From PC Launch:
All Elite Dangerous: Odyssey players will gain access to the new features, including planetary improvements, enhanced lighting, and textures. The differences will mean that Elite Dangerous: Horizons players cannot share a gameplay session with those playing Odyssey. However, Odyssey owners will be able to share a session with and play with those in Horizons by launching the game in Horizons mode (which can be selected in the launcher) – though if they do this, they will temporarily not have access to the new Odyssey features until they resume play in Odyssey mode.
Console Launch Onwards:
In line with the console launch, we plan to update Elite Dangerous on all platforms (PC/PlayStation/Xbox) to allow Odyssey and Horizons players to reunite and play together with other users on their respective platform.
All Horizons players will also receive the new graphical updates, including the new planetary tech, lighting, and organics, free of charge, but will not be able to get out on foot or enter Odyssey’s tenuous atmospheres.
Instancing and Graphical Improvements
To clarify the circumstances under which instances may be shared across versions of the game, and when visual changes will be seen, we've made the following tables. The first applies to the time between PC and console launch, and the other to the time following console launch:
From PC Launch to Console Launch
After Console Launch
Landing on planets with tenuous atmospheres is ONLY available to Odyssey owners.
- Odyssey's UI changes will only apply to Odyssey players pre-console launch. Post console launch, the UI changes will be available to everyone.
Other Aspects of Horizons and Odyssey
- The galaxy's background simulations (including Powerplay, factions, commodity markets and outfitting) will continue without disruption and be shared between all players (Horizons and Odyssey) across all platforms.
- Squadrons may be contributed to and administered across both Horizons and Odyssey.
- Fleet Carriers will function and be manageable across Horizons and Odyssey.
- Odyssey Settlements will not appear in the system map or navigation panel of Horizons players.
- All planet ports and settlements on tenuous atmosphere planets will not appear in the system map or navigation panel of Horizons players.
- First footfall tags will only be displayed to Odyssey players.
- Missions will not transfer between Horizons and Odyssey, and their timers will count down as if you were not logged into the game when you are on the other version.
Matchmaking & Social
- The online status of Friends will be visible across Horizons and Odyssey, but locations will be displayed as "ED: Beyond" or "ED: Odyssey" if you are different versions.
- System text channels will be shared across Horizons and Odyssey.
- Direct text messages can be sent between friends across Horizons and Odyssey.
- Players in Horizons will not be able to form wings or crews with players in Odyssey and vice versa.
- The CQC matchmaker and crew finders will not place Horizons and Odyssey players together.
- Voice communications will not be available across Horizons and Odyssey.
- Squadron members playing Odyssey will appear offline to those viewing them from Horizons and vice versa from the Squadron management screen. This is so they cannot be invited to join a wing or crew from here.
Switching From Odyssey to Horizons Mode
Under some circumstances, your Commander location will need to be reset. For example, if you try to load into the game from the main menu in Horizons mode after playing Odyssey and meeting the following conditions:
- If you were disembarked from your ship or SRV and logged out when on foot in any location.
- If you logged out in a ship, SRV, or on foot in any location on a tenuous atmosphere planet.
- If you logged out in a ship docked at an Odyssey settlement on a planet without an atmosphere.
- If you logged out when on a ship piloted by Apex Interstellar or Frontline Solutions.
In these cases, your Commander will be placed into your most recently used ship and, if necessary, position it in orbit around the stellar body it was landed on, or docked on a settlement on. As with Horizons, the reset option will not available to you if your ship was destroyed at the time you logged out. Instead, a message encouraging you to re-access Elite through the Odyssey client will appear.
In addition, due to the terrain changes in Odyssey, the following will happen when switching over while landed on a planet without an atmosphere:
- If you logged out in an SRV, then your ship will need recalling from orbit.
- If you logged out in a ship, then you will load in a short distance above the planet's surface.
- When playing ED: Odyssey after playing ED: Horizons:
- Crimes on players’ ships will be transferred to their commander, superpower bounties will be generated accordingly.
- When playing ED: Horizons after having played ED: Odyssey:
- Crimes committed in the vessel will stay with the vessel, and superpower bounties for vessels will be regenerated.
- Crimes committed on foot will be transferred to the vessel with the biggest bounty for the specific jurisdiction, or to your active vessel if no other ship in the jurisdiction has a bounty.
- Impounded ships will be released, but the impound cost will be added to the bounty for that vessel.
Avatars & Liveries
- New suit livery items introduced with Odyssey will only be accessible in Odyssey.
- When playing Horizons after having played Odyssey, Commanders will receive a default avatar and flight suit.
- When returning to Odyssey after playing Horizons, avatars will be re-equipped with their Odyssey suits.
- The default 'opaque helmet' avatar image will be displayed when viewing Odyssey players from Horizons in screens like Recently Encountered players, or Squadron Members.
- Any new ship livery items purchased in Odyssey should still be accessible in Horizons.
- Odyssey suit and weapon livery items will not be available for purchase through the store in Horizons.
- Any purchased items will remain in Odyssey for when you next log into it.
- ARX earned by playing Odyssey can be redeemed in Horizons and vice versa.
- The contents of Odyssey players’ backpacks and storage will only be available whilst playing Odyssey. They will not take any inventory capacity away from Horizons.
- Any new organics species introduced for ED: Odyssey will only be present in players’ codex whilst playing ED: Odyssey
Local options storage
- Odyssey uses different files to Horizons in %localappdata%\Frontier Developments\Elite Dangerous\Options to save configuration options, such as Audio, Graphics and Custom Key Bindings.
- Odyssey shares some files with Horizons, such as visited star systems.
Thank you for your feedback and patience as we navigate through the huge transition for Elite Dangerous marked by Odyssey. We hope this follow up has gone some way to clarifying the details raised after the initial announcement.