Category: Star Citizen

Star Citizen anniversary sale 2017 – hide your wallets!

Star Citizen anniversary sale 2017
The Star Citizen anniversary sale will kick off November 24th and ends at the 4th of December. This annual sale is a good time to pick up ships that aren’t always available. If you suffer from Star Citizen ship buying fever it’s better to avoid any contact with /r/starcitizen of the RSI website until the sale ends. Just jump straight to the Anniversary sale survival guide if you fear for your wallet.

Not really a sale as in discounts

There are a few misconceptions about the anniversary sale. Many believe that all ships come at a discounted price, but this isn’t really what the ‘sale’ is about. CIG usually offers some limited discounted starter packages but that’s about it. All the other ships are the same price as usual.

Ship and themed bundles

CIG also provides ship bundles. You can buy a bunch of ships from a specific manufacturer or themed bundles like alien ships at a discounted price. You can upgrade individual ships but you can’t gift individual ships. Gifting would mean transferring the entire bundle, and again, not the individual ships!

Note that if you melt a bundle all ships in that bundle will be converted into store credit.

60 months of ship insurance

The biggest benefit of buying a star citizen ship package during the anniversary sale is the added insurance. Every year insurance it gets increased by 12 months. 60 months insurance is just as good as LTI because you’ll have your ship upgraded long before the insurance expires.

If you already have a ship with 2-6 months insurance you could consider melting you package/ship and buy the same ship with 5 years insurance. Be careful though, you can’t gift your ship once you’ve convert it to store credits.

Don’t melt in the following cases unless you want to lose your ship:

  • You have a physical package, meaning physical items.
  • A promotional ship like referral rewards, AMD Omega , Sabre Raven
  • Special discounted packages from previous sales, like the 2014 $20 Aurora

The 5th Star Citizen anniversary sale, day to day

The sale usually lasts about 12 days, it is the biggest funding event of the year. The anniversaries bring in millions each year to support development. This is sale number 5 and a good opportunity to get limited or rare ships like the Origin 890 Jump, Super Hornet or the Constellation Phoenix. Note that this is a prediction based on previous years. If the sale turns out to be different this year I will adjust the info accordingly.

Day 1: Anvil Aerospace

24th of November

The sale will probably kick off with Anvil ships like the dedicated F7C-M Super Hornet dogfighter. The F7C-M is probably the only ship that is not permanently sold in the store. However, it’s sold many times a year so I wouldn’t call it rare.

Day 2: Aegis dynamics

25th of November

Day 2 kicks off with Aegis dynamics. Aegis has a number of ships that aren’t always available. If you are lucky enough and can afford a capital ship this sale is for you. The Idris P and Javelin might make an appearance and are sold in waves of limited numbers. Capital ships sell like hot cakes so you need to smash that F5 button and check out as fast as you possibly can.

If you’re not a space whale and just want a cool ship with 5 years insurance check out variants of the Gladius, Avenger and Sabre. I assume Sabre Raven will not be sold as it’s part of the Intel Optane deal.

Day 3: Ground vehicles and Alien ships

26th of November

Expect to see ground vehicles like the Ursa rover, Cyclone and Nox. Snub ‘fighters’ like P52, and P72 and if we’re lucky alien ships like the Xi’An Khartu-al, Glaive and Blade.

Day 4: Origin Jumpworks

27th of November

Luxury manufacturer Origin Jumpworks opens the doors on day 4. Expect 300 and 600 variants, the 85x, X1 and the slick M-50 racer. If you have the budget and been eyeballing the 890 Jump, this is probably the only opportunity to get one. Expect warbonds, meaning cash only and no store credit, just like last year. Unfortunately it probably won’t have LTI but ‘only ‘ 5 years of insurance. CCU’s were not available last year so I don’t expect any.

Day 5: Consolidated Outland

28th of November

I don’t expect the Pioneer to make an appearance, but if it does it’ll probably be in limited numbers. All the Mustang variants will be sold with the exception of the AMD omega edition.

Day 6: Roberts Space Industries

29th of November

This one could be interesting. Last year Consolidated Outland sold the Polaris during Citizencon but it wasn’t available during the anniversary sale. We’ve seen this happening before with the 890J, so maybe, just maybe we’ll be able to get the Polaris.

The Luxury Phoenix will probably make an appearance again just like last year, don’t expect any upgrades. Upgrades we’re only offered during the first concept sale back in 2014.

Aurora variants, the Orion mining platform and Connie Variants should be back in store. If you’re an Aurora owner you want to consider the LN upgrade.

Day 7: Musashi Industrial & Starflight Concern (MISC)

30th of November

On day 7 MISC will take the stage. Great opportunity to get the missile boat Freelancer MIS . Expect all the variants of the Freelancers, Hull Series and Reliant. Mining ship Prospector for those interested and of course the Razor. If you’re looking for a bigger ship this will be an opportunity to get an Endeavor or Star Farer.

Day 8: Drake Interplanetary

1st of December

Citizens that pursue a career in pirating should pay attention to the Drake Interplanetary sale. The Cutlass variants, Caterpillar, Dragonfly, Herald and the Buccaneer will satisfy your pirating needs.

Day 9 to 12: All previous ships, vehicles, bundles and modules

2nd of December until the 4th

Like the title states, everything previously sold will be in store again.

Anniversary sale survival guide

Lock your doors, cut your internet cable, shut down your phone or just cut the power entirely. Your wallet isn’t safe yet as CIG will offer all previous ships, vehicles, modules and bundles. If you made it to this day without spending any money you need to take drastic measures to avoid the buying fever.

RIP wallet

Star Citizen 3.0 Evocati leaks

Despite the NDA the Evocati are under, there is already some leaked Star Citizen 3.0 content available. If you hate spoilers you should leave this page.

Most videos are probably not leaked on purpose, people forget to set videos to private while submitting bug reports.

Leaked Star Citizen 3.0 videos

15 minutes of game-play from an Evocati who probably forgot to set the video to private and a Vanguard in quantum travel.

Update:videos are down, screenshots are still available.

More video’s and screenshots can be found at /r/scleaks.

Leaked Star Citizen 3.0 screenshots

Several gorgeous screenshots from the new 3.0 launcher and others, that Avenger hnnng! Click on the images for full resolution or visit Imgur.

asteroid cluster from Delamar

asteroid cluster from Delamar

star citizen 3.0 leaked screenshot planetside star citizen 3.0 screenshot leaked marines star citizen 3.0 leaked screenshot avenger star citizen 3.0 leaked screenshot planet with rings

Star Citizen 3.0.0 patch notes highlights

One of the first leaks are the patch notes. I picked some of the highlights and reformatted the text for readability.

Alpha Patch 3.0.0 has been released to the PTU, and is now available for Evocati to test! This is our largest content release to date featuring numerous tech and core system updates, and we’re excited for you to get your hands on it.

You will have access to planetary surfaces for the first time on three moons (Yela, Daymar, and Cellin) along with an asteroid (Delamar). These new surfaces are expansive, with over three million square kilometers to explore, all dotted with surface outposts and derelict ships. Additionally we have added four new ships, our first dedicated ground vehicle (Ursa Explorer), the foundation of our revamped mission system with new missions, a completely new launcher and patcher system, and so much more!

Since we have much to test with many features still being worked on, we will be doing focus waves of testing so we can nail down particular features and systems before moving on to the next.

Your launcher will show “3.0.0” as the client version. It is strongly recommended that players delete their USER folder for the Public client after patching, particularly if you start encountering any odd character graphical issues or crash on loading. The USER folder can be found (in default installations) at C:\Program Files\Roberts Space Industries\StarCitizen\LIVE.

Important:

Evocati Focus: New patcher, station traversing, ship spawning, Star Map app, quantum travel, landing, air traffic control (atc) system, quantum fuel usage/balance, hydrogen fuel usage/balance
All the ships are flyable, but the following are the ships that have had the most attention and focus specifically for this wave of Evocati release: Gladius, Hornet Series, Sabre, Vanguard, Constellation Series, Freelancer, Cutlass Black, Caterpillar, Nox, Dragonfly, Prospector, Aurora series

We would like you to focus on the above for this initial wave of testing and bug reports.

NOTE: Other content and features are in and listed in the notes, but currently not the focus of this testing phase as they undergo bug fixes and polish. Additionally, there’s content that is not listed in the notes that are intended for live release and will be added iteratively during the testing cycle.
Key Game-play How Tos:

Show Location: We have added a command that allows you to find your location in coordinates (useful for bug reporting purposes). Enter “/showlocation” in the chat box (make sure you are in a all chat) to get coordinates.

Ship Start Up

Approach the entry point of your ship, then press and hold “F” to activate the interaction system. Select from the various inner thought prompts using the cursor or mouse wheel to move between them. Once inside your ship, again press and hold “F” and select the “Flight Ready” prompt to run through complete ship start up. Alternatively, you can press the “F5” key for quick start up.

Landing

Landing now takes place through an Air Traffic Control (ATC) system. Request a landing with “N” as before and approach the landing area. You will automatically be assigned a specific landing pad (highlighted green with a vertical landing guide line). Proceed to the landing pad, but avoid flying over other landing pads and take-off pathways.

Quantum Travel

To quantum travel to a destination, open your MobiGlas (F1) and select the StarMap App (diamond shaped symbol). From there, use the mouse to select a destination. Whether or not an object can be selected for QT is determined by gravitational values (The larger the object the further away you can detect it, large objects with small objects in orbit drown out their detection capabilities at long ranges). Meaning you will not be able to travel from point A to B at all times, but instead may need to move into orbit of a larger body to detect destinations also in orbit. For example, to get to a station orbiting a moon that orbits a planet, the route is Planet>Moon>Station. Once you have a destination selected you can “set destination” on your MobiGlas to bring up a quantum travel target. As before, align with the QT target and press “B” to travel. As before, align with the QT target and press “B” to travel.

New Features

Breathing, Stamina & Heart Rate

Oxygen Supply: Many areas, such as space or the moons of Crusader, do not have breathable atmospheres and are dangerous for characters unless they’re wearing a pressure suit. Most pressure suits are equipped standard with an oxygen tank. As you breathe, you will slowly consume the oxygen inside your tank. Your oxygen tank will automatically begin to refill once you are inside an area, station, ship or outpost with a breathable atmosphere. If your oxygen supply runs out, your pressure suit contains a small buffer of oxygen to provide you with a short amount of time to try to find an oxygen supply. If your suit is not sealed or you’re not wearing a helmet, you will not have this buffer. If you do not have any oxygen available, you will asphyxiate and quickly pass out.
Stamina: As you exert more effort by running, jumping, etc., your muscles work harder and begin to consume more oxygen. To keep up with this higher demand, your heart rate and breathing increase to provide your muscles with a steady supply of oxygen. Wearing heavier armor will increase how much effort it takes to do actions and will tire you out sooner. The more you exert yourself, the harder you breathe and the faster your oxygen supply will be depleted.
Heart Rate Monitor: The heart rate monitor on your helmet’s HUD and in your mobiGlas functions as an exertion/stamina meter. As a character exerts themselves, their heart rate increases. If a character exerts themselves too much, they will enter a Hyperventilated state. This will restrict the actions that you can perform, and things like running, sprinting or vaulting will be blocked until you exit the Hyperventilated state. Heart rate and breathing can also effect recoil handling and aim. As your heart rate increases the character’s aim will begin to sway, ranging from a minor wobble to wild drifting. Once levels reach certain critical thresholds your vision will also begin to be effected, slowly dimming till it goes completely black. Once your heart rate returns to normal, so will your vision and movement.

Wound System

Injury is now taken into account for status effects to a small degree including movement penalties for limb damage.

Interaction System

Interaction Mode

Holding down the [F] key will activate Interaction Mode – a contextual cursor will appear in the center of the screen, interaction points will be highlighted, even from a distance. The parallax cursor movement allows selection of anything on screen with little head movement, while retaining full input control. Movement is limited to walking speed while in Interaction Mode. Holding the right mouse button enters into ‘focus’; the camera rotates and zooms in on the cursor location, putting it in the center of the screen. From here, the cursor behaves normally. Releasing right click returns to standard view. Left click confirms the selection, and the associated action begins. Releasing [F] will always immediately return to natural gameplay.

Inner Thought Prompt

When near enough to interact, the inner thought prompt will softly appear on the player screen, tilting towards the location of the interaction to help provide context to the inner thought text. The text will inform you of the action that will be performed upon interaction. Moving away, looking away, or having line of sight to the interaction point blocked will remove the inner thought prompt. The inner thought text will display on screen relative to the object of interaction, but will stay at a fixed size so it’s guaranteed readable. The ellipse below the text indicates that secondary options are available, and they can be accessed with the cursor or mouse wheel.

Hint System

Added the foundation of a new “hint system” which will allow players to learn about how to play the game whilst playing it and reduce the burden of having to consult an off-line resource.

Party Launch System

Added new command /partylaunch. If the party leader enters /partylaunch into the chat window in game, this will send a notification to each party member when the leader enters an instance that they can either accept or ignore. If accepted they will be put into Matchmaking system to join the leader. If the server doesn’t have enough space for the full party, all players in the party will be put back into Matchmaking to find another server.

Universe

New Locations

We have implemented the first fully procedurally generated, explorable planetary bodies. These include three moons; Yela, Daymar, and Celin, as well as the mining planetoid Delamar. Each planetary body has unique atmospheric composition, pressure, and gravity as well as a variety of surface outposts and derelict ships to explore, many tied to our new missions system.
Levski is a base built into the rock on Delamar, an asteroid hidden deep in an asteroid belt. The base was originally an active mining facility but after being left derelict for a number of years new residents moved in and it became a hotbed for political radicals & criminals. The main areas are controlled by various political groups with a strong anti UEE sentiment, they try to keep order best they can. Levski has the choice of numerous shops spread across multiple floors, many missions will be available (both illegal and legal). You can gain access to Levski by; foot, ship or ground vehicle.

Planetary Motion

Planetary bodies now have rotational motion complete with dynamic day/night cycles.

Surface Outposts

Planetary surfaces are dotted with surface outposts representing a variety organizations and functions. Each outpost is unique and has its own power system and oxygen supply, many with usable Kiosks and landing pads with associated ASOP terminals.

Persistence and Insurance

Persistence

  • Ammo and missile persistence.
  • Ship damage state persistence.
  • Spawn location persistence (what location you left your ship at, what location your character was at).
  • Inventory Persistence – items, commodities and ships.

Air Traffic Control (ATC)

Landing and take off at public facilities is now controled by Air Traffic Ontrol (ATC). The ATC acts as the connection between you and the landing tower using the MFD comm function in every ship. When attempting to land, you will open a communication channel to the tower and ask for permission. The tower then checks if all the requirements are fulfilled and will advise appropriately. Selecting a target location will happen via the MFD Comm System.

Shops

New items (clothing, armor, weapons, components) added to shop inventory.
Added Dumper’s Depot to major locations.

AI Subsumption

We have introduced the basics of subsumption. You should now see NPCs going about their daily lives at all 3 major landing zones (Grim Hex, Port Olisar, and Levski).

Quantum Travel System

Quantum travel (QT) destinations are now selected via the MobiGlas StarMap app.
Whether or not an object can be targeted for QT is determined by the drive’s detection range and is based off gravitational values (The larger the object the further away you can detect it, large objects with small objects in orbit drown out their detection capabilities at long ranges). Meaning you will not be able to travel from point A to B at all times, but instead may need to move into orbit of a larger body to detect destinations also in orbit. For example, to get to a station orbiting a moon that orbits a planet, the route is Planet>Moon>Station.
There’s now a short range quantum travel for moving around different orbital points of moons and small planetary bodies.
Quantum travel speeds, spooling and cooldown times are variable based on the size and quality of the drive.

Mission System

  • Delivery Missions (Lawful/Unlawful)
  • Missing Person Mission
  • AI Bounty Hunt Mission
  • Derelict investigation
  • Escort Mission
  • Mission Givers

Ruto and Eckhart

Doors and Airlocks

Doors and airlocks have been updated with additional functionality.

Item 2.0

First introduction of item 2.0 system for ships, including the following:

  • Power – Includes the ability to control how much power is generated by the power plants and is distributed to all of the other systems to use.
  • Heat – Includes the ability to monitor how much heat, EM, and IR the ship is generating, and the ability to temporarily reduce IR.
  • Shields – Includes the ability to monitor and adjust shield strength and repair behavior, and adjust power usage and performance.
  • Flight HUD – Includes the cockpit lens elements which provide vital feedback to the player during flight and combat.
  • Weapons – Includes the ability to monitor and prioritize gun and missile ammo, and adjust power usage and performance.
  • Thrusters – Includes the ability to monitor and adjust thrusters power usage and performance.
  • Radar – Includes the implementation of 2D and 3D radar.
  • Annunciators – Includes the implementation of annunciator screens and their warning behavior.
  • Screen Switch Behavior – Includes the ability to switch between various screens on the same physical monitor.

Cargo and Commodities

Introducing the first implementation of cargo!

Salvage

  • Some items are transported in small, portable boxes.
  • They can be bought and sold at vendors.
  • These items are placed in/around the Stanton system’s wreckages and procedurally on planet surfaces.
  • They will be generated when destroying cargo-carrying ships.
  • 0.5m boxes can be lifted and moved using the existing hand-lifting system.
  • 1 SCU cargo cannot be lifted or moved.

Storing Small Items in the Cargo Grid

  • Ships will have ‘Cargo Grids’ set up inside that governs how cargo is placed/secured within it.
  • Placing 0.5m boxes within the Cargo Grid will be considered ‘secured’ in the ship.
  • 0.5m boxes will align within the Cargo Grid.
  • Any loose items placed within the grid will not align to this.
  • Loose Items placed inside the Cargo Grid will be added to the ship’s ‘manifest’.
  • Items placed outside of the grid will therefore not be added to the ‘manifest’.
  • Items can be taken from one ship’s hold, carried to another ship and stored in its hold instead.

Buy/Sell Cargo through Market Vendors

  • 1 SCU crates full of a single commodity can bought and sold at vendors.
  • 0.5m boxes the player discovers, or recovers can be sold at vendors.
  • Commodities can be bought at a vendor in selected spots.
  • Players will walk up to the kiosk and use it to initiate an interaction.
  • Only the stock the vendor buys/sells will be listed and the price they want for each.
  • Transactions takes place entirely in the interface.
  • Ships must be stored before their inventory can be used to buy/sell.

Star citizen ship updates

  • Drake Cutlass Black: Complete Rework
  • RSI Aurora Series: Complete Rework
  • Aegis Avenger: Updated dashboard
  • Aegis Vanguard: Cockpit rework
  • Aegis Sabre: Cockpit display rework
  • Aegis Gladius: Cockpit display rework

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Star Citizen mini games

If you backed Star Citizen a while ago you’ll probably remember the mini games. If you haven’t heard about them yet it’s time to check them out! Guaranteed fun for a couple of hours, probably not going to help you wait for 3.0 though. Not only are they fun to play, you’ll unlock display titles without having to buy anything special. Remember that you need to be logged in to get the display titles. 

So let’s check out the mini games!

Into the Unknown: A Carrack & Her Crew

A Carrack and Her Crew

Explore space in an Anvil Carrack! The text based game consists of 10 events and each time you get 2 options with three possible (randomized) outcomes. At event number 10 you’ll need some reserves to reach your end-goal. Once you completed the last event you’ll be rewarded with the Cartographer title. This game was part of the concept sale of the Anvil Carrack (November 28th 2014).

Hyper Vanguard Force

Hyper Vanguard Force mini game

Test your dog fighting skills in a great retro style arcade game. Just hop aboard the Vanguard and fight pirates in a classic arcade themed game. You’ll unlock the Predator and Apex display titles.

This mini game was created by game creators Dave Richard and Christine Marsh. All assets are designed by them based on the original concept art. The game was introduced during the Vanguard concept sale on May 9th 2015.

A Loan in the ‘Verse

a loan in the verse mini game

Some loved it, other hated the game…what else is new. You’re given a claim and for that you’ll need an Orion. Unfortunately you’ll need a serious loan and pay your debts to the bank while fencing off pirates. Unlocks the Prospector title. February 27th 2015

Some pointers (spoilers!):

  • Upgrade order is important: drone numbers, drones, refinery.
  • Get rid of common ore once you can mine uncommon ore You’ll need about 2-3 drones and 3-4 uncommon prospects to keep digging uncommon.
  • Assign drones to ores
  • Level 2-3 sled is fine to get you through the endgame. Drill is pretty much useless, you only need one once you found certain minerals.

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The best Star citizen joystick

Picking the best Star Citizen joystick is a challenge. Do you want the best quality joystick or perhaps you’re on a budget? Do you need a single-stick, dual joystick (Hands On Stick And Stick), HOTAS, HOSAK or maybe HOSAM?
And what about the flight models? Space and atmosphere flight will both be in the game, although the latter will take a while.
The best Star Citizen flight stick really depends on your personal preferences and how much you are willing to spend. It’s 2017 and there are some excellent PC gaming joysticks on the market. Many are suitable for space sims like Star Citizen and Elite Dangerous. For those looking for a custom Star Citizen HOTAS, we can only hope and wait until we get an update.

I’ve divided the joysticks by price range so you can see which sticks fit your budget. If it’s your first joystick go for cheaper stick and consider reading my basic joystick buyers guide.

Joystick summary
NameDescriptionLink
BudgetTM T16000 FCSBest budget joystick. Review
Mid-rangeVKB GladiatorExcellent mid-range stick. Review
High-endTM WarthogBest joystick but expensive. Review
HOTAS summary
NameDescriptionLink
BudgetTM HOTAS XCheapest Hotas (poor quality). Review
Mid-rangeTM T16000 FCS HOTASBest overal HOTAS price quality wise. Review
High-endTM HOTAS WarthogBest HOTAS but lacks an analogue stick (strafing). Better to combine a stick with a separate HOTAS like the CH pro throttleReview

The best joysticks to play Star Citizen

I’ve picked a few joysticks and HOTAS setups which I think are the best considering the price, build quality, precision and internal sensors. I’ve divided this review into budget, mid-range and high-end joysticks. I also looked at dual sticks and HOTAS setups based on price quality ratio.
To save you some reading I’ve put them all together in one image at the bottom, but you’re welcome to read about all the sticks if you want to learn more.

Best budget flight stick

best budget joystick

The best budget joystick is the Thrustmaster VG T16000M FCS Joystick which has all the features you need. Recommended by the Star Citizen community and this edition is designed for Elite dangerous. If you want a slightly more accurate stick you might also consider the VKB Gladiator. There are currently 2 versions of this stick, the older greenish model and the latest. The main differences are improved sensors and the rubber material used on the stick and buttons to improve grip.

Read the full description

Best budget Hotas joystick setupbest budget hotas star citizen

Again the winner is Thrustmaster, with their recently released HOTAS Controller which features an analogue stick. It’s a really cheap setup compared to the quality you get. It’s not the best in regards to components but really all you need if you’re looking for the best budget HOTAS. If you want the very best quality, you need to get the Warthog hotas (and pedals) or de VKB Gladiator pro combined with a CH Throttle.

Read the full description

Best dual joystick setup

dual stick setup

I’ll leave this up to you but you’ll need an ambidextrous(left-handed and right-handed) stick, and another stick with great precision. Thrustmaster T16000M is an ambidextrous stick which you can combine with the Thrustmaster Warthog or the VKB Gladiator pro. Two T16000M is also an excellent dual joystick combo if you don’t want to burn your wallet. You might also want to consider to buy pedals if you want to wield two sticks. Read my joystick guide to get an idea about what you need.

Best mid-range joystick

best mid range joystick

The VKB Gladiator is a great mid-range joystick to play space sims. The stick has better precision than the T16000m and a decent amount of buttons. It also has twist which is great for single-stick usage combined with a mouse or keyboard. VKB may be somewhat unknown to the general public, but has top quality products. I am personally trying to get my hands on the pro version.

Read the full description

Best High-end joystick

best high-end joystick

The  best available high-end joystick is the Thrustmaster Warthog.The Warthog is an excellent aiming stick with great precision. This is a replica of a fighter jet stick and very popular among flight sim gamers. The ergonomics and precision are great and build quality is outstanding.

Read the full description

Special mention- VKB Gladiator Pro

superior high-end joystick

The Gladiator pro is hard to obtain due to limited production capacity but actually is a superior stick. It’s better than the Warthog and comes close to the high-end custom sticks that flight sim enthusiasts build themselves.  The great thing about this stick is the ability to customize resistance by changing out springs and cams and he metal gimbal.

Keep an eye out for VKB sticks as they’ve shown interest in space sims and we might see something special in the near future.

Best left hand joystick

Finally there is a high-end left hand joystick available. The VPC MongoosT-50 looks promising. Like many high end sticks, it lacks a twist axis, but comes with an extra axis in the form of the analogue break lever. The software hasn’t been released yet so it might be difficult to use the lever as an axis. There is also a right hand version and should be a great Warthog alternative.

Budget joysticks under $100 reviewed

I’m not going to review all the flight sticks but you’ll be surprised that in this range you can actually get a great Star Citizen joystick. Of course you can just pick one of the cheapest to see if you actually like flying this way and move on to a better stick another time. At least that’s what I did. Note that pricing may vary depending on your region or discounts.

Mad Catz/Saitek FLY 5

  •  Highly customisable
  •  Good precision
  •  More buttons than the V1
  •  Hall sensors
  •  Two independent throttle controls
  •  Bad internal wiring
  •  LED on the stick is very bright
  •  Buttons may fall off after extended use



An ergonomic and highly customisable (handle height, angle etc) stick and comes with 21 buttons. It has a shift button which allows you to change everything, meaning you have about 42 buttons! Great throttle placement which feels natural when used and you actually have two that can work independently. There is a minor dead zone on the twist but this could actually work for you as you don’t want to twist the stick by accident. There’s a good amount of feedback on the spring to tell you when you’re twisting it.
Nice stick in general but I’ve heard many stories that it breaks down after a while. Buttons tend to fall off and it’s not uncommon for the internal wiring to break.
If you are a casual gamer and are looking for an entry-level stick with decent precision, this might be a good choice. If you are a heavy gamer you should consider other options. Excellent choice for single-stick users!

Thrustmaster T16000M – Community choice!

Thrustmaster T16000 FCM

  • Solid build, doesn’t feel cheap
  • Hall effect sensors
  • Good amount of buttons on the base
  • T.A.R.G.E.T software compatible
  • Button placement on the stick could be better
  • Precise aiming is a tad difficult (modding is an option)

 

This is the best joystick when you’re on a budget, without a doubt. It’s an excellent stick and very cheap considering the quality. If you ask the Star Citizen community which joystick to buy, they usually recommend the T16000m.
The T16000m joystick has magnetic sensors (same as the expensive Warthog), it’s fairly cheap, has decent components and a long life-span. Button placement on the stick could be better but you get used to it quickly.
The stick has a very strong return and center snap, so it’s harder to get it out of the center for small corrections. You can however mod the spring by zip-tying the spring to improve accuracy, just search for tutorials on Youtube.
I would recommend this stick as it’s relatively cheap, pretty accurate (after modding) and suitable for single-stick use.

Logitech Extreme 3D

  •   Great placement of buttons on the head of the stick
  •   Not very accurate
  •   Can develop spiking
  •   Throttle placement feels unnatural

Used this stick for a few months but I had a hard time aiming, precision isn’t all that great. I did like button layout on the stick which is better than the T16000m. It’s a low-budget stick which is known to have calibration issues and can develop spiking. I think it is safe to say that this stick is suitable to fly larger ships, but not for fighter ships where you need accuracy. In all honesty I would look for something else.

Mid-range joysticks between $100 and $200

I selected a few sticks that deserve to be mentioned and I’m sure I forgot some. The joysticks price in this range are between $100 and $200. In general sticks within this price range have better build quality and precision, but not a huge deal. If you only want to make use of one stick make sure you pick one which has twist for controlling the Z-axis.

VKB gladiator

VKB gladiator

  •  Outstanding precision and quality build
  •  Very smooth movement and handling
  •  Perfect for dual stick setup
  •  Hall-effect sensor on twist axis
  •  Trigger up safety switch
  •  Should be part of dual setup

Fairly new on the market but VKB already has a good reputation. The stick is of high quality and perhaps one of the best you can can at this price range. The movement is smooth and precision is outstanding, users seem very happy with the handling due to excellent ergonomics. Although there aren’t many buttons available, the pinky shift gives you access to 12 buttons without taking your hand off. Honestly that’s enough buttons if you are going for a dual stick setup.

The stick features exchangeable cams and springs which allows you to adjust the responsiveness and resistance of the stick. Use it as an aiming stick because of its great precision and handling. The VKB has a light return to the centre and can travel into the opposite direction upon return. This makes is perfect for great precision and corrections as there is almost no centre return.
I think this is one of the best sticks you can get considering its price and precision.

CH products fighter stick

  •  High precision
  •  smooth handling, throw resistance is very low
  •  Superior build quality
  •  Two distinct axis of movement


CH products is a manufacturing and engineering company who build high-end industrial level products. At first I wanted to leave this stick out of this review because the stick has two distinct axis of travel. This may feel strange when you fly around in space.
This stick features great precision, low throw resistance and therefore moves very smooth. The buttons are precise and hardly wobble. The software (CH Control Manager) is perhaps the best available on the market.

My personal preference is a gimballed stick but I know of many citizens that aren’t bothered by the distinct axis. The stick is quite big and less suitable for people with small hands. Some people don’t like the aesthetics , but I rather buy a quality stick and choose function over looks. Many people prefer Hall effect sensors but the high-quality pots CH uses are just as good.

High-end Joysticks over $250

When it comes to high-end flight sticks your options are limited. These sticks are from a different category, built to last, high precision and great quality components. A high precision stick should generally be used for aim, flying with two high-end sticks would be overkill. The sticks selected lack twist, consider buying pedals in case you’re going for HOTAS or dual stick.

VKB Gladiator Pro

vkb gladiator pro

  •  29 Total Logical Buttons Using Shift/Mode Functions
  •  Aluminum gimbal with changeable springs & cams
  •  Superior quality, unmatched precision
  •  Throttle on the base
  •  Great movement and handling
  •  2 SHIFT modes and 13 buttons on the base
  •  Save and load Profiles
  •  Not always available
  •  Lacks twist

Based on a real fighter stick and a very cool and authentic design, the Gladiator pro is probably the best flight stick you can get. Superb quality and precision/accuracy and enough weight to prevent it from moving.  This is the kind of stick you can let go to press some buttons at the base, without deviating from your flight path. If you want the best, this is it! Unfortunately the stick isn’t always available, hopefully they will produce another batch soon.

Thrustmaster Warthog joystick

Thrustmaster warthog joystick

  •  Superior quality
  •  Heavy weight, can be bolted
  •  Real fighter stick replica
  •  Great precession and accuracy
  •  Lacks twist

The design is a replica of the A-10C Thunderbolt II airplane and considered one of the best high-end flight sticks. The sticks feel is solid and very comfortable compared to the budget sticks . This is the most expensive stick (depending on your region) you can get but worth the money if you can afford it. On the other hand you probably won’t buy another one because this stick is made to last. The Warthog has quite some weight on the base which prevents it from moving and you’re able to bolt the plate.

Star Citizen HOTAS

There aren’t many options in the space sim genre when you’re looking for the best Star Citizen HOTAS. Most of them don’t have analogue sticks which you’ll need to make use of the six degrees of freedom (6DoF). Many HOTAS users that play Star Citizen also play other flight sims and use pedals to make use of 6DoF.
With the increasing popularity of the space sim genre a few manufactures added analogue sticks to fill the gap in this niche market. CIG also announced a dedicated Star Citizen HOTAS at Gamescom 2015, but Madcatz went out of business and Logitech took over. This means it’s going to take a while before we hear anything so let’s see which flight sticks and throttles are available.

Thrustmaster HOTAS X:

Thrustmaster Hotas X

  •  Cheapest you can get
  •  Can’t make use of T.A.R.G.E.T software
  •  Breaks down easily
  •  Short cable between the two pieces

If you just want to experience what it’s like to fly a HOTAS without burning your budget you can consider this HOTAS setup. This isn’t my favourite and it has lots of issues but it’s a cheap HOTAS, a decent HOTAS starts around $130. Main problems are large dead zones, no resistance in the throttle and cable is a little short.
The pro of this set is pricing, it has twist, programmable buttons and you can separate and attach the two pieces. It works as advertised but tends to break down easily, it’s perhaps a bit too delicate for playing space sims like Star Citizen.

Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS HOTAS

Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS HOTAS

  •  Analogue mini stick is a big plus
  •  Easy to setup, T.A.R.G.E.T software is great
  •  Cheap in comparison to other setups
  •  The throttle doesn’t glide well
  •  Button layout on the stick could be better

This HOTAS is one of the few which comes with and analogue mini stick. The placement however is questionable as you need to control it with your left index finger, which feels very unnatural IMO. The throttle feels a bit cheap and is inaccurate due to friction, you can solve this by slightly modding it with Velcro strips. If you’re looking for a better throttle you should checkout the CH throttle but it’s more expensive.
Both the throttle and stick come with TARGET software which allows you to configure the set very easily. Great thing is that it works straight out of the box! This is a very good Star Citizen HOTAS considering it’s price, you can also buy them individually or go for the flight pack which includes pedals. Recommended when you’re on a budget or looking for a decent entry-level setup!

T16000m + Ch throttle

Ch throttle plus t16000m

  •  One of the best throttles, CH quality product
  •  Throttle comes with an analogue thumb stick
  •  Throttle isn’t always available

A good setup as the CH Pro throttle has an analogue thumb stick on the throttle. CH is known for it’s quality builds but the throttle isn’t always available.
You get twist on the stick, and analogue control on the throttle thumb stick. This combination of throttle and joystick basically covers all you need to play Star Citizen. In comparison to the T16000 FCS throttle the CH Pro throttle is of better quality but also more expensive. The throttle slides in a horizontal direction which may feel bit strange when you’re use to an arc like movement.
Downside is that you’ll need to make use of two different programs, TARGET and CH Control Manager.

Logitech G Saitek Pro Flight X56 Rhino HOTAS

Saitek x56 hotas

  •  2 analogue thumb sticks
  •  Accurate stick, decent button layout, interchangeable springs
  •  3 modifier buttons to switch profiles
  •  Can develop problems when heavily used
  •  Stick is rather large, hard to reach buttons on the top
  •  More expensive compared to the FCS

The X56 Rhino HOTAS looks like an updated version of X55 Rhino with RGB led and analogue thumb sticks attached. The X56 is the only HOTAS on the market that comes with 2 analogue sticks. One located on the joystick and the other is located on the throttle. This setup is the last product from Madcatz/Saitek (before Logitech took over) and designed for space games like Elite dangerous and Star Citizen.

I have mixed feelings about this setup as it seems like the perfect HOTAS to play a space game. You have control over al 6DoF and it’s pretty accurate. The thumb sticks really are a great addition and two thumb sticks is are a unique feature. The manufacturing quality however could use some improvements (just like its predecessor) and the wiring in the throttle are a concern. On the other hand it’s half the price of the Warthog, but almost double the price of the T16000 FCS hotas.

The stick is rather large and not suitable for smaller hands but you can mod the stick to adjust it to your needs. Modding the stick will break warranty so do it at your own risk.
The throttle feels great just like the X55 and moves in an arc like direction. The is quite some tension on the throttle but this gradually becomes smoother.

Thrustmaster Hotas Warthog

Thrustmaster Hotas Warthog hotas

  •  High-end stick, quality build and internals
  •  Very precise
  •  Very ergonomic, copied from A-10C Thunderbolt II airplane
  •  Heavy weight, ability to bolt and attach
  •  Can be bought separately
  •  Very expensive, one of the most expensive sticks and throttles
  •  Lack twist and analog thumb stick means you need pedals

This is the most expensive HOTAS, has a very solid mostly metal exterior and excellent internal components (although some are plastic). The set is a copy of the A-10C Thunderbolt II airplane and looks amazing.
Because the stick has no twist you also need pedals which will make the set even more costly. In general the Warthog is better for flight sims and less suitable for space sims like Star Citizen and Elite dangerous. Although people are very satisfied with the quality and accuracy some report the stick having stiction (static friction) issues.
The weight is impressive, you’ll notice this immediately when you unbox the package. You could consider just getting the stick for aim with a dual setup and pedals.

Star Citizen joystick buyers guide

The best joysticks aren’t cheap, in most cases this is because of the build quality which you don’t see on the outside. Another reason is probably the niche market, supply and demand.
There is a huge difference between a low-budget stick and a more expensive one. Think of a cheap mouse compared to a gaming mouse, they both work but you just notice the difference in quality and accuracy. The same goes for the best HOTAS, build quality is everything.
When it comes to space simulators in general for best precision you need fine control at the centre . There are some sticks where you can replace the spring (x55 and x56) with a lighter one and even adjust the strain (like the Warthog and VKB Gladiator pro). You can also mod a stick like the T16000m to give you more centre control, but this is probably not needed when you’re just starting out.
Keep the following things in mind when you’re looking to buy a flight stick to play Star Citizen

  • Deadzones
  • Ergonomics
  • Durability, internal and external build quality
  • Motion and precision
  • Gimbals should move smoothly across the axis

Single joystick VS dual joystick VS HOTAS

If you’re going for a single joystick make sure it has twist. You’ll also need a throttle on the base and a good amount of buttons. Downside of a single-stick is that you have less control than double stick users. You often see single joystick pilots using a mouse (HOSAM) or keyboard (HOSAK).

Many fighter pilots recommend using a dual joystick setup. Two flight sticks give you great control over your ship, thrusting however might become a bit more challenging. There are ways to avoid this problem by assigning the throttles to one of the sticks. Some assign it to a hat control, others use the forward and backward movement. Dual flight sticks are great for small and nimble fighters. If you’re new to the game and/or joysticks, a dual setup is probably the best solution.

When it comes to Star Citizen, HOTAS is better for larger ships and atmospheric flight. Star Citizen will also have atmospheric flight so keep that in mind. Some HOTAS users use additional pedals to control strafing and/or forward/backward movement. but fortunately there are some devices on the market which have analog controls. If you’re also playing other flight simulators (non space) you’re best pick would be a HOTAS.

Twist versus no twist

Another thing to consider when buying a joystick (especially space sims) is stick twist. If you buy a stick without twist you also need to consider getting pedals or get a second stick with twist to control the Z-axis. The benefit of not having twist is better precision.
Joysticks that feature twist are usually weaker in comparison and suffer from axis bleed. Last disadvantage is the unnatural motion which causes strain on the wrist. I notice it can start to hurt after a long period of gaming.
The advantages of having twist is that you don’t need pedals for yaw movement, it saves desk space and is easier to use.

Cheap joystick vs Expensive joystick

Obviously they key here is quality, a joystick is a mechanical device which gets to endure a lot more than a keyboard. Cheaper joysticks can’t handle ‘abuse’ very well, especially in the long run. Quality joysticks can last for over a decade easily when properly used. Some sticks break just after a few months by simply using them, buttons fail and accuracy decreases.

Cheaper joysticks tend to have low quality components, lack precision, are harder to calibrate and can suffer from ’spiking’. Spiking means a stick will slightly ‘move’ without giving it commands, some sticks develop spiking over time.

Some tips to improve ergonomics

Many joysticks and HOTAS users report that the devices move when being used. There are a couple of simple solutions you can try yourself. Some setups can be bolted to your desk, but most of the sticks don’t have this option.

You can attach Velcro or 3m dual lock to the bottom of the base to stop movement. Another simple solution you often see is to attach pole mounting brackets to a chair and Velcro on the base. If you’re handy you could consider building a construction to support the sticks or HOTAS like this example or go crazy and build this awesome setup.

Summary

best star citizen joystick infographic

Gaming joysticks suitable to play the PC game Star Citizen. The image represents the recommended flight controllers described in this blogpost.

Choosing the right HOTAS or joystick for Star Citizen is a combination of nuance and personal preferences. With the comeback of the space sim/arcade, joysticks seem to get more popular. This blogpost is based on personal experience and from what I’ve heard from other Star Citizens. I did a fair amount of research, used many sticks and tried to narrow down throttle and sticks specifically suitable for Star Citizen. Good setups aren’t cheap but if you do your research you can get a great flight stick or HOTAS to play Star Citizen.

  • Dedicated fighter pilots should use a dual joystick setup.
  • HOTAS setups are (in general) more suitable for larger ships and the atmospheric flight model. Though others might disagree.
  • Single stick users need to make sure their stick has twist and a throttle. Either use a mouse or a keyboard to complement your stick.

If anything is incorrect, outdated or could use improvement, please let me know.

4th Anniversary – Star Citizen 2.6 ships – Capital ships sale & Star Marine

Star Citizen anniversary

I wasn’t expecting much of the 4th Star Citizen anniversary to be honest, mainly because of all the negativity on Reddit. I’m glad I was sceptical because what a great surprise I was in for.

The vocal minority within the community were quite upset with the lack of communication and delays but Cloud Imperium Games gave the community what they wanted, open development and transparency. The latest letter from the chairman addresses the concerns by providing the status of development as CIG has internally planned. Now let’s leave the drama behind and talk about the Star Citizen anniversary 2016.

Star Citizen 2.6 alpha new ships and Star Marine

Star Citizen alpha 2.6 will come with Star Marine, the delayed FPS which was supposed to be out last year. There are valid reasons why Star Marine was delayed, but the good news is we can finally try the FPS module soon™! It’s still in alpha and by no means a Battlefield 1 FPS, but I’m sure in time we’ll have a great shooter on our hands.

Announced ships that we’ll see in 2.6 are the info runner Drake Herald, the Origin 85X and the long awaited Drake Caterpillar. The Caterpillar was one of the first ships that was sold and I can imagine the excitement the backers which purchased the ship must feel.
Additionally some ship ‘variants’ will make their first appearance like the Gladius Valiant, Sabre Comet, Hornet Wildfire and Avenger Titan Renegade. The only differences are cosmetic and some changes to the hardpoint loadouts to bring more variety to the game. The loadouts are slightly better than the default but the chassis remains unchanged.

Anniversary sale 2016

Every year CIG hosts greatly anticipated Star Citizen anniversary sale. The sale means that most of the available ships are sold on different days. Additionally discounted combo packages are and many stand alone ships with 4 years of insurance.
The sale will continue for 8 days, on the last day most of the ships will be sold in the grand finale. Keep an eye out for the discounted starter packages! Check out the schedule on the RSI website.

Capital ships available in limited quantity

A number of capital ships will be sold in the upcoming week, including the  Idris P and the Javelin. The Origin 890 jump is for sale for the second time since 2014. The ships prices increased dramatically but they are mainly for Orgs and passionate backers.

Discounted starter packages

Just confirmed on Twitter by Ben. The price and contents of the discounted starter package is still unknown for now. I’m hoping it will consist of both Squadron 42 and Star Citizen. If you want to back the game, now is a really good time to create an account and buy a package on the 26th of November. Make sure to get some free in game credits when you create a new account.

Esperia prowler concept sale

Pricey ship but very impressive. The Esperia Prowler is a boarding ship with alien features and design. I can image this low signature ship will be very intimidating when you see one landing and marines storm out.

Dynamic ship skinning

Finally we learned about ship skinning, in the long run we might be able to completely customize our ships colors.

Gladius gold reward giveaway – (giveaway closed)

Giveaway is over. Winners have been notified, I decided to give away 20 additional recruits to contributors, thanks everyone!

Gladius gold reward Star Citizen

 

1. Go to  starcitizenreferralcode.net  and Share/Like/Tweet/G+ to participate, use the buttons on the left.

2. Come back here and leave a comment on this page if you want to win this ship! 

I’m giving away the Star Citizen Gladius gold reward to one of the citizens who shares starcitizenreferralcode.net/. Many citizens already have gotten recruits, but this time I’m giving away the best possible reward I can get you.

Your code will be on the main page until you get 10 recruits worth about 170 USD! Winner will be announced here at the end of December January and on my Facebook page.

Your shares and likes will help me get more exposure and enables me to give away the Gladius gold reward more often. If things go well I would be able to give away the Gladius every month.

So spread the word, mention my ship guide, starter guide etc on Reddit, forums, Twitter, Google Plus etc when appropriate (do not spam).
If you don’t believe me ask the last winner :).

Hey! Today I checked my account again and voila, I got my 10 recruits! What a great surprise for the new year. Thank you so much! Dirk

Save

The difference between No Man’s Sky and Star Citizen

no man's sky versus star citizen

I recently noticed I get many visitors looking for a No Man’s Sky alternative space game.
In short you can’t really compare No Man’s Sky to Star Citizen. On top of that I imagine NMS refugees are cautious when it comes to backing another space game. While I can’t really say Star Citizen is No Mans’s sky replacement, I can explain the difference between development.

Star Citizen’s open development is fundamentally different from No Man’s Sky. CIG has been as open as possible about development and actively involve the community. A recent example is Citizencon 2016 where the Squadron 42 demo couldn’t be shown because it wasn’t polished enough. Some of the community were outraged and CIG responded by showing why they couldn’t just demo it yet. There is a short documentary about what was going on inside prior to Citizencon 2016.

What do the games have in common?

Well to be honest they don’t have anything in common really. They are both space games and have a great soundtrack but that’s where the comparison ends. Star Citizen is going to be high fidelity massive online multiplayer game where No Man’s Sky is not. However if you are into space games, Star Citizen will be a great No Man’s Sky alternative!

The biggest concerns regarding Star Citizen

The biggest concern for many people about Star Citizen is the promised release dates and delays. Squadron 42 (single player campaign) was promised in 2016 but it will possibly arrive late 2017. The vocal minority of the backers can be quite unforgiving when it comes to delays. To be honest promising release dates is usually a bad idea in software development. Another concern is the slow release of patches and updates, and they tend to be delayed as well. Fortunately Cloud Imperium Games is maturing and actively addresses the concerns of the community.

Star Citizen is a ridiculously complex game and they are creating tech that hasn’t been done before. They are doing amazing work and communicate about it with shows like Around The Verse, Bug Smashers, Reverse The Verse and Star Citizen lore. If they manage to achieve something they communicate about it and if they can’t they will let us know.

People are concerned about the time it takes to deliver the game and this makes people skeptical about Star Citizen. Usually you don’t hear about a game in development, just look at the bar chart below it’s not that bad at all.

bar chart development time comparison

The difference between Star citizen development and No Man’s Sky

No man’s Sky developers made a lot of promises and were way too ambitious and never delivered. Feature after feature was promised but in the end they never existed. The main developer has been accused of actually faking controlling the game, you can see for yourself and make your own judgement.
If you are a No Man’s Sky refugee you probably know all this so I don’t want to bore you with all this negativity.

Like I said, Star Citizen has been a bit too optimistic about delivery dates. The difference is that eventually they pull it off and show what they achieved to the community. You don’t deliver a AAA game within a few years, that is just unrealistic.
All we need is time and so far CIG is doing what they promised or at least showed the community internal builds. On top of that they let us play the game and help test certain features and use the feedback to further improve these builds. This is a huge difference with No Man’s sky where a lot of the features showed in demos didn’t exist!

So where is Star Citizen now?

In the early days of development Star Citizen was only a dog fighting space game without all the fancy features like we see today. Chris Roberts was aiming for 6 million in crowd funding to deliver a proof of concept but then something amazing happened which resulted in the biggest crowd funded game ever.

First person shooter,  procedurally generated planets, ground exploration and the level of detail we are seeing today were never part of the original game. Some of the stuff we see now was considered to be impossible but their persistence in trying to accomplish the impossible resulted in unprecedented tech.

There is a game but it is very thin at the moment. It can be considered a framework where game features are being tested with an active community. Even though the content is thin it can be quite enjoyable. If you are not convinced you could wait for a free fly week to test the game for free.
The next big update will be 2.6 and after that 3.0 which should have some of the professions and roles implemented.
I leave it up to you if you want to back the game and if you do you can use this referral to get 5000 UEC (worth $5) which is the virtual currency used in Star Citizen.

This code gets you 5000 UEC for free when creating a new account.
STAR-L6Q2-2394
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