Elite Dangerous's new planet designs won't be available without the Odyssey expansion

Frontier Developments' recent developer blog goes into detail on how compatibility will work in Elite Dangerous: Odyssey and unexpanded versions.

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When the Elite Dangerous: Odyssey expansion arrives, it promises to make the freelance universe of spacefaring more deeply explorable than ever before with newly designed planets you can put your feet down on and traverse without vehicles. It’s a big literal and metaphorical step for the game, but an expansion of this magnitude isn’t necessarily going to play nice with what came before it. Frontier Developments recently shared more details about this, including the fact that newly designed planets coming with Odyssey will be confined only to the expansion.

Frontier Developments launched a new dev blog on Elite Dangerous: Odyssey’s Steam page on May 14, 2021. The blog details compatibility between Odyssey-expanded and non-expanded versions of the game. As should be expected, being able to touch down and explore planets is a pretty big deal in the game, but it’s not just that you can’t do that if you don’t have Odyssey. The Elite Dangerous dev team has gone out of its way to redesign planets for this game, including the view of them from space and the approach and flyover into their atmosphere but still in vehicles. Unfortunately, you won’t see these changes if you don’t have Odyssey.

Elite Dangerous: Odyssey's expanded planets and other features mean Horizon's players won't be able to play multiplayer on Odyssey sessions, but Odyssey players will still be compatible with Horizons-based games.
Elite Dangerous: Odyssey's expanded planets and other features mean Horizon's players won't be able to play multiplayer on Odyssey sessions, but Odyssey players will still be compatible with Horizons-based games.

On one hand, it should probably be expected the planetary rework had to be a part of Odyssey because we’ll be able to see and interact with planetary bodies like never before in this expansion. Redesigning them from the ground up doesn’t really seem like something you can apply to a patch everyone can enjoy. That also means that Elite Dangerous: Horizons players can’t jump into multiplayer on an Odyssey-based session. However, Odyssey players can jump into a Horizon-based multiplayer session. The current compatibility plan will extend to consoles as well, but players have to be on the same platform. There won’t be cross-play available when Elite Dangerous: Odyssey launches.

With Elite Dangerous: Odyssey’s launch date right around the corner this May 19 on PC, we won’t be waiting long to explore worlds like never before. Just bear in mind that if you’ve got buddies that are playing Elite Dangerous. But not upgrading to Odyssey, it will be a little trickier to play with them. Stay tuned as we await further updates and details, such as console launch dates, here at Shacknews.

News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. When he's not handing out beatdowns in the latest fighting games, exploring video game history, or playing through RPGs with his partner, he's searching for new food and drinks in the constant pursuit of good times with good people inside and outside the South Texas area. You can also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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