Guide / Tutorial Setup and Use of the FSS and DSS - With Demonstration Videos

This is a quick and rough guide I put together to show a method of setting up and using the exploration tools introduced in 3.3 of Elite Dangerous.

A video demonstration of the FSS discovery scanner and analysis system:




A video demonstration of the use of a Detailed Surface Scanner to map a planet:





Some context:

FSS SCANNING

First off you need to set up your controls:

Under Mode Switches assign keys or buttons to

"Open Discovery" (I use ] key) - this is the shortcut to open the Discoveries section of the Codex.

"Switch HUD Mode" (I use / key) - switches you between Combat and Analysis mode

"Enter FSS Mode" (I use backspace)

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Then in the new sections at the bottom of the list assign controls to:

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If you don't have an axis to bind to one of those for which I have axes set, you should bind keys / buttons to the controls that are under that entry. E.G. I have camera pitch on an axis, if you don't use an axis then you should bind keys to the Camera Pitch Increase and Camera Pitch Decrease entries - you can bind keys as well as axes too. (N.B. I have not assigned controls to the field of view entries, I have not needed this, you might wish to.) I use a mini-stick on my throttle but you can use normal joystick axes.


The procedure to use is actually quite simple really: -


You need your HUD to be in Analysis Mode

You can either honk your disco scanner using a fire button or you can enter the FSS mode and then fire a Discovery Scan (per the binding) - you are prompted to do this if you have not already "honked".

Once in the FSS mode you see a frequency tuning graph at the bottom with a cursor on it and a series of "squiggles" on the graph - you use your tuning control to move the cursor to one of these "squiggles" and the text shows what kind of body / signal occurs at that frequency.

You can now move your camera yaw and pitch to change the area displayed above the frequency graph. You will see the orbital plane displayed as well as some circular "blobs" which represent the sources of the frequency "squiggles" below.

If you centre on a blob you can change the frequency you are examining (by tuning the cursor) until a solid circle appears - you can now use your "adaptive zoom" - Zoom In to Target control which will cause the display to zoom in to display that planet or signal source. If there is more than one signal source there, you might instead be zoomed in to show a collection of "blobs" to examine individually by moving the camera and adjusting the tuning to get a solid circle and then zoom in for each one.

The cursor reticule shows white "peaks" to indicate which direction has signal(s) of the frequency you are tuned to - this is very handy when there are a lot of sources in view, for example a gas giant's moons and RESs etc. For example:



An alternative approach is to tune to a particular frequency which corresponds to what you are interested in finding (say a WaterWorld or Earthlike) and move the camera view around until you find a "blob" that contains a solid circle, zoom-in and voilà your desired body / signal source (HGEs anyone?).

When you have zoomed in to a body you see a view of the body and information on the surface materials plus if there are any features on the surface (geological etc) - you also see at the bottom who it was first discovered by and who it was first mapped by - if neither are listed you could "be the one" (after you sell the data of course).

When you have scanned everything in that area of the frequency scale, there will be no "squiggles" in that part and little circles will be under the line indicating your discoveries. When you have scanned all bodies (there is a display of number of bodies and signals in the top right) the percentage scanned in the bottom left goes to 100% and you get a scan complete message. N.B. You can't zoom in to bodies masked by the star so you might need to move position to get 100% system scan.

You exit the FSS view by using your "Leave FSS" assigned key / button.

At this point the system map would now be able to display complete information, including surface materials and can be switched to orrery view.


SPACE DARTS - DSS MAPPING

Assuming you are interested in either earning credits or in actually finding things on a body's surface you will want to Map that body. To do that you need to use the Detailed Surface Scanner to launch probes at the body. The Detailed Surface Scanner needs to be fitted in an optional internal modules slot and assigned to a fire button in an active fire group with the HUD in Analysis Mode.

So you need to fly to the body (distance required is determined by the size of the body) and you need to be at minimum supercruise speed - your HUD shows either out of range or too fast until these conditions are met.

Once you are able to, you enter the Detailed Surface Scan screen by firing the assigned fire button of that scanner (I use fire button one) you now see a cursor which extends from the centre of the body, you move the cursor about using your assigned "Third Person Yaw and Pitch" controls or the mouse to decide where to fire a probe at, click fire button to launch the probe.

As you extend the cursor outwards a white dotted line appears on it, this signifies the "horizon", aiming beyond this line causes probes to impact on the "far side" of the body. (By extending further, the word "Miss" appears if you go too far and "ring" appears if there is a ring and that distance is where the probe will impact on the ring.)

When the probe hits, a circle showing the extent that probe has covered the surface is displayed. You then aim another probe and so on until the display says 100% (in effect over 90% is the decider). You can use the Front / Back view control to help you aim your probes. (Viewing a demonstration video of this might be helpful, I have included a couple here.)

You exit the DSS screen using your assigned "Exit Mode" key / button.


Space darts for rings:

 
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Nice! Is it worth adding to the DSS - there is a white mark across the targeting line - if you fire at that mark you will hit the 'edge' of the body (i.e on the horizon). If you fire at 'nearly the miss' you will hit the 'back'. Appromimately ;)

So I often fire 'front' + 4 x 'edge's + 'back' - that seems to work for non-gas giants. (Or just fire 'front' and 'back' for smaller planets).
 
Nice! Is it worth adding to the DSS - there is a white mark across the targeting line - if you fire at that mark you will hit the 'edge' of the body (i.e on the horizon). If you fire at 'nearly the miss' you will hit the 'back'. Appromimately ;)

So I often fire 'front' + 4 x 'edge's + 'back' - that seems to work for non-gas giants. (Or just fire 'front' and 'back' for smaller planets).
Yes good point, I have expanded the "cursor" part to include that information (I had included descriptions of this in the videos). I also altered the structure a bit to try to make it clearer. I would be happy to receive any further suggestions from people (keep it clean folks ;) ).

There are some videos around with much better production values (Obsidian Ant for example) - I am no "content creator" - so I advise people who might find my audio or whatever less than clear, do watch those for clarity. I initially put that first post together in answer to a question in the Newcomer's forum, it just sort of grew. :eek:
 
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There is a lot of good work there and an example of what there is involved. Especially when you consider, it was just a single button operation.

Great job sir.
 
I don't want to hi-jack this thread, or distract from the topic in hand; but.

As you guys know, I don't play that often and use a laptop and therefore, just a keyboard. But now I have found that some of my key bindings, have gone after some of the up-dates.

Example: I use No.2 to open the chat window and I used to use 'C' to start to chat. Now it has stopped working and I can't chat any more. Also: I use the same keys to perform other tasks, in other modes. If I switch from combat to FSS, I can't use my 'combat fire' buttons, to work the FSS; which is just silly.

I guess what I really need; is a keyboard map; that will allow me to play the whole game. I have googled and searched here, but have found nothing, that is up to date.
 
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I guess what I really need; is a keyboard map; that will allow me to play the whole game. I have googled and searched here, but have found nothing, that is up to date.
You can see the default keys in the user manual in-game or there are some in the guide in this thread: https://forums.frontier.co.uk/index.php?threads/elite-dangerous-a-comprehensive-beginners-guide.414142/ it is a good resource https://thecakeisaliegaming.wordpress.com/2015/01/25/getting-started-in-elite-dangerous-a-guide/

You could use the EDRefCard site to get a print-out of all your settings but that doesn't tell you which ones are available but not assigned so I have used the default KeyboardMouseOnly.binds file that comes with the game to generate this: https://edrefcard.info/binds/mvngnj but I don't know what the "invalid" entries mean.

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In contrast, my own keyboard controls (in https://edrefcard.info/binds/shgfbn) are:

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So maybe from those you can work out something useful. Good Luck
 
You can see the default keys in the user manual in-game or there are some in the guide in this thread: https://forums.frontier.co.uk/index.php?threads/elite-dangerous-a-comprehensive-beginners-guide.414142/ it is a good resource https://thecakeisaliegaming.wordpress.com/2015/01/25/getting-started-in-elite-dangerous-a-guide/

You could use the EDRefCard site to get a print-out of all your settings but that doesn't tell you which ones are available but not assigned so I have used the default KeyboardMouseOnly.binds file that comes with the game to generate this: https://edrefcard.info/binds/mvngnj but I don't know what the "invalid" entries mean.



In contrast, my own keyboard controls (in https://edrefcard.info/binds/shgfbn) are:



So maybe from those you can work out something useful. Good Luck
Thanks. :D
 
I use hotas (now trying hosas). I watch with envy the speed that Will scans around the fss scan space during FD livestreams. Pitch isn‘t bad, but my yaw speed is really slow. It drove me mad during DW2. I’m thinking the yaw speed might be related to the resolution of the axis used, because Will’s gamepad (8 bit?) seems much faster than my previous CH Combatstick (8 or 12 bit?), which seems much faster than current vkb gunfighter (16 bit). I see the mouse has several parameter settings to optimise but hotas doesn’t get those.
Anyone else have this problem and has anyone found a good workaround?
 
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