Insectoid's Newbie Guide

This is "Grand Prix II" by Steven Singer (+BG&MB).

3. XPilot Gameplay.

3.1.  Objects.

As it would undoubtedly be rather boring if there was nothing but walls and ships in the game, there are many, many elements that you'll see on XPilot maps, depending on the type of game.

Common objects

In (more or less) alphabetical order:


As a throwback to XPilot's arcade ancestor Asteroids, you can enable the generation of asteroids in the XPilot server.  There are many server options associated with asteroids (which will be covered later), including the probability of asteroids dropping items when you destroy them.  Like cannons, asteroids (by default) are worth 1 point for each piece, until you reach 100 points.

Asteroid Concentrator






Fuel Station

Gravity Elements

Item Concentrator


Your ship.

Ship (enemy, targeted)

Ship (allied/teammate)




Team games

Base (team)


The ball or treasure is primarily used in team games (though there are a few combat maps that involve using balls as weapons); this is what a ball looks like separated from its treasure box.  If you're attached to a ball, you can release it by pressing d (for detach).


The target is also primarily a team game object, but there are combat maps that have them, mostly just as obstacles.  It takes many bullets to destroy a target; a mine will destroy a target right away, as will two missiles.  If targetTeamCollision is set to no, you can fly right through your team's targets; else you'll crash into it, just like if you collided with a enemy's target.


This is the treasure or treasure box; in team games, you steal your enemy's treasure by pressing Control_L, which connects your ship to the ball with a string, which as you'll notice acts like a rubber band; getting the ball to go where you want it to takes lots of practice in overcoming the odd elasticity and physics.  As a side note, colliding with a treasure box is usually fatal.

Race games


3.2.  Items.

There are a total of 22 "triangle items" in XPilot 4.5.5 (the newest of these is the Random item, which doesn't count as an item you can carry). Each item has its own probability of appearing in the game, as well as its own limit for the quantity you can carry.  The absolute maximum number you can carry of each item is 99, but it's usually configured as something reasonable like 10; Lasers and Tractor Beams are usually set to 5 and 4, respectively.  (Fuel Tanks are the only exception to the absolute maximum; you can never carry more than 8, nor carry more than 10000 units of fuel.)

The default key binding is shown next to the name of each item, except for those marked Automatic, which are equipped automatically.


Increases your engine's power. Helpful to have if you are carrying a lot of fuel or heavy items like mines or missiles.


This protects your ship from one hit, whether it be a bullet, a missile, or a particle of cluster debris.  (They're really not much protection at all against cluster weapons, but if you have like 50 of them, you might survive a hit or two.  Most games don't let you have 50 armors, though.)


When activated, this causes your ship to thrust in the opposite direction and bring it to a stop; how effective this is depends on how many Autopilots you carry.  One of the uses I've found for this all-but-useless item is hovering in place (the H is for hover, after all) to drop a bomb straight down, without any horizontal movement, on a map with gravity, edge wrapping, and a clear vertical path, allowing the bomb to fall forever until it hits something.

Cloaking DeviceDelete or Backspace

When activated, this makes your ship all but invisible to your enemies' sensors and radar; it also gives your ship a shimmering dashed pattern.  Its effectiveness depends both on how many Cloaking Devices you carry and how many Sensor items your enemies have.  Basically, the more Cloaks you have, the less time you appear on your enemy's radar.


When activated, this attempts to deflect enemy fire, debris, and other objects away from your ship; it appears as a flashing blue and red circle around your ship.  Its effects are not very noticeable until you've collected around 5 or 6 of them; 10 Deflectors work very well, but even so, they can't turn everything away; they will not protect you from laser bolts or missiles.

Electronic Counter-Measure (ECM)bracketleft ([)

As the name implies, this device sends out a strong electronic pulse (visible as a ripple around your ship on the screen) when you activate it.  Besides blinding players within range of the pulse, it also can render their lasers (if they have any) useless.  Another very useful effect of the ECM is that it can reprogram certain objects; enemy mines/bombs, smart missiles, and robots can all be reprogrammed.  Mines and missiles that are successfully reprogrammed will belong to you unless reprogrammed again; robots that you reprogram will seek out the player that you're locked on to (unless they're it).

Emergency ShieldAutomatic, or g

This generates a secondary shield around your ship for a limited time (about 5 seconds of continuous use).  On shieldless maps, if you have autoShield turned on, the Emergency Shield is activated automatically, and raises only when you fire; after that it acts like a normal shield for 5 seconds of use.  Among the advantages of E-Shields (besides having a shield on shieldless maps) are that enemy fire, missiles, and cluster debris will not drain your fuel at all (as with the normal shield), and you can run into cannons and other players without being killed; this makes the E-Shield a very valuable item to have in a pinch.

Emergency Thrustj


Fuel TankAutomatic (next: e; prev: w; detach: r)


Laserslash (/)

MinesDrop stationary: Tab; drop/toss bomb: bracketright (])


MissilesTorpedo: quoteright ('); Heatseeker: semicolon (;); Smart: backslash (\)

Phasing Devicep

Random Item



Tractor BeamTractor: comma (,); Pressor: period (.)



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