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Robocraft 2 Ultimate Guide to Flyers

Robocraft 2 Ultimate Guide to Flyers

Hello there, and welcome to the most in-depth and comprehensive guide for flyers written as of this point in time. This guide will be broken down into six distinct sections for every category of information with different focuses depending on what you need. To access this, either read the guide or click on the hyperlinks on the side. This guide is subject to change and updates as I feel it is needed.

Chapter 1; Forword:

Ultimate Guide to Flyers

My credentials for writing this guide are good enough that I will endorse myself, because as far as I know I am the only person who has played almost exclusively flyers after they got added and I have many hours of practice flying. To some extent, I’m not really going to be able to find some way to prove everything I say in this guide, and until the last section I will be mostly keeping my personal opinions out of this guide. So, take my words with a grain of salt, like this sequeway to my disclaimers:

  • I am not the best player in the world
  • I do not hate flyers until 70% of the outspoken community
  • Be respectful of other and do not attack anyone for their opinions of flyers whether negative or not.
  • This is the opinions and remarks of one person and should be taken as such.
  • Last of all, if you hate flyers, don’t comment down below about that. No one cares, this is a guide and if you try to start a comment fight, I will need to ask the Mods to remove your comments. This is not the place for that, please make your own thread for that.

Chapter 2; Basics to building your own flyer:

First thing about all fliers is that you need to know what you can work with. Unlike ground, you have a much more limited number of tools at your disposal but let’s go over those tools so that you understand them. First is the antigravity block. This block can provide direct upwards lift and energy to a flying machine. Inside the antigravities wiring menu, you can see that it goes to 610. This means it can carry roughly 500KG, as a rule of thumb. Just because you can carry 500KG though, doesn’t mean you should use 500KG. Without some room to breathe, if you max out the flyers weight it will simply not rise any further because you can’t lift something if you’re already at maximum capacity. You cannot provide upward lift if you are already using it to fight the gravity of the weight onto your flyer.

Next thing is thrusters, thrusters provide momentum in the direction that they are facing when they are powered on by a signal. More thrusters mean more speed and acceleration. They are, though, easily breakable and damaged, so treat them with care. Thruster placement if very important, but for the moment all you need to know is the more is better, but too much is bad. All things in moderation. Anyway, let’s say you are using a setup where all the thrusters point forward or sideways and you want to be able to steer, but when you wire up the steering button all the thrusters turn on when you click X, and none turn on when you click Y.

This is because clicking X sends out a positive 1 to your thrusters which turns them on, but Y sends out a negative 1 which does nothing. So, to get around this, unwire the steering on one side and instead wire a steering input signal to a sign block and then into the disconnected thruster side. This lets you control your flier and lets you properly use your right and left inputs, though if you find that your thrusters are inverted to what you want, just invert your wiring around so that the other side is connected to the sign block and the other other side is connected to your seat’s input.

Next is your armor and body. Now that you understand the basics of why air is different from ground in the sense of functional parts, let’s look at how the body needs to be made different. To start with, an air bot will almost always be way smaller than a ground bot. This is due to two reasons, the first is that the smaller the craft the lighter it is, and the second is that because you can barely armor the thing, being harder to hit is better.

The first rule of armoring is that you should be using mostly airium with some mod and some glowy bits optionally. Mod should be used sparingly, specifically in plates to reinforce the insides while airium makes up most of the outside parts of the flyer. Never use lad unless you want the flyer police to show up at your door. Just don’t, it weighs so much its like shooting yourself in foot ten times over, just don’t. Try to not use massive parts on your flyers, and make sure to keep the antigravs protected. Remember that they only have one connection point, so place that as inward as possible. You can try to armor thrusters, but for a reason listed later that might not be the best idea. Remember that illiumim or whatever the glowing stuff is called is just retextured mod.
Now to turret placement, you’re going to want either bottom, side or front mounted turrets, the bottom mounted ones lend themselves to instability, so take that as you will, but the side and front mounted ones lend themselves to more stable configurations. Don’t use massive hinges, since those weigh exponentially more than the smaller ones, and the smaller ones recently were updated to provide as much torque as the bigger ones.

Some Quick Tips:

  • For balancing your flyer, try to place the antigravs in a stable configuration, and then use weights or lighten certain parts to achieve stable flight if you want that.
  • You can put logic on the ground if you want, this lets it be protected from being destroyed onboard your flyer somewhere. Logic unrenders at mid-range, so loose logic is fine but I prefer a plate for mine.
  • Try not to use lasers without some practice building with plasma first since lasers are not as friendly for flyers as plasma is.
  • Rails don’t work on flyers, but if you want to try that there is more on that later.
    The farther out a thruster is from the body, the more steering torque it provides.
  • Place your pilot seat first and then work out from there, try to make it center-top mass to protect it from all sides.

With these tips, hopefully you can make your very own flyer. If you want to learn more, read the advanced section, and if you have a question then ask it and members of the community will be happy to help.

Chapter 3; Advanced flyer construction:

This is likely going to be the longest, most confusing and complicated part of this guide. I’m not dumbing down much of these concepts since they are integral to meta building, and I recommend at least a basic level of flight knowledge in game as well as real word and Newtonian physics as well for this section, since I pull no physics mumbo jumbo back for this section.

Let’s start with torque. Everyone’s favorite topic, torque is like the single most important part of knowledge that it takes to build a good flier. Let’s start with defining torque, torque is defined as a twisting force that tends to cause rotation or torsion (GPT for the win). It is also referred to as the movement of force and describes the rate of change of angular momentum that would be imparted to an isolated body. Basically, an example of torque would be holding a broom from both sides. Even though the broom weighs the same, holding it on the side with the heavy part far from you will make it feel heavier. That is torque, made from gravity and weight. Another example is swing that broom round and round, its much harder to stop with the heavy end out.

So why does torque matter? Because it always matters when building a flier. For example, back to the broom, if you made a broom twice as long but with the same weight as the first, and you held it with the heavy end out, it would no doubt feel even heavier. This is because torque is amplified the farther out something is from the center of mass. IE, having your thrusters be on the furthest out parts of your bots ensures that you maximize available turning torque on your build. An example of torque that you don’t want is very simple, try putting down an airium post from the side of your air bot out to the build bay limit. You will notice your turning ability just died. The airium barely weighs anything, but because its so far from the center of mass, the torque required to move it increases exponentially.

This is important. All meta fliers have their thrusters on the outside and very little else beyond the edge of those thrusters, since anything beyond that takes massive levels of torque we don’t have right now to spin. This is why you almost NEVER see thruster armoring on a bot, it kills your ability to turn quickly. Speaking of which, keep in mind that thrusters are basically producing torque at the end of the day.
Once you find out about how annoying torque is, its hard to unsee its effects. One easy way most people experience torque is in their turrets. Basically, turrets with aiming parts will turn the flyer in the direction they are pointing, regardless of the vector the flyer is on. This is because when the turret swings to the right, the torque is outputted on the flyer twisting it to the left from the back, basically auto aiming for the vector the turret provides. This is because aiming hinges constantly produce torque and will thus always autocorrect your course unless you disable those aiming parts until you need them. This is something I recommend for fliers, in that your aiming parts are disableable since that is important to altering your flight patterns.

Past torque, there are other concepts that I would like to cover. To start with, using all forward thrusters is key. You only have a few thrusters and wasting them on dedicated uses is of coursed wasting them. Having them be split half on each side, all forward allows you to turn and go forward at a much more rapid pace than any other setup. Maybe someday someone will find a better setup that allows for strafing, but until then we are stuck with this.

Another thing to keep in mind with flyers is that you should not be using thrusters in a upward oriented way to lift yourself. Its just not worth it, the developers have it so that if you use them like that, they output less force than they would any other way, so please just find a way to use antigravs to go up in the way you want.

Another thing, if you know what your doing, feel free to use lots of logic to make stuff. I know some people like logic a lot, personally I don’t really like it a lot, I prefer to just brute force my inputs with my hands for maximum precision, but some people like to use logic for stuff like auto hovering and what not. I can’t really say I know much about logic beyond the rudimentary stuff, but I know it can be useful. One good trick for logic is to copy your sign block and put it on your seat too. This makes sure you never lose left steering abilities no matter what for only 2 CPU.

Next is using plates. Same as ground, plates are always useful, and I recommend using mod plates throughout the bot to maximize strength. And I know I said never ever use lad earlier, but it is ok to use small posts, only in very specific situations. To my surprise, some decent air bots have 1 post of lad, which is surprising to me to say the least.

Now as far as weapons on a flyer, laser is not really the best but its ok, and rails are bad but technically possible as I said above. To start with lasers, the issue with lasers is not that they weigh so much more than plasma. If I add that much weight to my flyer, even on the bottom of the turret, it doesn’t kill the performance the same way lasers do. So why is that? To start with, lasers weigh 50% more than plasma. But more importantly, our friend torque is here to shoot us in the back. Basically, it’s not that it weighs so much more than plasma, it’s that the weight is dispersed over a fragile 2x3x whatever ish area. Basically, because torque is multiplicative the longer out it goes, when that’s on a turret the longer lasers make is so much torque at their length that the only way to really make them usable on flyers would be to shorten them. Weight matters less here.

Don’t believe me? Look at rails. They weigh exactly as much as plasma, so slapping one of those boys on your flyer shouldn’t change its flight patterns, right? Wrong. If you try this, you notice immediately how much different it feels, and that’s thanks to torque. As I said, the farther out the more torque it makes, so the rail makes way more than even lasers because it’s so long. Same principle as the airium stick example, weight matters not, only torque. Additionally, to properly use a rail you need a lot of weight on a bot, more than the basic APC. Because of this, I recommend that you do not try this. It’s possible, but the amount of weight needed is so big that its hard to move or make a proper flier with a rail.

For the moment this is all I have, but once I think of more stuff, I’ll add it here.

Chapter 4; History of fliers:

The history of fliers is a fairly simple thing, but in this section, we will focus down on a few key archetypes and will discuss the various characteristics that we have seen branch out from the flyers that were around at the beginning of the game. In the beginning, some members of the community discovered a way to make flying vehicles that were kind of usable: wheel flyers. These flyers used wheels and janky physics to create lift in weird ways, allowing for stable but slow flight. To the sadness of some, these were patched out after the main flight methods got added to the game: Antigravs and thrusters. With antigravs and thrusters, players were able to start constructing flying machines, and from these machines we have three remaining archetypes and emerged from those early bots.

The simplest archetype is the one that isn’t the other archetypes: Flyers. Basically, just miscellaneous bots. These bots are really any air bot that isn’t classified as the other two, and your first flyer is likely to be of this class. All shapes and sizes are in this class, and really any flying bot is a flyer. But the question is, is your flyer specifically designed with the meta principles of the two following types? If not, it is likely not considered one of the following:

Cube Flier: This kind of flyer is singularly characterized by the fact that it is cube shaped. See all of Ketmol’s stuff, and also Rubicon’s stuff. These things can be fast or slow, armored or not, but are generally just cube shaped. These aren’t meta anymore. This brings us to the most glorious of flyers…

Potatoes. Potatoes are the single most powerful beings in the universe, capable of multiverse level destruction and – nah just kidding. Unlike what most people say, a potato is a simple flyer trying to make its way in the universe. I have written a previous guide on these that you can find, but mainly just know that potatoes have a long and varied history. The first one was made by Leogradance, which performed decently but was very stable and wasted CPU on twin cannons. It is called the “RR insert class here flyer”.

This led to another person known as Kotofey/Sasha.Gravitsky, who was able to copy the flyer and rebuild it with much improved internals. Their flyer featured redone internals with multiple systems far outdoing the internals of the OG craft, at least I think so since from what I can tell it is dimensionally the same as the OG but somehow 25 CPU went missing in the interior somewhere since It gained 50 CPU by turning to a single turret bottom mounted flyer, and only up to 25 can be accounted for in the turret armoring. This was better and had rudimentary pitch control. It was called the KOT flyer.

And today, we have the third iteration of this lineup, the Machina X. Available currently is the Machina X 2.1, featuring better pitch control over the KOT, better angles and arc for the turret, and slightly improved parts here and there. But since its release, I’ve spent months tuning it and have eventually arrived at the 2.5, which was what I would say if it weren’t for the fact that I went 8 versions ahead a few days ago and arrived at the 3.2. The 3.2 is leagues better than its predecessor, featuring better turret, better armor, no cosmetic waste (lights weigh something you know) and more. Sadly, I have not put this on the CRF2 since I’m aware the list of people who could fly it is in the single digits rn. When more people ask for it and I think they can use it, Ill put it up but I don’t want it to be a noob trap.

This brings us to the current situation of flyers today, which we explore down below.

Chapter 5; The Meta:

The meta. Unlike ground bots, the meta for flyers is far more easily achievable and findable since flyers have such a limited operational basis for existing. Unlike ground bots, having less materials, less blocks and less abilities to branch out has left flying bots in a dual meta situation which depends on who you ask. Basically, the key to staying alive is to not die. In a flyer, we don’t have armor to not die, so the only option is to be faster and more importantly more evasive. Everyone wants a bigger flyer, but unless they are tanking rails, that isn’t going to ever be viable right now. Basically, dodging is the meta. There are two methods to dodging discussed below, and their differences are tangible.

First is speed dodging, this is by far the simplest method to dodging and maybe the more reliable one. Box fliers are the fliers who exploit this, specifically Rubicon’s flyer is the meta speed flyer. You just have to go faster then they can aim, go high and hope they don’t hit you. There is very little elevational differences involved, and for the most part you stay far away from the ground. Buildings are hard to navigate in due to your speed, and you mainly stay outside. Most box fliers are fast to be able to exploit this, and generally speaking box fliers have an edge in air-to-air engagements due to the speed they have.

This brings us to, in my opinion, the meta. The potato meta, the true optimized craft of legends and fables. The meta here is to dodge, your life does depend on it. This form of combat is extremely complicated, and we will get into that below on the second half of chapter six, but basically, it’s a very risky, involved, honestly borderline stupid thing but you get within mid-range ish and using your highly maneuverable craft dodge lasers and stuff constantly. Let’s talk about how to do that below:

Chapter 6; How to fly good:

This is going to be kind of hard to explain, but I don’t really follow these methods but I’m still going to endorse them on the basis that most people don’t follow my methods, as they seem to be nearly unique from what I’ve seen. Anyway, I’m going to split this into air to air and air to ground. Let’s start with air to air to get that out of the way since it’s the smaller part.

Air to air combat is extremely risky. For laser-to-laser engagements, dodging is important but also so is aim more than anything. Make sure you zoom for that 20% velocity increase on the projectiles. I can’t really comment on this since I don’t really endorse laser flyers but eh, it exists.
Laser to plasma engagements are almost roll of the dice, but in my experience the victor is 90% determined by experience of the plasma player. If the plasma user lands a shot early on the laser bot is usually toast right away, and if it survives it will be very easy to incapacitate. This is because lasers are inherently slower and less manoeuvrable than plasma for reasons discussed in the advanced construction section of this guide. If the laser user doesn’t get hit, though, they win by attrition.

Plasma to plasma engagements are the most fun air fights, generally these are tight, and the skill is overwhelmingly the thing that determines the victor. To some extent, being higher or faster than the other user is of course an edge in pure plasma to plasma air engagements, but that falls apart as soon as ground laser or air laser gets involved. This is by far the one you can’t really practice for since it involves a lot of stuff, but if you do it enough you do get the hang of it.

Air To Ground

Now for the real meat of the game you’ll be playing, air to ground engagements. Were going to break those down into a few sections, specifically against laser, plasma and rail, as well as general tactics and advanced tactics. So, starting with the general stuff:
You always want to stay moving, you never want to stop. This is important to dodge stuff, not moving is bad. Ideally though, moving in more vectors than one is appreciated. So, for example, a target moving across a room in one direction is very easy to track. A target moving up and down and in another direction is harder. I target moving back and forth and up and down as well as kind of to the side is even harder. The ideal vector is any that has you taking advantage of every axis at once.

Other than moving, practice flying straight. This is obviously important, even though you might be able to fly chaotically, not being able to fly straight means its harder for you to move around, and more importantly it means that you don’t have enough control over your flier, which brings us to instability.

In my opinion, instability is super useful for a flyer. Never enough to make it uncontrollable, never not enough to make it easy to track. The golden zone in between those two ends is roughly where you want your flier to be long term, though short term is probably fine if you make it stable when you are learning.

Of course, you are free to do whatever work the best for you. These are just recommendations, but not onto the advanced section.

Advanced

Now to the advanced concepts that aren’t simple, let’s start with skew management. I’ve coined that term to define basically managing the skew of your flyer, aka the angle of it in a 3d space. Why does this matter? Angling yourself in relation to everyone else is important. For example, if you get hit by a rail, make sure that you angled yourself in such a way so that if you did get hit, it wouldn’t OKO you. Same thing with plasma and lasers, if you have armor and know your going to get hit, angle yourself so that it hits the armor and not the internals.

The next concept that I also made up is called skewering. Basically, what I mean is to not ever put yourself in a position where you have multiple enemies shooting at you in a way that makes an X over your bot if you were to raytrace from their positions. Basically, don’t have two enemies shooting at you with a right angle in between them. It is much harder to evade shots coming at you in a crossing pattern, since you lose the ability to use left and right, only forward and up/down which is easy to guess. Get out of crossfire patterns quickly, otherwise you skewer yourself and wont last very long.

Air To Laser Ground

Laser ground is likely the most annoying matchup but not the most dangerous. This one does require much effort on your part though to deal with consistently. To start with, the turret is always the first thing you go for on ground bots. Using the concepts above, it should be no issue to manage yourself in relation to them but do remember that getting close is likely a bad idea. With laser bots, they are generally very confident that they can win, so you’ll have to be more confident and assertive to beat them. I recommend if you’re planning on playing to this, make sure your flyer follows the basic rules of armoring for lasers since they damage the block and all its connections when they hit something, so to many weak connections in your bot will have it shredded quickly.

Air To Plasma Ground

Plasma ground is your best matchup but also could be potentially annoying. For the most part, what you need to do is to is dodge as stated above, and to make sure you don’t get hit at any cost. One laser won’t knock you down, one plasma might. This section almost 100% requires you to have actual experience to get good at, so I’m not really going to bother adding more than what I have added so far.

Air To Rail Ground

This is the most interesting one honestly, basically just get close and don’t get hit, and always go for the turret. Engaging at a range is bad, always, fly low until you get to them and don’t let the turret live for very long. Assume it is an OKO weapon, because it is. If you can’t dodge rails, practice in test mode with the garys and when you can dodge their shots 100% to 95% of the time, that should help you with rail dodging, or any for that matter.

Air To ARC Ground

If you are having issues with this, please stop flying and reevaluate your life choices.

Chapter 7; What I do for flying:

I do stuff that isn’t in this guide, and that’s because I do weird stuff. This is a do as I say situation here, don’t try to copy me unless you understand the reasons behind my actions and can reliably pull them off. I’m not gonna write down exactly what those things are, but if you do eventually get them then good for you.

I like to practice, hooning as they call it in Elite Dangerous, basically trick flying and routes and what not until I am 100% used to my flyer exactly. You can practice too; I would start with windows and the practice various routes with tight turns or indoors stuff to get better at handling your flyer. But for the most part you need actual experience to get anywhere with handling, so just playing when you can be a good start before hardcore practicing in test mode.

And last of all, once again these are all just my observations and stuff that I’ve noticed, not everything I say is guaranteed to be entirely true or correct, but to the best of my ability what I’ve written is generally correct and in good faith. Also the curse of knowledge applies here, so sorry about that.

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Written by DashTheFla$h

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