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Elite Dangerous's Fleet Carriers beta is launching next week

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Frontier has released more information about the upcoming addition of fleet carriers to space flight simulation Elite Dangerous (opens in new tab). Fleet carriers are ships that can repair, refuel and transport other craft. And after a long delay (opens in new tab), Frontier has now released more information detailing what players can expect from these enormous machines.

The fleet carriers are individually owned ships that contain 16 landing pads—eight large, four medium, and four small—and have a jump range of 500 light-years. These jumps are fuelled by Tritium, a resource that can be mined from asteroids or bought from starsports. 

These downside to these megaships is their cost: five billion credits for the base model. On top of that, fleet carriers will need up-to-date regular maintenance, otherwise owners will start to incur debts. If you get into a pile of debt, your fleet carrier will be in danger of being decommissioned, although Frontier says that there will be ways to reduce their running costs.

In anticipation of the beta launch, Frontier has released a new trailer which you can view above. And in a livestream from earlier today, Frontier showcased more footage of fleet carrier play, including how to buy, maintain, and efficiently capitalise on them. You can watch a repeat of the stream here (opens in new tab)

The first Fleet Carriers beta will launch on April 7, with a second, final beta arriving in May. The full release will be sometime in June.

Rachel had been bouncing around different gaming websites as a freelancer and staff writer for three years before settling at PC Gamer back in 2019. She mainly writes reviews, previews, and features, but on rare occasions will switch it up with news and guides. When she's not taking hundreds of screenshots of the latest indie darling, you can find her nurturing her parsnip empire in Stardew Valley and planning an axolotl uprising in Minecraft. She loves 'stop and smell the roses' games—her proudest gaming moment being the one time she kept her virtual potted plants alive for over a year.