Horizons season expansion
Announced on August 5, 2015 at Gamescom, having entered beta on November 30, 2015 and being released on December 15, 2015 Elite Dangerous Horizons is a full price stand alone expansion, meaning that no purchase of the base game is required. Existing customers who purchase Horizons do get a small "loyalty bonus", as well as exclusive access to the Cobra Mk4 ship.
Horizons adds planetary landings, ground vehicles and bases, synthesis, and eventually looting and crafting as well as coop multicrew support for larger ships. Planetary landings feature procedurally generated planets, initially supporting only airless worlds. Players can choose to set down at planetary bases or at any point of their choosing, and can deploy a new six-wheeled ground vehicle called the SRV. This vehicle is equipped with weapons, a special "wave scanner" for finding resources and shipwrecks, a datalink system for hacking into bases, as well as special thrusters that can lift the vehicle up into the air for short periods of time. Thrusters in the wheels can be used to afix it to the ground on low-gravity worlds. Materials found on planets can be combined to boost ship jump range, synthesize repair materials, or upgrade weapons.
Horizons is billed as a "season of expansions", with plans for a more comprehensive looting and crafting system to be released in Q1 2016, as well as support for multiple players working cooperatively on the same ship. The types of worlds players can land on is set to be expanded during the season. However, Frontier have stated that landing on earthlike worlds is not going to be part of the Horizons expansion, but will come at a later stage.