Frontier details the new "First Footfall" system arriving with Elite Dangerous: Odyssey

By Heidi Nicholas,
The Odyssey expansion for Elite Dangerous allows you to explore planets on foot for the first time, and celebrates this with the new "First Footfall" system, which records the first player to set foot on a newly-discovered planet.

Odyssey

Frontier has provided a little more info on how this will work in a Q&A over on the game's site. Although the console release of Elite Dangerous: Odyssey was delayed, it doesn't seem as though console players will miss out on the First Footfall experience. Community manager Stephen Benedetti says the number of landable planets in the game "will be in the billions... based on regions we’ve tested so far Odyssey will have around 20% more landable planets than the base game. Benedetti adds that "Elite Dangerous is a huge and expansive galaxy containing more than 400 billion star systems. To date, our players have traversed just 201 million of these systems which equates to around 0.05%. In the same way that new Commanders continue to join the world of Elite and make their own, personal discoveries, we have no doubt that commanders will have the opportunity to make their own discoveries for many years to come."

Not all planets can be explored on foot — it all depends on the environment of the planet itself, taking into account factors like temperature and gravity, and "in extreme conditions the ability to disembark will be blocked completely." Nor will First Footfall be available to claim for every planet, as "the galaxy of Elite Dangerous isn’t new, the year is 3307 and humans have been exploring space for more than 1,300 years. Planets and moons in human occupied systems, along with particular bodies of historical significance will have First Footfall already claimed." First Footfall only applies to planets and not to other new discoveries, and Benedetti also addresses what happens two players land on the same planet at the same time: "in the same way that Buzz Aldrin made way for Neil Armstrong to be the first man on the moon, the control to disembark is for an individual commander and there will always be someone first down the ladder, this accolade will not be shared between commanders."

Elite Dangerous: Odyssey is currently set to launch for consoles in autumn this year. We'll keep you posted.
Heidi Nicholas
Written by Heidi Nicholas
Hey, I'm Heidi! I've just finished studying a Masters in English Literature, but I've been obsessed with gaming since long before then. I began on the PS2 with Spyro, before graduating to the Xbox 360 and disappearing into Skyrim. I'm now a loyal RPG fan, but I still like to explore other genres — when I'm not playing Assassin's Creed Odyssey, or being lured back into Red Dead Redemption 2 or The Witcher 3!