Elite: Dangerous team outline plans for post-launch expansion packs

Hey, you! Space fan! Are you excited for Elite: Dangerous. Well stop it, there's no time for that—its creators are already looking toward Elite: Dangerous's expansions. Be excited for that instead.

Yes, despite the main game being in beta, the Frontier team are already planning ahead to Elite's post-launch future. In the latest news letter update, they've shared their vision for the game.

"We plan to continue to significantly enhance the game via further expansions after the launch date, using the same incremental development philosophy that we've used so far," writes the Frontier hivemind . "Major new features will include planetary landings and even walking around inside ships, stations, and planet surfaces with time."

Landing on the surface of planets would seem to be the ultimate goal, and each incremental expansion will take them a step closer to achieving it.

"That means rich, varied experiences," the newsletter continues. "Not just landing pads, but rich content on the surfaces, surface vehicles, the ability to stash things there, to explore. Clearly 'doing it right' like this will take time, but we have a plan and will get there via a series of meaningful releases.

"We believe that each stage will be incredible, and the result truly breathtaking. What you will see on the worlds will be a mix of procedurally generated content, particularly the landscapes, cloudscapes, compositions and so on, mixed with hand-crafted elements."

One of those steps involves being able to walk around your ship's cockpit—something that Frontier have shown in a new video.

"Of course walking round your ship will be nice, but it is the just springboard for a very significant expansion of gameplay – you will be able to experience the inside of starports and interact with other players and AI characters, and even board other people's ships in space and take them by force, as shown in this concept piece."

As nice as it is to know the eventual shape of the finished Elite, that isn't entirely the reason for Frontier's update. As an early access release, there's an element of salesmanship too. Frontier are currently selling a Lifetime Expansion Pass —essentially a DLC season pass that guarantees all future updates. But added to the already expensive beta access price, it's a lot to ask for content that could be a long time from release. The Lifetime Expansion Pass is on sale until 29 July.

Phil Savage

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.