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Elite: Dangerous 2.1, The Engineers expansion, supercruises into beta in May


Anticipated Elite: Dangerous expansion The Engineers will enter beta next month, the first week of May, for those with beta access. 

Take a look at our list of the best space games in the meantime.

Following the launch of planetary landings, The Engineers is the second big update for the space sim’s Horizons season of expansions. Crafting and looting will be added, along with the Engineers themselves.

You’ll be able to zip down to a planet’s surface, using your SRV – which will now leave tracks on the planet’s surface – to explore and collect materials. These can the be used to upgrade and improve the stats on your ship’s modules, along with some “experimental” effects to your weapons.

One example is a beam laser that converts when fired at a wingman’s ship, repairing their shield instead of damaging it. For a game crying out for better incentives for people to team up, this sort of thing could leave a much bigger mark than those SRV tire tracks.

“The Engineers are individuals that are mavericks in some way,” explains David Braben, CEO of Frontier. “Each has some sort of expertise from their pasts that they have made into a business – tuning all sorts of aspects of your ship to improve them. They do this using exotic and often hard-to-find components.

“Most Engineers are very secretive, working behind the scenes for the military or other shady organisations, and so you need an introduction, and need to find out how to find them. Missions can lead to introductions to Engineers, and some Engineers will introduce you to others, providing a more directed path for those that want that sort of approach. There is progression with each Engineer too, as you build up your relationship with them by doing missions and earning their trust.”

Speaking of missions, there’s also a big free update entering closed beta at the same time that expands and revamps the complete mission system, even for the base game. Update 1.6, as it’s called, will be available to all Elite: Dangerous players when it’s fully released.

There’s a full breakdown of all the new stuff over on Reddit.