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Star Citizen's dogfighting module Arena Commander now available (update)

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The first public release of Star Citizen's dogfighting module, Arena Commander, launched today as version 0.8, creator Chris Roberts announced on the space sim's official website.

Arena Commander's expected launch last week was delayed due to unresolved bugs and "too many blocking and critical issues outstanding." Users can download Arena Commander via the Star Citizen Download page or by updating their existing Hangars through the launcher, which will replace the user folder when it patches.

The latest version grants qualified backers access to the Vanduul Swarm and Freeflight modes and includes flyable Aurora, 300i and Hornet. V0.8 introduces multiplayer functionality for the Battle Royale and Team modes to a small number of players, initially. The modes will roll out to a larger audience as lag and synch issues are addressed and server capacity is increased.

"Remember: V0.8 is just the beginning. It's the start of a hard push for the development team as we head towards V0.9 and finally V1.0, at which point Arena Commander will be ‘feature complete' with the modes, maps and options promised at PAX," Roberts wrote. "By the time V1.0 drops, we aim for the entire community to have access to the multiplayer game modes!"

Version 0.9 will include numerous refinements, such as improved client and multiplayer server stability, audio improvements, additional character animations and flight model upgrades. A new multiplayer game mode for public testing along with hangar bug fixes, cockpit polish, additional weapons and more will also be introduced.

Players are invited to offer feedback about the module on the official forums and view the Arena Commander manual, which "teaches you how to play the game and gets you further into the Star Citizen ‘verse." Be sure to watch the video above and read our impressions of Arena Commander's unveiling to learn more about the game.

Update: The developer is aware of a widespread issue where the game locks between the Hangar and Arena Commander and is working on a solution.

Update 2: "Just wanted to let you know that we've resolved the issue with players being stuck at the loading screen. Players are now able to access the maps appropriately," executive producer Alex Mayberry told Polygon.