To pilot a mobile suit: How to pilot MS for dummies.

The more I look at cockpits in numerous gundam series, they all look the same with some minor differences.
The more I look at the various switches, buttons and pedals, the more I wonder how each action would move the mobile suit.
G Gundam made piloting a gundam so easy, but I just wonder how you can run with out ramming your face into a wall.

I see two pedals in most cockpits and two handles. Amuro had a targeting system that would drop down over his head to shoot zakus down, but as time goes on in other AUs the targeting system is less common.
If the handles control the arms and petals control the legs…yikes.
I see a gear switcher that Shinn and Kira used in the Cosmic Era…when Kira pushed the Gear Shifter, the Strike rams Miguel’s mobile suit…so is that. rammer command?

Maybe each button has a unarticulated command like video game moves?
But what do you think about this matter of real life mobile suit cockpits and how they can function.

Yeah, maybe they’re configured to the pilot. Damn, in Zeta, Roberto or Apolly (one of them) mention that after a while they’ll be able to move the fingers of their suits instinctivly. Where are the finger controls anyway? The hands? What about the head? Starting from Zeta onward too, the entire cockpit has cameras. best camera system evr. Now the legs? The most wierd part. Char uses his legs to kick. In 0079 they say ‘Legs are just for show’ but Char proved that otherwise. Yes, it seems a bit wierd the cockpits aren’t lined with buttons in a control panel.

Give a pilot a dualshock controller with analog sticks and a a d-pad. He’ll be an ace in no time.

Perhaps the pedals control the legs to an extent and the sticks control the arms. But still, fingers ppl fingers. In F91 it’s mentioned that the weapon grabbing and the like is automated

From what I’ve seen, the two sticks are thruster controls. The farther you push forward the more throttle is applied. Pull left, you go left and vice versa. Now as far as the buttons go, I would assume that’s left up to the pilot to configure. If you notice in the fight of the Stark Jegan vs. Kshatriya, the SJ pilot taps the same button twice then throws the throttle into full. Upon doing this, he purges all his weapons (minus the beam sabers). There’s a lot of assumptions here, but I’m guessing that one button would control the deployment of beam sabers and the MS would have a system capable of being able to predict where the opponents saber would be swinging and could manipulate the suit’s arms to a blocking position. You’re looking at a minimum of four to five buttons on each control stick. So it would conceivably be in the best interest for each pilot to have their own system setup for the controls (ie- incase of hijacking, the pilot wouldn’t be able to just walk away with a new toy very easily).

The pedals I’m assuming would be for flight thrusters (as seen on the Unicorn in Episode 1) in conjunction with the control sticks for fine tuned maneuvering. Put the pedal to the metal, and it’s GTFO time!

Of course this is all theory but I’ve played enough mech simulators (yay Mechwarrior pods and Steel Battalion) to kind of understand basic controls.

Most likely a combination of different controls would activate a certain software program that would do the action then. We can see in SEED for example that both thruster controls have at least 5 buttons per stick and i think 3 pedals. Of course it is possible that some of the buttons control single actions like shooting, locking on. other more straight forward stuff but things like catching or carrying people is just impossible without some much more sophisticated system. So my guess would be that pressing buttons, pushing the thruster and other things activates a macro or something like that to perform a certain action.

pushing buttons flipping switches, adjusting dials, Pulling Levers, stomping pedals, pulling triggers…

Congratulations, You are now a Mobile suit Pilot!

If we are going to be serious about this, I will try my best.

I assume all of the following this would all be speculation from observation… Duh
hell, I work in IT, I never get anything cool like this

All/Most mobile suits have the following :
two Joysticks, that move along a throttle like assembly
two pedals
a Seat
numerous switches
and a Monitor that shows a visual image of what the MS sees with a HUD
(Heads up Display)

Did anyone ever Play steel Battalion? or at least seen it for Xbox? with that sexy 48 button console it came with?

anyway it was some Mech game and it was a bit tricky to figure out, much like the first time you play a flight simulator and you end up inverted and Crashing

But After several times of Trial and error I figured out a loose albeit Basic understanding of piloting both machines
this will come into my theory of both Space and Ground operations
First a Fighter jet has similar controls a joystick, pedals Throttles, and buttons and switches
The Joystick, controls the Pitch(up and down) and the Roll (rotation of the axis) of the aircraft, the pedals control the Yaw (left and right) and the throttle obviously controls the Speed of the aircraft.

There! you are now ready to Fly…
…Into the ground. sure there is more too it but that the basics of piloting a plane
“I always Knew you could fly a plane”
“Fly Yes, Land? No…”

as for a Mobile suit I assume it relies heavily on its operating system it has programmed into it. The two sticks could control both its arms and
the Throttles control the movement of the mobile suit along the X axis when moved in Tandem (that infamaous Heero Yuy take off in Gundam wings second opening)
moving one throttle forward could control the yaw of the Mobile suit.
the Pedals are the same as well pushing down on them could control pitch motion of the mobile suit’s thrusters. (up)
the individual pedals by pressing one down could roll the mobile suit.
as for moving the legs to do them whatever to your bidding( the Char kick) there could be an ALT button on the control sticks so instead of moving the arms it switches control to the legs.
release the switch and the OS takes over and re-balances or re-situates the MS

Makes sense?

as for ground movement:
the Mobile suit has to undergo a modification or upgrade (this is in vis versa in most Gundam series when they go into space their MS gets a Refit)
the balance has to be changed to counteract earths gravity(blah blah blah)
whatever this is about control
The two sticks again would control the arms any number of buttons and could control any number of actions for the hands (without trying to justify it and Act like I know what I’m talking about I’m sticking to standard movement)
moving the two throttles forward (again in the Infamous Heero pose) could control a controlled thruster dash forward (if your MS is equipped to do that)
now moving the thottles individually could control torso movement (Yaw) but the legs would remain facing forward
The pedals could be the same… but different.
there could be an alternate throttle or a clutch or possible a third pedal to initiate forward walking movement
moving them individually could turn the whole suit orientation (left and right movement) true Yaw

Pressing them down in tandem once again could perform a thruster jump and then control sticks could take over and control your decent on where you landed. or whatever…

does this make sense? this is my Idea of how a mobile suit works. again dont eat me alive, Were talking about an Anime Series here.

To answer your question Polis- Yes, I am the proud owner of Steel Battalion!

Here’s some information that’s a little less speculation in regards to UC mobile suits…
In Sentinel (granted, I’m reading an English fan-translation, so it may be off), they detail the controls a bit more. Towards the beginning, they talk about the IMPC; Integrated Movement Propulsion Controls. There are four settings for this system; cruising, space combat, landing, and walking. The pilot switches between modes, and the computer tends to take care of the specifics.
There are learning computers in each mobile suit, and specific movements are ‘taught’ to the machines, and seem to be entered into some database, so, according to Sentinel, “even a rookie pilot could perform difficult maneuvers with ease.” But these maneuvers can all be over-ridden. Therefore there has to be some way to control the specific motions manually.
Keep in mind, these machines exist at least hundreds of years in the future, so at that point, computers would be able to predict necessary movements by using the cameras and internal instruments to automatically decrease power to the thrusters for landing, etc., so this all seems easier to swallow from that mindset.
I agree with Polaris’ guesses about the pedals, etc. They sound pretty likely for the most part, especially when paired with the IMPC system.
(I’ve played Steel Battalion as well…I love the controls, and they seem like they could partially translate over to simplified MS controls.)
Then we get to the complicated parts of bits/funnels, psychoframe activation, and doing the Caramelldansen…but that’s for another post.

The FUNELS…holy crap. The human mind can’t do two tasks at once. Hallejua was able to pull this feat off because he is literally two people sharing a body. That is what it means to be a good super soldier…new types, I believe can do more than one thing at a time. I think fin funnels are either remotely controlled or automatically random.

I asked myself these exact questions the moment I saw Amuro lose all his weapons and just get into a fist fight with Char’s sazabi. In the future if they make a new gundam series they should get into more detail with the piloting controls and stuff. It could be interesting

Considering that in 50 years or so we could actually build a Gundam or at least a mobile suit it would be very interesting to see how they could be controlled. I predict some kind of hand gauntlet control, the two stick approach seems to be a tad lacking.

like whats seen in the Vision of Escaflowne (and its G.O.D. Awful Movie version lol)?

Kinda but hands forward. What I envision is more of a gauntlet that can be engaged and disengaged easily from controlling the hands to press the other switches. If you seen appleseed or the initial cutscene in Starcraft 2 where the guy gets welded into the space marine suit. That kind of control but with more independent action.