At some point in the future, after it is officially released, all of Star Citizen's ships will become attainable within the game. You'll be able to buy them with the in-game cash you earn through trade, piracy, mercenary contracts, and so on. Until then the main way to access the game's different ships is to buy them with real cash.
However, this has meant that many backers have only been able to play with a couple of the ships that Cloud Imperium Games has released within the game's alpha releases.
For the next week, though, CIG is letting every backer play with every ship:
Happy Anniversary, Citizens! To celebrate, we've unlocked ALL FLYABLE SHIPS for all Star Citizen backers through Oct. 17th. Available now! pic.twitter.com/fYXbrNtSHq
— Star Citizen (@RobertsSpaceInd) October 10, 2016
So, if you've backed Star Citizen, hop in before October 17th to play with these ships.
Over the weekend, CIG held its annual fan event, CitizenCon. The event has divided fans a little. On the one hand it had a deeply impressive demo of the game's planetary technology; there were sandworms and sand raiders; it lit my nerd fire. On the other, there was the news that the game's campaign, Squadron 42, would not be released in 2016.
This is an opportunity to dive into the game and get a good handle on everything that CIG has released to backers so far.
If you want to get up to speed on Star Citizen, we recently ran an extensive series on the game's fascinating development.