Star Citizen Alpha 3.10 is quite a bit different with it’s ship combat. I wanted to talk about the changes in brief so that you can understand and use them with a bit more of a hands on opinion and how it effects you.
Targeting is now completely different and you will be looking more with your eyes than using automated systems. It’s broken down into 3 main areas: Selection, Locking & Pinning.
Selection – Rather than just pressing a hotkey to auto target and cycle targets it’s a bit more hands on.
Look or point at a target to select or highlight it, this can actually be done with head tracking as well. Literally looking at your target selects it with a box on the HUD.
Locking a target will then draw pips and give you combat information on that target.
You can lock a selection by pressing 1 while looking at it, you can unlock a target this way to.
Also by pressing 2 this will lock the closest target that has you locked (if there are any).
You will get an audio notification if a ship has you locked.
You can have a target locked and a separate one selected.
Pinning – You can pin/unpin your selection (the ship you are looking at which may or may not be targeted) by pressing 3. That allows you to then cycle through those as your primary lock by pressing 4 and 5.
0 will clear all pinned targets.
You can have upto 3 pinned targets at once.
You can also assign ships to specific pin slots by pressing left alt and holding 1 – 3 and then target them by pressing LAlt and tapping 1 – 3
IMO getting used to pinning ships in specific slots and selecting them that way is significantly better than just dealing with 1 target at a time OR pinning in the more basic way.
You can also set in the game settings to only use this method known as indexing.
You can customize those Controls in Flight – Targeting and there lot of other useful ones you can set:
You can set keys to cycle thru selectable targets in your front view arc.
You’ll have to set a key for that tho if you want it.
In Game Settings you can set your preferred PiP type Lag or Lead:
Lead is the default and draws the area you need to aim at from the locked ship. You then point your nose or gimbals at that and fire.
Lag draws an aiming reticle on the hud from your crosshairs which you then have to position on the ship you are shooting.
You can also choose to turn off some of the HUD info and combat assistance if you wish in game settings too.
Ships now have thrusters have “jerk” and accelerate up give the motion you require… this makes ships feel weighter and have a slight delay in some motions and maneuvers, which you can use to your advantage both in the way you move and knowing how your enemy is likely to move too.
Fixed Weapon Assist is a massive change to hitting targets when using Fixed Weapons, Manned Turrets OR manual Gimbals.
Basically you don’t need to be as precise with your hits, the game will allow you a small margin of error… at the moment that makes a lot more projectiles hit.
Evasive maneuvers will still make pilots be able to avoid damage.
And it’s not a full on auto aim… tho Auto-Gimbals are pretty much that.
You can cycle gimbal/fixed fire modes pressing R… if your ship has gimbals then this will cycle thru Auto-Gimbal, Manual Gimbal, Fixed Weapons:
Manual Gimbal allows you a little more precision and turns of the gimbals auto-locking. Fixed Weapons fire straightforward where your nose is pointing.
Auto-Gimbal is a light auto-aim – There is a dotted line and your target reticle within that, you will need to move that near the target and it will lock on for pretty accurate firing. And this is still very powerful in 3.10 BUT I think that
Turrets also benefit from this Fixed Weapon Assist which makes them not just viable but actually extremely powerful.
Also you can toggle between VJoy and 1:1 Mouse by pressing Q while in a turret… (including the Moles Mining Turret)
Turrets feel very different in those 2 modes and people can use joysticks to aim with them more effectively.
Also Gyro-Stabalization which is toggled with G will enable you to keep the turret steady.
V will change to staggered firing for the weapons and holding C will recentre the turret.
You can turn off/toggle ESP with E if you want.
More generally you can adjust ESP settings in games settings too now making it more/less sensitive if you wish. The general feel of ESP and aiming is significantly better imo.
There is now genuine reasons to use fixed weapons… they have higher DPS and may well be better than Auto-Gimballing now.
Using Head-Tracking (with a webcam OR TrackIR) is now very very useful as well with the new targeting system.
Targeting is different a little fiddly at first BUT give it a little time and I think you’ll like it.
It makes scanning, detection and target management much more important.
Turrets are great. However at the moment while I am not great at ship flight and combat it feels very DPS race.
And I can’t work out what the skill floor for making new and casual players effective in game compares to the potential skill ceiling for players that are genuinely great pilots.
There are lots of bits that could be and will be done to improve this further… but I’d actually say the game could benefit from a bit of item and weapon balance SOON as what they look to have done in 3.10 is pretty good fun.