The carrier is driven from the Helm station at the front of the ship. The player manning the helm has multiple options on how to move the ship, and a few things to consider when operating it.
The station consists of a compass, a propulsion screen, a digital compass, and a depth sonar screen above the station. At the bottom, there is the Engine Temperature, Engine RPM, and fuel gauges. There are three Navigation screens, used to display various navigation data. The engine start and stop buttons, speed, throttle, side thrusters, steering lock, and lights round out this station.
Propulsion, Compass, and Depth Sonar
The Propulsion screen gives a brief overview of your current speed, which engines are operating, and the RPM of the ship. This screen will operate as your speedometer, indicating your current speed in knots. This monitor can be turned on and off, or the brightness raised or lowered.
The compass indicates your current heading and also shows pitch and roll angles of the ship as it passes through high waves. The bearing the ship is facing is displayed prominently above the digital compass - 360 or 000 means the ship is facing straight north, while 180 means the ship is facing south. 090 and 270 means the ship is facing east or west, respectively. There is also a smaller magnetic compass to the left of the propulsion screen, but this display is more prominent and accessible. This screen can also be turned off or on, and the brightness settings raised or lowered.
The Depth Sonar is used to determine whether your ship is about to run aground. As the carrier does not turn on a dime, seeing anything other than pitch black in front of you will require you to turn the ship or risk running aground and taking damage. The depth sonar screen can also be turned on and off, and the brightness settings raised and lowered.
Moving the Ship
To begin moving the ship, ensure that the Propulsion breaker is flipped to the green light, that the engines are undamaged, and that the engine itself is on. The engine can be turned on and off using the green and red button to the left of the middle Navigation screen.
When operating any of these consoles, the ship can be moved using the WSAD keys or the left analog stick. The carrier does NOT brake automatically and, if set at a certain speed, will continue on that speed until it hits something. Keep an eye on the depth sonar and the various maps so you don't get lost.
The Steering Lock and Maintain Heading switches can be found to the right of the ship's wheel. The Steering Lock switch, when enabled, will lock the steering to maintain the current rate of turn. The Maintain Heading switch will similarly have the carrier maintain its current heading to the best of its ability. This is useful to prevent your ship from being pushed off course by ocean currents.
Located beneath the engine start/stop buttons, the Side Thrusters and Reverse buttons give the helmsman other ways to manoeuvre the ship. When Side Thrusters is enabled, the ship will not turn its bow to a new heading, but instead strafe the ship left and right using its own thrusters. Reverse, as its name implies, moves the ship backward instead of forwards. Counterintuitively, with Reverse checked, the W key becomes your full reverse button (or pushing the stick up on the gamepad).
The three Navigation screens are all identical in appearance, though they can be modified by the helmsman to display different information depending on the situation. All three screens can be turned off and the brightness setting altered.
Ideally, you will want each of the three screens to communicate something different. Interact with any of the navigation screens and then press A or left click to change what that data that screen shows. The options are:
- Cartographic: Displays no other information.
- Wind: Displays the direction and strength of the wind.
- Precipitation: Displays areas of storms and inclement weather that may affect aircraft.
- Fog: Displays areas of fog that impede visibility.
- Ocean Current: Displays the ocean currents that affect torpedo speeds, the carrier's speed, and the speed of your surface assets.
- Ocean Depth: Displays areas of shallow water to avoid.
- Vehicle Team Colours: Displays vehicles in different colours depending on ownership. Useful when playing with multiple enemy teams. If off, all friendly units are blue and all enemy units are red.
- Island Team Colours: Displays the islands in different colours depending on ownership. Useful when playing with multiple enemy teams. If off, all friendly islands are blue and all enemy islands are red.
Mostly for cosmetic purposes, the ship is also equipped with two bow-mounted floodlights to help see what is ahead, and navigation lights on the bridge tower indicating the port or starboard side of the ship. These can be turned on and off using the switches next to the Maintain Heading and Steering Lock switches.
Lights become a liability in PvP, where enemy players can spot your ship at night from further away.
The ship's alarm system is also entirely cosmetic, though it automatically engages when the ship takes damage. It must be silenced manually.