Earlier today, Frontier pushed the beta for the first iteration of the Beyond chapter IV onto beta servers and, if on PC, you can download it via the game launcher.

The first week of the beta test will include visual improvements, the new exploration changes, background simulation changes and new scenarios with mining, squadrons and new ships coming in the upcoming weeks.

As with anything Elite related – not even a day passed and curious commanders already found some juicy info in the current build. The first being new videos that look like renders for an unknown scenario including a chief of security offering you an assignment of potential interest (discovered by CMDR Main Sequence). The videos can be found inside your game installation files located at

  • %localAppData%\Frontier_Developments\Products\PUBLIC_TEST_SERVER_64\Movies (for the standalone launcher)
  • Steam\steamapps\common\Elite Dangerous\Products\PUBLIC_TEST_SERVER_64\Movies (for Steam users)

The other info is a confirmation of a brand new… well… actually old ship that Elite veterans might be familiar with – the Mamba (discovered by CMDR VampireGTX)! There no extra info on the ship at the moment.

Unfortunately, with so many people trying to get a bite of the new update – beta servers are extremely unstable and many commanders report frequent disconnects and crashes especially during login or during jump attempts.

Elite leaked video

Patch notes

Exploration

  • Discovery Scanner upgraded to include access to the new Full Spectral System (FSS) scanner mode
    • Players use the FSS Mode to discover stellar bodies, stellar phenomenon, USSs, scenarios, distress calls, mission targets and more
    • There is now only one Discovery Scanner available in game, that is based on the basic variant. Commanders that have purchased either the intermediate or advanced scanners will receive a credit refund
  • Detailed Surface Scanner upgraded to include access to brand new planet probes
    • Players can fire probes at bodies to gather data that can be sold.
    • Players can also use these probes to pinpoint places of interest on landable planets as well as uncover lucrative places in planetary rings to mine (mining tools will be available at a later Beta release)
    • Each body has a "probe efficiency" target; if the player maps 100% of the body using either the same or less than the target, they are awarded a bonus
  • Added "First Mapped By" tag - the first commander to 100% map a stellar body and sell the data at a port will be named for everyone to see
    • Players will be unable to map Sol, Achenar or Alioth as these systems are already fully mapped
  • A credit bonus will be awarded for players that get either 100% first discovered or 100% first mapped in a system
  • Added new things to find!
  • Orrery view added - players can access the schematic orrery view of systems from the system map

Codex

  • Codex added to the ship's internal (right hand) panel. The Codex contains:
    • Commander Stats
      • Logs important player statistics
      • Session Log records important game events for players review
      • Archive holds all text and audio logs taken from the numerous narratives from across the galaxy
      • Audio logs can be added to the improved Playlist feature
    • Discoveries
      • Contains either rumored, reported or discovered entries from across the 42 different galactic regions
      • Discoveries are broken down in to 3 categories (Stellar Bodies, Biological and Geological, and Civilisations)
    • Knowledge base
      • Various articles from the rich history and lore of the Elite universe, from the history of the Super Powers, to important characters and corporations
      • Each article is narrated and can be added to the improved Playlist feature

Background Simulation

  • Factions can now be in multiple states within each system that they are present
  • Economic and Security status added
  • War, Civil War and Election states are now a 7 day conflict, where players engage in activities (such as winning conflict zones in War and Civil War states) and attempt to beat their opponents
  • Added a new 'Happiness' level for each faction, that is a combination of various states and influence. Happiness also plays into the Expansion state
  • Civil Liberty state added (part of the Security Status)
  • Added more information to the status tab in the right hand cockpit panel to help players manage/support factions

Megaships and Installations

  • Added new megaships and installations
  • Applicable megaships will move location, on a weekly tick

Scenarios

  • Added new scenarios with voice over direction and feedback, and on screen choices and objectives
  • Scenarios come in the form of USSs, Megaship locations and Conflict Zones
  • Conflict zones are now round based; players battle to win a round which then feeds into the war state
    • Side objectives can appear, and if the player completes them, they are awarded a points boost
    • Once a round has finished, a new one will begin after a short pause
  • Combat specific ambient chatter added.
  • Ambient chatter now is now in place throughout the entire game and not just around stations.
  • 3000 + lines of NPC dialogue added to support scenario driven gameplay.

Lighting

  • Added new lighting model, using dynamic exposure
  • Colour grading applied to various situations in the game, improving the look and feel of the game world
  • Added a new 'Night Vision' mode to Ships, Fighters and SRVs, to allow players to navigate dark sides of planets, rings and other areas of the game