Last month, Elite Dangerous' Thargoid alien race began attacking spaceports. Now, developer Frontier has announced the first update to the game's third season will explore humanity's next move. The open beta for Elite Dangerous: Beyond—Chapter One is available to all PC players later this month.
According to Frontier, the open beta serves as a test period where the dev aims to gather feedback from players, providing them with "a chance to shape the update's development" in the process.
Within, Wing Missions add team-based challenges wherein players can share rewards with allies around the world. Trading Data will bolster the existing trading system, and trading information about the galactic economy will be more readily available. Moreover, "reworked planet rendering" tech will make everything look prettier.
Here's a vague announcement trailer:
And here's some words from Frontier:
Chapter One also features a range of game-improving updates, including changes to the engineering mechanics, an overhaul of mission rewards, and an altered crime and punishment system. The open beta will also allow commanders to fly a new Alliance warship: the Chieftain. Additionally, GalNet Audio will allow players to catch up on the galaxy’s latest news without ever leaving the action, bringing the ongoing narrative to the foreground at a dangerous moment for humanity’s pilots.
The developer adds that Elite Dangerous: Beyond—Chapter One will be free for PC players at some point in "Q1 2018". Chapter One's open beta kicks on January 25, and will be playable through the in-game launcher.