GSF Lessons

I'm continuing to play Galactic Starfighter sporadically, just enough to complete the weekly (which requires 4-7 games, depending on whether you win or lose) on one or two characters.

As I mentioned in the GSF stream with Traitine last month, I've been amused to see characters recently that were clearly created with the sole purpose of playing GSF and have intentionally been given names such as "Spontaneous Combustion" - which results in funny announcements such as "Spontaneous Combustion destroyed Shintar" whenever they get a kill.

I also ran into this guy, who easily made my evening (click to enlarge and be able to read the chat):

What's been less nice has been seeing people insult new/bad players with comments like "this match is full of bots". (I'm pretty sure there are no bots in GSF.) I mean, I'm used to people being unnecessarily rude in PvP of any flavour, but that insult in particular kind of gets me because it's basically saying: "You guys are so bad I can't even believe you are human." Way to make the curious newbies feel welcome.

That said, apparently AFKing in GSF is also becoming a thing. I haven't seen it myself yet, but Calph tells me that he's encountered it a couple of times by now. What people expect to gain that way, I'm not sure, since you do get a "no rewards" debuff if you don't shoot or guard anything for long enough. (I've actually occasionally been flagged by this myself when I've failed to hit anything for too long in a deathmatch!)

I've also decided that I really want to get better at GSF and try out some new things. I found my comfort zone with the gunship and bomber, but I've stuck with the same two ships for too long now. There are different types and loadouts to try out, and maybe even a scout. I remember being put off the scout and strike fighter as a new player because I barely knew how to move and their high speed was just too disorientating. Now that I got a better grip on the gameplay with gunship and bomber, it's not nearly as scary though and occasionally I've even found myself annoyed by how slow those two ship types are to move and turn.

The thing that eventually pushed me into trying a scout was the Spearpoint, which has a great utility that gives everyone around you a speed boost, which can make a vital difference when it comes to quickly capturing the objectives in domination matches. So I've taken to starting those matches with the scout at least (unless someone else has announced that they will give the buff) and then try to cap a satellite with sheer speed. The other night I actually succeeded and didn't die immediately afterwards, so I shot off towards the nearest gunship and tried to kill it the way other scouts often kill me. And I succeeded at that too (though someone else may have helped)! I was almost relieved when I finally died and could get off that dizzying high and back to flying something slower and more "normal" for my standards. Baby steps.

I also found a YouTube channel called GSF School, which tries to explain GSF for newbies in very professionally made and entertaining videos. I can recommend their short video on finding out how many GSF matches are running at any given point in time. (I sort of already knew this, but didn't know that you could enter all three terms at once without mucking up the search.) Recently they also posted two videos called Movement 101 and Weapons 101. I hesitated to watch them because I've played hundreds of GSF matches; surely I've got the 101 part down at least? In the end I went ahead anyway and guess what, I learned new things from both videos. If you are baffled by how one can go through hundreds of matches without even being aware of certain basics... well, they are not explained anywhere in game! I did read and play through the tutorials back in the day, but they really don't tell you very much. Maybe we'll make a dogfighter out of me yet...


  1. Hello, Shintar.

    I'm a bit of a slow player. I play the game since 2013, but just recently i discovered GSF.

    First i was shocked how bad i am at not dying. My scout was running away from enemies as fast as my engines allowed.

    But i loved it.

    After many many matches and some upgrades, i finally had the courage to attack. And the first time i hit someone was unforgettable. More so my first solokill or doing more than 10k damage.

    I'm still not good, but i like hunting gunships. Just recently i killed nine ships in one match without dying once.

    My scout is almost mastered, and i'm planning to try out the bomber next.

    I really love this part of the game. But it is sooo hard when you start.

    Keep up the marvelous posts. Thank you.

    1. Glad to hear you've been having fun with GSF! There is definitely something very satisfying about getting better at it after the initial struggle.

  2. Lol! That reminds of the days when the outcomes of duels were automatically announced in a system chat message in EverQuest. People would make characters with specific names so as to get a humorous outcome.

    At that time EverQuest was operated by a Sony spin-off under the name of Verant Interactive and the game was popularly kn own as "Evercrack" for its supposedly addictive qualities. Two self-appointed wits took it upon themselves to make a couple of characters and pit them against each other so that when one defeated the other everyone playing was treated to a system message announcing "Verant Interactive has killed Your Sociallife".

    Duel messages were removed soon after that.

    1. Yes, I can see how that would have led to some... interesting results. ^^


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