Elite Dangerous is set to receive an eagerly anticipated update in June, with two betas running across April and May ahead of launch. The update will introduce new “Fleet Carrier” mobile starships and trading hubs to the popular space pilot simulator.
Frontier Developments described Fleet Carriers as “the most expensive investment to date” and will cost 5,000,000,000 credits. They are “individually owned and contain 16 landing pads of varying sizes for other players to dock their starships in, with a galaxy-spanning jump range of 500 light years.”
Those who purchase a Fleet Carrier can choose to open up services on their hub, including “repair docks, refuelling stations, shipyards and more.” The Fleet Carriers update will also introduce player-to-player commerce for the first time, allowing owners of Fleet Carriers to place tariffs on goods that are traded on their Carrier’s services. The tariff system will feed back into the Carriers, allowing owners to maintain the high upkeep cost and also ensuring they have enough Tritium — a new type of fuel needed to power Fleet Carriers.
Fleet Carriers will also be fully customizable, but players “will also need to plan and balance their finances to cover running costs, as persistent debt that eventually exceeds the debt threshold could see carriers decommissioned and sold for parts.”
The first Fleet Carriers beta will begin on April 7th for PC, which presumably includes VR players as well. The second beta will include console players alongside PC players, and will take place in May on a date to be announced. The full update is expected to launch in June, and a Frontier livestream on YouTube will share more details and feature some initial gameplay on April 2nd at 11am PST.