Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora – Everything we know so far

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora screenshot
(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora has been on our radar for a while now, and we're keen to see whether it's ready to be one of the new games for 2023. Massive Entertainment has been working on this new Avatar game for a while now, although it sadly wasn't ready to launch alongside Avatar: The Way of the Water last December – thankfully, Frontiers of Pandora will offer a standalone story that is set in the same universe as the new film.

From everything we've seen of Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora so far, it looks like it'll be worth the wait. It's undoubtedly one of the most hugely anticipated upcoming PS5 games and upcoming Xbox Series X games, an open world action-adventure which will allow us the opportunity to become a Na'vi. Keep on reading to find all the latest Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora news and everything we know so far. 

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora release date

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora screenshot

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Ubisoft is yet to confirm an Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora release date. While many had expected the new Avatar game to launch alongside Avatar: Way of the Water on December 16, 2022, Ubisoft has since said that this won't be happening. In fact, there's a chance Frontiers of Pandora may not even be a new game for 2023, with the publisher only going so far as to confirm that it'll launch within Ubi's next fiscal year – which falls between April 1, 2023 and March 31, 2024. 

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora platforms

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora screenshot

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

The Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora platforms are confirmed as 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. This is largely down to Massive Entertainment threading development through the latest iteration of the new Snowdrop engine, and the studio requiring the power of new generation hardware to support a sprawling open world rendition of Pandora. 

First Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora trailer

While Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora was first teased way back in 2017, Ubisoft waited until E3 2021 to properly reveal the game. Frontiers of Pandora was given a two minute, in-engine teaser trailer – which you can watch above – to get a sense of the open world Massive Entertainment is building. 

Exclusive Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora interview

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, so don't expect to bump into any characters from either of the Avatar films – set in an entirely new area of Pandora. Ubisoft is promising to "bring to life the alluring world of Pandora with all of its beauty and danger in an immersive, open world experience." 

Frontiers of Pandora will, however, be set within the broader Avatar universe, and directly after the new Way of the Water film. The movie's producer, Jon Landau, tells Polygon (opens in new tab) that "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 is yet to show Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora gameplay to the public. However, comments from publisher Ubisoft, and an impressive in-engine teaser trailer, have given us a sense of what to expect. For starters, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora will be a first-person action-adventure, one which will cast you in the role of a Na'vi. 

Developer Massive Entertainment has only teased the state of Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora combat, although it does look like we'll be doing everything from stalking through dense vegetation with a bow in hand to fighting back RDA forces from the sky on the back of our very own Banshee. 

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora open world setting

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora screenshot

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora 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

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, we do know 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 (opens in new tab)

"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." 

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 (opens in new tab), 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.