I strongly recommend customising the controls, even before beginning your first game. For many years now, players have been using W,A,S,D to control their FPS avatars and in some space games alongside mouse control. Rapid and effective ship speed control is essential to play this game. Unfortunately, speed controls were absurdly bound to Page Up/Down and the mouse wheel (it's hard to be precise when holding the left mouse button and moving a leading cursor at the same time as adjusting your speed).
S: Slow Down
Q: Change Weapon
Z,X,C: En. to shield, engine, cannon respectively.
R: Linked fire
V: Change camera
All other controls as per default.
Go to Options -> Gamplay and turn off "Targetting Assistance". This removes auto-aim from unguided weapons. Note that an active auto-aim doesn't necessarily help you to play - A ship that changes direction will avoid a shot that led the target. I believe that it offers a better gameplay experience when deactivated.
I also recommend turning off "Auto roll" in the same options screen. This helps you to keep your spatial awareness of the targets around you.
For those running the non-steam version, patches are available here:http://www.ironskyinvasion.com/en/downloads.html
1.1 patch fixes:
- important: save system changed, old saves will be no longer supported
- Gotterdamerung's disappearing parts fixed
- placing of cannons on Gotterdammerung changed
- additional ships near Gottendammerung's gate added
- wrong names of Zeppelins fixed
- explosion of Haunebu's cannons added
- Moon's map icon changed
- new map icons added
- outro clip improved
- HP of small meteors reduced
- new sounds for ship's engines and cannons added
- auto-target function added
- names of languages below flags added
- advanced graphic settings added
1.2 patch fixes:
- windows XP compatibility added
- nebula objects to space added
- meteors physics fixed
- ships descriptions in hangars added
- Katar sounds changed
- interface textures optimized
- additional markers for selected ships added
At the start, make use of linked fire mode, in order to maximise the impact of your aimed shots and to reduce the time spent accurately leading the target and exposing yourself to return fire. The rockets and missiles also greatly benefit from linked fire at this stage. Once your damage is sufficiently upgraded, consider switching to non-linked fire.
You begin the game in a rather skinny looking bomber class ship, which, of course, isn't good for dogfighting. Focus your play and upgrades on the Korean fighter, as soon as you receive it. Upgrade lasers 3 times and you can one shot light fighters with linked fire. Medium fighters die to one, linked fire, homing missile blast each.
Engine and weapon upgrades provide more energy capacity and, therefore, more health. Technically, using your afterburner drains your health, due to loss of energy.
Deactivate your afterburner when at 1Km or greater from the target, as it generates a lot of inertia.
When tracking a target that flew past you or off screen, cut your engine speed to minimise your turning circle and then adjust speed according to the target's movement once it is back in your sights. Try not to use the afterburner below 1Km range, due to the inertia it generates and the energy it drains. This doesn't apply to scrap collection or getting clear of capital ships.
Scrap expires after about a minute. As a result, you may find yourself playing as some kind of space gypsy/scavenger, watching each enemy/capital ship component go through their death throes, even in the heat of battle, in the hope that salvagable parts will remain after the explosion. Since you need scrap to make credits for ship upgrades, try to factor this in to the way that you engage each enemy. If you find that it begins to hurt your enjoyment of the game - make a decision: Choose to salvage fighters or capital ships and don't be concerned with scrap collection from the other type that you didn't choose. You can still get enough upgrades, even if you only collect half of the scrap that you encounter.
If you want more time to complete side missions, destroy the engines of any fleet of large ships and they will sit there in space until you are done. The spawning of enemies is partially trigger based. Be aware that allied ships may destroy them during this time.