Elite Dangerous Gets Fighters With Guardians Update

Elite Dangerous [official site] got its latest update today, bringing more galactic hi-jinks to the quite-good space sim. Murmurs of aliens and fighter bays have so far blinded us to the real highlight of the update – the space buses. The Beluga is a giant luxury space yacht for transporting wealthy VIPs on passenger missions and it is the focus of a new trailer Frontier has made to celebrate their biggest update so far, called ‘Guardians’. Come watch the trailer and find out what’s changed.

You won’t just be taking poshos on sight-seeing tours though. There’s a bunch of passenger types, including businessmen, prisoners, scientists, terrorists, refugees, politicians, celebrities, aid workers and criminals. Of course, you can be scanned by security ships for any “wanted” passengers, so you may need to be careful about who you take on board and where you fly if you have your cabins filled with fugitives.

The Guardians 2.2 changelog is pretty massive, detailing all the new additions. There’s fighter bays for seven of Elite’s larger vessels. These let you launch small, nimble military craft with which to harass and attack other ships, choosing to either pilot a fighter yourself or let an NPC do the heavy lifting killing. Crew Lounges are also introduced, where your hardened pilots can be managed. And there are now jets of supercharged radiation spilling out of neutron stars (as we’ve previously covered) which allow you to jump massive distances if harnessed correctly. There’s also new ships – the Beluga, which is pronounced “Beluuuuu-GAH!”, and the three fighters themselves: the F-63 Condor, the Imperial Fighter and the Taipan.

Also included in the notes are several mentions of “mysterious things” both on the surface of planets (as seen at the end of the trailer) and in general. This is probably more alien teasing and riddles for the community to discover and unravel. Given how long the last Thargoid tease went on for, and the response some Overwatchers are having to the long-winded Sombra ARG, I hope Frontier do not continue to drag this out for too long.

There are other cosmetic improvements to keep explorers happy. Geysers, volcanism and other geological features now feature on some planet surfaces, while the interiors of space stations have been tweaked and added to. On top of that there are a huge number of fixes and changes, like alterations to heat-focused weaponry, as well as changes to the galaxy map and shipyard. If you want to know all the details and you’re willing to scroll through 16,500 words of changes, be my guest.

This is all part of Elite’s second season of stuff, Horizons, which has so far included planetary landings and crafting mechanics. Still promised for this season is the addition of multicrew, which will let players share a single ship and control different systems on board, and commander creation, which is set to be an avatar-creation menu. Taking bets now as to whether tattoos will be DLC or included.


  1. Antongranis says:

    Im confused wheter or not you need the expansion to get fighters etc? Or do you get part of the things in the update anyway?

    • ezelkow1 says:

      Pretty sure fighters require the expansion. If you look at the release notes its broken in to 2.2, 1.7, and then general fixes. I would assume anything under the 2.2 header requires the expansion where as anything under 1.7 is what everyone with only the base game get.

      Then the general fixes are non-gameplay related and are also applied for everyone

      • Antongranis says:

        Thanks! One of these days horizons might be something i spend money on, but it is not today.

    • Sporaric says:

      The ship launched fighters are Horizons only, everything else is available for the base game (except the improvements for planets and engineers, of course).

  2. CartonofMilk says:

    i would really prefer if they called those light (or very light) fighters or support fighters or whatever else since there were ALREADY fighters in the game. Eagle, Viper, Vulture. All fighters.

  3. Sporaric says:

    I dunnoo, I quite like their payment model and really don’t think they are milking us.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      Neither do I. A years worth of expansions to the base game seems to be pretty standard, and FD are keen to do multiple years worth. I’m happy this game is being supported by them, so I’ll support them in turn.

      Time to buy some SRV skins.

      • DuncUK says:

        I don’t have a problem with the way they’re doing the updates, but I didn’t buy Horizons. I’m now intending to wait until 3.0, unless they do a great late-upgrade deal for those that already have 1.7.

  4. geldonyetich says:

    I am interested but, at the same time, wondering if there is any longterm goal to play besides grinding your ship collection.

    If not, why bother? It’s like buying a car when everything is in walking distance.

    • Antongranis says:

      To me, its cookie clicker; space edition. Just following the primal urge to watch numbers go up, really. There is no real story to guide you and there is never any stakes in it except money.

      However, if you are looking for a “finished” space game in an open galaxy, its not like you have alot of options.

      So no, there is no long term goal.

      • BobbyDylan says:

        Not really true. My friends and I have a player faction that we’re trying to spread to the surrounding systems. So far we’ve grown form a opposition in 1 system to owning 3. We have our sights set on a nice agricultural earth-like system, next. Should take a a few weeks to pull off tho.

        • sp0q says:

          So… numbers going up?

          • luckyduck says:

            In a way yes, but minor player faction is still something more than just plain, boring credits. Also flying and fighting in a wing is where the gameplay is most fun in EliteD.. when instancing works of course ;) But there should be some improvement in 2.2 to the net code too (didnt have chance to test it personally yet), so hopefully it will be more stable now.

    • CartonofMilk says:

      to me this is the major critical flaw of the game right now. Get more money buy a bigger ships is the ONLY incentive. And when you have more than two thirds of the ships in the game like i do now…i mean believe me the novelty of flying a new ship doesn’t last longer than maybe 2 hours by now. It’s not enough. It’s not worth it anymore to me. I want more.

      I want to feel more engaged and also, i want to have other ways to spend my money. Like perhaps a small personal base of some sort. Even just owning my own (instanced) space in a space station or something. Anything.

      In the past a new update would have seen me go back to the game for a couple of weeks if not longer but right now i’m so tired of the game i don’t see a point. I don’t feel being able to launch small fighters from my ship changes the game i experienced so far enough to warrant me going back. Carrying passengers to a point in space and stay there for a couple of minutes is not engaging gameplay. It’s no different than carrying any cargo from point a to b to me. This isn’t enough.

      For me i feel the biggest missed opportunity so far lies with planetside stuff. It’s still very limited, repetitive and rather boring. Until they add worthwhile planetside gameplay i don’t think i can go back.

      And ever since a member of the dev team let it slip that walking out and around ships is “a long way off” i feel even less motivated to go back for now. So season 3 will be thargoids then which….unless it adds a lot of new elements like maybe a military career i don’t see will be able to provide enough new content to warrant buying season 3. We’ll see but right now i’m underwhelmed. In any case, season 3 is probably still nearly a year away. At least if we go by how long it took to release 2.1 and 2.2

  5. fearandloathing says:

    So basically Elite continues on the path of being the thing that Star Citizen promised it’d be?

    • Rindan says:

      SC promised to be a really boring game that just barely is multi-player. If grinding for the sake of grinding or randomly generated space pictures make you happy, Elite is for you.

      Tell me this; has this super awesome universe to explore have the ability for players to trade with each other? Can they buy goods from each other? Can I pay you to escort my trading ship? No. The game is empty and meaningless. The only way you can interact with other people is speak with them (they DID get a chat function in, right?) or shoot them. Wooohooo. Such a universe. Such possibilities! I can speak with people or shoot them.

      Elite is grindy solo game where you do one of like 4 or 5 possible tasks for credits. You use those credits to buy only two useful things; ships and ship upgrades. At its best, Elite is a pretty walking simulator.

      I’m pretty sure SC promises more. Can’t say whether or not they will deliver, but they definitely promised a shit-ton more than a grindy solo game.

      • Mabswer says:

        Heh. Yea sure.SC been doing nothing but keep promising more and more.. and in the end what we have in game is the same buggy ass shite 3rd year in a row. But be sure to buy a new ship to support chris roberts fat paycheck and monthly bonuses.

        -after all… man’s gotta eat.

        • sp0q says:

          SC is sure to take at least next two years to develop and to be honest Elite is bound to take the same time to fill the blanks. So from my point of view it does not exactly matter if E is already available – I need to wait for it the same amount of time as SC.
          The difference is, I paid like $20 bucks for the SC, while E already got around $80 from me and that’s far from the end. Not to mention that where I live, that money has a lot different value than to people earning $ or euros. And f*** me if I’ll ever pay for any skins or other cosmetic crap.

  6. racccoon says:

    One of two dishonorable game titles for kickstarter types..SC being the other one, They never did what they promised and both always wanting more & more money for something you already paid for. These two game devs are the reason why this sort of practice(KS) is a place with which the stupid do because they think its going to be true.

    • Chewbacca says:

      This is all part of the Horizon Season Pass. While their initial payment model was rather stupid, the season pass cost me ~30 € a year ago. I don’t see how they want more and more money.

    • Comco says:

      Ok. I’ll bite. SC cops a lot of flack. Some of it deserved, some of it not. But CIG are not asking for more and more money. Selling a product that is not yet complete? Sure. Like every early-access game. But you could always – and still can – get into the game for $45 and not a cent more. The alternative, that people would be screaming about even more, is that SC released a year ago with a much more limited scope, but less buggy game (ie – Elite) and then charged you over and over again to add addition content to make the game feel like is actually a living universe. Instead, they’ve gone an alternative route and delayed development, which ultimately saves their customers money.

      Like I said – SC cops flack, and I’m inclined to agree in terms of scope creep, the pursuit of perfection etc, but to accuse them of doing the wrong thing buy the community and trying to fleece people of their cash, I think that’s grossly unfair. They don’t require anything beyond your initial pledge.

      • sp0q says:


      • Jediben says:

        Sucks to be you. I paid 100 quid for lifetime access during beta and will receive everything for free. Every update, every expansion. Missed that chance? Tough, it was there.

  7. Stedios says:

    It is a dull game but it looks Awesome in Vr, I just wonder how many millions I will have to grind to get a Beluga, and I hope they have fixed the galaxy map for Vr now, and the awful jaggies?

    • ezelkow1 says:

      I think the jaggies will always be there, the game has a ton of sharp lines and having a screen that close to your face just makes it tough. Finding the right aliasing and super sampling settings helps to mitigate them alot though

      I briefly tested it out in the galaxy screen and it is much nicer to look at now and a bit more usable. I aim to track down some good settings to use tomorrow but overall image quality on the rift did seem to be a bit better than what i remembered. However Im also running with ASW+ATW turned on, need to find that sweet spot of supersampling+HMD-quality(whatever that nebulous setting means)

    • Chewbacca says:

      It’s a dull game if you just grind for money doing long-range trading missions. Go for bounty hounting and you have an awesome space shooter/simulation that can also be played to relax. Is it perfect? No. But there is no other space game at the moment that delivers like ED.

  8. sp0q says:

    I am less excited than I expected to be. Booted it yesterday, woke up in my dusty Python. It can’t have a fighter bay so there’s half the update out of the window, and the passengers are a straight cargo haul reskin, can’t really argue with that.
    Right now I’m in a point where I simply think that Elite will need the same amount of time as SC to pull me back. I’m too story-driven, can’t make up my own adventures indefinitely.

    • CartonofMilk says:

      i’m not asking for a story mode but right now the way thing are presented in the game is still way too abstract. I did make up my own adventures ever since i began playing in january of last year (to be clear, i haven’t played every month since, i think in total i’ve been active in the game for maybe a total of six months) but the game isn’t even trying to meet me halfway. I’m pretty much expected to RP everything and i can only find the enthusiasm to do this for so long.

    • PancakeWizard says:

      I’ve not put down money for Dangerous yet, but if/when it’s 1:1 with Elite 2, I’ll think it’s a worthy game.

      Do you have to manually land on barren planets to mine their resources with your own extractor?

      Can you take assassination missions that involve you getting to a destination by a certain date, waiting until you see the recognisable registration number of your target and stalk them until they jump, analyse the hyper-cloud, follow them, then blast them into pieces?

      Can you take military bombing missions?

      Can you land on non-barren worlds?

      When all these things are true, I’ll buy the game.

      I realise they have plenty of stuff that old game didn’t have, btw.

      • sp0q says:

        1. You do manually land on barren planets with no atmosphere (the only ones you can land on right now), then drive around in the SRV (a buggy kind of thing), shoot mineral source spots and gather little rock lumps that fall out. A space pinata basically.

        2. You get a target, fly to the system, interdict and pull him from supercruise and kill. No stalking nor scanning included.

        3. Nope. Some planet side missions concern destroying a settlement generator but that does not tie to any special gameplay, specific to that one activity.

        4. Nope.