Settings Menu

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This menu is accessed by pressing ESC. We detail here the meaning of some of the options available.

You can access the settings menu from the main menu, or when you press the pause button again if you pause the game, or by pressing esc.

Video options

Many things here are self explanatory. Multisampling level and the detail levels of the planet and cities are the most resource intensive features, so if there are performance problems, it's useful experiment with these settings first. Most graphics settings require a game restart to take effect.

Video resolution

Self explanatory. If the resolution you want is not available, then it can be entered manually into the configuration file (see FAQ). Lowering resolution gives smoother game play.


A graphical fine-tuning feature, used to reduce jagged, pixelated contours. It can be quite resource-intensive.


Full screen

Self explanatory.

Compress textures

Enabled by default since 2014-06. This frees up more memory for the graphics card, which is likely what you want, at the expense of compressing them during game start.

Anisotropic Filtering

Samples the texture across multiple mip levels to produce a much clearer texture when viewed at shallow angles. Stops the textures from becoming as blurred however it can come at a heavy performance cost. Disabled by default.

Planet detail

Use a lower setting if you don't have a modern graphics card.

Planet textures


Fractal detail

Higher detail increases load. No surprise there.

City level detail

Determines the size of the rendered cities. Higher details equals more buildings to render.

Display nav tunnel

A navigation aid showing a "tunnel" of squares on the HUD, towards the navigation target.

Settings navtunnel.png

Display speed lines

Space dust while you travel, to get a sense of motion.

Display HUD trails

Draw a trail after ships. A visual aid to show their motion.


Enable Cockpit

An experimental, Work in Progress feature to support 3D cockpits with slight head movement in reaction to ship rotation. Without any interaction currently.

Cockpit screenshot.png


Accessed by clicking the speaker icon, second tab.


Set in game language. See section on Translations for more information if you want to add a new language or improve current translation. Language setting needs a game restart to take effect.

Contol options

Set keyboard and joystick controls.

Overriding settings

Settings found in the config.ini file can be overridden by command line parameters.

pioneer.exe -g -g ScrWidth=800 ScrHeight=600 sets the resolution to 800*600, useful if you switch monitors a lot.

Note that these values are saved in the config.ini if you change any settings in-game.