Multicrew and Avatar Creator Coming to Elite: Dangerous mid-April

Frontier Developments have announced that The Commanders update for Elite: Dangerous will be arriving the week ending April 16. The new content, which has been in beta since late February, is part of the ongoing Horizons season and introduces multicrew ships, an avatar generator and a fancy new camera system.

Multicrew allows up to three Commanders to team up together on the same vessel, with one person flying and the others operating the turrets and scanners or ship-launched fighters. Crucially, unlike with the wingmen mechanic, it uses a quick match system and players can hook up instantly regardless of where they are in the galaxy – you’re simply beamed in as a hologram (something of a contentious issue on the forums with regards to that dreaded word realism). I’ve had a bash myself and it is actually quite fun and a great way to meet others players, though it would definitely benefit from some specific missions.

Commanders can also finally construct a face for themselves using the new avatar generator, or “Holo-Me”. It features a huge array of customisation options, so you can go wild making yourself look young and beautiful or all scarred and piraty (yaaaaarrrrrrr!!!), or you can be really boring and go with one of the many presets. I must say, its a helluva lot prettier and more photorealistic than those sickly-looking NPC mug shots. You can see my imaginative concoction in the image above.

Then when you’re finished with the Holo-Me you can check yourself out (you little narcissist) using the new third-person camera system, which improves upon the old one in nearly every way. With a bigger zoom, lockable viewpoints, interior views and the ability to track and pan in all directions, players with beta access have already began churning out amazing screenshots and videos.

Other features include an affordable new passenger liner known as the Dolphin, the ability to christen your ships, various balance tweaks, including a long-demanded nerf to shield booster stacking, and the introduction of the recently discovered TRAPPIST-1 solar system. Which reminds me, I need to go and see that for myself.