Elite: Dangerous is one of the more fun games I’ve played in years. Just the idea of being lost in space and just navigating aimlessly is so wildly appealing to me. I preferred this particular flavor of space exploration over the other ones available because it seemed more approachable. The tutorial does a good job easing you in; you start in a little ol’ Sidewinder, with nothing special. You learn the basic controls and mechanics, they teach you how to dock, navigate your HUD, how to go about combat basics, and how to maneuver. Whenever you’re comfortable, you can jump right into the infinitely vast space, starting at one of the beginner systems. From there, the world is your oyster.

Or should I say, the galaxy.

The feeling of being alone to fend for myself in a game where you couldn’t explore everything in multiple lifetimes was so appealing to me. Just getting lost into the unknown sounded so cool. I was never a huge space-science person, but this game made me think a lot about what it would be like to just see different planets and systems up close. I would eventually learn how to make a good amount of credits early on: lengthy passenger missions that would encompass multiple distant systems. I started out small, saving up for a Phython, and used that for weeks. Back and forth I went until I had more credits than I knew what to do with. I’m a big fan of just saving up a bunch of currency and blowing it all on something, just to treat myself.

Well, that treat was the Anaconda.

This ship was the reason why I got into the game in the first place. It looked like one of those ships a Star Trek starfleet would take about three episodes figuring out how to avoid. The Anaconda had it all. A ton of cargo space, super good weapon placement and capacity, excellent defensive options. The only thing going against it was its maneuverability, although that would be an issue with almost all the large ships available.

Of course, when I acquired it, the very first thing I did was kit it out with more passenger space. And I went right back to doing passenger missions.

I don’t know, there was something very relaxing about effectively RPing as a space taxi service. Sure, there would be an occasional (NPC) pirate trying to derail my trips here and there, but it was relatively peaceful and non-confrontational. In that peacefulness lay more to be desired though. I sort of wish the public servers had more people around. In Elite: Dangerous, you had the option of playing in public, select private, or even solo servers. I don’t think forcing others into public servers is the answer, but I do wish that things were a bit more lively. You’ll occasionally see some random text from an NPC ship or get interdicted, but maybe the point is that it’s supposed to feel “lonely.” You are in space, after all.

Regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed being a space Uber for quite some time, but I wanted to try more. I learned about engineers: A number of NPCs that can sell you specialized upgrades to your ships, but you must spend some time gathering assorted materials and doing certain tasks to unlock the majority of them. It’s very worth it to unlock the engineers you want for the upgrades you seek if you’re looking to take your ship customization to the next level, especially if you love combat or exploring. I went ahead and unlocked a few of them, just enough to make my jump distance good, but it was a pretty decent slog. I would say it took me out of the immersion, as it felt a lot like a chore for some of them. Nonetheless, I enjoyed going to different planets (and even landing on some of them!), checking out the backstory for these engineers, and just learning more about the space around.

Lastly, the ship selection. While I was very impressed with the amount of ships, as well as how specialized some of them were (along with the options available for the multipurpose ships), it felt like there was something missing. If you want to explore, there are exploration ships readily available right out of the box. If you want to do high end combat in a space tank, go work towards a Federal Corvette and basically become the equivalent of the Millennium Falcon. Want an actual space bus? The Beluga Liner is your best bet—if you can manage to not explode when trying to park it!

With all of that said, I felt like there weren’t enough ships. I would love a ship that would be specifically good for low end mining at very long distances away from the main bubble. Or better yet, a ship that I could stealth around with. It wasn’t a huge damper on my experience, but it would have been nice, is all.

Elite: Dangerous is a wonderful game with so much sandbox to explore. I’ll always come back to it when I can, as it’s just a very good chill game. I hope to see more variety in mere things to do in the future, though Odyssey has been a very nice addition. It’ll always have a place in my heart, and I definitely think it’s worth trying out if being a spaceperson is your thing!

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