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Hardspace: Shipbreaker - Basic Guide (Controls, Tools and Other)

Written by Durendal5150   /   Jun 17, 2020    

Guide to Basics

Controls and Tools


  • WASD+Mouse is your bread and butter, as is standard, with QE to roll. Space ascends and C descends. Ctrl will initiate a break. It's important to note that the breaking force is higher than manual thruster control. Z and X are used to hold onto an object to brace yourself. In the event of decompression, etc. It also increases the transfer of sound, sometimes letting you hear what's going on within components.
  • 1 selects your Grapple.
  • LMB with the grapple grabs hold of an object. It will try to retain the rough distance from you it had when you grabbed it, and follow your cursor. F can be used to 'shove' the held object, or whatever your cursor is pointing at, otherwise. An upgrade allows this to be charged by holding F.
  • While holding LMB, you can hold RMB to 'reel in' the grapple. This will move the held object towards you, or you towards it, depending on relative mass. This can be sued to get around quickly, but take note that you can build up extreme speeds. Remember to use your CTRL break, and avoid going too fast directly at any solid objects.
  • RMB by itself is used to deploy tethers. Hold to deploy the first, release to deploy the second. Tethers draw the tethered objects together with a great deal of force. They are requisite for manipulating the heaviest components.
  • A raytrace will actually be fired between the points you select to establish the tether. So take care of any loose debris between your targets that may be struck by accident and tethered too.
  • 2 Selects your cutter. It also switches between the heads.
  • In needle mode, hold LMB on an object to vaporize it. Only works on certain surfaces. Easy enough. The needle beam will never penetrate or strike an object other than the one it is currently melting.
  • In bonesaw mode, RMB toggles between cut orientations.
  • The HUD will draw a line showing your cut. Take note this can often be longer than intended or desired depending on what is, or could, be targeted. Cuts that penetrate multiple layers of objects may strike valuable salvage or things that might explode.
  • Toggles your Flashlight.
  • I suspect but can't conclude that 3 does something.
  • T will bring up your scanner view. In Free Play or once upgraded, mousewheel will change the modes of this. The scanner allows you to check the composition and contents of the ship in an X-ray view. More on this to come.
  • TAB will toggle a panel with your current work orders. These are optional objectives that reward you tokens used to buy upgrades.
  • is used to interact with controls, consoles, or to pick up data logs or consumable items.
  • ESC does what you'd expect.

Around the Bay

When we first exit the hab, take note of the console to your left. This is where you'll return to purchase fuel, oxygen, tethers and the like. In the early going, it's best that you start thinking about returning for air when you get down to 100 seconds or just above. Leave yourself plenty of time for early mistakes. You'll learn how close you can cut it as you go.

Next, take note of the areas around the bay. Below you in green is the Barge. This is a transport unit sent to collect all intact components. Computers, chairs, fuel tanks. Manufactured objects that can be re-used.

Each side of the bay has both a blue and red space. The blue space is the Processor. Which is used for collecting intact pieces of high-value material. The Red space is the furnace. Soft metals and garbage go here.

With that squared, approach your target ship and use the grapple to remove any old antennae from it. Note that just above your O2 meter at the bottom of the HUD, it now has a green lamp that says BARGE. As well, if we look at the barge, there will now be a graphic saying to place the held item there. Whenever you hold and often when you point your cursor at any material, that lamp will display. It will show:

  • Barge in Green.
  • Processor in Blue.
  • Furnace in Red.

Conveniently color-coded to the areas themselves. If you're still uncertain, remember as well that while holding an object with the grapple, a HUD indicator will also flash around the correct deposit point.

Before we move on, a note. Objects that normally go in the Barge or Processor, if sufficiently damaged or mangled by impacts and cutting, will change status to be placed in the Furnace instead. Their value has been ruined and they're only good for bulk scrap now.

Note the hedgehog-like objects positioned around the bay as well. These have no mechanical function. They're merely anchors for you to pull yourself around or tether components to if you need to drag them in a certain direction.

Lastly, be sure to turn around and have a look at your starting position, the Hab, and recall where it is. In the event you need to return to it in a hurry, it's good to have your bearings to it.


Written by Durendal5150.