Elite Dangerous: Horizons is now free if you own the base game

Today's the day when massive open-world space sim Elite Dangerous is making some pretty big changes. As we learned late last month, the first expansion, Horizons, is being rolled into the base game as a free add-on. 

Horizons is no longer available to download separately (at the time of writing, its has disappeared from Steam, though you can still catch a glimpse of its ghost on Google), but Elite Dangerous players who don't own Horizons will receive it automatically as a free update. New purchases will include the expansion as part of the base game download.

If you're one of upwards of a million players who parted with their cash for Horizons, Frontier is keen to ensure that you don't end up feeling aggrieved at the change. As a "huge thank you" to long-time Horizons players, they will receive an exclusive azure ship paint colour, compatible with all ships currently in the game. This rather pretty cosmetic reward will be the only feature from Horizons that remains exclusive to players who owned the expansion before it was incorporated into the base game. If you didn't buy the add-on before October 26, it's now locked off forever, but at least you'll get everything else without having to spend £20/$30. 

Elite Dangerous was first released in 2014, with the various updates that make up the Horizons DLC running from 2015 to 2017. The move to incorporate Horizons into the base game anticipates the release of the second expansion season, Odyssey, which is expected in early 2021.