While most of your fleet can land automatically on a city’s outskirts, at least one ship needs to land manually at the city’s docks so that you can personally visit, Tarkhan. You may also want to land any ship that needs faster repairs, as time is also a valuable resource.
When you reach a city, your landing hatch lever will flash on the map screen. Click it to begin the landing sequence.
First, you need to decide which of your craft you will attempt to land. Landing requires a measure of skill and can be dangerous, potentially resulting in damage or destruction of ships.
Click on any ship to add or remove it from your landing party (indicated by ships with the white icons above them).
You only need 1 ship in the landing party, and the only reason to add more is to gain a Repair Speed bonus. You can still repair a craft that doesn’t land manually but without any bonus (note that you can also land the ship individually later in the Shipworks if necessary). Be careful in your selection as a craft with damaged thrusters or landing gear may be more difficult to land safely!
When your landing party is ready, click OK to proceed with the manual landing. You’ll land each craft in the landing party sequentially, so ensure you use the surface space wisely to accommodate them all.
Ensure you apply upward thrust (W key) regularly so that you have a soft landing, though if you hold thrust for too long, you will overheat your engines. It would help if you also landed as parallel to the surface as possible, or you may crunch your hull or delicate parts.
Pay close attention to your M/S (Meters per Second) readout on the left, which measures your rate of descent, and the green bar at the top of the screen monitor your Engine Temperature – and, of course, your Altitude on the right. If you have extremely low fuel, you may need to watch out for that as well in the top-right monitor.
Use your rotation thrusters (Q/E keys) to align the craft parallel to the ground below you and side thrusters (A/D keys) to move laterally – but watch for drift and avoid any craft that has already landed. Remember that you can use afterburners (hold Shift key) for a quick boost when needed.
Each landing spot has a different bonus for Repair Speed – generally, the more difficult the spot, the higher the bonus. A huge ship can be spread across multiple spots, though this can be very risky if they are on different levels.
If you fail a landing and destroy a ship, you can Retry – though you will need to re-land ALL ships in the party, not just the one you failed. A “Hard Landing” can also be Retried to get it perfect, or you may choose to live with the extra damage caused.