Elite Dangerous Imperial Courier Docked

Elite Tutorial Part One – Learning to Fly


Greetings, beginning commander! This tutorial on Elite Dangerous will cover the basics of creating a new character and learning to fly your ship. We will also jump to another system and learn how to start in Elite Dangerous. Are you ready for liftoff?

Creating your character in Elite Dangerous

When you’re in the Main Menu, click the button ‘New Game’. The character creator isn’t really a character creator, you just choose your gender according to your personal preference and move on.

Then there is the menu that is titled ‘Starter Ships’. If you’ve bought Horizons, which I strongly recommend, because almost all the content from past three years relies on it, there will be two options.

Either a ‘normal Sidewinder’, or a Sidewinder that is outfit with an SRV which takes up a slot. If you’re going for anything outside of exploring, choose the normal one. It just takes up a spare cargo slot.

Then you will choose a Starting Location. I recommend choosing Dromi, because it’s in a starting area, in which anyone with rank higher than the starter ones in anything (e. g. Mostly Harmless in Combat) can’t enter. It should be free of griefers and gankers, only having newbies who want to learn.

Jumping the Galaxy                              

When you start the game, you’ll be on a station with a starting mission. The mission is nothing more than a simple fetch quest, however it should teach you the basics of operating your ship.

Open the Galaxy Map, which is bound to M by default. Select the system with a small orange icon above it and press ‘Plot Route’. You can now exit the Map, and undock from the station.

Lift carefully right above you, retract your landing gear, and fly out of the bay. Each time you dock or undock, there is a timer above your Area Map. Leave the station before it ends, or you’ll get a hefty fine or potentially a fiery death from the station’s lasers. The transport police doesn’t screw around here.

It’s a small jump for a man, and a billionth such jump for the playerbase

When you plot your route, it will target the target system automagically. Once you’re out, try to aim at it. There will be a small indicator next to the Area Map.

Once you’re aimed for your target, fly clear enough away from the station, so that the small indicator titled "Mass Lock" next to the Landing Gear indicator lights down. Once you’re clear, press the jump key (J by default).

 A small countdown will appear on the top of your HUD. You can count down with it, if you like, it’s your first jump after all. When the timer ends, you’ll enter a witchspace tunnel. While in witchspace, there's really nothing you can do.

Elite Dangerous Arrival in new system

There are also systems with multiple stars, so it can look like this on arrival.

Your target system and what to do there

Once you end your jump, you will be in your target system facing the star. Don’t worry though; since all new ships have Supercruise Assistant installed, your throttle and speed will be automatically slowed down to zero.

When you open your Contacts tab (that’s the one on the left), you will be presented with a list of stations and celestial bodies in that system. If you have that mission, one will be highlighted. Select that one, and press the Supercruise Assist button.

Next, you will be prompted to aim at your target, and set your throttle into the blue zone. The Assist will fly you there, however, take note of how that’s done, because this is the way you will be approaching stations and planets for the rest of the game.

Once the Assist drops you out of Supercruise, you will be approximately 10 km from the station. Fly so you’re closer than 7.5 km and then select your Contacts tab and switch it to local mode.

There, find the station and click Request Docking. After that, set throttle to zero and wait for the autopilot to dock you. When you land, select Station Services, and navigate to the Missions Menu. You can then click your starter mission and turn it in..

Congratulations, you completed your first steps in Elite Dangerous. Next, I’ll be talking what and how you can do activities in this game. Flametwist signing off!

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