Autopilot is completely useless

AccidentallyTheCable shared this bug 2 years ago
Reported – Awaiting fix

FFS guys; I've had this game well over a year and a half, and have 1600 hours... in that time.. you know what hasnt improved? THE DAMN AUTOPILOT.

Sure, before anyone says anything, there are in workshop scripts that fix this, but why should we rely on a community contributor to fix something that is in the vanilla game and works about as well as building a car from dogcrap.

The autopilot is so useless, it couldnt even get out of a canyon a mile wide without getting confused, smashing into everything, and going in circles for 5 hours.


Trying every setting between 2 waypoints and watching disaster every time. https://youtu.be/MeolKuKDAMA

Comments (6)

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Hello, Engineer!


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


Please keep voting for the issue as it will help us to identify the most serious bugs.


We really appreciate your patience.


Kind Regards

Keen Software House: QA Department

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I too have had this game for awhile and have not see any progress on this. There are some basic gameplay bugs that need fixing and instead what do we get? deco packs and loot drop mechanics that further break the game with bugs. It is so absurd that you are wise to wonder whether it is deliberate or not...

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Still no fix of that TOTALLY useless Autopilot Keen? What are u doing?


Now the probably already limited resources, in the form of manpower, will be invested in the implementation of the game on the Xbox. The fact that you haven't even fixed the game on the PC platform and its useless features like the autopilot has been completely ignored. What's the point of an autopilot if it's not able to do a proper thruster management and blows away all my hydrogen in space? Inertial dampers off? One push to the desired speed and off! What's so hard about that?

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Hey Keen, will you ever work on the Autopilot? You have a full physics engine but flying from point A to point B does not properly work?!

if there are waypoints on different height, and the speed is not around 10m/s, it overshoots the waypoint on the wrong height, turns around 5 times and then, after it aligned itself horizontal, it changes the ships height to the waypoint...

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Hello, Engineers!

Could someone please supply a copy of a save file from a mod-free world with reliable reproduction steps? Looking at the original YouTube video it appears mods are in use? However, does say vanilla :) This can then be looked into.

  • You can access your save files by typing %appdata% into your Windows search bar and you will be redirected to the hidden Roaming folder. After that just follow: \Roaming\SpaceEngineers\Saves. There should be a folder with your SteamID and your saves.
  • Please zip the file and attach it here. If you are having difficulty attaching files you can optionally use Google Drive. When sharing a google drive link please make sure it is set to be downloadable by anyone with the link.

Kind Regards

Laura, QA Department

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Here you go, fresh world, no mods, and a route the autopilot can not manage to follow

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Hello, Benjamin!

Thank you for the save file. I have been testing this save and can see your issue completely. I have also removed your ship and added my own and it can follow the waypoints without any issue so seems to be ship-related. Your ship is quite a lot heavier than the one I'm using and wonder if this is playing any part in this at all. Have you had an issue with a separate ship too? I will continue to look into this, however :)

Kind Regards

Laura, QA Department

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Hello again Benjamin!

I have just been testing with 'precision mode' on and this seems to work much better as the ship will brake much earlier. As an example from the wiki 'Precision mode can be toggled on for more accurate drone navigation. In precision mode the drone with the Remote Control Block will aim to stop exactly on the GPS waypoint set, using the Remote Control Block as the center point of the vessel. This means it will brake earlier making each way point the max distance.

When precision mode is off, a general aiming point of about 50 meters is aimed for. Generally, this means the Remote Control Block will use the fastest means to hit each waypoint, often overshooting because of speed. Once the way point is deemed close enough it will continue on to the next GPS waypoint. This is mode is not recommended for drones navigating asteroid bases.' Could you try precision mode on and let me know how you get on? :)

Kind Regards

Laura, QA Department

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Yeah. of course it works better with smaller ships. But that is not the point. The autopilot should be able to work with every ship. it has the mass, the force of every thruster and the gravitation. so calculation of following a route, acceleration etc is possible.

Also the precisionmode makes no sense if it still overshoots the waypoints. someone would want to use the precision mode exactly to prevent stuff like that and have the ship follow the straight line to the waypoint without any danger of overshooting or similar.

with the disabled precision mode it makes much less sense. so it aims with full speed for somewhere 50m around the waypoint and then tries to get close enought to accept the waypoint (which seems to be around 10m). even logically that seems flawed. I would expect in the not presicion mode that it somewhat aims for the waypoint and as soon as i reached this somewhat aim near the waypoint it accepts the waypoint as passed.

also that the autopilot flies (in gravity) above a waypoint and decreases height there instead of flying a line towards the waypoint adds up to the problem and on top of that it just does not look good.


Basicly what i expect from the autopilot:

- the autopilot knows about the mass of the ship, (maybe min and max inventory), the turning rate and the thruster force and may have keyvalues for acceleration in every direction precalculated, since these would only change on changes of the grid/docking.

- in precision mode: absolutly no overshooting. overshooting is dangerous, i would use the mode for keeping the danger away. it flies precisely to the next waypoint, stops precisely on the waypoint, turns to the next waypoint and then moves forward. it can be slow as hell, but this is not for speed but for safety

- in not precision mode: fly a straight line somewhat towards the waypoint (radius +-10m)

- depending on the angle (and maybe distance) towards the next waypoint the ship should decellerate to make an acceptable turn at the waypoint

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Hello, Benjamin and other Engineers!

Thank you for your help and thoughts on this. After speaking with a colleague, we have agreed to report this as an issue. I can't guarantee that it will be changed but it will certainly be looked at as I have reproduced the issues mentioned. I have also included your thoughts on how you believe it should be handled. I really appreciate everyone's input :)

Kind Regards

Laura, QA Department

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