Frontier Developments today announced an open beta test for the upcoming update to the third season of Elite Dangerous (2014), the open-universe space simulator for VR and non-VR players. Called ‘Beyond – Chapter One‘, the update will officially arrive sometime in Q1 2018 following the open beta which starts January 25th.

The update will be available for free to Elite Dangerous players on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in Q1 2018. For VR players, Elite Dangerous can be purchased both through Oculus Home (Rift) and Steam (Vive and Rift).

A new Alliance warship called ‘the Chieftain’ will also be added to the roster of available ships.

The ‘Beyond’ update will follow the Thargoids assault on humanity’s starports, the space-faring alien baddies first introduced back in September with the Horizons update. Beyond – Chapter One is said to introduce gameplay enhancements including team-based ‘Wing Missions’ and a better in-game Trading Data system for smoother transactions. The developers are also promising a “more realistic and beautiful” galaxy, changes to the engineering mechanics, an overhaul of mission rewards, and an altered crime and punishment system.

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