Type-9 and a pilot

The Next Era is a major paid expansion for Elite Dangerous. Frontier described it as a mammoth, the biggest update yet and a defining moment in the history of ED.[1] It's been in development since August 2018. Frontier will give more information in the summer of 2020. The launch date is at the end of Q4 2020.


Elite Dangerous Station Walking

People walking in a station

On 15 November 2019 Frontier described the new era of Elite in a Trading Statement and Roadmap Update:

"The future for Elite Dangerous is also exciting. Frontier is developing a major new paid-for release for the iconic space simulation which will dramatically expand gameplay and mark the beginning of a new era for Elite Dangerous. This will be characterised by significant new features to appeal to existing commanders, whilst being specifically designed to be a compelling, attractive and welcoming entry point for new players. Targeted for launch at the end of 2020, this major new release on multiple platforms will fall into financial year 2021 (the 12 months ending 31 May 2021)."[2]

On October 22, 2019, Community Manager Will Flanagan said:"The team have been hard at work on the next major milestone, which you may remember we mentioned back in March as our next major paid addition to the game. They’re making fantastic progress and on schedule for release by the end of next year. We are very excited to show you what we’ve been working on. However, we can only announce the content when it’s at the right stage of development, we estimate this will be ready to talk about at some time in summer 2020, after the Fleet Carriers update. We appreciate there is a bit of a wait, but we want to make sure it is ready to be shown before making our full official announcement to the world."[3]



Exploring and hunting pirates

According to a leaked roadmap it will feature:[4]

There is no mention of the ability to land ships on atmospheric planets, which is impossible in both the core game and the Horizons expansion. Many fans hope there will be landable planets with basic atmospheres.

Frontier has been looking for employees with expertise in AI vehicle programming, equipment and weapons.[5]


Arx Metadata

In October 2019, Frontier left a reference on the ARX website's metadata tags about cosmetics for buildings, weapons and SRVs. It was removed when people found it.[6]

Additional details

Elite Dangerous Atmospheric Escape

Atmospheric Escape

Frontier said on 1 March 2019:"Back in August, we mentioned that the team had begun work on the next major era of Elite. We believe this will be a defining moment in the history of the game and it will be our biggest update yet."[1]

"In that post, we explained that the content was still very early in development, so we won’t be ready to announce it for a while. To give this more context, in order to realise the ambition for this update, and the size and scope of the content we wish to bring to the Elite Dangerous galaxy, we estimate this major milestone will be ready by the latter half of 2020."[1]

"As development progresses, we will share more news and announcements on features, as well as timelines regarding this upcoming content for Elite. We can understand that having a long wait for news can be frustrating, but we truly believe that this will be the single most impactful update for our community. Having a development team dedicated to this milestone is our continued and unwavering commitment to making Elite Dangerous the most authentic, ambitious, and expansive evolving space game in the world."[1]

"As mentioned in our previous post, this new era will be paid for content and all lifetime expansion pass owners will have this included in their pass."[1]

What does 'The Next Era' contain?

The Next Era update will be in-game content and, as we've said previously, as development progresses, we will share more news and announcements on features, as well as timelines regarding this upcoming content for Elite.[7] 

What now?

Walking in a shipwreck, looking for survivors

"We know that waiting for a mammoth update like this one is going to feel like your 3rd run to Hutton Orbital. But don’t fret, we’ve got plenty of updates, content, and plans happening as we progress through to this monumental milestone."[1]

"As well as the team of developers working on our next big milestone, we also have a smaller development team focused on adding to and improving the existing game between now and that time. This will take the form of regular game updates and development supported events."[1]


We hear your concerns and feedback on Powerplay in and outside of this thread. We'll be evaluating and looking into some of the proposed solutions Sandro detailed in his post here. This is an on-going investigation and nothing is confirmed at the moment, but rest assured that we will let you know when we have updates regarding this.[8]

Ice Planets and Fleet Carriers

Both Ice Planets and Fleet Carriers are still planned for the development road-map, and we'll be able to share more information with you in the future.[7]

LEP Content

The Next Era content will be paid for content and LEP owners will receive it as part of their pass. We don't have anything to announce regarding any additional LEP content at the moment.[9]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Important Community Update (01/03)
  2. Frontier Trading Statement & Roadmap Update
  5. Future of Elite and Holo-Me
  6. The ARX website's metadata tags ( contains references to customization of Buildings and multiple SRVs
  7. 7.0 7.1
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