Frontier will soon start selling nameplates for Elite Dangerous spaceships.
You can, however, name your ship for free. When you've done so, your ship name will appear in multicrew grouping and in your heads-up display. And when other people scan you or target you in space they will be able to see your ship name in their user interface. This feature will be available for all players of Elite Dangerous (both base game and Horizons players) including PC, Xbox One and the upcoming PlayStation 4 release.
Cosmetic ship nameplates, though, are not free.
These nameplates will offer an added layer of cosmetic personalisation for Commanders "wanting to wear their name with pride, much like paint jobs and other cosmetics currently available in the store", Frontier's senior community manager Edward Lewis explained in a post on the Frontier forum.
Nameplates will be available in themed packs that cost £2, Lewis said. These packs will contain three designs, each of which will be available in three colours: black, white and grey. This makes a total of nine nameplates per pack.
After you buy a pack, you can use it across all of your ships. It's also worth noting each pack of nine variant plates lets you use that style across all of your current and future ships, too. And you can rename each individual ship as many times as you like.
"We believe this flexibility offers Commanders great value and is a great way to help support the continued development of Elite Dangerous," Lewis said.
Elite Dangerous fans had expressed concern after Frontier indicated that ship names would not be visible without the nameplates you have to pay real world money for.
In a video Q&A about the 2.3 beta, below, Elite Dangerous lead designer Sandro Sammarco said the only way for your ship name to show up under another player's scan is if you've purchased a nameplate (skip to the 8 min 35 sec mark). But Lewis clarified that when other people scan you or target you in space they will be able to see your ship name in their user interface.
Of course, Elite Dangerous players will be most interested in the name plates, which players will be able to see on the ships themselves, rather than as text in the user interface.