People who pledged £300 or more in the Elite Dangerous Kickstarter were invited to take part in the Design Decision Forum (DDF), a private section of the Frontier forums, giving them an unusually high level of access to and input in the development of the game.

Discussion in the DDF was closely focused on proposal documents written by Frontier staff as part of the game development process, which were then posted for discussion. Frontier have stated that all posts in the DDF were read by the development team, and developers frequently engaged in discussions and dialogue on the forum, sometimes starting polls to gauge community feeling. However, the final decision on all aspects of development remained with Frontier.

DDF members received no in-game privileges, but David Braben suggested during the Kickstarter that DDF members would collectively have "god-like powers" to help shape the evolving galaxy, making meta-game decisions like how NPCs would respond to player behaviour, e.g. by a faction sending a capital ship to deal with an upsurge of piracy.

All discussion in the DDF, including developer posts, have been made public in the Design Discussion Archive.