Elite Dangerous Beyond—Chapter Four kicks off this month

When Elite Dangerous isn't making Phil really, really fucking think about life, it's letting us blow up asteroids. At least, that's what players can do in the Beyond season's fourth and final chapter.

Entering a staged beta on October 30, two weeks tomorrow, the online space trader's biggest endeavour of this year promises "significant additions" to its exploration, mining and multiplayer. 

Here's an announcement trailer:

With that, Chapter Four brings with it a new Analysis Mode that lets players scan and tune their scanners to uncover stellar bodies and various other phenomena. 

"Unidentified Signal Sources and conflict zones will also appear, allowing players to easily track down interesting or important things within the system," says developer Frontier of that. "Not only is this new system a more realistic, satisfying and engaging exploration experience, but also provides players with the freedom to make more informed decisions on where to look next, and be ultimately better rewarded for time spent exploring."

Changes to exploration kick off with a new Analysis Mode, which improves two tools, allowing for players to first scan a system, and then tune in to more specific signals. 

On the mining front, new tools let intrepid diggers investigate sites to determine where best to strike their shovels. In practice, this might see miners blowing stuff up. Frontier adds: "With the right amount of skill and expertise, Commanders can create an awesome asteroid detonation before sweeping up the spoils." 

Squadrons, on the other hand, mark a new way for uniting Commanders. Band together to tackle Community Goals, compete for top spots or simply seek bragging rights in weekly leader boards. New chat channels and new web portal also let players communicate more freely. 

Elite Dangerous' Beyond—Chapter Four enters its staged beta phase on October 30, 2018.