Elite: Dangerous beta 2 goes live at the end of the month, original Elite is free right now

Frontier Games has announced that the second beta version of Elite: Dangerous will be out on September 30, bringing with it a host of new additions and enhancements. And if you're unclear as to why that's good news, you might want to have a look at the new "Interstellar Bounty Hunter" combat video that's been making the rounds on YouTube.

The second Elite: Dangerous beta is a "major gameplay upgrade," adding new combat ratings from "Harmless" to "Elite," a system-by-system and galaxy-wide reputation system that will influence attitudes and prices, 500 new star systems to explore, a greater variety of upgradeable ship modules, new weapons, outposts, and a whole bunch more. A number of smaller improvements and optimizations have also been made, including "additional rock, ice and metal planetary ring types, a lot more music and some optional 'simulator' tutorials."

"We are excited for people to start playing Beta 2 on 30 September," Frontier Developments CEO David Braben said in a statement. "It's another major step forward in development, and the team continues to work hard towards the full release later this year."

While you wait, you can try your hand at the original Elite, which is currently being offered free as part of the game's 30th anniversary celebration. A 30-year-old game may not offer the most compelling entertainment experience ever, but free is free, as they say. If you're in the mood for something a bit more eyeball-spinning, this video should fit the bill: It's 12 minutes of a bounty hunter plying his trade in a lawless region of space, and it is spectacular.

Elite: Dangerous is scheduled to come out in early 2015, but access to the beta is available now for $75 at the Elite Dangerous store .


As lead news writer during ‘merican hours, Andy covers the day-to-day events that keep PC gaming so interesting, exciting, and occasionally maddening. He’s fond of RPGs, FPSs, dungeons, Myst, and the glorious irony of his parents buying him a TRS-80 instead of an Atari so he wouldn't end up wasting his life on videogames.
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