Slingshotting is an extremely useful strategy in PVP that involves changing directions to control range in a fight, allowing you to tackle/web your opponent, or break out of point range. A thorough understanding of the tactic can save your ship and win fights. It can also teach you to recognize the tactic, and correct yourself if it is being applied to you. In this guide, we will explore the applications of slingshotting, both to point a kiter, and to escape from one.
What is Slingshotting?
Slingshotting involves faking out your opponent, making them think you’re going in one direction, then suddenly going in another. This is one of the most useful tactics in PVP because it can be used on either side of the fight. A properly executed slingshot can be used to put a warp scrambler on a kiting ship to disable its microwarpdrive and give you the edge. The slingshot can also be used to remove a kiting ship’s point and escape a losing fight.
The process is easy to understand, but a little more difficult to master. However, a proper understanding of this technique can win fights, and prevent enemies from slipping away.
How to Slingshot
The Slingshot technique is very straightforward. Again, it involves flying in a certain direction, then flipping 180 degrees and flying back. As your enemy adjusts course to catch up, you momentarily gain a range advantage. This advantage can be used to apply or escape from a warp scrambler or disruptor.
Applying a Point to a Kiter
A kiter will likely have you pointed with a warp disruptor, and keep a range of 15+km with a microwarpdrive. This means that he is out of range of your warp scrambler/stasis webifier, so you can’t disable his microwarpdrive and lock him down.
First, have a look at your opponent. Analyze his direction of travel and velocity to predict where he’ll be in about 5 seconds. Activate your propulsion mod, turn your camera 180 degrees, and double click in space roughly opposite to this location. (Note: For an easier but slightly less effective method, choose the Keep At Range option with a large distance, like 100km.) You will begin burning away from your opponent. Your opponent’s ship will begin to correct for this in order to maintain his orbit range, and begin flying towards you. Once your opponent nears facing you, choose Approach to burn towards his ship. Your ship will perform a 180 degree turn and rapidly close on your opponent, while his ship begins to slow down and turn later.
For just a moment, you will begin to close the gap on your opponent. Overheat your warp scrambler/stasis webifier and keep a watchful eye on your range. Activate your warp scrambler the moment you’re close enough. Once his microwarpdrive is disabled, you’ll have control over the range of the fight. Bring your ship into a tight orbit of his, and don’t forget to remove overheating from your scrambler, or you’ll burn out your point. With range control against a kiting opponent, it becomes only a matter of time before his pod is floating through space.
Breaking Point from a Kiter
Breaking point from a kiter is similar to the strategy above, but in reverse order. If a kiter is keeping you at long range with a warp disruptor, you may have trouble fighting back. If you feel that you’re too weak to pin him down, or you have no warp scrambler to disable his microwarpdrive, disengaging may be your best option.
As in the previous strategy, analyze your opponent’s direction of travel and velocity. Keep an eye on the space behind you, looking for warpable objects. Once a warpable object is behind you, predict where your enemy will be in about 5-7 seconds and double click on that point in space. DO NOT click Approach — you will lose precious time flying in circles and may end up dead. You’ll find that as you near your opponent’s ship, it will begin to correct for your course and fly close to parallel with you. As your opponent burns away, turn your camera 180 degrees and find the warpable object you selected earlier. Press Align To, and your ship will flip 180 degrees and begin burning a straight line away from your opponent. During the precious seconds your opponent attempts to turn and catch up, you will begin to pull away. Spam the Warp To button so that as soon as you break out of range of your opponent’s warp disruptor, your ship warps to safety. Note: Try to pick a cluster of objects, so that your final destination is ambiguous. Varying the range at which you warp can also be a useful tactic, in case your opponent tries to chase you down.