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The Problem!
The Solution!
Entertainments while you wait (YAH ads)
Some of the docking sequences are very different!
Hathor Trade Station docking bay

Manual Docking

New pilots are encouraged, once launched, to turn their ships around and practice docking at the Lave Space Station. This is a fundamental skill that must be acquired. After sufficient trading and purchasing of higher priority equipment (such as an ECM system) one can purchase docking computers that will automate the process.

An downloadable video of manual approach and docking is available here. Study it well. (warning 7 Mbytes)

A similar video for Oolite can be found on Youtube.

If docking clearance protocol is enabled in the F2 game options screen, then you need to request permission to dock. This involves (i) targeting the Space Station (using r) and then (ii) requesting docking clearance (using L).

The general method is:
* Align with the center of the rotating entrance slot, paying due attention to any other ships approaching or leaving. 
* Visually aim for a point in space a few hundred meters in front of the slit so that you approach the slot along the rotation axis of the station. 
* Upon final approach commence matching your ship's rotation to the Space Station's. 
* Enter the slot at a moderate speed and your craft's shields should be able to withstand any (minor) pilot error.
* Drive into the back wall which will open to let you in.

  • Restart your game and select Start New Commander.
  • Then select Tutorial
  • Use the b & n keys (ie: b n, b n, b n etc) to skip to lesson 7.
  • You can also look at
the Pilot's Reference Manual.
the Ship's Manual (with illustrations) in the in-game Ship's Library OXP.
How to Dock wiki page with pictures (from the Galactic Navy flight manual).

  • GalCop health warning!! Do not try to dock manually with a moving ship (Behemoth, Deep Space Dredger, Liners etc.)! This can be severely detrimental to your continued existence within your very own Ooniverse (especially if retention of your third dimension is seen as important in any way)!

The wait

This can be avoided as your earn credits and splash out on a docking computer. But the wait can actually be made enjoyable if you load Your Ad Here!. Some of the advertisements are brilliant! The station navigation buoy at many of the systems is transformed into an ever-changing advertisement hoarding.


Mistakes. These are more easily survived at low speed (below 100LM). You may end up visiting St Giles in The Pool of Pellucid Placidity, lose cargo or damage your craft. Note that as your shields improve (Shield Boosters & Military Shield Enhancement), the speed at which you can survive increases too!

Automated Docking

Massive Ships

Docking with Liners

The Emerald and the Tigershark liners are dockable.

You may wish to have phkb's Liners Markets oxz loaded, and for the docking itself either

  • nerves of steel and trigger reflexes
  • the ILS (Instrument Landing System) oxz - and nerves of steel when you watch it
  • or to tweak the Liners oxz to allow the Docking Computers' fast docking option (see here for details)

A small limited market, but excellent prices while in Industrial systems for a handful of furs, liquors, gold, platinum & gems. Also occasional cheap radioactives which they wish to dispose of. Prices in Agricultural systems are not quite so good.


Docking Problems

Not allowed to dock

There are several reasons why one might be disallowed to dock.

  • Big ships: Sometimes the game code places a ship inside the station which is too physically large to launch from it! If it is trying to launch such a ship while you are trying to dock... you will spend a lo-o-ong time waiting for the impossible!
  • Diplomancy.oxp will refuse docking permission in systems which need a visa when you do not have one (did not buy, or the visa is expired). This applies to Corporate states, Dictatorships & Communists. The solution is to leave for a system where you can buy a visa (ie not an anarchy - and one which is not at war with a system you are trying to visit!)
  • Illegal status will prohibit use of the docking computer, requiring manual docking if one still wishes to dock
  • Convoys and the ilk create large groups of 20 or so ships which will all launch together and thus increase the length of your wait

Not allowed to save

One can only save at a station which is loaded at the beginning of the population/spawning process and which does not move too much! This used to be just the main orbital station, not rock hermits or additional stations. Older station oxp's have yet to be updated to allow this.

The Dark Side



Visible Cues

  • Dock Assist System OXP helps you to align better with a main station's docking bay by adding a set of runway lights.
  • Neo-Docklights OXP adds a trail of green docking lights to tech 3+ main stations, which turn red on station launches.
  • Traffic Lights OXP helps with manual docking at the system's only main station & gives priority docking after 15 mins.

Audible Cues

  • Audible Docking Clearance enables the docking clearance protocol and plays notify sounds for docking events
  • Traffic Control personnel give help with the approach to and the manual docking at all main stations.

Computerised Assistance

  • Autodock gives players without a docking computer the ability to use automated docking systems at main stations for a small fee.
  • Docking Computers OXP ditto
  • ILS (Instrument Landing System) guides one into the docking bay.

Related to Docking (Immersive)

  • Station Dock Control - lists who is arriving and leaving (and sometimes, where they are going to - if you wish to piggy-back, and can wait)

Other Links