It’s been a long road for the Elite: Dangerous Beta, which has seen multiple updates throughout 2014 in the build up to the full title’s launch on 16th December 2014. For much of the past year fans have been able to buy in access to the testing phase, allowing maker Frontier Developments ample time to refine the experience. Today sees the launch of the final version of this Beta ahead of the launch of the Gamma build this coming weekend. The update will arrive with a host of new features.
Frontier Developments labels Beta 3.9, as it’s called, as a ‘stepping stone’ towards Gamma 1.0 that will feature ‘countless fixes, tweaks, improvements and optimizations.’ Highlighting the update is the inclusion of new ways to reach Elite status within the videogame. Previously this could only be done through combat but can now be achieved through a combination of trading and exploration as well. Ranks for both the Empire and Federation have also been added, with players able to climb higher by working for either side.
The developer also notes a ‘further step forward’ for Elite: Dangerous‘ mission system, increasing the amount of activities that players will be able to take part in. “This includes an associated significant overhaul of Unidentified Signal Sources,” the developer explains, “giving increased variety and added mission related context. USS are now well worth checking out.” Bartering with players in deep space using non-stolen goods is now also an option while ship outfitting and galaxy maps have been overhauled. Finally, 6-player open-mic voice communication is now possible.
Elite: Dangerous is a space simulation experience that features full support for the Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD). Players are granted a ship and are then free to explore an enormous amount of star systems, taking part in space dog-fights, trading and more. Recently Frontier Developments announced that it had decided to drop the offline mode for the title, citing that such an experience would be of a poor quality. Expect Beta 3.09 to hit later today, and Gamma 1.0 to arrive on 22nd November.
VRFocus will continue to follow Elite: Dangerous‘ progress, reporting back with any further updates.