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Hover Vessels are a great and cheap way to explore the planet and transport items early on. This can be especially helpful when mining. It is recommend to build at least some rudimentary transport device too allow for increased speed, storage capacity and utility.
Constructing a working Hover Vessel is easily doable in the first 10 minutes on a planet. You need
The simplest HV
The structurally least interesting and cheapest hover vessel requires
- 3 Ground Repulsor Engines (Less will impact the driveability negatively)
- 1 small HV Generator and small HV Fuel Tank
- A Cockpit
- A Hover Vessel Starter
Start construction by putting down the starter and add two Ground Repulsor Engines at the front or back and the last one on the opposite side. The Engines must not be placed above any other block or your HV will not function properly - Make sure to add them on the side or bottom of your vessel. Place your cockpit, generator and fuel tank. Add any fuel, take a seat and start the vessel with the Y key (by default).
The Vessel described in the former chapter works, but it isn't really useful yet. For helpful functionality try adding one of the following
- A HV Detector will allow you to find POIs and Ore Deposits, which are further away than a handheld detector.
- HV Rotation Control Systems will greatly improve the comfort of driving.
- Adding Gatling Guns and Minigun Turrets increases the combat capabilities of a HV. Note that Gatlin Guns must be used by the pilot, though Minigun Turrets can attack enemies themselves.
- A single Fuel Tank can hold more fuel than two small Fuel Tanks, so it pays off using these instead.
- The Generator is better at producing energy than its smaller counterpart. Use these if you want to use parts with a high energy consumption (e.g. a polarized hull shield)
- An HV O2 Station allows to refill your suit's oxygen on the run.
- Powered Fridges will hold your food fresh and stop it from spoiling.
- Cargo Boxes can hold some items for transport. If you want to transport larger amounts of materials, you might want to use a Container Controller and some Container Extensions.
There are many other blocks that have similar or completely different uses. If you can't craft one of the above, check whether you have unlocked it yet and what constructor is need for crafting in the Tech Tree first. There you can also find general information about HV blocks.
If you don't want to build a Hover Vessel yourself, browse the Steam Workshop for a design that you like and obtain it in game by using the Blueprint Factory.
Vessels with full storage or larger size need stronger engines to lift their increased weight. This can be done by using Hover Engines instead of Ground Repulsor Engines. Hover Engines have increased hovering capabilities but don't provide directional thrust. This means you need to add thruster to your vessel to be able to move. Similarly to Small Vessels, It is recommended to have a thruster for every direction, but Hover Vessels do not need to have a downwards and upwards thruster.
Dedicating Hover Vessels
If using only a singe Hover Vessel large parts may interfere with each other and decrease the overall usability. It is therefore recommended to build multiple Hover Vessels dedicated to a purpose. Because of their mobility, armament and defensive capabilities, Hover Vessels might be the best vessels for planetary combat. Combat Steel Blocks can be placed as part of them, allowing for very durable armouring. They have modules for resource gathering, like drills and can be used to repair damaged bases and vessels.
Controlling a Hover Vessel
Hover Vessels are all-terrain vehicles, that can climb rough and hilly terrain. With enough thrust they can even cross ditches and mountains. Although they can move across many kinds of terrain, expect them to crash if undertaking too risky manoeuvres! It is also recommended to search for gaps in a mountain range or natural trails in trenched terrain, even if piloting a well-fitted vessel.
Tips & Best Practice
There is no “ideal design”, but some optimizations to improve handling and usability of your Hover Vessel.
- The hover engine needs to be distributed for stability of the vessel and in order to minimize bumping issues when climbing steep hills or crossing trenched terrain.
- Think of them as kind of virtual wheels.
- Put them where you would expect the most "ground contact".
- 2. HVs can raise and lower their nose (ARROW or MOUSE UP/DOWN) and WILL adapt to any terrain automatically, but don’t add a lot of cube blocks on the lower front of the cockpit to minimize terrain bumps when climbing hills.
- 4. A hover vessel should look more like a pyramid or a lying rectangle when looked at from the back/front to minimize tipping over at steep ramps or uneven terrain.
TIP: Use the Building-helper menu (default button N) and activate the Center-of-Mass and Center-of-Vehicle overlays to help balance out your HV!
Tip: Building high “box” or “Pencil” (box-shaped or pencil-shaped) vessels might result in tipping over more frequently on uneven, hilly or trenched terrain (like in real life).
- 5. Adding additional hover engines will improve the suspension and reduce bumping-issues (blue line).
Tip: *Heavy vessel + more hover engines = less ground-bumps when going fast on uneven/trenched terrain or when jumping/moving downhill. *Additional hover engines also help when trying to climb a mountain, sliding downhill or crossing trenched terrain by stabilizing the maximum flight height: 'terrain bumping" often is a result of drops in the maximum flight height!
- 6. Hover vessels have a max 3m flight level. Make use of it! There are only a few obstacles, like stone piles, that are higher than 3m. A higher flight level will also help when trying to climb steep hills and avoid terrain bumps when crossing uneven terrain.
SPACE = raise the flight level gradually to a max of 3m C = lower the flight level gradually
- 7. If the Hover Vessel tips over, hit SHIFT once and the vessel will roll back to the standard position! The hover vessel needs a RCS equipped to use this feature!
- 8. Hit SHIFT+Space to do a quite HIGH jump. This will help with some obstacles, crossing deep canyons and when climbing hills. To do this, you need at least ONE Hover Booster added to your vessel. Add more if it's a heavy vessel.
- 9. To get a Hover Vessel to move, ONLY a minimum of 4 thrusters is needed (6 are minimum for SVs): Front, back, left, right. How many you need depends on what you aim to achieve. If you want to climb hills, you might need to add more thrusters than usual!
Tip: *Directional Thrusters are sufficient for movement! *Add more or other types of thrusters (like in the picture above) for additional thrust. This won’t increase the maximum speed on a planet, though (40 mph)
Hover Vessel - Q&A
Q: The turrets of my hover vessel won’t shoot at enemies?
A: Are your turrets switched ON? If yes, check the targeting options and the distance info on the bottom right corner.
Q: Does my suit O2 get used when sitting in the cockpit?
A: There are 4 modes: (neither of them are bugs, but intended to work like this)
When sitting in a cockpit with..
- .. helmet on: you will use the suit's O2
- .. helmet off: you will use the suit's O2 as well (think of the suit releasing O2 to fill the cockpit)
- .. helmet off and the HV (or SV) has an oxygen tank equipped with some bottles added: you are using the vessel O2 tank's oxygen, not your suit's O2.
- .. helmet on and the HV (or SV) has an oxygen tank equipped with some bottles added: you are using the O2 of your suit.
Q: Is there any way to see how much O2 my ship has (aside from looking into the O2 tanks)?
'A: Hit P. The console menu displays the remaining O2 in the lower right corner. One O2 tank can hold 400 units of oxygen (Two oxygen bottles).