If you have friends who are buying in to the Elite: Dangerous Odyssey expansion and you’re going to remain playing in the Horizons base game, you might want to consider coordinating your time together, because when the Odyssey expansion launches on May 19th for PC, Horizons players will effectively be locked out from playing with Odyssey players.
“All Elite Dangerous: Odyssey players will gain access to the new features, including planetary improvements, enhanced lighting, and textures. The differences will mean that Elite Dangerous: Horizons players cannot share a gameplay session with those playing Odyssey. However, Odyssey owners will be able to share a session with and play with those in Horizons by launching the game in Horizons mode – though if they do this, they will temporarily not have access to the new Odyssey features.”
As disheartening as this news may be to some, it is a temporary matter: Once the Odyssey expansion arrives to console players, there are plans to bring an update across all platforms that will unify Odyssey and Horizons players once more, meaning Horizons players will get the benefit of new planetary tech but won’t be able to take part in on-foot features. That said, the console version of Odyssey still doesn’t have a release date beyond sometime in the fall, so it’s going to be some time between now and then.