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Controlling the Character

Space Engineers - Alpha Tutorial 10/2013

All players start a new game as an Astronaut character equipped with a jetpack.


The game has two view options available: first and third person view. The player can toggle between these two views using the “V” key (default key binding). The first-person view displays from the perspective of the astronaut character. While the third-person view allows the player to zoom-in, zoom-out and rotate the camera in any direction around the character. The game begins in third-person view.


The astronaut has two movement modes: walking (on foot) and flying (with jetpack). While on foot the player can walk, sprint, crouch, and jump. While using the jetpack, the player can move and roll in any direction. Using the jetpack consumes hydrogen, which can be replenished automatically by carrying hydrogen bottles in your character's inventory or by accessing a medical room that is attached to an oxygen generator or hydrogen tank via the conveyor network.


The astronaut is also equipped with headlights in the front of suit which act as a flashlight for the player. Currently, using the headlights does not consume any resources either.


At any time, the player can open the Toolbar Config, which allows them to select Tools and Blocks and either drag them to Toolbar or right-click on them, to be equipped using the appropriate hot key.

Piloting Spacecraft

Cockpit view of Space Craft

The controls for flying a ship are the same as those for controlling the player’s jetpack. First person (cockpit) or third person (extravehicular) views are available while piloting spacecraft. In third person view, you can zoom-in, zoom-out, and rotate camera around the space craft. Only small ships will have first person perspective available. The larger ships will be locked into the third person perspective, as they do not necessarily need a "cockpit”. Instead, they are controlled using a computer screen from a control station.

The ship can have headlights installed, like that of the astronaut character. They can be switched on or off using the “L” key (default key binding).

Inertia Dampeners

Inertia dampeners allow the ship to automatically stop its motion when no input is received. Turning off dampeners allows you to fly without being slowed down from the automatic thruster balance. The indication in lower left corner displays the dampener’s current status.

Default Input bindings

Located in the game's setting menu, the player can change the keys that control their character. The game can be controlled either by keyboard & mouse, joysticks, or an Xbox One controller.

Current controls are displayed in-game by pressing the help key F1. Not all controls can be changed using the in-game options.

Forward W
Backward S
Strafe left A
Strafe right D
Rotate left
Rotate right
Rotate up
Rotate down
Roll left (ship / jetpack) Q
Roll right (ship / jetpack) E
Hold to sprint ⇧ Shift
Toggle walk Caps Lock
Up / Jump Space
Down / Crouch C
Systems / Interactions
Use tool / Fire weapon LMB
Secondary mode RMB
Use / Interact F
Helmet J
Jetpack on/off X
Inertia dampeners on / off Z
Enable relative dampening Ctrl+Z
Broadcasting O
Power switch on / off Y
Lights on / off L
Voice chat U
Chat screen ↵ Enter
Terminal / Inventory K
Inventory I
Respawn ← Backspace
Block placement
Toolbar config G
Rotate block vertical + Page Down
Rotate block vertical - Delete
Rotate block horizontal + Home
Rotate block horizontal - End
Rotate block roll + Insert
Rotate block roll - Page Up
Repaint block MMB
Reset orientation T
Toggle symmetry N
Symmetry setup M
Cycle placement modes B
Build Planner MMB
Cube size toggle button R
Next toolbar Period
Previous toolbar Comma
Next toolbar item
Previous toolbar item
Equip item from slot 1 1
Equip item from slot 2 2
Equip item from slot 3 3
Equip item from slot 4 4
Equip item from slot 5 5
Equip item from slot 6 6
Equip item from slot 7 7
Equip item from slot 8 8
Equip item from slot 9 9
Unequip 0 or Tilde
Prev. color or camera [
Next color or camera ]
Scenario settings U
Landing gear P
Open voxel hand settings K
Open control menu Minus
Pause game Pause
Console Tilde
Help F1
Open Contract screen Colon
View / Camera
Player control F6
Delta spectator F7
Free spectator F8
Static spectator F9
First-person / Third-person V
Hold to look around Alt
Zoom in third-person mode Alt+Mouse wheel
Screenshot F4
Hud on / off ↹ Tab
Toggle signal mode H
Open blueprint screen F10
Open spawn screen ⇧ Shift+F10
Open admin screen Alt+F10
Cycle performance statistics ⇧ Shift+F11
Open debug draw Alt+F11
Quick Load F5
Quick Save ⇧ Shift+F5
Toggle statistics Ctrl+H
Show players (multiplayer) F3
Grids and Blueprints
Create/manage blueprints Ctrl+B
Create blueprint detached Ctrl+⇧ Shift+B
Create blueprint attached Ctrl+Alt+B
Change block variants Mouse wheel
Move pasted object Ctrl+Mouse wheel
Copy object Ctrl+C
Copy object detached Ctrl+⇧ Shift+C
Copy object attached Ctrl+Alt+C
Paste object Ctrl+V
Cut object Ctrl+X
Delete object Ctrl+Delete
Export model Ctrl+Alt+E
Color Picker
Color picker P
Pick color from cube into slot ⇧ Shift+P
Color block MMB
Medium color brush Ctrl+MMB
Large color brush ⇧ Shift+MMB
Color whole grid Ctrl+⇧ Shift+MMB
Voxel Hands
Open voxel hand settings H
Next voxel material [
Previous voxel material ]
Move character to spectator Ctrl+Space
Changes spectator speed ⇧ Shift+Mouse wheel
Build Planner
Withdraw MMB
Withdraw and keep Alt+Ctrl+MMB
Withdraw x10 and keep Ctrl+MMB
Put to production ⇧ Shift+MMB
Put x10 to production ⇧ Shift+Ctrl+MMB
Deposit all Alt+MMB

Chat Commands

Chat commands are case-sensitive!


Saves the game. Usage: '/save' or '/save <new name>'
Stops the server. Usage: '/stop'
Switches you to Faction chat channel.
Switches you to Global chat channel.
Switches you to Whisper chat channel with specific player. Usage: '/w <playerName>'. Surround the player name with quotation marks ("player name with spaces") if it contains spaces.
Adds a new GPS point from your current position. Add 'share' to share with everyone, or 'faction' to share with your faction. Anything other than 'share' or 'faction' will be regarded as name and new gps will be named in such way.
Shows help.
Turns timestamp for chat 'on' or 'off'. Usage: '/timestamp <state>' where <state> can be 'on' or 'off'.
Creates a random weather at your camera's postion.
Creates a lightning bolt to what you're looking at.
Gets or sets weather at your current position. Add a weather name to set weather.
Lists all available weathers.


Play emote Facepalm
Play emote Thumbs Up
Play emote Victory
Play emote Wave


Play emote Angry
Play emote Assist come
Play emote Assist end
Play emote Dance
Play emote Point Aggressive
Play emote Point Back
Play emote Point Down
Play emote Point Forward
Play emote Point Left
Play emote Point Right


Play emote Cold
Play emote CheckWrist


Play emote Charge
Play emote Come here baby
Play emote Dance disco 1
Play emote Dance disco 2
Play emote Looking around
Play emote Stretching
Play emote Whatever
Play emote Yelling


Play emote Go Clang yourself
Play emote Drunk