Guide to shuttle construction

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Custom shuttles are a way to build functioning shuttles that can maneuver around the station and other z-levels. While normal space ruin shuttles are free, custom shuttles require fuel and a lot of time to get working properly, so be ready for a huge commitment if you want to fly around on your own private shuttle.

An example of shuttles being used.

How custom shuttles function

Custom shuttles require a lot more maintenance than other shuttles, such as the Whiteship ruin however, they don't require you to get lucky and hope that it spawns.

Shuttle Machinery

Rapid Shuttle Designator (RSD)
Rapid Shuttle Designator (RSD)
Found in: Built using a protolathe from engineering or science.
Used for: Creating custom shuttles.
The RSD is the device unlocked from basic shuttle research. It allows you to define and create custom shuttles. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT, DO NOT LOSE IT. The only way to link a computer to a shuttle is by using the RSD used to create the shuttle on the computer you wish to link. If you lose the RSD you will not be able to link any new machines to the shuttle. Additionally, if someone hijacks your shuttle, you can build a shuttle flight console on the station, link it using the RSD (assuming you didn't drop it on the shuttle) and order the shuttle to fly back to you, which it will happily do.

Flight Console
Flight Console
Found in: Built using a circuitboard from engineering or science.
Used for: Selecting and flying to destinations. Once built use the rapid shuttle designator to link to the shuttle.
The flight console is the main controller of the shuttle, this machine is important for shuttles and will allow you to target and fly to destinations.

The flight console can target 2 destinations by default:

- The auxiliary docking port.
- Custom target selected through the shuttle docking station.

This computer doesn't actually have to be built on the shuttle and can be placed station-side if you need to recall your ship in a pinch because someone peacefully borrowed it for their needs. Calculate Stats
The 'calculate stats' button calculates the stats of the shuttle allowing you to see how it will perform.
Sublight Velocity
The subspace velocity of a shuttle is a measure of the engine power relative to the size of the shuttle. If this value is lower than 1, the shuttle will not operate and higher values will knock or even throw the people inside around. The advantage, however, of making this higher is that you will reach your destination faster.
Shuttle Mass
A measure of how much is on the shuttle. This is directly proportional to the number of turfs on the shuttle, so filling your shuttle with heavy machines will not decrease its speed.
Engine Force
Engine force is a measure of the combined power of all of the active engines. Engines that have no fuel or an incorrect setup (no heater) will not be included in this calculation. The more force you have, the greater the sublight velocity will be.
Fuel Consumption
This is the combined amount of plasma that the engines will use per distance moved. Fuel Consumption * Distance = Plasma Cost
Engine Cooldown
The time it takes for you to be able to move again after you move the ship. In practice, even if this value is very high, the shuttle will still be able to move only a short amount of time after moving, so there isn't much to worry about for this.

Plasma Thruster
Plasma Thruster
Found in: Built using a circuitboard from engineering or science.
Used for: Required by shuttles to actually move.
The plasma thruster is a thruster thats cheap in research, but quite expensive to operate.

Required Components
Capacitor (Any) *2
Cable Coil *5
Laser (Any) *1

Thrust = 25N
Fuel Use = 0.24 plasma per unit distance
Cooldown = 2.4 seconds

Void Thruster
Void Thruster
Found in: Built using a circuitboard from engineering or science.
Used for: Required by shuttles to actually move.
The void thruster is an incredibly powerful (overpowered) thruster that requires no heater, no fuel and produces a ridiculous amount of thrust, however it requires alien tech to be researched prior to the research that unlocks it.

Required Components
Capacitor (Quadric) *2
Cable Coil *5
Laser (Quad Ultra) *1

Thrust = 400N
Fuel Use = Does not use fuel
Cooldown = 9 seconds

Does not require an engine heater at all to operate.

Building your shuttle

1. Building the frame

To start, build the frame of your shuttle.
-The frame must be airtight and all corners must be filled, place walls over where you want your thrusters to be, and remove them later.
-The frame must have at least 1 door.
-Any turfs that extrude from the hull will not be included

2. Define the area as a shuttle

Grab your rapid shuttle designator (available from science or engineering) and use it in your hand. If everything worked correctly, the area should be logged and you will be prompted to choose an airlock as the docking port. Great! If everything worked fine move to step 3, if not view the troubleshooting table below.

Error Message Cause Solution
You need to define a shuttle area first. Choosing an airlock as a docking frame without selecting an area. Stand in the area you want to use as the shuttle and use the tool in your hand (z)
Caution, airlock must be on the shuttle to function as a dock. Choosing an airlock that isn't on the shuttle area you defined. Choose an airlock that is in the room you used the tool at. The door must be in the room you used the tool in, if you wish to make a shuttle with multiple rooms, ensure all the doors are open first or you make the walls and rooms after creating the shuttle
Shuttle limit reached, sorry. Too many shuttles have been created. Cry, and ping the server host to change the config to allow for more shuttles. There is nothing you can do at this point, give up.
Error, no defined shuttle linked to device. Attempting to link the RSD to a shuttle console without registering a shuttle in it. Follow the steps to create a shuttle using the device. Once the shuttle is created, it will automatically be logged into the RSD.
Select an airlock to create a docking port, or a valid machine to link. Using the RSD on something that isn't compatible with it. Use the RSD on an airlock or console.
Shuttle creation aborted, docking airlock must be on an external wall. The airlock you chose was on the inside of the shuttle. Choose an airlock that is on the exterior wall of the shuttle and is adjacent to a turf that is not part of the shuttle. The airlock must be on the shell of the shuttle and shouldn't be on the corners.
The provided ship name is too long You probably typed something like 'asdfhoaseuhfoajnvjaongbaodfbjvoadfvbnasdofvnsdfv' in Choose a shorter name
Nanotrasen prohibited words are in use in this shuttle name. Naughty words. Be more mature and choose a shuttle name not containing a slur for once.
Shuttles must be created in an airtight space The shuttle area overlaps with an empty space tile. The room you are in must be airtight, connected to no parts of the station, all corners must be filled and walls, windows or airlocks must be used. Machines will not count as walls.
Shuttle must not be connected to station material One of the turfs of your shuttle is on a station area. Build the shuttle with no station material. Shuttle walls cannot be connected to the station, and you cannot turn medical into a flying starship.

3. Build the machinery

Now that you have made the shuttle shell, time to build the machines. Firstly, decide where you want your thrusters to go and deconstruct the walls. (You can place thrusters inside but they will rapidly heat and fry everyone on board). Place the thrusters, screwdriver open the panel and wrench to rotate. Now build your shuttles heaters behind the thrusters (If you are using plasma thrusters). You can then use an RPD to build pipes connecting to a connector, where you can plug plasma into the heaters. Finally, build your shuttle flight computer and docker and you are ready to go. They are built like normal computers, and you can find construction information here

4. Fly

Congratulations, if everything went well you now have your own shuttle that you can fly across the system, and make sure to have enough fuel for a return trip, as travelling across z-levels costs a lot of plasma.

Using your shuttle

After probably about an hour of building, you can finally use your shuttle. Now you better hope no one comes and steals it!
To use the shuttle, use the private navigation computer and target a location. You can jump to other bluespace gigabeacons, even if they are on different z-levels, so build them.
Once you have targetted a destination, pipe some plasma into your engine heaters (if you aren't using void thrusters) and click fly! You should now be soaring hyperspace.

Traitorous Activities

Maybe you don't have the best intentions for your shuttles and want to use them for evil, however, there is a slight issue. The sheer amount of time it takes to build a shuttle makes them almost impossible for normal traitor play, however if you can pull it off you will have an invaluable tool that you can use to jump anywhere on the station almost instantly.

Prison Break - Found a fellow buddy and happen to have a shuttle lying around? Due to their ability to instantly jump to a location and have a breathable atmosphere, shuttles are the perfect tool to break out your buddies from perma. Simple fly the shuttle over, break the window and drag your boy out, before disappearing as security rushes you with their batons set to harm and their weapons set to lethal.
Shuttles are a great place to hide all of your traitor gear since it isn't someplace on station that people will just memorise and know when a wall is fake, as well as their ability to instantly jump to other locations.

Additional Infomation

  • Just like standard pilotable shuttles, if war is declared on gamemodes such as Nuclear Emergency or Clock Cult, the shuttle docker will not function, although the shuttle will still be pilotable to pre-defined docks (The auxiliary dock).
  • Shuttles are a great place to store an AI on, due to their ability to move around. Are you a malf AI? Build a shuttle, convince a meatbag to make you a shuttle and fly around the station while you mess with the crew, watch out though as entering hyperspace moves you to another z-level where some of your abilities will not function.
  • Cult Ruins do not work on custom shuttles (sad :( )
  • Since hyperspace is on another z-level, it is not advised you ride on as a head or head-rev on a rev round as it could potentially count as you fleeing the station, ending the round.
  • Stop stealing the thrusters from the arrival shuttle, they are decoration and do not function for custom shuttles.
  • If you are a mapper, you can create ruins using custom shuttles and have them function! Make sure to set the initialise_direction to the dir through varedit, or the atmospheric pipes will not line up correctly.