Arena Commander is an in-universe spaceflight simulation by Original Systems that is used for entertainment and training. For players, it serves as a no-risk way to experiment with new Ships, fight off hordes of Vanduul or Pirates, and practice for future engagements.
Arena Commander has a variety of game modes for players to join and play; whether by themselves, with friends, or with other online players. The current set of game modes include:
- Dying Star (Pyro I)
- Broken Moon (Between Taranis II and Taranis 2a, Broken Moon)
- New Horizon Speedway (Green, Ellis) (Racing only)
Single Player ("Drone Sim")
- Arena Commander Tutorial
- Vanduul Swarm
- Pirate Swarm
- Free Flight
- Murray Cup Racing
- Battle Royale
- Squadron Battle
- Capture the Core
- Vanduul Swarm co-op
- Murray Cup Racing
- Old Vanderal (difficulty: easy)
- Rikkord Memorial Raceway (difficulty: medium)
- Defford Link (difficulty: hard)
In the early 2940s, Tristan Blair, Charlie Bass, and Henry Garrity from Original Systems were abroad a chartered flight back to Terra after attending a convention on Jalan to promote their latest title, Times of Myth. While their cruiser waiting for traffic, a navy squadron had intercepted a Vanduul swarm directly on the traffic lane. The pilot of the cruiser guided the ship out of the battle without panic when the others on the ship are in fear. That pilot's reaction inspired Tristan that they can develop a game to help people fly better, to adapt flying as their second nature.
Unlike the previous series ULTIMATE and other games on the market, Arena Commander focuses on visceral immersion: playing the game is as close to flying a present-day Aurora or Hornet space fighter as it is possible to simulate with modern technology. Military pilots were used to help test the game during its development to ensure the quality of simulation. Also unlike ULTIMATE, Arena Commander is not developed for MobiGlas. Instead, it makes use of the highest powered computers possible. It can be played on everything from dedicated gaming desktops to the internal computers found aboard starships.
Arena Commander is released in 2943. The game features in-depth simulation and its functionality can be expanded with a series of optional expansion packs, each adding more ships and scenarios for an additional fee. Military pilots claimed that there has never been such an accurate space combat simulation available for home users. Arena Commander has created a dedicated fan base across the UEE, lauded by gamers around the galaxy and by every reviewer from Optimum Glas (the only six-star review ever issued) to the New Terran Journal, Arena Commander has completely changed Original Systems' reputation and altered how games are developed.
Arena Commander was originally revealed as Arena mode stretch goal . Early in its history it was known as the "Dogfighting Module". It is the second stage of Star Citizen playable modules that was released to the community on June 4, 2014. The name of dogfighting module has dropped after the release of Star Citizen 1.1 in March 15, 2015.