Understanding how to use inertia in combat in Everspace 2. It is a little obscure and not explained anywhere.
“Inertia is the idea that an object will continue its current motion until some force causes its speed or direction to change.”
Understanding Inertia in the Context of Space Battles / Travel
Inertia is a physical principle that dictates that an object that is in motion stays in motion unless acted on by an outside force. This can be gravity, it can be friction, it can be a push in the opposite direction, it can be the brakes on your car, etc…
In the context of space, there is very little friction/gravity to affect your movement, and Everspace 2 allows you to play with that. This requires turning off your inertia dampeners, which we will cover later. Inertia dampeners are little thrusters along your ship that stabilize it, and prevent it from drifting, but drifting might be desirable, and is a very powerful space combat tactic I learned on freelancer 20 years ago.
Using inertia allows you to do things like maintain cruise speed/boost speed without actually using cruise/boost, what it also allows you to do is maintain your heading and turn around to shoot at enemies following you.
Binding the Inertia Dampener Toggle
In the everspace pause menu, settings -> input -> customize controls, you can bind the inertia dampeners toggle, which will be unbound by default.
I set it on Z myself. It’s important to understand that you likely won’t spend an entire fight with the dampeners off, and you will toggle them on and off as needed. Drifting is great, but sometimes you do want some control/stability too. ;p
Using the Inertia Dampener Toggle
To know whether your dampeners are on/off at a quick glance, you can look at your status bar, the yellow icon with the arrows at the bottom right tell you that my dampeners are currently off:
Keep in mind that while dampeners are off, you can still use WASD to steer your ship, just that the behavior will be different. If dampeners are on, and you press W, ship will move forward as long as you press W, and will stop when you release button. If dampeners are off and you press W, your thrusters will give a push forward to your ship, but your ship won’t stop once you release W. Your ship will maintain momentum in the direction it was pushed.
This means you can also use boost to steer yourself. Having a high output boost will definitely help with this. Just one thing to consider, steering is awkward with dampeners off. If you’ve slingshot yourself in a direction, and try to boost in another, you need to remember that the inertia of the push you gave in the initial direction will always affect your heading.
A few scenario this might be useful:
- You are cruising along into a new zone, you want to keep your cruise speed, but you need to come out of cruise to shoot at something. Toggle the dampeners while you are still in cruise, turn off cruise (F) by default, and you’ll notice that you get slingshotted at cruise speed in the direction you were cruising in and you can turn your ship without your heading/speed being affected.
- You are a sniper with very long range weapons, and you want to maintain safe distance with your enemies.
- You are in a pinch, and you need to get out of the fight to let your shields regen.
Hoo boy, I sucked at this in Elite Dangerous, and I can’t wait to suck at it in Everspace 2!
One of my fav things to do is fly my bomber like EVE Online, popping the energized boost, killing the dampeners and orbiting targets at 5km and slinging cruise missiles downrange. Nothing can catch me, even teleporter drones can’t get more than a shot off before I’m out of their range.
So much fun 😀
I use this technique very often, but not only in combat. For example, when I fly around an object and want to look at it at the same time. The lateral control jets (A & D) are very helpful in combination with drifting 🙂