Elite: Dangerous 1.2 "Wings" update goes live today

Elite: Dangerous

It didn't quite make its "first week of March" release target, but the Elite: Dangerous 1.2 "Wings" update is now live. The patch makes a number of changes to the game, foremost among them facilitating cooperative gameplay through the use of beacons that simplify the process of forming up into groups—"Wings"—that can share information and bounties on kills.

"Players will be able to share lots of feedback across the wing—who is targeting who, hull and shield statuses, etc.—and more easily follow each other in and out of Super Cruise," Lead Designer Sandro Sammarco explained in our preview from last month. But counterbalancing that increase in firepower will be "larger, more dangerous signal sources, where single ships would be at serious risk," he added. "Those signal sources will be perfect battlegrounds for coordinated squadrons, and they’ll find the rewards—in terms of bounties and cargo—will be suitably elevated in line with the challenge."

The update also adds two new ships, the Fer-de-Lance and the Vulture, overhauls the comms interface, adds AI groups and the ability to reboot destroyed sub-system modules, and incorporates a "flyable debug camera with limited range."

There's also an extensive list of somewhat less headline-worthy fixes and tweaks, like "let the player get much closer to the event horizon of a black hole." Although that actually sounds pretty cool, so try this one instead: "Show the player a warning if they are changing power distributor and that power distributor does not have an engines capacitor large enough to facilitate boosting."

Community Manager Edward Lewis wrote that the update process was taking a little longer than expected, but would likely be finished by 6 pm GMT, which works out to 2 pm EDT/ 11 am PDT. An instructional video is on the way, and in the meantime a more detailed breakdown of how Wings work has been posted in the Frontier Developments forums.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.