Elite: Dangerous Kickstarter Launched

Soul Nebula is so very pretty

Found my first Fleet Carrier already. Two of them, in fact, near the Base Camp mining station in the Soul Nebula.

It looks big, and expensive.

I possess 1/5 of the wealth necessary to buy one.

Headed to Base Camp instead for repairs (wear and tear, no I didn’t crash into anything!). Next stop, Formidine Rift to check out the site of some early Thargoid discoveries I’ve heard about.

I know my mission now, after visiting the Thargoid sites, I’m heading to the Bubble Nebula, and then Glacier Point. Spectacular sights await, although it’s quite a long way!

Leaving the asteroid base in the Soul Nebula.

Goodbye Soul Nebula. Onwards into the inky black.

This forum needs its like button. Fly safe and far!

I’ve now gone completely oldschool - instead of the steam controller, I’ve actually gone back to keyboard+mouse for controls. Is it as “immersive”? Of course not. Am I tied to my PC instead of being able to toss it up to a TV? Yep. But flying is sooooo much more intuitive. It really probably only matters for combat. The steam controller is fully capable, I just seem to lack the coordination and muscle memory.

Now that I’ve said this, watch me blow up instantly on my next docking run.

Hotas baby, yeah.

The minimum cost of entry to play Elite is a basic HOTAS I think. There’s this inexpensive option from Thrustmaster which works great. There is a PS4/PC version for the same price as well, if you swing that way.


Elite works great with a HOKAS setup (hands on keyboard and stick), if you have a joystick and keyboard. It also works great using a controller + keyboard for some things.

I know HOTAS (or some form thereof) is ideal, but not something I can justify for a single game :)

The simple solution is to buy more HOTAS friendly games!

  • Star Wars: Squadrons
  • Ace Combat 7
  • War Thunder (Free to play)
  • Word of Warplanes (Free to play)
  • IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad
  • DCS World (Free to play… kinda)
  • Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries
  • Overload (Descent-like)
    …to name a handful.

Minimum cost of entry my butt! HOKAM (that works too) is a perfectly cromulent* way to play, in fact it’s my control scheme of choice for any space game like this. I can be more precise with the mouse, and it feels great sweeping it around to bank / roll the ship.

*this is the first time I have actually used this word, but what the hell

I’ve only tried HOTAS a couple of times, but I don’t get the appeal at all. The throttle hand just doesn’t feel great. In most games, the throttle part (pushing it upward and downward) isn’t used all that often, and meanwhile, you need to press all these buttons. And sure, there are buttons on the throttle, but is it easier to press these buttons on the throttle than it is to press buttons on a keyboard? No, it is not. It’s harder. It’s something you need to train your brain to do. So I much prefer the keyboard on that hand for that reason. I just don’t get why people like throttles.

I could see it being cool if you need to actually accelerate and decelerate a lot, but in what games do you need to do that?

You should see me land a hornet in DCS. It’s like I’m sawing wood.

Elite Dangerous

My favorite part of using the hotas is when I fire up Elite for the first time in forever, and accidentally hit the turbo thrust button when trying to reverse when messing up my docking in a station.

Maybe that’s the issue? Were you instantly proficient with the keyboard and mouse?

The benefit of a (good!) HOTAS is having everything you need at your fingertips. These are inspired by the cockpit of fighter jets. Why don’t they use a keyboard and mouse there? Because it would hit you in the helmet if you flew upside down! And it isn’t a universal interface. The cockpit is designed to do one required set of tasks as efficiently as possible.

There is absolutely a learning curve. When someone gets over that, though, you can instinctively do the thing you want. They develop muscle memory and act before conscious thought.

It’s like a car with a touchscreen interface for the radio versus buttons and knobs. They both get the job done. In many ways the touchscreen is more flexible. But in my car where I’m familiar with those buttons and knobs I can change the volume, switch tracks, change stations, and use the cruise control without devoting significant mental energy - or attention! - thinking about how.

I agree with all that, but 90% of that, you’re getting from the Stick. 10% at most you’re getting from throttle.

Good throttles tend to have buttons as well so it’s quite handy.

I’ve watched Youtube videos of people doing some amazing stuff in ED using dual joysticks. I keep meaning to try it someday.

So I’m in the Formidine Rift now, it feels somehow spookier out here. I found a system with an unregistered beacon. It just sits there, not broadcasting. Perhaps it broadcasts intermittently, and perhaps the signal is “Stay Away!” but of course I have not come all this way to do that.

There’s a planet nearby, my scans have detected two sites. One is human. One is “other”. Ominous.

I found the human site. There’s no sun out here, which doesn’t help relieve the tension. The site itself was being circled by three human craft, but the place itself looks deserted. No idea what’s going on, but time to explore.