Elite Dangerous: Horizons Might Finally Fill Those Empty Seats In Your Ship (2023)

It's been a hell of a year for Elite: Dangerous, the space-based, massively-multiplayer title from Frontier Developments, and it doesn't look like things will be slowing down anytime soon. In the months since launch, the studio has published three sizable updates, including the Powerplay Update that went live earlier this summer. A fourth, the upcoming Close Quarters Combat patch, will introduce a new PvP mode that exists entirely separate from the primary Elite: Dangerous experience.

And a chat with Frontier Developments product manager Ben Dowie, recorded in the studio's PAX Prime booth, suggests there's still plenty more for Elite: Dangerous players to look forward to. The cost may not sit well with some segments of the Elite: Dangerous community. But Dowie, along with Frontier PR and Communications manager Michael Gapper, offered a compelling argument for any fans (or outside observers) still on the fence about Elite Dangerous: Horizons.

Without a doubt, the most impressive thing I learned during my conversation with Dowie and Gapper was the sheer scale of the Planetary Landings expansion. It's one thing to know Elite: Dangerous will soon let you visit/explore the various planets included in the game. But it was genuinely difficult for me to maintain composure when Dowie revealed Frontier is creating scale models of each celestial body in ED. That means there are billions, maybe even trillions (or more), of square miles of planetary surfaces opening up to the community when Elite Dangerous: Horizons debuts this holiday season.

The studio takes pride in its realistic approach to science-fiction, right down to its recreation of the Milky Way, which includes all of the stars, planets and other celestial bodies we've already discovered in our home galaxy. Complicated mathematical equations help Frontier fill in the gaps, based on scientific data from around the globe. And the studio is looking to bring that level of detail to every planet in the Milky Way when Planetary Landings debuts. They've even considered the gravitational changes a pilot would encounter, based on the size of the planet, when landing.

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"We're going to be taking people down to the planet, in real time," Dowie told iDigi. "Eventually, you'll find yourself close and the gravitational pull of the planet will start to shift the flight model. So the feeling of the craft, and how you have to control it, will suddenly start to change."

The gravitational changes will also be evident when players are driving their recon vehicles, reminiscent of the Mako from Mass Effect. Of course, gravity won't be the only force affecting your driving. Just as you'd expect, Elite Dangerous: Horizons will feature worlds covered in ice, sand and other such terrain that makes for rough driving conditions. Mountains, valleys and other such geographic changes will also impact travel times. And Dowie says all of these factors will impact the way it feels to drive your rover.

"There's a real tangible sense of weight," Dowie said. "You can drive around, get up to about 100 miles per hour, bumping across ravines and feeling the gravity as they float through the air."

The new surface recon vehicles won't be the only potential addition to Elite: Dangerous players' fleets this year. New ships are expected to hit Elite: Dangerous before the end of 2015, bringing the total count to 31. And the upcoming addition of new looting/crafting systems will ensure players have plenty of options for modifying their ship(s) to their liking. But Dowie says players shouldn't expect the vessels in Elite Dangerous: Horizons (and/or future expansions) to get much bigger than they are now.

"I don't think we're going to end up allowing people to fly capital-ship-scale things," Dowie said. "We want to keep it personal. We want to keep people feeling like they're actually a Commander. Once you get to a ship that scale, it starts to get a little bit more implausible. But we are going to be doing some interesting things in Season Two."

Ships may not be getting much bigger but pilots can still expect meaningful changes to be introduced in Elite Dangerous: Horizons. Neither Frontier employee could/would elaborate but the duo did tease the possibility of bringing co-pilots into the equation. When asked whether or not we might finally see extra chairs being filled, either with AI crew members or other Elite: Dangerous players, Gapper smiled and complimented my "astute observation."

(Video) Elite: Dangerous - Exploration Tutorial Stream

"We're going to make people think about ships in a slightly different way." Dowie promised.

Elite Dangerous: Horizons Might Finally Fill Those Empty Seats In Your Ship (1)

Planetary Landings will also incorporate content from Powerplay, including all of the factions introduced in the update, bringing the galactic conflict in Elite: Dangerous down to a global level. Horizons players will be able to take sides in local disputes, between star ports and other such settlements, which may eventually begin to impact surrounding worlds. Over time, these "local" engagements could give one faction a foothold in an area where they'd previously been unrepresented. Or you might see a group forced off of a planet and/or completely out of the system.

Unfortunately, the duo couldn't answer all of my questions. Despite hinting at many of the subjects in our interview, Dowie couldn't offer any sort of information on the specifics of the crafting system coming to Elite: Dangerous or the tougher locales one might discover while exploring. But the studio is confident the four expansions being released as Elite Dangerous: Horizons will justify their $60 price tag.

"Planetary Landings is an enormous undertaking. We've had people working on that since Day One. And those poor guys have been sat away in the office...no one knew what they were doing...and they finally got their day," Dowie said. "We just want to give people as much value as possible. That's why we put out the Loyalty Discount. We don't want people to feel like they've been robbed of anything."

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It's the last bit that's proven to be most contentious, following the Elite Dangerous: Horizons reveal at Gamescom, with some fans expressing disappointment over the news. Those new to Elite: Dangerous will have a relatively inexpensive entry-cost, since Horizons includes all of the content from last year's release. But existing Elite: Dangerous players will need to fork over another $50 for a copy of Horizons, despite already owning a substantial portion of the content. And that's not sitting well with some fans.

"Since Day One, when we did the Kickstarter, we always said 'Elite: Dangerous is going to be this' and we're going to commit to paid expansions," Dowie told iDigitalTimes. "What we want to do is give people as much value as possible. So, when we look at sixty dollars, we think the four massive updates we're going to do over the season actually represents enormous value. You just have to look back at this last year, at how much people got, and we're going to be replicating that in this next season."

Elite Dangerous: Horizons Might Finally Fill Those Empty Seats In Your Ship (2)

Before Frontier can turn its full attention to Elite Dangerous: Horizons, the studio must finalize the Xbox One port of Elite: Dangerous that's currently only available to Game Preview participants. Last week, CEO David Braben told fans Frontier is hoping to release the completed Xbox One port on Oct. 6, but the executive's wording has some wondering whether or not that date might slip by a few days/weeks. It also leads to renewed questions about cross-platform play and the effects that PC/console players might have on one another.

Dowie says PC and Xbox players won't ever be flying in the same wing, or even see one another in Elite: Dangerous. But the product manager did confirm every version of Elite: Dangerous and Elite Dangerous: Horizons will share the same universe data. There won't be separate economies for PC and console players, separate servers for those who do/don't own a copy of Horizons, or platform-based forks in the game's narrative. Frontier says events in Elite: Dangerous and Horizons, whether political or economic in nature, will always be reflected on all platforms.

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"If the story changes, it changes for everyone," Dowie said. "We can't have the Emperor die on the Xbox and be fine on the PC. It's a real galaxy....when we tick over to next year, it will be 3302. And we want this story to keep going for years to come."

When asked how they see things growing, Dowie and Gapper offered up a variety of scenarios, many of which hinge on groups of players fighting over the various resources/fortifications available on a given planet. Proxy wars seem like an interesting possibility, as the resources or territory needed for certain tasks eventually put PC and console communities in semi-direct competition with one another. Players from different platforms won't ever be able to solve their problems with combat but Frontier wouldn't mind seeing platforms take opposing sides in faction wars.

Elite Dangerous: Horizons will also have plenty of non-PvP content, too. All of the new planets can be scanned, for data that can be sold in other systems, if exploring is more your speed. Planetary Landings will also introduce new resources and other valuable items to give scavengers and miners the incentive needed to step outside their ships from time to time.

"It's like the different parts of a recipe," Dowie said. "We've got all the different ingredients. It's just finding the right mix to have something that's really exciting."

Be sure to check back with iDigitalTimes.com and follow Scott on Twitter for more Elite: Dangerous and Elite Dangerous: Horizons coverage throughout the rest of 2015 and for however long Frontier supports Elite: Dangerous in the years ahead.


Can you get out of your ship in elite dangerous horizons? ›

Players can disembark from their ships after docking and take a lift directly to the local Concourse. The Concourse is the only way to access certain services that are exclusive to On Foot activities: Apex Interstellar Transport - Local and interstellar shuttle service.

What is the difference between elite dangerous and Horizons? ›

Elite Dangerous: Horizons is a new season of major gameplay expansions for Elite Dangerous, beginning with Planetary Landings across the Elite Dangerous galaxy. Elite Dangerous: Horizons is the second season of expansions to Elite Dangerous that gradually introduces a variety of new features and gameplay content.

What does Horizons add to elite dangerous? ›

Horizons also features multicrew joint operations, weapon crafting, ship-launched fighters, permission to land at many surface star ports and other locations, as well as access to the coveted services of the elusive Engineers, offering countless new gameplay opportunities for all Commanders.

Does elite dangerous odyssey include horizons? ›

Elite Dangerous was updated to reunite both branches of the game. Odyssey and Horizons players can instance with each other, though Horizons players cannot land on planets with tenuous atmospheres because they are not able to obtain the required Advanced Planetary Approach Suite.

What happens if your SRV is destroyed? ›

Notes. Players who are controlling a SLF or SRV that is destroyed will resume controlling their ship without going through Redeployment. Elite Dangerous: Odyssey revamped the Redeployment process and improved its immersiveness.

What happens when you self destruct your ship in Elite Dangerous? ›

Self Destruct starts a 30-second countdown to destroy the player's ship. It is activated by selecting the Self Destruct option on the Functions tab of the right-side Systems HUD. Once activated, self destruct cannot be cancelled. The ship explodes after 30 seconds and the player will undergo Redeployment.

What is the most profitable system in Elite Dangerous? ›

There are two main types of mining, core and laser. Laser mining is the easiest and most profitable, but core mining is more engaging and may be preferable for some.

Can you land on planets in elite dangerous horizons? ›

Players are able to land on four types of airless planets - rocky, metal, ice and rocky/metal - which make up 61% of the planet types in the Milky Way galaxy. These planets vary in size and composition, therefore having different gravity forces affecting the flight and landing dynamics.

Is there a better game than Elite Dangerous? ›

The space combat in Star Wars Squadrons is extremely close to the space combat of Elite Dangerous. The visuals and sound design of the game are absolutely top-notch, too, making it a must-play for Star Wars fans and sci-fi fans alike.

Do you need Horizons to land on planets? ›

What Do I Need To Make Landfall? First, you'll need a ship fitted with a planetary landing suite module – but that's OK, if you own Horizons, every ship you own will now have one fitted! That's all you need to enter orbital cruise and drop down into planetary flight.

What is the most expensive ship in elite dangerous horizons? ›

2 Imperial Cutter - 208,969,451 CR

That and it's literally the most expensive ship in the game. Still, anyone that gets past these hurdles will find themselves with one of the best ships in the entire game.

What is the biggest ship in elite dangerous horizons? ›

Overview. The largest ship in the Saud Kruger line after the Dolphin and Orca, the Beluga Liner is the passenger liner equivalent of the Type-9 Heavy, sacrificing the huge cargo hold to carry luxury VIPs (though the Beluga is much more maneuverable than the Type-9, and can escape interdiction easier).

Can Horizons and Odyssey players play together? ›

Horizons players can join their Odyssey friends by upgrading to Odyssey or by all players using Horizons 3.8.

Can you walk around in your ship in elite dangerous horizons? ›

It's definitely possible though, and the developers have likely spent a good amount of time thinking about how they would do this since it was originally part of the grand plan of the games development.

How do you unstick SRV? ›

The single be-all-end-all solution to stuck SRVs is to log out, switch to plain old boring Elite without Horizons, log in, reset to orbit, log out, log back in to Horizons and continue on your way.

Will Elite Dangerous ever shut down? ›

There are no current plans to turn off any servers. You can continue to play Elite Dangerous the same way you currently do on console.

Can you destroy capital ships in Elite Dangerous? ›

A capital ship is defeated by destroying its heat relays, located by targeting the ship and cycling through sub targets. Destroying all heat relays will force the capital ship to flee (they cannot be killed).

Is there a limit to how many ships you can own in Elite Dangerous? ›

Yes, there is no limit to the amount of ships you can own, but you can only fly one at a time.

Who is the trillionaire in Elite Dangerous? ›

Zachary Rackham, also known by the nickname "Calico Zack", is a self-made trillionaire and the owner of Rackham Capital Investments.

What is the most isolated system in Elite Dangerous? ›

Beagle Point (formerly designated Ceeckia ZQ-L c24-0) is a system in The Abyss. It is one of the most remote discovered star systems in the Milky Way galaxy, at a distance of 65,279 Light Years from Sol, and reaching it requires a ship with a minimum jump range of 34LY.

What is the best job in Elite Dangerous? ›

Trading is by far the most lucrative of jobs. If you want to make the big bucks, this is where you go. Unfortunately, it also requires a heavy investment both in money and time.
  • Don't impulse buy. ...
  • Ask around. ...
  • Trade rares. ...
  • Look out for trade barges. ...
  • Pirates!
Mar 16, 2015

What is the hidden planet in Elite Dangerous? ›

In that novella, which is outside the canon of Elite Dangerous, Raxxla was described as a mythical planet which held an alien construct that served as a gateway to other universes.

Can you terraform a planet in Elite Dangerous? ›

Many planets, and a smaller number of moons, are marked as candidates for terraforming. These worlds are located in their sun's habitable zone and can potentially be terraformed to be suitable for human life.

Has all of Elite Dangerous has been explored? ›

🌌 Only 0.059% of the galaxy has been discovered in the Elite Dangerous live game so far! 👣 Where will you blaze your trail next?

Is all of Elite Dangerous explored? ›

As of January 20, 2022, only 0.05% of the galaxy, or exactly 222,083,678 unique star systems, had been explored.

What is the best combat ship in Elite Dangerous in the game? ›

The best ship for this build is the Federal Corvette. The Corvette is one of the best large ships in the game, and it's impeccably specialized for combat. Its excellent turning radius gives commanders the best chance at keeping the impressive array of hardpoints on-target.

Why can't I land on Jupiter? ›

As a gas giant, Jupiter doesn't have a true surface. The planet is mostly swirling gases and liquids. While a spacecraft would have nowhere to land on Jupiter, it wouldn't be able to fly through unscathed either.

Why can't you land on Pluto? ›

The moon's surface is made mostly of silicate rock. Pluto, on the other hand, is covered with ice — not just water ice, but frozen methane, carbon monoxide and nitrogen. On contact with hot rocket exhaust at several thousand degrees, there's a real danger that the landing site might vaporize.

Which is better Federal Corvette or Anaconda? ›

Conda has better overal DPS, better weapon convergence and better hull stats - yea a Conda has a better hitpoints pool than a Vette. Conda can carry less, but over much longer distances.

What is the best ship for transporting Elite Dangerous? ›

The Ship. The best ship for this build is the Imperial Cutter. It has the best shield output potential of any ship and an incredible amount of cargo space.

Is the Anaconda worth it Elite Dangerous? ›

The Anaconda also makes for a fantastic miner, able to fit a large amount of potential Mining Lasers as well as plenty of space for Limpets and cargo holds. Its ability to mount a Fighter Hangar for Ship-Launched Fighters coupled with great self-defense potential means the Anaconda fits the role very well.

What ship has the farthest jump range in Elite Dangerous? ›

The Anaconda can achieve a jump range of at least 80 ly, which represents the current ceiling for jump range potential among conventional ships; larger vessels, such as Fleet Carriers, Megaships, and Starports, have proportionally higher jump ranges.

Which ship has the best jump range? ›

Diamondback Explorer

Diamond Explorer's most impressive specification is undoubtedly its outstanding 41.61 ly maximum jump range. That jump range makes it one of the very best ships in the game for jumping between the stars.

What is the fastest ship in elite? ›

The Viper MK III is the fastest ship in the game at a maximum possible boost of 932 m/s.

What is the best Thargoid ship elite? ›

8 Pick The Best Ships

The absolute best choices for players new to Thargoid hunting are the Alliance Chieftain or Krait Mk. II. Medium ships will be a lot more forgiving and are the best way to learn how to properly fight Thargoids.

What is the best ship for scanning Elite Dangerous? ›

The Ship. The best ship for this build is the Krait Phantom. There are a handful of ships that excel at exploration for one reason or another, but the Krait fits this build perfectly. It's one of the best medium ships available owing to its versatility and impressive Jump Range.

What is the krait phantom good for? ›

In a press release announcing the ship's debut, Faulcon DeLacy stated, "The Krait Phantom offers true multi-role capability, allowing it to be customised for combat, mining or trading. And for explorers, its impressive jump range means you really can reach out to the stars. This is a ship that can handle it all."

Can you switch between Odyssey and Horizons? ›

You can switch between them seamlessly at present. Odyssey doesn't force you to do anything. Odyssey plays pretty much the same as Horizons but with the option to get out of your SRV / ship and do on-foot exploration and missions.

Do you need Horizons to play Odyssey? ›

Odyssey and Horizons players can instance with each other, though Horizons players cannot land on planets with tenuous atmospheres because they are not able to obtain the required Advanced Planetary Approach Suite.

Can two people play Odyssey? ›

At any point during gameplay, press the + Button (Menu). Select Two Players, then press the A Button (Start in Two-Player Mode). Decide who will be Mario and who will be Cappy, and choose the controller type for each player (each player can use a single Joy-Con, a pair of Joy-Con controllers, or a Pro Controller).

Can you enter Earth in Elite Dangerous? ›

Without the permit, the system cannot be entered. To rank up with the Federation, go to neighboring Federal starports and do missions for Federation-aligned factions. Once you reach Petty Officer, return to a Federal starport and you should see an invitation on the Bulletin Board to get your permit.

Do you ever leave your ship in Elite Dangerous? ›

Players can disembark from their ships after docking and take a lift directly to the local Concourse. The Concourse is the only way to access certain services that are exclusive to On Foot activities: Apex Interstellar Transport - Local and interstellar shuttle service.

Can two people be on one ship in Elite Dangerous? ›

This allows multicrew ships to have two fighters active at a time. In addition, if the ship has enough fighters, both crew members can take on the fighter con role, meaning three human-controlled ships can be flying at the same time. Crew members can switch roles dynamically as they see fit.

Can you land your ship in Elite Dangerous? ›

When landing, you can't see the landing pad, because it has to be below your ship. However, while approaching the landing pad, you can fly 'upside down' relative to the pad so you can keep it in sight. You can then rotate when you are close enough. Enabling the landing gear decreases your velocity.

Can you land on planets in Elite Dangerous without horizons? ›

Landing on a planetary surface requires installing the Planetary Approach Suite or Advanced Planetary Approach Suite, without which a ship will not be able to descend from orbit.

Can I be a pirate in Elite Dangerous? ›

Pirates can operate anywhere in the galaxy, but low-security systems are the most lucrative. Piracy is prevalent in Anarchy systems and systems with a ruling anarchy minor faction. Pirates don't gain a bounty and there's no NPC security in anarchy systems.

Can you own a carrier in Elite Dangerous? ›

Yes. That's a lot of credits. You can purchase a fleet carrier at these locations: Ehlanda, Clark Port.

Is Mars Terraformed in Elite Dangerous? ›

The terraforming of Mars was completed in 2291 after an earlier, experimental attempt failed.

Can you land on Venus in Elite Dangerous? ›

If a human were to stand on Venus, they would be instantly suffocated, poisoned, burned and crushed all at the same time. Over a thousand years before the construction of the orbital Burnell Station, Venus was mainly visited by robotic probes.

What are the most profitable planets in Elite Dangerous? ›

The most valuable planets are earthlike worlds (ELWs), water worlds (WWs), and ammonia worlds (AWs). The most valuable stars are black holes (BH) and neutron stars (NS). The least valuable planets are rocky, icy, and rocky icy bodies, which are sometimes referred to as a whole as "rice".


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