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[Guide] Tips for New GSF Players

6 replies
Hi! I'm Dak (better known in game as Sriia or Zyrieas). Lately, I feel like I see a lot of the same mistakes from newer players. I always try to say something about it when I see it, but that means I end up saying something all the time. I also get a lot of the same questions from newer players.

I know, a guide directed at new players has been done before, but this one is a bit more specific in that it addresses mistakes (or at least, things I feel are mistakes) that new players make all the time.

Most of these are opinion, but it's opinion backed by around four thousand games of experience. I play every class of ship. I have more experience in some than in others, but in general, I have some idea of what I'm talking about.

General tips are first, followed by class specific tips in the sections below that.

General Tips

Read the other guides.
As soon as you're done here - and possibly before - you should check out the other very helpful guides available in the GSF forum. Most are much more in depth than this one is. Start with Stasie's Galactic Starfighter Guide and be sure to check the other guides that are linked there. Both Pincer's and Despon's guides are good beginner guides too. We say a lot of the same things, but we each took a different angle of approach and you can get something helpful from each of these.

Join the GSF channel to find help and/or groups.
On most servers, this channel is just [gsf]. Join it by typing: "/cjoin gsf". People in this channel are happy to help you learn how to play. Note that you can add new tabs or change chat channel colors: right click on the tabs at the top and choose "Create New Tab" or "Chat Settings." From the Chat Settings menu you can change the color of any channel and choose which tabs they are displayed on.

You're going to die a lot at first. That's okay.
I understand that it's frustrating to be the new guy. A lot of the people who play this game have been playing it since GSF launched, and they happen to be very good at it. As with any PVP game, it's going to take time for you to learn the mechanics. Improve your chances by looking for a group in your server's GSF channel and asking for help. You might benefit from watching some of the gameplay videos that are out there. Drakolich has some good ones, including some good tutorials.

When something kills you, pay attention to what happened. Try to avoid dying the same way in the future. If you're ever unsure of how or why you died, ask! Most of us are happy to help, because we want you to like this game as much as we do.

Spend the 5k Fleet Requisition from the intro quest on a Rampart/Razorwire and a Quarrel/Mangler.
I see so many new players with a Pike or a Comet Breaker or something as their third ship. The Rampart and the Quarrel are both competitive ships, and, along with the Flashfire, ships you will want to have. Your third purchase should probably be a Flashfire/Sting (though it's acceptable to get the Flashfire first, so long as you pick up the Rampart and the Quarrel next). Once you have those three ships, then you can start thinking about the other options.

Get rid of Rapid Fire Lasers ASAP.
It sucks, but for some reason the devs give you the worst possible weapon on the starter ships. Switch to something else as soon as you can and remember that there are plenty of build guides available.

Only fire at targets that are in range, and remember to shoot at the lead indicator, not the ship itself.
If your accuracy is consistently under 5%, this tip is for you. The lead indicator changes color from grey to red when you're in range.

Turn down mouse sensitivity in Windows.
Most of the time, you're going to find that this will help. I don't know why you can't adjust sensitivity in game, but you can't. This is the best way to work around that limitation. You can always change it back when you aren't playing, though I've found that I don't have to turn it down that much.

Skill > Gear
Don't make the mistake of thinking that you're being outclassed simply because of upgrades. Having the right components is important, but it doesn't cost very much requisition to get them. Upgrades to those components helps, but they really only matter in a situation where skill is comparable. It is possible to dominate a game in a stock ship, and there are players on the GSF forum who have done so.

No, [insert class here] is not overpowered or impossible to kill. You just haven't learned how yet.
There is a way to beat every ship in the game. Nothing is invincible. If you want help learning to deal with a specific type of ship, just ask! The people in the GSF community are happy to help new players learn.

Generally speaking: scouts counter gunships, gunships counter bombers, bombers counter scouts. This doesn't mean that picking the counter means you're going to win, however. If you don't know what you're doing, you're still going to get killed.

Spacebar to boost.
This one shouldn't need to be said, but a lot of new players just don't know how to do this for some reason. I see this all the time.

Take the time to read the information in game about Starfighter and check the key binds so you know what the controls are.
There aren't that many controls in game, but there are enough that you may not realize it's possible to do something until you see that there's a default key for it.

Stay very close to satellites to capture or prevent your team from losing them.
This is another one that shouldn't need to be said, but new players struggle with this. The capture range is actually very small, so stay inside the fins. If you're the only one on your team near a contested satellite (you can tell it's contested if it's flashing on the UI), stay on it as long as you can. If your choices are fly away from the node or die, you should choose to die. The couple of seconds you buy might be long enough for someone else to get there.

Learn where Damage Overcharge (DO) spawns in Team Deathmatch, and pay attention to who has it.
You might think there are no objectives in TDM. You would be wrong. Damage Overcharge is a powerup that doubles the damage of any ship that picks it up. They have predictable spawn locations, and you should take the time to learn where they spawn. If possible, let the better players on your team get this powerup, but it's okay to snag it if it means preventing the other team from getting it. Watch for the big red/green text to pop up to tell you who picked up DO. If it's a red name, immediately tab target to locate them so you can avoid them. Drakolich posted a very helpful guide that can help you learn where these spawn.

Spend a little time in the Tutorial practicing flying around, locking on missiles, and generally learning how the game is played.
No, it's not a great tutorial, but it's better than nothing. Access the tutorial by clicking on the '?' icon on the top right of the GSF hangar window (the window you queue from).

Strike Fighters are underpowered.
I know, the flavor text makes them sound useful, but they really aren't. They're currently underpowered compared to the other ships available to you. This might change eventually. Until it does, fly a scout, a bomber, or a gunship.

Copilot Choice
Specifically, don't use hydrospanner. It sounds great, right? The trouble is that it only repairs 245 hull damage, and it needs six seconds to do that. Generally speaking, this is acceptable only on a Charged Plating bomber. On a scout, a strike, or a gunship, you would be better served by running Wingman for accuracy. If you absolutely must have a defensive cooldown, run Running Interference instead (particularly on scouts or gunships). Damage you prevent is better than damage you repair in all cases.

Your choices for the copilot slot are based on the crew members you pick for the other four slots. If you don't see the Copilot you want, make sure you have them selected under one of the other categories.

Accuracy and Evasion are a large part of this game.
Sometimes your shots miss. Sometimes that's your fault, but there are times when you will miss simply because your target has very high evasion. The counter to evasion is accuracy. In general, you want to get as much accuracy as you can. Check the Offensive crew members and make sure the one you're using has the Pinpointing passive, and, as I said above, run Wingman if you can.

Don't fly in a straight line while someone is shooting you.
By varying your course (and to a lesser extent speed; you want to be boosting away in general) you make it harder for anyone to hit you. Practice this. Your goal should be to get to an asteroid or a satellite or some other obstacle you can use to try to break line of sight.

Check who shot you with R, and cycle targets with Tab.
These are the default keybinds, and you can change them if you want. You should get in the habit of cycling targets to have a quick look at what's going on in the match.

Line of sight is important.
If you can find some sort of obstacle (a rock, a satellite, a piece of debris) to fly very close to when someone is shooting at you, you can make it difficult or impossible for them to hit you. This is particularly useful against gunships or long lock missiles. Remember that you can tap the 'C' key to take a look at your current target to verify that they don't have LoS.

Watch for (and use) friendly hyperspace beacons. Hunt down the other team's beacons.
Beacons give you a place to spawn that is much closer to the objectives. In domination (particularly Denon), hyperspace beacons are very important. Use them if they are available, and destroy any hyperspace beacons that you see. Check the enemy team's bombers for the Hyperspace Beacon buff icon. If you see it, someone should go find the beacon.

For upgrades that have two options, you can only choose one (but you can change your mind later).
For example, on Heavy Laser Cannon, the upgrade at tier 4 is either "Improved Tracking and Critical Hit Chance" OR "Ignore Armor". Choose one or the other, and remember that you can change your mind at any time for no additional requisition cost.

Take Ignore Armor on any weapon that has this talent.
In GSF, armor penetration is a binary choice. Either you have it or you don't. This allows your weapons to ignore a target's Damage Reduction. Damage Reduction is common on bombers, so ensuring that you have some sort of armor penetration available will help you kill them faster. Satellite turrets are also armored. Note that rocket pods have armor pen as the first upgrade.

Ion Missile is hilariously bad.
Yeah. Don't run this.

Practice power management.
By default, this is on F1 - F4. F1 is power to weapons. Use this if you are shooting at something. F2 is power to shields. Use this when you need your shields to recharge quickly, but remember that shields do not regen while you're under fire, and make sure you swap back to something else pretty quickly. F3 is power to engines. If you're boosting and/or you need to regen engine power, this is where you should be. F4 is balanced, but you shouldn't be spending any time on this setting. I find that I spend most of my time with power to engines.

Consider saving your daily/weekly req tokens until you have the ships you want.
If you hold onto your daily tokens, you can pop them all at once when you're done buying ships for a while and have a nice boost on the ships you held them for.

Gunship Tips
Spoiler: Show

Bomber Tips
Spoiler: Show

Scout Tips
Spoiler: Show

Strike Tips
Spoiler: Show
Posted Jul 2, 15 · OP · Last edited Jun 5, 16
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Untagged users
As a fellow member of the six digits club, I approve this message.

(Except the part where the shield regen is apparently 225 per 3s for the bomber but won't cover an RFL hit for under 200. That needs rewording derp derp reading is hard. Also maybe worth putting a note about ammo in for the spearpoint.)
Posted Jul 2, 15 · Last edited Jul 2, 15
Thank you for posting this. I never dared to take part in GSF maybe I will give it a try.
Posted Jul 3, 15
Vivek x
Banned users
All this thread has told me that I not only want to start GSFing, but only on the condition that I am on Dakhath's team. She will carry us all to victory!
Posted Jul 3, 15
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Edited. Added a couple new items and updated some things. This is the biggest addition:
Spoiler: Show
Posted Jul 3, 15 · OP · Last edited Jul 3, 15
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x 1
Added another minor update including some links to other guides as well as a section about Damage Overcharge.
Posted Sep 14, 15 · OP
Reposting from the official forums, sort of.

Type 1 Gunship (Quarrel/Mangler) Guide

Key Components: Ion Railgun (T4 left: Area Damage) (T5 Right: Reactor Disruption), Slug Railgun (T3: Ignore Armor), Barrel Roll (at least T2 for reduced cooldown), Burst Laser Cannon, Regeneration Extender, Wingman as a copilot ability. Optional but recommended: Distortion Field as a missile break, BLC (T4 left: Ignore Armor).

Strength: Range, ion AOE, capable of one-shotting most enemies with Damage Overcharge

Weakness: Mobility (barrel roll helps with this). Needs support to be most effective and doesn't handle pressure well. One persistent scout can slow you down. Two take you out of the game entirely if they're any good (and they will probably kill you).

TDM Role:
  • Focus on targets with low evasion (strikes, bombers, Feedback or Fortress gunships).
  • Clear mines and drones with ion AOE.
  • Pick off enemies with low health.
  • Support teammates: use ion to weaken their targets. This is especially important with enemy gunships; use ion to drain their weapon and engine power.
  • Destroy or distract enemies chasing your team. As above: this is especially important with enemy gunships; use ion to drain their weapon and engine power.
  • With Damage Overcharge: destroy as many targets as possible with slug railgun.
  • If pressured by multiple enemies: keep enemies chasing you for as long as possible (and remember to stay near your team). The longer they spend on you without killing you, the more time your team has to get points.
  • Use ion AOE to affect targets with high evasion by shooting a target near them if possible.

Domination Role:
Many of the same ideas from TDM apply, but your focus should be on objectives, not kills, and staying alive is not as much of a priority. In some cases, it may even be better to die if it gets you free to provide support again.

In general:
  • Destroy any enemy hyperspace beacons.
  • Inform your team of what's going on. Since you aren't on a sat you will likely see what's coming first. Call inc if you get the chance.
  • Stay mobile and respond where you can be most helpful.

  • Destroy mines and drones on satellites with ion AOE.
  • Use ion AOE to weaken enemies near satellites.
  • Clear turrets when your team attacks a satellite, but leave one to use for ion until your team is on the satellite.
  • Destroy targets on an enemy satellite when you get line of sight.
  • Weaken or destroy any reinforcements before they can get to the satellite. Bombers are a priority.

  • Destroy enemies before they reach a satellite, especially bombers.
  • Use ion AOE to clear mines if a bomber does reach the satellite.
  • Use ion to soften targets so turrets or teammates can finish them off.
  • If you're the only defender and the satellite is flashing: get on the node with barrel roll and use BLC to defend until your team can get there to back you up. In this situation, focus on staying alive for as long as possible.

The type one gunship's primary role is support, but this includes getting kills where you can. Dead enemies are enemies that don't threaten your team. Focus on eliminating bombers first, gunships second, and other targets whenever you get the chance. Be flexible, however, and adapt as match conditions change. For example, it may not be worth chasing down a bomber (in TDM at least) if other targets are available.

When to use:
Domination or TDM where the other team has one or more bombers. Matches where there aren't a lot of scouts. Consider playing something different if you find yourself facing a lot of pressure.

Solo Fitness
The T1 Gunship is a solid addition to any team. It is possible to play very aggressively, but this is risky, as you are at a disadvantage if the enemy team focuses on you. It is possible to carry a team with a T1 GS, making this a good choice for a solo player. It should not, however, be your only option. If you plan to solo queue with this ship, consider changing the tier 4 upgrade to BLC from armor ignore to shield piercing. This could give you the edge that you need to peel for yourself.

Group Fitness
The T1 Gunship is a necessary part of any group that intends to play competitively, both in TDM and in Domination. Ion AOE is just too good not to have available to your team.

A gunship that stays still is a gunship that is easy to kill. Stay mobile and don't wait for targets to come in range. Be willing to run, but also be willing to defend yourself with BLC when necessary. Strafe and use line of sight when possible.
Posted Oct 16, 15 · OP · Last edited Oct 16, 15