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Elite: Dangerous’ next update comes out later this month

Beyond — Chapter One comes to PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on Feb. 27

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

The next content update for Elite: Dangerous, titled Beyond — Chapter One, comes out Feb. 27. The game’s designer and publisher, Frontier Developments, announced that the update is free for all players, and it will release simultaneously on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Elite: Dangerous is a spacefaring game that plays out on a realistic model of all 400 billion star systems in the Milky Way galaxy. In the past year, the game world was invaded by an alien menace known as the Thargoids. Beyond pushes the game’s storyline forward, and promises to reveal more about the alien’s motives and goals.

The update also introduces the Chieftan, a new ship designed to directly engage with the Thargoids.

Thargoid ships surround a planet in Elite: Dangerous. Frontier Developments
A wing of player-controlled ships destroys a target. Frontier Developments

Beyond also changes how the surfaces of planets are rendered, adding new details and colors to enhance the experience when flying low to the surface or driving around in rovers. Crime and punishment is being enhanced as well. Serial offenders will find themselves attacked by powerful AI-controlled units from Advance Tactical Response. The in-game newsfeed, GalNet, which is responsible for delivering major story beats to players all across the far-flung game world, is also getting an audio version.

Finally, Frontier said that it has also made changes to the in-game economy that should put some high-level equipment within easier reach.

The next level of puzzles.

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