The Fleet Carriers Update (3.7), formerly known as the December Update, is a standalone content update for Elite Dangerous that was originally scheduled for release in December 2019, but was delayed and instead released on June 9, 2020. After the January Update, it was the fourth of a series of free updates throughout 2019 and 2020 intended to enhance the game prior to the release of Elite Dangerous: Odyssey.
Two open betas for the Fleet Carriers Update were conducted for testing purposes. The first ran from April 7, 2020 to April 20, 2020, and was available for PC only. The second ran from May 11, 2020 to May 26, 2020, and was available for PC, Xbox One, and PS4.
- Fleet Carriers
- Pilots gain the ability to purchase and control a mobile Drake-Class Carrier with a total of 16 Landing Pads that can be used by other players. The owner can set docking permissions to determine who may dock, and even allow or deny access to Notorious players. The owner can also store and transfer their ships and modules without needing to purchase the Shipyard and Outfitting services.
- Fleet Carriers cost 5 billion credits, can only be purchased at Starports with the Fleet Carrier Vendor Contact and Carrier Construction Docks, and a pilot is restricted to owning only one at a time. They have a weekly upkeep cost that can be paid through setting tariffs on services and trading there. This cost begins at 5 million credits for a newly-purchased vessel, and increases as additional services are installed and enabled. Failure to pay the upkeep cost incurs debt, and failure to pay off the debt before it exceeds 250 million credits in total will cause the vessel to be automatically decommissioned, which refunds its full value minus the debt and transfers any onboard ships and modules back to the owner.
- Fleet Carriers can be tailored to specific roles by their owners. The owner can choose to install specific services, such as Refuel, Restock, Repair, Outfitting, Shipyard, and more, as well as stock specific modules and ships for other players to purchase. Installing more services increases the vessel's upkeep costs, but the owner can also suspend unneeded services if desired to partially reduce upkeep. The owner can place tariffs on Fleet Carrier services and goods to generate income to pay for upkeep.
- The owner of a Fleet Carrier can schedule jumps to different systems, provided the Fleet Carrier has a sufficient amount of Tritium fuel. Fleet Carriers have a maximum jump range of 500 ly. All jumps are preceded by a 15-minute Frame Shift Drive charging period and followed by a 5-minute cooldown period. Fleet Carriers cannot jump to permit-locked systems such as Shinrarta Dezhra.
- Various minor bug fixes
- Other features and changes
- The hangar options interface at all Stations and Fleet Carriers is expanded to display Refuel, Repair, and Restock options alongside the existing Starport Services, Enter Hangar/Return to Surface, and Launch/Auto Launch options. Players can now perform these essential ship maintenance actions without needing to enter the Starport Services menu. However, these quick access buttons are inaccessible if the player has any Notoriety and must dock anonymously.
- Players can now queue for CQC matchmaking within the main game via the Comms panel of the HUD.
- NPC mining ships now have cargo based on the contents of the local system's rings.
- Sub-surface Displacement Missiles will occasionally produce multiple resource chunks from Sub-surface Deposits, increasing their productiveness.
- Players have an increased chance of meeting previously encountered players when revisiting systems within a single session.
- Players can now block any player, not just friends or pending friends.
- In the Galaxy Map, the colors of some marker icons are changed, systems no longer display the System Map button when selected with the cursor if the player does not yet have their cartographic data, and a new filter is added to show systems containing any Fleet Carriers.
- When using the Supercruise Assist module and dropping into normal space at a destination, the ship's thrusters will now automatically throttle down and bring the ship to a halt.
- The Synthesis recipe for the Advanced Missile Rack, "Configurable Explosive Munitions", is added.
- Sub-surface deposit yields for Low Temperature Diamonds are reduced by 25%, and the effective range of Low Temperature Diamond Hotspots is reduced to ensure that LTD Hotspot peripheries, especially when overlapped with other LTD Hotspots, are not significantly more lucrative than Hotspot centrepoints.
- Surface and sub-surface deposits will no longer immediately respawn when re-entering the instance or switching to a Ship-Launched Fighter.
- In the Background Simulation, the Retreat state will now be overridden if another faction in the Expansion state attempts to expand into the retreating faction's star system by challenging them. The resulting conflict will still evict either the expanding or the previously retreating faction as before.
- Frontier Forums: Fleet Carriers Update - Patch Notes
- Frontier Forums: Fleet Carriers Update - Beta 2 Begins!
- Frontier Forums: Fleet Carriers Update - Beta 2 has now ended!
- Frontier Forums: Fleet Carriers - Content Reveal Announcement
- Frontier Forums: Community Update (22/10)
- Frontier Forums: Lavecon 2019 Content Reveal
- Frontier Forums: Gamescom Reveals - Fleet Carrier Details
- Frontier Forums: Fleet Carriers - Content Reveal Recap
- Frontier Forums: Fleet Carriers Update - Beta 1 - Patch Notes
- Frontier Forums: Fleet Carriers Update - Beta 2 - Date Announcement
- Frontier Forums: Fleet Carriers Update - Beta 2 - Upcoming Changes
- PC Gamer: Elite Dangerous is finally getting fleet carriers in June, with beta tests next month
- Frontier Forums: Fleet Carriers - Beta 1 - Feedback Changes
- Frontier Forums: Fleet Carriers Update patch 1 - Downtime and patch notes
- Frontier Forums: Fleet Carriers Update - Patch 3
- Frontier Forums: Fleet Carriers Update Patch 2 - Downtime and Patch Notes