Autopilot causing massive power drain on DS

Nick F. shared this bug 4 years ago

Recently I've encountered a problem with the autopilot function in Space Engineers when playing on a Dedicated Server. When using autopilot with the RC block my power use on my ship increases substantially more than it should.

For example, say I take a trip from my station to a point 50 km away in space. I'm flying a small grid shuttle with 5 large batteries and I'm seated in the cockpit but piloting though the RC block.

At the start of the trip I have full charge in my batteries, 1MWh each. I accelerate to 100 m/s and switch my dampeners off for the bulk of the trip. I then de-accelerate near the destination and come to a stop there.

The trip takes 10 min and after it each battery has ~988 kWh remaining. Accelerating to top speed takes ~6 kWh per battery, de-acceleration takes the same, and the RC block uses 10 kW. So I used about 60 kWh in total for the one-way trip.

Next I charge my batteries to full again and start the return trip, but this time using the Autopilot.This time however, my batteries each have ~608 kWh remaining at the end of the the trip, and so a total use of 1.96 MWh.

Self-piloted: 60 kWh

Autopilot: 1960 kWh

That's an increase in power use of over 3200% ! Subsequent tests had similar results. Of course, 1.9 MWh may not seem like much, but this was only a small shuttle on a 10 min trip. This scales up significantly the bigger the ship and the longer the trip. Drones ships will be probably be affected by this the most, but any grid that uses autopilot will have this problem too.

With 100 m/s being the speed limit, it takes a while to get from place to place in SE, so I like using autopilot for simple point A to point B trips over longer distances when jump drives are not an option, and I also use drone couriers. This bug, however, penalizes players for using the autopilot feature on a DS and should be fixed.

I suspect that it has something to do with thrusters constantly firing to correct course, as the ship seems to shake during transit and the speed is jiggling around 100 m/s rather than staying constant.

Any help with this would be appreciated!

Replies (3)



Ok, so after testing in singleplayer it does seem to be the thrusters causing the problem. For some reason thrust plumes don't render on a ship being controlled by an autopilot on a DS (also a bug i assume), but in a singleplayer world they're shown to be firing rather insanely when autopilot is engaged. This would explain the excess power use, but have no idea why the autopilot is causing the thrusters to go crazy.


Hello, Engineer!

Thank you for your feedback! Your topic has been added between considered issues.

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Keen Software House: QA Department


Still an issue as of the Automatons Update (1.202).

Drains power and fuel way faster than it should, both on DS and in singleplayer.

You can even see the drones thrusters firing wildly in the Automatons trailer itself (from 1:40 on):

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