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The Elite Dangerous: Odyssey Alpha is now live

Walking on a planet surface
(Image credit: Frontier)
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Alpha testing for Elite Dangerous: Odyssey begins today. With the galactic spaceship sim's next expansion centred on letting you wander around planets on-foot, Frontier is keeping testers locked out of their ships for the first few weeks.

Available for Lifetime Expansion Pass and Odyssey Deluxe Alpha Edition owners, Odyssey's alpha kicks off this afternoon, and should hopefully run through the next few weeks. But before you start making plans to make footfall at your favourite planets, you'll want to check up on Frontier's Alpha Rollout plan.

Because, for the first few days at least, it looks like we're all gonna be stuck in the same system and relying on public transport.

Odyssey rollout map

(Image credit: Frontier Developments)

Phase one will focus on the absolute basics of walking around on planets and interacting with other players—so, to keep track of us all, Frontier is limiting everyone to a single system. In lieu of our own ships, we'll also be forced to rely on Apex Interstellar, Odyssey's new budget airline, for getting around from planet to planet.

Later phases will slowly open up the galaxy, letting players purchase ships, bringing in faction conflict and generally opening Odyssey's on-foot toybox. The final phase will let you import a snapshot of your commanders from the live game, letting you experience Odyssey as it'll appear at launch.

The alpha will last several weeks, though Frontier isn't shy about extending each phase as needed. Odyssey itself will arrive for everyone later this spring—at which point, you can start fighting with your co-pilot over who'll get first footfall credit.

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.