Client Help

First and most importantly, thank you for downloading Galactic Arms Race. To those of you who've been waiting in anticipation for GAR's release, we hope the final product meets your expectations. In general, we sincerely hope you enjoy playing Galactic Arms Race as much as we enjoyed making and testing it. GAR is a unique experience in which the game continually invents its own weapons, which you can find within the GAR galaxy.

As its creators, our goal with Galactic Arms Race is to demonstrate the new possibilities that automatic content generation opens up for gaming. We've all put a lot of thought and care into the development of GAR, and we hope you'll agree that the fruits of our efforts have paid off. Remember that "the best defense is a good isotope!"

Main Menu

From the main menu, you may select from among several options:
  • Introduction: Provides background information and basic game instructions for Galactic Arms Race.
  • Single Player: Launches the single player version of Galactic Arms Race.
  • Multi Player: Opens the multiplayer menu. From here you can connect to one of several hosted GAR servers and play online.
  • Options: Opens the options menu, where you can customize your name in Single Player mode and the resolution of the game window. If your graphics card supports it, we recommend turning on the "Bloom Effect" for an enhanced gameplay experience. Note that not all graphics cards support this option.
  • Credits: Displays the credits acknowledging the creators and developers of GAR.
  • Exit: Closes Galactic Arms Race.
  • Versions and Updates: Note that GAR's version number is displayed in the lower-right corner of the main menu screen. Multiplayer servers will notify you if you need an update. You must have the latest version of GAR to connect to the official multiplayer servers.

Connecting to GAR's multiplayer servers is very simple:
  • Click the Refresh Server List button to pull up a list of available GAR servers.
  • Click the button for the desired available server. You're ready to play GAR online!
Note that you may scroll through the list of available servers with the up and down arrow keys. Anyone may host a GAR server by downloading the GAR Server software; the new server will then be automatically added to the list of available servers when running.

If this is your first time connecting to a multiplayer server, the server will create your account using the user name and password you entered. The next time someone attempts to log in to the server with that user name, it will check for the password entered upon the account's creation. This is how it remembers all of your in-game information!

Chat Commands

Here are some useful commands that are entered into the chat window:
  • "/invite playerName" or "/i playername": Invites a player to form a Squadron with you. You cannot hurt other players in the same squadron.
  • "/leave" or "/l": Leaves your current squadron.
  • "/squad" or "/s": Sends a message only to those in your squadron.
  • GAR's Options menu allows you to customize your game experience in a few different ways.
  • Sound Effect Volume: Controls volume of sound effects.
  • Music Volume: Controls volume of in-game music.
  • Bloom Effect: Creates a bloom effect that improves the quality of in-game graphics. This may be turned on or off and is recommended for systems with fast GPUs only.
  • Screen Resolution Options: Select the option that best matches your monitor's screen resolution.
  • Fullscreen: Toggles fullscreen mode for Galactic Arms Race on or off. If fullscreen mode is on, make sure that the screen resolution is set to the fullscreen resolution of your monitor.

Most controls are configurable from the in-game options menu. Defaults are listed below:
  • W: Move forward.
  • A: Strafe left.
  • S: Move backward.
  • D: Strafe right.
  • Q: Rotate left.
  • E: Rotate right.
  • F: Launch Warhead.
  • Space Bar: Teleport. Hold and release to teleport farther.
  • G: Toggle grid display on/off.
  • Enter: Open/send a chat message. Only available in multiplayer.
  • 1: Choose weapon in slot 1.
  • 2: Choose weapon in slot 2.
  • 3: Choose weapon in slot 3.
  • L-Mouse: Fire weapon / open sub-menu / choose weapon.
  • R-Mouse: Target object / interact with guards and stations.
  • R-Mouse: Target object / interact with guards and stations.
  • Scroll Wheel: Switch weapon.
In-Game Menus

An assortment of sub-menus (represented by small icons) are available during gameplay. From left to right, they are as follows:
  • Ship Menu: Displays vital information and statistics about you and your ship. Here you can see your experience, credits, kills, and other information.
  • Isotope Menu: Displays vital information about your weapons (a.k.a. neuralium isotopes). Here you can see how your weapons have evolved from previous ones you or another player may own or have owned in the past.
  • Star Map: Displays the map of the Galactic Arms Race galaxy. Here you can see which system you are in and how to get to other systems. In Multi Player mode, you can also see which systems other players are in.
  • Exit Menu: Allows you to exit to GAR's main menu or directly to your Windows desktop. In Multi Player mode, there is a 5 second delay before the game session closes. In Multi Player mode, in the exit menu you can see the stats of the top players currently online.
  • Help Menu: A reference and menu to change controls.
  • Music: Toggles background music on or off.
  • Achievements: Check your Steam Achievements earned.
  • Mission Menu: Displays your current mission and objectives.
Missions and Rank
  • Missions. The missions you receive from the start of the game are designed to help you become familiar with all of GAR's features and interfaces. The Mission menu can be accessed by clicking the right-most sub-menu button. Be sure to complete them all from start to finish; you will quickly become a master of the Galactic Arms Race!
  • Rank: Your rank determines your max level and what systems you are eligible to enter. Earn rank by completing Missions.

The following are some entities and objects you will interact with as you explore the galaxy.

  • Neuralium Isotopes: The main reason you became a gunship pilot in the first place. Recent studies found that these newly-discovered substances make really powerful and diverse particle weapons. Some scientists even suggest that weapons created by these isotopes can evolve! In a quest for power and glory, you are encouraged to seize neuralium isotopes from hostile alien and pirate stations. Your eagerness will therefore dictate your victory in the Galactic Arms Race!
  • Guards: Because there needs to be some order in the vast depths of space! These powerful NPCs protect the few civilized sectors that exist within each system. If your ship's defenses are stripped and the enemy is in hot pursuit, you can take comfort knowing they've got your back!
  • Stations: These massive structures serve as bases of operation for both friend and enemy alike. Friendly stations provide you with a variety of services to make your career as a gunship pilot a long and prosperous one (right click on friendly stations). These services include the following.
  • Buy Ships: Got more credits than you know what to do with? Buy yourself a new ship here! As you venture into harsher star systems, better ships will become available to you. You can also buy drones.
  • Autonomous Drone: At level 100 you may purchase a drone that fights for your ship. The drone weapon is powered by your currently active weapon. The drone fires directly at where your mouse is pointed.
  • Install Mods: As your pilot level increases, you'll be able to outfit your ship with helpful modifications here.
  • Scrap Gun: Got an isotope that you really don't like? Strapped for credits? Choose the unwanted isotope and click Scrap Gun to sell it! The pawned isotope's weapon slot will have a basic isotope installed in its place.
  • Repair Ship: If your ship is heavily damaged due to an intense dogfight, you can decrease your downtime for a small fee and have your ship fully repaired! The cost of these repairs is proportional to the amount of damage you've taken, but it's much cheaper than replacing your entire ship.
  • Weapon Lab: By Salvaging neuralium from unwanted Isotopes, you can attempt to modify your weapons. (When you right-click on a neuralium isotope that dropped into the world, you have the choice to "salvage" it to accumulate salvaged isotope points that are spent in the Weapon Lab.) Access the Weapon Lab at any friendly station. At the lab, you can change the settings of parts of the neuralium that powers your gun. Note that every neuralium isotope is unique and essentially a "Black Box." Thus mutating weapons is more of an art than a science. The graph will give you some idea of what changes will occur with the following labels: "R G B": red, green, blue, "Vx Vz": velocity to the side and velocity forward, "Px Pz" position in relation to where the weapon was fired, "Distance": distance from where the weapon was fired.
  • Jump Gates: In reality, star systems in Galactic Arms Race are light years away from each other. Thankfully, space travel has been mastered to the point that jump gates now exist. Jump gates can usually be found at the edge of each star system; they will instantly transport you to other star systems, which you can see on your Star Map.
  • Isotope Polarity: By right-clicking a weapon slot you can reverse the isotope polarity and thus reverse the weapon's primary direction of fire. This is useful when you find an amazing isotope that just happens to fire in the opposite direction you would like.
  • Aliens: Little green guys and other specimens. Whatever you want to think of them as, they're not human like you are. More importantly, they're hostile. You'll encounter tons of these buggers out in open space, and it's your job as a gunship pilot to clear them out.
  • Pirates: Put simply, pirates are humans gone bad. Whether in rebellion against the ways of their human brethren or simply in pursuit of their own personal gain, pirates are guaranteed to be hostile targets. For the sake of your own survival, you must see to their destruction as well.
  • Geonoids: Strange hostile creatures made seemingly out of pure energy crystals. Beware of their deadly smart warheads.
  • Space Blobs: These mysterious creatures have only recently appeared in charted star systems. To this day no one knows where they come from, but they are assumed to be non-intelligent. Regardless, Space Blobs are indescribably powerful and leave only destruction in their wake wherever they appear. Only the bravest gunship pilots would dare try to take down one of these monsters. However, with great risk comes great reward; Space Blobs are known to be made of a substance that makes for the production of powerful isotopes.

Other Useful Information

Here's some other information you may find useful during your Galactic Arms Race experience:

  • Teleportation: Modern gunships all come equipped with technology that allows them to teleport a short distance. By pressing the Space Bar, your teleporter will charge up. Release the space bar to teleport. Teleportation systems consume a lot of energy, however, and must cool down before they can be used again. Ships can be modified to increase the effective range of their teleportation systems or decrease the amount of time it takes for the system to cool down.
  • Neuralium Warheads: Collect neuralium by salvaging unwanted Isotopes to fuel your Warhead Launcher. It fires a devastating area effect warhead which must be used strategically due to its long cooldown.
  • Ship Mods: Ship modifications come in many varieties. Some modifications can improve the strength of your ship's defenses, while others may increase the rate at which your defenses replenish themselves. Modifications can also be made to improve your gunship's weaponry or to improve its teleportation capabilities. Each of your ship's systems has a lot of capacity for improvement, but it has been found to be impossible to upgrade a ship to its total maximum potential. Fortunately, removing ship modifications is a very simple process. This means that you may refund all of your modification points at any friendly station, at any time, free of charge! Feel free to experiment with different customization settings and tweak your gunship to your liking!
  • Ship Items: Collect items dropped by enemies to upgrade your ship. Salvage unwanted items for credits.


Playing Galactic Arms Race online carries all the excitement of single player GAR with multiple human players! There are no complicated new features that come with online play, but pressing the Enter key allows you to type chat messages to everyone else in the server. Now you can communicate with your friends and allies and plan out your neuralium excursions!

Online play also features Player-versus-Player (PvP) capability, where the Arms Race in GAR truly comes into play! A special system called The Arena is reserved exclusively for players to duke it out for galactic supremacy. To encourage both cooperative and competitive behavior, every star system designed for pilots of level 40 or greater is designated as a PvP system where friendly fire is always on! Conflict is not necessary in these systems, but it gives exploration an exciting new edge.

One other important feature is the ability to join a Squadron. Players in the same Squadrom cannot hurt each other with their weapons. As noted above, you can form Squadrons with "/invite playerName" or "/i playername" to invites a player to form a Squadron with you. Typing "/leave" or "/l" abandons your current Squadron.

The Arena: Every 15 minutes there is sanctioned combat in the Arena system. There is a 5 minute intermission between each arena combat event. You can see the arena score of all players by pressing "Esc" to bring up the menu.