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Table of Contents
Trade Software Mark III
Sector Trader to Universe Trader
-Help I’ve run out of energy cells
-Help I’m under attack!
-Cargo Bay anomalies
-Do Nav Satellites and Triplex Scanners etc Help?
-How do I Know how much money my Trader is making?
After spending inordinate amounts of time on the X3-Reunion forums at the egosoft website and seeing hundreds of duplicate posts about sector and universe traders I decided to produce the definitive guide to these mysterious and wonderful beasts, in the hope that it helps a few of you guys make better decisions when it comes to kitting, and sending out your hired traders into the world.
This guide is based on X3-Reunion v1.2.01 and so can only be supported for that version.
If you have any comments of feedback, or if I’ve missed anything either PM me on the egosoft website (FyreByrd) or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kieran “FyreByrd” Woodward
Just a few quick definitions so we all know what we are talking about:
- An automated trader that trades in one specific sector
- An automated trader that will trade anywhere in the universe
First things first, If you want a sector or universe trader you’re going to need a ship, and not just any ship but the right ship. Below is a list of ship classes that are “allowed” to be sector/universe traders:
Unfortunately you guys that want the heavily armoured gunship/sector traders (like m6 classes!) are going to be disappointed – it’s just not possible – at the moment!
Now as to advice I would avoid using M4’s and M3’s as sector and universe traders – the reason, very small cargo bays, you would have to do a lot of runs to make your money back and get into the serious profits so it isn’t really worth using them unless you really want/need to. As for the other two I’ll go through them in more detail below.
These generally have a cargo bay of between 1150 and 450 – which compared to the TS class is quite small, but these guys more than make up for it in speed, coming in at between 105 and 186 Therefore they tend to take smaller cargo capacities and make more runs than TS class ships. Unfortunately there is a big bad side to this, no TP class can carry XL cargo (like ore) thus restricting their effectiveness – they are also more expensive than TS ships usually as well.
My recommendation of a good TP class sector trader would be: Toucan Hauler, reasonably fast with a decent cargo bay.
This class is pretty much designed for sector/universe trading, with huge cargo bays, and compared to other ships fairly cheap. Speed however is a concern. TS class ships range in speed from 53 to 124 making them very slow and dull to fly yourself! The upside is in the cargo bay where they range from 3500 to a whopping 14000. So if the TP’s made lots of small runs, the TS makes a few large runs with another plus being that there is no restrictions on type of cargo a TS can carry. In my opinion unless like stated before you have no choice but to use a different class of ship then the only ship you should really use for a sector/universe trader is a TS class
My recommendation would be: Either a Dolphin Super freighter for that 14000 cargo bay or if you wanted something with a bit more speed a Mercury Super freighter
Once you’ve made a decision on your ship and purchased it there are a number of other choices you can make – mainly on your ship upgrades to cargo bay, speed, and rudder. As a rule if I can afford it I immediately “max out” all three. If you don’t as your sector trade works he will occasionally buy upgrades for himself the money for which comes out of your pocket, and it’s a little distracting when 100,000 credits goes missing until you’ve worked out that your sector trader has just doubled his cargo bay!
Trade Software Mark 3
So you’ve bought your ship and maxed out all the upgrades to speed, rudder and cargo bay what now? Well now you have to get the special ingredient Trade software Mark 3, which can be found at the Terracorp HQ in Home of Light (1 south from Argon Prime) or at any Teladi Equipment Dock.
Once this is bought and installed in your sector trader you are ready to go. Park your ship somewhere and press “R” or conversely open up your menu system and navigate to your property list. Once there select your soon to be sector trader. Then select “Command Console”, “Trade” and finally “Sector trader” You should see the universe map, just select which sector you wish to start trading in, and congratulations your new sector trader is away.
Bear in mind you need nothing but compatible ship and trade software Mk3 to begin a sector trader, you start needing more stuff when universe traders appear.
Your new sector trader should be busy trading in various wares by now. Or more likely he is on “Standby.” When sector traders have no trades to make they will just sit there until a certain amount of time passes when they will check the sector again for trading opportunities. As they trade more they gain levels, the higher the level the more intelligent (and less likely to be on “standby” the trader gets.
You can check your sector traders level by going into the ship information screen. In the “pilot” field it will show a random name and then a number in brackets beside it (unless your trader hasn’t gained any levels yet then there will be no number.)
Once your trader has got to level 8 he is available to be changed into a universe trader, and once he has got to level 10 he will no longer advance in levels until you make him a universe trader.
Levelling up your sector trader can be a long drawn out process, some sectors are good, some bad for sector traders, but a good rule of thumb is if they seem to be on standby a lot of the time in one sector move them to another.
What makes a good sector? Some of the best sectors for levelling up sector traders are sectors with two different types of food manufacturing stations and a trading station, if you find sectors like this remember them especially if they have other stations as well. I have also provided a small list of sectors that are especially good for levelling up traders I have tried to give a cross-section of species and also tried to keep them close to the safer core sectors.
• Home of Light
• Rolk’s Drift
• Queen’s Space
• Empire’s Edge
• Rhonkar Clouds
• Teladi Gain
• Tharka’s Sun
Sector Trader to Universe Trader
This is the confusing bit. There are always lots of different ideas on the forums about what you NEED to start universe traders. After many hours of testing and retesting this I believe is the definitive list.
• A level 8 (or higher) sector trading ship
• Trade Software Mark 1 (usually built into TS class ships)
• Trade Software Mark 3 (needed for sector trader anyway)
• Fight Software Mark 1
• Fight Software Mark 2
• 25mj Shield
This is all you need then the universe trader option should light up in your trade commands menu and you can go universe trading. Below is a list of common things you DON’T NEED to start universe trading
• jumpdrive (see below)
• Trade Software Mark 2
• Navigation Software
• A Weapon
• Trading system extension
• Best Buy/Sell Locator
• Triplex scanner
While you could choose to provide these things to your Universe trader they are not essential and some have other consequences (i.e. supplying a trader with a weapon means he’s more likely to fire on your enemies and get into fights rather than running away!)
The jumpdrive and its relationship to universe traders bear special mention. Although you do not NEED a jumpdrive to start a universe trader, when the trader reaches level 12 he will order a jumpdrive (at an increased cost to you.) Therefore many people choose to equip their traders with jumpdrives for them.
Your trader will also buy things for itself – we’ve already mentioned speed upgrades and the like, but the trader will also buy energy cells and fighter drones. The energy cells are to power it’s jumpdrive in case of an emergency, the fighter drones are to distract enemies while it escapes. There is nothing you can do about these two needs, for the most part the Trader deals with it himself.
Just a few final points to make about these wonderful traders…
Help I’ve run out of energy cells
This happens far to often, you will get an incoming message saying one of your ships needs your attention because they have insufficient jump fuel. The easiest thing to do is direct your trader to dock at the closest Solar Power Plant, buy him some more energy cells then set him off Universe trading again
Help I’m under attack!
Another annoying message, your trader (if he has a jumpdrive) will attempt to escape from a hostile encounter. Unfortunately all to often they attempt to jump back to complete their deal two minutes later getting attacked again. The two ways to solve this are: 1) Jump into the hostile sector and clean it up! 2) Reset the universe trader by giving him the command again (this doesn’t effect levels)
Cargo Bay anomalies
If your trader (sector or universe) doesn’t seem to carry a lot of cargo on trips check his cargo bay – if he has anything in there that YOU put in there before making him a sector/universe trader then he will not sell it (therefore it will take up precious cargo space) therefore guide him to a place you can sell it and get rid of it.
Do Nav Satellites and Triplex Scanners etc Help?
Another forum hot topic this one. As far as I have observed in the game having a large range of nav satellites (Advanced or normal) or equipping your traders with scanners, best buy/sell software or anything else not ESSENTIAL doesn’t make much difference. My traders never have these aids, and still make huge amounts of money.
How do I Know how much money my Trader is making?
Set his home base to one of your stations, and he will do all his trading using the money assigned to that station thus allowing you a tight reign on his activities.
Well that’s all I have time for at the moment, get in contact if I’ve got something wrong or I need to add something and I’ll update as and when I can. Hope this helped
Kieran “FyreByrd” Woodward