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Flight Controls are the in-game controls that allow a pilot to change the ship's motion. Flight Controls map to Game Controllers.
Jumpgate Evolution flight controls include:

  • pitch, roll, and yaw rotational control
  • throttle control of thrust
  • lateral control of thrust (up/down [citation needed], left/right)
  • dampeners
  • boosters.

Default Keymap

GDC Keymap

The Key Map for Newbies at GDC 2009

While JGE supports a wide range of peripheral devices, the default setup on install is a combined mouse/keyboard control mechanism. The WASD/Mouse setup is surprisingly responsive and easy to play with if you do not like using flightsticks.

  • W + S are throttle keys and do not need to be held down
  • S does not act as a reverse. There is no reverse thrust.
  • Lateral thrusters will strafe but they are fairly weak in terms of speed.

Rotational Control

Allows pilots to pitch, roll, and yaw their ships to point in any direction in 3-D space. Inherited from JGC.

  • Barring lateral control inputs, ship facing is the same as the direction of Thrust.

Thrust Controls

Thrust controls include:


Controls the magnitude of the Thrust Force acting on a ship. Inherited from JGC.

Lateral Control

Controls the direction of the Thrust Force relative to the direction the ship is pointing. New to JGE.

  • "...already functional in the pre-alpha code. verts and lats."
    -- Steve "Istvan" Hartmeyer (NetDevil Developer) [1]


Dampeners increase the magnitude of the Drag Force on a ship. New to JGE.

  • Dampeners can be turned on and off on the fly
    • The default on/off key for dampeners is F12
  • Hermann Peterscheck invented the concept
    • Hermann's position was the JGE flight should be less “Newtonian” and more “Freelancer-ish”.
    • Members of his development team felt strongly that flight should remain Newtonian thus dampeners were added as a compromise.
    • Now that he knows how to fly, Even Hermann deactivates dampeners in combat.
  • The Dampener is a flight-assist tool. Motion in any direction other then the current direction of thrust is quickly damped out.
    • A common JGC veteran perception is that Dampeners make Jumpgate Flight feel more "arcade" and less "flight-sim".
    • Testers have said they are especially useful when starting out because they allow you to learn the game instead of learning how to fly; the latter can be a frustrating experience to rookies.
  • They are additional drag in the equation as opposed to an inverse thrust. Dampeners work as a thick atmosphere would, in terms of flight physics.
  • More recently flying without dampeners has been made more akin to the original JGC DANCER engine in feel.

"Flying in Jumpgate is like driving on ice. Dampeners are like deployable spikes for your tires."[2]
-- Vinegar Goose (Jumpgate Wiki Editor)

Noteworthy Quotes

  • "We've taken the flight model from JGC and tried to make it more accessible to a wider audience through the use of inertial dampeners. However, when you get accustomed to flying (or if you're a JGC pilot) you can toggle them off to achieve a more traditional feel."[3]
    -- Josh "nikaji" (NetDevil Developer)
  • "I turn dampeners off ALWAYS when I'm in combat... I can't fight with them well anymore because they make things too sticky. With them off I can glide around and fly backwards while fighting, circle opponents better... its just way more fun. Then I kick them back on again if I need to get away really quick or have to navigate through something. It's great."[4]
    -- Hermann Peterscheck (NetDevil Producer)
  • "I am terrible at space games … I was quickly surprised at the fact that after a few minutes, I had managed to figure the controls out, and soon was flying around like a pro blasting my way though the first few quests. I knew at that point I had to find out more about this remarkable game."[5]
    -- Anna "Spellbound" Steffer (IGN Reporter)
  • "The Damper was on as default and that assists newbies in space flight as it, well, “dampens” the physics of moving in zero gravity space, but turning it off allowed some neat maneuvering. I could throttle up, turn the damper off, and while still traveling in the same direction spin my craft around and fire at enemies in my wake. Très cool."[6]
    -- Carolyn Koh ( Reporter) ]
  • "I'll use Dampeners for are erratic combat behavior, and to cheat my way around [mining] so I don't have to worry about drift when flying heavy."[7]
    -- Tikigod (JGE Community Member)
  • "One of the first things we did when we started working on the game, was we tested out the game with just a random sampling of players, and we found for most people, that method of flight was very difficult to grab hold of. They were very frustrated and just kind of gave up. So we added damper, which was very controversial. We're pretty honest with our community about what we're doing, and we want to get their input early. Even without playing the game there was a lot of skepticism as to whether that was a good idea. But we've tested it internally a lot and we've now made the non-damper mode much closer to the original Jumpgate Classic flight model. What we discovered was, especially in our PvP tests, people want to have that sort of low friction space experience. So we're actually turning that down. If you're in damper mode you have a lot of control over the ship, and if you turn that off it's very sort of fluid and open. There's a much larger difference now than there was when we initially put it in. It's really cool, and if you turn if off you can feel the difference very quickly. So we're moving more in that direction."[8]
    -- Hermann Peterscheck (Netdevil Producer)


  • Greatly increases the speed of a ship. New to JGE.
    • The newbie shuttle moves at a speed of around 160 un-boosted and 600 boosted.[9]
    • Turning off dampeners greatly increases speed on both ends (to more like 200 and 720).
  • If you take damage, there is a short cool down before you can boost again.
  • Taking repeated damage will make the booster inaccessible due to the counter.
  • You will be unable to maneuver effectively while boosting. It is a near straight-line mechanic.
  • The default booster key is SHIFT on a keyboard setup

Noteworthy Quotes

  • "The Boost we had and experienced in the pre alpha version of JGE at CM's connect08 felt really good to me tbh and much better* than the AB and FF we have in JGC. It shakes your ship, reduces maneuverability when employed and creates a real over steer when you release they key/button and disengaged it. The feel of a thing is so important and I honestly think that it felt right."[10]
    -- vorlon31 (Jumpgate Emissary)


  1. Steve "Istvan" Hartmeyer Dark Space Dispach ad-hod developer chat - October 11, 2007
  2. Vinegar Goose (Jumpgate Wiki Editor) - Codemasters Forums - July 30, 2008
  3. Josh "nikaji" (NetDevil Developer) - Stratics HoC (Link Dead) - June 16, 2008
  4. Hermann Peterscheck - Codemasters Forums - September 5, 2008
  5. Anna "Spellbound" Steffer - Jumpgate Evolution at PAX 2008 - September 9, 2008
  6. Carolyn Koh MMORPG Jumpgate Evolution: PAX Hands-On Report - September 5, 2008
  7. Tikigod (JGE Community Member)Codemasters Forums
  8. Hermann Peterscheck - IGN Vault Jumpgate Evolution Interview Part 1 - February 24, 2009
  9. Aeon's GDC Preview @ Stratics
  10. vorlon31 (Jumpgate Emissary) - Codemasters Forums - September 18, 2008