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Pro Tips to Make You an Ace!

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Iain Baker:
Pro Tips to make you an Ace!

A collection of pro tips from FreeSpace veterans that will turn any player into an ace. This is a Work in Progress, and feel free to add yours 😊
NB – the tips below refer to retail FS 1 and 2 unless stated otherwise.


INDEX:

1: Before You Play - including game manual, optional hardware
https://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=97961.msg1913166#msg1913166


2: Optional Software
https://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=97961.msg1913167#msg1913167


3: Useful Settings
https://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=97961.msg1913168#msg1913168


4: Cheats and Hidden Extras
https://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=97961.msg1913169#msg1913169


5: Gameplay Tps - including the ETS system and advanced flying skills
https://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=97961.msg1913170#msg1913170


6: Weapons
https://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=97961.msg1913171#msg1913171


7: The Support Ship
https://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=97961.msg1913172#msg1913172


8: Combat - General
https://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=97961.msg1913173#msg1913173


9: Combat - Against Capital Ships
https://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=97961.msg1913174#msg1913174


10: Combat - Escort Missions
https://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=97961.msg1913175#msg1913175


11: Further Reading
https://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=97961.msg1913411#msg1913411


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Iain Baker:

Before You Play

Game Manual


Reading the manual is highly recommended. You can view it in PDF format here: http://cdn.akamai.steamstatic.com/steam/apps/273620/manuals/MANUAL.PDF?t=1447360124

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Hardware


•   A Joystick will improve immersion. A HOTAS (Hands on Throttle and Stick) even more so.


•   A HOTAS can make you a better pilot too by having most of the controls you will need at your fingertips (Which is what IRL HOTASs were designed for.)

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•   TrakIR5 head tracking can be a great immersion tool, and can also make you a better pilot by improving your situational awareness. This is especially true if you are not using a stick/HOTAS with a HAT thumbstick - which is usually used for looking up, left, right and behind:

•   If using TRAkIR5 make sure to;

•   Calibrate it properly – the video linked below shows how.

•   Bind the recentre view function to an easily reachable key / button.

•   The Pro Clip accessory is a worthy investment too.

•   TrakIR5 website: https://www.naturalpoint.com/trackir/trackir5/

•   TrackIR5 set up and calibration tutorial: https://youtu.be/qdefLYQ9uYA

•      You will need to add two .dll files to make it work with FSO  (FreeSpace Open - the game engine FreeSpace runs on). To download the .dll files and for advice about what to do with them consult this thread:  https://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=97867.msg1912160#msg1912160

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•   If using a gaming mouse for control in-flight, try using the free X-Mouse Button Control software to enable the use of the gaming mouse's additional buttons, as FSO doesn’t recognise them natively.

•   X-Mouse Button Control website: https://www.highrez.co.uk/downloads/xmousebuttoncontrol.htm

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Iain Baker:
Optional Software

•   Autoaim is very useful if you are having difficulty hitting your target. This is a common problem when using some joysticks or HOTAS systems, as they may lack the precision of mouse control. (Most FS campaigns require the pinpoint shooting accuracy usually seen in FPS games.)

•   See this guide for more info: https://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=97284.0 (NB – the downloads should work now)

•   Auto-aim also negates the problem some fighters have with widely spaced apart guns -  as they will now converge on their target.

•   It also makes de-fanging capships and taking out bombs MUCH easier.

•   Note that Auto Aim only works for targets you can target properly, so it does not work if;

•   Your sensors are damaged or disabled

•   The enemy is stealthed, or your sensors are being interfered with by jamming, nebular interference etc.


•    Auto-aim only affects primaries, so you will still need to manually aim dumb-fire rockets.

•    It appears that some primaries do not work with auto-aim and so will fire straight ahead as usual. The Vishnan Gravity Spike from Blue
Planet is an example. Could this be because that is a fighter mounted beam weapon?


•    Note that auto-aim only affects you, the player. It has no effect on A.I. pilots.

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•  The Custom wingman gauge is very handy. It allows you to distinguish which allied strike craft are fighters and which are bombers. It also gives a Green- Amber- Red indication of each wingman’s health.

•   See here for info: https://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=95180.0

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•   The ‘messages box in the centre of the screen’ add-in will make messages easier to read. Many campaigns have this as standard.

•   To add it to a campaign that does not feature this natively, follow these steps: …. TBD.

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•   Some campaigns are voice acted. Most of those that are not can use Text To Speech TTS instead.

•   Some campaigns however cannot use it natively, due to messages having a generic beep noise instead. To override this, follow this guide: https://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=98083.new#new

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Iain Baker:

Useful Settings

•   The 'Stretch interface to fill screen' setting in Knossos will display game menus, cutscenes, briefings etc in a 16:9 ratio instead of 4:3.

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•   The ‘disable screen shake’ setting can make using weapons that cause the screen to shake, such as Maxims (retail) and Archers (Blue Planet) easier to use.
•   Note that the shake is purely cosmetic and does not affect your aim.

•   Going into third-person view also disables screen shake.

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•   Turning off shadows can result in a drastic increase in performance. Compare the performance in the videos below to see this in action.

•   https://youtu.be/XR5w-COccWA?t=2370 With Shadows – choppy framerate

•   https://youtu.be/XR5w-COccWA?t=2872 Without shadows – much smoother framerate.

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•   The Knossos settings guide will help you to configure your game to your liking: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kKXaTMhO57RCHi24mhJpO2Bt5PjeV8WvweDkyr7xKrw/

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•   FreeSpace has very complex controls. You may wish to rebind them to something more to your liking. This can be done via the control options screen, accessed from the general options screen.

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•   Some options can be changed during a mission by pressing F4. This includes controls. Also handy for reminding yourself what the controls are 😊

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•   Pressing F3 pauses the game and opens up the events window. Clicking on the messages icon will bring up the message log. This is handy if you have been too busy dogfighting to read the messages at the time.

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Iain Baker:

Cheats and Hidden Extras

•   Pressing F3 from the main hall page will allow you to see the ships in close up from any angle. Note that this is a little ‘spoilery’ since it will show every class of ship that might be encountered in that campaign.

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•   To unlock all missions in a campaign, visit the tech room, click on ‘mission simulator’ then hold ‘Shift+Control+S’.

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•   In-mission cheats can be found here: https://wiki.hard-light.net/index.php/Cheats

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