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Star Citizen 3.23 is one of its most “game-changing” updates yet

Star Citizen Alpha 3.23 is here with upgrades including a character creator update, new wildlife, more locations, and improved dogfighting.

Star Citizen Alpha 3.23 brings one of the biggest updates yet to the notorious space game - A woman with red hair looks up, gritting her teeth.

The discussion around the best space games is an ever-changing one, with the launch of Homeworld 3 bringing it into competition alongside heavy hitters like Outer Wilds, Elite Dangerous, Stellaris, No Man’s Sky, Everspace 2, and Bethesda’s Starfield. Of them all, however, few can claim to be as ambitious – or notorious – as Star Citizen. The mammoth project from Roberts Space Industries continues to grow, and developer Cloud Imperium says that the new Star Citizen Alpha 3.23 update is “one of our most expansive and game-changing releases to date.”

This latest update for Star Citizen is titled ‘Adventure Beckons,’ and Cloud Imperium invites you to join for an adventure through the vast space game in its most “immersive and engaging” form so far. That starts at the very beginning (a very good place to start), where the Star Citizen character creator has been dramatically expanded with new faces, hair styles, and color options, opening up plenty of additional ways to customize your look.

Once you head out on your travels, you’ll begin encountering the various new additions, including the first signs of wildlife on the planets of Stanton. While the Marok is a relatively peaceful bird that should cause you no disruption, Kopions are vicious, wolf-like pack hunters – so if you see one, keep your eyes peeled for more. CIG notes, “This first iteration enables further fauna in the game, more of which will be added in coming patches.”

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You’ll also discover new Distribution Centers around the galaxy – these giant, sprawling hubs of industry are each owned by one of the various megacorps such as Covalex Shipping and Sakura Sun, and all have unique layouts packed with treasures, missions, and plenty of potential to earn a big payday if you’re up to the task.

Another element given a big overhaul in Alpha 3.23 is dogfighting. Star Citizen’s ship combat has been upgraded with a new system called ‘Master Modes’ that CIG says should lead to closer, more intense skirmishes that better represent the strengths and weaknesses of different ship types. Smaller, more nimble fighters can make good use of their agility to dart around their enemies, while the larger gunships can tank more hits as they line up powerful salvos from their heavy weaponry.

Movement has also been improved while on foot and while floating in space, with changes to EVA (extravehicular activity) making it much more precise to get about outside of your ship. Meanwhile, improvements to the first-person combat along with new scopes and dynamic crosshairs, more realistic recoil, and the ability to shoot while prone should make your gunfights a lot more satisfying than before.

Star Citizen Alpha 3.23 is one of its biggest updates yet - A screenshot from the upgraded FPS mode showing off one of the new scopes.

There’s even more to discover in the 3.23 update. The third and final update to Arena Commander includes a new engineering game mode, new ship race tracks, and several combat maps. There are also updates to the user interface, improved cloud and water tech for more realistic environmental dynamics, and a new Mirai Pulse grav-lev bike, combining blistering speed with a nose-mounted laser repeater to get you out of any sticky situations fast.

Star Citizen Alpha 3.23 is out now. You can learn more about the details and read the full patch notes courtesy of Cloud Imperium Games via the official Star Citizen site.

If you love a realistic representation, the best simulation games are the ideal place to look. Or if exploration is what calls to you most of all, take a wander around the best open-world games instead.

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