Elite: Dangerous "the best damn spaceship game I’ve ever played"


Linky: http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2015/04/review-elite-dangerous-is-the-best-damn-spaceship-game-ive-ever-played/

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Clearly written by someone who has never played Badass Space Dragon.


It’s my primary free-time timesink at the moment. Spent tedious hours trading rares in a Type 6, but bounty hunting at a good resource extraction site in a Vulture is probably on-par with running commodities in a Type 9 for credits-per-hour.

You can get RES instances where nothing but the big-ticket ships spawn in. Anacondas, Clippers, Dropships, Pythons. Size 3 gimballed pulse lasers chew through them before they can zero the biggest A shields you can fit, without emptying your capacitor with four pips. The Vulture takes forever to recharge its shields, though, so run if you need to.

There is a kind-of-sort-of “story” going on if you care to read the news at spaceports, which can direct you to systems with big PVP action sites, but I’m enjoying blowing up big ships in solo.

Hunting generals in missions is still too dangerous for the payout, even with a Vulture, though. You can get bigger bounties on weaker, dumber ships at RES points. Need a wing of friends to hunt generals.

Vultures are pretty hot in conflict zones, but the payouts are too small per ship.


Hutchinson uses peripherals north of 500$ (Occulus Rift, fancy joystick etc) to get this experience. Is this still “the best damn spaceship game” if you don’t want to spend big dollars for peripherals?


I think so, sure. The game is best with head tracking and a good joystick, at least; you can pick up a Thrustmaster T16000M for reasonably cheap (it’s the least expensive stick with Hall Effect sensors, so it should be immune to drift from dirty potentiometers), and if you don’t want to drop $150 on a TrackIR, folks on the official forums are reporting great success with DIY head trackers and FaceTrackNoIR.

Space combat games have always been best played with joysticks. Wing Commander, X-Wing, TIE Fighter, Freespace—all better with a good joystick. Elite Dangerous is the same (and so is Star Citizen, at least so far).

Also, @beschizza, it’s “Hutchinson” but I still :heartpulse: U!

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You didn’t need any of that to play the original Elite, or either of its 90s sequels.

I’ve played it with an Xbox360 pad and it worked fine

Is it just me that always reads the name of this site as Arse Technica? (a more specialist website?)

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Once upon a time I had a MS Sidewinder 3D Pro…

I’m quite hesitant to spend big € in peripherals for a game that according to it’s creator is probably unrecognizable from it’s current state in a few years/patches. And other good space shooty games like X-Wing, Tie Fighter, Privateer * are sadly not dime a dozen nowadays.

Btw all those old-timey well remembered classics are tight story driven games … I wonder if thats coincidence…

*not space, but remember Strike Commander? Wing Commanders forgotten stepbrother…

I can understand that. I’m waiting until I have reduced my unplayed games list a bit, hopefully the price of the game will have dropped a bit by then.

I suspect that David Braben’s vision for the game is more of a spacecraft simulator than the space shooty games you have mentioned. There are plenty of people who played Frontier and found out that physics was not their friend, I even think there was a planet you could successfully land on but the gravity was too strong to get back off it. Looking at peoples complaints about the game on steam, I’d guess that E:D is similar.

The original Elite is a well remembered classic in the UK and isn’t particularly story driven. Maybe the Elite series is an exception though.

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I’m going to try it w/out fancy peripherals & an attempt to suspend eve comparisons so I’ll soon find out. The review doesn’t do much to dispel the “mile wide, inch deep” comments that persist, but if you want deep you probably just want Eve anyway.

The review almost put me off the game actually, because I watched the video in the first page. If I had had a sidearm I would have definitely pulled an Elvis and blown out the screen, that music is so very very bad. It’s great if you want to re-enact a cheesy 90’s television show, or at least the credits of a cheesy 90’s television show, but it is as far from a good accompaniment to an immersive space game as you can get without resorting to Raffi.

Oh and I played the shit out of the original elite & it was my motivation to play Eve, which nailed it & made it ocean deep, so I’ll be interested to try this one for comparison & the different modes.

Personally I play Eve in different modes that are similar to the ones described in the review. I mean, you don’t need a software enforced solo mode to play an immersive mmorpg solo, you just play it solo & consider that some NPC’s are less predictable than others, and don’t read local.

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I’ll also get to try Elite: Dangerous with the fancy peripherals too someday, since I’ll have it & I will definitely be purchasing some headgear & joysticks for this https://www.evevalkyrie.com/

i enjoy playing these sorts of games, but on easy settings (Cerebral palsy strikes again!). Some months ago, I started playing Privateer (gog version), but I’m having way too much trouble killing multiple bounty hunters. The multiplayer nature of this game scares me.

But I already have a job…

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Oh I see. “Solo” play seems to be the proper mode for me.

It needs Linux port. I did get to play and meet with David Braben at E3 2014: http://aqfl.net/node/11029:wink:

Here’s what I would consider a helpful review found on Steam about non-fancy peripherals. Let me know what happens, I’m interested, but not $60 interested.(http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561198006562105/recommended/359320/) :

The game is perfectly controllable with keyboard and mouse, just make sure to change the default setting, which are useless. This guide helped me a lot:

  • Change the mouse x axis from roll to yaw
  • Set Q/E to roll left/right
  • Set W/S/A/D to up/down/left/right thrusters
  • Set R/F to forward/reverse thrusters
  • Set your mouse wheel to control speed; what I mean by this is to click in the ‘increase throttle’ binding box and roll the mouse wheel up, and do the same with ‘decrease throttle’ and roll your mouse wheel down.
  • Set speed increments to 25%. You’ll never need more fine grain control than that. (I also set shift/ctrl as secondary binds for these)

I play it just fine with my PS4 controller, but I’m also using Voice Attack to cover commands that don’t fit on the controller’s limited layout.

Voice Attack is an $8 program. It’s really easy to use and set up. You can use commands to do rapid combinations of keypresses too, or have it hold down a key for as long as you like. I say, “Discover,” and it holds down the discovery key for the five seconds it requires after I jump into a system so I can concentrate on getting into position to scoop fuel, or get away from a bad star. Or I say, “Leaving,” when ready to depart a starbase and it retracts my landing gear, balances my power settings, then puts four pips in engines [I have it balance first because the docking computer maxes systems].

I also have a headset with a microphone.

You can absolutely play it with just a keyboard and mouse, but I wouldn’t. It’s much, much better to have analog controls for acceleration, yawing, et cetera. Acceleration in the game is contextual, depending on how far away from a gravity well or your destination you are. As you get closer, you need to slow down or you’ll overshoot. The accelerometer displays the sliding sweet spot so you can follow it.


Eve always struck me more as “a second job” than “deep” per se… but I’m rather decidedly not it’s target market.

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