plot in this game than can get spoiled, and the world events aren’t really things I would consider spoiler worthy. Discovering things for yourself is all about going to outlying systems where noone else has been yet, and there’s going to be plenty of that when the game finally gets released.

  5. amateurviking says:

    Fuck me sideways I need this in my life pronto.

  6. Barberetti says:

    Sounds like it’s time to fire up my cobra’s engines and kick some Federation arse.

  7. Mister_Inveigler says:

    I backed this in Kickstarter, but my tier didn’t include the Beta.
    I normally avoid betas and early access like the plague as I just want the authentic, finished experience. But this looks different.
    Is it worth getting involved in the beta?

    • Artist says:

      No, not yet. Still not much gameplay implemented. Mostly grinding money with dull, boring “Buy stuff here, sell stuff there”-gameplay and almost nothing that breaks the current monotony.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I’ll disagree with Artist above, and recommend getting it even with the current pricing for beta access, if you’re strongly interested.

      It’s a skill-based game, more like an air combat sim than a typical MMO (and there is a singleplayer mode also). There are no character levels, no artificial skill advancement except how you learn to improve your flying. Unless you’re already playing air combat games, it will take some time to learn these skills, and adapt to whatever you’re using for control hardware.

      There will be a wipe before the game goes to Gamma/Final, where everyone is reset to the start. So this is a great time to experiment with both the basic game mechanics, and the crazy stuff you might not try, once your characters (you get more than one) go “final.”

      There are some bugs here and there, especially on the full online mode, but you can go into the Solo Online mode and the game is pretty stable there.

      • hawken.grey says:

        I’d say that until this Beta 2 announcement, it hasn’t really been worth it unless you just can’t wait. For me the big thing missing was the exploration game mechanics, which are now coming in (at least some by the sound of it). Those are the types of additions to the game that I’m excited about.

        • Themadcow says:

          The exploration mechanic should be a game-changer because, at the moment, there’s really no incentive to journey outside of the core systems (anything 5 jumps from Eranin). This is compounded by the fact that there are no long distance ‘haul X to Y’ missions that reward you as much as a simple 1 hop from Aulin to iBootis – so why bother?

          What I’m really intrigued by in this game is how they’re going to disincentivise people just making loads of credits trading (I’m sure the economy will change) which turns into a bit of an exponential leap with each ship upgrade… after all – the Lakon Type 9 holds 440 cargo units compared to a Cobra Mk3’s 36 so assuming a profit of 500 credits per unit that’s the difference of 18,000 profit per trade vs 220,000 profit which can be made in 1 jump in the beta. This kind of thing would surely just mean that the sensible player takes the trade route until they’ve got virtually infinite cash and then buys an insane combat vessel, rather than going the combat / missions route and ending up being outgunned simply because they don’t have the credits to buy an Anaconda (or better) with guns coming out of it’s every orifice.

          • Kaeoschassis says:

            This reminds me of the old argument that Skyrim encourages players to quickly grind to higher levels using things like alchemy or enchantment and then just buy/make the best gear they possibly can. Admittedly the argument holds even less water in Skyrim because it’s single-player only and there’s even less reason to want to level up as fast as possible, but I got a little sidetracked here, let me get to the core of my point.

            They don’t particularly need to “disincentivise” anything. If something isn’t fun to do, then why the heck are you doing it? If you choose to do something boring and repetitive in the hope of ‘fastracking’ your way to the big guns just so you can win every fight easily, you’re not giving yourself any kind of boost – you’re just skipping the content that interests you now, so that you can trivialise the content that interests you later.
            People have shown this willingness in recent years to go out of their way to bore themselves in games, and then complain as if the devs somehow forced them to. They didn’t, people can play however they want, and the root of the problem is really just that players seem to have this inexplicable desire to skip right to the endgame content in everything.
            It just puzzles me, basically.

          • Scurra says:

            . If something isn’t fun to do, then why the heck are you doing it?
            Isn’t the argument that it’s no fun if other players are outmatching you so badly that, well, it’s no fun?
            In many MMOs, there are ways to mitigate the level disparity, but in a game like this which doesn’t seem to be built in quite the same way, there’s surely the risk that you will simply keep on getting blown to pieces. Which then means you have to grind just to be able to last long enough to even come close to the “fun” bit.
            At least in a single-player experience you get some vague pretence at a story or somesuch so that you can feel some sense of achievement even if you never get to the theoretical “end” of the game. In multiplayer games there is a nasty tendency for those of us who are, shall we say, less than brilliant to find no fun whatsoever.

  8. Armante says:

    I couldn’t resist any longer and picked up the mercenary pack and upgrade to beta. Best 100 bucks I spent in ages. Even tho all I’ve done is haul some cargo I’m really enjoying it. It looks, sounds and feels fantastic already.

    Checking out a few of the sights like planetary rings while rumbling through space is deeply satisfying. I’ve missed this type of game for far too long. Controlling it with a new X52 pro setup just feels right as well. Everything just works. If and when I get an Oculus Rift, plus a potential system upgrade, it will be the most I’ve ever invested in one game. And it will be worth it.

    I haven’t even completed the ‘intro missions’ yet, know all the controls or even played online (solo only till I get the hang of it) but to anyone considering this game, I say get it.

    • cairbre says:

      What is it like with mouse and keyboard

      • Armante says:

        To be honest I didn’t even try the mouse and keyboard. I bought the Saitek before the game, knowing I wanted it, and it was finally on sale locally. I can say I’m a tad proud not to have screwed up a single docking, what with the stick making it straight-forward to match rotation etc :)

      • Zenicetus says:

        There are many people on the forums who are saying it plays well with a mouse. On the other hand, I haven’t heard of anyone saying they moved on to a full joystick + throttle HOTAS rig, optionally with head tracking via TrackIR or the Oculus Rift, and went back to mouse and keyboard. :)

        It really is more like an air combat sim than anything else. I already had a HOTAS and TrackIR before buying it, and it slots perfectly into that control setup. That doesn’t mean you can’t play it with mouse and keyboard, especially if you want to be a trader, miner, or explorer and not indulge in much combat. If you plan on doing heavy combat though, I’d recommend thinking of it as an air combat game and getting the controls designed for that.

        I was actually surprised how well the game was tailored for the controls I already had from flight sims (including TrackIR). It’s a game made for that kind of control setup. Don’t be afraid to try it with just mouse and keyboard because it still works! Just be aware that you may fall down that rabbit hole of spending more for hardware controllers (including the Rift, eventually) than you ever spent on the game….

      • Boosh says:

        I played with nothing else through alpha and up to very recently in beta. It’s probably the best implementation of mouse/keyboard support for this type of game I’ve ever played, it just felt right to me. I mean, if you pick up an aircraft sim and tried it, it would feel wrong, but for Elite it felt excellent as the flight mechanics just lend themselves to the very fine precision that the mouse gave me. I had lateral thruster (up/down, left/right) bound to wasd keys, and obviously pointing the nose with the mouse. Yaw was on q and e. I had no issues with combat at all.

        All that said, I recently bought a hotas, for two reasons, firstly I wanted to ‘move back’ from the keyboard, I have the hotas on my chair arms. Secondly, I found a perfectly adequate ‘cheap’ hotas, previously I thought they were >£100 territory, but not so. I use the Thrustmaster t-flight hotas X, it’s a solid bit of kit, very good and can be had for around £35.

        I have always had trackIR also, which to me is essential, I couldn’t really play it without it.
        Also voice control using voiceattack was a game changer for me, really adds to the immersion. I have most of the less immediate command and controls functions as voice commands, leaving the hands on controls for the more important stuff.

      • Lanessar says:

        You really want a controller of some sort for this game – KBM is supported, but it’s very non-intuitive. The game is obviously made to play on a HOTAS setup, but a controller works as well. It can be played with KBM, don’t get me wrong. but playing it with a joystick (or HOTAS) = amazing.

    • DXN says:

      I kind of want to get this (when it comes out) just to basically do Euro Truck Simulator in space when I get home from work :P

      • Armante says:

        Currently working my way up from the lowly starter ship with it’s measly 4 unit cargo hold. Will get something bigger to make more money, equip it, make more money, buy bigger cargo vessel, make more money, then buy a fleet of hunter-killer ships and score me some kills ;)

  9. Arglebargle says:

    I don’t follow this game too closely (though I will be checking it out on release): Do they have an option for ‘nose art’ style graphics on your ships? From a set available ingame choices, or downloadable stuff? Letting folks bring in their own art can be kinda a pain, requiring too much vetting, but it’s definitely thematically appropriate.

    Unfortunately, I’ve discovered that in these type of games I’m a decent shot, but a poor pilot.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I haven’t heard of any plans for user-made decals or paint skins, for the obvious reasons of requiring too much vetting by the developers. Not just for the usual obscene images, but for copyright violations with things like band logos. Copyright research takes a lot of time. I doubt we’ll ever see it.

      The user-customization is limited to your Commander name, and a plan to allow user ship names, with reputations attached to the ship name as long as the ship is intact. So there is at least a little creativity there, along with whatever role-playing you bring into the game. It’s easier to vet a text string like a Commander or ship name than a graphic.

  10. Gog Magog says:

    Dangerful dangeresque!

  11. Wulfram says:


    Pet Detective?

  12. racccoon says:

    Its a great game, being having loads of fun in game, Pointers are
    Always make sure you spent a while on your control options so you can steer the craft.
    Always get clearance before entering a station by locking on & then asking for dock.
    Gather more money than needed for your next craft otherwise you’ll lose it & have to start from scratch.
    Watch out for guys who just want to sit & shoot you as you dock. use coms (need more security near stations)
    power to defence.
    Try & maintain speeds in the slight blue reading, while in superdrive,. occasionally using a move back ward & forward roll to get the speed down if over speeding.alert comes up.
    Oh in the early stages just crash away as many times as you want to, this will get you into the feel of it.
    its real flight at its best & nicely created.
    once your in expensive ships you won’t want to die without insurance money sitting around in your bank.
    So don’t over spend. as mistakes happen to anyone.
    Have a good time & try not to smash your expensive ships too often.
    I think this game is the space game we have been waiting for.
    Star Citizen is caught up in dream world of cash & forgetfulness.
    i’m a very early backer too & that ones just not doing nothing yet but glorification which doesn’t work apart from the peer group following.
    Elite Dangerous rocks.

  13. FireStorm1010 says:

    A question to current Elite players:

    Can you play Elite as a single player game?I have been playing in past ages Eve online for 10 years and im not interested anymore in the least in MP/MMORPG aspects.

    I want to fly my ships , role play the experience, compete with NPCs, upgrade my ships, and do it whenever i want , save and exit whenever i choose. Dont want to compete with poeple that play 5+ hours/day , think about camps by 50+ ships etc.

    • Armante says:

      Yes you can. It does require a connection to their servers, but you can choose ‘online/solo’ as a mode, and it will be exactly as you described above :)
      Quite a few people play solo to earn money safely then upgrade their ship, practise offline combat before heading into the fray of online play. You can swap back and forth whenever you like.

      • Harlander says:

        There’s also talk of a fully offline mode with no connections to remote servers at all.

        From the FAQ:

        Update! The above is the intended single player experience. However it will be possible to have a single player game without connecting to the galaxy server. You won’t get the features of the evolving galaxy (although we will investigate minimising those differences) and you probably won’t be able to sync between server and non-server (again we’ll investigate).

    • Felix_Bisto says:

      From early indications, yes!

      I have the beta, and already there are numerous options for offline play. You can enter straight into offline combat scenarios or play the fully game without going into the open server mode.

      HOWEVER, as a lover of single player games I would compel you to attempt the online open mode as it definitely adds to the experience. There are so few people on there currently that it sometimes feels like you’re alone and when you do glimpse someone crashing whilst docking, coming out of hyperspace or cruise behind you or joining you in a dog fight it makes it tense and unpredictable.

      You can save an exit whenever you choose currently, and there are enough missions to keep you happy with solo play (online) but you will often find yourself requesting the help of other players when hauling cargo to dark areas as even the AI will lie in wait to collect your precious Furbys (or whatever cargo you decided to ship!) at least with players, they can threaten you and only take so much (as their tiny ship’s will carry!) the AI will just end you for the sake of it.

  14. Harlander says:

    Anyone got any tips for getting through the Incursion combat scenario? I’ve managed to get up to Radiant Dawn before she missile-spammed me to death.

  15. Whiskey Jak says:

    I’m also playing the game with a HOTAS setup (also using the popular X52 pro). The thing that I like the most about it is that it feels like “instant role-playing” for me, without feeling silly (I just remembered my larping days…). It’s probably true of any flying simulator played with the same hardware but that’s my first game with it, so there. I guess that’s what CLANG wanted to be for sword fighting games in a sense.

    I played a good while with the keyboard and mouse setup, and although it works just fine, it doesn’t hold a candle to the joystick. It is so much more comfortable (and satisfying), during dogfights and landing/liftoff sequences in particular. I have yet to get my hands on a trackIR though.

    I’ve played more of Elite than Star Citizen at this point and maybe because of that, I have more fun flying around in the former.

    The sound design is also very satisfying (if you’re not a purist I guess), and the hyperspace sequence is almost terrifying (in a good way), makes the one in Destiny look like shit to be honest.

    Can’t wait for the update.

  16. Craig Pearson says:

    I bought that skin…

  17. geldonyetich says:

    So… it’s been 20 years, is Elite: First Encounters stable yet?

  18. nrvsNRG says:

    Anyone playing with a 360 pad, and can tell me how it is with it?

    • Whiskey Jak says:

      I didn’t, but by memory I *think* there is more than 18 possible inputs so you might need your keyboard close by though I might very well be wrong about this.

    • gorgonaut says:

      I play with 360 controller/Keyboard combo.
      I use the default, advanced gamepad settings.
      It’s nice. I only use the keyboard for super cruise and lateral translation.
      Most other things are through button combos on the keypad, e.g. B+up for cargo scoop.
      I do want a x52, though. And an OR, when it’s done. Maybe a flight suit from EBay, and a minion to rock my chair, to simulate g-forces. Oh, and some space trucking music. (search space trucking on spotify)

    • jheronimus says:

      I’m playing with a gamepad. Don’t need keyboard at all, actually. But you do need to learn some shortcuts there and spend some time getting used to controls.

      I would like to use a HOTAS, but I’m playing from a couch.

  19. Infinity Limited says:

    Too bad the developers missed the deadline they set for themselves. A business is supposed to conclude business by the end of the business day, and as of 8:30 pm London time there was still no beta 2 delivered. Sad, but not too surprising. While the game is decent so far and the concept is sound, the business practices leave a lot to be desired. More than one person expressing an opinion similar to this one on the Elite forums was summarily banned for speaking their minds. So much for democracy and free speech, it was trumped by corporate high handedness and moderators that refuse to believe that anyone could be unhappy having promises broken by a faceless corporate entity.
    The moderators need to be more moderate methinks. They make the corporation look petty and childish.