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Gravity Generator
Icon Block Gravity Generator

Category:Functional Block
Status:Functional

Function:
Provides gravity for players when their jetpacks are turned off.

Fits large ship and station
Mass:8,532 kg
Power:-1.85 - -567.13 kW
Force:0-4000 N
Range:0-150 m

Data Controls: [edit] [purge] (?)

The Icon Block Gravity Generator Gravity Generator is a block that can be added to ships and stations to provide gravity so that players can turn off their jetpacks to conserve energy. Using the control menu from the cockpit of the ship or station or the control panel on side of the gravity generator itself, the player can adjust the strength of the gravity effect and the size of its area of effect. Possible values range from 0 G (no gravity) up to 1 G, which is the same as Earth gravity at sea level. The generator can also be set to -1 G, pushing players and objects "up" instead. Positive gravity is always applied towards the base of the generator ("down" as the player is looking at it). The power consumed by a generator varies depending upon the size and strength of its gravitational field.

What Gravity in Space Engineers Is Not

Although termed a "gravity generator", the device has a number of properties that go against conventional terrestrial wisdom the physics-aware novice players would use.

  • It does not affect most objects. Only player characters (with jetpacks off) and loose items (ores, components, etc.) are affected. Ship and station blocks can be subjected to the effect by constructing Artificial Mass blocks. Always keep in mind that it isn't the overall object but the Artificial Mass that is affected, so be mindful of the center of mass.
  • The area of affect is a rectangular cuboid. See also Spherical Gravity Generator.
  • The imparted acceleration is equal throughout the area of effect; not only does it not diminish with range, but it is also indifferent as to the position relative to the generator, i.e. you will be pulled up/down per the setting irrespective of whether or not you are above or below the generator. Not true for the Spherical Gravity Generator.
  • As mentioned above, inert mass and gravity-affected mass are two unrelated things in Space Engineers. Therefore an in-game replication of Galileo's Leaning Tower of Pisa experiment yields the opposite result: terminal velocity is a variable that depends on the proportion between inert mass and Artificial Mass generated by the relevant block (as well as the number and setting of generators, obviously).

Area of Effect

The gravity generator's area of effect (AoE) is a squared cuboid measured in meters from the outside edges of the generator's collision box and can be set from 1 to 150m in width, height and depth. A large ship/station block is 2.5m in all dimensions, so a gravity generator sitting in the middle of a 5x5 pad could be set to 5 meters to make the AoE match the pad exactly. The width and depth are determined by which direction the control panel is facing; from the player's point of view standing in front of the control panel, width will be the left and right span of the AoE, and depth will be the front and back distance.

When multiple AoEs overlap, the player and objects can be subject to multiple gravity generators at the same time. When this happens, the vector that affects the player is obtained through vector addition. (Calculator) The acceleration value can exceed 1.0 when this is done, and objects will be affected accordingly. This can be exploited to create gravity-powered transportation, machinery, and even weaponry.

Recipe

Icon Block Gravity Generator Gravity Generator
ComponentLarge Ship/Station
Required
Large Ship/Station
Optional
Icon Item Computer Computer40
Icon Item Motor Motor6
Icon Item Large Steel Tube Large Steel Tube4
Icon Item Construction Component Construction Component60
Icon Item Gravity Generator Components Gravity Generator Components6
Icon Item Steel Plate Steel Plate11040

Creative uses

Non-Jetpack Travel and Wheeled Vehicles

Artificial gravity is a must when using wheeled vehicles due to obvious reasons. It also helps conserve suit power by allowing travel on foot.

Acceleration gate

Propelling ore, personnel and ships from point A to point B by imparting acceleration far in excess of what engines can produce. Inertial dampeners must be offline until destination.

Gravity cannon

A simplistic weapon dating back to the days before specialized blocks were enabled. Its practical value in the current state of the game is doubtful; however, proper designs do demonstrate considerable damage potential regardless of range to target.

Required are: a battery of gravity generators, preferably tuned to affect a narrow column of space, and, mounted in that area of space via a Landing Gear, a slug of arbitrarily large size, with or without an explosive payload. The slug obviously has to be equipped with Small Reactors, Artificial Mass cubes, and Gyroscopes to prevent tumbling; the exact quantity of artificial masses and gravity generators is calculated using the equations "(quantity of gravity generators) * 9.8 m/s^2 * (artificial mass, kg) = (inert mass, kg) * (imparted acceleration, m/s^2)", "v(t)=a*t" (the definition of acceleration), and "s(t)=(a*t^2)/2" (simplified by presuming a uniform field; a good approximation is only counting the area where all the generators overlap) with the aim to achieve the maximum velocity possible in the game, in the range of 145 m/s.

An exemplar gravgun, which generates 36g over a 62.5 m track, projects a 5x5x14 small-block cylindrical slug of heavy armor with sufficient force to penetrate 10 light armor blocks or 4 heavy armour blocks. More often than not, very powerful railguns are limited by maximum speed, but can deal tremendous amounts or damage when mods allow higher speed limits.

A strong advantage of gravguns is that they have a virtually unlimited range, compared to under 1km for regular weapons. This allows performing "sniper bombing" of very heavily defended ships that would leave no chance to smaller ships within range.

Gravity drive

A peculiar characteristic of in-game physics is that gravity generators affect even artificial mass mounted on the same ship. This is frequently exploited to create a reactionless drive/warp drive, potentially more effective at accelerating large ships than thrusters.

Gravity funnel

The gravitational force produced by a Spherical Gravity Generator will affect any small rocks and ore produced by mining asteroids. This can be utilized to gather ores for easy collection. Often four generators are focused toward a central point where a fifth generator will draw them toward the ship. This can be combined with angled armor to build a physical funnel to catch the ores and direct them into a Collector.

Gravity grapple

The gravity grapple works along the same lines as the funnel. Using six gravity fields in combination with Artificial Mass blocks, small ships can be held in position near a larger ship even while it's moving. The small ship's inertial dampeners are turned on so that they help stabilize its position.

Launch tubes

A must-have among Battlestar Galactica fans is a reduced-power gravity cannon and an artificial mass cube in the nose of their replica Colonial Viper, which cause the craft to be violently propelled out of the carrier when combined. "Necessary" amenities are a triangular-shaped launch tube and two blast doors; inertial dampeners are to be disabled and a Connector is often installed to control the launch process from the inside craft.

Practical applications utilize the capacity to quickly pick up distance from a carrier, either to avoid being blasted on take-off or to quickly enter the battlezone; see Acceleration Gate above.

You can also have a 3-4 gravity generators and have a connecter and a storage container filled with drills or other tools/parts/ore and put 1 into the connecter have it eject it and then turn the gravity on. and also aim before you fire.

Gravity shield

By setting up gravity generators around your ship so that they repel any gravity-affected objects that get close one can make a gravity-based shield which will repel any incoming projectiles equipped with an artificial mass.

Notes

  • Lots of people have suggested ways that gravity could be improved in SE. This thread at the Keen Software House forums is where most of the discussion is taking place.
  • When using many gravity generators to accelerate something, make sure you have your jetpack turned on if you intend to enter the affected area or you are in for a very fast trip to the respawn screen.
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