Videogame / Elite: Dangerous

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Right on, commander!
400 billion star systems. Infinite freedom. Blaze your own trail.

Elite: Dangerous is the long-awaited fourth game in the Elite series by David Braben and Frontier Developments. The game was announced in 1997 as Elite: IV, but the dying space simulator market combined with a lack of funding for the game ensured that it remained Vaporware for 15 years, before getting funding via Kickstarter in 2012 and finally releasing for PC in December 2014. The game has been made available on the Apple Macintosh, Xbox One, and Steam, with a port for the PlayStation 4 slated for early 2017.

An expansion, Elite Dangerous: Horizons has also been released. It is the first of a set of planned expansions that involves, among other things, the ability to land on and explore planetary bodies. Horizons allows players to land on airless worlds and launch from their ships into a Cool Car designed to explore these planets' surfaces, utilize a sort of Elemental Crafting system to change how their ships' systems work and perform, and launch from larger ships into a Space Fighter; and will also allow players to serve as crew members on other players' spaceships and give players the ability to fine-tune how their ingame characters look.

The game is the first Elite game with any sort of multiplayer functionality, in the form of being a Massively Multiplayer Online Game with options for local-area multiplayer or an online-only solo mode. It takes place in the Milky Way Galaxy in the year 3302, approximately 47 years after the third Elite game, Frontier: First Encounters, and true to its Tagline, the galaxy features the 400 billion stars thought to exist within our Galaxy, 150,000 of which are based on actual astronomical data and the other 399,999,850,000 being created through Procedural Generation. It also features the return of the Galactic Federation, the Empire of Achenar, and The Alliance of Independent Systems from the previous games, as well as hundreds of smaller factions within each of the three superpowers and the faction that player-commanders belong to, the Pilots' Federation.

Elite: Dangerous' gameplay is similar to the other games in the Elite series, with players starting out with 1,000 Credits and a Faulcon deLacy Sidewinder with the goal of reaching the coveted Elite ranking through trading goods, exploring the galaxy, and collecting bounties. Unlike other Elite games, however, there are three additional fields to reach the ranking in alongside the traditional field of combat: trade, exploration, and CQC. Also unlike other Elite games, Dangerous features the ability to influence faction standings within a star system, which if enough influence is reached, can result in a major shift in that system's loyalties, whether it be a Federation system seceding to the Empire (or vice versa) or an independent system aligning with the Alliance. Also unlike other Elite games, the game features an incredibly meticulous amount of attention to detail. Players can look around the cockpit of the ship they're flying, space stations have NPC traffic alongside player traffic, starfields are accurate to the player's position in space (no Streaming Stars here!), and black holes (yes, you can encounter black holes in Elite: Dangerous) feature gravity lensing. There is also an underlying story to the game accessible via an in-game news service featuring political clout within the Space Cold War between the Empire, the Federation, and the Alliance as well as some mysterious events pointing to the legends of the Thargoid race being more than just legends...

You can check its website out here.

This game provides examples of:

  • 2-D Space: Averted to hell and back. Since the first installment, the Elite series is known for its 3D Free-Flight form, a tradition that stands strong in Dangerous. Ships can move in any direction, which is incredibly handy for landing as well as combat.
  • Absent Aliens: There are no intelligent aliens in the game... not yet, anyway, though there's a Galnet article about an auction for alleged alien artifacts from the Thargoid race, whose existence is supposed to be a legend. Non-Player Characters rescued from spaceships long-thought to be Missing-In-Action are also beginning to talk about mysterious lifeforms only known as "The Architects", and there are mysterious Unknown Artefacts in deep space that certainly aren't of human origin as well as even more mysterious Barnacles growing on certain planets in the Pleiades nebula. The mystery then thickened even more when players wound up finding a crashed alien ship on another planet in the Pleiades.
    • Averted as of recent events. Alien activity has been on the rise, culminating in the destruction of a Federal Battleship, leaving only a communication beacon transmitting "Thargoid Return" continuously in phoenetics. It's a prelude to the upcoming 2.4 update, titled "The Return".
  • Ace Pilot: The Combat and CQC ranking systems (Harmless/Helpless, Mostly Harmless/Mostly Helpless, etc.) measures how much of one a player is.
  • Acrofatic: The Federal Assault ship has an eye-watering mass of 480 tons completely stock - 80 more than the far larger Anaconda - but retains the agility of a ship half its weight, allowing it to track annoying gnats like Vipers or Eagles.
  • Advert-Overloaded Future: The Federation is the worst offender of this, with citizens bombarded by advertising unrelentingly. There's also a mild case of this in Space Stations as well, with holographic billboards advertising the game's various ship-making companies, like Core Dynamics, Faulcon deLacey, and Zorgon Peterson both outside the station's "Mail slot" docking port, and inside their hangar bays as well.
  • Aerith and Bob: People have all sorts of names in the game, both of the Player and NPC variety, meaning that one moment players could be doing battle with David Williams then be conversing with Cmdr. Everlynn Bylarth in another moment. And then there's the issue of Zorgon Peterson.
  • Alien Sky: Technically all skies on landable planets are this due to Luna being permit-gated and Earth being unlandable, though the more traditional meaning of the term shows up when you land on gas giants' moons, ringed worlds, binary planets, or worlds in nebulae. You can even recreate the famous Binary Sunset scene if you land on a planet orbiting a Binary Pair! One of the more famous skies belongs to Mitterand Hollow in the Epsilon Indi system, due to the fact that it orbits its parent planet, New Africa, at an eye-watering once per 30 seconds.
  • The Alliance: The Alliance of Independent Systems returns in this game, mostly keeping quiet but also containing all of the systems from Galaxy 1 of the original Elite.
  • All Planets Are Earthlike: Averted. Earthlike Worlds are extremely rare in the game (and are worth a good chunk of money on their own because of that), and Water Worlds, High-Metal Content Planets, Metallic Planets, and Icy and Rocky Bodies that have some Earthlike qualities are labeled as "terraformables" and are similarly rare. Most of the Earthlike Worlds in human space have been terraformed.
  • All There in the Manual: There are a few novels that can be bought that expand on the lives of people living in the early 34th Century as well as legends pertaining to the Thargoids.
  • Almost Out of Oxygen: If your ship's canopy is breached, you have between 5 to 25 minutes to reach a starport or an outpost, depending on the rating of your ship's life support.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Up until you hit Elite in one of the four categories, the only tangible rewards you get for advancing in rank in the Pilot's Federation are special decals to customize your Cool Starship with and a congratulatory message. After you hit Elite once (which unlocks the Shinrarta Dezhra system to you), hitting Elite again only unlocks the requisite decals. CQC ranking (not to be confused with Pilot's CQC ranking) averts this since ranking up generally unlocks additional loadout options for your Space Fighter and additional loadout slots.
  • An Entrepreneur Is You: It's expected of every Player Commander, whether they end up as Asteroid Miners or Space Pirates.
  • Animal Theme Naming: Numerous ships are named after animals, mostly snakes but also a few sea mammals and birds. For a complete list:
    • Birds: Eagle Mk II, F63 Condor, Imperial Eagle, and Vulture.
    • Sea mammalsnote : Beluga Liner, Dolphin, and Orca
    • Snakes: Adder, Anaconda, Asp Explorer, Asp Scout, Cobra Mk III, Cobra Mk IV, Diamondback Explorer, Diamondback Scout, Fer-de-Lance (technically), Keelback, Python, Sidewinder Mk I, Taipan fighter, Viper Mk III, and Viper Mk IV
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Ship insurance: if your ship is destroyed, you can rebuy the same model and all of your modules for 5% of their original price.
    • Loan: In the case you don't have enough credits for the aforementioned ship insurance, you can make a loan to pay for it. Your loan limit is based on your current rank and 10% of all your earnings is deduced until you finish paying up the loan, but you still have some coverage against permanently losing your ship and upgrades in case of lack of money.
    • Flight assist: It helps the ship to move in the desired direction at the desired speed, by countering your thrusters so speed and direction are maintained. Without it, thanks to the mostly accurate Newtonian Physics that the game uses, if you accelerated you would keep accelerating until you made a thrust in the opposite direction, or if you turned you would keep spinning until you applied a trust to the other side.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The datafiles from the lost generation ships, and how.
  • Arbitrary Maximum Range: Lasers and beam weapons in general tend to cut off at around 4 km. Go figure.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Engineer upgrades allow certain weapons to damage hull through the ships shields or cause equipment malfunctions.
  • Artificial Stupidity: When it comes to avoiding collisions, the AI is rather... sloppy. The 1.1 patch also included notes about fixing Asteroid Miners mining nothing among other things.
  • Asteroid Miners: It's painfully boring (and runs the risk of being attacked by Space Pirates), but players can definitely do this within planetary rings or asteroid clusters. NPC ships can be observed going at it as well.
  • Asteroid Thicket: One of the rare cases where it is played as it is in real life. The asteroid thickets can only be found in the ring systems around planets, like Saturn's rings. Even so, they're only one km high at most, which is exactly what scientists say it is here in the real world. Also averted with the asteroid belts, as these are incredibly sparse and can only be locked onto in a few "dense" clusters – where even these dense clusters only contain a handful of asteroids.
  • Attack Drone: Surface outposts are guarded by skimmers; remote-controlled drones that hover a view meters off the ground. They come in many shapes and flavors such as the tiny Stinger, the standard Sentry Skimmer, and the ship-sized Goliath. Skimmers are usually hidden under the surface and only spring up when altered, though in larger bases they are always active or can be deployed from specialized docking ports.
  • Beam Spam: High-Intensity Conflict Zones. It's like a rave party, only with more spaceships, explosions and overall death.
  • BFG: Plasma Accelerators and Cannons. The former do thermal damage, while the latter do kinetic damage. Getting hit by one of their projectiles is an almost-guaranteed One-Hit Kill if you're in the wrong ship.
  • Big Damn Heroes: A player organization known as the Fuel Rats has taken on the job of search and rescue, bringing fuel to stranded players outside of occupied space. Their list of accomplishments include: finding a player who'd been exploring the galaxy for 5+ months and was stuck 31,500 light years from the closest inhabited system, another explorer who'd gotten himself far above the galaxy's disk and was found despite the lack of navigation references, and racing in to refuel a player with a mere second of fuel remaining in the tank. Without the much-needed refueling, these players would have died alone in the cold reaches of space.
  • Bold Explorer: The Exploration ranking system (Aimless, Mostly Aimless, etc.) measures how much of one a player is.
  • Boring, but Practical: Though any sufficiently cheap, unimpressive ship can turn into this with the right fitting, there are two standouts a new player should take note of:
    • The Hauler, a space FedEx van which is advertised as a first step into a trading career. Though it'll take a very long time to get something with a bigger cargo hold if you stick to commodities trading, its potential to be fit with one of the longest-range Frame-Shift Drives in the game allows it to be first used to shuttle Rare Goods to distant systems (which get more profitable based on the distance you haul them, and are the one thing you can put in your cargohold and get insurance for if you get blown up), and then can be outfitted as a deep-space explorer with the profits from that venture. Many explorers favor the Hauler over dedicated exploration ships because of the low rebuy cost, which makes running out of fuel in deep space or being welcomed home by pirates or gankers a little less painful.
    • Fan-favorite of classic Elite players, the Adder bears an uncanny resemblance to the used Camry you drove in high school - and is a cheap, effective Jack-of-All-Stats that will get you to the iconic Cobra (or a more dedicated ship) easily with any mix of dogfighting, trade, Asteroid Mining, and even exploration (being able to jump nearly as far as the Hauler.)
  • Casual Interstellar Travel: The Frame-Shift Drive enables FTL speeds within a planetary system and also jumps between systems. Its range isn't unlimited, but as you get a more powerful FSD the amount of light-years you can cover in one jump grows larger.
  • Casual Interplanetary Travel: Supercruise - powered by a ship's Frame-Shift Drive - allows players to travel within star systems fairly quickly; while it's nowhere near as quick as Hyperspace travel it still allows players to get most anywhere in a star system within a matter of seconds or minutes. It also has a speed cap of 2,001 times the Speed of Light.
  • Centrifugal Gravity: The Starports rotate to generate artificial gravity, and this adds quite a bit to the complexity of docking. Ships, on the other hand, are constantly in free-fall conditions when not accelerating.
  • Clown Car: While ships capable of carrying a ship-launched fighter ostensibly carry the replacement fighters as spare parts that are assembled before launch, the Federal Gunship can carry two fighters ready to launch within seconds (with Multicrew), and even a single fighter takes up the bulk of the ship's rear volume.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard:
    • NPC ships have infinite ammo on all weapons. It is particularly jarring on NPC ships using railguns, which on player ships have the balancing factor of pathetic ammo capacity.
    • If you have a bounty on your head in any system, NPC bounty hunters will periodically spawn right on you in supercruise and interdict you. The same goes for when you have any cargo in your hold, which causes periodic pirate spawns. And with both, if you perform an emergency drop to avoid them, the NPC will spawn right next to you in normalspace even if they were halfway across the system.
    • When the Engineers update launched with its ensuing AI buff, almost every NPC had heavily engineer-upgraded components and a Game-Breaking Bug caused their weapons to swap stats, leading to Anacondas using upgraded Plasma Accelerators that had the firerate of multicannons or fragmentation cannons with railgun accuracy.
  • Continuing Is Painful: Unless you've got the money to pay up on your insurance (5% of the ship's purchase cost, plus extra for the loadout), losing your ship means that you have to return to the beginner Sidewinder ship, and also means that you lose your hard-earned cargo, bounty vouchers, and exploration data. Many a player has a tale where they accidentally boosted into the back of a space station and lost millions of credits worth of vouchers, data, and cargo on top of their newly-acquired Imperial Clipper. As it's said by many EVE Online players: "Don't fly anything you can't afford to replace."
    • Averted in the case of rare goods, which are insured.
  • Continuity Porn: A lot of things from the previous games are mentioned or seen in Dangerous, including the original systems from the first Elite game, Jacques the Cyborg Bartender from Frontier: Elite II (now in possession of his own station which travels the stars), The Federation, the Duval Empire, and The Alliance of Independent Systems, and a few references to Cmdr. Jameson (the default Player-Commander name for the previous games). Lave Station (where players started out in the Elite series) has become sort of a Mecca for players coming from the previous games!
  • Cool Car: The SRV (Surface-Recon Vehicle) is a neat little buggy used to explore the surface of planetary bodies.
  • Cool Starship
    • Faulcon deLacy produces some of Elite's most iconic ships, including the legendary Cobra Mk. III, the Viper Mk. III, the Sidewinder, the Python, and the Anaconda.
    • Core Dynamics has more famous ships in the Eagle, hailing from the second installment, and the newcomer Vulture, as well as the Federation Military's civilian-available ships, the Federal Dropship, Assault Ship, Gunship, and Corvette. They also produce the Farragut-Class Battlecruiser for The Federation as well as the Federation's exclusive short-range fighter, the F63 Condor.
    • Zorgon Peterson produces the Adder, having taken over from Outworld Workshops, a basic cargo ship called the Hauler, and another Elite classic, the Fer-De-Lance.
    • Lakon Spaceways produces a line of cool cargo haulers referred to as the Type Six, the Keelback (basically a better-armed Type Six), the Type Seven, and the Type Nine-Heavy, the Asp Explorer, another Elite classic, its sister, the Asp Scout, and the Diamondback Explorer and its little sister, the Diamondback Scout, with the Asp Explorer and Type Six being regularly used by explorers. They also produce a short-range fighter for independent factions, the Taipan.
    • The only ships currently available to players from Saud Kruger are the Orca and the Beluga, which look cool - and, in the Beluga's case, is the largest player-accessible ship in the game - and can fit luxury passenger modules but are otherwise largely outclassed by every other ship in the game.
    • On the other hand, the few Imperial military ships available to players are Gutamaya's Imperial Eagle (produced in tandem with Core Dynamics), Courier, Clipper, and Cutter, the Clipper having become a legend in its own right due to its impressive design and superior combat capabilities. They also produce The Empire's line of Majestic-Class Interdictors and the Empire's exclusive short-range fighter, the GU-97.
    • And of course there are the Capital Ships—the Majestic-Class Interdictor for the Empire, and the Farragut-Class Battlecruiser for the Federation - which were among the first ships shown to audiences back when the game was still being crowdfunded via the "Capital Ship Battle" video. These Mile Long behemoths represent the best both factions can give, and both can launch faction-specific short-range fighter craft which are also incredibly cool, the Federation F63 Condors in their Standard Human Spaceship design and the GU-97s in their shininess. There are even plans to make these behemoths available to players!
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: You serve one in the game's combat scenarios.
  • Crew of One: The game can be played entirely solo with only one person on your football-field sized ship. You can even use a ship-launched fighter without a second pilot, but your ship is limited to following you around. Multicrew does grant a number of benefits for adding players to your crew; the Helm gets a 25% rebuy discount, two fighters can be deployed at once, and the gunner can scan targets and lock missiles in a 360 degree arc, and each additional player (up to 2) grants additional power distributor pips.
  • Critical Hit Class: Torpedos and Missiles deal massive damage to internals once shields are down, making them particular effective at killing enemy thrusters.
  • Cut-and-Paste Environments: Although starfields in the game are accurate to the player's position in the Milky Way, this has led to most regions of space outside of the Galactic Core and most nebulae looking almost exactly the same as each other. Beyond that, the only real differences between systems are the color of their planets and parent stars and how many of each those systems have, and whether or not those planets are ringed. Planetary Landing, introduced in Elite: Dangerous - Horizons and improved upon in each update following its release, has gone to some lengths to rectify this.
    • The interiors of most space stations also tended to be identical to each other, though some in more populated systems looked more lavish with an Ascetic Aesthetic-feel to them. Update 1.6/2.2 - which introduced ship-launched fighters - introduced a larger variety of station interiors, alleviating this for the most part.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Dying in a SRV or a ship-launched fighter simply boots you back to your ship with no loses other than having to replace the cheap vehicle, and it's possible to carry more than one vehicle at a time. Averted for dying in a ship, which causes you to lose all collected bounty vouchers and exploration data, the death of all crewmembers, in addition to having to pay for 5% of your ship and module costs.
  • Deflector Shields: Certainly as necessary here as they were in the past games. They make sure ships survive most low-velocity impacts and weapons fire and only a few commanders don't use them.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: The Empire has more in common with The Roman Empire than it does with modern nations. From the official site:
    Originally founded by Marlin Duval, who led the colonization of the Achenar system in the mid 23rd century, the Empire is based on a "cliens" system much like ancient Rome.
    Society is strictly stratified, with people being able to move between strata based on money, patronage and influence.
    The Empire values both status and honour very highly indeed. So, whilst it is acceptable to flaunt wealth, treating people well is a question of honour - and this includes slaves. Having an unpaid debt is seen as utterly dishonourable - an honourable Imperial citizen would sell themselves into slavery to clear a debt they couldn't otherwise afford.
    Law is seen and enforced very differently in the Empire. Senators are responsible for enforcing the Emperor's laws, but the Senators themselves are above the law. They can order executions, and can even kill people themselves, though sometimes (rarely) they may be held to account for their actions by the Emperor.
    In the Empire very little is illegal, but many things are frowned upon, like excessive use of narcotics.
  • Diegetic Interface: Every part of the game's interface is a holographic projection bar the main menu and system/galaxy maps. Notably, the crosshair and heads-up-display is projected onto the cockpit canopy, meaning that if the canopy shatters, you lose almost all of your HUD and must eyeball shots and when in supercruise must use reflected sunlight to line up on your destination.
  • Drone Deployer: With the Horzions Expansion Pack, a number of ships can carry fighter bays that launch tele-operated fighters. While only one can be active at a time in solo play, the mothership can carry spare parts to build more if one is destroyed, and large ships can carry multiple fighter types. Using the Multicrew feature allows certain ships to deploy two fighters; either by using a dedicated fighter con player and a hired NPC pilot, or by placing the gunner con in a second fighter con.
  • Drugs Are Bad: The In-Universe opinion of multiple system governments; if you are carrying any as cargo in a system where they are prohibited and get scanned by the authorities you will incur a fine.
  • Dynamic Loading: "Witchspace" used to travel between stars is used to cover up dynamic loading. As a result, Witchspace transition times are variable based on your available read/write capacity, internet speed, and the status of Frontier's servers.
  • Easy Logistics: Averted, players have to not only replenish fuel and fissiles manually but they also have to replenish ammo for projectile-based weapons and even do things like docking and dropping out of Supercruise.
  • Ejection Seat: Ships supposedly have ejection seats based on what Betty says when you explode and the design of the command seat, but it is never seen in operation and it's never explained how a explorer can go from Beagle Point on the opposite side of the galaxy to Sol when they blow up.
  • Enemy Scan: There are scanners that can be used to determine what cargo other players or NPCs are carrying, and if there are any kill warrants on them.
  • Energy Weapon: In all kinds and sizes: Pulse Lasers, Burst Lasers, Beam Lasers, Point-Defense Lasers...
  • The Empire: The Duval Empire returns in Dangerous, facing a succession crisis as the Emperor has fathered an illegitimate child in Arissa Lavigny-Duval, with his plans to marry his daughter's mother, Florence, being put on hold due to Aisling Duval's (his grand-daughter) objections.
  • Ethereal Choir: One appears in the main theme of the game and starts to scream when you're in the vicinity of a Capital Ship, whether in combat or just looking around.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Both The Federation and The Empire are willing to do some pretty questionable things, but there are lines that they won't cross.
    • The Federation comes down hard on any attempts to secede, unless the system in question follows the proper regulations and procedures. Then they just make a lot of noise about how unfortunate it all is.
    • The Empire makes extensive use of slaves, but the institution is more like Indentured Servitude than what people today think of slavery. It is considered a matter of honor that Imperial slaves are treated humanely, and as far as the Empire is concerned unregulated Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil. Some of the more affluent Imperial citizens will even fund missions to "liberate" unregulated slaves and bring them to Imperial worlds on the principle that in the Empire they will at least be treated fairly.
  • Exact Time to Failure: Losing your ship's canopy to damage causes your spacesuit to seal up and run on its internal oxygen supply, with an exact time til oxygen depletion shown on the HUD. The life support can be upgraded for up to 25 minutes of air, but the standard is a mere 5 minutes. When the timer hits 0:00, it's Game Over and your ship spontaneously explodes.
  • Expansion Pack: Elite Dangerous: Horizons is the first one to be announced. It introduces the ability to land on airless, rocky planets and also gives players a Cool Car for use with exploring these planets.
  • Fantastic Drug: Onionhead, which was grown on the planet Panem in Kappa Fornacis until The Federation bombed it into oblivion, to some serious In-Universe controversy; though another strain called Lucan Onionhead is farmed on Luca in the Tanmark system. Both variants are highly potent narcotics and both are illegal in The Federation... once again, to some serious In-Universe controversy. As of March 2015, players have no idea what Onionhead actually does.
  • Faster-Than-Light Travel: Via Hyperspace for Intersystem travel, and Supercruise for Intrasystem travel, via the Frame-Shift Drive.
  • Featureless Protagonist: Before Horizons update 2.3 was released players could only change their Commanders' Purely Aesthetic Gender. Everything else was obscured behind a black Remlock Latex Spacesuit with face-obscuring visors over their heads.
  • Feudal Future: There are systems in the game that follow patronage or feudal government styles, and are universally the poorest in the game.
  • The Federation: Makes a return in the game, facing political turmoil and serious controversy under President Halsey and her successor, President Zachary Hudson.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: One of the regular Public-Service Announcements in Space Stations is "Loitering is a crime, punishable by death. Please ensure you have authorization before entering the bay." And they do enforce that, violently: if you enter the station without docking clearance, if you block a landing pad other than the one you're assigned to, or if you fail to leave in a timely fashion after taking off, you'll be targeted and destroyed by about 25 high-power, 100% accurate lasers. This is almost guaranteed to happen to you the first time you play the game and get confused about how landing works.
  • Fixed Forward-Facing Weapon: Fixed weapons have the highest DPS of all weapons with no inherent inaccuracy, but only have enough aiming freedom to maybe converge on a target. Railguns and Plasma Accelerators, the two most powerful weapons in the game, can only be had on fixed mounts.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: An interview with Lord Braben at Gamescom 2016 got briefly interrupted by static images which included a desolate battlefield with an actual alien spaceship. It also included an ARG that led players to the crash site of an abandoned alien spacecraft.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Averted. The laser weapons in Dangerous instantly connect in the distance, and are 100% effective through their range (they stop working after max range due to thermal blooming).
  • Gaiden Game: Elite Dangerous: Arena, a Deathmatch/Team Deathmatch/Capture The Flag PvP game spun off from what was formerly known as CQC Championship mode. Features the smallest craft in the game (including the Condor and Imperial Fighter, both of which are NPC ships planned to be made flyable in the main game) duking it out in and around asteroid thickets and stations which provide more cover and ambush opportunities than typically available in the base game. Free and accessible in the main menu for all Elite Dangerous owners, much cheaper than the base game for those who want a sample of the game's space combat or would prefer an X Wing Vs Tie Fighter style experience to a Wide Open Sandbox.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The "buffed" AI in update 2.1 was buffed to the point of absurdity through some shoddy coding and misplaced numbers. Players were reporting AI enemies with Plasma Accelerators firing faster than multicannons, explorers were reporting being chased hundreds of lightyears in their max jump range explorer craft by Eagles, and AI ships were hyper-aggressive attacking players and each other with little rhythm or reason. The problem was so widespread that in the next hotfix a week later they refunded all rebuy costs.
  • Gameplay Grading: Players are graded according to their proficiency and money earned in one of four fields: Trading, Combat, Exploration, and CQC.
    • Combat Ranking is graded according to Elite's classic rating system: Harmless, Mostly Harmless, Novice, Competent, Expert, Master, Dangerous, Deadly, and Elite.
    • Exploration Ranking is graded as follows: Aimless, Mostly Aimless, Scout, Surveyor, Trailblazer, Pathfinder, Ranger, Pioneer, and Elite.
    • Trade Ranking is graded as follows: Penniless, Mostly Penniless, Peddler, Dealer, Merchant, Broker, Entrepreneur, Tycoon, and Elite.
    • CQC Ranking is graded as follows: Helpless, Mostly Helpless, Amateur, Semi-Professional, Professional, Hero, Champion, Legend, and Elite.
  • Gang Up on the Human: Open fire on a wanted NPC ship that is being engaged by a dozen System Authority Anacondas and it is guaranteed to stop firing at its current target, turn around and start shooting at you. Initially, they would also never change targets once the player shot at them, though now they will usually go back to fighting their previous targets if the player runs away. In Conflict Zones, enemies entering the zone will automatically target the player if they are in range, and will only break off if another ship shoots at them.
  • Gatling Good: Small, medium, and large Multicannons all take the form of a rotary gatling gun. Huge Multicannons retain the multiple barrels but drop the rotary motion, instead looking like linked autocannons.
  • Generation Ships: There are apparently several out there, and so far, five have been discovered within 100 light years of Sol.
  • Glass Cannon: Ship-Launched Fighters can put down as much as damage as a Huge Class 4 hardpoint, but will explode with a slight sneeze. Good thing that they are tele-operated.
  • Global Currency: All factions accept credits.
  • Gravity Sucks: Averted. Black Holes work just like ordinary stars in terms of navigational hazards, only more black and with gravitational lensing around them. Also, gravity from nearby celestial bodies will negatively affect your speed while in supercruise, but will not pull you towards them if you slow down or stop nearby.
  • Happiness in Slavery: The Empire is very adamant that Imperial Slaves are treated with dignity and honor, because being an Imperial Slave generally means you had the honor to sell yourself into it to make ends meet. Somewhat justified in that Imperial slavery is more like Indentured Servitude. They even go so far as to openly criticize those who specialize in trafficking of "unregulated" slaves, and some Imperial Stations offer rewards to players who bring such slaves in to port to become Imperial Slaves.
  • Healing Shiv: Lasers with the Concordant Sequence engineer upgrade will damage enemies, and restore ally shields.
  • Hitscan: Laser weaponry have no travel time, though they do have a 4 kilometer long Arbitrary Maximum Range.
  • Holographic Terminal: The control panels in ships are holographic in nature, with radar, stats, communication, targeting, etc. all done in holograms or reflected on the ship canopy. When the power goes out they all disappear leaving you in the dark, both literally and figuratively. You can lose some information if the canopy blows out, as well.
  • Honor Before Reason: A lot of what makes up The Empire's modus operandi. Imperial Citizens obsess over honor, to the point where it's considered honorable to sell yourself into slavery to clear a debt rather than default on it.
  • Hufflepuff House: While the Alliance controls a large amount of systems, they are the least fleshed out in terms of gameplay. There is no Alliance ranking, no unique Alliance ships, and only one aligned Power, whereas the Federation get two, Empire get four, and Independents get three.
  • Hyperspace Is a Scary Place: You can't judge speed or direction in Hyperspace, you pass unidentifiable cloud structures and points of light in it, and you can hear all sorts of freaky sounds in it, possibly coming from the Thargoids.
  • Interface Screw: Damage to the canopy will mess with your HUD, making it harder to target enemies or objects. A larger concern would be the oxygen that is now rapidly leaking out of your ship.
  • Intrepid Merchant: The Trade ranking system (Penniless, Mostly Penniless, etc.) measures how much of one a player is.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Various circumstances can lead to enemy ships attempting an interdiction on the player. When this happens, there are a few outcomes - One is where the player succeeds at evading the interdiction and goes on their merry way. Another is when the player fails to evade the interdiction and both they and the opposing vessel fall into the same space. A third option is this trope; The player submits to the interdiction, which while not seeming too smart, actually leaves them in a position to get their hard points up, fly around, and light up the incoming vessel when they drop into the players space, if they are sufficiently well armed. If not, they can evade until their frame shift comes up ( submitting results in a much shorter frame-shift cooldown than if they had failed to evade ) and then warp out, leaving their opposition behind.
  • Item Crafting: Horizons adds item crafting using small quantities of materials found on planets. The player can craft munitions, SRV fuel and repairs, and a one-shot range booster for the FSD. Horizons also adds the Engineers, which can turn a variety of data, materials, and commodities into module modifications such as adding incendiary bullets to multicannons or speeding up the FSD spool up time.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats:
    • The Cobra MKIII isn't the best ship in any one particular archetype, but its balanced stats make it the premier early game ship. It's the fastest ship in the game, carries the same firepower as the combat-oriented Viper MKIII while pitching and rolling almost as quickly, carries enough cargo to smuggle and trade rare goods, and has enough interior slots to kit it out for exploration. Its only real downside is the abysmal small weapon mounts on the wingtips, which all but require gimbals to hit a target.
    • The Asp Explorer qualifies as well. While it does one thing really well (exploration, due to its excellent jump distance) it can handle any role at least fairly well, making a solid combat ship due to its well placed two medium and four small weapon mounts and middling maneuverability, a decent trader with up to over 100 tons of potential cargo space (And does amazingly with rares, due to its large jump distance), a fair miner, and a surprisingly good pirate ship due to aforementioned weaponry mounts and cargo space, all wrapped up in a midlevel price tag.
    • The Anaconda was the largest ship from the initial launch, however it's still very popular because of how much you can do with it. It can carry enormous amounts of cargo while remaining well armed and armored, it rivals the Asp Explorer in jump range, it can carry fighters, be modified as a small battleship, carry a ton of passengers or even be setup for some space mining. Engineering upgrades can essentially make this ship anything you want it to be, except nimble.
  • Joke Character: The Orca and its sister, the Beluga. They both have worst jump range in the game, hardpoints equal to ships half their size, mediocre shields and armor and a price tag that puts it alongside the Jack-of-All-Stats Python and the bounty hunting Fer-de-Lance. Their few saving graces are decent speeds for their size, their looks, being capable of fielding ship-launched fighters, and being really good at transporting passengers in absolute luxury.
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: As long as "better" stands for more damage towards a ship's hull, not shields, sure. Way better, actually. Good luck getting their shields down first, though.
  • Latex Spacesuit: The Remlock spacesuit every pilot uses. Comes with an emergency oxygen mask and in a nice black color.
  • Lead the Target: Required if you are using fixed kinetic weapons.
  • Level Scaling: The pirate and bounty hunter Random Encounters are level and ship dependent; fly around in a Sidewinder, and they'll be in Adders and Eagles. Fly around in a Anaconda, and they'll be Clippers and Dropships. Higher Combat rank will make them more effective and carry more potent loadouts.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Federal Assault Ship is extremely durable, agile, and packs a punch with twin Large and twin Medium hardpoints. It pays for this with an abysmal jump range and widely spaced hardpoints that making hitting targets with both large weapons difficult.
  • Lonely Piano Piece: While cruising around on planetary surfaces in your SRV, one will occasionally fade in and out.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Li Yong-Rui's faction specific reward, the Pack Hound missile rack.
  • Microtransactions: Pilot's Federation rank decals aside, this is the only way to get paint jobs for the various Cool Starships in the game.
  • Made of Explodium: Ships explode when their hulls fail, they also explode when their powerplant is destroyed. And by explode, I mean in a big fireball.
  • Magnetic Weapons: The Railguns are a class of weapons that inflicts both Thermal and Kinetic damage at the same time. Its rounds are extremely quick and more powerful against armor than pure thermal weapons, however it has a tendency to drawn a bit more power than a ship's reactor outputs if not properly managed. They are also only available with fixed mounts, so you have to line up your shot without any kind of tracking assistance.
  • Master of None: The Keelback is ostensibly designed to be a more combat-oriented/less helpless variant of the Type 6, but it ends up being worse in pretty much all respects; it trades cargo capacity, maneuverability, and jump range in exchange for two additional medium hardpoints that it can barely even power thanks to it using the same distributor as the Type 6. It still gets out-maneuvered and outgunned by anything near its size.
  • Mega Corp.: There are several in the game, though players will mostly be familiar with the ones that deal in making ships, such as Zorgon Peterson, Lakon Spaceways, Saud Kruger, Core Dynamics, Gutamaya, or Faulcon deLacy, Remlok (who makes the spacesuits used by players), and the Sirius Corporation, one of the Powerplay factions, headed by Li-Rong Yui.
  • Mighty Glacier: The Federal Gunship has some of the worst maneuverability, speed, and FSD range among non-trade ships, but carries a whopping seven hardpoints, is fighter bay capable, and has more hull hitpoints than all other combat ships bar the far larger Anaconda and Federal Corvette. It also carries the most military slots, allowing it to stack Hull Reinforcement and Module Reinforcement packages.
  • Mile-Long Ship: The Farragut-class Battlecruiser is 2 kilometers long, and the Majestic-class Interdictor isn't much shorter. Some stations like Jacques Station and Newholm Station mount hyperspace drives, technically making them 4 kilometer wide spaceships. Among player-flyable ships, the Beluga Liner is only 200 meters long.
  • Military Alphabet: Flight controllers use the ship make, followed by the NATO variant of the first three letters of a commander's name to greet them when welcoming them to a station.
  • Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness: Surprisingly high, oscillating somewhere between a 3 and a 4 on the scale. Especially notable are, for one thing, the mostly accurate Newtonian flight model when Flight Assist is turned off (mostly because ships still have a maximum speed and cannot accelerate continuosly) and the fact that, for once, Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale is averted - distances and relative sizes in the game generally are astronomically accurate. This is seldom seen outside literature (on the harder end of the scale, to boot) and almost never in this particular medium. In addition, Stealth in Space is handled sufficiently realistically with a focus on EM and thermal emissions and the need to manage heat production, there is no Artificial Gravity (at least on the stations, which explicitly have rotational gravity) etc. The one colossal Big Lie here is obviously the Frame Shift Drive, resulting in ridiculously Casual Interstellar Travel, what with a jump of >10 ly taking about 10 seconds and costing probably 20 credits or so worth of fuel, depending on your ship's outfitting - making it cheaper to pay for one interstellar jump than to buy friggin' biowaste. In-system travel is also very casual, although it actually takes longer to get around in a system than to jump between two different ones.
  • More Dakka: Multicannons, which run the gamut from small 2-ton Gatling Good guns to massive building-sized reciprocating autocannons. CMDR Rinzler o7o7o7's recommended loadout for the Federal Gunship takes it to its logical conclusion:
    The Git Gud Guide to the Gunship: Here is what you do to dish out maximum amounts of pain: You buy a large multicannon, a medium multicannon, a medium multicannon, a medium multicannon, a medium multicannon, a small multicannon, and a small multicannon. Believe me, firing 7 multicannons at once pushes the legal limit of fun that civilians are allowed to have.
  • Mundane Utility: The Anaconda, one of the few ships in the game which can be considered a frigate or cruiser-class ship, capable of fitting a class 4 gun, and will get the ability to launch 2 smaller ships as part of the Horizons expansion... sees just as much use as a bulk hauler or exploration craft as it does as a combat ship, arguably more given that it is very difficult to bring an Anaconda's firepower to bear on anything but a ship of its own size or larger. Justified by the Anaconda being a freighter in the original Elite, though the maximum upgraded jump range of 35 light-years (for context, that's almost five times what a stock Sidewinder can do and is only matched by the Hauler and dedicated exploring ships) is a new feature.
    • And thanks to the Engineers, it's now possible to get an Anaconda with a jump rage exceeding 55ly, making it the ship with the biggest jump range in the game.
  • Multi-Track Drifting: The Federal line of whateverships (Dropship, Assault ship, Gunship) boast massive thrusters and very rapid turning rates — but only when using flight assist off, where their absurdly heavy hulls causes them to drift. As such, standard combat policy in these ships is to pull FA-off strafing runs, sliding through space sideways at max speed.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The release trailer depicts people walking up to their ship (not in the game at all at release, and later only in an Expansion Pack), and depicts action that is significantly more dense and fast paced than the actual gameplay though nothing explicitly wrong aside from a Cobra firing Robo Teching missiles backwards. The CQC Arena Downloadable Content that came out two years later matches the original trailer's pacing but not its scale.
  • No Warping Zone: When inside a station or celestial object's gravity well, your ship is considered "mass locked" and you will be unable to engage your frame shift drive until you exit the gravity well. This can be invoked on other ships using an FSD interdictor, which is often used for pirate ambushes. Big ships cause a type of Maybe Warping Zone on smaller ships by slowing down their drive charge.
  • Numbered Homeworld: Generic alphanumeric names make up the vast majority of all star systems and planet names. While many inhabited systems are given an actual name with names for each planet, a huge portion are still using randomly generated star designations or astronomical catalogue numbers, such as the starting system, LHS 3447.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Invoked by NPC pirates when they realize the miner they've targeted is really a bounty hunter.
    • Any NPC criminal when a dogfight isn't going their way.
    • Generally the reaction of any player who hears these words in a Combat Zone: "Warning! Capital-Class signature detected!" Then watches as a Mile-Long Ship drops out of Supercruise, enshrouded by a massive magnetic storm, and hears straight-up Reaper sounds. All with a good dose of Ominous Latin Chanting.
  • Old-School Dogfight: The smaller ships have only forward-facing Hardpoints, and being as maneuverable as they are, this is the result. Bigger ships, however, can arm turreted guns, which allows them an almost 360º firing arc. But even so, it's not unusual to see a 150-odd meter long anaconda trying to face a nimble sidewinder to bear down it's might on it.
  • Opposing Combat Philosophies:
    • Federation ships are warships. They carry the most armor of their class, and prioritize weapons and handling above all else leading to some abysmal jump ranges. The Federal Corvette is the end-all of combat ships, but moving around in it with its dismal 12 LY jump range is absolute agony.
    • Imperial ships all emphasize the glory of the Empire and allow the pilot to bask in their superiority. Oversized engines and improved internals allow them to diversify their roles, but this comes at the cost of often poor handling and horrible weapon placement.
  • Overheating: Two applications of it.
    • Energy weapons have their own individual heat meters, and when they overheat, they have to cool off a bit before they can be fired again. A standard pulse laser will take several shots to overheat, while continuous lasers and burst lasers can overheat in as little as two seconds.
    • Your ship also has its own heat meter, representing the heat generated by all the components on board (generator, life support, et al). Operating all component simultaneously increases heat generation very quickly, and without adequate heat sinks, can result in sytem damage of varying degrees, up to and including catastrophic failure. Heat disappates over time, but heat sinks can be shut off to reduce the detectable signature of the ship at the cost of possible death. Heat can also be "ejected" through special heat sinks, providing a fast dump of waste heat that can also confuse sensors and heat-seeking weapons.
  • Pacifist Run: It's quite possible to ignore combat completely and earn credits by trading, mining, or selling exploration data. In fact, there is nothing stopping you from removing the weapons that come with your ship and replacing them with mining lasers, or just leaving the hardpoints empty to save on weight and power consumption.
  • Plasma Cannon: The Plasma Accelerator. Now a tradition coming since the original Elite, the Plasma Accelerators are the weapons that deal the most damage in the game.
  • Procedural Generation: You didn't think all those 400,000,000,000 solar systems were hand-crafted, did you? Only 150,000 were, silly you.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: The only difference between male and female pilots is how they look.
  • Ramming Always Works: Ramming deals damage proportional to the mass and velocity of a ship. The Federal series of ships are excellent rammers thanks to their absurdly high mass relative to their size and speed.
  • Random Encounters: Entering supercruise or warping to a star with a live bounty or cargo in your hold has a chance of spawning a level-scaling bounty hunter or pirate that will attempt to interdict you and blow you to bits and/or steal your cargo after sending you a message.
  • Ramscoop: The Fuel Scoop, which allows you to scoop fuel from a star's corona.
  • Revealing Cover-Up: There are a number of systems far from populated space that require permits to enter, despite being unclaimed by anyone. Opinions vary as to what they're supposed to contain, but a popular theory is that they're Thargoid systems for a future expansion. One such system? The Thargoids' home system, Polaris.
  • Sci-Fi Bob Haircut: One of the hairstyle options available to female Holo-Me characters is a bob haircut, which is surprisingly popular amongst playersnote .
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: This trope has been masterfully averted in Elite: Dangerous. One of the game's selling points is it's 1:1 scale. From the smallest of ships, to Outposts, Stations, Planets, Stars, and to the whole Milky Way Galaxy itself, are all correctly scaled both in overall magnitude and in relation to each other.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: Available via a ship's Functions menu. If you are stranded in a system with no way to refuel, performing a self-destruct is currently your only option. (If you can't contact the Fuel Rats.)
  • She Is the King: Arissa-Lavigny Duval, following the Emperor's assassination, has become the new ruler of the Empire by decree of the Imperial Senate. This is only possible because the previous Emperor had removed the centuries-old decree that only men could be Emperor and marks the first time a woman has ruled the Empire since Marlin Duval first founded it - however, Arissa bears the title of "Emperor", rather than "Empress".
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shown Their Work: The science presented in the game is some of the most sound in Science Fiction - even the Frame-Shift Drive, the setting's One Big Lie, has some amount of scientific theory backing it up. Perhaps the greatest example of this is in its presentation of Black Holes - which aren't treated as all-consuming interstellar vacuum cleaners, but rather as navigational hazards that just happen to have gravity lensing and are much blacker than most stars. On top of that, the Voyager Probes can be found in-game were they should be in the 34th Century, and are one of the few things in the game that can be considered to be in truly deep space, since in real life the Voyager Probes have passed through the Solar system's Termination Shock, generally considered to be the outermost boundary between the Solar system and interstellar space.
  • Show Within a Show: Galnet fills this role, though talk shows (like Celebrity Pets) apparently do exist in the 34th Century.
  • Silent Running Mode: Achieved by shutting the cooling vents and deactivating heat-generating systems (up to and including life support), and thus diminishing the ship's thermal signature. As pretty much any system generates some amount of heat, it can continue to build up inside the ship while the cooling vents are shut, eventually causing system damage and/or pilot death. Heat sink launchers can be purchased, which are used to store generated heat while in silent running and are then launched to misdirect enemy sensors and heat-seeking missiles. You can't make your ship totally invisible, though, as any ship coming close enough (~300 meters) will be able to detect your presence regardless of thermal signature.
  • Single-Biome Planet: Justified with Horizons, as the planets that you can land on in the game are all airless worlds, which don't have much to offer beyond "barren and lifeless".
  • Soapbox Sadie: Aisling Duval is an outspoken Abolitionist... in The Empire, where Happiness in Slavery is the norm.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: In the GDC Trailer, we can hear Chopin's Nocturne, Op. 9 No. 2 playing. While ships destroy each other. In a full-blow capital-ship conflict. It is, however, played for an astounding effect.
  • Space Cold War: Big surprise, The Federation, The Empire, and The Alliance are still at it at the dawn of the 34th Century!
  • Space Fighter: The majority of craft are fighters of various flavors. As of Elite Dangerous, most don't look terribly similar to atmospheric fighters bar some vestigial wings and an overall streamlined aesthetic, with the Eagle being a notable exception with its massive wings. Craft handle very similar to terrestrial aircraft due to the layout of their thrusters, with yaw being significantly weaker than roll and pitch on almost every ship.
  • Space Friction: Well... It's an awkward case. While you can spin your ship 180º while still moving in your original heading, there are arbitrary limits to the maximum speed a ship can go, and how fast it can rotate around it's axis. Somewhat justified in that it helps to keep the gameplay interesting, as it adds a very dynamic combat environment depending on which ships are engaged in the fight.
  • Space Is Noisy: A more-or-less justified trope. The Devs claim the ship's computer creates an exterior soundscape based on what it's sensors and scanners are picking up. But quite frankly, given Dangerous' astonishing audio design, even the most Hardcore science advocates are glad this trope is in play. Averted when the canopy blows out; all sounds become heavily muffled if not completely inaudible as the ship speakers no longer have an atmosphere to work in and you're stuck with just the tinny headphones on the Remlok spacesuit.
  • Space Pirates: Can often be found attacking miners and traders. However, most pirates will ignore ships that have no cargo, merely cussing out the pilot before moving on. Players themselves can be pirates by ambushing other players and demanding they drop their cargo or be blown to bits.
  • Space Station: It's a staple for the series, though the types of Space Station is a bit more limited than before. They include:
    • Outposts, which are further divided by Outpost type (Industrial Outpost, Military Installation, Research Outpost, Civilian Installation, Unsanctioned Outpost, etc.) and don't spin to produce gravity. They have 3 or 4 landing pads and can't service ships that require a "Large" landing pad (e.g. the Imperial Clipper, the Federal Corvette, the Anaconda, the Type Seven and Type Nine-Heavy, and so on) due to their largest pads being "Medium" size. Hutton Orbital in Alpha Centauri, Trevthick Dock (where players begin in Elite: Dangerous) in LHS 3447, and Wilson Vision in Achenar are just a few examples of the myriad of Outposts in the game.
    • Coriolis Starports are the one station that's been around since the first game. Rotating polyhedrons, these icons of Elite are near-ubiquitous throughout human space and are highly detailed compared to previous incarnations, since these have what can best be described as city blocks lining their exteriors. The legendary Lave Station in Lave, Syromyatnikov Horizons in Nu, and Gotham Park in Alioth are three examples of the station type. Some Coriolis stations also have up to 4 long arms extending from their sides used as high-gravity factories.
    • Ocellus Stations are the newest addition to the family, based on modified Bernal Spheres. They tend to be rarer than the other three station types, though they are cheaper to manufacture than Orbis Starports thanks to their modular design. Obsidian Orbital in the Pleiades (Specifically, the Maia system), Galileo, and Columbus (both in Sol) are some examples of such a station. A handful of Ocelluses have habitation rings akin to Orbis ports, though the Bernal Sphere part of the station occludes them.
    • Orbis Starports are another station type returning from the old games, based on a modified Torus station from Frontier: Elite II. These stations represent the pinnacle of opulence and wealth for a system, and are the most expensive station type as a direct result. Abraham Lincoln in Sol, Dawes Hub in Achenar, Melbourne Park in Alioth, and the roving starport known as Jaques Orbital are all examples of Orbises. Prior to update 1.6/2.2, which introduced a variety of different station interiors to all rotating stations, the Orbis was also unique in that it was the only station type that could have the "wealthy" station interior type, which has a white Ascetic Aesthetic style to it.
  • Starship Luxurious: An intentional design feature for ships like the Beluga or Imperial Clipper, the former being a very comfortable transport ship, while the latter is meant to show the empire's wealth and beauty.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: NPCs are a bit on the dumb side when it comes to picking targets, with Eagles (small, jump capable fighter craft) often interdicting or attacking much bigger ships like Asps (midsized, multi-role craft that generally outgun them massively) or even Corvettes (large battlecraft armed to the teeth), just because they happen to be carrying cargo they want. The result tends to be a curbstomp battle in the larger craft's favor. They will retreat when badly damaged, however, but generally they're so far gone at that point that they can't actually get away before being destroyed.
  • Tannhäuser Gate: There is an Orbis Starport by the name of Tannhauser Gate in the Aztlan system.
  • Terraform: Planets that aren't Earthlike worlds but have qualities similar to Earth may be labeled as "Candidates for Terraforming", and most of the Earthlike worlds in human space have been terraformed in the past - examples include Capitol in Achenar (which stirred some controversy since the moon that became Capitol had the first known example of a non-human sapient species that were wiped out when terraforming began) and Mars.
  • Universal Universe Time: Today's date, with a small 1286 years difference into the future.
  • Used Future: Some ships in the game seem to have already seen a lot of use even before you get them, especially Lakon Spaceways ships, where there is a lot of wear and tear around the cockpit, from scuffed and slightly cracked mainenace panels to chipped paint on the edges of the seat and control panel. It's possible to create this aesthetic on the outside of ships yourself by flying around in high speed supercruise a lot and never repairing your paint.
  • Video Game Caring Potential:
    • When looking for missions to do on the bulletin board of any station, players can occasionally stumble across calls for monetary assistance. You get no material reward for completing these missions, only a bit of reputation at best.
    • New players are favoured targets by pirates looking for easy kills, but a number of more experienced pilots have made a point of patrolling newbie areas purely to try and stop them.
    • A group of players known as the Fuel Rats recently made in-universe news after their 1000th rescue. How? They transport fuel to players who're stranded in unknown space and cannot obtain fuel themselves and in normal cases would have to die in-game to respawn in a new ship. They've traveled to the other side of the galaxy to do this duty. They volunteer to do this and don't ask for any reward.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • You can easily make money off of human suffering in this game by transporting and selling arms, highly addictive drugs, and slaves. Granted, they all look like menu text and cargo canisters from your point of view, so you never see the cost of your ill-gotten gains (other than the credits flowing into your bank account)...
    • You can jettison cargo into deep space, in canisters presumably without life support. Including slaves, Imperial or otherwise, with no punishment whatsoever (save for the loss of some money), as well as occupied escape pods.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: ... But if you do such things and get caught, you are going to have to, at best pay some fines, or at worst, be blown to pieces by either the local defence forces or a player bounty hunter. Or both.
  • Welcome to Corneria: NPCs have about a dozen lines per interaction interaction, such as scanning the player, and will repeat them ad nauseam. Thankfully, only the station traffic controllers are actually voiced so it doesn't become too grating when Pirate #26278 tells you "I'm surprised you got this far with all that tasty cargo" for the umpteenth time.
  • We Sell Everything: Finding the exact component you need for your fitting, or shopping for a particular ship, can involve checking station after station to find what you're looking for... until you get the system permit that comes with reaching Elite. Jameson Memorial sells all ship components and ships in the game at a discount. Averted with commodities, as most markets only buy and sell general goods, supplies relevant to or produced by their economy, and Rare Goods. At a station's black market, it's you selling anything that fell out of a Type-9's cargo hold, from artwork to mysterious biotechnological artifacts.
  • We Will Use Manual Labor in the Future: The Empire makes extensive use of slaves and other workers to do jobs other governments, like The Federation and The Alliance, use automated machinery to accomplish. The Empire justifies this by saying that they don't want to become too dependent on technology like other factions have become.
  • We Will Spend Credits in the Future: All financial transactions are carried out using credits from the Bank of Zaonce.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: In the most mind-boggling way there is. The galaxy is massive and it's quite easy to find yourself stranded if you go too far in the wrong direction and can't find a station at which to refuel.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/EliteDangerous