After a journey in the black, the next step is to land your ship. There are a variety of locations in Star Citizen, such as Outposts and Cities, that offer services for you and your ship. This guide focuses on these key locations, however, outside of these locations players can land and travel at their leisure across the surface of planetary bodies using the same principles in this guide.
Be sure to read the How To Quantum Travel guide to ensure you are competent in travelling between locations before proceeding with our landing guide.
No Fly Zone
Certain locations in Star Citizen (particularly Cities) have No Fly Zones, areas of the planet or city that players are not able to fly within. The No Fly Zone is shown as a colored grid on the perimeter of the restricted area, and your autopilot will, in certain circumstances, try to steer you away from these areas should you get too close. We recommend that you be aware of and proceed with caution when approaching a No Fly Zone.
Request authorization to land
Major locations such as Area18 and Lorville require authorization to land, where the local Landing Services will assign a landing pad, bay, or hangar, depending on the size of the ship you are piloting and availability. Typically, a ship needs to be within 5km-7km of the location you will be landing before the Landing Services appear in your Comms list.
Most ships have multiple HUD's (Heads Up Display) that display a variety of information, and we can switch between these on the display itself. On any of your ships HUD's there is a menu button in the top left. Holding F, Select Menu in the top left of any HUD, then select Comms. If you are within hailing distance of the Landing Services, the option to contact them will appear on the list:
Your MobiGlas is your personal assistant, and allows access to your inventory, contracts list and, among many other things, your Comms channels. To access the Commlink page, hit F11 on your keyboard and the page will immediately appear on your MobiGlas. As long as you are close enough (Within 5km-7km) of the Landing Services, they will appear on the left hand menu under the Contacts menu. Select the arrow next to the Landing Services to hail them.
Landing in the designated area
Landing Services may put you on hold if they are busy. Once authorization has been granted, a new icon will appear in your HUD designating the location of your pad, bay, or hangar. As you proceed towards your designated landing area, you will see which type it is (pads and hangars are typically landed on or in vertically, where as bays are flown into).
Hover Mode VTOL
A new addition to the flight model in patch 3.6 is hover mode. Hover mode will automatically engage when ships are within planetary atmosphere and speed is reduced to around <60m/s (this speed will vary ship to ship). As all the thrusters are now keeping the ship in flight, the ship will feel very similar to a helicopter. Tilting the flight stick/mouse will result in the ship moving in that direction. Tilting forward will start moving forward, to counteract this pull back on the stick to slow down. To exit hover mode, hold the W key until you are going fast enough for the mode to switch.
For new players the in-ship HUD has lots of information available including shield status, power distribution and the speed limiter. For new players, getting to grips with the speed limiter will help when attempting controlled landings. If we use the mouse scroll wheel up or down, we will adjust are max thruster speed. For landing in space station hangers, it is advised that we set the speed slightly above the 0m/s dead zone as shown in the picture below. This will give the pilot much more control using minor movements leaving less room for error.
Speed limiter: To lock in cruise control, use mouse wheel to determine speed and press "C".
This limiter will determine how much power is sent to the thrusters. If we set it just above the dead zone, we will have enough thrust to perform a cool, controlled descent to our landing pad. If the limiter is set too high there will be greater room for error when attempting the landing.
Once authorization has been given to land, try to position the ship directly above the landing pad/hanger entrance. To do this use SPACE BAR to elevate the ship directly upwards and tilt forward gently on the mouse. We can regain control of the ship by pressing and holding X. This will level the ship and hold it in place so you can reassess your position in relation to the landing pad.
Once you are positioned directly above the landing zone and the aircraft is hovering in a stationary state, we can now attempt to land.
Positioning mustang Delta above the hanger ready for landing.
Proceed toward the designated landing area with caution and navigate the No Fly Zone. As shown earlier, this area will be highlighted surrounding areas and buildings within it in your ships HUD. The example below shows a designated bay with its hangar door open, and the highlighted area surrounding the bay is the No Fly Zone.
A good tip when landing is to position the 3rd person camera view (Press F4, then hold Z and use the mouse to spin camera) in a top down position to check for clearance during the descent. Once confident that no collisions will occur, press and hold CTRL to start a gradual, vertical descent until the point of landing.
Land your ship as close to the center of the pad as possible and turn your systems off. Upon successful landing you will receive a message from Landing Services confirming you have landed, and that you may proceed to leave the ship.
Then you can shut down the ship’s power and enjoy your stay!