Welcome to the Ship Owner’s Manual! This guide is a reference for crewmembers who are still unaccustomed to the operations aboard a starship. It covers topics such as class roles, the specific functions of each ship system, and basic strategies to employ when faced with combat or other confrontations. Any keys and buttons mentioned in this guide are based on the “Default Bindings”.
DEV NOTES: Are notes that inform about potential features that are not yet implemented.
UPDATED: When you see green text, it means the information above has been updated!
Movement - WASD
Look around - Mouse
Unlock cursor control - Space bar
Use Personal Flight Pack - Double-tab Space bar and hold.
Interact with switches or screens - Left Click
Interact with control station / piloting console - R
Picking up an Item or Entering and exiting a station or structure - R
Swap equipment - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Use item / equipment - Left Click
Enter message into chat box - Enter
Use Flashlight - F
Open / Close Starmap - M
Open / Close TAB menu - tab key
Escape menu - Esc
Many starships consist of a five person crew, each assuming an essential role onboard the ship. Teamwork and coordination are of the utmost importance when embarking on a mission, and can make the difference between success and failure. As such, all crewmembers must be prepared to perform their individual tasks, follow directives from their captain, and even fill the roles of other crewmembers if they should become incapacitated.
The Captain holds a position of leadership. His or her word should be considered absolute, as the Captain’s orders are often necessary to coordinate and support the roles of every other class. Click here to learn more.
The Pilot controls the movement and rotation of the ship itself: dodging enemy fire, positioning the ship to allow turrets to fire clear shots, as well as aligning the ship to warp to new sectors. Click here to learn more.
The Scientist oversees use of the ship’s programs and viruses, as well as sensors. He or she may scan for potential hidden objects in a sector and view acquired information about other vessels’ statuses and components. Click here to learn more.
The Weapons Specialist wields an arsenal of powerful weapons in order to ensure the survival of the ship and its crew within combat situations. He or she has access to advanced turrets, missiles, as well as the occasional nuclear device. Click here to learn more.
The general HUD elements give each crewmember a quick understanding of the condition of the ship, as well as other ships that lie within range of their sensors.
Top right of the screen - This information pertains to all ships within sensor range, including the ship you are currently on. The name of your vessel is highlighted with a blue box. The currently targeted ship is highlighted with a red box.
To the right of the vessel’s name, there are two bars. The top bar represents the total percentage of that vessel’s shields. The lower bar represents the hull. When damage is dealt the bars will drain from left to right.
The colored box to the right of the ship name illustrates the ship’s current alert level:
- No current threat to the ship.
Yellow - Potential threat. Caution is advised.
Red - Imminent or ongoing danger to the ship and crewmembers.
To the left of the screen, players can see their HP. If health is depleted to zero, it will result in death. O2 indicates the amount of oxygen in a player’s environment. If this value reaches zero, the player will begin to suffocate, depleting HP.
The bottom left of the screen is the chat box. Press ENTER to begin typing a message, and press ENTER again to send your message to other players. AI bots and automatic messages from the ship itself will occasionally use the chatbox to provide information to the crew.
The bottom right of the screen will display the current version of the game. It will also name the item you currently have equipped.
Whenever a shield reaches zero integrity, it needs to recharge to its minimum integrity value in order to reactivate. This is indicated by the red markers on the shield integrity bar.
The TAB Menu
By pressing TAB, the overview menu will open. This menu will display stats for the current voyage and a crew roster, as well as allow players to navigate to additional tabs.
Crew Stats can be found in the overview menu. The entire crew levels together, so from here you can view your crew's level and the amount of XP needed to reach the next level.
Galaxy Chaos is also displayed here. The galaxy continually grows and develops over time. Because of this, chaos grows as well. The higher the chaos level, the more unpredictable and dangerous the galaxy becomes.
The maximum chaos rating is 6. The galaxy chaos rating will never decrease, however players can work to slow the spread of chaos.
From here the Captain can target a discovered ship in the current sector. Clicking on the arrows will cycle through the targetable ships in the sector and assign a new target or none at all. The automated turrets and AI will focus on the target ship.
The Captain can add credits to a crew-wide spending pool. It will display the available allowance out of the total amount of credits the crew owns. The Captain can increase and decrease this amount in 100 Credit intervals. If a crewmember sells an item, the amount they sold it for will automatically be added to the crew spending pool.
At the bottom of the overview menu, the Crew Roster displays the names of the crew members currently in the game.
Below the name is the class, and to the right is their current HP.
The Captain can add bots to the game. To the right of “Role Available” you will see an “Add Bot” button. Clicking this will spawn a bot of the corresponding class. Once a bot is spawned, you will see an option to remove it and can customize its AI Priorities.
The Priorities System is a simple yet powerful tool the Captain can use. Each Priority is displayed with 5 nodes. From left to right, they signify: Ignore, Low, Medium, High, Max.
The purpose of this system is to adjust the decision making process of each AI Crew member. By adjusting these priorities, AI crewmembers will act differently in certain situations and with enough time under the Captain’s supervision, they can become unique entities.
DEV NOTES: This system will continually be improved throughout development. Some of the priorities don’t function yet. It’s still quite early for these guys!.
The Starmap illustrates the crew’s location on a galactic scale. Pressing SPACE BAR will move the camera to your current location. Information on discovered sectors will be available to view. Holding the right mouse button and moving up or down will zoom in and out of the map; you can also use a scroll wheel. The Captain can chart a future course by right clicking on a sector to add a waypoint. Right clicking on another sector will add a multi-step course. To remove a waypoint, right click on it again. To remove all waypoints, right click on the ship’s current sector. The large blue circle surrounding the ship’s current sector illustrates the range of the currently installed warp drive. This range is also used to calculate an appropriate path.
When zooming out, specific points of detail will scale in size to help you and your crew approximate distances and find important locations quicker. The three main sectors displayed are the Shops and Repair Depots, Sector Commanders, and the Colonial Union Warp Network. Faction areas are illustrated by the sections of color across the galaxy. These areas will change over time as factions gain or lose influence in the galaxy.
DEV NOTES: Named systems contain planets! Sector Commanders are very difficult opponents. The Starmap is still a work in progress.
Players can apply talent points that they have earned through combat and exploration. There are class-specific talents that will improve the efficiency of actions related to that role, as well as general talents that can be useful in almost any situation. Talents for other classes can also be viewed from this tab. Players gain XP from defeating enemies and exploring unvisited sectors. When enough XP is gathered the entire crew will level up, and each crewmember will receive a number of talent points to spend how they see fit!
Players can also view the talent points of other crewmembers. The Captain must manually assign talent points for any bots in the game.
The Ship Component System allows players to peek inside and assess every major component that runs their ship. Each of these components can be removed and replaced. Managing and installing better components will greatly improve the ship as a whole. The Captain is in charge of purchasing and installing components.
Ship components are broken down into four categories: Basics, Computer, Weapons, Cargo and Thrust. Basic ship components are the major parts that comprise the ship, such as the reactor and hull. Computer related components involve the ship’s processors, as well as viruses and programs. Weapons components are the turrets, lasers, nukes and other weaponry installed on your ship. The Cargo section displays all the uninstalled components the crew is storing. Lastly, the Thrust section contains all the thrusters which are needed to move, rotate and maneuver the ship. Components in cargo may be sold, traded or installed in place of other components at a Trading Station or Repair Depot.
At the right of the ship component menu, there is an additional screen listing information on the currently selected component. It illustrates the properties, level, a short description and other important qualities of the component. These attributes will vary based on the type of component you are viewing. While in a sector containing a Repair Depot, the Captain can move components around by clicking and dragging them. This will either open up a temporary cargo window or component tab menu based on the component you selected. This allows Captains to easily click and drag components to where they are needed.
Pressing the SPACE BAR while the TAB Menu is open will reveal an expanded view of the ship component sections. This expanded view may be preferred by those using a mouse and keyboard.
The Inventory tab consists of two sections - Equipment and Inventory.
The Inventory section displays all the items your character is currently carrying. Every item has a weight value, and exceeding the total weight value in the Inventory section can be detrimental to your character.
The window to the right of the inventory screen provides specific information about the currently selected item. At the top of this window, there is a 3D object viewer and the name of the object. Left-clicking and dragging on the object will rotate it around. Scrolling the mouse wheel will zoom in and out. Below the item description, the weight is listed in addition to other important pieces of information. Consumable items will have a particular amount of health they can restore.
The Equipment section illustrates which equipment items have been assigned. By pressing the corresponding number keys, the player can quickly switch between these items. Equipment items can be unequipped and rearranged to the player’s preferences. When equipping an item, the Equip Item menu will pop up, and the player can assign the item to whichever item slot they prefer.
Lockers are additional storage spaces for the crew. Each crewmate has access to their own locker on their ship. Lockers can be seen as bottomless reservoirs for items that players want to stash.
To move items to and from a locker, simply click on the desired item to be taken or stowed. Crewmembers can freely give any of their items to any other crewmembers. Only the Captain can take and redistribute someone else’s items.
If there is an empty class slot, you will still be able to view their locker with their starting items in it.
The Missions tab is where the Captain and crew can view information about their accepted missions. Each mission has a title and list of objectives, as well as the effects and rewards earned if completed. You can also read a description of the task if you need more information.
Missions are sorted in a list and only one can be maximized at a time. The tab allows players to view completed and abandoned missions as well.
Clicking on the magnifying glass next to the sector number will open the Starmap and locate the sector in which the mission takes place.
Sometimes the effects of completing a mission will be a change the reputation among a number of factions. For example: helping the Colonial Union take down an unregistered WD factory would likely have a positive reputation effect with the CU faction, but a negative one with the WD Corp. With enough positive or negative reputation, people and factions may end up treating you and your crew differently, provide access to high-security areas or missions, or hunt you down for revenge.
DEV NOTES: Reputation does not yet have an effect on the galaxy. Furthermore, since missions are still an early feature they will not necessarily be faction restricted. When more missions are built, we will add more restrictions and move towards a more influential reputation system.
The Teleport Screen
Ships or stations that are equipped with teleport pads will be seen on the Teleportation Screen.
This screen shows the vessel, and then any teleporters underneath it. It also displays the distance from the ship and the status of the quantum shields. Click “Select” to transport yourself to the new vessel. Be warned, if the ship you teleport to has not discovered your own ship on its sensors, you will not be able to warp back until the situation is resolved!
Main System Screens
The four main systems (Engineering, Life Support, Science Lab and Weapons) can be damaged by enemy ship projectiles, missiles, fires and pistols. The Repair Tool can help restore a main system’s integrity and return normal function to the minor systems it controls. Most of the main systems also contain settings that allow players to further customize the allocation of power to each minor system by adjusting the sliders. See the Reactor Screen in the Engineering section to learn more about how power allocation works in PULSAR.
The ExoSuit is considered to be the all-in-one solution for exploring and surviving in extremely hazardous environments. It can function in extreme heat or cold, toxic atmospheres, and zero-oxygen environments. It is a bulky device, so movement and vision are slightly restricted. As such, it was not designed for combat purposes in mind.
The suit will provide temperature readings and other warnings for the type of environment you are currently in.
This concludes the introduction of the game, HUD and overview menu! If you would like to learn more about the specific classes, click on the following resources. If you would like to learn about the galaxy, visit the General Galaxy Information page below.