What do people actually want from Frontier re: support for "racetracks"?

A good while ago someone/s knocked up an SRV racing toolset, whereby a track could be defined and races timed - complete with HUD overlay. As best memory serves they did a double-check with FDev and were told to desist - I suspect as they had to hook into game code.

If a bunch of talented hobbyists could produce this (2 or 3 years back) then I fail to understand why FDev hasn't implemented it subsequently. SRV racing and associated leagues seems like a complete no-brainer to me.

Just my tuppence.
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I would like Frontier to just dip their toe in the water initially.
Keep user created content out on the first implementation and produce a couple of basic race track designs.

Edit a couple of existing starports to include racetrack-like architecture and allow the community to fill in the blanks.

One or two planetary installations tweaked to allow for SRV racing
One or two Coriolis, Orbis or Outpost layouts changed to allow for SLF or ship races

There are a lot of different layouts out there already so adding one or two with the right sort of architecture that could be considered a Racetrack would be minimal disruption to existing game mechanics.

Once these have been in game for a couple of months, only then look at improving. (in reality it could be coding to racetrack 2.0 immediately after the first release but it wouldn't have to be released in the next update)
There's scope for an II here:

Stage 1: Exploration data to find suitable sites
Stage 2: Drive out the pirate faction in charge of the system
Stgae 3: Haulage to build it
Stage 4: Inaugural races

If FDev work with the community to find a suitable location and design the course layout, then it would still be a player-driven activity, just one that FDev are actively supporting - like the initial Colonia expansion.

Race timings could be done with a mechanic similar to the base/guardian scanning timers, so potentially isn't a huge amount of development effort
As has already been mentioned: Marker limpets, but with as much re-use of existing assets as possible:

Use the dashboard bobblehead alphabet paired with the station advertisement projectors to have huge illuminated markers that stick to the surface.
Then it's up to the creativity of the race hosts to design the race track.

Deleted member 121570

I don't think racetracks should be added to the game. There's like literally millions of planets out there with plenty of places that are usable as racetracks already. Identifying these and developing tracks is really fun, and it'd be lost if there were 'prebuilt' tracks.

Installations are already raceable: Last year we had a whole season of installation races in ERF, and they were awesome. Folks worked out a good route through the installation, and that was the course. Same with planetary bases - we've raced these and they're good. It's not hard to work out a route and for people to follow this with a bit of organisation.

One thing that would help is stopping the spawning of hundreds of NPCs having a battle royale at installations so that players could actually USE them again in this way.

For planetary stuff - defining waypoints would help if these could be shared. But nothing much more than that, imo.
I really don't want ED to transform into a racing game....

Right now it isn’t an Anything Game.

It’s a sandbox, full of sand. We just have no shovels, buckets or water to do much of anything with, so I’m not opposed to adding some elements that people could use to do Something with.

Let’s try this:

A Checkpoint Beacon, in two versions, one a floating version, that, when deployed, forms a ring of light. The other, a ground based version, that forms a light bar.

Now, what could you do with these?

You could make race tracks. You could use them as target indicators. You could use them to highlight a point of interest. You could use them to find your way, You could use them in a variety of ways. Or you could choose not to use them for anything. How is this bad in any way?
Agree, simple mechanism, the ability to drop flashing markers, two colors (red and green) and plot out a course.

Probably would still take a significant amount of programming to make a course persistent.
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You know, I’d be happy to paint my SRV a bright colour and just park it up as a marker whilst others race. I could also keep an eye out for cheating.

I only say this because with no help from FDev at all, races exist. The organic nature and ingenuity of it all feels proper for this game. Minimum tools, use what you have.
Some FD implemented tracks with officially sanctioned races done monthly.

Top 3 spots in each race are awarded unique Paintjobs or Engine Detailing.
All CMDRS present for the entire race, spectators included, get a unique Bobblehead.
I would prefer a few good, well made race tracks in select systems from frontier. Maybe one for alliance, independent, fed, and imp

I think the quality would be much better this way as opposed to the deployable traxks some talk about. And it would be kind of a community thing
I’ve been advocating for Player Beacons for years.

About the size of a Nav Beacon.
Can be deployed in space or on ground.
When you deploy one - you enter some text.
When another CMDR scans that Beacon it reports back:
1) The input text.
2) CMDR name and time stamp of first to scan.
3) CMDR name and time stamp of most recent to scan.

These things could be used to set up waypoints for races, treasure hunts, territorial claims, taunts, story lines - lots of things.

They should be fairly expensive, and there are some questions like
Should the show up on a Honk or FSS scan? Should they be destructible? How many characters? Etc.

But they would enable a lot of location based emergent gameplay.
As far as racetracks and gameplay similar to that, it would be easier for F-D to make time-limited beacons available for sale in the loadout screen *(like they do other limpets)- I would say a limit of 30 minutes with a self destruct feature after that time - placeable on land or in space for system races, treasure hunts etc.
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