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capi3101

Action Groups

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Hey all.

The topic's action groups: what can you do with them and how do you go about assigning them in the VAB? I already know you can assign their activation to the number keys. What all do you guys use them for? Mainly just fishing for ideas here.

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You can basically control a lot of parts. I mostly use them for deploying antennas, solar panels, toggling engines and stuff where using the menu is too cumbersome or slow. To assign them, just go to the action groups tab (Top centre, a gear I think) and click on the part you want to assign, and the group you want to assign it to. Hope that helped.

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They're also useful for grouping several actions when switching between modes, like going from orbital ops to docking, where you might want to 1. open the docking adapter, 2. switch on the floodlamps, 3. shut down the main engine and lock the gimbal, 4. activate the RCS system.

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I use them a lot. I always assign:

3 to the solar panels

4 to the communication devices

5 to toggle the docking port

6 to shutdown the main engine

9 to the escape tower procedure

0 to cut of the escape tower once I'm in orbit

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It's also the only way to control more than one engine type separately, such as shutting off jets while leaving the rocket engines running on a spaceplane.

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Alright - so how do you set them up?

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In the VAB, you are by default working under the blue button at the top of the screen labeled "parts." Click on the other one labeled "action groups," then select one of the numerical tabs on panel that appears on the left. Click on some parts you want to control with that number key, and up will come some part-specific options such as toggle on/off or deploy.

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For big vessels built in space, intended to hold LOTS of fuel and with a drive stage, I use action groups to undock multiple ports at once. Just like staging, but unfortunately with no kick to get the detached part off. I should throw in some sepratrons I guess. When I'm playing with Kethane, I keep a group for deploying drills, toggling the converter, and unleashing my massive, throbbing solar panels.

I guess it's nice for toggling stuff like ladders when you have a bunch (tough to click the little bays) but lights and landing gear already come with hotkeys.

I would love action groups to enable/disable fuel tanks themselves. Sometimes I want to carry a big fuel tank into orbit but only need a really small amount of fuel left in it for orbital adjustments/docking. So I let it drain into the lower stages to make my payload lighter. But since I have to disable Oxidizer and LiquidFuel with a mouse click each, I'll end up with some unusable fuel (which I also can't dump). I'm sure I could also think of ways to quickly redirect fuel flow through external fuel lines using action groups.

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Action groups are handy for deploying solar panels IMO, though that might just be because I'm too lazy to click on each panel separately. :P Though I do find them very useful for launch escape systems, et cetera...

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Thanks, y'all; you've definitely answered all my questions here. My big issue was figuring out if I could use action groups to activate/deactivate docking ports; sounds like that's a big "yes".

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I saw a mod on spaceport before the forum crash who let you create and modify action groups in flight. Anybody know about this?

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Action groups are a great idea but personally I feel two important possibilities are missing:

- possibility to add a delay between actions in the same group

- possibility to change the order of actions within a single group

I submitted a feature request through the site as well, hopefully Squad finds it a good enough idea to be worth their time :)

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Another great action group to edit is the "brakes", remove all wheels forward of the COM to greatly reduce the odds of flipping over.

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