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Elite: Dangerous beta 3 launches October 28th

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Elite Dangerous

As promised a few weeks ago (opens in new tab), the second stage of Elite: Dangerous' closed beta has begun. Beta 2 opens up more of the galaxy (well, it is a big load of empty space, after all), filling it with new star systems and outposts, and adding a reputation system so that you can't go around being an utter space bastard without suffering any repercussions. Along with a big list of what beta 2 contains, Frontier Developments has revealed the date on which we can expect beta 3 to be grafted onto the game: October the 28th.

No details on what beta 3 will offer yet, unfortunately, but if there isn't some manner of space pumpkin in honour of the pagan festival it roughly coincides with, Frontier will have missed a trick. We can cheer ourselves up with the fact that the original Elite is still free (opens in new tab)—free and probably a bit difficult to play these days.

Here's that big list of beta 2's most notable new bits:

  • New progression, with combat ratings from ‘Harmless’ up to ‘Elite’.
  • Reputations per system and per faction that influence attitudes and prices offered to players.
  • 570 star systems and 381,033 cubic light years to explore.
  • Discovery, exploration and charting of new systems and the option to trade gathered data.
  • Detailed system maps.
  • New Outposts (small, exposed ‘roadside café’ stations in remote systems).
  • New Ocellus starport.
  • Further upgradeable Life Support modules, Engines, Hyperdrives, Power Distributors, Sensors, Shield Generators and Cargo Racks for all ships.
  • New weapons, including mines and a Cargo Hatch Limpet built for non-lethal piracy.
  • Visibility of other ships in supercruise, and the ability to track pilots through supercruise and hyperspace.
  • In-game GalNet newsfeed, reporting story events from around the galaxy and each system.
  • Gradual ‘wear and tear’ on ships.
  • New Lakon Asp Explorer ship.
  • All backers names from the appropriate crowd-funding reward tiers have been added to the NPC naming database.

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.