Star Citizen: How to land?

A lot of players don’t know how the landing system works. They have different issues figuring out how to get out of the ship properly. This guide will tell you how to land the ship in Star Citizen using both Automated and Manual modes. All the tips here are about Free Flight but they are also useful for other game modes.

There are many guides that describe how to do it properly, but most of them belong to old version of the game. This is the most accurate and up to date guide you can find.


First of all you need to find landing platform. These platforms are marked as circles with big dot in the center. They show you where the landing pads are. It’s usually 8 landing pads located near each other and you will not miss them. The image below shows how they look in the game.

Landing Pads

These landing pads will require pilot to request landing permission. If you don’t request permission you will get penalty.

How to land?

You are in free flight. First of all you need to switch on landing system. Press N key for that. You will hear: “Landing mode: engaged”. When you do that a few things happen:

  • First of all the icons of pads will change from bull’s eye to a circle with down arrow. That means your ship is ready.
  • The closest pad will be targeted. You can change the target with your cycle friendly targets key.
  • Also a new icon appears in your status indicator. You will see “Automated” word, but it’s crossed out. That means you are in manual landing mode. In order to change to automated mode press M key. You will hear “Automated Landing initiated”. Continue reading and you will understand the difference between these two modes.

Fly towards the pad you have selected. After you are close enough you need to request landing permission. Press your middle mouse key for that. After you have received permission your HUD will be changed. You will see a hologram of your ship and a little grid pointing to the landing zone you have selected.

Automated Mode

Automated mode is the easiest one. If you have Automated mode switched on fly towards the platform. Once you are close enough the game will take the control over the ship and it will be landed automatically. You don’t need to do anything else. Pay attention: you can’t control the ship during this process. As you see it’s very easy! If you don’t want to waste time this mode is for you. Easy and fast.

Manual Mode

Manual landing is a bit more difficult. But we recommend to master it anyway. After you have requested permission and received positive answer disable automated mode by pressing M key. Now fly towards the pad. You need to occupy the position right above the center of it. Once you are in proper position the HUD will start fluctuating with circles. That means you are in the best position.

Best Landing Position

Pay Attention: Your ship must be parallel to the surface of the pad. If it doesn’t occupy proper position the circle in your hood will be marked with red depending on what side has wrong position. You need to change the position of your ship and make it parallel. Otherwise it may take damage.

The best way to land a spaceship manually is to enter Decoupled mode. In this mode you can give your thrusters little bursts which will help you to land. Start moving down slowly. Once you are close enough your landing gear will be deployed. Finish by moving down again. You are done. As you see nothing special. All you need is to select a proper position and move down slowly.

After you have done there are 2 options: to leave the spacecraft or to take off again. Don’t forget to request permission before taking off!

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