PlanetSide Flying Guide



PlanetSide Flying Guide by DramaticFanatic

Long promised and never delivered, I finally give you my guide to flying. I hope you enjoy it. It took me a real long time to write, and not to mention my login expired so I had to rewrite the whole thing all over again. Just remember, this is a guide for serious pilots, with decent attention spans and determination.

After 6 hours of labor, I give you…..

Spread Your Wings – A guide to flying – by Rutabaga

1.0 – Situational Awareness – Where did he go?!
2.0 – Full Throttle – The curse of the pilot.
3.0 – The Turn – And other equally important manuevers.
4.0 – Aiming – Practice makes perfect.
5.0 – Turret Fighting – Slugging it out.
6.0 – The Getaway – AA avoidance and other useful tips.  

1.0 – Situational Awareness – Where did he go?!

The most important part of the guide and perhaps the hardest, depending on your flying skill.

Rule Number 1 – Always keep your enemy on the screen, even if it is only in third person.

This is simple. But not always possible. The first thing you should make a habit of is always zooming out of third person(using the + and – keys on the numpad) right after you take off. This gives you a wider range of vision and even a little bit of what is behind you. Always fly in third person when otherwise not engaged. When closing in on your target, flick to first person and hit him, when he is off your crosshair or making a turn, use third person to keep track of him.

When flying from base to base, fly in thirdperson a zigzagging towards the base, so that you have your eye on everything around you. If you even midly suspect someone is tailing you, do a quick spiral in third person to catch a glimpse of what is going on behind you. Use this as you would use Darklight against a cloaker, it may save your life as many times as it has saved mine. The height at which you fly does not matter if you are experienced, however, when practicing, fly near the celing so you can dogfight undisturbed by AA and other pesky things.

Rule Number 2 – Always know the distance between yourself and the enemy.

Another simple rule that will keep you alive. Knowing the distance between yourself and the enemy enables you to execute your turns and manuevers in a more advantageous manner. This is mostly instinct, but knowing when the right time is to turn and spiral can make a difference between winning and losing.

Remember, the radar is a fickle friend, do not trust this device to keep track of your targets, you will probably die before you figure out where the enemy is.

2.0 – Full Throttle – The curse of the pilot.

You are above and behind your target, in a perfect position to engage and demolish your enemy. You mash your thottle button and swoop in for the kill. You get a few hits, but overshoot. No problem, you make a high speed turn and try to go in for another pass. But what is this? He’s not there anymore. No sooner than that thought leaves your mind you are under fire and after a few more high speed turns and evasions, you are dead. What did I do wrong? You ask.

Sound familiar? When reading the text it is easy to spot the problem. He was going too fast. However, in the heat of the moment, things like this don’t register. By training yourself to conciously monitor your behaviour, you can overcome this otherwise concious or unconcious behaviour.

The truth is, this is not a flight simulator. We have hovercraft and because of that, we have rules of our own. Therefore,

Rule Number 3 – Let go of the throttle when engaging an enemy, executing a turn or doing any other combat manuever.

It is one thing to catch up and another to engage. Therefore, when engaging, ease off the throttle and instead, tap it. That way you will lose speed and still be able to reduce it further by pressing the reverse key.

3.0 – The Turn – And other equally important manuevers.

The turn, easy in concept, different in reality.

Rule Number 4 – When turning, always strafe in the opposite direction. Also see Rule Number 3.

Yes, it’s just that simple. However, many people don’t do it. It creates a wide circle, and this enables you to get the jump on your enemy before he does you. To make it more clear, for example, when pushing the mouse to the right, strafe to the left. Note : You have to have enough speed to “tilt” your plane. When about to execute the turn though, let go of that throttle.

You can also tap afterburner while turning if you run out of speed to “tilt” your plane, this might make your plane turn faster, but I am not sure.

The spiral.

An excellent escape, combat, and confusing manuever, the spiral, when executed correctly, is a lifesaver. To spiral well, do a turn using the above rules. That is, strafe in the opposite direction of your turn, and use enough speed so that you can “tilt” your plane, but not going at full throttle. Then, when you are about to execute the manuever, let go of throttle and …..




There you go. Also, you do not have to do a full spiral. Doing it only half-way will fool the person following you up, causing him to overshoot the spiral and give you enough time to gun him down.

When you are following an enemy and he does a spiral, just stop and watch him with your crosshair, all the time elevating to bring yourself higher. If you can, open fire, he will most probably panic.

However, if he has does a “blind spiral”, in which he goes full throttle and tosses all Situational Awareness out the window, by all means follow him up, but keep him on your screen, even if only in third person.

The powerslide.

A simple, yet hardly seen manuever. Use this when the enemy is not firing at you, or is in the opposite direction. This is an excellent getaway manuever.

How to execute : At a standstill, push down, turn sharp and hold down the afterburn. You may or may not use Rule Number 4. Note : This maneuver can only be used when you cannot “tilt” your plane.

Perfect for getting away from a turret fight. But again, do not use when under fire. Clientside is your sworn and should be your most feared enemy. No manuever, however slick and fast, will save you from Clientside. Use at you own risk when under fire, however, don’t expect to get clear unscathed.

High and Low or Low and High.

My favorite manuever I like to think I invented(along with the turret one you will see later). It’s simple, and goes like this.


The dots show the previous planes path and the solid lines show it’s path to be.

You are the Blue plane. And you are approaching the Red plane head on. This smells heavily of a turret fight, and that’s exactly what you want to avoid. So you pull up, going in a straight line and Red, eager for a fight, does the same. However, you(Blue plane), once above your enemy, do one tight spiral downwards (always using the rules of this guide) and come up behind and below the enemy.

At this point the enemy may or may not be aware of what happened. If he is aware and good, he will make a spiral himself, and try to engage a turret fight. If he is aware and not-so-good, he will make a high speed turn, in which all you have to do is use a bit of afterburner to catch up and kill him.

4.0 – Aiming – Practice makes perfect.

Aiming, is hard. At least for those who don’t know how to improve.

Rule Number 5 – Aim ahead of your target, use tracers, not the crosshair.

That about sums it up. If you are flying fast, and your enemy is too, you will notice that the bullets are not always hitting where they are supposed to. The tracers, which are the buller graphics, can make it easier for you to hit. If you are having trouble aiming, from now on, do not use the crosshair. Try and focus your attention on where the tracers are going.

A good practice, I will borrow from Rayes(a fellow pilot with excellent aim), is to cert Combat Engineering and line up a bunch of motion sensors outside. Then, in your Mosquito(skeeter), strafe, elevate, and do whatever manuevers you can while trying to destroy the motion sensors.

Most of all, practice makes perfect. If you are serious about flying, don’t do anything else but flying. Ignore that temptation to drop on that tower and kill a whole bunch of enemies while you are still in practice. You will not regret it later when you can take off a pad, kill 2-3 planes in a row, and live to tell the tale.

5.0 – Turret Fighting – Slugging it out.

Turret fighting, the most untactical and brutal form of dogfighting in which, unfortunately, a large number of pilots only experience. However, have no fear, for I am about to throw in a tactical manuever that can save you in the inevitable.

A good pilot will make really good turns, and if you are equally good, there is no way to avoid the turret fight.

So, let us examine the turret fighter. Normally, a person in a turret fight, will move in 1, and maybe 2 directions, making him very predictable. Thus, the turret fight becomes a battle of heart and aim. The aiming part of which is not very hard, as he is moving in a straight line. However, that is what we are about to repair.

You are looking at the front of a plane.




This is what most people do.




This is what I want you to do.



What is that you say? Let’s look at it.

1. Strafing left, elevation.

2. Strafing left, de-elevation.

3. Strafing right, de-elevation.

……………………………………………..and so on.

Now what are we doing? We are moving in a predictable manner. But in a different way. We are moving in a circle. What keys are we pressing?

1. A, E

2. A, C

3. D, C

……………assuming you are using default controls.

But essentially, we want this….




A complete circle. While turreting, imagine pressing all those buttons. It’s not easy, and I do not advise you to try it until you have studied the guide and have become an experienced pilot. It takes a lot of concentration to get it correctly.

Now, the picture is still predictable, but imagine instead we do this.

6 , 4 , 8 , 6, 2, 4. Not so predictable anymore is it? I do this all the time, and it can save your life many a time too.

6.0 – The Getaway – AA avoidance and other useful tips.

Now, if you have been reading until now, you will know that SItuational Awareness is most important. There will be many a time when you hear that infernal *beep*ing, and it usually means you should get out of the way.

First of all, yes, I know I said the radar is a fickle friend, yet when it comes to AA, it is a loyal one. The height of where it is coming from does not matter, but dealing with Starfires, remember, always put something inbetween you and those red lines coming towards you. If you are low to the ground, use that ground, use the trees, and hills to break that lock. Same goes for the Striker though not as extreme. If you are at flight ceiling and get a lock, afterburn in the opposite direction of those lines and go higher if possible. But never seek refuge in the sky if you have a tree or a hill, you will most likely get shot down by something else. I have no experience with the sparrow, so forgive me.

The spiral is an excellent way to turn on your enemy if you are being followed, use it. Same goes for the powerslide.

If you are hurt, and near a base, make a calculation, is the enemy a good shot? Can you escape swerving through the trees? Repeated situations like this will make you better, and most often turning and fighting is the best solution.

Always store a glue gun in your Pilot favorite and even in your trunk. You can save your trunk favorites at airpads and yes, even glue guns, glue stick and all sorts of other handy stuff can be saved there. Make a habit out of zooming out of thirdperson at takeoff (using the + and – keys) and then going to the airpad to take that favorite.

If you are a dedicated pilot, do not be afraid to go halfway across a three-way continent to engage both VS and TR targets away from a home base. Stay on the outskirts, avoid AA and you’ll be fine. It is good practice to be self-sufficient in the middle of nowhere amongst a lot of enemy aircraft.

Make friends with other pilots. Even enemies. If you are cool some will even help you out and take other enemy aircraft off your tail. Teach them something they don’t know and you will be rewarded in a million ways. Note, that this is not to be abused, this is useful if you are a dedicated pilot and are always looking for dogfights. Otherwise just stick to your own side and do tower drops, but that’s not what the guide is for.

Have some honor, don’t bother taking down people who bailed, think about what you wanted. Did you want to take down the plane or the person? Dedicated pilots will know the answer.

More tips to be added. Add your own and I will put them up if they are good.

Rule Number 1 – Always keep your enemy on the screen, even if it is only in third person.

Rule Number 2 – Always know the distance between yourself and the enemy.

Rule Number 3 – Let go of the throttle when engaging an enemy, executing a turn or doing any other combat manuever.

Rule Number 4 – When turning, always strafe in the opposite direction. Also see Rule Number 3.

Rule Number 5 – Aim ahead of your target, use tracers, not the crosshair.

So, that is the end of my guide. Sorry for not having real pictures, but I have not been able to play for a weeks because of some login/launchpad error, so I haven’t been able to take pics. I probably will not resubsribe for a while due to this error and I hope that this guide has been a sufficient parting gift.

I hope I see many more experienced pilots the next time I am playing. :smileywink:

And I would like to thank Anakin for teaching me, 2 years ago, my first lesson in flight, how to use the afterburner and turning. :smileywink:

Rutabaga
The Pilot.

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