Here Is the Scythe’s Visual Tell for Reverse-Thrusting

Scythe pilots often have the problem that because their vertical thrusters don’t flip down, they can’t exactly tell when to initiate the reverse-thrust maneuver. We know of another helpful visual tell.


Scythe It Up!The Scythe is a special case when it comes to reverse maneuvering. Its vertical thrusters are immovable. In other words, they don’t flip into a vertical position when you are about to switch to hover mode like it is the case with the Reaver or the Mosquito.

As such, Scythe pilots are not able to tell when exactly to transition into reverse maneuvering merely by checking the position the vertical thrusters are in. That is no reason to despair, though, as there is another visual tell for the Scythe.

Contrails! Regardless of your graphics settings, your Scythe produces contrails from its wings when in flight mode, and none whatsoever when in hover mode. Let’s have a look at the following screenshots. You can’t miss it, the contrails I am talking about are seen as a white streak against the sky.

Contrails Example

The bright white arrows highlight the contrails created by the Scythe

Ergo, as a rule of thumb for Scythe pilots, whenever you cut your forward momentum and the contrails from your wings cease to appear, you are good to start reverse maneuvering and jam your afterburner.

To further illustrate that, here is a pair of screenshots to round this short tutorial off:

Contrails 2

1: The Scythe is in the process of slowing down. Since the contrails are still visible, the aircraft hasn’t yet reached the point where transitioning into reverse-thrusting is advised. 2: The contrails from the Scythe’s wings are in stage of slowly disappearing. Now is the truly safe moment to engage the afterburner in order to start thrusting in reverse.

For more on reverse maneuvering, I’d like to refer you to my extensive and further revised article Mastering the Reverse-Thrust Maneuvers.


5 thoughts on “Here Is the Scythe’s Visual Tell for Reverse-Thrusting

    • I get what you’re implying. Of course, ideally, in a one-on-one dogfight, never. You want to stay as much in first-person view and thereby on-target as possible, and, usually, if you’re over open terrain, it’s never necessary to switch perspectives in such a dogfight.

      However, as you know, there are advantages to oscillate back and fro between first-person view and third-person view and everyone does it. One occasionally has to check up on one’s thrusters/contrails, positioning, surroundings (multiple enemies), even in dogfights when you’re fighting in more cramped space, for instance. When you aren’t in a dogfight at all third-person view is usually the go-to for scouting (e.g. at maximum altitude) even if alone for the more distinct sound effects you’re getting in third person view and which are so important for singling out threats.

      These are only a few examples. All that, however, doesn’t mean that you have to spend the whole maneuver in third-person view. Quite the contrary.

    • When you learn when your ESF switches into hover-mode, third person is no longer required, however you should note that in order to learn that you actually need to know when it happens.

    • If you put lots of hours into practicing reverse-thrusting in first-person view in VR Training, you’ll be good. I wouldn’t hold my breath for an in-cockpit indicator of that kind.

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