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Elite Dangerous' April Update seeks to make space more beginner-friendly

Frontier Developments has released a breakdown of the changes and content coming to Elite Dangerous with their April Update. Scheduled for release April 23, the patch has a lot to offer, especially for beginning players.

Headlining the update is the new Beginner's Zone. This collection of systems will offer new Commanders simpler missions to complete, allowing them to ease into Elite Dangerous' controls and mechanics. Pilots can access the Beginner's Zone until they earn their first Combat, Trade, or Exploration rank. New Commanders will also enjoy a reduced rebuy until they reach this point.

Two new modules will arrive with the update. The Advanced Docking Computer allows players to unlock automatically from a station, making landing and takeoff a less stressful affair. Replacing the original Docking Computer, the Advanced version will be a standard feature of all newly purchased small ships.

With Supercruise Assist, pilots can set a course without worrying about maintaining the correct speed or approach. A starship with Supercruise activated will manage these details on its own, breaking out of the autopilot at the optimum time. Supercruise Assist will come with newly purchased ships of all sizes.

Frontier has revamped the Navigation Panel, aiming for a more useful and visually appealing layout. A new column displays area-based activities, mission targets, plotted routes, Wanted status, and threat levels. Players can find expanded intel about the location via the Navigation pop-up. A new Pilot's Handbook will also serve as an invaluable resource, providing information about the opportunities available in the game.

The April Update will replace Elite Dangerous' Community Events with the all-new Interstellar Initiatives. These month-long, multi-phase missions will change with the narrative and may have long-term effects on the galaxy. Additional changes will round out the update, including a revamped menu, loading screen tips, and various bug fixes. Executive Producer Adam Woods is scheduled to host a YouTube content reveal livestream on April 18 to show off the game's new features.