In Titanfall, many generations of humanity live in the deepest reaches of explored space. This vast region is known as the Frontier. It contains many well-known and inhabited solar systems, but many more worlds remain uncharted. Most people will never travel this far away from normal civilization, the Core Systems closer to Earth. But for pioneers, explorers, mercenaries, outlaws, and soldiers, the Frontier offers both adventure and opportunity.
Planetary systems in the Frontier are separated by distances that can normally be traversed within days to weeks, by ships capable of making a series of “jumps” through space. Each jump is separated by a recharging period during which only slow speed travel is possible…with hopes for no harassment by the IMC or the many bandit groups in the Frontier.
Many systems within the Frontier were discovered and settled by the IMC and its various subsidiary branches. There were many conflicting economic, military, industrial, and political motivations behind the settlement programs.
One major influence on the Frontier was the IMC Servicemen’s Readjustment Act (a.k.a. the IMC’s so-called “G.I. Bill”). This was awarded to veterans of IMC-backed military campaigns in the Core Systems of human civilization. This gave veterans various benefits: loans to start businesses and farms on the Frontier, low-cost mortgages, and guaranteed property rights on Frontier worlds to start new lives. Therefore, many homesteaders arriving at the Frontier still have combat skills from their time in the service, and know how to handle firearms and Titans.
In the Frontier, most systems with a naturally occurring Earth-like planet have only one such planet—mass and distance from the local star(s) are usually the critical factors. The rest of the planets within such a system are usually not suitable for immediate habitation. In some cases, a planet can be altered through 60-100 years of terraforming to give it the breathable atmosphere necessary for unassisted human survival.
The earliest colonized systems were selected for their suitability for human habitation, possessing at least one Earth-like world (not too hot, not too cold, and capable of sustaining human life). Some of the criteria were: a breathable or terraformable atmosphere, safe geological and cosmic conditions, and roughly 1g of gravity. While habitable planets do exist throughout known space, the systems containing them are rarely clustered near each other. The Frontier is quite unusual in this regard, and how this came to be remains a mystery.
Jump Drive Technology
A Jump Drive allows a ship to travel very long distances in the blink of an eye. Between jumps, a ship is vulnerable to attack as it plods along using basic thrusters while the Jump Drive recharges. Recharging can take anywhere from a few seconds to several days, depending on the size of the ship and the distance of the jump. The drives require a specially refined fuel in order to recharge, and on long series of jumps, there is a real danger of being stranded without fuel, if the ship does not end up within range of a refueling ship or station. The most famous station is the IMC’s port of Demeter, which lies on the only jump route between the Core Systems and the Frontier.