Freelancer Controls

Well,this was on sale,so despite my projoystick bias I picked it up.

As I figured, I’m having fits controling my ship, and can’t hit a damn thing.I keep over shooting the target when turning. Any tips since you all seem to be playing it OK?? BTW, I also can’t fire missiles despite repeatedly pressing “Q”. Any ideas?

Sure is pretty though:)

a). You’ll get used to it, just think of it like a FPS. Remember, the guns don’t fire straight ahead, they fire at where the cursor is pointed. Makes for great action.

b). Make sure you actually have missiles loaded.

There is a little plus sign that tells you where to aim your guns. Only fire at the plus sign and then you will lead your target properly and hit it.

There are two ways to fly. One way is to constantly hold down the
left mouse button while “mouselooking”. The other is to press the
space bar, and you’re in permanent mouse flight mode.

What a lot of us do is use the LMB method when shuttling around, but then press the space bar in combat. Then you only have to worry about moving the mouse. As someone else said, place your targeting reticle over the + sign, which is the lead indicator. You’ll also get better results if all your weapons have the same projectile velocity, as the lead indicator is a running average.


Loyd Case

Also, there is a strategy / ship design element to targetting. Each beam type has a different “projectile speed”. If the speed dont match then the plus sign (targeting reticule) will not function properly - it will split the diff between the fast and slow weapons and you will end up under or overshooting (or both). Therefore its best to pick guns with similar projectile speeds (ranges can vary but proj speeds need to match).

Also, when starting, the weakest opponents in Liberty are the Rogues. Take difficulty 1 and 2 missions (2500 credits and under) to face level 1 opponents vs the Rogues. If you start against the others you face minimum level 3 and up opponents (even on difficulty 1 missions), who fly better and are harder to hit.

also, make sure you are using mouse flight where your ship turns as you move the mouse, not the standard “click and drag” flight which is MUCH clumsier for dogfighting.

Hope these help,


I think this is the problem, I don’t play FPS’s :shock:

Joystick Space sims are really the only thing close to an “action” game that I play. I prefer TB Strategy and RPGs…

Thanks everybody for the tips.I turned mouse sensitivity way down,and it’s much better for turns and aiming for me, may even turn it down some more. Missiles and countermeasures seem hit or miss for some reason, sometimes they work, sometimes not, and sometimes they seem to fire on their own for some bloody reason :!:

Keep in mind that there is an effectiveness rating for countermeasures (the default ones are 70% effective, I think). Also, WHEN you fire a missile has a great deal to do with whether or not it hits.

Or do you mean that they simply fail to activate at all?

“Missiles and countermeasures seem hit or miss for some reason, sometimes they work, sometimes not, and sometimes they seem to fire on their own for some bloody reason”

The cheapo ones you can initially buy aren’t that great. I’d recommend not bothering with missiles and CMs until later. You can go the whole game without missiles, really.

I use missiles for secondary targets and for “softening” targets, especially weakening shields. I use mines for getting someone off my back in a fight (turrets work for this too). The missiles help me a lot in fighting, especially if you get the seeker types, which are really fire and forget (as opposed to get close and then fire and hope). I don’t enter missions without missiles as I tend to die without them, and I would NEVER enter without CMs…it’s suicide in some cases. 70% success rate is better than nothing, and you can usually get the equipment from looting.

I did use a lot of mines and CMs. Whenever I heard “incoming missile” I’d drop a CM and a mine. I wish I could get feeback after the mission as to how the mines and CMs performed.

I used seeking missiles too, but I found that an extra gun worked just as well for me instead of the missiles, and it was cheaper. You’re well beyond the end of the single player game, I take it, so perhaps the missiles are more important in the battles you’re facing.

I wish I could get feeback after the mission as to how the mines and CMs performed.

There’s a lot of feedback stuff like this that just isn’t there.

Is there some way to sort the trade stuff so that only bases that are a couple of jumps away show up? Only bases in this system?

Is there some way to find out what sort of equipment my enemies are regularly using? Am I really supposed to scan ships during combat and remember the results in order to optimize my weapon choice? or am I just not supposed to think like that?

I don’t mind the mouseflight controls at all. In fact I really like parts of this game, but …there could be more here.

guest above was me. oops.

No skip cutscene key. I fogot to bitch about that one.
Consider it done.

Sounds like you might be forgetting to turn off your afterburners, which results in you constantly overshooting your targets and mysteriously being unable to shoot. This happens to me one time in ten, and is incredibly mystifying when it happens.

Every time an enemy appears when I’m cruising I do the exact same thing:

Mouse Wiggle


Break Formation
Mouse Flight
Target Nearest Enemy
Evasive Maneuvers

Wasn’t Freelancer originally going to support autopilot macros of this sort? My routine is exactly the same in that regard. Maybe the devs thought that would make the game too easy?

  • Alan

Maybe some missiles don’t fire unless you are targeting things? Also, you should only be attacking red or white targets. I don’t know if that is any part of any problem…just throwing it in. As for Mark’s comments above, I agree. You can certainly use extra guns instead of missiles. AFAIK, this stays effective forever. It’s really more of a preference thing. As I said, I use a lot of fire and forget type stuff, especially on secondary targets. I often attack the incoming ships with a missile and drop a mine as they tend to swoop past me, and then I focus more. If the ship is tougher than me, sometimes a missile helps because it does more immediate damage and does it quicker. It’s also easier to target at range, but then you risk CMs destroying your missiles. I would say that if missiles aren’t helping you, or just give you more than you want to worry about, you don’t need them. But personally, I find them to be very helpful when up against groups, or superior fighters.

As for Mark’s comments above, I agree. You can certainly use extra guns instead of missiles. AFAIK, this stays effective forever. It’s really more of a preference thing.

Not entirely. One thing you guys aren’t taking into account is Freelancer’s under-the-hood energy requirements.

Each hull has a built-in ‘power plant’, for lack of a better word, that maxxes out as you get each gun’s hardpoint up towards it maximum class of weapon. When you reach this point, you start having down time between shots as you wait for the yellow energy bar to fill.

One way around this is to take a missile or two, depending on how many hardpoints you have. This protects you from having to deal with energy drain, particularly as you start to use more powerful guns.

(BTW, like the projectile speed/lead target indicator relationship, I don’t think this is documented anywhere.)


With a couple of Level 10 guns I definitely have to pick my shots a bit more carefully, but it’s not too bad. I might try missiles again just for the heck of it though. I stopped using them early in the game because they decreased my profit margin from random missions (having to restock each time).

Are you guys sure the autopilot doesn’t fire off CMs and missiles on its own?? I just had a firefight where I don’t think I fired one off but they were all gone at the end. I’m getting better at fighting but need to figure out how to make better $.

I 'm level 7, trying to buff up for the next plot missions, but can’t seem to get above 12K,and then I spend it all resupplying missiles,CMs,bots,and batteries.The $ and loot (basically crap, IMO) for the 5-6 level or below missions I’m being offered lets me break even at best.

I even tried a trade mission, overheard convoy to Maggellan was selling water,so I stock up on H2O, but then couldn’t get through the Jumpgate.Waste of time.

BTW,is there a commodities screen I’m missing? I only seem to get trade routes for what’s in my hold,and what’s for sale at each dealer BUT not a global listing of seller,dealers, and prices I’ve discovered ,so I could plan and put together some profitable routes on my own.

Enjoying the game but some things could have been done better. Love to be able to select more than one group of contacts w/o having to select all. I won’t bother to repeat the unanimous NPC grips :twisted:

Don’t use missiles. Too expensive, too little bang. Buy guns that fire the same speed, try and get a mix of shield/hull damage. That’s the only trick.