Elite Dangerous: Arena, the multiplayer standalone of space sim Elite Dangerous is free to download and keep until Monday July 11th, 2016.

Unlike Steam’s weekend offers – where some games become free from Friday to Monday – this game will be yours indefinitely as long as you get it within the time period.

All you need to do is go to the Steam page of the game and click “install game”. You don’t need to wait for the 7.7 GB file to come down, you just need to claim the game so it sticks around in your Steam library.

Alternatively, it’s also free to download off of developers Frontier Developments’ website. It usually sells there for £4.99 (R95).

The official blog post announcing this is rather threadbare and makes no mention of way the offer is in place. It only mentions how the levelling within the game works and the fact that owners of Elite Dangerous have access to Arena anyway.

Aside from being a nice gesture, we have to wonder if this is just a way to improve the game’s player base, just like Evolve recently did by becoming free to play. That may not be far from the truth as both games boasted low player numbers at less than 300 in the past week.

As Evolve’s numbers seem to have skyrocketed since the change, maybe the same will happen for Elite Dangerous: Arena.

[Image – / Nescus]