Fractured Space Adds New Drops, Goes Free-To-Play

Update: There’s now a statement from the developers about the current state of the microtransactions below.

Fractured Space [official site] was already cheap as space chips, but its journey towards completing development has taken another step forward as the game is now free-to-play as of today.

This is one of those instances where a game ditching its price tag arguably isn’t necessarily a big deal: Fractured Space was already only £3.49 / $4.99, and websites all over the internet (including ours) have already done giveaways for free access to the game’s founders packs. Free-to-play was long planned for when the game was more complete and polished, which is apparently now. If you want a go, it’s on Steam.

Of course, it’s a big deal depending on how the monetisation system functions, and thus far at least the Steam reviews suggest the changes made last Friday function displeasingly.

That’s in part because of the new “Drop System” added to the game, in which in-game activities have a chance of giving players rewards. It’s mostly similar to other games, in that those rewards come in a locked box that then needs to be opened using an in-game currency called DNA before it can be used. That currency can either be gained via play, just as the drop pods themselves, or of course purchased for real monies. It doesn’t seem particularly well presented however, not least because the chance of getting a (locked) prize is delivered via a literal spinning wheel, undercutting the sense that the item was gained due to whatever you just accomplished in-game.

That said, when our Rob played the game for Premature Evaluation back in February, he had a great time:

“World of Warships is never really much more than a fanciful 1940s naval deathmatch, but I spent months playing it a few times a day, and I would argue its ship classes have far less variety than what’s available in Fractured Space. I might wish there were more in the way of team tactics and strategic choice on offer in Fractured Space, but it always gives me the thing I want the most: broadside-for-broadside space combat.”

Aside from going free, this latest update adds two new maps and two new capital ships. There’s a trailer that adequately relates the fantasy below:

Update: Since this story went live, its developers released this statement about the current state of the game and its drop system from the developer’s:

“This is Matcatstyle – James, the CEO of Edge Case Games.

Basically we messed up.

The new Crew Collection System has been rolled out in a way that we are not proud of, and you guys have reacted to in a very understandable way. We have always worked closely with you, the community and listened along our journey through Early Access. And we are listening now.

We will now do what we should have done in the first place and ensure you have the crew you already played so hard to get. To ensure we don’t miss anything, the best way is to give everyone who has played Fractured Space before the last update all the available crew that were attainable then.

Also as some of you will have spent Platinum and Credits on Drop Ships, we will reimburse any currency spent up until this announcement.

As with all new features we’re rolled out over the past 18 months, the crew collection system will improve, and soon as well. The team have many plans to make it fun and rewarding, and of course the team are working hard on many of the other great features of the game that we know you want such as Ranked Play, Replays, Spectator Cam and much much more…

Our sincere apologies – do stick with us – and I will see you on battlefield.

James (Madcatstyle)”


  1. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Fractured Space is one of my two favourite stately battle-blimp simulators and is currently in the lead.

  2. Maxheadroom says:

    So better than Dreadnought then? Picked up Fractured Space in a key giveaway ages ago but didn’t really stick with it (cant remember why I didn’t go back, I certainly didn’t hate it)
    What I’ve seen of Dreadnought looks pretty good though.

    Anyone care to summarise the differences?

    • unangbangkay says:

      I’m still downloading both games, so I can’t actually confirm any of this, but based on what I’ve read, Fractured Space is more of a MOBA whereas Dreadnought is more of a class-based arena shooter. It’s a Battleborn v. Overwatch kind of distinction, i.e. in that they’re not strictly the same kind of game but people feel spurred to compare the two anyway.

      • KDR_11k says:

        FS is certainly more MOBA-ish but not fully there either, it has you trying to gain a level advantage on the other team and lengthy respawns and stuff but no creeps or towers, instead it uses Domination-style territory control to accumulate the XP equivalent. And yeah, just like BB vs OW there’s no class changing mid-match in Fractured Space.

        Personally I didn’t like it much, the feedback on how well you’re doing in combat is fairly limited as the armor isn’t shown, you only get a notice when it finally breaks and then the battle is half over.

    • Borreh says:

      Well, for me the difference is simillar to what goes on between LoL and Dota 2.

      Fractured Space is a slower, more strategic affair that requires pre-combat planning and good team coordination. The direct ship to ship combat isn’t as responsive and intense as in Dreadnought, but once you start communicating with your team then teamwork becomes very rewarding and drives the entire game; The game itself rewards it by being objective-driven and featuring a whole in-game level up mechanic. Kinda’ like Dota 2, which is a deeper, more methodical experience compared to LoL. Also engaging and commiting into fights is more time and resource consuming, so you will be careful in picking when to engage and when to stay at a distance planning your next move.

      Dreadnought on the other hand plays much, much faster, fights are more intense, there is a lot more going on as far as individual ship to ship combat is concerned; There’s a lot more feedback, more to do, ships are faster, the maps are more nuanced and allow careful players to hide and exploit the geometry. However, strategicaly, the game is basicaly a glorified arena shooter and most of the game consists of a large brawl. While ships enter and leave it at will, and there are times when both teams aren’t in battle but rather plan their next move, the game’s design promotes immediate combat. Also, the combat is more lethal, but respawns are less time consuming. So I’d say it’s like LoL, which is a more accesible and easier alternative to Dota 2.

      In short: In Dreadnought, a competent player can perform a teamkill with little to no support. In Fracured Space that’s extremely hard to pull off unless you have serious support.

      On a side note, each game has a very distinct aesthetic. Dreadnought goes for a space-opera style with high-tech battleships that sometimes even have statues or regalia installed on them, with the backdrop of battles being picturesque, colourful planets and huge space stations that would feel at home in Mass Effect. The game has an edge over FS in that you can customize the ships to a huge degree, by selecting things like the look of the ship’s front, middle, bridge and back, the colour scheme, regalia/faction symbols and camo schemes. FS pales in comparison, really.

      Fractured Space goes for a much more low-tech art style, with a very raw (but pretty in its naturalism) space, and spaceships that look like humanity is still figuring out how to build those. Many of them look like distant descendants of modern space shuttles, with military installations mounted around a huge, low-tech warp drive and engine; Others seem to take huge cues from submarine design. It’s actualy quite original and I like it for that. While there is no direct ship customization (other than premade skins), FS features a great crew selection system, where you select invidual characters to fit into various positions on your ship which grants you combat buffs. All of those characters are very varied, unique, well written and talk to you in combat all the time, which makes the game much more immersive. Dreadnought only has “crew breifings” that give you bonus points, but you don’t select anyone for the crew and you have a ton of random voices yelling over each other in the background (Altough I give the game bonus points for the “Enemy destroyer… *Chuckle* …Destroyed, captain!” part).

      I’m torn between the two. FS combat can surely feel simplistic and less engaging when compared to Dreadnought’s Call of Duty-level bombast, but each game stands well on its own, as FS has a strong focus on teamwork that’s not always required in Dreadnought (unless the session reaches a stalemate).

      Yeah, another comparison: FS is Battlefield, Dreadnought is Call of Duty :P

    • Maxheadroom says:

      Thanks all (and Thanks Borrah for possibly the longest reply ive ever had on here :) ). Based on all that, Dreadnought sounds more my speed since I seldom have a regular group to play with and FS sounds like it benefits hugely from co-ordinated team play.

      Plus I like the idea of just jumping on for a quick match when I find the time without much set up and preamble

      Still for the price no reason not to give them both a punt. Now at lease im not going in blind so once again, thanks all

      • Victor A Yorke says:

        Speaking as an FS fan and semi-regular player, so take with pinch of salt…

        I’ve been only played pub matches in Fractured Space, and can confirm you won’t have any problem as a result. You just need to keep your eye on the chat window since that’s where the planning, communications, lane choices (in the form of ‘jumping to sector’ tells) all appear.

        The playing community still has that warmth you see with Early Access games sometimes (and at least 85% of players are out to have fun rather than cheese their way to victory) too. Paradoxically the steam forums and reviews are both full of those same players tearing the game to shreds (don’t ask, i don’t know).

        I’ve never played Dreadnought, so cannot advise you either way, but i’ve heard it referred to as “the game you play when you want to play FS, but don’t want to play FS”.

      • Borreh says:

        No problem, I’m glad I could help :P My comments tend to be long. I was actualy in the middle of writing my BA, and I took that post as a short break. I finished it in 20 minutes and, out of curiosity, pasted it onto my BA – It was 3 pages long, written in 20 minutes, while I struggle to come up with 1-2 pages per hour or two for that paper :D

        And per “game you play when you want to play FS but you’re not in the mood for FS” – rotfl :D

        Altough most fans are raging simply because the game went f2p. Which surprised them. Despite the game being supposed to be f2p since the get-go.

        Yeah I don’t get that either.

  3. Rich says:

    Such a beautiful looking game, but why does it have to be multi-player only? I long for a proper single-player capital ship game.

    • KDR_11k says:

      I guess a combination of MP being easier (no need for varied content or AI) and the combat system not being terribly interesting outside of a team vs. team setting. You’re mostly just trading blows as ships are too slow to dodge any attacks and you use your cooldown-based abilities, it’s not terribly interesting unless there’s multiple ships working together.

      Single player cap-ship games I can think of are Rebel Galaxy and Battlefleet Gothic (though that has you commanding multiple ships to get that same interaction going). Ah, and Starsector of course.

  4. thomas16632 says:

    what about people who bought the game ?
    i bought it but never had time to play yet.
    So now i just payed for a free to play ( pay to win )

    • Sin Vega says:

      So you were happy to pay for something you never used, but it becomes a problem if other people enjoy it for free?

  5. thomas16632 says:

    i’d just like to have some kind of gift / less farming, when i’ll have time, since i paid somethind :)