To play BloodsPilot (i.e. XPilot), a client program is needed. The client is used to connect to and play on a server.
It is good if you know basic ship control, talking, and exiting the game before you join a server.
Connecting to a server
BloodsPilot also includes a bugfixed xpilot-4.5.4 client,
bloodspilot-client-454, and an SDL/OpenGL client,
bloodspilot-client-sdl, which can
be used instead of the X11 client (the SDL/OpenGL client
is not part of the 1.4.0 release). The 4.5.4 style client is
not recommended for new players, as the controls differ
from what is stated below.
When the client has been started, a window will open. If you want to play on a server on the Internet, click the Internet button using the mouse. A list of servers running will be shown. The server list is sorted by number of players (some of which may be pausing). You can also Ping Servers to see which of the servers have low lag. Controlling the ship is easier with low lag.
To join a server, click with the mouse on the button containing the server name.
Once connected to a server, you will see the world map, a radar, a score list, some messages, and possibly some other players playing. In case the game is round based, you may have to wait until the next round to start (this may take a few minutes). A 'W' will be shown next to your name while you're waiting.
Once you see an unmoving white triangle ship in the middle of the window, you can start playing. Whatever the map, you need to control (fly) your ship and on almost all maps the main idea is to fight enemy ships or play in a team against enemy team(s). Your own and enemy ships are normally painted in white, yellow or red, while friendly ships (e.g. teammates) are painted in blue.
The following tables list the most common actions. The shown methods assume the default client settings and either the X11 or SDL/OpenGL client (i.e. not the 4.5.4-like one).
Basic ship control
|Enable mouse control of ship||Click left mouse button||Click near the center of the game window (e.g. not on top of messages).|
|Exit mouse control||Press Esc||-|
|Turn ship||Move mouse left or right||Another inferior method is to use Left and Right keyboard buttons.|
|Thrust||Press right mouse button||If turning with Left and Right, thrust with Up button.|
|Fire shot||Press left mouse button||If steering with arrow keys, fire with Down.|
|Talk to all||Press t, write message and press Enter to send||Cancel with Esc. Can be used to distract other players if you can't beat them otherwise. For example you can complain about server bugs or lag.|
|Team talk||Press y, write message and press Enter to send||Another way to talk to team only is to start the message with the team number,
followed by a colon. E.g.
Exiting the game
|Exit game||Press Esc, followed by F1||You can also quit by pointing at the Quit button in the client window and
clicking it with the left mouse button, or issuing the talk message
Handling treasure balls
On some maps, especially on Blood's Music, a lot of the action involves attempts to steal the enemy treasure ball or recover your own ball. The treasure balls usually reside in treasure boxes, your own box often painted in blue and the enemy treasure box in red.
|Connect to a ball||Press f when close to the ball and fly ship until the connector becomes long enough (and drawn solid)||You can't connect to your own ball when it is in the treasure box.|
|Drop ball||Press d||Can be used to throw the ball.|
|Cash enemy ball||Connect to the enemy ball and put or throw it into your own treasure box||This might earn you and your team a lot of points.|
|Save own ball||Run over (pop) the ball or be the last one to have connected to it before it hits the enemy box||In any case, don't allow the enemy team to cash your ball.|
|Replace own ball||Connect to own ball and put it in own treasure box||This will earn you a few points.|
|Make ballrun||Steal enemy ball from his treasure box and fly with it to your own box, cashing the ball||Ballruns should be fast and reliable. Don't miss your box or let the ball hit a wall at too high speed.|
If you have teammates, it's a good idea to keep them informed about what is going on. For example if your team's ball has been stolen, you should make a ball warning.
|Warn team about stolen treasure ball||Press space||The message will be drawn in red. A red circle will appear on your ship.|
|Warn that locked on player has stolen ball||Press g||See below for how to lock on players.|
|Inform team that the treasure ball is safe||Press a||Message is green. The red warning circle on the ship will disappear.|
|Request cover by teammates (useful e.g. when cashing an enemy ball)||Press c||The message will be drawn in blue. A blue circle will appear on your ship. The c key is also used on item maps to toggle the cluster weapon modifier. On such map a cover request will not be issued (unless it is also a team map, which is unlikely).|
|Inform team that the enemy ball popped||Press v||Message is yellow. Cover circle on ship will disappear. When an enemy ball pops (breaks) it is returned back from where it was originally stolen.|
HUD lock, radar and scorelist related stuff
When locking on a player, that player's name will appear somewhat above the center of the window. On the radar, that player's radar dot will start blinking. You can use this for example to track a player.
|Lock on closest player||Press r||-|
|Lock on next closest player||Press e||-|
|Lock on next player||Press Page Down or w||-|
|Lock on previous player||Press Page Up||-|
|Toggle showing of HUD radar walls||Press s||The radar walls may clutter the screen when fighting nearby ships.|
|Toggle score list||Press Tab||Toggle if the score list obscures the view.|
Other ship controls
|Drop shield||Fire shot||The shield will be dropped automatically when you fire a shot. Note that on some maps (e.g. Blood's Music) the shield will drop automatically a few seconds after your ship has appeared, so you had better get into safety before that.|
|Refuel||Press f when close to a fuel box||It's very unusual to run out of fuel on Blood's Music.|
|Toggle self destruct of ship||Press End||A meter will appear, and once the time runs out, the ship will explode.|
Other game actions
Below are some other actions that can be taken in the game.
|Change home base||Press Home or h when on top of a base||You can't change to an enemy base.|
|Swap team||Press F5||Another way is to issue the talk message |
Pausing and spectating
When you need a break, you can pause. When pausing or waiting for the next round, you can spectate on other players (if the server allows it).
|Pause||Press Pause when on your own base (start platform)||When paused, you can spectate other players. A 'P' will be drawn next to your name.|
|Unpause||Press Pause||On most servers, you have to pause at least 10 seconds before you can unpause.|
|View next/previous player||Press Page Down/Up||Can be used to change view when spectating.|
Recording games for later viewing
|Toggle recording||Press F12||A red indicator will flash in the upper right corner when recording. Read the replay page to learn more.|
Learn more (especially about playing on the classic Blood's Music map) in the newbie and other player guides.
Good luck: you're going to need it, because some players are quite skilled.
Configuring the client
The client has many options. For example to start the game with the name "Newbie" you can start the client like so:
bloodspilot-client-x11 -name Newbie
Configure during game
Options can also be changed when already connected to a server. The
easiest way is to select menu item MENU->GENERAL CONFIG.
Colors are configured using MENU->COLOR CONFIG. Once you've
made changes, you can save them using the button Save Configuration
at the bottom of the config area. A configuration file
will appear in your home directory.
Editing the configuration file
You can also change option values by editing
with a text editor. The changes will take affect the next time you
start the client. You can get some information about the options by
Configure during game using client commands
Another way to query and change option values is the client
\set commands. For example
to set the value of the (not existing)
option to 1, issue the talk message
\set exampleOption 1.
The client will not send these messages to other players. You
can learn more about client and server commands using the
\help for client commands and
for server commands.