Gaming

Thoughts on transferring my Elite Dangerous save from Xbox to PC

When it was first announced that Frontier was stopping further development on the console editions of Elite Dangerous I was really disappointed. My first impressions of the Odyssey expansion on PC was not encouraging so I was hoping to see it on console with a raft of optimisations. But that was not to be with Xbox and PlayStation players being denied the chance to put boots on the ground. I was also trying to figure if I was willing to make the jump over to PC as it was a game I preferred sitting on the couch playing rather than in front of my PC.

It’s been a few weeks now since the console to PC transfer service was rolled out on Frontier’s site and so it was time to finally bite the bullet and give it a go. Before I could start though there was a little preparation work required, including spending any remaining Arx credits which don’t transfer and either deleting my PC save game or starting a new account. I chose the delete path – I had spent about forty hours on that version and hadn’t progressed anywhere near as much as on Xbox plus my existing PC purchases would be combined making it convenient too.

The process to transfer is pretty simple. You select your console account (Xbox or PlayStation), then your PC/Frontier account, and finally choose a new commander name and it’ll go off and do the work for you. A nice touch is when you select the console account it gives a brief summary of that save including your commander’s current location and the number of ships owned… more than enough to confirm it’s correct. I did have an issue at first with using my Xbox Gamertag which wasn’t explained clearly (to me) but removing a space resolved that and within fifteen minutes I was in the game with my transferred commander.

Great news was everything I wanted was there: my ships, money and Elite rankings. Permits also transferred and my Founders Permit (for early backers on PC) was retained so I didn’t lose that little badge of honour. In that way it was a success. The downside for me initially was when I started playing and found that while the game runs better than at the launch of Odyssey, my humble GTX 970 is still not up to the task requiring me to further dial down the display settings. As a result I’m on the hunt for a new graphics card which is still very much a seller’s market with older cards still in high demand.

GPU shenanigans aside, I’m impressed with how well the transfer worked. The developers kept it simple and informative and apart from my issues with the commander name it did its job perfectly. And that may really work its favour. I had previously believed it may be difficult to get console players to jump platforms, but with the team giving away copies of Elite Dangerous Horizons and a having a save transfer tool that gets them into the game quickly is a minor win. Let’s now see if this will allow Frontier to get some consistency into their release schedule.

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