If you want to start exploring in deep space, Elite: Dangerous is the best experience for both traditional games and virtual reality. Here’s what you need to know to get started.
Update 15 May 2017. We’ve updated this guide with more information for those looking to get started with Elite: Dangerous and VR.
What is Elite: Dangerous?
Elite: Dangerous is an action and adventure space game that gives players the opportunity to explore the entire galaxy from the control of a spaceship. Once players find themselves in the game’s vast world with a cheap ship and few resources, players must work their way through the ranks, earning their place in the harsh abyss of space.
During your in-game journey, you can look forward to a wide range of activities, from cargo hauling and trade deals to intense interplanetary dogfights. However, be sure to keep an eye on your back for scammers to roam the persistent game world. With truly open-ended gameplay, Elite: Dangerous is one of the most addictive simulation games available today.
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What is the end goal of the game?
Due to the open gameplay features of Elite: Dangerous, there is no specific end goal in your adventure. The story of Elite: Dangerous is not your personal adventure.
Whether you choose to explore systems and discover planets, buy a high-end ship, or even become the best pilot in the galaxy, the game caters for all playstyles and is filled with light years of unlimited content.
Is the game intended for VR?
One of Elite Dangerous’ main differentiators is its built-in VR support, a feature that only a handful of games are starting to implement. While there are other popular games that have made their way into VR, none of them fit the mold of Elite’s open-air sandbox.
Already an incredibly immersive title, VR adds a new level of depth and involvement to the gaming world. Elite Dangerous is the ultimate controller or HOTAS experience. This is a really tough undertaking for existing desktop VR users.
Read more: Playing Elite: Dangerous in HTC Vive vs. Oculus Rift
Using Elite Dangerous in VR
Designed as a traditional board game, Elite: Dangerous was originally created for virtual reality. Available on both the Oculus Store and Steam, you’ll notice slight differences between games depending on the platform you choose.
While the Oculus Store version of Elite: Dangerous works exclusively with the Oculus Rift headset, the Steam VR version appears to be a more common purchase. With support for Rift, Vive and OSVR, you’ll get a more flexible version of the game.
However, while also offering a traditional non-VR experience, the Steam version comes with some additional complications when first launched with VR. While the Oculus version boots straight into your Oculus Rift headset, you’ll need to manually enable VR support through the Steam version of the game.
When switching to the Steam version of Elite: Dangerous, be sure to select VR mode of the available options, not the 32-bit or 64-bit versions of the game. From here, SteamVR should detect the connected headset and launch the game in VR. While the game will use mouse and keyboard controls from the start, options to switch to HOTAS and a gamepad are available.
Read more: How to enable VR for Elite: Dangerous