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Top New Player Questions Answered (A FAQ)


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Special thanks to Danalon, btbarrett, Fractalsponge, Ramalina for helping out.


A quick list of the most asked things by new pilots over the last couple of months.


General Game Questions


Q. Is there Joystick Support?

A. No, and like GSF itself, never say never, but it’s very unlikely to be added, ever. (Lots of technical reasons)


Q. When will there be more (maps, ships, game types)?

A. As of right now, never? The team that developed GSF moved to GSH and other things (lead, retired). Active development as far as the community knows is nil. With that said, it was hinted at in a Cantina event that something was coming after 3.0. What that something is, well, speculation abounds.


Q. What is an “ace”?

A. Umm. Well, umm. An “ace” is, umm. Sigh. Someone that knows the ins and outs of GSF and can use their experience to perform beyond that of new or intermediate players.


Q. Can I become an “ace”?

A. Yes, learn the mechanics and practice. It really is that simple.


Q. All the matches I get are noobs vs. aces, how do I fix it?

A. Right now the only way to get the matchmaker to work right is to have over four, maybe five matches being played and queue at the same time on a given server. The matchmaker requires more pilots that are typical to really shine. When there are only enough pilots for one or two matches it puts anyone and everyone together, you get unbalance matches.


To fix this, get all of your friends to play. Help them understand the game mode and mechanics.


Q. How do I get better?

A. You’ve taken the first step, you came seeking knowledge, you can type /cj gsf on all servers but Pot5, they are special, and require /cj pilot — ask questions in the channel, group with other pilots and learn from doing.

For the ship and theory crafting read





Q. Are voice chat programs cheating?

A. No. Not at all, in fact it’s encouraged that you find people you like to team up and fly together with. Talking to your team is not cheating.


Ship Questions


Q. Why are Bombers so overpowered?

A. They are not, different tactics must be used to defeat them


Q. Why are Gunships so overpowered?

A. They are not, like bombers there are many tactics that you can use to beat gunships.


Q. Why are scouts so overpowered?

A. They are not, like bombers and gunships there are many tactics that you can use to beat scouts.


Q. Why are strike fighters never called overpowered?

A. Because they start out strong and get stronger on a much smaller curve than the others. You could say they are the most balanced of the ship types.


Gameplay Questions

Simple answers to complex questions




Q. Who are my enemies, how do I target them?

A. The other team are shown in red, just like in the ground game.


  1. To target the enemy under your targeting reticle, press E
  2. To target the closest enemy, press TAB. You may cycle through the enemies by pressing TAB multiple times, just like in the ground game.
  3. To target the ship that last fired upon you, press R.

Q. I just targeted a ship, I now have three reticles! What is going on?

A. Every enemy you target will have two reticles, your mouse pointer is the third.


Once you target an enemy, the reticle shape will change from a basic thin gray circle to one with arrows pointing at the targeted ship. This is the bounding box. The bounding box will always be centered around the enemy ship.


The second, is called the lead indicator. The lead indicator shows you where to aim so you can hit a moving target at great distance. The lead indicator will move farther away from the bounding box as the target ship accelerates, closer as the targeted ship slows. Angle also will determine the position of the lead indicator.



Effective Range


Q. How do I know if I'm in range?

A. Your bounding box and lead indicator will both turn from thin and gray to thick and red.


Q. Wait, these are lasers, there is range?

A. Yes, every weapon, lasers included, has an effective range. The effective range of an energy (laser) weapon is listed in the tooltip. You must be within that range for the energy weapon to affect damage. Railguns act the same way.


Lockon missles also have a range. The range on the missile determines how close to the enemy your ship needs to be before the missile will become avalible for use.


Again, your ship must be WITHIN the range to lockon with missiles, or for rails and lasers to affect damage.


For example. Railguns have an effective range of 15,000 meters. You must be within that range (14,999) for the energy weapon to affect damage.


Q. So I have to stay in range of the enemy ship for my missle to hit?

A. No, once you have fired the missile you can leave the lockon range and the missle will still fly to the target enemy ship.




Q. Why are my shots not going to the center of the screen?


A. The controls of Galactic Starfighter act a little different than what you would expect from a flying game. Your shots fire at your aiming reticle, your mouse pointer, not to the center of the screen.


Q. How do I aim then?

A. You place your aiming reticle on lead indicator and keep the aiming reticle there as long as you want to fire on the target. Lasers and rockets are not guided, they require your constant aim.


Q. Even with my reticle over the lead and within range I still miss, a lot. Why?

A. The weapons all have different accuracy and tracking rates. The farther from the center your aiming reticle is, the lower the accuracy and higher the tracking penalty. Try to maneuver your ship so the center of your screen is as close as you can to the targeted ship to increase your accuracy.


Q. How do I get missiles to work?

A. If you are within the range you need to hold your right mouse button down to lockon. You must keep the targeted enemy within the missile targeting arc and the right mouse button held down until the lockon is complete. This varies depending on the missile, it can be between one and half seconds and seven seconds. Read the missile's tooltip for each diffrent missile.


The game gives you two helpers to let you know when you have achived a lockon.

  1. Once you start to lockon, you will hear a beeping tone, when the lockon is complete the tone will become a constant.
  2. The bounding box will draw a second circle that will start out large around the bounding box and get smaller until the missile lockon. It will also flash briefly.


Q. My missiles never hit, howcome?

A. All ships but bombers have multiple ways to break your missile lock. The enemy pilot has until the missile reaches their ship to do so. Many ships have multiple systems that offer missile breaks.


Q. Can I fire primary and secondary weapons at the same time?

A. Yes, and it is the best way to shoot down a target, fire your lasers while you're locking on with a missile or fire both lasers and rockets at the same time. The only time you can't use multiple weapons at the same time is when you are within the targeting scope of a railgun. You rail is the only weapon you can activate.


System Questions


Q. Why did my Sabotage Probe just stop working

A. More than likely you just upgraded to the 5th tier and mastered the system. There is currently a bug that turns off the maneuver lock of the Sabotage Probe when you use the left tier five upgrade that slows the speed of the effected ship. Use the regen (right-hand upgrade) slow until the bug is fixed


Q. Hey my EMP Field / Missile seems small?

A. No, it’s not you, size does matter. The tooltip says 4500 meters, but it’s equal or less than 3000.


Q. My Thermite Torpedo never locks on?

A. We think the targeting arc is actually smaller than stated in the tooltip or shown on the screen. You need to keep the targeting reticle almost dead center until fixed. Treat Themite Torpedos like rockets with a long lockon.


Q. Why does [whatever] I just fired that has a slow, not slow?

A. It does, ION, Interdiction, Concussion an EMP can all slow a ship, we think that the duration listed in the tooltip is actually cut in half for these systems. So a 12 second slow is 6, a 6 becomes a 3.


Q. My Plasma Railgun burn does not work right?

A. Nor does ours. It really has never worked ‘right’ but around patch 2.9 the damage over time seems to have been reduced drastically. However there where no patch notes or tooltip changes and we don’t have a combat log to learn what we’re doing.


Q. When will these bugs be fixed?

A. At a Cantina stop, one of the devs stated that there is a plan for GSF for after 3.0. We’re gonna guess that 3.1 will be the PVP update, like how 2.1 was and these things will get addressed then. Or so we hope.


Q. My Rocket Pods don't lockon, they should lockon?

A. No, they are dumb fire (no guidance) weapons, they fly in a straight line for their entire range. Aim them like you would a laser.




Nov, 10th 2014 -- Cleared up some ambiguity about aim

Nov, 13th 2014 -- More about aim, and targeting.

Edited by zaskar
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You don't think


Q. I have my reticle on the target ship lead but I’m still not hitting anything?

A. Each weapon system has a different maximum effective range. You will know when you’re within range when the gray, thin targeting lead and bounding box will turn thick and red.


Covers that?


That's about when you're in range, not when you're aimed properly on the lead indicator.

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That's about when you're in range, not when you're aimed properly on the lead indicator.


Exactly. As a newb (I may or may not STILL be one), the fact that there is a visual indicator of when you are aimed properly was one of the last things I realized. Personally, I think the color change when in range/out of range is pretty obvious, but in a fire fight trying to target an enemy it can be easy to miss that your reticle is actually giving you information on when you actually have a CHANCE to hit the target. I think a lot of new players are baffled by this when they post accuracy numbers in the single digits.

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Q. How do I get missiles to work?

A. You hold your reticle over the lead of the targeted ship and press your right mouse button and hold it until the lockon beeping tone you hear becomes a constant sound. Your reticle will also have a outer ring that closes in onto itself. Once the ring is complete or you hear the solid tone let go of the right button, the missile will fire.


This is partially incorrect. You need to hold over the ship itself (square box) not over the lead indicator (circle & crosshairs) for missiles.


Doesn't make much difference if both are in the missile firing arc as is the case most of the time, but if you have a close and/or high speed target the lead indicator can get long enough so you can't keep both the ship and the lead indicator in the firing arc at the same time. This also significantly affects "phantom lock loss," if missile fire is your priority the ship is what you want centered to prevent dropping the lock.


Of course, in general the direct fire weapons do more damage and should receive targeting priority. So overall the right advice, but there are cases where you have to make a choice between laser fire and missile fire due to firing arc restrictions when firing at a target crossing your field of view at high speed.


When to make an exception and prioritize missile targeting is probably beyond the scope of this thread. :)

Edited by Ramalina
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