Drifter is an open-world sandbox space trading game with a procedurally-generated galaxy 100,000 light years across made up of tens of thousands of star systems to explore and features an original soundtrack by composer Danny Baranowsky.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mixed (138 reviews) - 68% of the 138 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Mar 4, 2014

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Early Access Game

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Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

“Hello!

Because Drifter is an open-world sandbox game we feel like it’s a good fit for Early Access. The game is already enjoyable and relatively bug free, however, it is missing a number of features that we feel should be in the game before calling it 1.0. We hope that this way you’ll be able to have fun with the game while it’s still being worked on; this will give us the ability to create the best game possible based on your support and feedback.

We’ve also created a roadmap on the Drifter wiki (http://celsiusgs.com/drifter/wiki/Development_Roadmap) so you can see where the game is currently, and where it’s headed, to help you make an informed decision before you support the game.

While there will likely be some bugs and hiccups along the way, we will strive to ensure that Drifter is playable and relatively polished during its journey to completion.

Thank you!

Early Access Pricing


Because Drifter is still in development, and as a way of saying thank you for supporting us, the game will be $11.99 while on Early Access. This is 20% off its intended full price of $14.99.”
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Recent updates View all (12)

July 22

Drifter 0.6.6 is out!



Drifter 0.6.6 is now live and we've got a bunch of new stuff and fixes!

Some of the highlights of this week's build include:

- A Cargo Scanner module which can scan both ships and fixed containers
- Some NPCs now have random cargo in their holds (for you to scan, and do nothing illegal with, surely)
- Floating containers and ore now display what they contain instead of simply "Container" or "Ore"
- Beam weapons have been tweaked and no longer do damage beyond their intended maximum range

That said, the full details as to what's new in 0.6.6 are listed below and are also over on the wiki: http://celsiusgs.com/drifter/wiki/Current_Build_and_Known_Bugs


1 comments Read more

July 15

Drifter 0.6.5 is out!



This week's build is now live!

The biggest change this week is NPCs are now created using a new algorithm which gives them different ship equipment and weapons. This algorithm determines the "difficulty" of the NPC based on the current system's safety rating and chooses its weapons, armor, etc. based on this.

I haven't really done a lot of balance testing on this, so hopefully this first attempt is reasonable. The intent was to make combat a bit more difficult in certain places so keep that in mind but please let me know how you find it as you play!

Also I've added initial support for the Steam Controller to the game. You can give it a shot by selecting the Steam Controller preset in the Controller Config page of the settings.

That said, the full details as to what's new in 0.6.5 are listed below and are also over on the wiki: http://celsiusgs.com/drifter/wiki/Current_Build_and_Known_Bugs


5 comments Read more
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About This Game

Drifter is an open-world sandbox space trading game with a procedurally-generated galaxy 100,000 light years across made up of tens of thousands of star systems to explore and features an original soundtrack by composer Danny Baranowsky. Take on the role of a spaceship captain attempting to eke out a living among the stars by trading goods between star systems, hunting pirates for bounties, mining asteroids for valuable ore, or even becoming a pirate yourself. The choice is yours!

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP SP1
    • Processor: x86 1.5 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256MB OpenGL 1.5 compatable
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: OS X 10.6
    • Processor: x86-64 1.5 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256MB OpenGL 1.5 compatible
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu Linux 12.04 LTS or equivalent
    • Processor: x86 1.5 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256MB OpenGL 1.5 compatible
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Mixed (138 reviews)
Recently Posted
warhawkfighter
( 1.0 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: July 23
I honestly don't know what it is. The idea seemed interesting but then I played it...for 63 minutes...
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Leafly
( 20.9 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: July 22
Fun game with great controls. Love exploring this galaxy and going on missions.
+--BA
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Phacops
( 0.4 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: July 7
Looked interesting long before I realized how often these Early Access games are not "Early Access" but "Happy to accept money and promise access....then only update enough to make it seem like it's still going to come someday"

Updates infrequent, if non-existent....with a procedurally generated universe containing no gameplay to bind it together.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Braingasim
( 97.2 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: July 7
I have been playing this game for about a week now. Started out very confusing since the game play instructions are very basic.
This is a BETA, so you need to go into this knowing that also. There will be tweaks along the way. Possibly resets as well.
I have played MULTIPLE beta games in the past (Silk Road Online, Matrix Online, Americas Army, Age of Conan and more).
I have tested out mining & trading. Currently, its not too exciting, but, its a Beta.
I have tested doing trade runs as well. Its a good way to get started to make some credits. After a few runs, I looked into other things.
The quests mostly seem to all work. I have found a few kinks, but mostly happens when you cancel a quest and the quest item is still in your inventory. If that's the case, just jettison it or abandon it in a station.
The most fun so far for me is doing bounty hunting. Just find a 0% safe system and wait for them to come to you. Please keep in mind, you should at least have your weapons upgraded. The bounty rewards will add up and you will be able to upgrade everything else.
The in-game music is very nice, graphics are also very impressive!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Lilz67
( 2.3 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: July 2
Updates in this early access have slowed down to a near halt. I like Drifter, but I can't recommend it as it is and the final product being released just seems farther and farther away every time I come back. Not yet, maybe soon.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Garak the Tailor|trade.tf
( 2.9 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: June 10
Drifter was a little game I picked up awhile back. And I don't recommend it right now, for a few reasons.

Pros
The drifting mechanic is pretty cool.

Cons
Super confusing, and the tutorial barely tells you half of what you need to know
Icons don't have descritions when hovered over
No form of smaller jets on your craft to say, change direction without just pointing your nose that way and gunning it
Getting around the massive solar systems, even with slipstream, takes an age and a half
The maps are extremely hard to use, as you can't click anywhere on the map to zoom on that point, it has to be an actual planet, star ect.
So far the game is both incredibly bare-bones and incredibly confusing.
Having a drifting mechanic with no method of lock-on to keep your ship pointing at an enemy makes it hard to do anything other than drive at them head on blasting your guns. This turns combat into more of a joust with only the guy with better shields winning.
Your ship is stuck on a 2D plane. You can't fly up or down at all.
No cockpit view.

You could blame me just not fully understanding the game, but the parts I do understand at least basically (the main problem is the game desribes 0 things in the tutorial outside of flying your ship, which is basically WASD and space...) make the game (that's been in development 4 YEARS!!! ) feel like an early alpha demo.

I bought this game cause it had inertia. I should have saved my money and bought Enemy Starfighter, cause that was basically this, with more content, better combat, a better inertia system (there's a key to enable drifting, cause in that universe people realised it was stupid to just let ships drift around all the time) and on a 3D plane instead, with a cockpit view.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
gartheastwood
( 0.4 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: June 5
Bought this when it came up on offer a while back. Long before I self imposed a ban on myself all "early access" rip-off pieces of ♥♥♥♥. (Caused by "Elite : Dangerous") Can't remember what I paid for it, but even if it was 75% off (which I doubt) it was not worth the price of a pint of mild!
The full £8.99 is an UTTER RIP-OFF for this piece of junk!

HOLY ♥♥♥♥! I paid a whopping £7.46 for this utter BILGE. Must've been only 20% off! "Early Access" robberies never do have good offers! And it was a full 12 months ago when I bought it..... still, I am going to demand a refund for this utter turd!

All star systems are vapid, with the same layout, same G-class yellow star in the centre. Only a handful of poor planet textures, planets don't actually do anything anyway. All terran class planets look exactly Earth.
Not a lot of ships.
Even less weapons / upgrades.
Ie, there's simply nothing to spend your money on.
Terrible GFX.
Terrible SFX.
Terrible UI.
Terrible controls.
Seems unfinished. Seems?! Ha! It ain't 1/4 finished! And never will be!
No factions.
No "living universe".
Only a handful of repetitive "missions"
Seems this will never be finished. The dev seems to have absconded with the money already.

An empty game that I was bored with even after 0.4hrs of play!

Absolute cow clart! Compared to games like "Transcendence" and "Vega Strike" which are FREE and open source..... Drifter is an absolute punch in the nose to gamers, and just a money making scam. Quite frankly the dev has mugged those unfortunates who bought this. Just like David "Robber" Braben did with "Elite : Dangerous (to your bank balance)"

This game should really be titled "GRIFTER", as in "confidence trickster"!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
LHookins
( 258.8 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: June 1
I have been playing this game a lot and dearly loving it.

Drifter is still in "Early Access" at this time, which basically means it's in beta. I'm playing version 0.6.3. Even though it's in beta it's surprisingly bug-free, but not every feature intended for the final game is implemented yet. That's ok, the game is actually quite complete as it is. More content and additional features are just icing on the cake. While there are some glitches, most are minor and generally just cosmetic. Expect subsequent versions of the game to be improved.

A lot of this game's depth isn't obvious on the surface when you first look at it. While the enemy AI seems overly simplistic at first, eventually you'll see the enemy ships doing other things. Instead of just performing a slash attack, they'll turn and run if they think they're being overwhelmed, for example. And while it's easy to fight just one enemy, you can get into situations where you are facing a lot of bad guys at once, which can get pretty challenging.

The game is well balanced, with simple missions to get you started, and more difficult missions after you learn your way around. These aren't labelled as to which are easy and which are hard, you get a variety of missions from the very start and you'll have to pick and choose what you're comfortable with.

You have a good variety of ships to try out (there are 13 currently in the game) but some are better than others and you'll quickly find your favorites.

There are a lot of weapon and equipment upgrades as well, and sometimes buying even a single upgrade changes the nature of how you fight battles or even just fly around.

Trading is well implemented, with a lot of different types of systems with varying prices of goods, and there is a major metagame involved in finding good items to trade and good trade runs. While trading isn't useful in the early game, once you've made enough money to buy lots of expensive trade goods, you can make more money in trading than you can killing bad guys, even with a smaller ship.

I've written a detailed guide, available in the Guides section, that describes everything I've found that you can do and how to do it. It has a lot more information than what I could fit into a review. Check it out.

Be sure to check out the various gameplay videos. They'll tell you very quickly if Drifter is something you'd like.

Drifter is a fairly simple game, with lots of stuff to do if you go looking for it. If you want a more complete and complex Space Game experience, check out Elite: Dangerous. Right now, Drifter is quite enough for me.

Loving this game!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
adam_berkeley
( 2.0 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: May 21
Drifter is a good solid platform it has good graphics and solid game play and a well thought out game play mechanic all it needs now is a solid story and some good characters to make this a good game, great work in progress but needs more to be fun and engaging.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
colethelion321
( 7.0 hrs on record )
Early Access Review
Posted: May 17
idk. its a good game. i dont know why its still in early acsess. it hasnt been updated for ever. but i liked it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
Recommended
97.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: July 7
I have been playing this game for about a week now. Started out very confusing since the game play instructions are very basic.
This is a BETA, so you need to go into this knowing that also. There will be tweaks along the way. Possibly resets as well.
I have played MULTIPLE beta games in the past (Silk Road Online, Matrix Online, Americas Army, Age of Conan and more).
I have tested out mining & trading. Currently, its not too exciting, but, its a Beta.
I have tested doing trade runs as well. Its a good way to get started to make some credits. After a few runs, I looked into other things.
The quests mostly seem to all work. I have found a few kinks, but mostly happens when you cancel a quest and the quest item is still in your inventory. If that's the case, just jettison it or abandon it in a station.
The most fun so far for me is doing bounty hunting. Just find a 0% safe system and wait for them to come to you. Please keep in mind, you should at least have your weapons upgraded. The bounty rewards will add up and you will be able to upgrade everything else.
The in-game music is very nice, graphics are also very impressive!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
2.3 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: July 2
Updates in this early access have slowed down to a near halt. I like Drifter, but I can't recommend it as it is and the final product being released just seems farther and farther away every time I come back. Not yet, maybe soon.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 10 people (60%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: July 7
Looked interesting long before I realized how often these Early Access games are not "Early Access" but "Happy to accept money and promise access....then only update enough to make it seem like it's still going to come someday"

Updates infrequent, if non-existent....with a procedurally generated universe containing no gameplay to bind it together.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
20.9 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: July 22
Fun game with great controls. Love exploring this galaxy and going on missions.
+--BA
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
104 of 124 people (84%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
37.5 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: July 30, 2015
There is nothing happening with this game aside from meaningless trade item updates.

Whats actually wrong:

1. No factions. This alone breaks the game by it's very nature. There are things to do like trading and mining but these things are pointless given the fact that you can just hang around a space station killing everyone who leaves and then selling the loot to said space station without anyone being upset about the means in which you acquired these goods.

2. There is no galaxy. It's just an illusion. All solar systems are basically empty, sure there may be a star and some planets but the only thing to interact with is space stations. A vast majority of the galaxy has zero space stations so there is no reason to venture beyond more than 3-5 solar systems in your entire play though. Also, every Earth-like planet is literally Earth.

3. No AI whatsoever. All enemy ships follow the exact same pattern of attack. This is most evident if you alter the games files to allow yourself enough speed to outrun the enemy. All enemies will spot you, dive towards you firing at you while never trying to lead you with there weapons. They will fly by you and turn to shoot again. If you go faster than them by editing the games files to get in front of them they will ignore you and turn away from you to shoot at where you should be.

After collecting all the ships and playing through the game I initially thought there was a lot of reason to think Drifter had a really bright future. However, after seeing none of this games issues ever being addressed in an honest light by the Dev and seeing updated that included literally nothing but items the players could have added themselves by playing with the game files I cannot recommend this game to anyone. Nor do I think anything is really going to come of Drifter. Instead of making a game I believe this developer is concentrating on making the illusion of a game.

Tip: You can save at a station, exit the game, reload and the station will have 50% of it's inventory respawned!
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93 of 109 people (85%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: March 4, 2014
Tons of potential, but in my mind not really ready for even early access. The tutorial was frustrating to figure out, the radial menu is very much not clear. My main problem though is the game is paced way too slow. My first mission I got wanted me to deliver an object to another system. Ok, fine. I figured out how to plot the course and noticed it was 57 jumps away...ok... I did my first jump to see how it works and noticed the jump drive disables for a 60 second cooldown. 57 jumps = 57 minutes IF you jump exactly on the cooldown second every time. That's pretty poor design.

Buy it if you want to support it. There is tons of potential here and I expect it will be greatly improved. This is the reason I am recommending it, but if you don't know how to read my review and can only look at the thumb then I can't help you.
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69 of 76 people (91%) found this review helpful
Recommended
29.7 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: January 3, 2015
I know this game has missed its original launch window by a lot, however I am so glad they aren't rushing. Even looking at the 8 months since last beta release would make you think this is not worth investing in as it may turn out as vapourware. I'd implore you to follow the main Dev on Twitter @celsiusgs as he is always tweeting screenshots and progress. As well as interacting with fans. I just tweeted him an hour ago about an issue and he already responded.

So far (version 0.53) it is a lot of fun. You start off with a capable, fast ship with a pair of small lasers outfitted. From the first few minutes, without upgrades, I was able to pick a fight with 3 other ships, destroying one and escaping in my damaged ship. I wish I had better macro support on Mac, my Saitek Command Unit would cover most of my controls but it's a painful process on my platform. That being said, the controls are pretty straight forward but I'd like the option to access all options from the keyboard. If I am walking into a situation that I know I may not be able to handle then I plot an escape route. It would be much quicker to hit a key to engage my pre-planned jump rather than click on my ship then click the jump button from the radial menu that pops up.

Trading has been fun, although I'm less of a trader. Prices do very heavily system to system so its worth taking the time to learn some good routes and run them. Myself though, I prefer taking patrol missions to chase down pirates for funds. Now exploring is where this gets really fun for me. Since its a 20,000 star system, procedually generated galaxy there is so much unknown. There is greater diversity, more detailed systems and features that will make it all the more fun down the road but as of the May release I already enjoy exploration. I played Outer Empires online for a few years and I loved exploring the 20,000 star system galaxy for years.

When NPC communication comes out it will be far more interactive and immersive, I look forward to that as an Explorer. So far my interactive choices are protect, shoot or leave alone. Pretty fun choices but the promised NPC comms system will be a huge step forward.

Well thats my impressions of the current version.

The progress towards 1.0 is taking a bit of time but the new features, graphical updates and love being put into this game make me patient to wait. Until then I'll enjoy what I can currently play: 8 ships as a trader, explorer, pirate, merc, etc in a 20,000 star system sandbox. Somehow I think I'll occupy my time.
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86 of 103 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
3.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: November 9, 2015
I backed Drifter on Kickstarter. It got funded in juni 2012. More than 3 years later next to nothing has changed. Might still have potential, but the developer probably doesn't care anymore. Very infrequent updates change next to nothing.
I'll revise this review if this game ever gets finished.
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61 of 68 people (90%) found this review helpful
32 people found this review funny
Recommended
20.9 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: February 5, 2015
If you want to play Elite: Dangerous but can't run it, this is the perfect game for you.
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59 of 69 people (86%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.0 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: March 4, 2014
I've played Drifter for 70+ hours pre-Steam, and while there is a steep learning curve at the moment and a lack of content in some areas, the level of detail and the all around playability already make it one of the better space trading sims out there.

One of the first things you'll notice when starting a new game is that your ship follows the laws of momentum, and doesn't come to a full stop every time you thrust in a different direction. Couple this with projectiles and energy weapons that take time to reach their target, and you get tense and often disorienting battles, fighting as much with the laws of physics as with the pirates that want whatever it is you have.

Outside of a few core systems the galaxy is procedurally populated with star systems and destinations, some friendly and reliable, others viciously hostile teeming with marauders. there's trading opportunities everywhere, and it's up to you how safe you want to play it.

As for the trading, it's a steady if slightly shallow source of income. However the framework for it is in place, with regional price differences and the need to balance what you can carry with what will make you the most money, and with this being Early Access new content is always in the works.

Like with trading, the available missions are steady cash flow but a touch mundane, with patrol missions being the preferred combo of seeing new places and blowing up things.

All in all, the fanatical level of polish and the overall level of detail, combined with the devotion of the devs and the steady stream of new content make Drifter a very highly recommended purchase.
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