PlanetSide 2 Galaxy Guide
PlanetSide 2 Galaxy Guide by P4anda
Although this guide was originally written with the intent of developing the knowledge and skill of the Vanu Gal pilots on the Connery server, it is in no way an exclusive – It is my hope that every Empire’s gal pilots will utilize and learn from this guide. My goal is to present an effective and informative guide, utilizing what experience and knowledge I have on the subject. As a gal pilot from PS1 beta through to the Black Ops event, I have an extensive history flying this beaut (hopped into PS2 beta the first day of Alpha Squad). I am simply fleshing out what I have found to be the most effective and “fun” way to play the role of the pilot – which certs are important and which are not important, how to improve your flying ability, when and when not to attempt a hot drop, and other things exclusive to the Galaxy. As a final note before starting; the ideas presented are opinion and in no way should this be seen as an end-all be-all factual Galaxy guide, but rather a strong recommendation from someone who has had much success flying this way. Let’s begin.
For this section of the guide, please consult the PS-Universe Galaxy Wiki while reading.
Acquisition timer* – Reduces the acquire time required to pull this vehicle. No further description necessary.
Decoy Flares – Disrupts active lock-on missiles and blocks new lock-ons for 5 seconds.
Fire Suppression System* – When critically damaged, activate to repair engine fires and return performance to normal.
Nanite Auto Repair System – When not engaged in combat, activate to slowly repair your galaxy.
Vehicle Stealth* – Increases the time it takes to lock-on to the vehicle by 0.25 seconds and prevents the vehicle from automatically appearing to hostiles based on proximity or radar detection.
Composite Armor – Reduces damage taken from flak.
Precision Drop Airframe* – A streamlined airframe enables the Galaxy to perform more precise maneuvers by improving its turn rate, roll rate and airbrake power.
High-G Airframe – A heavier airframe but stronger engine provides improved vertical thrust, pitch maneuverability and agility.
Racer High Speed Airframe – Improves the top speed and acceleration of the galaxy.
* = The upgrades I’ve certed into that is geared towards the flight style described in this guide.
The roles that a Galaxy pilot can play in Planetside 2 are very important ones. In this section I’ll touch on what is the most important role and why, then move on to the secondary role a Gal pilot should familiarize himself/herself with. These are both important roles on the battlefield and they serve a purpose, so listen up.
The galaxies main role is intended to be a troop transport, and it excels at it (duh). In contrast to the sunderer, which is a slow moving ground troop transport confined to the geographical features of the continent, the Galaxy is a fast moving PS2 vehicle that can approach and touch down basically any where it wants to. It is not forced through choke points (ie bridges, ravines etc) and can expedite to an objective in a matter of seconds even if the target is on the far side of the continent. Essentially, the Galaxy is generally the preferred mode of transport for a great many outfits and for that reason I consider this to be it’s main role. Despite it’s bulky size, unmaneuverability and big silhouette, it can be flown in such a way to diminish these negative qualities.
The most effective way to fulfill this role is simple; always be on the look out for players needing a lift. This works twofold; as a member of your Empire you should always attempt to be a team player; so by picking up stragglers throughout the world you’re saving them some dull moments, and you now have one more manned turret; making you that much harder to shoot out of the skies. With that still fresh in your mind, I cannot stress enough the importance of always having gunners in your turrets. Always. Always. Always. Just do it, trust me. Being caught out of the warpgate with your pants down is not a good idea as a Galaxy pilot. Without gunners you’re essentially that floating whale from A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – you know, the one that goes SPLAT when he hits the ground?
A simple /re message stating where you are going, and when you are leaving should be enough to get a galaxy loaded at warp gate. I find a message along the lines of “/re Gal gun boat loading up, heading to [location], low and fast. Pilot will drop you over objective. Dustoff 20s” to be a pretty good incentive.
Gun ship (think AC-130)
The galaxies second purpose is to be a flying gunboat. With two M60 bulldogs strapped to each wing raining hell down on enemy infantry and two A30 Walkers on the top and rear respectively acting as semi effective AA, the Galaxy (even alone, circling an objective) can perform a very effective overwatch role. A real-world counterpart performing a similar task would be the AC-130 gunship. It circles the target, pounding the ground keeping enemy heads down and eliminating them as well, helping out the ground force. In Planetside 2, the galaxy can perform such a task and be useful doing so. With a birds eye view of the objective, you can spot incoming air, armor, infantry and from which direction. You can also communicate to your team which parts of the base look heavily defended, which ones are contested and which areas could be totally bypassed altogether. All in all, once your team is dropped off over the target I 110% recommend to stick around (as long as you have gunners!) as you are more useful doing overwatch than you are on the ground.
Here’s where push comes to shove as a Galaxy pilot. Rather than present a big wall of text explaining how to “properly” fly a Galaxy, I’ll simply offer key pointers and suggestions. It’s all pretty straight forward albeit challenging, but all it takes to learn how to be a good pilot is time. Time and practice, so be patient and keep performing those hot drops.
- Fly paranoid, and low. Paranoid in the sense that you should always be aware of your surroundings. Enemy ESF’sYou will notice throughout the video (above) I rarely fly high. I’m always on-deck, belly about 10-20 meters from the ground. The reason for this is simple (yet I fail to understand why the majority of gal pilots don’t fly this way), it breaks LOS often and easily from ground locks, and with the majority of ESF’s near and around major battles near the flight ceiling, it greatly reduces the chance of being seen. Couple that with Stealth to increase lock time, Precision Drop to up the overall mobility and handling of the Gal, for those tight and twitchy piloting situations you’ll find yourself in flying below the tree line, and finally Fire control for when you simply need that last second to save, instead of waiting 8 minutes on the cool down back at WG or a Tech. I wouldn’t waste certs on Flak simply because the only time you should be engaged by ground AA is when you’re flying up to deploy your squad with full hp – then you bug out; definitely enough time to hit the deck again and lose his LOS behind a hill or some trees. Despite what people argue – flying with your belly to the ground, your turrets sky-ward and keeping an eye on whats above you is the safest way to travel. Experience has it’s own powerful voice.
- Abuse the “space” and “ctrl” keys. This and flying on the deck are a tossup as the most important thing a Gal pilot should know. Tilt your nose down to pull your momentum through – with this technique I regularly maintain a 160-165 mph speed even though I’ve done nothing to upgrade the speed. This Its simply good piloting. The best piece of advice I can give you is to honestly (and Im dead serious here) take an empty galaxy, and just start following the roads for as long as you can, as tight as you can without slowing down. After doing this the first day Amerish came out, I literally noticed an improvement in my own flying. By learning to fly with your momentum, you can free up a performance upgrade and cert into Precision Drop therefore gaining the much needed handling boost while still have a faster than normal galaxy.
- Learn your firing arcs. This is important because this can save your life time and time again. Learning the above tip (momentum flying) you can maintain your flight vector (away from the enemy mosquito), yet can position your galaxy in such a way so as to maximize firepower on target. Instead of one turret, such as the quaternary one, firing on a tailing Mosq, you can manipulate your aircraft so that at least 3 turrets can fire on the same target. This takes practice, but it’s definitely a great way to defend yourself. Memorize that your A2G turrets are wing mounted, while your AA turrets are on your main body. Confusing this could spell trouble for you and your crew.
- Turret discipline. Decided to add this in due to the sheer ridiculous amount of times Ive been popped due to inexperienced soldiers in my turrets. As a pilot it is your responsibility to maintain control and discipline of your crew and passengers. As a giant fat airborne whale, you definitely cannot be the one picking your fights. Your turrets are there as a self defense while you are moving towards an objective. If you are not being fired upon – do not fire your turrets! This is doubly so if you are using the Vehicle Stealth upgrade; you are supposed to be stealthy! A pretty good tip would be to not let the trigger happy guy sit in a turret while en route.
- Set way points. As a Squad Leader, your job as a galaxy pilot becomes that much easier (kind of. Its at least safer), simply because you have one extra way point you can drop. This is important because you want to avoid combat en route as much as possible. Avoid it like you used to the school bully. You can use way points to your advantage as a pilot as a means of an approach. Choose your target on the map, then with common sense, make out the geographical features of the surrounding area. Look for hills, buildings, sheer faces, anything you can use to mask your approach therefore minimizing damage to your galaxy and maximizing your chance of success. Then drop a personal way point on which direction you should approach from. therefore you’re not simply dropping from the sky on to the target – you’re flying through a ravine, under a bridge, behind a building then within 5 seconds from the drop you pop up unannounced and undamaged.
Understand what each Frame upgrade does and what situation it is useful in. Generally I find low, fast flying to be the safest. Therefore, the Precision Drop Airframe is the most valuable in that regard. Flying below the treeline doesn’t leave you with much room to maneuver – so any extra agility you can pick up is definitely welcome. Understand how a Galaxy pilot is effective, and when he is not. Don’t try and load up your galaxy with people then go out looking for some ESF’s to take on… you’ll be shot down 99% of the time. Instead stick to it’s strengths – transporting soldiers around, performing over watch and supplying up to date intel of the battle to your squad/platoon. Last but not least, practice flying and learn how to fly well. The better you can maneuver that hunk of metal the better.
Just some random, helpful tips from anonymous community members:
– Gal’s are great melee weapons due to there large mass. If you ever get an enemy fighter right up next to your tail, stop the gal, point the nose straight up, then engage your vertical thrusters. He will either crash right into you or be forced to fly by.
– Learn to fly sideways. Vertical thrusters are best used horizontally. Roll your plane 90 degree’s and hit the space bar to make tighter turns and be able to strafe.
– Use your map! Don’t drop people into a base with enemy platoons and no friendlies in sight. Instead, try to pick spots where they will be most effective.
– Tell your crew before the drop that after hitting “E”, dont touch anything because if you try and move your character mid-air, you’ll die on impact. Hit “e” and forget.
Criticism is appreciated, trolling is unwanted. If you don’t agree with this guide – great! Honestly. This guide was not intended to be a “Fly like this. This is the only way to be good. Listen to me” kind of guide. Rather, everyone reading this should take my recommendations with a small bit of critical thinking. I will have this to say to critics though – If you doubt my methods, before flaming me and this guide, how about you try it out. Even if you don’t think it’ll work out too well…. try it, I guarantee you you’ll be surprised you’re not constantly pulling Gals at WG or Tech anymore.