RadarThe radar displays all ships and planets in relation to your ship. Ships are displayed as dots and planets (and space stations) are displayed as large circles. If a ship or planet is neutral towards you, it appears blue. If it is hostile it appears red. Ships that are targeting you appear as a small red square. The ship that you are targeting has a larger square encompassing it. Click on a ship on the radar to target it.
Change WeaponThis button changes your current secondary weapon. It cycles through all available secondary weapons. If you have no secondary weapons it does nothing.
Your Ship InfoThis box displays the most important information about your ship.
The green Hull/Shields bar shows how much damage your ship has taken. Once the bar is completely gone, your ship will explode (this is a very bad thing). Your ship takes damage to its shields before it takes damage to its hull. Shields are represented by bright green and your hull is represented by dark green. Shields recharge faster than the hull so try to keep your ships damage in the bright green area.
The blue Energy bar shows how much energy your ship has left. Energy is used when you use certain types of weapons. Most primary weapons use energy and some secondary weapons use energy. Keep this in mind when in combat. Once your energy bar is empty, you have to wait for it to recharge again before using your weapons.
The Weapon field show you what your currently selected secondary weapon is. If you have no secondary weapons it will, of course, be empty.
The Ammo field shows you how much ammo your currently selected secondary weapon has left.
Free Cargo is the amount of cargo space your ship has left. For example, if your ship can hold 10 tons of cargo and it is currently carrying 5 tons, then your free cargo is 5.
The System field tells you what star system you are currently in.
The Credits field shows you how many credits you have. Credits are used as money in Jack of All Trades, so you want as many of them as possible.
Closest EnemyThis button targets the closest hostile ship. It is very useful in an intense battle. The A key does the same thing.
Target InfoThe target info box gives important information about the ship that you are targeting.
The Name field gives either the pilot's name or the name of the ship. This helps distinguish different ships of the same class from each other. For example, if you see a fighter with a name starting with Elite, then you know it is more powerful than a typical fighter.
The Ship Class field tells you the name of that particular class of ship. The same class of ship will often be equipped with different weapons or be aligned to different governments. With this in mind, don't assume anything based solely on a ship's class. Look at its name and government as well.
Government tells you which government the ship is part of.
The Target Image shows you an image of the currently targeted ship. This allows you to quickly see what kind of ship you are targeting. It also helps in combat because you see which direction your target is facing even when it is off screen.
The Hull/Shields bar tells you how much damage has been done to the targeted ship. The bright red part of the bar shows how much shields the enemy has left. The dark red part shows how much damage has been done to the hull. Once sufficient damage has been done and the target becomes disabled, the remaining portion of the bar will become grey.
Main MenuThe Main Menu button takes you to the main menu. Pushing the Escape key will do the same thing. From the Main Menu, you can start a new game, continue the current game, load an old game, change options, or quit the game.
Pilot InfoThe Pilot Info button takes you to a screen with all sorts of statistics about your pilot. It tells you how many ships you've blown up, what your accuracy is, what your rating is with the different governments, what stocks you own, what upgrades and weapons your ship has, what cargo you're carrying, and more. You can also access the Awards screen from here which tells you about all the different awards you have collected on your journey.
Mission InfoThe Mission Info button takes you to a screen that displays all your currently active missions. Both regular missions and missions from the storyline are displayed here. You can also cancel regular missions from this screen. If you forgot what the mission is about or where you have to go, you can check out the mission description from this screen.
TransporterThe Transporter button attempts to activate your ship's transporter. This allows you to plunder other ships that are disabled. Simply get close to a disabled ship, select it, and push the transporter button. Clicking on the ship or pressing the T key does the same thing.
Land ShipThe Land Ship button attempts to land your ship on the closest planet or space station. You must be traveling slowly and be close to the planet to land on it. Clicking on the planet or pressing the L key does the same thing.
Quantum SpeedThe Quantum Speed button attempts to send your ship into quantum speed. You must be far away, and pointing away from the system center to initiate quantum speed. Quantum speed allows you to travel to other star systems. Left Shift does the same thing.
Planet NameWhen you are fairly close to a planet or space station, its name will popup on screen. This helps you determine whether or not you want to land there. If the planet is neutral towards you, its name will be surrounded with a blue box. If it is hostile towards you, its name will be surrounded with a red box. This generally means that you will not be able to land. If one of your current missions involves landing on the planet, the box around the planet name will be flashing.
Your ShipThis is the ship that you are controlling. It is in the center of the screen and you should pay careful attention to it.
TargetThe ship that you are targeting is surrounded with a targeting reticle. The reticle is red if the ship is hostile and blue if it is neutral. Generally, the ship you are targeting will be your enemy, but not always. Sometimes you will target ships to find out who they, or to help you keep track of them. To target a different ship, just click on it with the left mouse button. When your target is off-screen, a small line will be placed on the edge of the screen. This line tells you which direction the ship is in - fly towards the line and you should meet up with your target.
Next: Planet Screen