Roll vs Yaw crusades

From Elite Wiki

Do you prefer to use roll ("left-" and "right-" arrows) or yaw ("," and ".") when flying your ship?

The early versions of Classic Elite had roll and pitch only! The yaw option came to Oolite with Jens Ayrton (second lead developer), a leading crusader for the Yawists (c.2007, v.1.66). Many of the long-standing players of Oolite who began with Elite in their halcyon days had already internalised rolling as the alternative to pitching in manoeuvering their craft. So do many who have actually flown - whether flight sims, real gliders, or something larger!

Those who have come more recently to Oolite often find that yaw is more instinctive to their gaming (although this debate ran for a several years before yaw was introduced).

Note that Oolite itself favours roll over yaw (better manoeuvering with yaw) - and some oxp's such as Hard Way emphasise this even more.

Redefining your roll & yaw keys

You can redefine your keys in - for example the following lines transpose the yaw to the horizontal arrows and the roll to the comma and dot keys:

key_roll_left	= ",";
key_roll_right	= ".";
key_yaw_left	= 253;	// left arrow
key_yaw_right	= 252;	// right arrow

Or see Keyconfig which makes it easier!

Side view targeting

The "centre of the roll" seems to be not equal with the "centre of your view" which looks a bit strange.

Moreover if your ship is not stopped then even a stationary target will always move sideways from your crosshairs due to your ship moving forwards: which looks like sideways movement in the side views, so you must constantly roll and pitch again.

Try practicing the side aim during movement on the navigation buoy first.

If you dislike the "roll" in side views then use the yaw controls ("," and "." keys) instead of the roll controls.


  • Discussion (2005) asking for Yaw to be introduced
  • Progress 4 days after a buggy yaw was introduced for v.1.67. The first two posts are relevant.
  • See the bottom of this post and the ensuing discussion.