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Elite Dangerous Beta Begins

Elite Dangerous is now in beta testing as promised, with the premium beta having come to a close. This does not make the "regular" beta cheap, however, as buying access will cost $75.00 USD. Frontier Developments calls the beta a "significant milestone" in development of the space combat sequel, and offer a new beta trailer to show it off. Here's an outline of what's changed:

Beta 1 increases the number of playable star systems in the game by a factor of 10 compared to Premium Beta, and covers a greatly expanded 38,000 cubic light-year volume of Elite: Dangerous’ accurately modelled Milky Way galaxy centred around the Boötes constellation familiar to Premium Beta players.

The greater volume of Beta 1 space has an increased variety of celestial bodies, trading economies and star ports, and plays host to a large number of additional features and enhancements which together provide a richer gameplay experience over the whole expanded volume of space.

Significant Beta 1 additional features include:

  • 55 star systems covering 38,000 cubic light-years
  • Initial online mission system functionality (to be further developed through Beta)
  • Player-to-player communication by text and voice
  • Friends management and matchmaking
  • Private Group play option
  • On-line single player option
  • Overview trade route mapping
  • The concept of fuel consumption
  • Docking computers to automate safe star port landings
  • Additional Viper heavy fighter and Lakon Type 6 medium trader ships

Beta 1 will be available in English only. Future builds will be localised in the following languages:

German, French, Russian, Polish, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Mexican Spanish, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian and Simplified Chinese.

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