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I purchased a frame shift interdictor to install in my Sidewinder so I could start doing some combat missions. To use it, I needed to associate it with a fire group. I associated it with fire group 2. However, I have no idea what this means or does.

What is a fire group and how do I effectively configure/utilize them?

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It's been awhile since I've played, so I don't recall the specific controls (varies by platform and user configuration anyway, so check your in-game options to be sure) and some of my terminology may be off. But here's the basic concept:

Fire groups are collections of weapons and other triggered devices (such as scanners) that you want to have available together at the same time. Within each fire group, you can assign one or more weapons to each fire control (primary fire or secondary fire).

There are also controls for cycling between your fire groups. As you cycle your fire groups, devices will automatically power up or down according to what is (or is not) assigned to the currently-selected fire group.

For example, in fire group 1 I will have my exploration scanners on the primary trigger and my FSD Interdictor on the secondary. In fire group 2, I'll have my energy weapons on primary and ballistic weapons on secondary.

This helps you to manage power and device controls as you encounter different situations. In the above configuration, I'll have fire group 1 enabled as I first enter a system. This way, after scanning the system for exploration credit, I'm immediately ready to interdict anyone I come across.

After interdiction, I switch to fire group 2 so that my weapons power up. Pull the primary trigger to take shields down with the energy weapons, secondary to rip their hull apart after shields are gone. Meanwhile, my scanners and FSD Interdictor are tucked out of the way but easily accessible for when I jump back into supercruise.

In short, fire groups are what allows you to have all of your essential tools close at hand without unnecessarily draining power or forcing you to spend time micro-managing power and control assignments whenever you want to switch.

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