Quick Start

If you want to jump straight into flying a ship into battle and hammering the fire button, this quick-start guide is what you need to get going.

Launch & Choose Multiplayer

The loading screen and options menu

Launch the game and you won’t get a lot of feedback except for the rotating idle icon in the top left. Once the game has loaded, click on the Multiplayer option. Since this is an early access title some of the options on the main menu are not available yet.

Choose a Server & Team

Connect a server with the most players or best ping then choose a team.

When you enter the multiplayer option you will be presented with a list of game servers to choose from. They helpfully show you the ping time and the number of players on each server so you can choose between responsiveness and numbers of players.

Before you enter the game you will be asked to choose a side. Assuming the game will try to auto-balance the numbers, pressing the KEEP button would help to maintain a balance.

After you choose your side, the Star Map will mark your team green and the enemy team as red.

Select a Mission for a Quick Battle

Quick start mission selection
Select the ‘Missions’ tab at the top of the screen for the quickest way to locate a battle.

The fastest way to get into the game is by using the MISSIONS tab at the top of the screen. A mission identifies a location that should be attacked or defended. Choose a battle with a ‘%’ symbol in the ‘odds’ column since these battles are already in progress.

Click on a mission then set ‘Select as Target’ a the foot of the screen. If your team owns the station you will also get a ‘Spawn’ to get you into the action.

Spawn at a Location

About to start from a mission location. The keyboard controls are normally overlaid at this point, to remove it press F9 or ESC.

When you spawn at a mission location, the Keyboard Help will be displayed as a reminder and you can remove this by pressing F9 or ESC. Press W to go forward and you are on your way. Shoot anything marked by a red icon.

Unable to Launch a Mission?

If you are unable to select a mission and spawn directly you will need to get the closest location and then travel to the target.

Switch to the Star Map tab page then select a green location to join your teammates or a red location to attack your enemies. Use the right-click menu on your selection to create a HUD radar target to match the location.

Locate your team mates for a quick start battle
All the available spawn/battle locations in the game are listed in a hierarchical order on the left of the screen.

Note: At the time of writing the Star Map list uses green for allies whereas in battles the HUD shows them in blue.

When you spawn into the game you may need to fly towards your radar target. Hit the zero (0) key to accelerate to maximum speed, apply boost and after a few seconds activate the warp drive.

It can get ridiculously fast and you can’t cut through the atmosphere at that speed. Fortunately, you can slow down and stay in warp until you get close to your destination (select a key from 2 to 9).

The HUD location symbols will flash when they are behind the planets.

Battlescape Controls

You are Good To Go with a mouse and keyboard straight away. I was unable to use my T-Flight Hotas X since it misread an axis. Device configuration is a work in progress but if you want to put the time in, you can follow the links provided below for help.

The HUD Help Page

The HUD Help Page is available from the ESC menu, but its a little out of date already.

The HUD help page is available on the ESC main menu key to let you know what all the icons on the screen mean. The most important information is the energy, speed and altitude presented on the right-hand arc. The left-hand arc shows armour and shield strengths.

The Keyboard Help Page

The in-game quick-start keyboard guide
The Help Page for the keyboard and mouse bind is displayed by hitting F9

Hit F9 to bring up the keyboard help page if you are curious. Otherwise, you can use the W, A, S, D movement keys and fire your weapons for some frantic fun.

A Quick Mouse Guide

These controls are pretty much what you might expect, but its good to confirm that before you get going:

  • Mouse movement changes ship direction
  • Left button – fire weapon 1
  • Right button – fire weapon 2
  • Middle button – fire missile/torpedo
  • Wheel up – increase maximum velocity
  • Wheel down – decrease maximum velocity

A Quick Keyboard Guide

You can have an hour or two of instant fun by getting acquainted with these few controls:

  • W, A, S, D – forward, left, back, right
  • R, F – Up, down
  • Q, E – Roll left, roll right
  • SHIFT – boost speed
  • J – Enter warp speed (must be travelling fast already)
  • G – Find the closest target
  • T – Lock onto target under gun-sight
  • TAB – Opens the star map and missions tabbed pages
  • ESC – Main menu including the keyboard and HUD help pages
  • F9 – Open the keyboard layout help page

To Infinity & Beyond!

The default ship you’ll be flying in is an Interceptor with flight-assist enabled. It’s a quick fighter that can run rings around your enemies. Press G to select your nearest target, hold the gunsight over the lead markers and fire. To launch a missile get a target lock by aiming over the lead marker for several seconds. Listen for the lock tone, its preceded by a ticking sound when you are doing the right thing.

When you’re satisfied with the mayhem you have caused, it’s time to head over to the Game Guide where you can learn how to make your contribution to the war effort count.