Atmospheric Planet and a Cobra

Atmospheric landings refers to landing on planets and moons with atmospheres. Such as planets composed of silicate rocks, ice or high metal content. This is currently not possible yet in-game.

Overview Edit


Anaconda atmospheric landing

The terrain of atmospheric planets would be different than airless worlds due to erosion.

The atmosphere would consist of volumetric clouds. Some planets have fluids on the surface such as seas, lakes and rivers.

Metal-Rich Bodies and Gas Giants have some form of atmosphere. The outermost portion of a gas giant has a hydrogen atmosphere with many layers of visible clouds that are primarily composed of water and ammonia.

Planets with a thin atmosphere would be mostly lifeless and uninhabited. There could be primitive plant life such as mosses, fungi, lichen and bacteria. Some atmospheric planets would have alien ecologies with diverse colored flora.

Colonized terrestrial planets could feature procedural cities on land. Water Worlds may have cities on the ocean's surface.

Current situation Edit


Mamba and a terrestrial planet

There are billions of atmospheric planets in the galaxy. Such as Terrestrial Planets, Metal-Rich Bodies, Ammonia Worlds and Water Worlds. They look good when viewed from space. There are atmospheric effects such as clouds and tropical cyclones. When zooming in there is not much detail on the surface yet. City lights are visible on the dark side of colonized planets and moons. None can be landed on with a ship yet.

Development Edit


Anaconda landed on a Lava Planet

On December 14, 2012, David Braben explained the development plan “What I want to see down on the planet is interesting things, cityscapes, even animals, live trees, being a big game hunter. All of the things that we’ve been very ,very excited about for a long time, we want to be able to realize. The amount of work required to create those things is so huge we want to do it properly. What’s really important is we do each of these things really well. So that sort of thing won’t be included on day one. We don’t want it to be a dull experience where you just go down, you get essentially exactly the same experience wherever you land." “we’ve designed the game with that capability in mind going forward and at a later date we’ll gradually add more functionality to allow you to do that and the game’s richness will gradually increase."[1]

Newsletter #29 confirms that "Accessing richly detailed planetary surfaces" is part of the development plans.[2] In Newsletter #32 confirms "Major new features will include planetary landings and even walking around inside ships, stations, and planet surfaces with time."[3]

In 2016, during an AMA with David Braben, this question was asked "Is there a small team doing any preliminary work on atmosphere landings / walking (in stations etc) currently being looked at? As it is almost there for walking in station..." Braben said "Yes. We have ongoing work on planets, including atmospheres, planetary life, walking about and lots of other very exciting things for the future."[4]

During a Charity Livestream, David Braben commented that atmospheric planets won't be coming "anytime soon".


Orca atmospheric landing

On June 15 2017 community manager Dale Emasiri said "Having spoken to our team at E3, atmospheric landings remains something we are still working towards and the whole studio, including David, is very keen to implement. We'd like to be able to give you an idea of the rough timeframe for it, but unfortunately that’s not possible at the moment - we don’t want to make potentially empty promises to you."[5]

Trivia Edit


Planetary landing in Frontier: Elite II

See also Edit

Videos Edit

Gallery Edit

References Edit

  1. Elite Dangerouss Development Plan
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