Elite Pilots Finally Find A Crashed Alien Spaceship

The pilots of Elite: Dangerous [official site] have been looking for direct evidence of alien spaceships for a while now, knowing that Frontier are planning to bring them to the game at some point. But today they finally found a crashed alien vessel that has been rumoured to exist for months.

Cmdr Noctrach posted the discovery on Reddit, after clues from Gamescom led players to a moon in the Pleiades Sector. The moon was scoured for signs of the ship and eventually, it was found. Other pilots have since visited the co-ordinates and are coming up with even more theories about what exactly it is.

The most obvious answer is that it is a Thargoid ship, the hostile aliens from previous games in the series. One pilot speculates that, based on the way the crashed ship seems to have been built, the previously discovered barnacles are actually buried alien vessels themselves.

The rumoured existence of a crashed alien craft has been floating around for a few months, ever since a community ambassador told others it was in the game, yet wouldn’t disclose the exact location. There have since been other clues, such as a map hidden in the audio of an alien probe. Eventually, clues given to the community by Frontier during their Gamescom presentations led commanders to the right moon.

Now that the ship is found, pilots are trying to decide if it is the end of this particular storyline – ie. if this is all the alien content that has been patched into the game so far. Perhaps there are other crashed vessels. But if not, then all that is left to do is wait until Frontier finally wake up those dormant Thargoids. While many are happy with the find, others will doubtlessly be annoyed if this is the end of things until the next big expansion pack. What do you think? Was it all a fun in-game investigation or just an unbearably long-winded tease?


  1. Metalfish says:

    I like this sort of thing, I love the idea that in Kerbal Space Program, for instance, I might stumble across something bizarre in some forgotten crater, although the romantic in me is slightly disappointed that the devs had to prod the players to find it. Still, that’s preferable to these efforts never being discovered (does anyone care about the Payday 2 secret anymore? Did anything ever come of that?)

    • PampleMoose says:

      To be fair, there’s still a lot of space to comb through even if you narrow it down a little. I just did a quick estimate based of on ed-td’s system list, and there are at least 2350 systems in the Pleiades sector with standard catalogue numbers, plus a few others like Maia which are actually inhabited and named. A large number of those would have multiple landable stellar bodies to explore.

  2. milligna says:

    What was even more exciting is at the site, players could see each other. Amazing! IT BLEW MY MIND!

    • Feedim says:


    • CartonofMilk says:

      not that much a burn considering that the last time i played Elite, about a month ago, i had to die from running out of fuel because the Fuel Rats that dropped into my instance to rescue me couldn’t see me. This happened semi frequently playing with my brother too… Elite has had its history with players in the same instance who can’t see each other..

  3. seroto9 says:

    HR Giger is spinning in his grave: “No cocks or fannies and it’s NOT BLACK????!”

  4. stringerdell says:

    I tried playing this again for the first time in a few months and AI ships have been buffed to the extent that ships I could comfortably kill before get me every time now :/ its kind of ruined it for me to be honest.

    • milligna says:

      I suppose you being rusty due to not playing for a while had nothing to do with it, right? Not even a tiny little bit?

      • CartonofMilk says:

        well they DID seriously buff the AI and the weapons they use. Even if they reduced the buff a little since the original buff (which was pretty insane by my personal standards). I mean, i fly a clipper but if i had to start again from the beginning with smaller ships, i have a feeling i wouldn’t be able to handle combat. You HAVE to learn to turn with FA off for sure now anyway. It didn’t use to be a requirement before. The problem is they got players used to easy mode for over a year and then suddenly made the AI 5 times better. There was no adaptation period, i can totally see how it would turn off returning (or more casual) players. I’m not saying it was a bad thing to buff the ai, at least some, but they did basically just drastically change the combat and i can tell you right now i found out that my combat skills were pretty bad when this new ai rolled out. No Elite ship really caused me problems before, now i don’t dare take on anything above Expert 1-on-1. I’m ranked dangerous but i can tell you if i had had to always fight AI of that skill, i wouldn’t be, because i wouldn’t have a killed so many top ranked ships.

        • Danarchist says:

          I went as far as to buy an expensive flight stick I loved this game so much. After the AI buff I am getting creamed by NPC pilots that never miss now. Said flight stick now lives in the dusty area behind my desk. Ya its probably because I lack skillz and should “lrn2vulture”. I used to be one of the cool kids though, and suddenly getting beat up by the girls polo team on a regular basis took allot of the joy of the game away for me.
          I am all for challenge, but I am at the point where I cannot afford the insurance cost to replace my ship one more time. Meaning I can either sell it off and buy a cheaper less effective ship that i CAN replace, or just stop playing the damn frustrating game. After all the work I put into getting my current ship option B sounds allot more likely

          • Piratepete says:

            Totally agree. After the utter debacle that was the engineers patch where certain NPC’s, not all, got superweapons, the forums errupted in chaos where 50% of the players were getting mashed by ships and 50% weren’t. Those getting mashed called for a nerf and those who hadn’t been affected cried L2P. Ironically it seemed the smaller ships were less likely to see this bug than those in the bigger ships. This was the ugly side of an increasingly fractured player base. Then when they sorted the bug the remaining AI removed all pleasure from the game and those like myself trying to get to elite in combat rank found that they couldn’t handle the required elite NPC’s to progress and I watched my funds dissapate with rebuy after rebuy, with no chance of progression. A brief sojourn into the endless grind of engineers mods was the final straw. I haven’t played since. Then I watched at a distance as the playerbase ate itself alive and Frontier fell into the trap of having “favourites” in the playerbase. What started as a relaxing game I could play after work became an exercise in endless frustration at the players and devs. In the end I put the hotas away and left any player groups bar 1, where I have some friends who engae in skullduggery and shenanigans, until that finally too was removed from the game. Its a beautiful inconsequential exercise in how not to develop a game. TLDR: Salt, whatever.

        • Elusiv3Pastry says:

          I’m loving the increased difficulty. I’ve started playing again after being away for a year or so. When I left I could murder anything without breaking a sweat in my tricked out Vulture. My first fight upon returning is a 1 on 1 against an Elite-rated Eagle.

          “An Eagle? Pffft. Please, what could possibly…”

          *Canopy Breached*

          *Total Recall impression*

      • Chorltonwheelie says:

        Glad it’s not just me!
        Went back to it over the weekend and lost three Cobras and all my money. On the verge of uninstalling. Definitely not throwing another twenty quid at it.

        • PoulWrist says:

          Yea, I had the same thing. AI was not that good before, but 2 of them could be a challenge, 3 would be really dangerous. Now, just 1 is a major hassle. It might be that I just don’t understand how to fight them, but all the tricks I used to do, like boost and turn with flight-assist off in to reverse, just didn’t seem to work much, the enemy was just always out of my line of sight and moving in to my six.

          • plugmonkey says:

            I’m finding it a lot harder, and also completely unreadable now. One ‘low intensity’ combat zone will be all lols and larks, another will be death in a matter of seconds and a multi million credit insurance bill.

    • Zorrito says:

      Yeah it’s more dangerous, but that’s kinda fitting right ;)

      You can mitigate for a lot of it though. The main thing now is to pay more attention to NPC ranks, the top tiers are definitely a lot more capable. Hang out in high sec systems while you’re finding your level again as the cops will help a lot now. Other things like using point-defence if you find yourself getting disabled by missiles while shieldless can help too, and don’t let yourself get mobbed in combat zones.

      Had a great FA-off face-off with an Elite Cobra today (a ship my FAS would have dominated before), ducking his railguns, hiding out in his Y-axis, and loving it as he countered each move :). (They’re not gods now, they’re just a lot more believable ;))

      • Zorrito says:

        Gah I sound like a douche with that last bit. What I meant is you can find your level again. IE which ship/rank combos you can solo, which ones you can take with NPC aid. But there’s still enough variability out there to keep you on your toes.

        I’m an average pilot. I ran scared for a while after the patches, full on defensive and non-combat. But then I just lowered my sights on what I expected to kill and worked up to my competence level. Now I feel like the high tier guys in small ships are teaching me tricks ;)

        • PoulWrist says:

          Maybe I’m just in the wrong systems, but half the USS I scan are highly dangerous lvl 2-3 or whatever. Most seem to be the gold-trap where a handful of anacondas or whatever will spawn in and destroy you if you don’t start running immediately you realise what you just dropped in to :p

          • Zorrito says:

            Oo weird, yeah I wonder if that’s dependent on the state of the system. Like in low-sec / anarchic ones?

            I definitely find myself noping out of engagements a lot more these days. But making that call can be fun too yeah ;)

      • Carr0t says:

        That’s been my experience too. I’ve had to learn some new tricks, like actually going FAOff and full pips to engines to be able to turn fast enough to track some NPCs, but it’s made the game overall more of a challenge and more enjoyable.

        Before, I was taking on wings of 3 ships, one Annie rated ‘Elite’, and taking all 3 down without much trouble in my Vulture. Hell, I had been taking out Elite Annies in my *Viper*. Now I have to choose my battles. Sometimes I just have to run. I occasionally get owned. If I see an Annie, FAS or similar and it’s in a 3 ship wing I know to stay the hell away (unless they’re all ‘Mostly Harmless’ and running without shields or something). A solo Annie? If it’s Dangerous or below I’ll take it on and probably win (still in the Vulture). Solo Annie at Deadly or Elite? Well, I got cocky and tried it the other night when bounty hunting for a CG. Over 1 million in bounties waiting to be cashed in and I lost it all because I got completely owned… My own damn fault, and taught me a lesson.

        • Zorrito says:

          Yeah I love that balancing act now. Loads more possible combos out there. ‘Hmm, two competent Gunships. Could I take em? Let’s find out…’ ;)

          I’ve found myself staying in FA-off for prolonged periods too, as it feels like the only way to baffle the nippy Elite pilots who zone in on you with powerful fixed weapons. They’re forcing me to evolve :D

      • DOCMNC says:

        i would agree the patches were also very nice as a noncombat orientated player because i now feel a measure of risk when trading higher value goods and i feel this really helps the game

  5. RobotsForBreakfast says:

    Looks like the pilot in that video is the same one to fly the Airlander: link to youtube.com

  6. SableKeech says:

    Oof – what is up with those framerates? Is it that bad in game or something due to recording?

    I have ED, but just can’t give them any more money for the Mako stuff.

    • Janichsan says:

      He’s either playing on a potato or the recording software interfering: the game normally runs smooth on even a couple of years old hardware.

      • SableKeech says:

        Good – glad it hasn’t bombed that much! I want to go back… need to break out the x52 again.

        • PoulWrist says:

          My 680 runs it at a comfortable 45-60+ FPS at 2560×1440 at high settings.

        • Carr0t says:

          GTX 670 here, playing at 1920×1200 with most settings on High. When Horizons first came out those settings were getting a solid 60fps in space, dropping to 45-55 inside a station. Looking at a planet up close would drop me to 25-30, and I could barely manage 15-20 on the surface. Even more disappointingly dropping most of the settings down didn’t seem to improve things much. It looked a fair bit worse, and was a tiny bit smoother, but we’re still only talking 30fps or so.

          Since then they’ve drastically improved *something*. I’m now back up to my original settings and mostly getting a solid 60fps both in-station and on-surface, occasionally dropping to 55 or so.

  7. TheMythicalSeabeast says:

    There is clearly no way to actually damage that crash site, so why am I so bothered by the guy in that video ramming the ruins with his ship and shooting at it? Maybe I’m too into archaeology, but it seems to me that the appropriate response is to pull out a little brush and start dusting the thing.

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      This is my favourite comment of the day. I wonder if there is a tumblr or top ten or something for careless archaeology in videogames. Ms Croft probably ranks number one. This is a priceless vase that dates back to– wait lemme just break this open so I can see if there’s anything interesting inside.

      • Premium User Badge

        zapatapon says:

        In Tomb Raider The Reboot, I was mildly amused/horrified the whole game long by the video played repeatedly when you finish a tomb and open a coveted chest full of antique treasures. “Oooh”, goes Lara, in her eyes an expression of awe of so much history laid out before her (the camera view is from within the opened chest). Then in an instant her face turns to a self-satisfied greedy grin and she launches her arm forward to the camera into the chest, apparently to snatch a random item from it and put it in her bag.

        Each time I wondered if the contrast was intended to be funny and a meta commentary on TR, or if it was totally unintentional.

    • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

      I started flinching when he just hovered over it, blasting it with dust and jets. Sam Neill would be spinning in his grave (if he was dead and an actual archaeologist)

      • Feedim says:

        He was a paleontologist. Just sayin’. Couldn’t help it. You wouldn’t call Jeff Goldblum’s character in Jurassic park a statistician.

  8. Asurmen says:

    Shame that there’s nothing left to science the hell out of until 2.2 lands. Serves as a bit of a teaser for the aliens in that patch I guess.

  9. TheAngriestHobo says:

    Perhaps fitting that this happens the same day that the Russians announce that they may have received a radio signal from alien life.

    • DelrueOfDetroit says:

      Better hope those aliens aren’t gay or else we’re doomed.

  10. Whelp says:

    It’s still boring as fuck and has virtually no content. I’m just gonna stick with EVE tyvm.

    • milligna says:

      It’s a game about flying spaceships and you can fly spaceships. Seems to do what it says on the label.

    • Det. Bullock says:

      Yep, it’s essentially a game about flying your persona Millenium Falcon or Serenity before the respective movies or Tv series began, rather than a game about being Lando and becoming the manager of a Tibanna gas mine.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      Boring as fuck? If fuck is boring for you, you’re doing it wrong.

      • DelrueOfDetroit says:

        To be fair, it’s usually when the other person is doing it wrong.

  11. Chaz says:

    Most of all this passed me by. The problem is that they’re terrible at communicating all this stuff to players actually in the game. You’ve got to hit the forums and find the main discussion thread for all this stuff to keep up with it.

    I expect for most players that one day after a major patch they’ll just find that the Thargoids are suddenly in the game and that all of this preamble has just been so much background noise. Seriously if you didn’t visit the FD forums or check websites like this then you would have no idea this stuff is going on in the game. Galnet? Give me a break, no one reads that.