Elite: Dangerous Blog

News and events from the Elite Dangerous galaxy

The Type-10 Defender

The Type-10 Defender

UPDATE: Due to a short-lived bug in 2.4, CMDR Eric Grovum was able to video the Type-10 Defender in the shipyard on the XBOX version of Elite. Sadly, he didn’t have the funds to purchase the ship, but what he did grab added to our overall knowledge. We got a general peek at the shape and some extra stats.

So what’s changed?

We now know the cost will be 124,755,342 CR, which as theorised, is between the Anaconda and Type-9 stablemate. The Defender image shows the little winglets deployed and a very noticeable spoiler (which we saw in photos at the the Frontier Expo and assumed was a ship kit).

The ship description is:

The Type-10 Defender is the result of collaboration between the Alliance and Lakon Spaceways. With the threat of xeno-war looming, the Alliance’s naval arm saw the urgent need for a weapons platform capable of withstanding heavy, sustained attack. Utilising a reinforced Type-9 chassis as a starting point, Lakon overhauled and geared every aspect of the design for combat, producing a military behemoth that could be produced in volume at short notice.

The hardpoints are not the same as previously thought, with 4 large, 4 small (not 1) and 1 medium (not 3) which lowers the calculated firepower factor to 18 (from 20) and with the core internals being identical to the Type-9, the FSD and power plant are the same. This is not-so-good news. It means this beasty will be armoured out the wazoo, but will fly like a whale and while it's firepower theoretically could match a cutter, it lacks the power systems to run many energy weapons, so this will rely on kinetic weapons to keep the hurt coming in combat.

Thanks to the description we know this will be the first Alliance ship in the game.

Strangely for this heavier (and lower jump range) variant of the Type-9, the cruise and boost speeds are higher! Does this mean the ship will be more agile than the Type-9? Maybe. But unless it is impossibly agile, then this ship is going to rely heavily on turrets and the deployed SLF.

It won't outrun a Thargoid (or anything else for that matter) but it will probably take extreme amounts of punishment and still limp away.

As long as the power-plant will take it, Class 8 shields plus all that armour will make it THE in-game ship-tank. People are going to have a lot of fun in outfitting with this one.

  Type-10 Defender Type-9 Heavy

Top speed



Boost speed






FSD Range laden

5.67 Ly


FSD Range unladen

6.87 Ly








Hull mass



Cargo Capacity




4 Small

2 Small


1 Medium

3 Medium


4 Large


Utility slots



Optional internal

Class 8: 7E Cargo rack

Class 8: 7E Cargo rack


Class 7: 6E Cargo rack

Class 7: 6E Cargo rack


Class 6: 6E Shield Generator

Class 6: 6E Shield Generator


Class 5: 4E Cargo rack

Class 5: 4E Cargo rack


Class 4: 3E Cargo rack

Class 4: 3E Cargo rack


Class 4: Empty

Class 4: Empty


Class 3: 2E Cargo rack

Class 3: 2E Cargo rack


Class 3: Empty

Class 3: Empty

  Military slot (unconfirmed) -
  Military slot (unconfirmed)



1E Basic discovery scanner

Class 2: 1E Basic discovery scanner


1I Planetary approach suite

1I Planetary approach suite

Core Internal

1C Lightweight alloys

1C Lightweight alloys


6E Power Plant

6E Power Plant


7E Thrusters

7E Thrusters


6E Frame shift drive

6E Frame shift drive


5E Life support

5E Life support


6E Power distributor

6E Power distributor


4E Sensors

4E Sensors


6C Fuel tank

6C Fuel tank

What we (think we) know so far…

The Type-10 Defender is a Lakon ship and a variant of the Type-9 Heavy transport ship. We’ve seen clips of the ship in Frontier's Beyond teaser video and it has a lot more engine power on display than it’s stable-mate.

Recently a CMDR anonymously posted game-data mined from Elite: Dangerous that reveals yet more details of this as-yet-unreleased ship. The data gives us a wealth of information about the ship and it’s place in the game.

Stuff we didn’t know

The ship designation in the game code is “TYPE-9_MILITARY/FORC_FDEV_V_MAMMOTH”

The internals are as follows: -

  • Class 8 Power plant (Class 6 on the Type 9)
  • Class 7 Thrusters (same as Type 9)
  • Class 7 Frame Shift Drive (Class 6 on Type 9)
  • Class 5 Life Support (same as Type 9)
  • Class 6 Power Distributor (same as Type 9)
  • Class 4 Sensors (same as Type 9)
  • Class 6 Fuel tank (same as Type 9)

UPDATED thanks to Reddit for spotting my error - I had compared to Type-7 (I think) - I plead old age!

The Class 8 power plant puts the T10 right up there with the Cutter, Corvette and Anaconda. The Class 6 power distributor, same as the Type-9, seems a little low, but this ship doesn’t have any Huge hard-points, so maybe a Class 7 wasn’t required - either that or they are trying to limit the ship to kinetic weapons only which draw less power. The Class 7 FSD is a winner for sure, as only the Cutter and Beluga (the two largest ships in the game) have this size of Frame Shift and this vessel is smaller than a Type 9! That means this ship might have a reasonable jump range – especially for a combat class vessel that may have to ship out to Merope.

Nine Hardpoints

4 x Class 3 “Large”
3 x Class 2 “Medium”
2 x Class 1 “Small”

8 Utility slots (twice as many as the Type 9)

That gives this ship a firepower factor of 18 20 (Sum of Class x Qty) which makes it equal to an Imperial Cutter the ship with the most firepower in the game. Interestingly, all the AX weapons released so far are all Class 2, which means the Type-10 is not built as a weapons platform for those AX Multicannons and Missiles released already. Does this mean the ship will be putting Class 2 guns in Class 3 hard-points, or is there a bigger Class of AX weapons to come?

The hard-point names also indicate their position on the ship.

The two small hard-points are located front-left and front-right. Two of the medium hard-points are on the top-left and top-right of the ship. There are two large hard-points top-left and top-right and two large hard-points bottom-left and bottom-right. The final medium hard-point is mid-ship, but it's unclear if it is located top or bottom of the ship.

Layout of optional internals

  1. Class 8
  2. Class 7
  3. Class 6
  4. Class 5
  5. Class 4
  6. Class 4
  7. Class 3
  8. Class 3
  9. Class 2
  10. Military slot
  11. Military slot

This gives us Class 8 shields in battle or 532T of cargo (256 + 128 + 64 + 32 + 16  + 16 + 8 + 8 + 4) which is unchanged from the Type-9 Heavy.

What else?

According to our anonymous source, the ship lists 53 different paint jobs. That's a lot of new looks to try out! Probably not all on sale on day one though.

The Type-10 has a Ship Launched Fighter Bay and crew positions for a pilot, as well as a second and third seat; meaning it's also a multi-crew ship.


This ship will be (as it's name suggests) a Mammoth! With the better thrusters and top-of-the-line FSD drive, it will be more than adequate to handle (although I doubt any will describe it as agile) and will have the jump range needed to get itself to the Thargoid war zones. With Imperial Cutter level firepower and a lower price-point this will be a popular ship. Being somewhere between the Anaconda (146M CR) and the Type 9 (76M CR) in price, I would speculate the cost of the new ship to be a little over 100M CR.
Sadly the Class 6 power distributor is a bit of an Achilles heel; all that Class 8 power and no way to pipe it out! The Class 7 Thrusters mean this ship is going to be a whale to handle. While slightly smaller than the Type-9, it will be heavier with armour, so don't expect to run rings around anyone.
This looks to be a slow-moving multi-cannon gun platform.

Frontier Expo - Elite 2.4 And Beyond

On Saturday the first Frontier Expo took place. It was held at “Here East” in the Olympic Park in north London near to Stratford. The expo showcased Frontier’s past games, many of which I personally was unaware of, and featured heavily the existing games of Planet Coaster and Elite: Dangerous, as well as promoting Frontier’s new IP which is the Jurassic Park Evolution game, scheduled for release next summer; probably to coincide with the release of the next feature film.



When I arrived at the venue there was a queue outside arranged around the large Cobra scale model we’ve see before at the launch party. There was also a Jurassic Park explorer on display and the Chief Beef character from Planet Coaster was “working the crowd”.

Once inside after a security check, we took a lift upstairs and were greeted with a “goody bag”. The more expensive Founders tickets got a bright orange gloss-card bag, while the rest of us got fabric bags (I think the Founders dibbed out there). The bag I received contained a cool galaxy map mouse-mat, a Planet Coaster water bottle, digital game codes for Planet Coaster and Elite: Dangerous DLC, a T-shirt, some artwork postcards for both games and a really amazing large card print of a scene from Jurassic Park Evolution.

The Expo was held in two halls, with a third side hall devoted to 3rd parties and refreshments. These included Lave Radio, Hutton Orbital Radio, the Special Effects charity and Spidermind Games. There were also a number of well know Streamers in the streaming room and I think I might have spotted a few Hutton Truckers.

The main hall and secondary hall both hosted presentations throughout the day, I will included URLs to these streams as soon as they are available, so you can watch them – take the time, as they are all very interesting. Also in the main hall there was a diorama of dinosaurs as a backdrop to Jurassic Park Evolution trailer running and the two Frontier exhibition stands - one with the console version of Elite on it and the other with the PC version of Elite.

There was a section of PCs all devoted to playing Planet Coaster and attendees could all sit down at these workstations and play the game. There unfortunately wasn't a playable copy of Jurassic Park Evolution at the expo... early days!

While the events of the day were interesting and it was certainly great to catch up with those commanders who I haven’t seen, some since the premier event in 2014 and others who I have never met before, like the contingent of French and German commanders who helped with the translation of my blueprints (great to see you guys!). The Elite community is a fantastic bunch of people and I could probably fill my blog with a long shout-out to all the people that I met there just on Saturday.

The Juicy Bit

Thing that most people will be interested in was the talk given at 5pm when Frontier announced what they will be doing for the coming year for Planet Coaster, the launch of Jurassic Park Evolution and the big “and finally” which was what’s next Elite: Dangerous, which they have subtitled “2.4 And Beyond”!

What was made very clear, was that the coming year’s releases will be free to anyone that has already bought Horizons, so that means the coming years-worth of DLC is basically inclusive!
Starting with a teaser video, which included the Thargoid scan making a green laser sweep over the audience (very cool Frontier), the presentation got off to a great start.

The first feature announced for Elite was wing missions, which is something that the community, my own gaming group of Dead Men Walking included, really wanted to have so that our group complete missions together.

Frontier also stated that better trade data would be available in game.
They announced that one of the changes they are making to the gaming engine was improved planetary tech, which in simple terms means more variety on planet surfaces, with better textures and better landscapes. A greater variety were demonstrated by showing some slides of different types of planet which looked very impressive in the flesh.

Then they teased some new weapons. No details were given, so feel free to speculate!

Frontier announced new narratives for the game meaning new story lines to take players in different directions; They also plan to continue the Guardians storyline and the new narratives to come will have a lot of crossover with this and the ongoing Thargoid narrative.
A behind the scenes video (which I haven’t yet seen published online) gave us a peek at the Frontier offices and the design of new ships and weapons that will be coming to the game, all of which looked very interesting.
Frontier then stated that the game will be receiving “a lot of new ships”, some of which they showed us -  some of which we caught a glance of (in the previously mentioned video) all of which were completely new ships. See left-hand screen below; what ship is THAT? (Krait on right).

Now my prediction that the Type-10 Defender would be a variant of the Type-9 proved to be correct. Shown in the teaser video from several different angles, you could see that the Type-10 is a militarised Type-9, which clearly has a lot more engine power!

Credit to @EliteCast for the excellent Type-10/Type 9 comparative screenshot.

They’ve also narrowed the hull with flight-deployed winglets. The vessel shown appeared to have a ship kit fitted (spoilers!!!).

The first of the two new ships that were shown to us was the “Chieftain”, which is a Lakon Spaceways designed ship produced for the Alliance, which makes it the first alliance vessel in the game, which has a passing resemblance to the Pelican dropship from HALO. We were shown a 3D rotating textured model of the ship as it will appear in game, and while there’s been some speculation as to the size of the vessel, we were given no statistics of either vessel, so it will be quite difficult know for certain this size of these ships (other than the Type 10).


The second ship shown was in its early design stages and they only had an untextured model to display, however the ship will be very popular with fans of the 1984 Elite, as it is a legendary fighter from the original game the “Krait”.

Speculation Alert!

The Krait

Using captures from the videos, I have been able to speculate the approximate size class of the two new ships. Please bear in mind this is not much more than an educated guess, so don't go buying curtains based on my measurements, okay?

The sneek peek video shows a Cobra next to the Krait, so scaling the image after a bit of perspective correction, the Krait would be 42m x 51m (height unknown) making it similar in size to an Asp Scout.

One thing very noticeable on the animated render, is that the Krait has two crew positions either side of the main cockpit and clearly shows a fighter bay behind the cargo hatch, making it both an SLF capable ship and a multi-crew ship!

UPDATE: Using perspective editing I took some (rough) measurements from the video render to compare with the earlier top-down screen grab and found the Krait *might* be larger and squarer than I first estimated. Based on a 18m launch bay and 5m cargo hatch, the ship is 62m long and 62m wide.

That would make the Krait between the Asp Explorer and Fer De Lance in size, so the cost could be anywhere between 6-50M CR! We won't know, until we have more about the ships core internals. One thing from the render is the clearly visible Class 3 hardpoints on the front underside. However, there are no other visible hard-points top or bottom, so would this make the Krait a Vulture XL? The lack of weaponry would have to be balanced with something (more than a fighter bay) so is the Krait super-fast and agile? We'll find out. 

The Chieftain

The Chieftain is a Lakon ship, which kindly have the same cockpit configuration, so based on that, the ship is quite a big one!

Comparing with a Type-9, you can see that while a little narrower, the Chieftain is a good 10m longer. That makes this ship in the same size class as an Anaconda.

After getting hold of some better quality bitmaps, I redid this based on the size of the cargo hatch (which is universal) and the ships comes out much smaller, a little larger than a Federal Gunship. But it does appear to have six Class 2 hard-points and two Class 3 hard-points.

Based on my revised size estimates and what can be deduced from the pictures shown, we have two medium sized combat vessels. One aparently armed to the teeth, but with no fighter bay and the other with minor armaments and a fighter bay and some possible X factor we don't know about yet.

Frontier announced that they would be bringing GalNet Audio to the game. This means no more text-walls for galactic news. Instead each article can be played as an audio track, from the looks of it while flying the ship (i.e. out of menu).

Another big game changing and exciting announcement made was that of Squadrons. Squadrons will be in-game player groups with in-game membership, and admin tools. The squadrons will be able to purchase in game Capital ships for their group, designated as a “Carriers” which will be exclusive to the members of the squadron. I would imagine (purely speculating) these would be a specific class of megaship with large, small and medium landing pads on board. Either way this is something that gaming groups (my own included) have been crying out for.

As promised 2.4 is going to see some major revamps to existing game mechanics and core gameplay one of those being a revamp of mining, offering new mining tools for both extraction and detection of minerals and metals and the ability to carry out operations like asteroid blasting and deep mining.
Frontier showed us a concept art (which I think I’ve seen before) of a snowy planet surface, they have said is that they are working on a new lighting model and new planet surface types with localised ambient effects, like fog. The concept art was set as a target for the developers to match for the in-game graphics.

Exploration is going to be getting a major revision, with more tools for exploration - many new items are out in deep space, outside the bubble, that have yet to be discovered and Frontier are also adding a Codex for explorers to log their discoveries. Frontier described the exploration changes as having “new anomalies and content to discover out in the black”.

Lastly part of the 2.4 teaser video showed off a new class of Thargoid ship – the red Thargoid!

I’ve not covered any of the Planet Coaster or Jurassic Park Evolution as these are not Elite-related, but both presentations were amazing and while I already own Planet Coaster, Jurassic Park Evolution is now on my “Must have” list.



The Thargoids Return on September 26

Last night Frontier had a live stream hosted by Edward Lewis and alongside him was lead designer, Sandro Samarco, to herald the release of Elite: Dangerous 2.4 on all platforms on 26th September.

They showed off a CGI trailer for 2.4; which sadly did not consist of any in-game footage. As in the past with these trailers, it was very dramatic, but had little real connection to the actual game of Elite: Dangerous.

Ed talked about Thargoid lore in the game (a short recap anyway) and Sandro answered some questions about game content. If you were not one of the 3,500 (ish) people watching the stream, here is the highlight reel of what you missed.

Law and Order

The Pilot’s Federation bounty on players who kill other players is a first-step. This will be refined and the Karma system fleshed out in 2.4. The system may also be expanded to NPC kills. Nothing is ruled out at this point.

Pilot’s Federation Bounty – When a player commits the crime of murder (PvP only), they receive an additional Pilot's Federation Bounty. This bounty is valid in every jurisdiction except anarchy systems.

A ship rebuy Penalty now applies when a player commits the crime of murder (PvP only), an additional cost is added if they swap to a less expensive ship before paying legal costs during the rebuy process.

New Ship

Sandro stated the Type-10 Defender (clearly a Lakon craft) is not the Panther LX. It’s a new ship. He didn’t answer any other questions about the Type-10. Is it a new ship or variant (combat Type-9)? We’ll find out I guess.

Above is a concept art of what was going to be the DiamondBack. Maybe as with the Imperial Ships, they'll adapt one ship concept to use for another. My thinking is that they've taken a basic type-9 heavy and made a combat variant, in the same way they did with the Type-6 Transport -> Keelback. The resulting ship would be a slow moving but very dangerous gun platform. This though, is pure speculation.

New Content & Features 2.4

Holo-Me now has multiple Save Slots for different Commander appearances, as well as new hairstyles and added slots for Eyewear and Outfits.

Synthesis can now create heat sinks, chaff, limpets and top up life support, however heat sinks require manufactured materials so you won't have an infinite supply outside the bubble.

Additional planetary bases have been added to the Colonia region for migration winners

New Content & Features 1.9

The Inbox has had a revamp with various quality of life improvements and a new look.
We get chained missions; missions that can be in several parts.
Hull/Canopy Repair Limpet controllers are now available which will enable you to repair your own and other CMDRs ships out in space.
Station outfitting now displays all options available for cosmetic items. You can preview paint jobs and other game extras with the Buy Now link enabled.
Your stored ships can now be sold from the rebuy screen to cover the rebuy if you are cash-poor when your ship was destroyed.
Exploration and the galaxy map have the following improvements:-

  • The maximum route plotting range has been extended from 1,000Ly to 20,000Ly.
  • Route plotting is much faster.
  • In route plotting there is now an option to make use of neutron star boost when plotting routes.
  • An icon is now displayed on your plotted route to show the last scoopable star before your ship will run out of fuel.

The stations now have a search and rescue contact for the new search and rescue missions. This option also allows you to hand in recovered escape pods (legally). In addition new and improved salvage scenarios have been added to support search and rescue game play.

Anti-Thargoid weapons

Confirming what was first show in concept art at this year’s LaveCon event back in June, we will be getting a new type of missile launcher which is specifically designed to combat Thargoid technology. Shown in Medium and Large hard-points, it will be the first missile launcher in Class 3 - The question is, can you use those missiles on anyone (not just Thargoids) and are they dumbfire or guided?

We will also get a new countermeasure to protect our ships from Thargoid EMP weapons. This was shown as "being deployed". Since all Utility Slot items are "always on", I'm not sure how you would activate this in game if it wasn't always on.

These were all shown off with a CGI video trailer for 2.4 titled “Commander Chronicles: Retaliation”, which demonstrated the importance of ZombieLand Rule #2 – “The Double Tap”. Don’t be stingy with those Thargoid-killer missiles or the target will regenerate fast and will kill you with extreme prejudice using their own nasty looking warheads.

Because if you don’t, you’ll be making “Dale Face” all the way to the rebuy screen...

 Interestingly, the video showed the Target Lock on the Thargoid ship showed the ship as "Thargoid Interceptor - Cyclops Variant".

How do you like your eggs? Alien

Overnight those busy CMDRs at Canonn Research (http://canonn.science/) have found another FOUR Thargoid Hives / Outposts...

#2 Aries Dark Region DB-X D1-63 A 7 A
Lat 25.94, Long 77.96

#3 Pleiades Sector OS-U C2-7 4 A
Lat 58.21, long -177.04

#4 Col 285 Sector VC-Y D57 AB 4 A
Lat 4.78, long 136.28

#5 HIP 14909 2 A
Lat 26.5 long -27.5

#6 MEL 22 SECTOR ZU-P C5-1 4A
Lat  -63.5, Long 8.02

#7 MEL 22 SECTOR NX-U D2-27
Lat -39.8, Long -56.2

The Interiors have been opened! Two 'keys' can be used: Unknown artifact or Unknown probe. Once inside, there is a room where an Unknown Link is pawned. Take all three to the main chamber and drop each on the correct pad to activated the reactor.

No sooner is an update out the door, than we discover more Thargoid stuff!

Located 357.26 ly from Sol, a short way out of the bubble (too close for comfort if you ask me) is HIP 19026 and on the third moon (C) of Planet HIP 19026 B1, located at lat -17, long -152 is what can only be described as a hive.

It can been seen from orbital cruise due to the size. Is this a Thargoid outpost? or Hive? Sure is creepy.

Very reminicant of "alien", including the currenlty closed tunnels into the structure.

I found a number of flower-like objects around the structure which showed on scanner as "unknown uplink". These gave me three new data scans.

Unknown material

Unknown residue

Unknown structure

There are also a number of "organic structures" which contain meta-material.

There were also, well, eggs. And an unknown object that I picked up (the green thingy on the left) which corroded my SRV systems.

What's behind those doors? I'd sure like to know!

What the PlayStation 4 Trailer let slip

Yesterday's trailer for the PlayStation 4 version of Elite: Dangerous was very cinematic, but hidden away in the folds of the advertising are gems of information on the next major Elite release.


Now the first scene here, show a CMDR standing behind the pilot's chair. The ship looks to be a Cobra. While the scene looks more CG than game rendered, it depicts a pilot moving around the ship. Is this poetic licence, or a hint of what's to come in season 3? Walking around our ships and stations maybe?  Personally it might just be fluff for the trailer - a bit of scene setting. BUT... it could be an element of multi-crew. Instead of a fade-to-black screen when moving between each other's ships and chairs, we might see our avatar walk to the cockpit and sit down.

Asteroid bases

Since the Kickstarter in 2012, we've been tantalised with concept art of asteroid space stations. Either pirate bases or mining bases, built into larger asteroids. These have been high on players request list and the image at 18 seconds clearly shows "Boweens Hollow" an asteroid base. Awesome sauce!

More furniture in the room

At 49 seconds, the trailer shows a new space structure, similar to the civilian outposts we've seen added since 2.1. Not earth shattering, but nice to see more life in the galaxy.

It's not a station, but damn it's big!

With a drive section as large as Jacques stations, the ship depicted at 50 seconds is too "primitive" to be a Capital ship and it sure doesn't look Thargoid. So what is it?

Well, for those unfamiliar with Elite lore, there were, hundreds of years ago in game-time, generational ships that launched into deep space from Sol without the benefit of FSD drives. These ships would take centuries to arrive at their destination, with the great grandchildren of the original crew at the helm. In the time between, human technology progressed and ships could fly such vast distances in minutes, so present-day ships have caught up with those early pioneers.

The ship shown here is almost certainly one of the fabled generational ships. Who's going to be the one to tell their crew they could take a modern ship and be back on Earth by tea-time?


Toward the end of the trailer we see a Cobra Mk III with a co-pilot. The real question here, is whether the person in the next seat is NPC crew or Human crew. We know 2.3 is multi-crew and we are going to have a commander avatar creator. Since the Cobra doesn't have a ship-launched-fighter, the other seat isn't occupied by the NPC drone pilot, so I'm fairly certain they are depicting human multi-crew.

Something fishy sneaked past at the end

Finally, in the last few seconds of the trailer, a little ship sneaks past (bottom left). It's not the Orca, even though it looks a lot like it. It's the Dolphin passenger craft. I would say that pretty much confirms the ship for version 2.3.


The road to Thargoids: What we know so far

TTV 2Not everyone is fully up on where Elite:Dangerous is now with its ongoing saga of hunting for alien life, or the rich history behind it.

Alien 101

Back in 1984 when Elite hit the BBC Micro, the “bad guys” were an alien race known as the Thargoids. Beyond that, very little was known.  They flew octagonal saucer ships and would drag unsuspecting commanders out of the hyperspace tunnel (also called “witchspace”) and attack the commander in the deep black gulf of space between stars, where no help was available. Unless you were quick to fight or flee, it was certain death for most ships. The sight of their saucers was feared across the galaxy!

A decade or so later, in Frontier and Frontier 2 the lore of this race expanded and we found out that the Thargoids were an insectoid race with six limbs, resembling a praying mantis.

Since the release of Elite: Dangerous, and even before going right back to the 2012 KickStarter, the community has been speculating how and when the Thargoids might appear in the game.

Early signs

In March 2015, with the release of 1.2, Unknown Artefacts began to appear. These were being carried by Type-9 ships in a convoy in Strong Signal Sources. The NPC chatter was all about the "strange cargo" they carried. We also began to see them floating in space and they made a peculiar noise. You could pick them up in your ship's cargo scoop, but commanders found that their ship became rapidly damaged by holding one of these objects.

What did the noise mean?

There were two signals the UAs made. One was Morse code, which spelled out the system they were located. The other was a mystery until CMDR Mike Juliet Kilo realised the signal was co-ordinates and when plotted, drew his ship - a Vulture!

Throughout 1.3 the UAs kept making these same noises, but began to be found in space always pointing towards the Merope system...

Blistering Barnacles!

In January 2016, after the 2.0 release of the Horizons expansion, explorers found alien structures on the planet Merope 5C. These objects resembled barnacles or some kind of ocean shell, with crystalline spikes appearing to grow out of the ground around them. The spikes could be blasted into fragments with the SRV turret and one spike would yield a large emerald-like crystal, that when harvested using the SRV cargo scoop was revealed to be a meta material.

Meta materials and UA bombing

Commanders who noticed that the Unknown Artefacts damaged their ship, tried various things to avoid having their ship destroyed while hanging on to the UA they'd discovered. However, the side-effect of their sheltering inside a station, was that the station itself took damage and station services would shut down. Enterprising CMDRs then found that by delivering and selling multiple UAs to a single station could shut it down and thus "UA Bombing" was born. Deliberate sabotage of stations using UAs as a weapon.

Subsequently, it was discovered that the Meta Materials harvested from so-called "Barnacles" could repair UA-Bombed stations.

More and more barnacles have been discovered in the systems around Merope and seem to favour systems inside nebulas.

Unknown probe

Unknown Probe

In May 2016, Horizons 2.1 shipped and explorers began to discover smaller unknown artefacts, which were named Unknown Probes. These objects were active rather than passive, like their predecessors. When scanned with a discovery scanner they would emit an electro-magnetic pulse, disabling nearby ships and then play a data signal.

The signal was decoded in June by CMDR Muetdhiver and CMDR Wace. When fed through a spectrum analyser the audio produced a hazy diagram.

Probe signal

When cleaned up, the signal is clearly some kind of iconography.

Clean signal

General consensus is that the diagram represents some kind of address, but no definitive meaning has yet been found.

UPDATE: The guys on the Canonn Research Thread (#8) have noticed that the Unknown Probes appear to be seeking ammonia based worlds.

GamesCon hints

During GamesCom in early August, Frontier's live streams were "interrupted" by alien signals, which were overlaid with binary and ASCII messages.

Once again, the guys at Canonn Research put their collective brains to the problem and solved the puzzle and this week - CMDR Nochtrach, CMDR BALALAIKAX3 and CMDR Ihazevich found the clues Frontier gave led to an alien wreck site on the moon of Pleiades Sector AB-W B2-4,
Planet 9A at co-ordinates -26,3772°, 97,6982°.

Alien wreck site

The wreck is very reminiscent of Ridley Scott/H.R. Gieger's Alien spacecraft. A bio-mechanical craft, laying in the bottom of a valley. The craft was huge – far bigger than any human ship in the game.

CMDR Niamhy has even mocked up what the ship may have looked like before it crashed. Scary.

Alien ship

So, is it Thargoids?

Well truthfully, nobody outside Frontier knows. The ship doesn't resemble the earlier Thargoid ships. Are they friendly or not? Again, we don't yet know. What transpires next is anybody's guess and may be decided by who finds them first and who shoots first (or not).

Be careful out there. We are not alone...


The Beluga Liner - What do we know?

The Beluga Liner has been a long time coming. The ship was first touted in Newsletter #10 back in August 2013 - three years ago!

Beluga Liner with Orca and Dolphin

As you can see it's design has evolved from concept to implementation.

Beluga Liner in game

The only other ships we've seen in concept that are not yet implemented are the small passenger ship, the Dolphin and the huge trade ship, the Panther LX. Although we did get a sneak peek at the final Dolphin, but Frontier did not confirm it for 2.2.

So how big is the Beluga Liner?

Frontier don't give out specifications - they let the players grab data from the game, however FDEV did post a photo from October 2014 that showed a whiteboard with the list of ships on it, which (even back then) included the Beluga and the Corvette.

Top secret stuff

As you can see (with a bit of squinting) the Beluga is the same length as the Anaconda with a narrower body, the Beluga's tail making it slightly longer and a great deal wider.

Obviously this is going to be a large landing pad ship

What's it's role?

The Beluga Liner is primarily a passenger vessel.

Like the Orca, it will be able to carry luxury and first class cabins that other ships won't, so the ship will be required to pursue a career in tourism and luxury travel, the profitable end of the new passenger industry.

The internal slots may also be restricted to cabins rather than other equipment, just as the Orca.

The ship has 6 utility slots and has the following internal module slots:-

  • 4 x Class 3
  • 1 x Class 4
  • 2 x Class 5
  • 4 x Class 6

This should give you massive passenger capacity. And maybe some cargo capacity too?

Is the Beluga armed?

It has been confirmed that the Beluga will have five medium hard-points. That would give it comparable fire-power to an Imperial Clipper (I rate fire-power by multiplying the number of hard-points by their class size).

But, in addition to five Class 2 weapons, the Beluga will also have a fighter bay. So it won't be a warship, but it'll be far from helpless either.

How fast is the Beluga?

Well, not very. But a ship that size is not going to be a racer. Sandro said on Tuesday's Lave Radio interview that the Beluga was the same speed as the Hauler, so it will be 200M/s with 300M/s on boost. Now that is faster than an Anaconda and Corvette, but slower than the Cutter. He didn't comment on agility, but we would expect something similar to the Anaconda's flight model as the ships are of similar size.

The ship will come equipped with a Class 7 FSD drive, but because of the Beluga's size, won't give a high jump range.


Very large trading ships in Elite Dangerous

panther_dockingSource? Newsletter #92

Multi-Crew lets you fly in the same ship with friends, which will up the intensity and camaraderie levels of a joint mission even further! You’ll be able to share and alternate control of weapons systems, turrets and flight duties to multiply your effectiveness. Even to the extent of piloting a ship-launched fighter and working in combination with the mothership. It’ll be especially useful in some of the very large trading ships coming in season two.

Now the original Elite, way back in 1984 didn’t have any really big trade ships – the Anaconda was the largest, with the smaller Boa and Python in the mix, but there were some super-massive traders in Frontier and Frontier First Encounters. What were they?

Well, between Elite 1 and 3 the roles of these ships juggled somewhat. In Elite the Boa was smaller than the Anaconda, but by Frontier First Encounters (Elite 3) the Boa was the bigger ship.

The Panther Clipper; described as a “behemoth” in Elite 2 wasn’t the biggest in Elite 3 – that was the Lynx Bulk Carrier. How big was that? Well the Panther had a 2100T cargo capacity compare to the Lynx’s eye-watering 6000T cargo hold. A monster!

So what will the “very large trading ships” coming to Elite: Dangerous be?

We have been teased 3D renders of the Panther Clipper (called Panther LX in this incarnation) very early on during the Elite: Dangerous KickStarter, but it has been radio silence since.

Currently the biggest trade ship in ED is the Imperial Cutter which can carry (with shields) 728T of cargo. That’s only 35% of the original Panther’s capacity. Could it fit on the pad and carry that much cargo in ED? Well, no.

Panther LX

Based on the maximum dimensions of all ships, the Panther LX could be up to 192.6m L x 115.3m W x 33.4 m H and fit through the access corridor and land on a large pad. That is around 4% larger overall volume than the Imperial Cutter and would (at a 4% increase) give the Panther a 1540T hull. That would give an approximate cargo capacity of between 670 to 1104T – estimating a make-up of three Class 8, one Class 7, two Class 6, two Class 5 and one Class 4 internals. Huge.

Something we’ve not seen, even hinted at, is the return of the Boa. If based on Elite 3 this would be double the size of the Anaconda (in capacity) so would carry 936T of cargo (3 x C8, 1 x C7, 1 x C5, 1 x C3) not to be sniffed at! Based purely on volume, it could be smaller than the Corvette, say 160x114x32m and be twice an Anaconda’s capacity.

ship dimensions

Frontier could also pull something out of the bag we have not seen before. But we'll know soon, because they are coming this year to a game near you.

Horizons speculation alert!

buggyOn Friday Frontier, for the first time it should be noted, laid out a general plan for most of the coming season of expansions to Elite: Dangerous Horizons. Giving us an outline for what content was coming and when. So what are we getting? Well the first instalment is soon, probably next month, and is titled “The Engineers”

2.1 – The Engineers - Coming Spring 2016

"Everything changes. Introducing an expanded mission system and game-changing loot. Craft exotic weapons and modules for your spacecraft and build a ship unlike any other."

It is confirmed that we’ll have around 30 persistent NPC characters to interact with. These characters will process loot into crafted weapons and modules for you from blueprints. The toys on offer will depend on your pilot and federation, or empire, rank. Using the character creator, Frontier will give these engineers a face to see.


We can speculate that these characters, called Engineers, will abide on the surface of planets at certain locations, which makes them by default, a Horizons-specific feature. Since they require loot to work, you will have to bring them materials(?) to work with in order to make your green beam laser (or more useful), a longer range FSD drive. They also require blueprints. How will these be acquired? Stolen? Found? Clearly a new avenue to explore. You can’t just grind 30T of hand-wavium and have the best ship in the galaxy; you are going to have to find, steal, trade or buy the means to make these upgrades.

Over the last year Frontier had expanded the bulletin-board missions, but as they’ve done so, the basic framework has started to creak under the load. In 2.1 we’re getting a total replacement of the mission system, incorporating these talking head NPC characters which will also be persistent, depending on your pilot rank, faction rank and possibly location. I would love to speculate that these characters will speak (audio? Text to speech?), but in all likelihood they will simply be the face of your mission-brief text, much the same as the characters were in Elite Frontier (shown above). The good news for players without the Horizons expansion is that this element of the game is generic to all, so it is highly likely that the new NPCs will be seen by players of the core game as well as Horizons players.

The new "mission givers" might look something like this:-

mission_face Continued..

1.5 Ships Update

ships_smallFrontier have rather quietly announced the next major update to Elite: Dangerous after Close Quarters Combat Championship (1.4) will be called "Ships"

When is being released?

After CQCC in September, but before "Horizons" which is being released in "Holiday season" (late November to early December), so some time in October or early November. 

What else is in the update?


Well, ships. Clearly.

The update will take the number of unique ships (excluding variants we assume) to over thirty. We already know Horizons will bring the Cobra Mk IV and 1.4 will add the Dropship Mk II, the Federal Gunship and the Imperial Eagle.

There are still a number of ships hinted and teased to date we haven't seen confirmed for any release and they are:

The Panther Clipper - large trade ship. This ship from the earlier Elite Frontier game had huge cargo capacity and formidable defences.


The Imperial Cutter - a large ship which we know little about, but would speculate is an Empire equivalent of the Python, somewhere between a Courier and Clipper or perhaps larger than a Clipper? The concept art we've seen appears to show what became the Imperial Clipper, so will we see a Cutter or not?

The Federal Corvette - the largest flyable ship to be in the game, almost a third larger than an Anaconda. A slow moving weapons platform.

The Dolphin passenger vessel and Beluga Passenger liner - which with the Orca, are Elites passenger transport vessels.


With the introduction of these passenger ships it would follow that passenger transport would become a career path in Elite as well. Something many have waited for.

What else might we see?

Big on the wish-list is ship-in-ship transport and deployment. With SRV's being launched from all ships in Horizons, the idea of a "launch bay rack" for Class 6 & Class 7 internals sounds more plausible. And rather appealing.