This section will show you how to navigate between distant locations such as moons, planets and rest stops.
Open the Star Map
To plot a course between planetary bodies you will need to open the star map F2. The map will open but might be zoomed so far can’t see anything onscreen! You will have to shrink the map using the mouse scroll-wheel and you will see planets Hurston, Crusader and their moons.
- Press and hold the left mouse button to rotate the map
- Press and hold the right mouse button to move the map.
You can also get to the star map by clicking on F1 then click the symbol that looks like ((+)) to access the Star Map. You can find it in a strip of icons running across the lower part of the display.
Select a Destination
On your first flight select a local moon using the mouse to click on its symbol. A dotted line will appear showing that you have selected a potential route. Press the Set Route button to confirm this is the route you want and the connecting line becomes solid.
You can optionally, double-click the target moon to zoom in and select a named destination on the surface, or you can do it when you arrive.
If you select a route that is longer than your fuel permits you will need to use a rest stop as a refuelling station. The larger the ship the more fuel it carries.
Engage the Hyperdrive
Close the mobiGlass UI controls F2. If you have a visible radar in your ship it should now have a line on it pointing the way to your destination. If not, there will be a small blue marker somewhere on the screen indicating where you can find your target.
Assuming you have a radar in the lower half of the screen, press W to increase engine speed from zero, spin the ship around using Q or E until the radar destination line is pointing upward. Raise the ship’s nose until the line shrinks down to the centre of the radar and your destination simultaneously arrives at the centre of the screen.
Put your central cross-hairs over the selected moon and press B to enable the quantum drives. They will begin calibrating themselves (wait a bit). If spooling isn’t already underway or completed, press B to initiate it.
When the hyperdrive is both calibrated and spooled, press and hold B to engage the hyperspace jump.
When I first started playing SC I thought orbital markers were fairly random things, but they aren’t. The markers rotate in sync with the planet and are geostationary, so you can use them to identify a location on the planet’s surface.
OM1 and OM2 mark a line through the planet poles and I would be inclined to think that OM1 marks the ‘UP’ position for the solar system as far as the developers are concerned. From a player’s perspective, OM1 and OM2 mark a line perpendicular to the orbital plane and both sides of the plane (the North and South hemispheres) are similar. If you are going to meet team members at a planet, the polar markers are always visible although you will arrive at the equator and you can’t be sure which of the equatorial markers will be closest.
Interestingly, the perpendicular lines that lay in the orbital plane and the equator are numbered as pairs (3,4) and (5,6) instead of clockwise as seen from OM1. As you go around the equator the numbers are not in order so if you get disorientated the marker numbers are less helpful than they could have been.
The distances from three markers will give you a rough location on the planet, but it’s not as easy to find a location as it sounds.