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DakhathKilrathi
07.02.2015 , 12:34 PM | #1
THIS IS NOT CURRENT AS OF 5.5

Some of the information is still good, but in general anything I had to say about Strikes and missiles is wrong now. RFL also isn't complete trash anymore.

Look for a new, more detailed guide as soon as I have a solid idea of where things stand and enough sleep to manage writing something.

Until then, check Despon's guide to the 5.5 changes.

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Hi! I'm Dak (better known in game as Sriia or Zyrieas). Lately, I feel like I see a lot of the same mistakes from newer players. I always try to say something about it when I see it, but that means I end up saying something all the time. I also get a lot of the same questions from newer players.

I have a couple days of sub time left, and decided: hey, why not post a guide? I know this forum has several guides already, but this one is a bit more limited in scope, and it addresses just the things I see too much or get asked about. A couple of these are just my opinion, but I've made sure to explain my reasoning under each item, opinion or not.

Because I plan to let my subscription lapse again, I've cross-posted this guide to the Ebon Hawk Community forums. If for some reason I decide to update it, updates will be posted there. (Edit: Currently subbed again, but this could change any time. The guide is up to date right now.)

General tips are first, followed by class specific tips in the sections below that.


General Tips

Read the other guides.
As soon as you're done here - and possibly before - you should check out the other very helpful guides available in this forum. Most are much more in depth than this one is. Start with Stasie's Galactic Starfighter Guide and be sure to check the other guides that are linked there. Both Pincer's and Despon's guides are good beginner guides too. We say a lot of the same things, but we each took a different angle of approach and you can get something helpful from each of these.

Then go check out the GSF School Youtube channel.

Join the GSF channel to find help and/or groups.
On most servers, this channel is just [gsf]. Join it by typing: "/cjoin gsf". People in this channel are happy to help you learn how to play. Note that you can add new tabs or change chat channel colors: right click on the tabs at the top and choose "Create New Tab" or "Chat Settings." From the Chat Settings menu you can change the color of any channel and choose which tabs they are displayed on.

Join the (unofficial) GSF Community Discord Server
We also have a Discord server! It's open to anyone, and we have players from every server. You can use this resource to ask for help, find players on your server, find groups, or just chat about the game. There are also several voice channels that are open to any group, anytime.

You're going to die a lot at first. That's okay.
I understand that it's frustrating to be the new guy. A lot of the people who play this game have been playing it since GSF launched, and they happen to be very good at it. As with any PVP game, it's going to take time for you to learn the mechanics. Improve your chances by looking for a group in your server's GSF channel and asking for help. You might benefit from watching some of the gameplay videos that are out there. Drakolich has some good ones, including some good tutorials. The GSF School channel is also a great source of information and I can't recommend it enough.

When something kills you, pay attention to what happened. Try to avoid dying the same way in the future. If you're ever unsure of how or why you died, ask! Most of us are happy to help, because we want you to like this game as much as we do.

Spend the 20k Fleet Requisition from the intro quest on a Rampart/Razorwire, a Quarrel/Mangler, a Flashfire/Sting, and crew members you need for your build.
The devs recently updated the intro quest so that you can get more for the intro quest. You want these three ships on your bar from the very beginning. These three are the major meta ships, and you will want to have them so you can earn req on them even if you don't want to play them yet. Also pick up crew members for your build (check Stasie's guide if you need help with this). Once you have the ships you want to unlock and the crew members, consider getting the right components for each slot with your remaining Fleet requisition, but be careful how much you spend.

Always remember to pick up the daily/weekly GSF missions.
This will help you upgrade your ships faster.

Get rid of Rapid Fire Lasers ASAP.
It sucks, but for some reason the devs give you the worst possible weapon on the starter ships. Switch to something else as soon as you can and remember that there are plenty of build guides available. In fact...

Don't just upgrade the stock components!
In general, you want to change a few of the components that come on each ship. Most of them have odd or unusable choices to start with. Stasie's guide is a good place to check for builds that actually work.

Only fire at targets that are in range, and remember to shoot at the lead indicator, not the ship itself.
If your accuracy is consistently under 5%, this tip is for you. The lead indicator changes color from grey to red when you're in range.

Turn down mouse sensitivity in Windows.
Most of the time, you're going to find that this will help. I don't know why you can't adjust sensitivity in game, but you can't. This is the best way to work around that limitation. You can always change it back when you aren't playing, though I've found that I don't have to turn it down that much.

Skill > Gear
Don't make the mistake of thinking that you're being outclassed simply because of upgrades. Having the right components is important, but it doesn't cost very much requisition to get them. Upgrades to those components help, but they really only matter in a situation where skill is comparable. It is possible to dominate a game in a stock ship, and there are players on this forum who have done so.

No, [insert class here] is not overpowered or impossible to kill. You just haven't learned how yet.
There is a way to beat every ship in the game. Nothing is invincible. If you want help learning to deal with a specific type of ship, just ask! We're happy to help around here.

Generally speaking: scouts counter gunships, gunships counter bombers, bombers counter scouts. This doesn't mean that picking the counter means you're going to win, however. If you don't know what you're doing, you're still going to get killed.

Spacebar to boost.
This one shouldn't need to be said, but a lot of new players just don't know how to do this for some reason. I see this all the time.

Take the time to read the information in game about Starfighter and check the key binds so you know what the controls are.
There aren't that many controls in game, but there are enough that you may not realize it's possible to do something until you see that there's a default key for it.

Stay very close to satellites to capture or prevent your team from losing them.
This is another one that shouldn't need to be said, but new players struggle with this. The capture range is actually very small, so stay inside the fins. If you're the only one on your team near a contested satellite (you can tell it's contested if it's flashing on the UI), stay on it as long as you can. If your choices are fly away from the node or die, you should choose to die. The couple of seconds you buy might be long enough for someone else to get there.

Learn where Damage Overcharge (DO) spawns in Team Deathmatch, and pay attention to who has it.
You might think there are no objectives in TDM. You would be wrong. Damage Overcharge is a powerup that doubles the damage of any ship that picks it up. They have predictable spawn locations, and you should take the time to learn where they spawn. If possible, let the better players on your team get this powerup, but it's okay to snag it if it means preventing the other team from getting it. Watch for the big red/green text to pop up to tell you who picked up DO. If it's a red name, immediately tab target to locate them so you can avoid them. Drakolich posted a very helpful guide that can help you learn where these spawn.


Spend a little time in the tutorial practicing flying around, locking on missiles, and generally learning how the game is played.
No, it's not a great tutorial, but it's better than nothing. Access the tutorial by clicking on the '?' icon on the top right of the GSF hangar window (the window you queue from).

Strike Fighters are underpowered.
I know, the flavor text makes them sound useful, but they really aren't. They're currently underpowered compared to the other ships available to you. This might change eventually. Until it does, fly a scout, a bomber, or a gunship.

Copilot Choice
Specifically, don't use hydrospanner. It sounds great, right? The trouble is that it only repairs 245 hull damage, and it needs six seconds to do that. Generally speaking, this is acceptable only on a Charged Plating bomber. On a scout, a strike, or a gunship, you would be better served by running Wingman for accuracy. If you absolutely must have a defensive cooldown, run Running Interference instead (particularly on scouts or gunships). Damage you prevent is better than damage you repair in all cases.

Your choices for the copilot slot are based on the crew members you pick for the other four slots. If you don't see the Copilot you want, make sure you have them selected under one of the other categories.

Accuracy and Evasion are a large part of this game.
Sometimes your shots miss. Sometimes that's your fault, but there are times when you will miss simply because your target has very high evasion. The counter to evasion is accuracy. In general, you want to get as much accuracy as you can. Check the Offensive crew members and make sure the one you're using has the Pinpointing passive, and, as I said above, run Wingman if you can.

Don't fly in a straight line while someone is shooting you.
By varying your course (and to a lesser extent speed; you want to be boosting away in general) you make it harder for anyone to hit you. Practice this. Your goal should be to get to an asteroid or a satellite or some other obstacle you can use to try to break line of sight.

Check who shot you with R, and cycle targets with Tab.
These are the default keybinds, and you can change them if you want. You should get in the habit of cycling targets to have a quick look at what's going on in the match.

Line of sight is important.
If you can find some sort of obstacle (a rock, a satellite, a piece of debris) to fly very close to when someone is shooting at you, you can make it difficult or impossible for them to hit you. This is particularly useful against gunships or long lock missiles. Remember that you can tap the 'C' key to take a look at your current target to verify that they don't have LoS.

Watch for (and use) friendly hyperspace beacons. Hunt down the other team's beacons.
Beacons give you a place to spawn that is much closer to the objectives. In domination (particularly Denon), hyperspace beacons are very important. Use them if they are available, and destroy any hyperspace beacons that you see. Check the enemy team's bombers for the Hyperspace Beacon buff icon. If you see it, someone should go find the beacon.

For upgrades that have two options, you can only choose one (but you can change your mind later).
For example, on Heavy Laser Cannon, the upgrade at tier 4 is either "Improved Tracking and Critical Hit Chance" OR "Ignore Armor". Choose one or the other, and remember that you can change your mind at any time for no additional requisition cost.

Take Ignore Armor on any weapon that has this talent.
In GSF, armor penetration is a binary choice. Either you have it or you don't. This allows your weapons to ignore a target's Damage Reduction. Damage Reduction is common on bombers, so ensuring that you have some sort of armor penetration available will help you kill them faster. Satellite turrets are also armored. Note that rocket pods have armor pen as the first upgrade.

Ion Missile is hilariously bad.
Yeah. Don't run this.

Practice power management.
By default, this is on F1 - F4. F1 is power to weapons. Use this if you are shooting at something. F2 is power to shields. Use this when you need your shields to recharge quickly, but remember that shields do not regen while you're under fire, and make sure you swap back to something else pretty quickly. F3 is power to engines. If you're boosting and/or you need to regen engine power, this is where you should be. F4 is balanced, but you shouldn't be spending any time on this setting. I find that I spend most of my time with power to engines.

Consider saving your daily/weekly req tokens until you have the ships you want.
If you hold onto your daily tokens, you can pop them all at once when you're done buying ships for a while and have a nice boost on the ships you held them for.

Play a little of everything.
By learning to play any type of ship, you also learn how to beat them. It's much easier to understand what the weaknesses of a class are when you're familiar with the class. It also means you have more options if someone plays the counter to your preferred ship type.



Gunship Tips
Spoiler


Bomber Tips
Spoiler


Scout Tips
Spoiler


Strike Tips
Spoiler