Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora release date and everything we know

Avatar Frontiers of Pandora gameplay
(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is set to be Ubisoft's flagship open world game for the Fall 2023 window, with the release date locked in for December 7. This is a brand new adventure from The Division developer Massive Entertainment, putting us in the role of Na'vi in a story that's new to the Avatar universe. 

Massive is keeping itself busy right now, between development of Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora and Star Wars Outlaws, two of the most anticipated upcoming Ubisoft games out there right now. With release just months away there is plenty to dig into, so you'll want to keep reading to find the latest news and gameplay details, and our hands-off impressions following a behind-closed-doors showcase of the game in action. 

Recent updates

Our Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora hub was updated on November 10, adding new story and gameplay details from our most recent hands-on preview.

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora release date

Avatar Frontiers of Pandora gameplay

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

The Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora release date is set for December 7, 2023. The news was confirmed at the Ubisoft Forward showcase in June, which has solidified this open world adventure as one of the most exciting new games of 2023. 

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora platforms

Avatar Frontiers of Pandora gameplay

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora will release on PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC

While Ubisoft is still working to bring its upcoming games like Assassin's Creed Mirage and Skull and Bones to last generation consoles, there will be no Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora PS4 or Xbox One release as Massive threads development through the latest iteration of the new Snowdrop engine to power its open world.

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora gameplay previews

Avatar

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

In our <a href="https://www.gamesradar.com/avatar-frontiers-of-pandora-preview-hands-on-october-2023/" data-link-merchant="gamesradar.com"">hands-on Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora preview, we got to experience the world of Pandora first-hand. From flying on the back of an ikran to swinging from vine fruits all within a frankly baffling open world, Frontiers is shaping up to be the most ambitious Ubisoft project ever. 

An earlier look at Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora gameplay behind-the-scenes at Summer Game Fest, we found Ubisoft to be putting forward a timeline-hopping adventure that borrows heavily from The Division and Far Cry. There's still questions about the gunplay which need to be answered, but we are otherwise impressed by the scale and fidelity of the open world. Read our full <a href="https://www.gamesradar.com/avatar-frontiers-of-pandora-preview-hands-off-ubisoft-forward-2023/" data-link-merchant="gamesradar.com"">Avatar Frontiers of Pandora gameplay preview here. 

Exclusive Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora interview

Avatar Frontiers of Pandora gameplay

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

In an exclusive interview with GamesRadar+, creative director Magnus Jansén dove into why Massive Entertainment is making this new Avatar game first-person and how the studio's impressive Snowdrop engine helped convince Disney and Lightstorm Entertainment of the collaboration opportunity. You can read more of that in our Big in 2023: Avatar Frontiers of Pandora preview. 

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora story

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora screenshot

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

The Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora story will be a standalone instalment in a whole new area of Pandora, taking place in tandem with the movies. Playing as a Na'vi orphan-turned-freed RDA captive, our character will be as unfamiliar with the world of Pandora as we are. Her story will see her working together with the Na'vi locals to fight back against the RDA and restore prosperity to Pandora.

The studio's goal is to "bring to life the alluring world of Pandora with all of its beauty and danger in an immersive, open world experience," and is still set within the broader Avatar universe. 

Since Frontiers of Pandora takes place during the Way of Water time-skip, expect the game to color in some gaps for us and, therefore, count toward the broader Avatar canon. The movie's producer, Jon Landau, said as much in an interview with Polygon: "Frontiers of Pandora takes place in the western frontier of Pandora... That's not somewhere we've gone before. It takes place in the timeframe after Avatar: The Way of Water opens, but before the one-year time cut in the movie."

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora gameplay

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora screenshot

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Massive Entertainment has revealed the first Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora gameplay, and it looks wildly different when compared to anything we've seen from this studio. This is a first-person open-world game, where you'll be able to explore Pandora in the role of a Na'vi – healing wildlife, strengthening your relationship with the world, and trying to help the inhabitants of this planet survive. 

You'll be able to explore the world on foot, interacting with the beautiful, dense environments that Massive is engineering, ride across the land on Direhorses, or take to the skies on the back of your very own Banshee, or Ikran. We also know that you'll be able to wield familiar Na'vi weapons, such as bows and staffs, or grapple with weapons captured from RDA forces like assault rifles and shotguns. 

You'll be able to engage in stealth to stalk enemies, roll into all-out offensives, or some type of mixture of the two. There's also an in-depth skill system which will let you refine your Na'vi to better fit your playstyle – investing in your ability to control mounts, move through the world, or your proficiencies in combat.  

In our hands-on preview, we noted that Frontiers of Pandora feels a lot like an FPS game but its exploration feels more akin to an open world RPG. The element of player agency is paramount here, meaning you can lean into whichever genre elements and gameplay mechanics you like best, whether that's going it on foot or flying across the map in an instant.

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora open world setting

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora screenshot

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

In terms of Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora gameplay, we know the game will be set in a part of Pandora that we've never seen before: the Western Frontier. This will be an open world which – according to Ubisoft technical art director Sebastian Lindoff – we'll be free to explore "from deep, dense jungles on the ground, to the grand vistas high up in the sky." Developer Massive Entertainment does have some experience in this area, having developed the hugely successful The Division and The Division 2.

Given its setting in never-before-seen parts of the cinematic universe, even those familiar with the two films will have plenty to explore and discover. Ubisoft says that Frontiers of Pandora will allow us to "explore a living and reactive world inhabited by unique creatures and new characters" where we'll be fighting to "push back the formidable RDA forces that threaten it." While there are no further details on the story, it's clear that Massive is pushing to make Pandora feel like a lived-in space. Alice Rendell, lead narrative realization designer, says that one way you'll see this come through is in the NPCs

"The different activities that NPCs can perform in the world, and the different animations they have, can make the world feel really alive. For Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, we wanted to take this one step further and created a system where our NPCs understand the state of the world – for example: weather, player progression, or time of time.

Avatar Frontiers of Pandora co-op

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora screenshot

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

While Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora has been designed as a single-player adventure, Massive Entertainment is going to give you the opportunity to experience it with friends if you want to. Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora will support two-player online co-op, although Ubisoft is yet to confirm whether cross-platform multiplayer will be supported. 

Will Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora be multiplayer?

Ubisoft is yet to confirm whether Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora will be a multiplayer or single-player game. Ever since its announcement in 2017, and subsequent reveal in 2021, there has been speculation that the new Avatar game would be a co-op adventure – fuelled largely because of Massive Entertainment's development history. The studio is best known for creating Tom Clancy's The Division (2016) and The Division 2 (2019), two of the best online games of the last generation. We're hoping Ubisoft clears up the Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora multiplayer question soon – so keep your eye on the E3 2023 schedule. 

Is James Cameron involved with Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora?

Avatar creator James Cameron currently has his hands full with Avatar: Way of the Water and a slew of planned sequels, but that doesn't mean the director isn't keeping one eye on Frontiers of Pandora. Speaking with IGN, Cameron explained his involvement with the new Avatar game: "I don't tell them what to do – they know their world, their business, their market. We just keep a close eye that they don't do anything that's not canonical, in terms of Na'vi culture and what the RDA is doing on Pandora." 

Josh West
UK Managing Editor, GamesRadar+

Josh West is the UK Managing Editor of GamesRadar+. He has over 10 years experience in online and print journalism, and holds a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Feature Writing. Prior to starting his current position, Josh has served as GR+'s Features Editor and Deputy Editor of games™ magazine, and has freelanced for numerous publications including 3D Artist, Edge magazine, iCreate, Metal Hammer, Play, Retro Gamer, and SFX. Additionally, he has appeared on the BBC and ITV to provide expert comment, written for Scholastic books, edited a book for Hachette, and worked as the Assistant Producer of the Future Games Show. In his spare time, Josh likes to play bass guitar and video games. Years ago, he was in a few movies and TV shows that you've definitely seen but will never be able to spot him in.

With contributions from