PC gaming has always been a hobby of mine, I've never really found that game that, for me, ticks all the boxes. I enjoy Battlefield, Call of Duty and other FPS (First person shooter) titles to a point but they have started to become a bit ‘samey’ over the last few years. Since 1982, there was one game that has always filled me with excitement. Elite was released on the BBC micro, ZX Spectrum and most other platforms and very quickly became THE space combat simulator. In 2014, Frontier Developments headed by Elite's co-creator, David Brabham, managed to get a kick starter campaign completed that brought Elite bang up to date.
In December 2014 Elite: Dangerous was released to an expectant crowd and boy did it deliver. I have been playing this (when time allows!) since I found out it was in Beta testing and have been a part of the community ever since. I am a huge fan of this game and dedicate this page of my site to all things Elite: Dangerous.
Basically, Elite Dangerous (E:D) is a space combat trading game. You start the game docked in a space station with a Sidewinder space ship and 1000Cr. From this point you can do whatever you want in the game. You need to make money in order to improve your ship or upgrade to a better one, so you can start by trading from one star port and selling to another, you could bounty hunt and steal cargo from other ships, you can accept missions which will pay you a fee depending on what you are asked to do - you can do whatever you want. This makes the game really open and very rewarding. At the same time, its also multi player so lots of other human players are doing the same. Recent updates to the game have allowed you to team up with friends and form ‘Wings’. A further update which went live on 5 June 2015 introduced a massive amount of content. This is called Power play and details of this can be seen in the video.
There is a growing community of other players that provide all manor of support. Advising where the best place to get a certain item, details of Community Goals (in game tasks that all players can take part in for mutual benefit) how best to equip your ship to undertake different rolls plus lots more. The playing space in the game is 400 BILLION systems, which is a true representation of what we know about the Universe. Most of these are procedurally generated, but distances between planets and routes you would plot to travel between systems is accurate. So when you look up at the starts on earth, the position of each star in the game is accurate to what you see.
The beauty of this game is that it doesn't need a fantastic PC to run. Obvious it will run better on fast systems, but up until recently my PC ran a core i7 chip which is 7 years old! I do have a good graphics card which helps, but the basis of my PC was not that new. Frontier Developments suggest a Quad Core processor, 4Gb System Memory Nvidia GTX260 or ATI/AMD 4870HD should be sufficient to run the game. You do need to be running Windows 7 or better so this is another reason to ditch that aging Windows XP machine!
Below are some links which you should find useful if you are thinking of getting into the game. As always, if you want to know if your system will run it, let me know and I can have a look for you. The Ryzen 5 Sabre Desktop PC systems that I build will run Elite no worries.
In February 2016 Frontier released season 2.0 ‘Horizons’ and added a feature that has been long awaited - planetary landings. The launch trailer is below which tells most of the story, but now you can land on barren moons and search for minerals, booty from other crashed ships or dock at a habitat which will offer alternative missions and tasks to complete. To aid in this, you also get to pilot a ‘SRV’ which is a wheeled buggy that allows you to drive around the surface and explore the territory. Its a great addition and well worth the small additional cost to add this to the game.
May 2016 saw the Engineers (2.1) update. This added a big shift in the possibilities for upgrading your ship. Engineers are NPC characters that you can visit and unlock their expertise. When you fulfill their requirements they will use their skill to upgrade your weapons, power systems, engines, shields and more. Using this system you can tailor a truly unique ship that could give you the edge in trading and combat. Engineers trailer below.
The 2.2 release saw the entrance of the Guardians. This has so far been very well received as its added a fair amount of puzzle solving and exploration. Since this update, many players (known as Commanders) have located strange objects on distant planets which Frontier have not made comment on. This has lead to speculation that we are about to have an alien race enter the game. During the first game in 1982, there was a race of aliens called the Thargoids, could it be these that are making an entrance to the game?
The new 2.3 update has been released and is available to all players that have the seasons pass. This has introduced a commander creator which will allows you to create your own avatar that sits in your ship. You have lots of customizable options for face and body and with a little skill you can create an avatar which looks just like you. In addition to this, the update also includes some improvements in NPC ships. We are going to see various types of mega ships that will add some nice variation. These include Prison Ships, Cargo Ships, Tanker Ships, Flight Operations Ships, Asteroid Miners and many others as well. It also includes Asteroid basis which is a really cool edition. There has also been a new ship found, that doesn't fit with any other type of vessel in the game. Could this be the return of the Thargoids?
2.4 saw the long awaited return of the most deadly foe in the game. First introduced to the original game way back in 1984, the Thargoids are the main non player threat. Frontier have really made an impact with this as it has been a fan favourite ever since E:D was announced. Its taken a while, but now they are back in the game and wrecking havoc all over the universe. Will you take advantage or help the cause and fight back. Either way, you now have access to more advanced weapons that you can equipe your ship with, as well as a new type of ship - the Chieftain - that can withstand a lot of punishment. Perfect for engaging the Thargoids.
'Beyond - Chapter one'
February 2018 brought us chapter 1 of 'Beyond'. This is brought with it some pretty welcome changes to the game which really enhance the way you play. Now we can get lots of trading data right from the galaxy map to help plot the best trade routes, the 'GalNet' or Galaxy Network which is ever updating in game announcement of goings on in the game is now verbal. This can be accessed even while you are flying which is really cool. We are also seeing graphical improvements to the textures of the planets as well as some in game changes to various aspects of the game.