Elite Dangerous Wiki

Elite Dangerous Game Modes

Elite Dangerous can be played in one of three different Game Modes: Open Play, Private Group Session, and Solo Play. The game's Background Simulation is shared and affected players across all three modes. There are also two secondary modes, Arena and Training, that allow access to the CQC Championship and a series of tutorial missions, respectively. The Game Mode can be selected when starting the game, and changed by exiting to the main menu. The player's profile is used across all modes.

Open Play

In Open Play you may encounter other commanders connected via this mode.

— Description

Open Play allows players to instance with other players who may be in the same star system, allowing both PvP and PvE gameplay.[1] Playing in Open is no guarantee of being able to instance with a specific player, however, and the Elite Dangerous galaxy is so vast that it is entirely possible to play in Open without encountering anyone else. Be aware that systems with high player activity, such as the locations of Community Goals or other events, will have more players to instance with, and consequently will be much more dangerous in Open.

Private Group Session

In a Private Group Session you will only encounter commanders who have been invited by the group's owner.

— Description

Private Group Session allows players to create Private Groups, where access is restricted to only players whom the group's owner invites directly. This provides a middle-ground between Open Play and Solo Play where players have control over what other players they can encounter, effectively creating an Open Play experience with a considerably lessened risk of running across a malicious player.[1]

Solo Play

In Solo Play you will not directly encounter other commanders, but will still share the same galaxy.

— Description

Solo Play prevents players from instancing with any other players, ensuring a pure PvE experience. Despite instancing being blocked, Solo Play still requires an internet connection, as with all other Elite Dangerous modes.[1]


Fast paced Arena combat. Prove that you are the best fighter pilot around by destroying your enemies in Close Quarters Combat.

— Description

Arena consists of the CQC Championship, a mode where players can take on other players in fighter dogfights.


A collection of simulations designed to introduce the basic controls of Elite Dangerous, and resources for learning additional concepts.

— Description

Training includes three sub-modes: Training Simulations, Challenge Scenarios, and Training Videos. Players can access Training to learn the basics of Elite Dangerous gameplay or brush up on their skills.


  • In a 2018 livestream Sandro Sammarco stated that "People who play Open versus other modes are the majority, by a significant margin."[2][3]