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.