How to dock

Its great being able to fly in space, but you will also need to know how to land/dock on stations/outposts. Unfortunately its not an easy process and something you will need to learn at the start of the game. However just after exiting super-cruise you will find yourself near a station/outpost. So now we need permission to land. To do this bring up the contact panel (at the bottom left, or by pressing 1), then select the tab contacts, then scroll down to the station/outpost name then select it - after-which you should see a little menu;

Request docking permission

Hopefully you will be given permission but if not just wait a couple of seconds and try again - sometimes stations/outpost get busy.

With permission given, you will be told to proceed to a certain landing-bay, and given a timer (around 10mins);

Proceed to landing-bay

Landing on stations

If we are landing on a station (a big structure), we first need to align ourselves with the station's door - the large blue rectangle. This can be a pain to find sometimes, however just remember that the door usually faces towards the planet. If the station is of the polyhedron style (the ones which look like a giant dice), the door direction is marked with a arrow, as shown below:

Polyhedron station landing door direction

This is what the station door looks like:

Align with station-door

Now throttle up, and head though the blue force-field (these force-fields keep the oxygen inside the station). Once pass the force-fields, you will see landing-pads marked with various numbers, like so;

Landing pads

So now its time to find our pad. So spin your ship around and look for the correct numbered pad. When found you it, you will need to fly towards it (keeping an eye on your speed and other ships). I suggest never using boost inside the station - it never ends well.

When you are close to it, the radar will change into small map showing where you are relative to the pad. I suggest at this time you deploy your landing gear (before trying to land). Ideally you want to be just above the centre then lower onto the platform. Align yourself with the middle (the docking circles will turn blue), then lower yourself down. You want to facing more or less north.

Aligning our ship to the landing-pad

If everything is okay, you should hear Docking successful.

Here is a little video showing how to land on a station;

Landing on an outpost

If you are landing on a outpost, then you dont need to fly through a door just find the landing pad. These are marked the same as stations, with a number on them. Once close enough you will get another small map showing your relative position on the pad. Its the same process of centring yourself, then lowing yourself down onto the pad.