Elite: Dangerous Blog

News and events from the Elite Dangerous galaxy

Using the ED Tracker Pro with Elite

EDTrackerPro (200x150)While at LaveCon I had the chance to see the ED Tracker, a low budget motion controller for the PC that works with games like Project Cars, Eurotruck Simulator and of course, Elite: Dangerous.
“Why would you want one of those, you’ve got an Oculus?” I hear you ask. Well, firstly I cannot afford another DK2 for my children and my younger son plays a lot of EuroTruck and some Elite. Also, the hot summer weather in the UK has meant I haven’t been using the Oculus as much, to avoid having a stroke – yes, there are brief moments in the UK when it isn’t raining!

So, what is it like? What do you get for £45 ($70)? (Assuming you don’t build it yourself)

Firstly, I would like to say thanks to Dan and Becky at ED Tracker. At LaveCon I mistakenly picked up two ED Trackers instead of two ED Tracker Pros and didn’t spot my mistake until I got home. They shipped out replacements very rapidly, so kudos to them for excellent customer service.

The ED Tracker is a small black plastic box, the size of a matchbox, with a mini-USB socket on one side. To install it, I attached it to the top of my headphones headband with one of Mrs Arithon’s hair-ties (she’ll never miss it) and plugged in with the USB braided cable I bought from ED Tracker.

Windows 8 made the usual “boing” noise and listed “ED Tracker Pro” as a new joystick in my “Devices and Printers” list.

I then downloaded and ran the ED Tracker Pro software, which detected the device immediately and instructed me to calibrate it. This involves turning your headphones around on various axis.


Once that’s done, you find the 3D head model on the screen moves to mirror your own heads tilt and turn.

Getting it working with Elite: Dangerous

This was a little harder, as the instructions on ED Tracker’s website didn’t match the current version of the OpenTrack software used. I didn't get the joystick selection right and couldn't figure the OpenTrack setup. Never fear there’s loads of information on Forums everywhere! I got mine here. The OpenTrack software turns your virtual joystick into an emulated TrackIR.

So, having got it working, what was it like?

Well, it isn’t an Oculus, since you don’t have 3D vision and for 18% of the cost, I wouldn’t have expected that. But it is pretty damn good! You move you head left or right slightly and the screen turns to match your head movements. In combat you can look around to follow the action (very useful when pulling up and banking to follow a target) – you can look up and down and tilt your head and Elite’s display matches.

It is very good for viewing side panels too. All in all a very cool solution for anyone who doesn’t fancy the Oculus or cannot afford one (or is just waiting for the CV1) and a much cooler option for the hotter weather.

I will set up my second unit on my sons PC for him to play EuroTruck and get his input – saving it for the dull end of the school holidays!

Details of new ship emerge from LaveCon 2015

top_secretThis weekend is LaveCon 2015, the convention for the game of Elite and the science fiction universe that surrounds it.

The event is organised by the creators of the Lave Radio podcast, the weekly web-based chat show and this year the event is pretty big. I’m told the first LaveCon was just 40 people. This year added a hundred to that number at least.

One guest today was Frontier, who held a Question & Answer session, open to the floor. Michael Brookes, Chris Gregory and Sandro Sammarco were on the panel with Sarah-Jane Avory and Mike Evans also present.

So did they spill any beans?

Well.. yes!

Firstly they gave away a unique paint skin for the Vulture, Cobra and Asp – but sadly for you, only to those commanders present for LaveCon. This was a flaming Elite logo and a flame skin. So if you see these in game, you know that commander was here!


They then announced a new ship variant, the Imperial Eagle (Impegal) a stylish (and blue lit) variant of the Eagle, less manoeuvrable but fast and tough with a medium hard-point on the top and a bigger power plant. This Imperial variant will be very like the old Frontier II version of the Imperial Eagle (or that at least is the intention). David Braben specifically requested this ship variant.


Other gems of information that were “leaked” when the panel were questioned by the audience.

  • The Thargoids are still a way off yet, however there is already evidence of them to be found in the game.
  • The game has a ten year plan.
  • All the ships fit on a “backbone” which is an outline of the total ships and where they fit in the game, although this backbone is revised based on player feedback after each ship is introduced.
  • The LaveCon skin was done by one of the Frontier artists in his evenings to get it done specially for LaveCon.
  • No part of the game is currently considered finished. That is Frontier feel that there is plenty of room for addition and adjustment (see ten year plan).
  • The power-play characters appearance was modelled initially on the actors David Braben would have selected to play them in an Elite feature film (“which is not being made” – Michael Brookes). According to Sandro they are not all modelled on the actors that some have speculated.
  • The PC release of the free CQCC expansion will follow as rapidly as possible after the XBOX One release. So it will be exclusive for an exclusively short period!

What's going to be the BIG Elite Dangerous announcement at GamesCom?


With GamesCom in Cologne coming up next month (August 6th-9th) Frontier have said they are making an announcement at the event.


"The Elite: Dangerous team is bigger than ever, and the majority are working on something secret for PC and Mac. It's not quite ready for the world just yet, but we'll be able to tell you more at Gamescom. Believe us: we can hardly wait."


So what is this big announcement?

Put on your tinfoil hats and follow me….

A LOT of people on the forum have been “SQUEE”ing (prematurely I think) that the announcement might be the Planetary Landing expansion.

For those who don’t know, Frontier have said, in addition to the core game which all players get, there will be two major expansions for Elite: Dangerous.

The first will be the Ship and Station exploration expansion that will allow players to leave the cockpit and explore their ship, as well as disembark at outposts and stations, go visit Starbucks and get a manicure etc.

The second expansion will be Planetary Landings, where players can take their ships into planet atmosphere and land on the surface to trade, set up terraforming and interact with native fauna & flora. 


Both of the First Person expansions are paid extras, except for those players who signed on for the Alpha and Premium Beta.

It follows that Ship Exploration has to be launched before Planetary Landing, else why land on a planet when you cannot get out of your ship? For that reason I think it would have to be ship exploration first, or a simultaneous release of both.

More likely is the addition of passenger transport, as the Orca is currently a 43M Lakon Type 6 with some paint options. Passengers would give the Orca a game role and would allow for the introduction of the Beluga Liner and the Dolphin small passenger craft, giving players a whole new avenue to explore.

What else has been teased?

  • Stations in asteroids (very early on)
  • The Federal Corvette
  • The Panther Clipper.
  • Ship transport (mentioned early on, then teased in XBOX trailer - sidewinder launching from Anaconda).
  • Thargoids (the insectoid alien race from earlier games)

What of these constitutes a "big" update? Or will it be none of the above; something totally from left-field, like PowerPlay? A race of fashion-concious cats?

Like Mr Creosote (my personal hero) I would love to have everything, in a bucket, with the eggs on top, but it could just be a wafer-thin mint, so don't blow your air-lock just yet! We’ll know for sure in August.