The universe of StarQuest Online is highly realistic. It was built from real star data. It contains over 10,000 unique star systems and 100,000 unique planets. It is the biggest game universe in MMO's. It is roughly 3 times bigger than the universe of EVE who was the previous holder of this record. The controls of the starships used to pilot this universe are no less immersive and real. I have compiled this documentation of six consoles. There are several more, but they are not necessary for the basic starship operation.
First we have the Helm console.
The Short Range Sensor display is common on the consoles. It shows everything in your current system. The PWR and ACT buttons must be green (turned on) to work. The blue buttons change magnification. You can select a target one of two ways.
RCS controls are what you use to maneuver the ship. RVS sets a reverse course to your target. INT sets a intercept course to your target. TRM straightens your ship out. Dock1 and Dock2 are used in docking.
Once you have a intercept course set to your target, you engage your fusion engines using the slider. Anything over full power will cause your engines to slowly take damage. The NavComp is used for interstellar navigation, or docking. Press the mode button to switch between the three modes. One is system mode, you use the pad to enter a system name. Two is sector mode, you use the pad to enter a sector. CRS sets your course to that system. NAV is used if you want to import a course that has already been laid in from the Navigation console.
The third is docking mode. You select a dock in the SRS panel, a docking port in the NavComp, and a RCS dock.
For hyperspace travel you must have a valid course laid in, and be outside the gravity well of the star. The gravity well is represented by a red ring in the SRS display. To enter hyperspace, power your hyperdrive.
Next is the Tactical console.
Use your Deflector Shield Control to raise and lower your shield. Shields must be at 20% average or higher to stop teleporting. Underneath the powerbar of each shield are two numbers in red. This is your current shield power, and the maximum possible shield power. It looks like this: 1500/2000. 1500 being my current shield power, 2000 being the maximum possible.
To fire your weapons, target a ship or orbital in the SRS display. Then use the TARG button on the targeting scanner to choose what you are shooting at. (Ex. Shields, Bridge, Hull, Sensors, Engines, etc)
The weapons are split into four different arcs, FWD, STBD, PORT, and AFT. You can only hit the target with weapons on the same arc that it is on from your ship. The SRS display has four red lines, and four blue lines. The red represent the four main arcs. The blue represent "hybrid" arcs. Some of your weapons will say "FWD/STBD" as their designated arc. That means it can fire on the STBD half of the FWD arc, and the FWD side of the STBD arc.
Salvo will fire all weapons that are capable of hitting the target. Using Salvo to much will overload your computer.
This may seem VERY confusing, but once you've tried it out you will find it quite easy.
Next we have the Engineering console.
This panel is pretty much self explanatory. Power generation shows how much power your ship is producing. Your reactor is very efficient, using very little fuel. The engines must be powered for you to move, but they’re worse on fuel than an SUV. It is highly suggested to keep them off when not in use. The Aux generators are for emergency only. They will burn up with use. (You can see I removed them from mine, that’s why it says "Alliance Empty System Hardpoint")
Computer System Capacity: This shows how much CPU you are using, and how much you have available in this format: 1809/851. 851 is how much I'm using, 1809 is how much I have available. A system only uses CPU when it is powered on. If you have maxed out the CPU, you will not be able to power up another system.
Power Allocation: You can choose from Auto, to Manual, to Alert Status. Auto will feed full power to any system that you turn on. Manual is the opposite, you have to supply power manually. Alert Status will allocate power according to the status of your ship. If you are in Battle Stations, it will feed more power to your shields and weapons than anything else.
If you have it in Manual, you use the sliders to determine how much power goes to each system.
System Status. This scrolls through a list of all the systems on your ship. It shows their damage, and what percentage of efficiency the system is running at. If you select a system, it will show you on the diagram below were the system is located.
Next up is Command Intelligence, otherwise known as CINT.
Use SRS to select a target. It will scan the target and give you a readout of all the specifications of that planet, orbital, or ship. You can use the Targeting Scan to look for life forms. To move the Targeting Scan around, double click inside it. The red box is your target.
The LRS shows the surrounding systems and what’s in hyperspace up to 30 light years away, depending on your sensors.
Radiation Levels and Internal Scan are obvious and work automatically.
Next is the Operations console.
Towing, using a repair or mining beam, are all the same. The target must be within 2km of your ship. Power the correct beam, FWD or AFT. Target the object in the SRS display and hit TARG. This will tow the object, repair the object, or mine the object, depending on which system you have installed.
ATB-2, and ATB-6 are tractor beams. ATB-3 is a mining beam. ATB-4 is a repair beam.
Cargo bay status will show you what is in your hold and how much. If you want to get rid of it, hit the jettison button.
Target drones are self explanatory, hitting one of the arcs will launch a practice drone in that direction. DO NOT DO THIS IN SOL.
Self Destruct is also self explanatory. Hit the big red button and it starts counting down. When it reaches 0 you better be well on your way if you plan to live. You can stop the self destruct by hitting the button a second time.
Finally, the Communications console.
First make sure the system is powered on at all times. You can either manually select a frequency, or use the Frequency Monitor. The Monitor will start beeping and color the active frequency purple in the bar if there is activity in it. To open a channel, hit the button beside it. To talk, hit the Transmit button so it is green. You can channel it over the ships speakers by hitting AUD, and put a picture of the one talking on the screen by hitting SCN. Your FOF ID is your ship’s automatic transmitter. It is illegal to have this off in Alliance space, but it’s really useful in masking your identity if you’re a pirate. ECM is used for combat. It gives you a chance of disrupting the other ship’s aim. Inter-ship Communications work the same as normal communications, select a area and hit the blue transmit button to talk.
This concludes my crash course review on basic starship operations. You will notice I skipped many of the buttons. I also skipped the Navigation, CONN, Computer, and Teleporter consoles. I covered the use of the Teleporter console in my "Getting Started: Part One" article. The other consoles are not necessary for basic ship function. To learn the other consoles, just play the game. They will come naturally to you. They look really complicated, but actually they are common sense. The panels were very well thought out and designed. You can do literally anything with your ship.
Welcome to StarQuest Online, where realism and immersion are as deep as possible. I hope you know how to swim, because the learning curve doesn't have a wading pool.