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How do I use a tractor beam?

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Author Details
By: Le Baron
Edited: 09/01/10 19:23


You can use a tractor beam to tow your station (or mine) to a better position. You can also tow ships.

First of all you need a ship capable of using a tractor beam – basically an M6 or bigger. Note that although some smaller ships can mount a tractor beam, they generally don't have enough laser energy to actually fire it (1000 per shot).

Where to buy a tractor beam will vary depending on the exact stations which exist in your game, but Third Redemption usually has a couple of factories. Alternatively, you can buy a factory from the Split or Paranid and build your own.

Using the Tractor Beam

There are a number of steps you have to take in order to tow something successfully.

Attaching to the object to be towed

The range of the tractor beam is 2.0 km. Objects under tow have a degree of inertia, so you should plan a meaningful buffer. The maximum "load" on the tractor beam is around 500m.

Ideally, your ship should be located approximately 1.5 kilometers from the target point on the hull of the object. Note that this is not always equal to the distance on the HUD (particularly evident in mines, where their outer shell can have a radius of more than 2km).

Once in the correct position and at the correct distance, simply fire the tractor beam at the object. If it has locked on you will see a green beam linking your ship and the object. You only need to fire once - when the tractor beam has locked on it will stay linked until the beam breaks or you fire the tractor beam again.

Towing the object

Basic guidelines:
  • The beam has a limited 'stretch' - about 500m. If the link between your ship and the object gets too long the beam will break. You can tell when you’re pushing the limit as the beam changes colour from green (safe) through amber (warning) to red (about to break). If the beam starts to stretch too much you can slow down or stop to allow the object to catch up.

  • In theory, you can tow at speeds of up to 80 m/s, although you may find it easier to tow at lower speeds.

  • It is possible to use SETA while towing.

  • It is also possible push rather than pull when using a tractor beam. The basic procedure is the same.

  • You can't tow a station through a gate.
  • You can't tow a complex.
  • You can't tow NPC stations or ships.
  • You can't tow asteroids or rocks.
  • You can't tow station or ship debris.

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