Guide to Fighters

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Wishing to pilot a fighter is equal to wishing to die, in that both will get you killed. Welcome to the Guide to Fighters.

Please note that there are several in-game tools for this for you to learn for yourself. Consult a Seegson terminal or the current FL for help. However, if your FL is completely incompetent (standard), read on.


Surprisingly, this is a list of the most important things to know about fighters.

Once you've gotten into a fighter, two screens will pop up: Your DRADIS console (radar) and your control console.

To start up the fighter first press the "Canopy lock button" to close the canopy and switch to internal atmosphere. Do note that you will be unable to exit the fighter while the canopy is locked, so be sure to unlock it when you plan to exit. Your cranium will thank you later.

First press the button labled "Battery", then "Fuel injector", and then "APU." At this point do not press any more buttons. The RPM gauge will now begin to increase - you must wait for it to reach 100% before pressing "Ignition" or the engine will not start.

Once the engine is on, deactivate the APU to preserve fuel.

Inertia dampeners are the equivalent of the handbrake for your ship. They will very quickly prevent any movement in any direction, so if you're looking to go in a direction, these won't help. You can toggle your inertia dampeners with the Alt key or through the respective button in the control panel.

Pressing C toggles laser-guided movement, which allows you to use your mouse to rotate the fighter. This is enabled by default.
You can use WASD to strafe in all directions, then disable laser-guided movement to get a cool new arrow and the ability to control it with Q and E. This arrow represents the direction your ship will be directed towards.
Press shift to engage the afterburners, which will provide a temporary speed boost, useful for evading incoming fire and catching up with the mothership. Pressing X toggles intertial assistance mode, which will cause your ship to fly in the direction it is facing. Useful for big bulky boats, not so much for small nimble fighters.

You can press the Help verb in the Ship tab to remind yourself of the fighter controls at any time.

Use Ctrl + Scroll Wheel to zoom out when viewing the overmap.

C toggles whether the ship follows the mouse. When you first click the console, the ship will strive to point its nose towards your mouse. Hit C to toggle this behavior, which can be useful for not ruining your orientation just because you needed to click out of the window for a moment.

W and S control the throttle, and A and D move the ship left and right. Remember, the ship retains momentum once it starts moving; you need to compensate or brake to slow down or stop.

The Alt Key is a sort of parking brake. Hitting it toggles the brake, which will make the ship come to a complete stop and stay put.

The Shift Key activates a boost, which is primarily useful for dodging particularly nasty torpedoes or evading enemy vessels.

Q and E activate a rotational drift, which is useful for pulling sick drifts turning very quickly, and in a short distance. This can also help to evade torpedos and less maneuverable ships.

The X key toggles inertial assistance. Disabling this allows you to strafe, fighters have it off by default.'

The Caps Lock key toggles the weapons safeties on the fighter craft.

Before you even get in (which is done by left-clicking the fighter and entering the pilot seat), look at this list of helpful things:

  • Fighter hardsuits and double-extended oxygen tanks from the suit containers near the hangar will save your life later, so get those.
  • Entering a fighter will create two new parts of your GUI.
    • "Stop observing" will exit the fighter. Do not press this while in space.
    • The Ship tab, next to Preferences in the top right, contains every menu that you'll ever need, and some you won't.
  • All fighters are equipped with a DRADIS, a radar system which updates once per second. It is a simple minimap showing you (blue), friendlies (green) and hostiles (red). Note that red may not always mean hostile, but that's not your call to make.
  • Fighters have a fuel tank. The less fuel they have, the less time you have to fly. Tyrosene fuel is made in Chemistry and you start with a tanker of it in the hangar. Click it to grab the hose, then click a fighter with the hose to refuel it.

Movement is all well and good, but if you can only move you'll eventually die or piss yourself as you almost die. First, you want to get into space and far away from the ship you launched from, preferably in the direction of other fighters hostile craft. Then, disable your weapon safeties with the relevant verb in the Ship tab or through the respective button in the control panel. You are now ready to explode things with your weapons, which begs the question: what are your weapons?

The Space key switches between your primary and secondary mounts. The primary mount will typically be your fighter cannon, and the secondary will be a missile or torpedo launcher.

Your missiles pack a really big punch, so if you fire in the general direction of the enemy, they'll home in and explode. Try not to have them home in on your mothership.
Your fighter can only hold so many at a time, and they can be shot down with PDC (Point Defense Cannon) rounds or flak, so use them wisely. With that in mind, let's talk about the fighter cannon.

Fighter cannons are fully automatic and are your go-to choice for dealing damage. Heavy and light cannons hold ammunition, and will need to be reloaded often. If you find yourself running out of ammo during battle, don't hesitate to leave your squadron and return to base for immediate rearming.
It's also good to note that there is every useful tool called Lock-on targeting that allows you to pick a ship out of the crowd in the middle of combat. This is done by holding ctrl and then clicking on the ship you want to target. This will probably do some beeps and boops and maybe show some sort of indicator, but now all of your missiles will target that ship, and with increased efficiency. This is very useful for hitting your own fighters singling out single ships to take them out more efficiently.

When you want to go back to the ship for various reasons, enable the docking mode in your Ship panel, or the respective button in the control panel, and fly directly into it. Your ship will proceed to enter the ship Z-level, which indicates a successful docking, allowing you to maneuver yourself back to the hangar. That is, if you have a functioning docking computer installed in your fighter.

Actually getting off the ground[edit | edit source]

Theory is easy. The real world is not. Let's have a look at that second one.

Finding a Fighter[edit | edit source]

On round start there will be aircraft either in the hangar or on the launch deck which are pre-built and in need of refuel and rearm before takeoff. You will typically find several Rapier light fighters, one (or zero) Scimitar heavy fighter, and one or more Sabre support craft.

Each aircraft will need to be refueled and filled with ammo before they will truly be ready for you to die in a blaze of ineptitude show off some of that pilot shit. This process generally includes fuel refilling via prepared fuel tanks around the hangar, filling of cannon ammo (light for the Vulcan, heavy for the BRRRT machine,) and finally missiles for the light fighters or torpedoes for the heavy fighters.

Assuming your FL hasn't already set the fighters out neatly, you will need to find yourself a new home. Once you've found that home and claimed it, hop into the cockpit, flip over to the Ship tab or use the Change Name verb and christen your coffin with something creative.

With your aircraft armed, fueled, and named, all that's left between you and your dream of being the next Maverick is an aircraft tug to an available electromagnetic catapult.

Launch Procedures[edit | edit source]

Before you can get out into space, you're gonna need to move your fighter without scraping the ground and ruining your armor. If the hangar isn't already in vacuum, you'll want to find the M575 Aircraft Tug and the fighter tug key, which when combined will allow you to drive around the hangar bay. Now that you've landed yourself in the brig for running people over gotten the tug up and running, drive it over to the aircraft you want to move and position yourself right up against it, then click the Load Fighter button to load it. With aircraft in tow, take it to the desired position and press the unload button to drop it; if you do this near a magnetic catapult it should automatically lock on to the catapult. DO NOT press the Launch button on the tug, unless your intention is to shoot the aircraft off like a ghetto catapult.

If your fighter enters a launch bay, you will immediately lose control of your fighter. Don't get out or you'll wish you were dead, then you'll die. Because you're in space. Stop having an existential crisis, and recognize you cannot move. You're currently on a magnetic arrestor. This essentially functions as a much larger inertia dampener which you cannot control; somebody in Air Control must release or launch you. Stay in your fighter and wait for the signal from your FL. They will use the launch computer and engage the launch sequence. This will be fairly obvious by the loud launch noises in your ears. The process should take around 10 seconds. Angle yourself towards space (NOT A WALL, PLEASE NOT A WALL), wait for launch, and you'll be sent into the cold dark void of space.

If no ATC or other personnel are available to run the catapults, press the MAGLOCK button on your aircraft console, flip the brakes off (ALT key,) and whisk yourself gently (gently...) out of the tube before putting the ship in your rear view and zooming straight into enemy fire. As an additional note, some maps may include vacuumed flight decks; in such cases the use of tugs and catapults is still recommended for various reasons, but because you are already in the vacuum of space and on a reinforced flight deck you do not technically need either of those things to take off or operate your aircraft.

Ship to Ship Combat[edit | edit source]

Once you've launched, you will most likely see some red signatures on your DRADIS computer. These are signatures that have invalid IFF, and are (probably) extremely hostile. If they are, they will most likely be Syndicate ships (and if they're not Syndicate ships then you're fucked anyway).

There are several types of Syndicate ships. Corvettes, Frigates, Cruisers, and Carriers with bombers and interceptors, and all have guns. Guns that shoot you.

Corvettes are slow, but, like fighters, have missiles and flak cannons of their own. However, unlike fighters, they have a larger missile capacity and do a lot more damage with their flak cannon.

Frigates are even bigger and slower, but have access to the devastating railgun, a shipside system that fires magnet-accelerated tungsten rounds at lightning speeds: basically an immovable rod. Avoid anti-air frigates, because they won't be avoiding you. Good fucking luck.

You will want to give most capital ships a very wide berth, and ideally take them on with the help of your own ship, as Nanotrasen Space Vessels all come equipped with their own railguns and gauss weapons for precisely this purpose. Heavy fighters armed with torpedoes and BRRRRT are more capable of handling capital ships, but skill and caution are a necessary component for survival when busting bigger foes.

Your FL will most likely give orders on formation. If they don't, stick with your other fighters and be careful. 'Lone Wolf' pilots die very quickly when hit by thermonuclear missiles, and since nobody else is with them, no raptor goes to pick them up.

Hit by missile send help[edit | edit source]

Thanks to our crackhead engineers at NT, your fighter is equipped with armour plates that can block at least one shot. Maybe. If you've taken at least two shots, 9 out of 10 experts would recommend getting the hell out of there. Engage docking, run home to mommy, and let the Munitions Technician Air Traffic Controller Deck Technician figure out how you've managed to lodge an unexploded bomb in your fighter. A good rule to follow is if your armor is out, start setting up your plans to get back. Be careful - if the ship is near enemies, don't try to land your half-wrecked fighter in the middle of it, unless you really need to. Yell over ATC comms that you need to land/RTB (Return To Base) and hope wait for them to pull out for a bit to let you land.

Is that explosion sprite bad?[edit | edit source]

Yes, yes it is. You are now completely ship-less and dead. Absolutely stellar. Here's a Medal of Honor. Fortunately for you it's 100% possible to be cloned. As it turns out, those suit sensors are good for something after all... You did turn them on right?

The Raptor[edit | edit source]

The Raptor can be distinguished from the other fighters by searching for intricate details on its hull: the rounded nose, the slightly wider cockpit, and the fact that it's a completely different ship. The Raptor can transport people and equipment in its internal, pressurized room, jump to different systems using its FTL drive (careful, as if the ship jumps while you're out on the overmap, you'll be left behind and will need to jump your way back), and can utilize multiple pieces of utility equipment listed below. Some admin-spawned rare versions are equipped with guns to be used as gunships or to defend themselves from enemies.
Raptors are designed as a support vessel. And because of this they are able to sport a selection of unique equipment which allows you to assist the fighters and board enemy ships:

Cargo Hold[edit | edit source]

The cargo hold is by far the most well-known piece of utility equipment and does exactly what you would think, it stores anything the size of or smaller than a crate which can later be dropped off somewhere else. It has three upgrade tiers and takes up the primary equipment slot of the craft:

  • A tier one cargo hold can store up to 5 crate-sized objects.
  • Tier two cargo holds have a capacity of 10.
  • The third tier cargo hold has space for 20 things!

Repair Kit[edit | edit source]

The air-to-air repair kit is a piece of machinery which allows you to repair the hull of other ships! It does this by using hull repair juice tanks and power, which it shoots at the target in a beam. Of course this is only intended to be used on small craft, and using it on the main ship would be next to useless outside of a dire situation.
Just like the cargo hold the repair kit takes up the primary equipment slot and has three different tiers, each of which reduces the firing delay of the beam.

Resupply Kit[edit | edit source]

Much like the repair kit, the resupply kit is used to assist other fighters out on the field. Though instead of repairing damaged hull, the resupply kit allows you to restock fighters on ammunition and fuel. It even allows you to jumpstart their battery!
The main catch is however, that the resupply beam feeds directly from your battery and fuel tank into the target's, so watch out not to drain your own fuel tank or battery while refueling and starting up other craft.
Of course the kit can't just make ammo out of thin air, so in order to use it for supplying ammunition you will also need a cargo hold with the ammunition that's being loaded inside of it.
To allow both a cargo hold and a resupply kit to be mounted on your ship at the same time, the resupply kit only takes up the secondary slot.

Manual Repairs and Missile Replacement[edit | edit source]

If your Munitions Tech is incompetent, busy or otherwise unavailable (or perhaps you're a Munitions Tech with no idea what they're doing), you will need to channel your inner Engineer and pray to the one true Stormdrive, for you must now commit to the ultimate sin - doing something yourself and servicing the ship that you own.

Opening the maintenance panel[edit | edit source]

To remove components from your fighter, you will need to engage maintenance mode. To do this, swipe an ID with fighter access and select the second option, then hop in. When inside, you will be able to eject components of your choice from the control panel by scrolling down. This is important for fixing flooded engines, which I will go into detail about below.

Repairing hull damage[edit | edit source]

If you somehow managed to keep your fighter after it got hit by a missile, and there aren't any enemies left, return to hangar for repairs (if there are enemies left, what are you waiting for you pansy?). Repairing hull damage is as simple as patching it up with a welding tool, be sure to wear a helmet unless you want to fly blind. Once your hull's all fixed up, get a new plate of armor, detailed more down below.

Repairing armor damage[edit | edit source]

So you managed to survive combat only taking a little bit of friendly enemy fire to the face, and now you need to fix your armor, but smashing the welder into the ship does nothing! Worry not, the procedure is simple; if you still have a little armor left, take it off using the maintenance mode, and then repair it separately from the fighter. Once it stops letting you weld it, pick it up and toss it back on the fighter. In the case that your armor's completely knocked out, just get your hands on a new set of plating. If the spares bay in the hangar is empty, cargo can supply more from their handy techfab, provided that science has done the appropriate research.

Replacing missiles and torpedoes[edit | edit source]

If you've launched both of your rockets, and your cannon just isn't doing it for you, return to hangar for resupply. Refilling launchers is surprisingly simple:

Grab yourself a Munitions Trolley, which will typically be strewn randomly about the hangar. Three torpedo types are available: NTP-2 Standard, NTP-4 'BNKR', NTNK Thermonuclear, and a fourth missile type only available through Munitions, the NTP-0x Electronic Countermeasure:

Heavy fighters use torpedo launchers, which can support a number of torpedoes:

  • NTP-2 Standard is the most well-rounded.
  • NTP-4 is essentially a better version of the standard, but costs more to build.
  • NTNK Thermonuclear is a nuke (and therefore very powerful), but is easily shot down and has poor tracking.
  • NTP-0x Electronic Countermeasure has almost no power, but is useful as a blank shot to draw fire.

Click and drag up to four missiles onto the trolley bring it beside your fighter, and put them both on the ground, then click and drag the missiles into your ship.

Light fighters use missiles. These deal light damage, but are far cheaper than torpedoes.

Replacing Fuel[edit | edit source]

There should be a tank of Jet Fuel in the hangar somewhere which looks like a welder container. Please do not use a welder container. Drag the tank over to the thirsty Fighter, grab the hose, and click said Fighter.

Fixing a faulty engine[edit | edit source]

Failing to start a space fighter correctly will result in its engine becoming flooded with fuel. If you hear "Fighter engine violently fizzles out!" in the chatbox, you're in trouble, as your engine has become flooded and will no longer function until it has been fixed.

Fortunately, fixing this issue is as simple as finding yourself a screwdriver. Swipe your ID on the chassis, and engage maintenance mode. Enter the ship, find the engine component, and eject it. Hop out of the fighter, and use a screwdriver on the engine to purge the fuel. After this is done, disengage maintenance protocols, replace the engine, and you're golden.

We've run out of things[edit | edit source]

We've run out of fuel[edit | edit source]

You poor thing. Go beg for more from Chemistry (Or just order an aviation fuel crate)

We've run out of rockets[edit | edit source]

You poorer thing. Go beg for more from Munitions.

We've run out of fighters[edit | edit source]

You know what? Sure.

You can build new ones! Get RnD to research fighter construction, have cargo print the parts in their departmental protolathe, and assemble them in the hangar. You want two wings and engines, and one of everything else. Keep a toolbox with a multitool and a welding mask handy for this process. If you get stuck during the assembly, examine the fighter chassis to see what needs done next.

  1. Choose a chassis, light, heavy, or utility, and fabricate it.
  2. Bolt and weld the chassis.
  3. Install an engine of your choice and bolt it to the frame.
  4. Install the auxiliary power unit (APU), wire it to the engine with cable coil, and secure it with a screwdriver.
  5. Add the fighter fuel tank and secure the bolts with a wrench.
  6. Install avionics, wire it together with the other components, and screw it in place.
  7. Add a targeting sensor and screw it in.
  8. Add the countermeasure dispenser and wrench the bolts.
  9. Add fighter armour plating, bolt and weld it on. Keep in mind that the armour you choose to use will have an affect on your mobility during flight.
  10. Select a primary mount. Light and heavy fighters will use cannons. Bolt it in place when you've made your mind up.
  11. Select a secondary mount. (Missile launcher, torpedo launcher) and bolt it in.
  12. Use an airlock painter to paint the surface of your complete frame! This step will need to be repeated, once for the surface and once for the details.
  13. Click on the fighter with an empty hand to finalize it. This will open a confirmation box, so make sure you have moved the frame to the hangar bay or open space before finishing the job.
  14. The fighter isn't ready to go just yet. You need to install a battery for it to function, and the primary and secondary mounts will need ammunition. If you're using a fabricated fuel tank, you should refuel it with tyrosene.
  15. Be sure to install a fighter docking computer if you want to leave the Z-level and go onto the overmap.
  16. Mount an atmospheric regulator if you enjoy breathing without the need for a suit.
  17. A canopy is needed unless you want to be peppered with enemy bullets.
  18. You can rename your finished fighter by using the ships verb tab. Examples: "Thor XCI", "Vishari 52", "Thermonuclear Missile 3"

Bonus Information[edit | edit source]

  • You can change the name of your fighter in the Ship panel.
  • If you have the required access, you can swipe your ID on a fighter to boot the current occupants out and enable the inertia dampeners. Useful for that one griffing bastard or when your Raptor's "Cargo" is saying mean things.