ED – Basic Flight Tips

I’m going to assume that you’ve done the basic tutorials and can actually fly your ship a bit.  Some tips are helpful to land / take off more effectively and not smash into things.

Free flight tips

  • Yaw is very weak.  Maximum turn rate will be found by using pitch instead.  Yaw is mostly used for small corrections or aiming.
  • Maneuverability is maximized when the throttle is inside the blue region.  You can increase maneuverability even more by putting more pips into the engine category.
  • Lateral (sideways and up/down) thrust is good for avoiding fire.  You’ll use lateral thrust a lot when landing / taking off too.
  • Some ships have maximum speeds well in excess of their deceleration / maneuvering speeds.  This means that they take a long time to stop and slide a lot when turning.  The Cobra Mark III is terrible for this.  Watch your maneuvering around obstacles accordingly.
  • Collisions with stationary objects at blue-region speed are usually not very damaging.  Flying at blue-region speed inside stations is advised for this reason.

Taking off from a station

  • Takeoffs and landings are safest done with 4 pips to shields and 2 pips to engines.  You won’t need weapons energy.
  • When the clamps release, put away landing gear and vertical thrust straight up.  Be cautious, the pads further back in the station have a big antenna sticking out above them – don’t pile into it.
  • At blue power, position your nose so that the docking slot is below the centerline you’re flying at.  You want to do this so you intersect the axis of rotation of the docking slot with some clearance.  If you aim straight at the slot you’ll meet it at an angle.
  • Assuming nothing’s in the way (smaller ships can fit around most inbound ships), straighten out when the docking port shape is uniform on all sides (ie, you’re looking straight down the port).
  • Fly towards the port and start rotating clockwise as you finish going through it.
  • Get clear and go about your business.

 Landing at a station

  • Takeoffs and landings are safest done with 4 pips to shields and 2 pips to engines.  You won’t need weapons energy.
  • At 7.5km range from the station, request docking permission.  You should see a blue docking info tab appear in the middle of the HUD.
  • Aim for a point in front of the station’s docking slot and fly towards it.  As you approach the axis of rotation of the station, slow down to blue region and turn to face the slot.
  • Lateral thrust or offset aim your nose to center yourself in the slot (ie, the slot should be the same shape on each side, indicating that you’re in-line with the axis).
  • Rotate counterclockwise as you pass through the slot.
  • Find your assigned docking platform (follow nav compass and the floating indicators) and fly directly to it
  • When getting close, drop landing gear.  Fly straight at the center of the docking pad.
  • When the docking indicator pops up, align yourself so you’re parallel to the docking pad and pointing at the control towers.  The docking indicator should show you ship straight and level, with the nose pointing forwards (into the screen).
  • Move forwards / backwards and lateral thrust left and right to position the ship such that the orange X/Y indicator is in the center of the platform.
  • Lateral thrust down to touch down.
  • If you bounce, check landing gear is down.  Also try and lateral thrust up until the indicators disappear, and try again.

Landing at an outpost

  • As with the station procedure, request docking permission.
  • Using the nav compass and the visual indicators, find what platform you’re assigned.  It may not be on the same side of the outpost that you’re on, and may not have the same orientation as the other platforms (some are upside down).
  • Using blue region throttle, approach the correct platform in the same manner as with a station.  It’s very easy to be disoriented coming in to a platform and try and land turned the wrong way around.  The big blast deflector on the landing pad is at the rear of the pad from the perspective of landing.
  • Once throttle is cut and you’re hovering above the platform, landing is the same as with a station.

 

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