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The Faithful One
#1 [44]
 • Posted July 2014

Navigating Hyperspace for Dummies by Dummies
Compiled from forum postings starting Dec. 31 2005)
3rd edition - posts have been edited for clarity and content. July 23, 2014


...is a kind of baby universe, collapsed tangled and warped. Full of tides and currents.
Jumping means leaving our big space, short cutting through the small one, and jumping back to our big one.

What's in Hyperspace?
Rumors abound of what exists in the far reaches of this alternate dimension. Alien life forms, lost ships, the well of forever, rumors, myths and legends. For most travelers however what is in hyperspace is not as important as what it can do for you. Since hyperspace is much smaller than normal space, you can enter it, travel a relatively short distance and re-enter normal space, only to find you've traveled an incredibly far away.

Where can I go in Hyperspace?
Well there are maps actually. Maps you can download and/or print:
Full Color Hyperspace Map
Low Ink, Printer Friendly Hyperspace Map

How do I travel via Hyperspace?
You need a jumpgate or a ship with a jump engine to enter hyperspace. Jumpgates in normal space are noted on all public space maps and by intergalactic treaty, all jumpgates are open to anyone, any time. In hyperspace, jumpgates are located via navigational beacons. However because hyperspace is turbulant and constantly shifting, it's easy to drift off course. To counteract this, all ships are strongly advised to follow the tachyon beams projected between beacon pairs.

What is the beam?
Lets take kotok-sheffer for example; you want to go to Sheffer, your leaving Kotok. The Kotok nav point signifies the beacon for Kotok, the place where you would enter or leave hyperspace to arrive in the Kotok gate. Likewise, the Sheffer nav point is the beacon for entering/leaving the Sheffer system through it's gate. When in hyperspace, you head away from one nav point and towards the other. However because the dimensions of hyperspace are kind of like trying to fly through a kalidescope, you can't use just the nav points to get from one to the other. You could fly towards a point as straight as an arrow, but without a reference, you may never actually get there. You would only end up constantly approaching from different angles, and heading away again when the current shifts. So you dont want to just fly from the "Kotok" nav point. Neither do you want to fly to the "sheffer" nav point. Instead you need to follow the "Kotok-Sheffer" beam in order to arrive at the Sheffer nav point. The beam is a linear transmission that continually connects the two systems. It can be made visible (as an option), and is trackable by the hud and computer in your ship.

Riding the beam
Put the dotted line on your left (port) side, so its in line with the left red line of your targeting computer. Put the nav you want to go to in the center of your crosshairs. Keep this orientation for the duration of the trip. (nav in center, line to the left side). Adjust as needed. Fly forwards to the Sheffer nav, side thrust left towards the line to raise your signal percentage.

Imagine you're a fly travelling a laser beam from one end of the room to another. If you start off with the beam to your left, but then drift too close, and cross the beam, it's now suddenly on your right. What your essentially doing is plotting a spiral course around the [tachyon] beam normal. (as you cross the center path, your indicator will swing to the opposite side. When this happens, simply re-align and repeat the process) Keep the Kotok nav point behind you, and watch the distance to Sheffer so you dont overshoot it. You will find it extremely hard to have 100% signal strength. In fact, because it's too easy to cross the beam to the other side, you really don't want 100% strength. Staying on the beam exactly will drive you nuts with corrections. It's better to fly just a little bit to the side of it. So anything greater than 50% signal strength is fine. If you fall below it, simply correct towards the beam as mentioned above. Remember to correct by drifting closer towards the beam, not by simply pointing at the nav point and thrusting. Now imagine the beam as a road. The dotted line represents the the center of the lanes you can follow, but you don't ride the dotted line, you follow next to it. 100% is the double yellow line in the middle. You try not to cross it. 60% to 30% is the black asphault. 10% or less is the outer white line and then your in the bushes. The arrows on the hud point to the nav symbol(s) (N) you've selected. One to the point you're coming from, one that you're heading to. If you've only selected a single nav point, there will only be one arrow. Use this only when you're searching an area near a beacon, and are trying to stay in the area, but not go anywhere else.

If at any time you dont see the (N) you want, then rotate in the direction of the arrow until you do. If you see no navs and no targetable ships, then dont panic too much. At least an alien civilization will probably discover the ruin of your lost fighter in a few billion years, and your skull could become their most holy object ;)

Lastly, when you become comfortable with hyperspace navigation you will see it's not that bad after all. You can even eventually learn to use autopilot. But remember it doesn't compensate for drift so you've got to keep an eye on it. One final note, when breaking from high speed remember you've gotta reverse your movements. so aiming down to go down (while your forward thrusters are running) will actually push you up from the beam. Damn that Newtonian physics.


Here are two graphic tutorials on hyperspace travel.

{images currently unavailable}

i) Ship designated Alpha 1 is at 50% of tachyon beam signal;
ii) Ship designated Sigma 1 is at 0% of tachyon beam signal.

In order to get closer to the 100% tachyon beam signal on it's way along Narn-Kotok beacon pair Sigma 1 should alter it's course towards tachyon beam "center" (see red dash line with percentage counter). Pilot Comments: Posted by Q'alooaith on Jan. 01 2004,15:55 I find auto pilot very useful for navigating Hyperspace. If you stray off the beam don't panic, if you panic your already dead. Simply point yorself toward's where the strongest beam was last and keep flying, do not aim directly at where the beam was or you'll overshoot and get lost again, as long as you know where the end point is and the beam's general direction, you can most often get back on it with little to no trouble...

If you don't rember where the endpoint is or the beam was then your advised to activate your disstress beacon.. with some strong luck somone will find you.. though it's advisable to carry a PPG for before you air run's out.

{image currently unavailable}

Principle of tachyon beacon pair. i) Ship designated Alpha 1 is at 50% of tachyon beam signal; ii) Ship designated Sigma 1 is at 0% of tachyon beam. To get closer to the 100% tachyon beam signal on it's way along Narn-Kotok beacon pair Sigma 1 should alter it's course towards tachyon beam "center" (see red dash line with percentage counter).


Here are some pilot comments and tips:

Posted by -=Hambone=- on Jan. 01 2004,16:03
Let me be REAL sure I got this straight, the dotted blue line ALWAYS points to the center of the tachyon beam I am following, so as long as I occassionally "slide" or aim my ship towards that center, I can keep the signal strength high enough. Then I can forget about the drift in that it can and does pull me off the beacon, because I don't adjust my heading. Flying straight towards my nav point is not enough. However, does that dotted line get smaller the closer I get to the beam's center?

Posted by Sergei S on Jan. 01 2004,16:26
No, but it begins to act weird the closer you are to 100% (it doen't know where to point since you're in the center of the beam). So I suggest flying at 60-80.

Posted by Shalbatana on Jan. 01 2004,23:29
One thing to add: I was travelling the Sol-Cooke route and lost the beam entirely. So I switched nav computer to Mars (or earth or something) and rode that beam till the Sol-Cooke came back in range. If you go off-beam, but still have other beacons in your nav list, just switch to one that is in the same (or a nearby) system to the ones you want, fly toward them, and wait for the other nav beams to come back into range

Posted by -=Hambone=- on Jan. 03 2004,01:14
In little time that I've played the game, I have discovered just how strong the hyperspace current is. It ain't no joke!!! Just to get anywhere without being seriously thrown off course, I have to be doing at least 300 in speed. I know, speed does kind of free you from the current, but you definitely can't go in expecting a Sunday drive either.

Posted by Q'alooaith on Jan. 03 2004,02:36
If you think about the distance's between the gate's... traveling at 300m/s would take you a very very very long time to get from one to another. During training, the instructor tells you to keep a speed of 1k/s. Even at that speed it'd take a long time to reach your target.

Posted by Sparky_NZ on Jan. 04 2004,05:47
What are the white streaks in hyperspace? Is it space dust, etc.

Posted by Q'alooaith on Jan. 04 2004,05:53
[Think of them as] HUD speed representation's, so you know which way your moving more easly I think. Without them you have no way of knowing where moving at all, other than your intrument's, as space is a big, black nothing and HS is a big swirling somthing/nothing, so the dot's and line's are added by the on-board computer so your brain has a frame of reference.

Posted by hydraSlav on Jan. 06 2004,18:21
Heh, in the second part of the second hyperspace mission, I got over-confident and reached the speed of 6K. When the beacon was 100k away, I engaged full reverse afterburners, but still overshot the beacon by wayyyyyyyy too much. (luckily that was the last beacon, so the mission "succeeded" as i zipped past it.

Posted by Ice_Phoenix on Jan. 07 2004,07:10
And one more question... About battles in hyperspace. I have never seen fights in hs in the B5 movies. And it's quite logical. I flew away from all beacons but those 4 starfuries chased me. And what??? They blew me our OK but they are lost! And if the grav currents are so powerfull then they would shift plasma balls as well so how anyone can fire accuratly??? I don't get it...

Posted by Andy La Rubin on Jan. 08 2004,04:12
Actually, they were there. See Season 5 - "Movements of Fire and Shadow". [Acurate firing is still possible] because the same current affects you and your enemy as well as plasma bursts. Relativity rules.

Posted by Ice_Phoenix on Jan. 08 2004,12:01
So there's just a big fat hs current which is the same everywhere!?!?! Nice... Too simple but nice...

Posted by Bekenn on Jan. 08 2004,14:34
Not quite... the currents certainly do shift around a lot, and don't cover a lot of space, but a Starfury battle doesn't exactly cover a lot of space, either.

Posted by treky on Jan. 08 2004,19:16
ya, its like a sea battle. The two ships are close enough that any current drift in the water won't effect torpedoes. or high alt. interception missions with fighters. Both planes are affected, so it's a moot point.

Posted by Q'alooaith on Jan. 10 2004,05:55
TP's don't have much trouble in hyper, it enhances their power's... though I'm just guessing from what is said during HS training

Posted by Bekenn on Jan. 10 2004,14:34
You're correct; hyperspace enhances telepathic ability immensely Note: it enhances ability, not skill; so, a P1 who didn't have to be very skilled to keep from overhearing other people's thoughts might suddenly be barraged with input on a P5 level and be unable to control it. Traveling in a transport or other big ship helps; somehow, it shields telepaths from the effects of hyperspace. Not much shielding in a 'fury, though...

Posted by Q'alooaith on Jan. 11 2004,07:15
It's the hull, though they can still hear "loud" thought's if they are not carful..Going out in a space suit get's you even closer. Anyway, Psi core train's their TP's rather well, everyone know how to build a wall aganst thought's, and such.

Posted by FieldMedic on Jan. 16 2004,18:24
I have to say that my autopilot must be a better telepath than me i didnt see it losing the beacon at high speed. When I tried to fly there on manual , I lost myself more than once despite the training advice.

Posted by Q'alooaith on Jan. 16 2004,18:59
you want to keep a good speed (2K/s) and alway's keep pointing toward's the strongest point of the beam, even if you are near 70%, point a little toward's the stronger, maybe less than half a retical towards and you'll have less trouble, rember you've got to keep correcting when you do this though, else you pass though the beam and go right off course.

Posted by marcus cole on Jan. 17 2004,20:22
Navigation in hyperspace is easy from one beacon to the other the buoy signals have a percentage in signal strength (as displayed right next to the targeting reticule) and obviously you would want to stay as close to 100% as possible now if you have save a cargo ship or something like that, the further you Drift from the beacon the lower the percentage. So all you have to do is to try and maintain the signal strength above 50% but u can get as far as 10% distance away from the beacon without losing the signal altogether. Secondly the way that you navigate through hyperspace is that you have to follow the beacon "Line" from one point to the other. I hope this helps.

Posted by Q'alooaith on Jan. 18 2004,07:23
You can actually stray as far off the beam as to be at a constant 4% and still not lose it if your carful.

Posted by FieldMedic on Jan. 19 2004,17:26
I think speed was one of the reasons i lost the beacon. In the training , I was told to keep a 1km/s speed, but I noticed that the autopilot never feared to go faster (and always succeeded in reaching the next beacon). When I was at 1km/s , I noticed that at some point of the travel , I slowly reached a comfortable 90 % then it began to drop very quickly , and despite my correcting flight according to the arrowed direction of the HUD to reach the beam again, I ended up losing my way most of the time. Then recently i tried the 2km/s suggested by Q'alooaith and I have since always managed to keep following the beam until all the beacon i wanted. Conclusion : never listen the instructor , listen the "telepath" autopilot that suggest to fly as quick as you can

Posted by Bekenn on Jan. 20 2004,02:13
1 km/s works fine, so long as you remember to use your lateral thrust to correct your course rather than pointing the nose in the direction of the beam. Vectored thrust works much better.

Posted by Shalbatana on Jan. 24 2004,14:26
Has anyone figured out how to contact and activate a jumpgate from in hyperspace, so we could...say....go to proxima or epsilon system (even though there's not much there....yet)?

Posted by Bekenn on Jan. 25 2004,02:20
That ability isn't even in the engine itself, so there's zero chance of finding out how to do it.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 01 2004,00:33
I didn't trust the autopilot in HS for a long time; even now I still preferr to fly manual, if only for fuel conservation. The first thing I figured out is lateral thrusters rock. Easiest way to compensate for signal strength. Even before I used the autopilot in HS, I worked up to 3-4 k/s, anything lower takes too long, especially on the Kotok-Sheffer beacon pair! But if you don't care about fuel consumption, the autopilot's ok. just gotta watch that the signal doesn't dip below 30%. If it does, then it's not compensating for drift enough, and needs manual control to fix it. Nearly got lost on the way to Sheffer once because of that.

Posted by Sjaa

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