Difference Between Elite Dangerous and Star Citizen

Elite Dangerous and Star Citizen are two of the most popular space simulation games on the market today. Both games have been in development for several years, and both have amassed large communities of players. While they share a similar genre, there are several key differences between the two games that set them apart. In this essay, we will explore those differences and compare the features of Elite Dangerous and Star Citizen.

What is Elite Dangerous?

Elite Dangerous was built on a 1:1 scale relative to Milky Way Galaxy with 400-billion-star systems and full galactic and technological simulation based on real scientific principles. This game was developed and published by Frontier Developments and was released for Microsoft Windows in December 2014. Moreover, it was also released for Xbox One in October 2015 and for Play Station 4 in June 2017. This is the first in the Elite series to feature an online multiplayer as well as an online single-player mode. Also, it is the sequel to Frontier: First Encounters released in 1995.

Elite Dangerous is a space-flight simulation game where players explore a realistic Milky Way Galaxy representation as they pilot a spaceship. The narrative story of the game’s universe is being affected by the players’ choices and actions in a multiplayer game play, while retaining single-player options. The player’s abilities and the ship’s quality determine the game’s outcome since there are neither classes nor skill levels. One can be an explorer, mercenary, pirate, smuggler, trader, or a combination of these roles.

What is Star Citizen?

Star Citizen is a space trading and combat space simulation game developed and published by Cloud Imperium Games. Star Citizen started its development in 2011 and was intended to be released in 2014. However, it is still under development up to this present time. This space sim game can only be played in Microsoft Windows.

Star Citizen is being developed to be a universe that combines the freedom of exploration, the thrill of combat, and the unique challenge of building a life in space. This will allow players to navigate through a mixture of generated and handcrafted worlds and interact with characters by either playing as a cargo hauler, exploring the vastness of space, or scraping out a living outside the law. Because of its active development, only fractions of Star Citizen’s playable content have been released. This development aims Star Citizen to be everything in space sim games one could possibly visualize.

Differences: Elite Dangerous and Star Citizen

Here are the major differences between Elite Dangerous and Star Citizen −


Elite Dangerous is a game that focuses heavily on exploration, trade, combat, and mining. Players can explore a vast, open-world galaxy filled with star systems, planets, asteroids, and more. They can trade goods between different stations, mine resources from asteroids, and engage in combat with other players and NPCs. Elite Dangerous has a steep learning curve and a deep, complex gameplay system that rewards dedicated players.

Star Citizen, on the other hand, is a game that is still in development, and as such, its gameplay is constantly evolving. Currently, the game features a mix of exploration, trading, combat, and FPS gameplay. Players can explore a variety of planets, moons, and space stations, trade goods between different locations, engage in space combat, and engage in FPS combat on foot. Star Citizen is known for its incredibly detailed graphics and immersive gameplay mechanics.

Multiplayer Games

Both Elite Dangerous and Star Citizen are multiplayer games, but they differ in how they approach multiplayer gameplay. Elite Dangerous features both open and private play modes, allowing players to choose whether they want to play with other players or alone. In open play, players can interact with other players in real-time, engage in combat, trade, or form alliances. In private play, players can still interact with others, but they have greater control over who they play with.

Star Citizen, on the other hand, is a massively multiplayer online game that features a persistent universe. This means that all players exist in the same game world, and their actions can affect the game world in real-time. Players can join together to form organizations, trade, explore, or engage in combat. Star Citizen also features a reputation system that tracks players' actions and can affect how they are perceived by other players.


One of the most significant differences between Elite Dangerous and Star Citizen is their graphics. Elite Dangerous has impressive graphics, but they are not as detailed as those in Star Citizen. Star Citizen is known for its incredibly detailed graphics and immersive gameplay mechanics, with high-resolution textures, detailed models, and realistic lighting effects. This level of detail comes at a cost, however, as Star Citizen requires a high-end gaming PC to run smoothly.

Ships and Vehicles

Both games feature a wide variety of ships and vehicles that players can use to explore, trade, and engage in combat. Elite Dangerous has a massive selection of ships, ranging from small, nimble fighters to massive capital ships. Each ship has its own unique characteristics and can be customized with various weapons, modules, and other equipment.

Star Citizen also features a variety of ships and vehicles, but they are more detailed and customizable than those in Elite Dangerous. Players can customize their ships with a wide range of weapons, shields, engines, and other components. Star Citizen also features ground vehicles, such as buggies and tanks, that players can use to explore planets and moons.

The following table highlights the major differences between Elite Dangerous and Star Citizen −


Elite Dangerous

Star Citizen


Elite Dangerous can be played in Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, and Play Station 4.

Star Citizen can only be played in Microsoft Windows.

Game State

Elite Dangerous has started its development in 2012 and has been released in December 2014. Currently, it gets frequent updates and fixes.

Star Citizen has started its development in 2011 but is still not released. Although it was initially scheduled for release in 2014, Cloud Imperium Games announced that it is still under development procedures.

Micro- transactions

Elite Dangerous only offers to players the ability to buy several paint jobs for their space crafts.

Star Citizen is full of micro- transactions including buying currency, buying ships, and has recently added the opportunity for players to buy billions of kilometers of virtual land plots.

Target Players

Elite Dangerous aims to cater to those who just want to hop into the virtual world, play for a couple of hours, either alone or with a group of friends, and then go back to the real world.

Star Citizen has the intention of grabbing the players’ complete attention, draw them into cyberspace and giving them endless possible virtual scenarios with various venues to discover and explore.


In Elite Dangerous, even though one’s avatar can be observed because of recent updates, the focus is on a player being the space ship, perceiving the universe through the cockpit.

In Star Citizen, the emphasis is on one’s avatar instead of its space craft. This is done so that the player can both fly ships and engage in “FPS- PvP” (First Person Shooter- Player versus Player) as well.


In conclusion, Elite Dangerous and Star Citizen are both excellent space simulation games that offer players a deep, immersive experience. However, they differ in several key areas, such as their gameplay, multiplayer, graphics, and ships and vehicles.

Elite Dangerous has a more established and refined gameplay system, while Star Citizen is still evolving and adding new features. Elite Dangerous also has more accessible multiplayer modes, while Star Citizen has a more immersive persistent universe. Ultimately, both games are worth checking out for any fan of space simulation games.

Updated on: 18-Apr-2023

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