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Star Citizen’s latest alpha update overhauls its game within a game

An Arena Commander overhaul, new ships, and a new mission

Cass Marshall is a news writer focusing on gaming and culture coverage, taking a particular interest in the human stories of the wild world of online games.

Star Citizen, the massive multiplayer space simulation title, continues to march through a very long development cycle. The game’s most recent patch, Alpha 3.20, adds new PvP modes, maps, race tracks, missions, ships, and more. The patch also overhauls the Arena Commander module, which is a game inside Star Citizen that allows players to get to the meat of a spaceship battle without having to set up their own ship and prepare for a trek.

The Arena Commander module was first added nearly 10 years ago in 2014, and it’s now been reworked from the top down. Firstly, the UI for interacting with the mode has been streamlined down to a single window. There are also new spawn screens that give players the ability to look at a 3D map, alter their ship’s loadout, and spawn in multiple crews.

While there are new dogfighting, space battles, and race modes, there are also some new FPS maps for players to try out in Arena Commander, including a Single Weapon Elimination mode with pistols only.

There’s also a new ship for all the space truckers who use Star Citizen to fulfill their hauling fantasies. The MISC Hull C is a ship with a massive haul and automated cargo loading systems, but it still has defensive armaments to ward off pirates. For those who prefer fast ships, the Mirai Fury LX uses transforming technology that allows it to squeeze through tight chokepoints and make quick turns.

There’s also a new salvage mission and localization options in the Fully Loaded update. In 2022, I played Star Citizen for the first time, and while the game is still in alpha after over a decade of development, Cloud Imperium Games has delivered parts of a compelling space simulator. The Fully Loaded update is another incremental step toward a far away finish line — if one exists — and while many have written off Star Citizen, the game has continued to draw in a fervent fanbase.