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Offline Jag

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Jag's Arena Commander Guide
« on: March 01, 2015, 06:03:17 AM »
Jag’s Arena Commander Guide
Current for AC V1.1
Updated: March 21st – 2015


This guide is intended to help everyone get comfortable playing Arena Commander, I plan on keeping this updated with every new release.  If you tried out an earlier version and was turned off or didn’t like the controls then now is the time to get back into the cockpit.  The current release is much improved and worthy of your time. 

Arena Commander is highly skill based, if you just jump right in to multiplayer you’ll quickly be left wondering how an entry level Aurora just smoked you in your shiny Super Hornet.  Don’t get frustrated, keep practicing and hook up with some other Guardians to help you out. 

Below you’ll find detailed tips on flying, setting up the game and customizing the controls to maximize your fun, which is really why we’re all here.



  • Step One, read the manual.  Seriously, read it.  I know manuals for games are a thing of the past and tutorials that lead you by the hand are in style right now but this isn’t a simple game, it’s a simulator.  Download the pdf to your phone and read it when you have a few free minutes, you’ll thank me later and it’ll save you some frustration.

  • Now that you’ve read the manual and you’re eager to get flying you may want to set up your hangar on the RSI site first; this isn’t necessary but could save confusion when you don’t see your ship sitting there. 

    When logged in on the RSI site, click on MY RSI at the top right and then MY HANGAR.



    When your hangar page opens click on the Configuration button.



    Here you can select your hangar and move your ship(s) from the left side into the different hangar bays available on the right.  Be sure to click Save after making any changes.

  • Once you log into your hangar there are two ways of launching Arena Commander.  You can walk up to your ship and enter the cockpit by pressing the action button, ‘F’ by default, or you can simply press ESC and click Arena Commander.  Once you select your game mode and click launch you enter the test of patience, loading into the game is unbelievably slow, I'm sure this will improve over time.

  • I highly recommend Free Flight mode as your first foray into Arena Commander, this mode lets you fly around and practice getting used to the controls without the risk of some pesky Vanduul or another player trying to kill you.  Be sure to try out coupled/decoupled mode and the different IFCS modes (you read the manual right?) as these are critical to becoming a good pilot.  Next move on to Vanduul Swarm and then try some co-op.  If you really want to become a great pilot, practice in race mode.  The race course is tight and will quickly improve your overall skill.  Get used to your ship, how it handles, and targeting before you subject yourself to people who play regularly.

  • Joystick/HOTAS vs. Mouse + Keyboard – I’ve used both and I’m undecided on which I like better.  Currently a HOTAS setup is easier for flying but is less accurate than M+K for aiming.  CIG is constantly improving the controls with each patch though.

  • You should be able to avoid all missiles, get familiar with the countermeasure key/button and how to switch between chaff and flares. You always want to use flares at this stage, as all missiles are currently heat seeking.

  • Countermeasures – ‘X’ to switch between Chaff and Flare, ‘Z’ to launch selected countermeasure.
    Chaff - Breaks target lock/radar, basically resets the engagement.
    Flare – Intercepts missiles fired at you.

  • Use asteroids/obstacles to your advantage.  If you’ve got a missile incoming (bitching betty will warn you) and you don’t know what direction it’s coming from, circle around an asteroid or object and hopefully it’ll block the missile for you.

  • Learn to use throttle, brake and boost.

  • Get familiar with strafe, use it to avoid collisions or avoid fire while your shields recharge. If someone is circle strafing you boost away, if they keep on you, then fly to asteroids where they will likely run into an asteroid if they keep strafing.  Learning to strafe is one of the most important skills to master.

  • If you are blacking or redding out a lot, know that boosting while turning turns off g-safe which can protect you against this. Try to save boost for when you want to accelerate in a straight line, if you want to turn fast, try to throttle down while turning, then throttle up and boost in the direction you want to go, think race car. Or decouple, turn, then couple and boost where you want to go.

  • Don't waste missile by firing them at long distance targets, this gives your target a lot of time to use a flare, or avoid the missile some other way. Generally try to rely on your guns, it’ll make you a better pilot.

  • Don't forget use zoom in/out (mousewheel scroll).  Zoom comes in handy to get more accurate shots on your target.

  • Weapons are generally ineffective beyond 800m. Use this time to lead your target and get a good firing position.

  • VoiceAttack is a fantastic tool to use in Arena Commander.  Essentially it lets you perform any function using a voice command, this is especially great for complicated controls like modifying your shield/engine/weapon power distribution, ejecting, etc.  The program only costs $8 and is well worth it.  Check out this thread for full details on how to use it along with a download link for a great custom profile for Arena Commander.


New for v1.1

  • Unfortunately v1.1 requires a complete re-install of the game.  Be sure to read this post for details on how to update your client.  See the post below for the "Login Failed" fix if you get that after updating.

  • Aegis Gladius is AC ready - If you own a Gladius you'll be happy to know you can now use it to kill your friends.  The Gladius is a fast, light fight focused on dogfighting.  Initial reviews are very positive.

  • Aegis Retaliator is hangar ready - If you own a Tali you can now drool over it in your hangar, but can't fly it yet.

  • The SimPod - You'll now find a SimPod in your hangar once you update your client.  This is now how you launch Arena Commander, and eventually Star Marine (FPS Module).  Just climb into your SimPod and AC will fire up.

  • Free Flight Multiplayer - This much requested game mode has been added.  You and your friends can now join free flight matches together and fly around.  This will be great for practising manoeuvres and getting a feel for flying with a wingman without those pesky Vanduul shooting at you.

  • Equipment Rental - Every time you play a public competitive match in Arena Commander (including Co-op Swarm), you gain REC (Rental Equipment Credits).
    • You can rent ships, weapons and other equipment that you do not yet own. Rental cost (in credits) is 10% of the actual cost
    • Rental is for seven one-day uses. Each time you start playingArena Commander, you trigger a “use.” You can then play for up to 24 hours on that “use”; you can even log out and log back in within that 24-hour period, and it will still be a single use.
    • At this point, the game can’t determine whether you are actually using the equipment that you’ve rented; any play in Arena Commander is counted as a use, even if you don’t use the rented equipment.
    • You can renew a rental for 80% of the original rental cost.  You may trigger this renewal at any time during your current rental or within 24 hours after the end of your final use.

  • Landing Interface - You can land anytime you find a flat surface large enough to land on. This is useful in multiplayer free flight mode if you want to trade ships with your buddies.  See the manual (page 21) for details on how to land.

  • Weapon mount changes - Weapon mounts have been adjusted so that gimbaled mounts now hold weapons that are one size smaller than the mount. Fixed mounts still hold weapon sizes equal to the mount.  This is an attempt to balance the game between joystick and mouse users, it'll surely be adjusted along the way but for now here's a good graphic explaining how it works:



Racing

If you want to become a better pilot, practice on the race course in single player sim mode.  Give yourself at least an hour before getting frustrated and giving up, racing requires pinpoint accuracy and the course is very unforgiving.

Here are a few tips that make things go much smoother:
  • I find mouse+keyboard is easier for racing, gives you better accuracy but to each his own.
  • Before the flag drops hold CTRL and press CAPSLOCK twice and C once.  This will turn on comstab and put your control into relative mode.  Makes your ship a bit less drifty.  Note, you'll have to do this again each time you respawn after a crash.
  • Your next gate will be indicated by a swirling gear looking thing with the gate number in the middle and the distance above, looks like this:
  • If you turn sharply you're going to drift and most likely slide into something, tap Boost (TAB) to straighten your trajectory towards your intended path.
  • Spacebrake (spacebar) comes in handy when you're learning the course, use it for minor course corrections at first, once you've mastered the track you won't need it.  Stick to using boost to get yourself back on course.



« Last Edit: April 02, 2015, 01:34:42 AM by Jag »
 

Offline Jag

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Re: Jag's Arena Commander Guide
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2015, 06:03:31 AM »
Troubleshooting


Low Framerate
If you're having poor frame rates you might want to try this fix, this will also solve almost all "Memory Allocation Failed" errors.  This is assuming you have less than 16GB of ram, eventhough the requirements say 8GB minimum, you're way better off with 16.

  • Log in to your account on the RSI website. Go to your hangar settings and assign one ship. This will turn off loading all ships from free-fly week.
  • The hangar module currently uses up to 12GB of RAM. There are two options:
    • Increase your windows pagefile size to 12000MB. Instructions on how to do this can be found here.
    • Add more RAM. This is the best option and will provide a better framerate increase than the above.


Login Failed/Navigating UEE Records
If you're getting a "Login Failed" error or stalling on "navigating UEE records" after you download the new version here's how to fix it.

  • Sign out and close the launcher.
  • Go to C:\program files\starcitizen\citizenclient and delete "logindata.json".
  • Restart launcher and accept the EULA and you should be good to go.


Infinite Loading Screen
- Update video drivers

Outdated video drivers can sometimes create the infinite loading screen hang issue. Make sure you've got the latest set of drivers.

1. AMD Radeon users can download the latest version of video drivers at http://support.amd.com/en-us/download.
2. nVidia GTX owners can downlod the latest version of video drivers at http://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx.


- Reset Base Filtering Engine

This is a known issue where instances of the Base Filtering Engine break and stops applications from running. Other CryEngine games have had this issue.

1. Hit the Windows Start menu and type 'services.msc' into the run field.
2. Run the 'services' tool.
3. At the bottom of the window, make sure you're on the extended tab.
4. Select the Base Filtering Engine.
5. Click "Restart the service' to the left of the program list.
6. Hit yes if a warning appears.
7. If an error is given saying that it was in use by other services, close any security programs and non-critical programs, then click restart again.
8. Launch the starcitizenlauncher.exe.


- Disable Internet Connection Sharing

1. Hit the Windows Start menu and type 'services.msc' into the run field.
2. Run the 'services' tool.
3. At the bottom of the window, make sure you're on the extended tab.
4. Select Internet Connection Sharing.
5. Click "Stop the service' to the left of the program list.
6. If no option is available, the service is not running and other causes will need to be looked at.
7. Launch the starcitizenlauncher.exe.


- File Corruption

Corrupted files may prevent infinite loading screens without returning an error. There are two ways to troubleshoot this.

1. Repair the installer by resetting to defaults.

-- Navigate to the StarCitizen\Launcher folder
-- Delete the Launcher.Version file in the launcher folder
-- Right click the Starcitizenlauncher.exe and select "Run as admininistrator".
-- Click on the cog in the upper right of the launcher and click 'Reset to Defaults'

2. Delete Star Citizen and reinstall.

-- Click Windows Start, All Programs and Star Citizen, then select Uninstall.
-- Reinstall the game from https://robertsspaceindustries.com/download.

This option should obviously be considered last as it's the most time consuming, but had helped resolve this problem previously.


Direct Download Instructions for Star Citizen (Advanced PC Users Only)

Below are direct links to each particular zip file; all files are required to work properly. Sequencing matters too, so you'll want to follow the instructions.

For advanced users, you might also want to use a download manager (either standalone app or a plugin for Chrome or Firefox).


1. For a clean install, first uninstall any copy of Star Citizen.

2. Now download and run the installer at https://robertsspaceindustries.com/download.

3. You’ll need to log into the Launcher at least once to create the initial file structure.

4. You can either let the initial Binary files download and install (about 200MB of content) or quit anytime after that to start this process.


There are two sets of files you will ultimately need: Binaries and Data.

------------------------------------------------------------

Binaries

(Skip this and head down to Data if you patched the initial 200MB files)

5. If you’ve just installed the Launcher and briefly logged in and out, the following files must go from your local downloads folder into the Star Citizen/CitizenClient/patchdata.Client_Release folder:

http://patch.robertsspaceindustries.com/Client_Release/Client_Release_-1to762/Client_Release_-1to762.zip
http://patch.robertsspaceindustries.com/Client_Release/Client_Release_-1to762/Client_Release_-1to762.z01

The first is 11.85kB, the second 194.02MB.

6. Once downloaded, you will need to run the Launcher to process the binaries. The Launcher will delete the patchdata.Client_Release folder and create a patchdata.data folder inside Star Citizen/CitizenClient.

7. Once the Launcher has processed the Binaries, you will now need to download all of the Data files. You can terminate the Launcher and proceed to the next phase of downloading the direct Data files.


------------------------------------------------------------

Data

8. Once the Binaries have been installed, temporary Data_-1toXXX.zXX.partial files are pre-created in Star Citizen/CitizenClient/patchdata.data. You can delete those files right now to save space.

9. Either using a browser or a download manager, you should be able to download multiple files below simultaneously.

http://patch.robertsspaceindustries.com/Data/Data_-1to637/Data_-1to637.zip
http://patch.robertsspaceindustries.com/Data/Data_-1to637/Data_-1to637.z01
http://patch.robertsspaceindustries.com/Data/Data_-1to637/Data_-1to637.z02
http://patch.robertsspaceindustries.com/Data/Data_-1to637/Data_-1to637.z03
http://patch.robertsspaceindustries.com/Data/Data_-1to637/Data_-1to637.z04
http://patch.robertsspaceindustries.com/Data/Data_-1to637/Data_-1to637.z05
http://patch.robertsspaceindustries.com/Data/Data_-1to637/Data_-1to637.z06
http://patch.robertsspaceindustries.com/Data/Data_-1to637/Data_-1to637.z07
http://patch.robertsspaceindustries.com/Data/Data_-1to637/Data_-1to637.z08
http://patch.robertsspaceindustries.com/Data/Data_-1to637/Data_-1to637.z09
http://patch.robertsspaceindustries.com/Data/Data_-1to637/Data_-1to637.z10
http://patch.robertsspaceindustries.com/Data/Data_-1to637/Data_-1to637.z11
http://patch.robertsspaceindustries.com/Data/Data_-1to637/Data_-1to637.z12
http://patch.robertsspaceindustries.com/Data/Data_-1to637/Data_-1to637.z13
http://patch.robertsspaceindustries.com/Data/Data_-1to637/Data_-1to637.z14

The first file is 17.39kB.
Files .z01 to .013 are 1907.34MB.
File .z14 is 645.55MB.

10. Once you have downloaded the files, you can copy them from your download folder into Citizen/CitizenClient/patchdata.Data.

11. Run the Launcher to extract and apply these files.

12. You’ll then notice that the Launcher performs two operations: Checking Download (this takes two or three minutes) then Applying Patch (takes another three or four minutes).

Once this is complete, you’re Ready to Launch!


------------------------------------------------------------

TROUBLESHOOTING:

- If your download speed is slow: Try using a download manager instead of downloading individually. If your download speed continues to be slow, your ISP may be throttling your download. You also might want to try a cold reset of your router and modem (unplug for 90 seconds).
- If you encounter problems: We recommend that you uninstall Star Citizen and delete all temporary files, then reinstalling using the normal Launcher at https://robertsspaceindustries.com/download
« Last Edit: April 02, 2015, 11:27:54 AM by Jag »
 

Offline Scootter

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Re: Jag's Arena Commander Guide
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2015, 12:11:52 PM »
This is great information, thank you!  My computer is not the best but I am able to poke around some in free mode and get used to the controls.  I would like to get a joystick setup but that money is going towards a new pc that will run SC.

I am excited for AC 2.0 and multi-crew ships!

Offline Jag

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Re: Jag's Arena Commander Guide
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2015, 11:42:03 AM »
Updated OP with what's new for v1.1 and updated the link to the manual for the new version.
 

Offline BronxBrew

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Re: Jag's Arena Commander Guide
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2015, 08:47:26 AM »
On controllers, I have used all three, joystick, game pad and M/k. A simple joystick will be more than enough for now. I wouldn't get into a HOTAS setup just yet. Everything that is out there is designed for atmospheric flight not space. There will be something made just for space flight released closer to launch. Not to mention VR will be amazing also.

Note that the game is still not optomized for graphics yet. Even the most powerhouse computers still can have a hard time with it.
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Offline Sylent Jay

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Re: Jag's Arena Commander Guide
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2015, 10:12:59 AM »

Note that the game is still not optomized for graphics yet. Even the most powerhouse computers still can have a hard time with it.

I can confirm this too. I just bought at badass rig with a gtx970 card and the graphics are wonky sometimes in the HUD and other elements occasionally.
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Offline hayt

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Re: Jag's Arena Commander Guide
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2015, 11:18:38 AM »

Note that the game is still not optomized for graphics yet. Even the most powerhouse computers still can have a hard time with it.

I can confirm this too. I just bought at badass rig with a gtx970 card and the graphics are wonky sometimes in the HUD and other elements occasionally.

I find that tuning the graphics down to "High" from the default "Very High" fixes most issues (though asteroids and objects can still flicker).

OK, hayt, now you've impressed me. -JC

You are, of course, correct. -JC

Offline hayt

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Re: Jag's Arena Commander Guide
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2015, 11:20:35 AM »
On controllers, I have used all three, joystick, game pad and M/k. A simple joystick will be more than enough for now. I wouldn't get into a HOTAS setup just yet. Everything that is out there is designed for atmospheric flight not space. There will be something made just for space flight released closer to launch. Not to mention VR will be amazing also.

I disagree somewhat - I think HOTAS works pretty well, as it gives you granular velocity control that is difficult to emulate via keyboard or even voice attack. I don't particularly love the feel of it with strafing, however - still working on getting good with that bit.

OK, hayt, now you've impressed me. -JC

You are, of course, correct. -JC

Offline Jag

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Re: Jag's Arena Commander Guide
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2015, 04:39:56 PM »
Updated OP with a few tips on racing.
 

Offline Jag

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Re: Jag's Arena Commander Guide
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2015, 11:28:53 AM »
Updated the troubleshooting section with help for the infinite loading screen problem and instructions for direct downloading of the game if it's too slow through the launcher.
 

Offline Ibioc

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Re: Jag's Arena Commander Guide
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2015, 04:48:23 PM »
Wow, this is awesome.  nice work Jag.


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Offline ryptel

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Re: Jag's Arena Commander Guide
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2015, 07:26:44 PM »
Great guide!  I'm still so horrible at this game ... giving it another go lately.
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