Well, this is one way to encourage players to race through your endgame content.

Frontier developments will give 10,000 to the first Elite: Dangerous player to reach the Triple Elite status.

But don't hold your breath - to reach Triple Elite status you need to attain Elite status in each of the three disciplines: combat, trading and exploration.

A separate 1000 cash prize goes to the first player who attains Elite status in each of those, but it's the 10,000 star prize that's turning heads within the Elite community.

There are caveats: to enter the "Race to Elite" competition you have to start from a fresh save on the release version of Elite: Dangerous that went live yesterday, starting with the Sidewinder space ship, 1000 CR, and using Open Play multiplayer mode only (not solo or friends groups).

You can use the Eagle starship that was offered as part of the Elite: Dangerous Mercenary Edition for a slight advantage, but otherwise Frontier wants a level playing field. The Cambridge developer will be on the lookout for cheaters, too: "We will manually look at the save files of the potential winners to verify this," it said.

Here's the breakdown, direct from the Frontier forum:

  • Elite in combat - 1000 or $1500 or €1200
  • Elite in exploration - 1000 or $1500 or €1200
  • Elite in trading - 1000 or $1500 or €1200
  • Elite in all three - 10,000 or $15,000 or €12,000

There is no time limit on the competition, which is a good thing given it'll take ages for a player to grind up to Elite status in all three categories.

The reaction to the competition from the Elite: Dangerous community has, largely, been positive, although there are some who have questioned the wisdom of encouraging players to burn through the space combat and trading game as quickly as possible.

Elite: Dangerous launched yesterday nearly two years after its Kickstarter raised 1.5m. In recent months Frontier has been dogged by a controversy over its decision to scrap a promised offline version of the game - a move that pushed some to demand a refund.

Dan Whitehead offered early impressions of Elite: Dangerous for Eurogamer:

"The game has kept my attention so far, and it's often so gorgeous to look at that I find myself tooling around an unexplored system just to see what the planets look like as they roll past," he wrote.

"It's changed a lot, and yet in so many ways it's hardly changed at all. Quite honestly, I'm still not sure how I feel about that."

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Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

Deputy Editor

Wesley is Eurogamer's deputy editor. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.

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