Controls

This section describes the controls of Gaia Sky.

Keyboard controls

To check the most up-to-date controls go to the Controls tab in the preferences window. Here are the default keyboard controls depending on the current camera mode. Learn more about camera modes in the Camera modes section.

Focus and free camera modes

These keyboard controls apply to the focus mode and also to the free mode.

Spacecraft mode

These controls apply only to the spacecraft mode.

Key(s) Action
W Apply forward thrust
S Apply backward thrust
A Roll to the left
D Roll to the right
ARROW_UP Decrease pitch angle
ARROW_DOWN Increase pitch angle
ARROW_LEFT Increase yaw angle
ARROW_RIGHT Decrease yaw angle
PAGE_UP Increase engine power by a factor of 10
PAGE_DOWN Decrease engine power by a factor of 10

Mouse controls

Here are the default mouse controls for the focus and free Camera modes. The other modes do not have mouse controls.

Focus mode

Mouse + keys Action
L-MOUSE DOUBLE CLICK Select focus object
L-MOUSE SINGLE CLICK Stop all rotation and translation movement
L-MOUSE + DRAG Apply rotation around focus
L-MOUSE + L-SHIFT + DRAG Camera roll
R-MOUSE + DRAG Pan view freely from focus
M-MOUSE + DRAG or WHEEL Move towards/away from focus

Free mode

Mouse + keys Action
L-MOUSE DOUBLE CLICK Select object as focus (changes to focus mode)
L-MOUSE SINGLE CLICK Stop all rotation and translation movement
L-MOUSE + DRAG Pan view
L-MOUSE + L-SHIFT + DRAG Camera roll
M-MOUSE + DRAG or WHEEL Forward/backward movement

Gamepad controls

Gaia Sky supports (as of version 1.5.0) mappings for different controller types. However, so far only the mappings files for the Xbox 360 controller and the PS3 controller are provided.

Sometimes there are differences between the axes and buttons codes for the same controller device between operating systems. To solve this issue, we offer a way to describe operating system specific mappings. To do so, create a new mappings file with the format [controller_name].[os_family].controller, where os_family is linux, win, macos, unix or solaris. If the mappings for the given file name and OS family are found, they will be used. Otherwise, the file defined in the configuration file is used. For example, if we have the file xbox360.controller is defined in the configuration file, the system will look up xbox360.win.controller if on Windows, xbox360.linux.controller if on Linux, and so on. If found, the file is used. Otherwise, the default xbox360.controller file is used. Gaia Sky provides the default xbox360.controller file, which defines the Linux mappings, and also the Windows mappings xbox360.win.controller.

The mappings files (see here) must be in the $GS_INSTALL_LOCATION/mappings or in the $HOME/.gaiasky/mappings folder, and basically assign the button and axis codes for the particular controller to the actions.

# AXES

axis.roll=3
axis.pitch=1
axis.yaw=0
axis.move=4
axis.velocityup=5
axis.velocitydown=2

# BUTTONS

button.velocityup=2
button.velocitydown=0
button.velocitytenth=5
button.velocityhalf=4

The actions depend on the current camera mode (focus, free, spacecraft), and are described below.

Creating mappings files for new controllers

As of version 1.5.1 a new controller debug mode has been added to help create new mappings files. This mode prints to the log all key press and release events with their respective key codes, as well as trigger events, values and codes. It also prints controller connection and disconnection events.

In order to enable the controller debug mode, set the property controls.debugmode=true in the $HOME/.gaiasky/global.properties file.

Put your new files in $GS_INSTALL_LOCATION/mappings/ or $HOME/.gaiasky/mappings/. The name of the file should be [controller brand and model].mappings. For example, xboxone.mappings or logitech_f310.mappings.

Please, if you create mappings files for new game controllers, create a pull request in the gaiasky github so that the community can benefit.

Focus mode

Xbox 360 controller focus mode

Xbox 360 controller in focus mode

Property Action
button.velocityhalf Hold to apply 0.5 factor to speed
button.velocitytenth Hold to apply 0.1 factor to speed
axis.velocitydown Move away from focus
axis.velocityup Move towards focus
axis.yaw Horizontal rotation around focus
axis.pitch Vertical rotation around focus
axis.roll Roll right and left
axis.move Move towards or away from focus
button.velocityup Move towards focus
button.velocitydown Move away from focus

Free camera mode

Axis/button Action
button.velocityhalf Hold to apply 0.5 factor to speed
button.velocitytenth Hold to apply 0.1 factor to speed
axis.velocitydown Move away from focus
axis.velocityup Move towards focus
axis.yaw Yaw right and left
axis.pitch Pitch up and down
axis.roll Move sideways
axis.move Move forward and backward
button.velocityup Move towards focus
button.velocitydown Move away from focus

Spacecraft mode

Axis/button Action
button.velocityhalf Stabilise spacecraft rotations
button.velocitytenth Stop spacecraft
axis.velocitydown Apply backward thrust
axis.velocityup Apply forward thrust
axis.yaw Yaw right and left
axis.pitch Pitch up and down
axis.roll Roll right and left
axis.move None
button.velocityup Increase engine power
button.velocitydown Decrease engine power

Touch controls

No mobile version yet.