x3ap early game trading

General discussions about the games by Egosoft including X-BTF, XT, X², X³: Reunion, X³: Terran Conflict and X³: Albion Prelude.

Moderator: Moderators for English X Forum

Post Reply
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu, 12. Jun 08, 21:24

x3ap early game trading

Post by gazdadude » Sat, 15. Jun 19, 18:54

im struggling with early game trading im 3 hours in game time in and cant tell what to trade and were does anyone have any advice im playing vanilla i sold the discoverer on x3ap

User avatar
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed, 9. Jan 19, 11:22

Re: x3ap early game trading

Post by Red-Spot » Sat, 15. Jun 19, 22:41

That is a good one.
I have played 3 AP games now, first 2 didnt get far. Into the 3rd now which is progressing nicely.
Thing that made me pick up TC in the first 2 playthroughs of AP was exactly how the econ felt ... saturated ..

Ore usually is a good starter. It is available everywhere and there are over several 100 factories using it in the AP universe. You'll sell it, but if you can sell it in 2-3 jumps .. in AP I would not risk it without a jumpdrive and some knowledge of the surrounding uni (with sats deployed).

For that reason I tend to hug the disco at start and explore a bit first of all, Argon core, Paranid core, and Boron ring around the Argon core. That will present you with a good base to do business in and at the same time open up the Paranid empire to you. From there it is easy to venture into Teladi/Split space and you open up 2 routes to Light of Heart and surrounding sectors. After that I start trading :)
'Ignoramus et ignorabimus'

Posts: 498
Joined: Fri, 25. Jun 10, 05:12

Re: x3ap early game trading

Post by Fulgrymm » Sun, 16. Jun 19, 07:19

Yeah I'd start over and use the Disco to dance around to groovy music- I mean, fly around the universe to uncover all the stations in each sector, maybe do an odd mission that let's me save up and gain the rep for a Triplex Scanner, to make uncovering stuff in the sector easier. Triplex Scanners can be bought at Boron Equipment Docks, so from Argon Prime, head West as far as you can go, and then head North as far as you can go. You will end up in Kingdom End, which is Boron Home system, there will be a shipyard and equipment dock there.

Posts: 880
Joined: Thu, 21. Sep 06, 11:05

Re: x3ap early game trading

Post by AleksMain » Sun, 16. Jun 19, 11:32

gazdadude wrote:
Sat, 15. Jun 19, 18:54
im struggling with early game trading im 3 hours in game time in and cant tell what to trade and were does anyone have any advice im playing vanilla i sold the discoverer on x3ap
At the beginning I would advice to use goods of Trading station, while it has them, as described below:

AleksMain wrote:
Thu, 2. Aug 18, 13:35

As you know, you have nothing but Paranid TS Demeter Hauler and 9,268 Cr during first moment of poisoned by unfair customers life.

More, some unfriendly paranids can damage my ship in their sector (Preacher's Refuge in my case).

So, first action is to move to boron sector Lucky Planets and start bartering.

No need to be picky, just dock at the Royal Boron Trading Station and resell those items, which Trading Station has to thirsty merchants.

Having more cash, than before, you can resell Ore or Silicon ...
Also you can resell Energy cells, which you can buy in the any Solar Power Plant, for example (prices are can be different, though):

bought 3000 Energy cells per 12 Cr each and sold them to some station, which has less than half of necessary for production Energy cells per 19 Cr each and acquired
3000 * (19-12) Cr = 21000 Cr
per run.

Posts: 17353
Joined: Sat, 23. Apr 05, 21:42

Re: x3ap early game trading

Post by jlehtone » Sun, 16. Jun 19, 12:32

gazdadude wrote:
Sat, 15. Jun 19, 18:54
im struggling with early game trading im 3 hours in game time in and cant tell what to trade and were does anyone have any advice im playing vanilla i sold the discoverer on x3ap
"cant tell what to trade and where"


It is not quite clear (based on your posting history) whether you already know the basics.

Each ware has fixed price range that is "average" +/- something. For example, for ECells it is 16+/- 4, i.e. from 12cr to 20cr, (although you almost never will see the 20cr).

Docks (including Trading Stations) both buy and sell wares, but the price is always the "average".

Factories consume resources and create products. You can sell to Factory wares that it uses as resources. You can buy from Factory its product(s).

ECells are used by all Factories. Bio products are used by Food Factories. Tech Factories require Food, Mineral, and Energy. Docks consume Tech products.

Price at Factory depends on the stock status. If the stock is empty, then the price is at its max end of the range. If stock is full, then the price is at minimum.

You can see the (approximate) stock status of a station without docking into it. You can see the current price, if you have Trading Extensions in your ship. You can see status of stations in remote sectors, if you have any assets (ship, satellite, station) in that remote sector.

Best Buys Locator and Best Selling Price Locator upgrades help finding "best offers in sector", but simply looking at stocks is all you need.
If a Factory is (near) full of product, then you can get lot of that ware cheap.
If a Factory is (almost) out of resource, then you can sell a lot there for high price.

Buy under average and sell over average and you will make profit every time. (Guns you have to sell at average price.)

Disclaimer: I don't do "early trade". I do buy or sell whenever I see opportunity, (but I tend to obtain assets by other means).

As other's have already said, "know what is where" is important. What stations are where and what wares they could stock. Ingame encyclopedia gathers some data about wares that you have seen.

The map is somewhat alive; Factories can vanish and reappear. Stock level of Stations does definitely change over time. However, a Factory will not produce, if it does not have enough primary resources.

Buy ware that has clearly under average price. You will eventually find a place to sell to and will make profit.
Goner Pancake Protector X
Insanity included at no extra charge.
There is no Box. I am the sand.

Moderator (English)
Moderator (English)
Posts: 425
Joined: Fri, 2. Mar 18, 13:13

Re: x3ap early game trading

Post by DrSuperEvil » Sat, 22. Jun 19, 13:12

I would advise parking the discoverer in another sector to get up to date trade information for stations in the sector. I usually start by trading silicon between Herons Nebula and the neighbouring sectors. Once I have enough for a trading system extension and some satellites I place a satellite in each of the supply/demand sectors and swap to the discoverer to explore while remotely trading with the TS. Once I have 500K I get the trade command software mk3 and let the ship autotrade so I can forget about it.

Posts: 1243
Joined: Sun, 20. Jun 10, 14:53

Re: x3ap early game trading

Post by Honved » Mon, 30. Dec 19, 19:23

My first move for the Humble Trader start is generally to see how much Ore the Ore Mines have, and whether or not the missile factory needs it. If any of the Ore Mine product bars are near full, I buy Ore. If the missile factory's Ore resource bar is low, I sell there; if not, I make a beeline to Argon Prime to the south and sell it there somewhere before the stations fill up on Ore. If the Ore mines are low on product, I check the Silicon Mine or else head north to Power Circle to buy E-Cells, which are always in demand somewhere. Once the stations have E-Cells and whatever else they need to run, they'll use up the resources, and then you can sell them more Ore or Silicon. A handful of traders in the area can push the whole region into high gear, creating more opportunities for even more traders.

Selling the Discoverer M5 is a mistake, in my opinion. Once I've sold one load of Ore, Silicon, or E-Cells at a profit, I change over to the Disco and race to the nearest Equipment Dock to buy Trade Extension software. That allows you to send the Mercury TS on remote trade runs while you explore in the M5, and see the actual buying/selling prices instead of judging by the length of the bars. As soon as practical, I add a Mineral Scanner, and take "Scan Asteroids" missions along the way. If you can get to the Argon Prime Equipment Dock before the sell off the starting Impulse Beam Emitters, you can add 2 to the Disco and take combat missions as well, otherwise it will be difficult to find any for sale in that region of Argon space. At low "Fight" levels, the opposition is weak and really can't hurt a station, and the local police will eventually show up and deal with the problem if you can't, so you still get paid for a "protect station" mission whether you kill or bail the enemy pilot or someone else gets the kill. You might not even need weapons for your first couple of combat missions.

Unfortunately, missions in general seem to be a lot rarer in AP than in TC, and the availability of used ships for sale also seems lower. Look for ships with a yellow "cent" symbol when you enter a province, which means the pilot wishes to sell, or for stations with the cent symbol and a docked ship, which sometimes is for sale. If the ship is in bad condition, nearly down to 50% hull, it often sells for a very small fraction of its new price, and your spacesuit Repair Laser can fix it for free, but slowly. If the condition is over roughly 70-75% and/or it has a lot of upgrades and equipment, the price is likely to be HIGHER than for a brand new ship, and you generally DO NOT get those extra pieces of equipment and upgrades, just the bare hull (exceptions have happened, but rarely). I've picked up M3 fighters in under 60% condition for around 100,000 credits, fixed them up, and resold them for well over a million credits, not a bad payoff for 5-10 minutes of EVA time in the early stages of the game.

Posts: 3220
Joined: Thu, 22. Jan 09, 18:49

Re: x3ap early game trading

Post by Timsup2nothin » Mon, 30. Dec 19, 20:33

What to trade depends on two things; where you are and what you have to work with.

My current start, as Nostalgic Argon, I went straight to Elena's Fortune and did some missile salvaging to upgrade my ship. Then I set out to reveal all the Argon sectors there around Argon Prime, while liberating any ship the Paranids mistaken flew into Argon space. Those got sent like slow boats to China into the shipyard at Argon Prime.

At about three hours in I had completed my mapping project and went into the space fuel business. I kept two Demeter SF with over 8000 capacities, one Dolphin SF with over 8000 capacity, and a pirate Elite. Sold off a third DemSF, a standard Demeter, and another little pirate ship...Buzzard if I recall correctly...to pay for repairs and outfitting on the Dolphin and Elite. The two DemSFs I didn't repair, just stuck them at the distilleries in Herron's as loading docks.

So I set up three different routes for the Dolphin; one buying 4000 wheat, one buying 8000 e-cells, and one unloading half and half to the two docks. I load the "buy wheat" route and hit go. When I see the Dolphin on standby I load the unloading route and hit go. When it is standing by again I load the e-cell route and hit go. The same unloading route when it stops, and then cycle again. The Dolphin is so slow that it never really keeps up with consumption at the distilleries, but it seems like they get enough outside support that they never completely grind to a stop.

The two docks are set to sell e cells and wheat at good profit margins to their respective distilleries, and buy space fuel at 650 to fill their extra space above 8000. The Elite loads five space fuel at one dock, sells at the trading station, then loads five at the other dock and sells that. I have a consistent flow of credits, plus every time I've found a pirate base in race space (where they pay max price) I've been able to jump into Herron's and grab a full 332 unit load and fill them up in one shot...for close to a half million credits.

At about five hours I got hold of a second Dolphin SF, and since the first one had promoted I set it to buy a half load at three SPPs then load a half load of wheat from the new ship and unload at the distillery docks (six stops). The new ship just got four wheat farm buys. So after that I didn't have to swap the routes on the Dolphins. They still don't seem to keep up with consumption, but the system makes good profits.

Bottom line, the key issue isn't so much what to trade, it's a matter of what kind of ships you have to work with. If I hadn't hit that early run of 8000 capacity ships I'd have done something else.
Trapper Tim's Guide to CLS 2

On Her Majesty's Secret Service-Dead is Dead, and he is DEAD

Not a DiD, so I guess it's a DiDn't, the story of my first try at AP
Part One, in progress

HEY! AP!! That's new!!!

Alan Phipps
Moderator (English)
Moderator (English)
Posts: 21800
Joined: Fri, 16. Apr 04, 19:21

Re: x3ap early game trading

Post by Alan Phipps » Mon, 30. Dec 19, 21:31

I think the OP may be well past the situation asked about back in June by now. :wink:

It's all good general info for new players though.
A dog has a master; a cat has domestic staff.

Posts: 3002
Joined: Wed, 18. Jan 06, 08:39

Re: x3ap early game trading

Post by RainerPrem » Tue, 31. Dec 19, 07:47

Honved wrote:
Mon, 30. Dec 19, 19:23
Unfortunately, missions in general seem to be a lot rarer in AP than in TC, and the availability of used ships for sale also seems lower.
Not in my experience. Although when you enter a sector, not all possible missions are generated immediately. Seeing too few missions, I routinely drive back through the gate I just left, and then back again, which normally raises the number of missions to normal.

Post Reply

Return to “X Trilogy Universe”