LIFE ON TITAN
You can change the flight controls in HardWar by clicking the 'Controls' tab on the Main Launch Screen. After customizing the controls, you need to completely exit and restart the game. Rebooting the computer isn't necessary.
The Controls tab brings up a screen divided into two sections. The top section concerns your joystick or gamepad. The bottom concerns the keyboard arrangement. You need to select the joystick/gamepad you want to use from the topmost dropdown box. If your joystick was not detected you need to check your joystick drivers and calibration.
MOST USED FUNCTIONS
HardWar is blessedly simple in its play. There aren't the hundreds of targeting options that appear with many modern games. There also isn't any irritating energy management other that charging at a Light Well when your cell runs low on power. It's pure flying, shooting, and playing.
Before configuring your controls, read the following list of most used functions. As you progress in the game, you'll customized these for your own needs.
Throttle -- Motion in HardWar is forward and backward. You can go as fast either way. This comes in very handy for making 'whip-around' turns and getting unstuck. Slamming in reverse prevents a lot of collisions also. It's the most used control in HardWar and I really recommend a joystick with a throttle in order to play the game. Otherwise, assign easy to reach buttons to full throttle, full reverse, and stop. Acceleration and deceleration can be left to the keyboard.
Fire -- This button will fire the currently selected weapon. It's usually assigned to the 'trigger' of your joystick.
Weapon's Selection -- Is very important in HardWar because you can only fire one weapon at a time. You'll spend some time switching between weapons in a dogfight. Make this function is handy when you're in-flight.
Flares -- are the staple defensive countermeasure on Titan. They'll detonate missiles before a missile hits you. Keep a flare button close if you can. It's not quite as essential as 'Weapon's Selection', but it's pretty close.
Drone -- Being able to scavenge booty is one of the unique features of HardWar. Your Moth can be fitted with a Pod and Drone. The Drone releases to pick stuff up and the Pod stores it for transport. You need to target an item and then release your drone to pick it up. This key can be placed on the keyboard, but put it on your stick if you've got room. It makes it easier to get in close and hover while releasing your drone. If you need to call your drone back, just click the release button again.
Night Scope -- There's a lot of darkness in Misplaced Optimism. Night vision software is available and comes on all start-up moths. You have to activate and deactivate Night Scope manually and it comes in handy to have a convenient key to do this with. I put one on my stick and it's very handy.
Menu's -- It can be handy to keep your Navigational Menu and Messages handy. I usually put my Nav Menu on my stick and Messages on the keyboard.
Targeting -- Most of HardWar's targeting is done from menu's and not on-the-fly. This is an unique convenience. However, some on-the-fly targetting comes in handy. The only targeting function I use often is the 'Next Target' function which cycles through all targets in radar range. I try to get this on my stick, but using the spacebar is convenient, too.
SETTING THE CONTROLS
To activate your joystick's throttle just check the 'Throttle' checkbox on the 'Controls Menu'. If you have a POV it can be used for directional thrust by clicking the appropriate checkbox. The POV cannot be used for other functions.
To set the joystick/gamepad buttons click the 'Buttons' switch. A window will open with your stick buttons listed on the left and a dropdown box of functions on the right. Click on a button's name on the left and it's corresponding function will be highlighted in the box at the right. Just use the dropdown box and select a new function with the mouse. That's all you need to do to set up your joystick/gamepad. Remember to exit and restart the game when you're through. This causes the new configuration file to load your new preferences.
Setting up your keyboard is just as easy as the joystick. Go to the 'Controls Menu' and choose a function from the drop down box at the bottom of the screen. Now click the 'Change' button and press the new key you want used when prompted. Conflicts are indicated at the bottom left of the screen and don't interfere with the game. Multiple functions can be programmed to a single key. Exit and restart the game for your changes to take effect.
To reset everything back to default values just press the 'Reset' button on the Controls Menu.
A lot of pilots have had problems using sticks that plug into a USB slot instead of a regular game port. This is really more of a hardware problem than a fault of the game.
Hardwar was designed to work with analog axes (joystick forward, back, side-to-side, and throttle), not digital ones. New sticks are almost all digital and use the USB. Gameports on sound cards are a thing of the past. This can present a big problem.
Windows will pick up on the digital axes and convert the signals, but it can cause lag if your USB bus is slow (a really older machine) or you don't have much RAM. The biggest culprit here is Micorsoft SideWinder's throttle. It can be laggy even on a fast machine. You might want to try a Logitech or Saitek stick.
If you get a programmable stick, it might allow you to select between digital and analog axes output. Select analog for Hardwar. Ultimately, the USB stick lag is only cured by a faster bus and more RAM. This isn't much of a problem on newer machines.