Joyrider: Understanding Ship Drag Coefficient

Posted by Lysle

Right click on a ship to see its statistics page (or press X on your controller).

Pay close attention to the Drag Coefficient. This ship, the reaper, is an excellent example of how much the drag coefficient can effect ships mobility. Despite the Reapers excellent rating for forward, rotational, and strafe thrusters, it has a poor drag coefficient. The makes Reaper one of the slowest ships of its class.

Drag coefficient is a friction coefficient where 1 is no friction and 0 would prevent the ship from moving at all. Most ships have a drag coefficent close to 0.98, which is why when you let go of your controls, your ship continues to float in the direction it is moving. This low friction physics is a feature of all the Star Sky games, replicating the feel of classic games such as Asteroids for Atari or Armada for the Sega Dreamcast. It also is indicative of real space physics, as such seen in television shows such as Battlestar Galactica and Firefly.

So next time you are checking out a ship's statistics, make sure to check out the drag coefficient and remember it can affect the entire mobility of your ship.