Elite: Dangerous Early Adopters Get Steam Keys May 28th

Elite: Dangerous Steam keys will be given to Kickstarter backers as well as anyone who has purchased the game via the official Frontier store. The Steam version arrived in April, months after the game launched, and Frontier Developments had only said on the official FAQ that they were “investigating the possibility” of giving keys to players who wanted it in their Steam library.

The announcement states that owners of the game will be able to generate their own Steam key from their account page from May 28th. This includes any new customers who buy from the official store in the future. Frontier promises a seamless transition to the Steam version. Since all your save data is kept on Elite: Dangerous’ servers, it’s simply a case of logging in with the same account and it’ll be just like playing the non-Steam version. Almost as if it was a complete waste of time. Almost.

The latest Elite: Dangerous newsletter also mentions the imminent release of the Mac version of the game, which launches on May 12th. If you already own the PC version, you’ll get instant access to the Mac version for absolutely nothing. Commendable work by Frontier on both fronts. The more ways to play the game, the better.


  1. Xan says:

    Almost as if it was a complete waste of time. Almost.

    “I’m detecting a hint of negativity.”

  2. jezcentral says:

    Those people who kicked up a fuss will be super-pissed when they realise that a game being on Steam does not automatically mean it gets Steam achievements.

    • Matchstick says:

      No it doesn’t, but hopefully it does mean you get steams better patching mechanisms plus they can now start offering Steam specific features like achievements without requiring their oldest backers to pay again to received them.

      So basically it doesn’t change much right now but means Frontier can move forward knowing all their users have access to the same feature set.

      • Artist says:

        Wow, achievements! Now thats indeed important… No, wait…

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          No, but he mentioned other things, and while we’re there why don’t you ask those who got the non-steam version of GTA5 what their experience was with the launcher?

          There are plenty more features than that, though, and plenty more reasons to prefer a game on your platform or choice. You actually don’t even need to provide a justification for that, you just have to make Frontier accountable for yet another lie.

          As stupid as it might sound to you, many people prefer buying on Steam, and they would have got Elite that way from the get go if only Frontier weren’t so specific about having no intention to go that route. They didn’t want to deal with Valve’s cuts, just like they wanted to attract their old fanbase and offline only lovers just to backtrack when it was too late.

          See, i don’t particularly care about the latter just like others don’t care about Steam, but in both situations the customer has been lied to, and that’s a problem no matter how we twist it.

    • Xzi says:

      Now it’s time to kick up a fuss over the fact that it took them a month just to announce that it’ll be a month before we can get our Steam keys.

    • adelicatebalance says:

      I’ve been teaching myself PHP just so I can process the steam API. I have a ridiculous number of games and the best way for me to organize them is via the API. It’s a great convenience for me to have games integrated properly with steam. I don’t care too much about achievements, but it is useful to have all my games manage via one main client for updates and the API is a good bonus.

    • briangw says:

      I could care less about achievements….I just one one place to centrally manage my games.

  3. MiniMatt says:

    This is really handy. No it’s not the huge issue some of the frothier contingent made it out to be, but it does allow* for things such as:

    Buying paint job decals with change from trading card sales and odd bits of wallet cash
    Using Steam’s existing friend networking to get friends together for space laserbeam action
    All games in one, two, maybe three places. Whilst appreciative of competition, no-one likes having to boot tons of launchers.

    * (possible/likely some of these are future assumptions rather than now)

    • MiniMatt says:


      Elite: Dangerous runs on Frontier’s servers, so we’ve been working with Valve to give you a way to seamlessly connect your Steam and existing Frontier accounts in a way that’s easy

      That should be handy too, one less account/password combo to have to remember

  4. neffo says:

    Anyone used the Steam version? I’m curious if the game still downloads content through the Frontier front end. (It was pretty slow downloading things this side of the galaxy. Steam would probably be better given the local CDNs, etc.)

    • DrGonzo says:

      It downloads the game and updates through steam proper and not the Frontier launcher.

      • neffo says:

        Coverage of the same story elsewhere seems to suggest only the Launcher is kept up to date. (I don’t know what to believe.)

        That said the fact the launcher couldn’t update itself was a pain in itself. I still would rather have the game updating when I’m not playing it so when I get the urge I don’t have to wait an hour to update it.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Plus, it was a rather offensive launcher.

      Since they’re british, the speed counter defaulted on Mb/s rather than Kb/s, making my thirld world connection feel abused.

  5. Hobbes says:

    Took them long enough, I’m guessing they’ve decided the PR fallout of saying “no” was not worth the additional flak and so they’ve assented to the 30% hit they’ll take from people buying expansions via Steam in future.

    Pro tip kids, Steam makes life easy, in a lot of ways, Frontier’s launcher was a pain in the ass and Steams CDN is infinitely less so, that 30% gets you local mirrors that patches client games at a fraction of the time. It also means integration and easier handling of the various features that come with it. As much as people decry the Steam monopoly, when people want you to join up with Steam, and you’ve already put your game on there for new purchases, it’s usually a good idea to grandfather existing customers across.

  6. dog says:

    “Braben lied to us!” … oh, wait…

    • rabbit says:

      If you’ll allow me to be as glib as you were with that comment, I’d say that this was the exception that proves the rule.

  7. Synesthesia says:

    Nice, that’s useful. I don’t play often, and usually when I decide to play, i’d have to wait for a new patch I didn’t have patience for, and ended not playing. Steam auto updates might bring me back to this.

  8. Curry the Great says:

    So if I were to be a scumbag, could I give my key to a friend so we can play together?

    • Max Planck says:

      You could ‘play it together’ in the way that you would be sitting next to him and watch him play with what used to be your account.

  9. Hobbes says:

    Unsure, they may lock it to user accounts, which would be the expected route they’ll be taking.

  10. Artist says:

    Ok, Steamkeys. And hows the status of those people that have been tricked into the Kickstarter with the broken promise of a full offline mode?

    • dog says:

      hahaha, i knew there would be one….

      • rabbit says:

        fully justified complaint. they themselves have admitted that they were worried about meeting their goal in the funding and so put the offline mode in. they then hit their goal and then, money in pocket, pulled the offline mode. that is fucking scummy behaviour.

        • Asurmen says:

          They have?

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            This is a bit unimportant, unless they’re completely clueless about their own userbase they absolutely know how huge a pull the offline mode was for some.

            Just like they tried to make sure people wouldn’t wait for the Steam version, then put it there more or less by surprise when ( i suppose ) sales started decreasing and they felt was most convenient to them.

          • Asurmen says:

            So conspiracy/speculation rather than facts.

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            Depends, the theories are all about why they did it, not about what, which is pretty much clear by now.

            The big promise about pure offline was broken and believe me, i too prefer the online integration considering their PowerPlay update, so i’m not against removing the offline part but they’ve still been dishonest about it, which is the only important part.

            Also they absolutely didn’t want to put it on Steam, and if you don’t believe me you can do your own research. What i did in my previous post was merely trying to imagine the reasons behind the decision, but it still doesn’t change that they backtracked on that too.

          • Asurmen says:

            Well that’s my point and why I’m replying. I want the proof that they included offline in the initial pitch to drive sales, and same for Steam.

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            I can do all i want with my speculations, they didn’t keep their promises and whatever is the reason, the point is that it happened, and that is the problem.

            The fact that they didn’t want Steam or that an Offline mode was promised is pretty much in the open, and i won’t move a finger just to disprove a random troll, you can do that yourself if you’re really so ignorant about this topic.

            The REST is my speculation, but then again if you have any better ideas about why they shouldn’t keep such a key promise at the very last moment be my guest.

      • NotToBeLiked says:

        Yes, there are always some of those people who are silly enough to expect to get what they paid for. Yes, technically backing a Kickstarter entitles you to nothing, but if a company promises something in exchange for money it’s a scumbag move to just not deliver it because “fuck the people who paid us”, and place online DRM in the game.

        • dog says:

          Funny though, a very large number of people who backed it, or bought it on steam, actually don’t feel fucked at all…. In fact a huge number of people are having a real blast…
          I do sympathise if you’re one of those people who wants to play it on the move, but to be honest if your playing on a laptop on a train or something then elite probably never was the game for this…
          Frontier have delivered far more than I expected… I’ve been frustrated a couple of times with the online mode and being unable to play due to connection issues. So yes, I would have been happy with an offline mode, but seeing as they delivered everything else (more or less) that was promised and continue to update and expand the game I really feel I got what I paid for…

          • adelicatebalance says:

            “…are having a real blast”

            Like me. If only it’d had steam integration from day 1 I think it’d have several hundred hours clocked up since launch. Looks gorgeous in 4k and plays brilliantly with a HOTAS. I’m also looking forward to the consumer Oculus and further updates, but I find it quite tiresome how vocal some people feel they need to be about the game. Actually, about games in general. I’m still trying to get to grips with how at odds some people’s expectations are with the reality of games production.

  11. Jeeva says:

    Well, that makes me happy for some reason. Know what I’ll be re-downloading shortly after getting home.