Elite Dangerous: Arena Free For Keepsies This Weekend

Elite Dangerous: Arena [official site], the spin-off standalone of Elite’s combat arena mode, is free to try this weekend. More than that, if you get it now it’s yours forever.

Arena is Elite’s PvP dogfighting mode Close Quarters Combat cut out as a separate game. Choose a ship, customise its loadout, then launch into space-battles to blow the space-heck out of space-folks in deathmatch, team deathmatch, and capture the flag modes on four maps. Zap zap. Arena ties into regular Elite too, putting its CQC players into the same matchmaking pool.

It’s far from full-on Elite but you can now have a gander if you’re curious. You can download Arena through Steam or from Frontier until 10am PST on Monday to play free. It’s yours for keepsies and all – for ever and ever and ever.

Arena usually sells for only £4.99/6,75€/$7.49 so it’s not a huge freebie but hey, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention free zap-zaps. This should get some more players into the matchmaking queue, at least.


  1. Det. Bullock says:

    Free space pew pew?
    I’m in, with my crappy connection it will probably be a lagfest for me but, hey, free stuff!

  2. Jediben says:

    Beware the bait n switch; Elite Dangerous is nothing like the Arena.

    • milligna says:

      yeah, it’s better by miles and has glorious VR support and scratches the space sim itch better than anything on the market today – certainly better than vague dreams that may one day be games.

      • Red_Fox says:

        It’s not shallow like I heard it once was anymore?

      • SanguineAngel says:

        There is artistry in this response

      • Unclepauly says:


      • hippy says:

        > has glorious VR support

        “In short, yes, E:D ‘works’ on the Vive. But it’s a shitty, half-hearted implementation and until the dreadful rendering issue (and, for me, optional motion controller support) is resolved, it’s simply not worth your money right now.” link to reddit.com

        ED on Vive has been crap from day #1 and Frontier have given no date as to when they are going to fix it.

    • Asurmen says:

      Not sure how it’s bait and switch, seeing as it’s not advertising as being the same. It’s a completely different mode.

  3. LionsPhil says:

    Wow, these reviews. And the top one is saying you need to do a whole bunch of mucking about with signing up for Frontier accounts and going through a CC/billing transaction for a free serial.

    There goes that glimmering moment of mild interest.

    • TechnoJellyfish says:

      First claim is true: it requires you to create (or log in to) a Frontier account. Second one is not, however. First name, last name and (obviously) a valid e-mail address is all that is needed.

  4. Hunchback says:

    Man, HOW desperate can they get?

    • Slazia says:

      Yeah. I hate companies who give stuff away for free. EVIL!

      • shocked says:

        There’s “free” and then there’s “free”. And this is clearly “free”.

      • Hunchback says:

        It’s not evil, it’s desperate. Since ED basically failed miserably, they’ve been trying these antics to get people to like it. They’ve first created this “PvP mode” for the original owners of the game, then they released it as a stand-alone thing and now they are giving it for free. I can only imagine the amount of people actually playing it.

        Mind you though, the pvp arena ED is actually quite nice, only real problem i had with it was that there’s no real matchmaking.

        • Asurmen says:

          Er, it sold plenty of copies, has a steady player count and their finances are solid. That sure sounds like failed to me.

          • Hunchback says:

            link to steamcharts.com
            Wouldn’t call that “steady player base”. And that’s just Steam, most people wouldn’t bother migrating their ED account to steam (i think, at least i didn’t). All the people who’ve bought it have since quit it. The steam reviews are TERRIBLE and actually getting worse.

            The simple fact that they have to give the PvP for FREE (real free) is indication enough of the “success” this thing has had.

          • Hunchback says:

            *All the people I KNOW who’ve bought it…

            God damned, give us back the edit option! *shakes fist*

          • Asurmen says:

            So the average number of players over a great many months sitting around 3-4k isn’t steady?

            Yes, that is just Steam, meaning you’re making a conclusion based on incomplete data.

            Nothing you’ve leads to a conclusion it’s failed miserably.

          • hippy says:

            I don’t know which planet you’re writing from, but it is a long way from Earth.

            > Er, it sold plenty of copies

            Dunno how you know. Frontier stopped telling long ago. All we know is Steam shows less than than 800K owners. For Xbox, Microsoft aren’t telling either.

            > has a steady player count

            Steadily dropping. “2,968 playing an hour ago ; 18,039
            all-time peak” Steam Charts link to steamcharts.com

            > and their finances are solid.

            Last week Frontier just reported for the year end, a drop in sales, drop in cash, and losses of about £3ms.

        • hippy says:

          “I can only imagine the amount of people actually playing it.”

          No need to imagine, my friend. The month before the free give-away, the average number of players was 1.3. One point three out opf ten thousand owners. The month before is was 2.3 . Steam Charts link to steamcharts.com