Gravitation Flying Guide
he first thing to remember is that when the ship is not thrusting, the direction in which it is facing has no effect on the path it will take. It will carry on in the direction it is moving regardless of which way it's pointing, with a small gravitational force pulling it downwards, and a constant air-resistance force trying to slow it down -- resulting in a distorted parabolic path, much like that of a golf ball. Getting used to thrusting the ship into a direction in which you can accurately predict it's subsequent trajectory when you release the thrust is fundamental in skilful flying. As your skills improve, you can start applying the thrust out of the corner earlier and earlier.
This is much the same as learning to race cars -- you can't go flat out from the start and expect to get better by crashing less often; you have to start off slow and gradually increase your speed through corners, hence improving overall lap times.
Taking a corner properly is all about setting up the ship's momentum well in advance of the apex. You don't steer the ship around the corner as if it were a car because the only way to control your velocity is by thrusting, and it can only thrust forwards (reverse thrust is more for tricky manoeuvres while dogfighting). Therefore you must turn the ship well in advance of the pending corner, and accelerate the ship towards the centre of the turn. This means practically facing the apex of the corner and allowing the ship's momentum to carry it around.
You must also bear in mind that terminal velocity (maximum speed) is much higher downwards than upwards because of gravity -- this is true in real life. Air resistance constantly tries to slow the ship down, so when the thrust force equals the drag plus the gravitational force the ship can no longer accelerate. This is getting a little too mathematical perhaps, but you should have noticed that and must take corners differently depending on their orientation. That is, your entry speed is much lower when taking a corner like that in Figure 1, than the corner in Figure 2.
Gravitation ships come equipped with a very substantial air-brake (Square button) which dramatically increases air-resistance and can rapidly slow the ship down to take a corner like that in Figure 2. Try flying around normally but constantly hold down the square button -- you will find that terminal velocity is very low and the ship becomes very easy to handle. Applying this air-brake briefly just as you enter a corner, too fast to be taken normally, will retard the speed just enough to make it around. Well, that's the idea anyway...
The one piece of advice I can give to everyone, and I believe the secret of becoming expert at this game, is, (providing you had the patience to read this far..) to look at the corner in which you are about to take. Do not ever look at the ship you are flying. This sounds rediculous perhaps, but it will improve your skills no end if you head this hint. So as soon as you can see the apex of a corner look at it, and allow your slightly more peripheral vision to "see" where the ship is. Never, ever, let your eyes follow the ship while navigating a tricky section -- you must always have your eyes fixed on a part of the map. Believe me, it will help you play this infuriating game, and crash, well, less often!
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