Autotravel is a function of autopilot engaged when you attempt to "jump" to a temporary sector beacon. The command is TRAVEL
There are two components to autotravel using temporary space stations: beacons and rift accelerators.
- Temporary sector beacons are temporary space stations with a beacon module installed. They are generally created by other players. Think of these as "receiving" stations.
- Temporary stations can also be equipped with a rift accelerator module. When aimed at a particular beacon, they allow ships to travel from that station to the beacon much faster. Think of these as "sending" stations, delivering a ship to a beacon station. Your ship must be within the same sector as the sending station to receive its benefit.
Beacons can work without accelerators. If a temporary beacon is very nearby, your ship may automatically cross sector boundaries at sublight speed to get to it. Otherwise, traveling to a temporary beacon will require a rift drive. Temporary beacons are not suitable for the wormhole drive to lock on to, and so travel to them will not be instantaneous.
Temporary stations that are equipped with an accelerator may also have an external rift insertion module, which will push non-rift-equipped ships into the riftflow.
Autotravel will be cancelled by stopping or changing the heading of the rift drive. If your ship was inserted into the riftflow with an external module and does not have its own rift drive, then you cannot cancel autotravel, and would not want to, since you would end up stranded several years of travel from home.
Here are the steps to use rift accelerators:
- Build a station (Station A) with a rift accelerator.
- Build another station (Station B) with a beacon.
- Determine the vector from Station A to Station B -- what you would set your rift heading to in order to travel there.
- Return to Station A and use the RIFT command to set this heading in the control room. Rift acceleration is now ready.
Most of the time, you will probably want Stations A and B to BOTH have a beacon and a rift accelerator, to allow for swift two-way travel.
A few more tips for setting up rift accelerators:
- Headings do not need to be exact. Some degree of variance is allowed and will not affect the accelerator's function.
- The reverse vector is also valid for acceleration. For example, if you set the accelerator heading to 90, 45, then a heading of 270, -45 will also be accelerated. This means that creating a chain of accelerated beacons still only requires one station per stop, as long as they are roughly in a line.
- Beacons are needed to RECEIVE a ship, but are not necessary to SEND a ship. It may, at times, be useful to place an accelerator on a station without a beacon, but it will still need to be aimed at a station that does have a beacon.
- Rift inserters must accompany accelerators, and the accelerator must be aligned to a beacon.
- Multiple rift accelerators on a single station will allow for multiple alignments to be set, one per accelerator. The acceleration level will always be provided by the best accelerator module, so any secondary accelerators can simply be the cheapest available.