Phase 3 of the Elite Dangerous: Odyssey, called Exo-Biology, begins today. With Phase 3, players will be able to test the exploration features that will be implemented when Odyssey goes live fully, such as the First Footfall mechanic and more.
Since March 29th testers have been pushing the upcoming expansion for Elite Dangerous to its limits, testing on-foot missions and some basic travel between systems. Now, with Phase 3, wider exploration has opened up seeing players able to travel 50 Light-years away from their starting system, as well as testing exploration-based mechanics like its First Footfall system.
Via the press release:
"The third stage of the Odyssey Alpha continues to expand the playable portion of the galaxy to 50 light years and moves focus towards the exploration of undiscovered planets and the Exobiology career path. Additionally, Commanders will finally experience the coveted “First Footfall” moments within the Alpha, when they set foot on a previously uncharted planet for the first time."
Also available is the new sampling gameplay with the Genetic Sampler tool. This tool will allow players to sample the organic life on planets, such as vegetation, utilizing a new surface scanner as you approach the planet to ensure you're landing on the right spot. From there you'll log your discoveries, and if you happen to the be the first to log that particular organic sample, you'll receive a bonus.
Elite Dangerous: Odyssey is currently undergoing testing on PC, with the full expansion slated to launch on PC this spring. Console players, unfortunately, will be waiting till the Fall of this year before being able to experience the expansion. Phase 4, Compatibility, is still incoming, which will see Frontier take all the learnings and systems shown off in the previous three phases and ensure it works with the existing game systems fully. For those looking for more information and interested in seeing Phase 3 in action, check out the trailer in the embed below.