Star Citizen Patch 3.18, the space game’s biggest update to date, is now available

Massive Star Citizen Patch 3.18, titled “Lasting Legacies” and heralded by director Chris Roberts as “the biggest Star Citizen update yet” for one of the most ambitious space games on PC, is now available. With an overhaul to the cargo system, the introduction of salvage, new locations and updates to existing locations, and many more additional features including racetracks, there’s certainly plenty to explore – so let’s go over it all again in patch 3.18.

Headlines in Star Citizen 3.18 include a complete overhaul of the game’s ship cargo system. This allows players to pick up and move individual cargo of all types, and you can now manually organize your actual cargo crates in your ship with a tractor beam, with the option to align them to a grid for quick and easy placement.

A new “Sand Cave” archetype has been added to several planets and moons in Stanton, with unique cave formations to explore and an adorable creature called the Stone Bug residing within them. Also of note is the introduction of “Persistent Entity Streaming” – essentially this means that dynamic objects will now persist forever even if they are not currently owned or owned by a player, which should make locations feel more consistent.

Salvage, scratch and soft death

Salvage is now fully implemented, with options to strip and repair the hull, either by hand (with a new Greycat multi-tool attachment) or with systems like the Aegis Reclaimer and the new Drake Vulture ship. You can disassemble, rebuild and store parts and use the resulting material to repair or sell ships. You can scrape the hulls of ships without shields and manually remove their cargo crates with a handheld tractor beam to claim them as your own.

The update also introduces “vehicle soft death,” a state ships fall into when a critical component is damaged. These stranded ships can be recovered by other parties using the Aegis Reclaimer or Drake Vulture. Players aboard a ship that suffers a soft death will not be killed – but with the multifunction display, weapons, engines, and thrusters all disabled, their only option is to abandon ship until further notice.

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New locations and overhauls

Several new points of interest have been introduced, while other locations are receiving major improvements. The Daymar Crash Site is a “large ruined settlement” that promises many secrets to be uncovered over the course of several missions. A number of bounty and assassination missions have been introduced to the platforms of Orison.

Security Post Kareah will now play a more central role now that the Crusader Security Force has moved in and is storing their confiscated contraband. The station is off-limits to civilians without proper permission, but you can use more violent entry methods. Criminal players can fight their way through the completely redesigned station and – if they can take down a station boss – have the opportunity to use the station’s smuggling machine to distribute a limited supply of drugs.

But that’s not all, as there are over 30 new small derelict outposts to discover throughout Stanton. Along with the introduction of the sand caves mentioned above, dozens of rivers and lakes have been spread across the star system – these come with their own “biome-specific object rule sets” depending on where they are found.

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New ship and time trial race tracks

There is a new Star Citizen ship in 3.18 – the Drake Vulture is a light salvage ship which, as mentioned above, is very handy for mining parts from stranded or wrecked ships. Six new community-focused race locations are now being introduced. These are unlocked as players complete Time Trial missions. There is also a new racetrack at the Orison Vision Center, built specifically for the Greycat PTV.

Elsewhere, the update includes new courier delivery missions based on the local delivery companies for each individual system within Stanton. There’s also an overhaul to the justice system, which developer Cloud Imperium Games says should make things less punishing for players with lower-level crimes. There are also a number of tweaks to vehicle speed and combat balance. Most notably, ballistic weapons will now be better against shields but worse against armor.

Star Citizen’s final release date is yet to be announced, but there’s plenty to uncover if you’re one of the game’s many Kickstarter backers. Developer Cloud Imperium has also reassured players that the size of your Star Citizen ship isn’t as important as you think. If you just can’t get enough space exploration in your lifetime, you’ll be happy to know that Starfield’s release date is finally here.

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