The loaner ship matrix allows Star Citizen players to continue playing when their primary ship isn’t ready, undergoing repairs, or otherwise unavailable. Loaner ships serve as temporary replacements and are only available to players who own game packages.
As your game develops and undergoes revision, its loaner ship matrix may undergo frequent change. Read on for more details!
Why do I have a loaner ship?
Star Citizen’s Loaner Ship Matrix system provides players with temporary ships when their primary vessels are unavailable, providing continuity in the gameplay experience, encouraging commerce among players, and providing valuable testing and feedback during the development of the game. This solution offers multiple advantages that include keeping gameplay continuous while enabling player commerce, providing testing feedback during the development of the game, and giving valuable testing results during game design processes.
Loaner ships are designed to allow players to continue enjoying the game when their primary ship is unflyable, undergoing renovation, or removed due to development issues. They also allow testing different ship types and gameplay styles without spending large sums on new vessels.
Loaner ships are also used to serve as temporary replacements for ships purchased through pledges that have yet to become flight-ready, such as the 600i Explorer concept ship that cannot yet be flown in Arena Commander. When this occurs, players are provided a loaner ship of similar design (Cyclone in this instance) while their respective boat (s) remain under development – Freelancer MAX/Retaliator both feature Aurora MR loaners for gameplay while in the development phase.
Technical and Development Constraints
Loaner ship systems can be complex to administer as the game evolves. Adding or subtracting loaners may divert significant development time and funds from other aspects of the game, making it challenging to balance player needs with team demands.
However, loans can also be frustrating for players. Although they intend to provide an equivalent experience as owning their primary ship would, some players find them lacking the unique features and functionality of the original vessel. Furthermore, changes to the loaner ship matrix may cause further dissatisfaction amongst players who may not understand why certain vessels have been admitted or removed and may express their frustration to developers directly. Regardless of its downsides, however, the loaner ship matrix remains a critical aspect of Star Citizen and increases player satisfaction and engagement within this game.
What is the loaner ship matrix?
The Loaner Ship Matrix allows players to continue enjoying Star Citizen even if their purchased ships are still under development and not flyable. Under this system, for each boat you own, which is in effect or unflyable, another will be given out until your original one becomes flight-ready again.
Loaner ships for Star Citizen are determined based on both the size and type of ships you own, as well as which game mode they’re intended to be used in. So, for instance, if you own the Freelancer MAX designed to be used in Arena Commander mode, then your loaner ship matrix may shift over time as new features of Star Citizen emerge – you can keep track of these changes by regularly consulting the official patch notes for Star Citizen.
Loaner ship matrices offer several key benefits to game development teams and gamers, including creating a seamless gameplay experience, encouraging player commerce, and providing valuable testing and feedback during the development cycle. There may also be some drawbacks associated with using such an approach – which you should be wary of before proceeding further with your plans.
Maintaining an ever-evolving loaner ship list can be tricky to keep track of. With changes based on ship availability, development status, and gameplay balancing occurring often enough, it can cause confusion and inconsistency for players who must constantly adapt to different boat setups.
Another major downside of Star Citizen loaner ships is their similarity, making it hard to select an ideal ship and trying out different types of boats more challenging than necessary. This may limit players from experiencing all the gameplay possibilities that Star Citizen provides.
Unfortunately, loaner ships are limited resources, leading to some difficulty for players as they try to find one suitable to their play style. Some players may reserve loaner ships only for specific missions – making it harder for other players to find suitable matches for themselves.
How do I get a loaner ship?
When purchasing an inflight-ready ship via our pledge system, we provide loaner ships as an aide-memoire until it becomes flight-ready. Please refer to our loaner ship matrix below; each ship may differ slightly and serve as a best-case substitute until that ship becomes part of our persistent universe.
Due to current restrictions in Arena Commander, certain ships may require a loaner to play correctly. For instance, Freelancer MAXs need a Hornet loaner when playing PvE and AC. Loaners do not stack; each vessel of its type will have an individual loaner ship. Loaner lists will be regularly updated as new concept ships are sold, and loans will automatically be withdrawn when original vessels become Flight Ready; they will also be edited upon significant game updates.
What happens if I lose my loaner ship?
Suppose one or more ships in your hangar are unavailable due to being under construction or not yet flight-ready. In that case, CIG may offer loaner ships as a temporary solution until its original counterpart becomes flight-ready. Loaners do not serve as replacements – should a loaner ship prove itself better, it will be updated accordingly while its loaner counterpart will go away.