As a pilot, you will find that many a time, attempting a mission or flying a cargo through dangerous space is impossible by yourself. When this situation occurs, having another pilot on your wing (or several) may be enough to shift the odds.
Wingmen give you the ability to have multiple ships engaged on a mission, not just your own. As leader of your own personal flightgroup, you can order your wingmen to perform most of the actions you are capable of in your own ship. More specifically, you can order them to attack the target you are currently locked onto, come, rescue you if you're taking fire (brilliant for the larger merchant vessels), and form them up on your wing.
Following is a list of available commands:
- Press to have them form on your wing. This command places your wingmen in formation with you. They will fly defensively, but attempt to remain in their position. This command is commonly used to have wingmen follow you through a wormhole.
- Press to release them. This command releases them from the above order. Essentially, they are weapons and flight free.
- Press to have them help you out. As noted above, where your ship is under fire, using this command will cause your wingmen to attack whoever it is firing on you. Hopefully they will destroy your opponent, but the key is to draw your opponent's fire away from you.
- Press to have them attack your target. Where you specifically want your wingmen to attack a target, whether for defensive purposes, or a mission objective, use this command. Be warned however, that wingmen tend to be fickle and may not always obey your commands. They will inform you whether they will or not.
Just a final word. When flying escort missions, your own escorts will follow wherever you lead, and escort you to your destination. To travel through a wormhole, stop in the wormhole, wait until they get near, and then press . They will follow you through the wormhole and appear on the other side. Continue to the next destination. Getting escorts right is essential to completing many of the plot missions.
To hire wingmen, you need to have access to a Mission Computer. From the Missions Screen, highlight the wingmen category. You will then see a list of available wingmen, providing a description of the pilot, flying ability, statistics on what type of ship they pilot, and a price for hire.
Wingmen are aware that they are typically hired for dangerous jobs. As such, they demand payment up front before accepting your commission. Clicking [Accept] will hire the highlighted wingman and reduces your total credits by the hire cost. Your new wingman will fly on your wing until you next dock.
Larger cargo transports can carry fighters as cargo (a miniature carrier). Fighter cargo can be jettisoned and commanded just as hired wingmen. When battle ceases, your ship can then tractor these cargo fighters back in. You will need a Tractor Beam to fully use this feature.
Cycle your left VDU to your cargo list, and or to position the wingman in top position. Press to eject your escort.
A further ability you have with cargo wingmen, is the use of the Control Switch key. First, target a specific wingman, then press the Control Switch key. Your own control has now shifted from your primary ship, to control over your wingman's ship. You can now pilot your fighter wingman in direct battle against your opponents.
After battle has ceased, return control using the same key back to your primary ship. From there, activate and use your Tractor Beam on your fighters, hauling them back into your cargo bay. Then, just continue on your merry way!
- Missions for information on accepting missions and the types of missions.
- Manual:Keyboard layout for the necessary command keys.