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Monday, May 20, 2024

Meet the Fuel Rats, the fearless space paramedics of Elite Dangerous

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The Rats will pluck you from the void.

The galaxy of Elite Dangerous is 100,000 light years across: a replica of the Milky Way shrunken down to fit on your PC, yet still as incomprehensibly vast as outer space. In Elite you can be a trader, an adventurer, an explorer—or the special kind of explorer who sets out to reach the very edges of the galaxy, setting the record for the furthest distance traveled from the Sol system. That kind of ambition doesn’t always work out, and when it doesn’t you may wind up adrift in deep space with no fuel to get you home. That’s when you call the Fuel Rats.

The Fuels Rats are not an automated AI towing service: they’re a flesh and blood collective of Elite Dangerous players who make it their mission to rescue those who find themselves stranded in the dark. Since 2015 they’ve become Elite’s de facto emergency service. But one of their rescues, in 2019, demanded an operation of unprecedented complexity. Commander Deluvian had made it to the far edge of the galaxy, but one miscalculation emptied his tank. “Someone says ‘why don’t you call the Fuel Rats, but they would be crazy if they come and get me,” Deluvian said. 

The Rats set out three days later.

Tales on Snapchat

Here’s one way to watch Tales from the Hard Drive: catch the episode on Snapchat by following this link, or scanning the below QR code.

This is Tales from the Hard Drive: PC Gamer’s documentary series about the kinds of stories that take on life outside the games that birthed them. Each episode is focused on a real story that has become enshrined as gaming folklore, told and retold across decades on message boards and Discord servers and skeptical Reddit threads. These tall tales represent what we love most about PC gaming: the ways truly passionate players can imprint their own personalities on our shared virtual worlds.

Tales from the Hard Drive demanded a a world-class narrator, which is why we brought on the incomparable Lenval Brown (voice of Disco Elysium: The Final Cut) to help us tell them.

You can read more about the adventures of the Fuel Rats, and the accomplishments of other intrepid Elite Dangerous players, on PC Gamer. There’s the story of how a cat sabotaged a rescue mission, as well as the journey of Commander Kabbooooom, who made it 84,341.57 light years from Sol without needing help from the Fuel Rats.

In Episode 1 we told the story of Angwe, also known as the Terror of Menethil Harbor. Angwe was World of Warcraft’s infamous serial killer: an unstoppable rogue who went on a months-long ganking spree that became the stuff of forum legend. 

Make sure to subscribe to PC Gamer’s YouTube channel to catch the rest of Tales From the Hard Drive rolling out this summer. 

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