Hello there. Seeing so many threads about wheels and rovers, full of incomprehension, I decided to write my full guide. Soon it will be finished. Thanks RayvenQ for pinning this thread. Table of contents: I. Intro. II. Basic states about rover exploitation. III. Rover construction hints. IV. Steering schemes. * V. Suspensions parameters. VI. Suspension tuning. * VII. Related bugs and workarounds. VIII. TODO and Changelog. * - sections marked with the star will be updated or complemented soon. Let's begin. I. Introduction. What is a rover? Considering new survival mechanics, the answer for me is clear. It's the cheapest way of moving you and your stuff around. But rovers are good not just as shopping carts. Rovers can be used in many ways, from the named shopping cart, to huge mobile bases. But they need to be well-built and correctly tuned. Here I will try to help you. II. Basic states about rover exploitation. First and the main thing you must consider, when thinking about building a rover: It will be relatively slow. If you want to move fast - build something flying. If you still want a rover - be prepared to use it on speeds below 150km/h (NOT m/s! Converting to m/s it's just 41m/s.). Second thing to consider: SE has larger or MUCH larger scale than our real world. There we build things with wheels at least 1.5m tall, weighting usually more(or MUCH more) than 2 tons. Constructed of bloody Steel Armour Blocks. You still think you'll be able to turn 90 degree on high speed? Third thing to consider: You still can build a decent, funny, complex car. Just don't expect too much from it. Also "It's Alpha", there are still annoying bugs, and rovers are not the exception. The brightest side of rovers: Rover only needs either 1 small reactor, or 1 battery and 1 solar panel. Also it's cheap in all other aspects(until you are building wheeled Wh40k Adeptus Mechanicus structures like I do.) III. Still think you want a rover? This is our way! Here are some hints, that will help you when building it: 1. First is simple. First the wheels - then the body. Never start building a rover from the body. Wheel placing now is tricky thing, you better do it first. Sometimes to replace broken wheel you need to grind down some blocks surrounding a suspension, otherwise wheel will not spawn. 2. Build the rover when your suspension is maximally lowered. Then you'll never hit the body with wheels on bumpy terrain. Leave suspension tuning to the last. 3. Add gyroscopes to your rover. Even a single gyro will make your rover much more stable at speed. Add two, and if your rover is light enough, you will be able to flip it back to wheels easily, if you accidentally roll it over. Or you can add two groups of gyroscopes - one for stability, and the second for flipping your rover back to the wheels. 3a. If you've added some gyros to your rover, add their On/Off option to the toolbar. The con of using a gyro is that gyro makes it bit more difficult to steer with wheels. But with gyros you can carefully steer on high speeds using mouse. Also control your car after a jump, for example. (Though I highly suggest to NOT jump. Leave freestyle farther from SE.) 4. Do not forget to add Air Vent to your cockpit(or conveyor system, if cockpit is connected to it), and to set it to Depressurise: On. That will give you oxygen on Earth. III.A. Building a simplest cargo rover. Recipe: 11 light armor blocks, 4 suspensions with wheels, 1 small reactor, 1 gyro, 1 antenna, 1 air vent, 2 spotlights, 2 med cargo containers, 1 connector. Suspension settings: Pow:10 Fri:15 Dam:20 Str:3.5 Offset:-MAX. Speed limiter: 140 IV. Steering schemes. * Steering concepts: 1. FWS - "Front Wheels Steering" As most of our real world cars steer. Rear wheels locked, front wheels steer. Profits of this steering scheme is that parking and turning manoeuvres are more precise and predictable. Also it gives better stability on high speeds. 2. RWS - "Rear Wheel Steering" Some IRL utility machines do have RWS. As stated for FWS, it's all about percision. With RWS it's much easier to perform, for example, cargo loading operations(forklifts), or any operation happening in front of the vehicle. Though, this scheme is completely incompatible with high speeds - you gonna roll terribru. 3. 4WS - "Four-wheel steering" And again, it's IRL steering scheme. Yes. It's used on some old Mazdas and also a new racing Porsche(if i'm not mistaken). With this scheme front wheels are steering for the full angle, and rear ones steer for just a little, like 5-10 degrees. In SE such scheme will help to utilise bit higher Friction values without rolling. Makes parking and other precise manoeuvres a bit more difficult. 4. AWS - "All-wheel steering" Simple as that. All wheels are steering at full amount. If there are more than 2 axles, than it requires some angle tweaking. I, personally, don't like this scheme much. I use it as option(enabling steering on rear wheels from toolbar) for excessive manoeuvres on low speeds. Also I use it on heavy large grid rovers, cause it sometimes helps to overcome rolling forces. I think it's because high inertia of large grids. On small grid this goes vice versa, increasing possibility of roll. 5. CLS - "Curiosity-Like Steering" Obviously from the name, Rover Curiosity, rolling now on Mars, uses this scheme. It's an optimal scheme for 6x6 or 10x10(or other with odd amount of axles, you little wheel maniac) vehicles, where axles are at equal intervals one from each other. It should be used on such vehicles instead of AWS. 6. APC - "APC-like steering" This one is also IRL, but used only on 6-8 wheeled vehicles. I've seen some 6x6 APC with such scheme, so there's where the name comes from. Wheel formulas: 1. 3-wheeler. Well.. This scheme seems useless to me. Maybe some of you will find a use for it, but I cant. Only an aesthetic. It tends to roll more and it's hard to control with unloaded front wheel. Also it can be built vice versa - 2 wheels in front for steering, 1 propelling wheel in rear. 2. 4x4 FWS - Any real world SUV. Best 4-wheeled scheme for high speed stability. 3. 4x4 4WS - 4. 6x6 FWS Truck-like 5. 6x6 CLS 6. 6x6 APC 7. 8x8 FWS 8. 8x8 AWS 9. 8x8 APC V. Suspension parameters. * Suspension in Space Engineers is not just a fancy block meant to roll rovers and cause butthurt to innocent people. Suspension is multi-purpose engineering part. It can be used in different ways and has different applications. See Space Elevators topic for example. Though, Space Engineers suspension is a simplified and a bit buggy model of the real suspension. It's confirmed by all my experiments. To understand how SE suspension works, you need to understand The main difference between real suspension and SE suspension: Height Offset. Height Offset is a parameter, which allows SE suspension to work identically in both ways - up and down. And thus making suspension a multi-purpose block. Height Offset is just the point(remember that part), where wheel tends to stay. It DOES NOT set the ground clearance. To set ground clearance you must tune the "Strength" value according to your rover's weight. Now the parameters: 1. Power Power parameter sets the amount of torque(in percent) which your wheels have. Simple as that. Too high power will cause burnouts and too bitter acceleration. Too low - and your rover just unable to move. 2. Friction Friction parameter sets the amount of friction(in percent) which your tyres have. Also simple. Too many friction will bring a lot of problems. Really. I suggest to set the friction <30% for all grids and masses. 3. Damping Damping parameter sets the amount of "Damping Force". Damping force is the force that, basically, prevents suspension from changing it's position. That's all. If there's no damping, suspension will oscillate freely. If there's too much damping, only excessive and continuous force applied to a wheel will be able to move suspension significantly. On flat surface like racing circuit you need more damping - the stiffer suspension is, the better. But on off-road you need just enough damping to prevent oscillating. 4. Strength Every suspension has a spring. It pushes wheel down, to the limit. But in SE suspension works both ways. So I will name Strength as a "Spring Force". Strength parameter sets the amount of the named "Spring Force". As always, in percent. Main thing is that it's a "force", pushing suspension to the point we've set with Height Offset value. If Offset is zero, then Spring Force will push the wheel to the center of suspension. If Height Offset is set to it's limit, the Spring Force will push the wheel there. For example, wheel will be pushed down to the ground. Then, Spring Force needs to overcome rover's mass to lift it, right? So ground clearance is dependant only on the amount of Strength the spring has. If Strength is too low, it will be unable to overcome rover's mass and thus lift it above the ground. If force is excessive, wheel will be pressed to it's lower position, and there will be no "suspension travel" downwards. The amount of Strength you need - is just as much as enough to lift the car for 2/3 of overall suspension travel. Thus wheel will be able to travel 1/3 down and 2/3 up. 5. Height Offset As already been said, it's the point to where wheel is pushed. It can be up, or down, or in the middle, or anywhere. Green Line represents possible Height Offset traverse: 6. Suspension Travel Suspension travel is a parameter, that sets the amount of available traverse(in percent), which suspension can travel from Height Offset both ways. Example: Suspension Travel is set to 50%. Red cross - Height Offset value. Yellow line - possible suspension travel. Figure 1: Height offset is ZERO, Figure 2: Heigh Offset is set to lowest limit. 7. Speed Limit It says for yourself. But it's mechanic is not obvious. When you ride down the hill and break speed limit, you will continue accelerating, but only under force of gravity. Wheels will become "unpowered". Thus you'll be able to brake only with a handbrake. [Still needs confirmation] VI. Suspension tuning. * Text guide will come later. And a new video too. VII. Related bugs and workarounds. 1. Settings update bug. If grid is resting on the flat surface, it can become "frozen". Thus changes you made into, for example, Strength will be visible only when you move the rover or apply any physical interaction to it. Changing Height Offset helps to unfreeze grid too. VIII. Guide improvements. TODO: 1. Finish the guide. 2. Add some videos. 3. Draw some schemes. Changelog: 07.12.15 - Added some pictures, explanation. 03.12.15 - Posted the guide.