Elite Dangerous can be played in different game modes. These are Open Play, Private Group and Solo Play. A mode can be selected when starting the game.
Open Play Edit
Private Group Edit
This means you play the game only with people who you've invited to your private group or if you've been invited to their private group.
To start in a private group you must previously have created one or been invited to one (managed in the Friends and Private Groups Menu).
- In a 2018 livestream Sandro Sammarco stated that "People who play Open versus other modes are the majority, by a significant margin."