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NPC ships leave condensation trails. Rocks create gray vapour when they move. But the player's ship will not make a trail to avoid disturbing the aft view!

Based on Zireael's Engine Trails but rewritten from scratch to avoid the "Universe is full" error: The default lifetime of a trail element is 9 seconds, the maximal length is 300m and will be reduced automatically when the total number of entities exceeds 1500.

The lifetime and the number of used light sources will be reduced below 25 FPS which causes thicker trails. No trails in Red Alert below 50 FPS (if weapons are online) for smoother combat.

Visual elements are based on the fuel leak effect in CommonSenseOTB's CustomShields OXP.

Trail Detector

This equipment is placed into a separate package due to helping detect distant ships a bit over scanner range with your eyes (to assuage those who feel that this is Cheating!).

Install Trail_Detector_1.0.oxz (downloaded 1475 times) and then buy Trail Detector in the F3 equipment shop for 100₢ to illuminate the engine trails of other ships. Small ships make just as strong trails as the larger ships do when this equipment is used.


Trails1.png Trails2.png Trails3.png Trails4.png


  • Downloadable through the in-game Expansions Manager
  • If downloading the oxz manually, do not unzip the .oxz file, just move into the AddOns folder of your Oolite installation.


This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License version 4.0. If you are re-using any piece of this OXP, please let me know by sending an e-mail to norbylite at


2016.05.22. v1.11 No trails after mini ships below 10t mass like TIE Fighters.
2016.02.16. v1.9  No trails in Red Alert below 50 FPS if weapons are online for smooth combat.
                  Fixed trail on Gnat, thanks to phkb.
2016.02.15. v1.8  Render trail elements in sight and within 15km only, others moved far away.
                  Lifetime of elements start at 9 seconds and step down to 5 seconds in low-FPS.
2016.02.14. v1.7  New low-FPS mode added.
2016.02.13. v1.6  Time-based trail dissipation so trail length is depending on speed.
                  Less visible trails at long range.
                  Thinner trail on small ships.
                  Missiles are excluded.
2016.02.03. v1.5  Sparks in Griff Alloys and Wreckage OXP are excluded for explosions.
2016.02.03. v1.4  Wreckages, alloys and cargopods are excluded for speed up explosions.
                  Increase quality back to normal over 50 FPS and not the double of MinFPS.
2016.02.03. v1.3  Rocks make gray vapour when move.
                  Speedup for explosions: wreckages make rare trail only.
                  General speedup due to less flashers (half than before).
                  Another speedup on trails over 12km.
                  Default of MinFPS is increased to 25 FPS.
                  Fixed an oddity with Telescope.
2015.05.01. v1.2  Escort ships on EscortDeck does not exhaust fumes anymore.
                  Fixed a gap after fast ships.
                  No more trails after ships without exhaust like Thargoids, Nyoka.
                  Steam trails after moving rocks.
                  Always use less flashers in trails over 10km.
                  Trail starts near the engine.
2015.05.01. v1.1  Use less flashers in trails for better performance.
                  Visibility of trails increased up to 2x scanner range.
2015.04.30. v1.0  First release.



Quick Facts

Version Released License Features Category Author(s) Feedback
1.11 2016-05-22 CC BY-NC-SA 4 Condensation trails Ambience OXPs Norby BB-Link