For Beginners Edit
BallisticNG is an anti-gravity racing game. Like any other racing game your objective is to come first, BallisticNG however spices this up. As you are floating above the ground opposed to driving along it, you need to keep on top of a lot more in order to maintain top speed.
To stay as fast as possible, you must use a combination of pitching, airbrakes and the afterburner. There are explained below in detail. The game also features combat and provides you with a variety of weapons to slow down, damage and protect yourself against other contenders or to gain an advantage over them in other ways.
This guide has been written to ease new players into the game and to teach them the fundamental concepts.
Craft Handling Edit
In BallisticNG you don't want to ever slow down. You want to be holding the accelerate button down all of the time. Even in corners, keep it held down (this is explained in the airbraking section). At the bottom right of the screen you will see two bars. The topmost bar contains two smaller bars. The bigger blue bar shows your engine power and the smaller purple bar shows your current top speed.
Engine power is the current amount of resources that are being used for the engine. The higher this bar, the faster you can go. This simply increases/decreases as you hold/let go of the accelerator. If you hover this around 3/4 of the way along the bar in the countdown then you will get a start boost and reach top speed nearly instantly.
Steering works like any other racing game, however because you arn't colliding with the floor you can steer even when you arn't moving. The steering speed of your ship is always constant, it never changes as you slow down or speed up. When you steer what you are doing is tilting your ships weight to one side, because of this it takes a moment to stop steering as the weight of the ships tilt coming back to rest keeps you rotating, this needs to be considered when taking corners as this can easily lead to oversteering. Generally, you should take corners from the outside, so you can cut the corner as much as possible and save time.
Airbrakes are the flaps on the ship that raise and induce drag on either side when used. When both are used at the same time they cause you to brake and very quickly slow to a halt. When you use either side you will start to drift on the opposite side you are using the airbrake on and it will also induce some rotation. Because of this drift and extra rotation, you can use the airbrakes to easily swing around tighter corners without losing much speed. If you hold them down long enough you will quickly loose momentum, but tapping them or holding them in quick succesions will allow you easily make the harder turns at top speed. Ideally, you should airbrake before the corner, and continue braking inside the corner only in the case of very sharp turns.
Typically you hold the same airbrake on the side you are steering in down, however there is another technique you can use to strafe if you have miscalculated a turn. If you hold the airbrake oposite to the direction you are steering in down then the two rotations cancel out and you will begin to strafe.
Pitching allows you to change your angle relative to the track floor. Your ship automatically rotates so that it is parallel to the track below it, but pitching is important to make sure that you don't hit the floor and stay at maximum speed. As your angle to the track below you increases you will begin to slow down, meaning that you need to pitch to decrease this angle. When you are falling you can pitch up to start gliding, when you finally come back down to the track you will save yourself bottoming out. Pitching on bumpy sections of tracks is also important in making sure you don't bottom out.
Pitching has a significant effect on speed, but as you will be learning how to handle individual ships and how to navigate each track, you might postpone using it. Collisions with walls are a much greater threat to your speed and shields, so focus first on achieving proper steering and airbraking technique, and then on correct pitching reactions.
Bottoming Out Edit
Bottoming Out is when your ship makes a heavy collision with the track floor. When this happens you will bounce off the track and loose speed for every bounce that occurs (but you should never lose any noticeable amount of shields, no matter how badly you bounced off the track surface).
Wall Scraping Edit
If you start colliding with a wall at a parallel angle then you will scrape along it instead of rebounding off, which costs you shield energy and speed. Scraping the back of your ship also allows you to scrape, hitting the wall with enough force will cause you to rebound, but the threshold for doing so is a lot higher if you are facing away from the wall. When you scrape a wall you will see sparks coming off the ship and you'll hear a metal grinding noise. It is important to note that if you are going for a perfect lap then scraping the wall does not count as a collision so you have some leanway.
Airbraking into a corner and colliding into the wall from the inertia is a good example of a rear wall scrape, providing that you are not airbraking in a ship with very little grip at a very high speed, you will begin to scrape the wall instead of rebounding off of it.
Speed Pads Edit
During any event you will see blue chevron tiles on the track. These tiles increase your top speed for an enlongated period of time and also provide a very brief and sudden boost in speed. You should aim to find a racing line that covers as many speed pads as possible to remain at your maximum possible speed.
You can hit up to three speed pads to increase your speed. After you have hit three speed pads the boost timer will only continue to increase and the boost speed will remain the same. The boost speed resets whenever the boost timer runs out.
The other kind of pads that are spread across the tracks are the X-shaped weapon pads. Their color drifts between green and purple. When you fly over one you will be given a random Weapon to use. After you have flown over a weapon pad it will be disabled for half a second, in this period the weapon pad turns grey. There are currently twelve Weapons in BallisticNG, with their descriptions listed below.
The shield provides you with five seconds of invulnerability. When active your ship will be protected inside a bubble with a oscillating blue beam of energy. The only thing that can drain your ships' shields druing that time is the afterburner.
The autopilot activates the ship's onboard navigation for five seconds. While running the autopilot will also deploy a shield to protect you. The autopilot is agressive at keeping you in the middle of the track, so using it as you're about to collide a wall is a good idea as it will prevent the collision and quickly pull you back into a better racing line. Before it deactivates definitely, the autopilot makes sure that you are on a straight.
Opens a portal in front of the ship, once fully charged it teleports you to in front of the contender who is front of you. If you are passing over the start line then it will set any laps inbetween you and the target contenders current lap. It does not count the final lap. Once you have been teleported an autopilot briefly engages to help you maintain control of the ship. You can only obtain this pickup if you are amongst the last three contenders in a race.
Restores 25% of a ships shield energy. The Emergency Pack can only be obtained if your shield energy is under 25% and you are in first place.
Energy Wall Edit
The Energy Wall is a projectile that you fire down the track. Once it has traveled far enough it will deploy an energy field (of a width around half of standard track width) that slingshots any ship that collides with backwards. The wall is always deployed on the opposite side of the track that you are currently on. The energy wall dissipates after a short while.
A set of five anti-gravity explosives that are deployed in quick succesion behind the ship. They auto-destruct after 25 seconds. Colliding with them induces massive slowdown and damage. They can be destroyed with various offensive weapons including the cannon, missile, rockets and tremor.
A guided projectile that causes low damage and slowdown. They can be fired both forward and backwards, taking 1 second and half a second to lock on respectivly. The missile can also be fired blindly.
A pair of unguided projectiles that cause medium damage and slowdown. When fired a rocket is deployed from both sides of the ship.
The cannon provides twin chainguns mounted under each ship with 30 bullets. Each bullet causes low damage but very quickly slow down any ship they hit. Because of their rapid fire nature, they excel at slowing down groups of ships and destroying mines up ahead.
The plasma is a one-hit kill precision weapon. It takes one second to charge and is fired straight ahead of the ship. The plasma bolt is a fairly slow projectile making aiming very hard, but if it hits somebody it will instantly eliminate them.
The tremor is a weapon that shoots a seismic wave down the track. The wave is always the same width as the track and partially damages and greatly slows anything it hits. Tremors travel for a quarter the length of the track currently being raced on. They can be avoided by using a shield or flying over them.
Transfer Beam Edit
The transfer beam is a weapon that links your ship to another then begins transfering the energy from the target ship to yours. The connection can only be maintained if you are within a small distance and there isn't anything inbetween you and the target ship. If you pass the target ship then the connection will also be broken. The transfer beam is only obtaininable if you're under 50% shield energy and not in the first place.
Energy Management Edit
In BallisticNG your ship is protected from core damage by a shield generator. The shield can only withstand limited amount of damage - which varies greatly between different ships - before it stops running and any impact will cause the ship to explode. The generator can be given the resources to patch the shield back up, resources that can also be taken from the generator to use elsewhere.
Pitlanes are the blue-lit junctions that you find off to the side of the start lane that recharge a ships shield generator. As you fly through them your shields will be repaired at a moderately fast pace.
The afterburner draws resources away from the shield generator and puts them to use in the ships thruster you give you a boost in speed. The afterburner drains energy at the same rate that a pitlane restores them, meaning that if you use the afterburner through a pitlane then your shield energy will remain untouched. The afterburner cannot be accessed if your shield strength falls to 25% or less.
The afterburner can be used to take skillcuts on the track, such as using sudden changes in altitude to gain enough air to slightly skip a corner. The afterburner is also an important tool in head-head events in the campaign and you will need to use it regularly to keep up with your rival.