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Medium Battle Tank.
Vanguard Medium Battle Tank.

Vehicles are an essential part to PlanetSide as they are the main mode of transport between facilities and are the most powerful units on the battlefield. In PlanetSide, there are many different types of vehicles, from mobile spawn points to huge lumbering robots to ten person APC's.

Planetside currently has 38 different ground and air vehicles (not including HART shuttles and Drop Pods), each with radically different attributes. Almost every vehicle has at least one type of onboard weapons system - the exceptions are the AMS, Lodestar, Phantasm, Router, and Wraith (though all have important capabilities). Some vehicles are only available to members of a particular Empire, while others are available to all. Any unoccupied vehicle may be jacked (stolen) by an enemy advanced hacker.

Acquiring a Vehicle

Acquiring a vehicle in PlanetSide is slightly more involved than in other First Person Shooters. Not everyone is qualified to drive every vehicle, and a player must first go through a slight process before being able to acquire and drive a vehicle.


Before you can even get a vehicle, you must have the correct certification. Certain certifications yield different vehicles, and while some of the certifications yield what vehicle the certification name is, certain certifications come in "bundles". Certain vehicles are also granted under multiple certifications, so careful certification management is important when applying for certain vehicles.

The list of vehicular certifications is as follows:

In addition, any player has access to the Advanced Nanite Transport.


In addition to certifications, certain vehicles require the player to have a certain Merit Commendation before they can be purchased or driven.

The vehicles and their requirements are listed below:

Vulture : Bomber Ace Bronze Flight-Variant BFRs (Invader, Eclipse, or Eagle) : BFR Basic

Vehicle Terminal

 is a vehicle which requires a
Technology Plant.
is a vehicle which requires a Technology Plant.

Once a player has the correct certification, a player can purchase the vehicle from a friendly or hacked Vehicle Terminal. However, some Vehicle Terminals are restricted to either air or ground vehicles, and some vehicles can only be purchased when certain requirements are met. Also, after every vehicle purchase, the same vehicle cannot be purchased for 5 minutes, unless you are at a base which has a Vehicle Module, in which the timer is reduced to 2:30.

In short, vehicles that are under Air Cavalry Scout, Air Cavalry Assault, the Liberator and the Vulture from Air Support and the Phantasm can be purchased at Air Vehicle Terminals. All of the above vehicles as well as the Galaxy , Galaxy Gunship and Lodestar from Air Support can be purchased at a Dropship Vehicle Terminal. BFR's can only be purchased at BFR Terminals. Any other vehicle can be purchased from a Ground Vehicle Terminal.

However, there are still some other restrictions. Certain vehicles require a Technology Plant to be able to purchase them, and therefore require the player to either be at a Technology Plant or have a friendly Technology Plant linked to the base they are at through the lattice. An Empire's Sanctuary also counts as well. The vehicles that are restricted by this are:

Similarily, Ancient Tech vehicles can only be purchased at a base with a Vehicle Module installed or at a base which has a link to a friendly base with a Vehicle Module installed. Alternately, these vehicles can always be purchased in any of the six Core Combat caverns. The vehicles under this restriction are:

Armor Requirements

Certain vehicles require the driver to be wearing a certain type of armor. These are considered "closed cockpit vehicles" and only accept a user wearing one of the following armor types as the driver:

Other vehicles have no such restriction, and allow the above armors as well as a user wearing a Reinforced Exo-Suit to be the driver. These are considered "open cockpit vehicles". The "open cockpit vehicles" are:

All other vehicles are considered to be closed cockpit vehicles.


In PlanetSide, a player has to be very careful when remapping keys for vehicle controls. There are four pages for controls for vehicles, and it is important to understand what each of them do before making mistakes with your key bindings.

Vehicle Controls

Vehicle controls are the keys that are used for all vehicles, regardless of whether they are air or ground vehicles. The exception to this rule is BFR's, as they have their own key mapping and does not use any of these key mappings.

These are the default Vehicle Controls.

Game Action Key Binding 1 Key Binding 2
Cruise 0% Power `
Cruise 10%Power 1 NUM1
Cruise 20%Power 2 NUM2
Cruise 30%Power 3 NUM3
Cruise 40%Power 4 NUM4
Cruise 50%Power 5 NUM5
Cruise 60%Power 6 NUM6
Cruise 70%Power 7 NUM7
Cruise 80%Power 8 NUM8
Cruise 90%Power 9 NUM9
Cruise 100%Power 0 NUM0
Cruise Increment Power .
Cruise Decrement Power ,
Bail Vehicle Alt + G
Reset Controls Alt + R
Vehicle Special Ability B

Ground Controls

These controls are for ground vehicles only. Ground vehicles use this control set along with Vehicle Controls.

These are the default Ground Controls.

Game Action Key Binding 1 Key Binding 2
Forward W
Backward S
Turn Left A Left Arrow
Turn Right D Right Arrow
Brake Space
Horn F

Air Controls

These controls are used for air vehicles only. Air vehicles use this control set along with Vehicle Controls.

These are the default Air Controls.

Game Action Key Binding 1 Key Binding 2
Flight Elevate E
Flight Lower C
Forward W
Backward S
Strafe Left A Left Arrow
Strafe Right D Right Arrow
Flight Afterburners Space

BFR Controls

These controls are used only for BFR's. BFR's do not use the Vehicle Control set and instead rely only on this control set to control the BFR's.

These are the default BFR Controls.

a BFR which uses the BFR Keymapping.
, a BFR which uses the BFR Keymapping.

Game Action Key Binding 1 Key Binding 2
Forward W
Backward S
Turn Left A Left Arrow
Turn Right D Right Arrow
Strafe Left Q
Strafe Right E
Autorun `
Flight Elevate Space
Toggle Crouch C
Bail Vehicle Alt + G
Reset Controls Alt + R
Select Primary Weapon 1
Select Secondary Weapon 2

Vehicle HUD Elements

When a player is inside of a vehicle, some new HUD Elements show up. The Vehicle Armor Status icon defaults in the lower left hand corner and shows up as an icon which represents your vehicle. This slowly turns from green to red as your vehicle sustains damage. Alternately, this can be turned into a simpler bar which becomes part of the bottom toolbar on the HUD. With BFR's, the icon also gives the player a status on certain BFR subsystems, denoting their damage through colors, either green, yellow, or red.

BFR's and vehicles who had their shield generators charged from an Amp Station's benefits have a blue ring around their vehicle icon to show shield strength. Also, at the same time, there is a blue bar at the bottom of the HUD on the toolbar to denote shield strength as well.

After an Advanced Nanite Transport has gone to a warpgate and gathered NTU's, a gray bar which reads "NTU Level" shows up on the bottom toolbar. This denotes how many NTU's are stored on the ANT that are ready to be transferred to an NTU Silo at a facility. Also, the Mosquito , Reaver, Vulture, Galaxy , Phantasm, and Lodestar all have Afterburners, which is denoted on the HUD by a green bar which reads "Afterburners".

Gunner and Passenger Spots

Most vehicles in PlanetSide are not solo vehicles; rather, they have gunner and passenger slots to make them more teamwork-oriented. In any vehicle, if the driver or any of the gunners scores a kill, the driver and the gunners in the vehicle are also awarded Experience. Also, a gunner or a passenger can always bail from a vehicle, while a driver may not necessarily be able to.

Gunner Slots

Gunner slots on a vehicle are denoted by a yellow circle around a Pistol symbol. The owner of the vehicle can set who can get into a gunner position using the Vehicle Management Pane. He can set the privacy to a number of levels, including Empire, Squad, and Locked. All types of Armor, besides MAX armor can get into a gunner slot, regardless of the vehicle.

Gunners are the main way a vehicle gets kills. While the Driver is the most important slot, generally a driver's weapons, if he has any at all, are weaker than a gunner's weapons. Thus, it is important for the gunner and the driver to coordinate to get the most kills. Also, many of the best driver/gunner combinations use a Voice Over IP program such as Teamspeak or Ventrilo.

Merits Through Gunning

By gunning for a vehicle, a player can get certain merits. These merits are as follows:

troop transport.
troop transport.

Passenger Slots

Other vehicles operate as transport vehicles, and have passenger slots. These spots on a vehicle are denoted by a yellow circle with a chair inside it. Any armor besides MAX Armor can climb into passenger slots and go for a ride. For new characters, this is probably the easiest way to travel, as many new characters do not have the certification points required to acquire a vehicle yet.

MAX Passenger Slots

The Leviathan, Juggernaut,Vindicator, and Galaxy have two positions which can be occupied by players wearing MAX Armor. Players wearing a Infiltration Suit, Standard Exo-Suit, Agile Exo-Suit, or a Reinforced Exo-Suit may not utilze these spots on a vehicle. These slots are denoted by a yellow circle with a MAX Icon in the middle.

Vehicle Bay

Both the Galaxy and the Lodestar have a vehicle bay which can transport smaller ground vehicles in the air. The Galaxy has a much smaller vehicle bay and can therefore only transport certain vehicles. These vehicles are:

A Lodestar can carry any ground vehicle, including BFRs.

Note: For a Router to enter a Lodestar, it must strafe into the Lodestar sideways.

See Also