The previously announced offline mode for Elite: Dangerous is no longer happening according to developer Frontier Developments. The company explains that such a mode would be “unacceptably limited and static” when compared to the persistent online experience the game is built around. Frontier also reminds us that Elite: Dangerous is meant to constantly grow and evolve together with the players and the galaxy will react accordingly based on their actions. As such, the game must remain online only, although exploration in single player is still an important component. So, while players will be able to have a single player experience and explore the galaxy to their liking, they will still connect to the servers from time to time in order to match what the other players are exploring.
“Going forwards, being online lets us constantly both curate and evolve the galaxy, with stories unfolding according to the actions of commanders,” Frontier said in a recent Newsletter. “Exploration is also a key factor, too, and it is important that what a single player explores matches what other players explore whether single or multiplayer – a complex, coherent world – something we have achieved. Galaxy, story, missions, have to match, and it does mean the single player has to connect to the server from time to time, but this has the added advantage that everyone can participate in the activities that can happen in the galaxy. A fully offline experience would be unacceptably limited and static compared to the dynamic, ever unfolding experience we are delivering.”
An offline mode for Elite: Dangerous was announced back in December 2012 when the game was beginning its journey on Kickstarter. Frontier mentioned even back then that the single-player experience would not benefit from the evolving galaxy, which is crucial to the game. The developer has made efforts to allow a completely offline mode that doesn’t have to connect to the servers but it looks like it wasn’t possible to do after all. Executive producer Michael Brookes explains that this is because “the galaxy mechanics all sit on the online servers.” Elite: Dangerous will leave the Beta testing phase in December when the final version of the game is scheduled to launch. Also in the mentioned Newsletter, Frontier says that the game will have 30 playable ships, not 25 like it was initially announced.