We've got contact, Commanders. Elite Dangerous has fired up the alpha test for its Odyssey expansion—the one that'll let you stomp around on space surfaces. No longer will pilots be confined to their cockpits. Starting today, Alpha players will be testing out combat and exploration over the course of a few weeks, according to this new flight plan. Frontier Developments say that the full launch for Odyssey is still expected in late spring this year, but you can catch a look at what's coming right now.
Alpha testing will be split into four phases, Frontier say. Phase one, which has just kicked off, is the "first steps" phase. Players are all be crammed together in a single star system where they can take on a few different missions types such as salvaging and delivering. In coming weeks, phases two through four will tackle combat, exploration, and compatibility with the base game. The exploration phase will include undiscovered planets to show off what it's like to be the first one stepping out onto a new planet. Frontier break down each phase's activities over on their forums.
If you're not playing in the alpha, you can still spot a look at Odyssey in this mission playthrough.
As Graham noted when we first got a look at it, it's a bit stiff, though you can probably attribute part of that to it being pre-alpha and part to the scripted nature of the video. When you actually get boots on the ground, I assume this group will be made up of the player reading strats off a guide, the one not listening while they look at their phone, and the one who's already gone and killed half the base. You know, co-op.
If you want a less staged look at Odyssey, Frontier have also put out a list of livestreamers who will be playing through the alpha today and tomorrow.
For now, Frontier are still quoting that late spring timeframe for Odyssey's official launch, though an official date isn't on the schedule just yet. When it does launch, you'll find Odyssey available on Steam, the Epic Games Store, and the Frontier Store for £30/€35/$40.