Elite: Dangerous

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Elite Dangerous logo.jpg

Elite 4 was for a long time little more substantial than a rumour. Hope was renewed as Frontier Developments announced a Kickstarter project to fund Elite 4 - now titled "Elite: Dangerous".

The game has had an alpha stage in early 2014 and two beta releases, followed by a gamma release. The first public release (Version 1.0) was on 16 December 2014. The Frontier Development team continue to release updates, and the background simulation is now running along with the storyline.

Elite: Dangerous Wiki

The Elite: Dangerous Wiki has been around since January 2013, shortly after Elite: Dangerous itself was first announced.


Major versions of the game are called "seasons". So far three seasons are available, with forward and backward compatibility so that all players of both seasons can play in the same galaxy together.

Season One

Take a ship and 100 credits to make money legally or illegally - trade, bounty-hunt, pirate, assassinate your way across the galaxy.

Our galaxy. Its an awe inspiring, beautiful, vast place; with billions of star systems, planets, moons and asteroid fields just waiting to be explored, and exploited. The triumvirate superpowers of the Empire, Federation and Independents dominate their core system volumes and constantly skirmish to outmanoeuvre one another on their frontiers. Outside their influence, in the vast majority of the galaxy, anarchy reigns supreme and spectacular discoveries await the bold.

Its dog-eat-dog out there – you need to keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.

Whether you want to trade for profit between systems, take part in multiplayer co-op mission alliances, free-for-all group battles and team raids to bring down planetary economies, even tip the balance of power in the galaxy (for your own advantage, of course..), or simply explore the wonders of the galaxy (and who knows what you’ll find out there..) is up to you.

Your second-to-second actions could have you taking the roles of trader, pirate, bounty hunter, leader, team player, opportunistic assassin, grand schemer, and more. You are at the centre of the action any time, any place and any way you choose – each action has a consequence, and influences the galaxy around you.

Starting with a few credits and a basic starship, carve your own path through the richest, largest gaming sandbox ever created, set against a backdrop of raw anarchy, galactic powerplays and intrigue. Do whatever it takes to upgrade your ship’s hull, engines, weapons, defences, cargo hold; constantly improve your capabilities and influence on your journey towards the most coveted rank in the history of gaming - ‘Elite’.

Fight, trade, hunt your way across a giant galaxy of billions of star systems, starting with a basic starship and a few credits. You can make money from trading goods between the many star systems, by destroying pirate ships (and collecting bounty), or even by attacking traders and collecting their cargo (which in turn will get a bounty on your head!). There will be missions too, and exploration. Most people will do some combination of these things. Upgrade your ship and specialise in one activity - have a trader with a huge cargo bay, or use the space for weapons and maneuverability.

  • Freedom - Go where you like, be what you like - pirate, bounty hunter, trader, assassin, or some mix of all of these.
  • Trade - Buy low, cross dangerous space lanes, evade or destroy pirates en route, then sell high, if you make the journey!
  • Fight - Take on the pirates or be one yourself
  • Progress - Get your pilot rating all the way from "Harmless" to "Elite"
  • Explore - Head out to the far reaches of space and discover amazing sights

And the best part - you can do all this online with your friends, or other "Elite" pilots like yourself, or even alone. The choice is yours...

Season Two

The first paid expansion of Elite: Dangerous was released on December 2015. It is a season of expansions, starting with Planetary Landings (on airless worlds). Other expansions will include Loot and Crafting, Multicrew, Commander Creation and Ship-Launched Fighters. This second season is called Elite Dangerous: Horizons.

Season Three

The second expansion of Elite: Dangerous was released on February 2018. Another a season of expansions, with improvements to the legal system, trading, ship improvements, new ships & more astronomical novelties. It also made exploration/discovery much more of an option. This third season is called Elite Dangerous: Beyond. This expansion was released for free for all Horizons players.

Season Four

The third paid expansion, Odyssey, was released in May 2021 to much controversy.

Odyssey added on-foot game play, mostly for first person shooter style play, but also for exploration. The expansion also added landable planets with thin atmospheres, and a greater variety of biologicals which may be found on these planets. The planetary generation was overhauled.

On launch, performance problems were severe and arguably the expansion should have been a beta or early access release. The expansion received a "Mostly negative" review rating on Steam (Horizons and Beyond by contrast were "Mostly positive"). Since release, a number of updates have been made which have fixed many of the playability bugs, addressed issues with planetary surface generation, and many of the performance problems. At the time of writing (late January 2022), this task is ongoing. Review ratings on Steam have risen from "Mostly negative" to "Mixed".


See Lore for some general comments and History for some analysis of the disjunct between ED and its precursors.

Oolite & E:D

Several OXPs have been written to E:D-ify Oolite:


Many of the Ooliters joined the Elite: Dangerous - Design Decision Forum back in 2013. Some of the discussions are preserved here. There was also a lot of discussion around the impact on Oolite. See (e.g.)