Little-Known User Interface Features

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This is a list of user interface features that you may not know about because they aren't mentioned in the in-game tutorials.

Screenshots

You can take a screenshot at any time by pressing Ctrl+Alt+C.

Press Ctrl+Shift+U to toggle the in-game HUD off and on.

Camera

You can rotate the camera using the [ and ] keys. Press the \ key to reset the camera back to its default rotation.

Pressing Alt+F will focus the camera on your ship and lock the camera's rotation to match the ship's rotation.

Pressing Ctrl+F will focus the camera on the currently-targeted enemy ship. Ctrl+Alt+F will also lock the camera's rotation to match the enemy's rotation.

To focus the camera on any ship in the game, you can either middle-click on it or left-click while holding the Alt key.

The "picture-in-picture" view that displays in the upper-right corner can be resized by hovering the mouse over and and dragging the little resizer that appears in its bottom-left corner. You can also customize if/when it appears in the settings.

Ships

By default, when you right-click-and-drag on an enemy ship to pick a specific angle, the angle will be "fixed" to the rotation of the enemy ship, causing the angle to change as the enemy rotates. If you hold the Ctrl key while right-click-dragging, then the angle will be fixed to the background grid and thus will not rotate with the enemy. This can be useful when you want to surround an enemy on multiple sides but don't care what side of the enemy faces which of your ships. Right-click-dragging to follow a friendly ship works in exactly the same way. Turning on the Prefer Grid-Relative Attack Angles and Prefer Grid-Relative Follow Angles settings will invert this behavior.

To select all ships under your command, press Ctrl+A.

By default, you can't left-click in empty space to deselect the currently-selected ship(s). However, you can turn this behavior on by enabling the Allow Ship Deselection setting.

When the "picture-in-picture" is showing an enemy ship, you can right-click in it to focus-fire on a specific enemy part.

The direction which will be treated as "forward" for the purposes of flying long distances can be customized by clicking the desired direction arrow in the ship designer, or within the pop-out menu to the right of the ship's name.

When ordering a ship to attack another ship at a specific distance and/or angle, that distance/angle will be remember the next time you issue an attack command. You can clear that memory by clicking the Reset Attack Defaults option in the ship's pop-out menu.

Parts

Left-click to select a part. Holding Shift while doing so or dragging a box allows you to select multiple parts.

Double-clicking selects all parts of the same type and (in the case of weapons and thrusters) orientation. Triple-clicking selects all parts of the same type regardless of orientation.

To select all parts of the currently-selected ships, press Ctrl+Shift+A.

Control Groups

Ships can be grouped into "control groups" to make them easy to select using hotkeys. Select the ships you want to group together and then press Ctrl+F1 through F8 to create a control group of those ships. Then press F1 through F8 to select that control group at any later point in time. In the Bounty Hunter mode, your first eight ships will be automatically put in control groups F1 through F8.

Individual ship weapons and other parts can also be put into their own control to make it easier to turn them on and off or toggle their hold-fire modes. Select the parts you want to group (hold Ctrl+Shift and click on each part) and then press Ctrl+0 through 9 to create a control group. Then press 0 through 9 to select that control group at any later point in time. (You must already have the ship selected.)

Ship Designer

To select all parts, press Ctrl+A.

To delete all doors from the currently-selected parts, press Ctrl+Del.

By default, the ship designer will automatically place doors when adding parts to a ship. This can be disabled by turning off the Automatically Add Doors option, or by holding the ~ key.

With a 1x1 symmetrical part selected (such as corridor, armor, or structure) in blueprint mode, holding the Tab key enables "fill mode", which works much like the "paint bucket" tool found in many paint programs.

The Z and X keys can be used to select Corridor and Door, respectively. You can also assign your own hotkeys to any other part.

By default, the ship designer won't let you add a part that doesn't have crew access to the rest of the ship. This behavior can be disabled by turning off the Enforce Crew Access setting.

If your ship needs repairs, you can still enter blueprint mode by holding the Shift key. (Note that this does not let you avoid repair costs; you'll still have to pay to repair any damaged parts when pressing the MAKE IT SO button.)

There is a Load Shape From PNG option that can turn a PNG image file into a basic ship silhouette shape. Every non-transparent pixel in the PNG file will be interpreted as a corridor tile.

If you run out of space on the build grid and want to reposition your ship's blueprints, you can use the Recenter Blueprints option, or simply use the selection tool to copy & paste the blueprints into a different position. As of version 0.12.11, you can do this at no cost.

Ship Painter

To select all decals in the current layer, press Ctrl+A.

You can save a "paint scheme" of any ship, which simply records its base paint, decal, and crew color settings. You can then apply that paint scheme to any other ship, changing its colors but keeping its decal pattern.

Crew

Holding the Shift key will let you hire and fire 5 crew at a time instead of 1.

FTL Jumps

You don't have to FTL Jump with your entire fleet. Simply select the subset of ships you want to jump and then plot an FTL course. You will be asked whether you want to jump your entire fleet or only the selected ships. If you have your fleet split between multiple sectors, you will be able to freely switch between any sector in which you have ships.

To buy the exact amount of FTL Fuel you need to make an FTL Jump, select the sector you wish to jump to and then click the Buy fuel button. The slider will be pre-set to match the exact amount of fuel you need to make the jump.

Creative Mode

When removing a ship in Creative Mode, hold the Shift key to suppress the confirmation message and immediately delete the ship.

When spawning a ship, holding the ~ key will prevent the ship from spawning without any power or ammunition and with the crew initially stationed in their bunks.

Creative mode has a "Battle Helper" which helps to reduce the tedium of setting up battles between ships or fleets of ships. It can be especially useful for hosting tournaments and competitions.

Ship Library

You can organize your ship designs within sub-folders inside the My Ships folder. To create a sub-folder, right-click on My Ships and select New Folder. When a folder has sub-folders, a little arrow will appear to the left of its name; clicking on that arrow will display the sub-folders. Click-and-drag a ship to move it into a different folder.

You can delete or rename a ship by right-clicking on it.

Saved Games

Press Ctrl+S to "quick save" the game.

Pressing Ctrl+L will load the most-recently-saved game file, which may be a quick-save, auto-save, or manual save.

You can delete an existing saved game of any type by right-clicking on it.

Mods

You can install a mod from a .zip file by clicking the pop-out menu in the top-right corner of the Mods Manager and selecting Install Mod.

You can uninstall a mod by right-clicking its name in the mods list.

You can start the game will all mods disabled by using the Cosmoteer (No Mods) shortcut in your start menu.

Miscellaneous Hotkeys

Press Alt+Enter to toggle between full-screen and windowed display modes.

Press Ctrl+Alt+Esc to immediately restart the application. This is most useful for modders who need to restart to test mod changes.