Elite: Dangerous enters "standard" beta, is still quite pricey

If you have $75/£50 burning a hole in your pocket, and you're longing to try the belated sequel to a space simulation classic, today is the day your weirdly specific dream comes true. Elite: Dangerous has just entered its "standard beta" phase, which sees the price of entry lowered from an eye-watering $150 to a slightly less moist $75. This first standard beta phase comes with a clutch of updates and fixes, including "docking computer added" and "gas giant features dervived from stellar forge data" and "I have no idea what any of this means". The patch list is below.

Update: the beta has a trailer. It's quite fun.

Here's a big ol' list of new stuff that's been added for the standard beta, taken from a post on the Elite: Dangerous forums.

  • Added Viper
  • Added Imperial Fighter (AI only)
  • Added Lakon Type 6
  • Added text chat
  • Added voice comms
  • Added missions
  • Added fuel consumption
  • Expanded playable bubble to 21 ly radius (@50 systems)
  • Add support for friends management
  • Allow matchmaking through jump to specific island
  • Supercruise supports multiplayer
  • Add RandomEvents to the current interdiction functionality. Random locations will now be spawned in front of the player while in supercruise
  • For new bounties & fines, adding a "Local Security Office" to the contacts menu
  • Added server moderated bounties vouchers
  • Docking computer added
  • Added trade route visualisation to galaxy map
  • Add system connections based on fuel to galaxy map
  • Added new paintjobs
  • Gas giant features dervived from stellar forge data
  • Chaff launcher stops scans and confuses tracking weapons but doesn't effect missiles
  • Added new station variants
  • Updated trade commodities
  • Smuggler AI behaviours added
  • Art updates for Orbis station
  • Latest audio updates and balance pass
  • Hauler art tweaks/updates
  • Added new pilot animations
  • Large Plasma Accelerator added
  • Eagle art updates
  • Added 'rich' station interior variant
  • Added support for much larger accessible bubbles
  • Fix up the last of the unsafe GOH use in ShipComponents
  • Updated Sidewinder ship art
  • Added beacons and associated traffic

It's quite a sizeable update, as you may have noticed—I'd imagine text chat, voice comms, matchmaking and friend management, and the increased range of the "playable bubble" are some of the ones existing beta testers will be most excited about. If you're wondering where Elite: Dangerous goes from here, the next stage is the full release, following by a range of expansion packs .

Tom Sykes

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.