Starting out in X3TC

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

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Post by Monkspeed » Thu, 1. Jun 17, 10:23

Thanks for all the advice.

can I replace the 1mj shields with something better?

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Post by BRANCA » Thu, 1. Jun 17, 11:28

High, speed.

You can find information of your ship by pressing Y-information.
you will see alls specs of your current ship.
compatable shields, weapons etc.



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Post by Monkspeed » Thu, 1. Jun 17, 13:56

So far today has been very unproductive.

After arming myself with some fireflies and thinking I was now akin to Iceman and Maverick from Top Gun, I attempted to follow someone again and when the baddie appeared I thought "I'm gonna get you sukka" but turns out fireflies don't track so while I was discussing international relations with the baddie the other guy got away (again)... Reload.

Afterwards, I armed myself with some dragonflies and did a return stolen ship mission, found the ship and comm'd the pilot and they politely declined, so I launched a dragonfly and obliterated the ship by accident then the owner sent me a message telling me how annoyed they were... Reload

Then I decided to claim the Toucan hauler in Menelaus' Frontier, when I boarded I was like a kid in a sweet shop when I saw the cargo which included a 25mj shield so I ejected it and transferred back to my Discoverer and picked it up, only it didn't equip my new toy so I figured it needed more power than my ship can handle so I ejected it and transferred back to the hauler and tried to pick the shield up but it was like piloting a whale through the eye of a needle and I smashed my discoverer up by accident, *sigh* Reload.

Being Monkspeed today FTL.


Soo, what's a decent missile I can afford?
I'm still trying to find IRE that Honved mentioned.
Where can I find a life support system so I can do some passenger missions?
Should I sell the Toucan Hauler or??

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Post by Honved » Thu, 1. Jun 17, 15:58

The problem with missiles is that they're expensive to buy, a lot more expensive than what you'll earn by using them at your low Fight rank.

I'm guessing that if you reached the Toucan, that you either didn't find any IREs at the Boron Military Base several Boron sectors to the South of you, adjacent to "The Hole", or else didn't find the base, and didn't spot the factory in a sector somewhere in between?

There may occasionally be IREs (and Triplex Scanners, etc.) for sale at the Argon military base toward the far end of Elena's Fortune, around 2 sectors due East of Argon Prime. Incidentally, that borders on two Pirate sectors and is therefore a fairly good place to find and pick up occasional salvage after a battle. Missiles are more economical to use if you can get them for free, although I sell most of the ones I collect. The Disco makes a good remote "picker-upper" or "gopher" (go 'fer this, go 'fer that) after you migrate to a larger ship, because it's got good speed, decent cargo capacity for an M5, and the ability to handle "M" sized cargo.

The Discoverer, like most M5 class ships (there are a few exceptions) can ONLY mount 1Mj shields, although it can mount several. Other fighters will be able to mount more or less (often less). Note that the game often removes stations that aren't actively producing, so some "important" factories producing essential items (like 25Mj shields) may vanish quickly in your particular campaign. Locating specific items can be a major hurdle, or not.

The Toucan includes one nice item: a built-in (you can't transfer it) Cargo Life Support (CLS) module, so you can use it to do "Transport" missions for passengers. The Boron sell CLS at a couple of locations, and most Pirate bases sell it; in most games I end up collecting it from a bailed ship. Putting CLS on your Disco will allow you to do "taxi" runs ("I need a ride"), but if the mission-giver requests "transport", passengers plural, or "suitable for my status", it requires a TP (Transport, Passenger) class ship like the Toucan. Whether you use or sell the Toucan is your call. If doing the "Humble Merchant" start, I usually keep both the TS (Transport, Small) Mercury and the M5 Discoverer, so I can do cargo runs with the TS to earn credits, while I explore with the M5 if I have the Trade Extension software package to allow remote trades and visible prices without docking there myself. A TP will also do fairly respectable sized cargo runs, but can't carry XL size cargo such as Ore or Silicon.

The items I consider "indispensable" at the start are: a decent scanner, Trade Extension software, and a couple of IREs, so my initial focus is to obtain the IREs on day one, before they vanish, then work on the software and scanner. A mineral scanner is another nice item to have, and allows you to take "Scan Asteroid" missions, which not only pay you to explore, but are almost always with mission givers of other races, boosting your relations with those races. The Trade Extension software on your own ship will allow you to do remote trading by using a second ship (or 50+ other ships), but at some point you'll want to automate your remote traders to avoid the micromanagement tedium. Meanwhile, you can set your second and third ships to your upper left and right camera views for quick access.

BTW - if the ship designations seem convoluted and unintuitive, it's because it's a kludged system. Originally, there were M1 and M2 class capital ships, and M3-M5 class fighters. In later X series games, classes M6-M8 were added, in between the others in size, so they're not in any sort of logical order.

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Post by jlehtone » Thu, 1. Jun 17, 17:16

Monkspeed wrote:Should I sell the Toucan Hauler or??
Ask yourself:
  • What do you gain/lose by using a ship?
  • What do you gain/lose by selling a ship?
Some ships are not on sale anywhere. Even if they were, buying a new costs more than selling it back yields.

With a ship you can do things, and you can still sell it later.

By selling a ship you get credits. You do wan't to buy Impulse Ray Emitters now. Is it the lack of credits that stops you from doing so? No.

:gruebel: In your first post you were following the Merchant's Guide. The one that focuses on everything but the FIGHT. Now you are preparing for a fight? Changing the focus is okay; just wondering.

Return Stolen Ship is nigh impossible; the chance that the thief bails is not rational.
Return [Abandoned] Ship is easy, except that without JumpDrive time runs out.

Teladi might sell Cargo Lifesupport in some station.

Did someone mention that in the ingame Encyclopedia (Pilot / Advanced / ...) you can see descriptions of items that you have seen? E.g. for IRE, which (seen) stations trade them.
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Post by Cpt.Jericho » Fri, 2. Jun 17, 00:37

The Toucan Hauler is anything but unique. There are traders using them and sometimes you can even by them in space.
The questions you should ask yourself are: For what purpose do you need it right now; is it really such a good ship (hint: it isn't); what can you spend the money on - can you gain long term profits by selling it - is it the kind of money you need to get your empire to get on the fast lane?
Parking an empty hull at a shipyard is cheap. But keep in mind that there will be more opportunities to get a ship like that in the future.
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Post by Snafu_X3 » Fri, 2. Jun 17, 03:36

Sell the Toucan or keep it for trading duties once you get Trade Extension s/w. It's slow, doesn't have any useful weps & is the worst TP in the game. Keep the shield tho, if you can: it'll be very handy a little later on

If your fight rank is still low you should be able to complete some 'defend station' missions with ease, gaining you cash & rep. Pick up a police licence ASAP for more cash for kills, but don't let the fight rank get too high - you'll overmatch yourself very quickly!

Hunt down TSE & JD ASAP; they make missions a /lot/ easier to complete! While exploring, if you have the cash, consider plonking down some satellites (don't put them in trade routes: they'll get rammed to death almost instantly. Offset them by a few Km)

Pirate bases are a good source of tech to start with as they don't care about rep, just the cash. So don't try to blow up every pirate you meet until you can gain their kit elsewhere (eg CLSS, Fight2, cargo scanner)

Again, check my sig for generic mission tips in the official wiki
Wiki X:R 1st Tit capping
Wiki X3:TC vanilla: Guide to generic missions, Guide to finding & capping Aran
Never played AP; all X3 advice is based on vanilla+bonus pack TC or before: AP has not changed much WRT general advice.

I know how to spell teladiuminumiumium, I just don't know when to stop!

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Post by RainerPrem » Fri, 2. Jun 17, 06:14

Monkspeed wrote:So far today has been very unproductive.

After arming myself with some fireflies


Soo, what's a decent missile I can afford?
I'm still trying to find IRE that Honved mentioned.
Where can I find a life support system so I can do some passenger missions?
Should I sell the Toucan Hauler or??
In case you didn't read my earlier post: Wasps are what you need.

If you search for any ware, look into the encyclopedia (Hit p, scroll down, second? entry in submenu).

As for the Toucan: It's large for a TP, but rather slow. I'd suggest to get the Iguanodon from a nearby sector, outfit it and sell the Toucan and the rest of the equipment for money.


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Post by Dreez » Fri, 2. Jun 17, 06:51

Depending on what you're prepared to do, and how you want to get your first X3 experience, i can give you a few pointers
that will help you a great deal on the way to riches.

Besides that, all i can say is that X3 has a steep learningcurve and the first days ingame is... hazardous.
Of all the things i've lost, i miss my mind the most.

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Post by ubuntufreakdragon » Fri, 2. Jun 17, 09:55

Ok first get a map: You will need it to understand where those mentioned things are.
If you get a new ship first look up its performance values, the info lists every thing the amount of shields and their max strength speed weapons cargo.
Get a tradecomputer and a fight software mk1
Don't try combat bases on Missiles it's just too expensive.
But there are many different types: dumpfire(no tracking), tracking, autotargeting(get a new taget if the old one is lost), swarm(you get 8 missiles for the price of one), proximitiy fuse, torpedo(bad turnrate) the wasp is a tracking swarm which normally takes out M5 and M4 with one or 2 shots.
For combat get a cheap m4(there are sometimes shipsale missions) with some PACs if you allready have a million credits which sound unlikly go to home of Legend and buy a Solano, or look up the table of ownerless ships.
To get money there are many ways:
Taxi: just drive these people from a to b well paying and save sometimes needs a TP.
Collector: collect free driftiing ships and wares(mostly missiles) for money you first need a good claim but than its good money.
Piratehounter: You need a good ship and shoot down pirates and loot their remains.
Pirate: a funny one is to optain a cargo scanner scan an unarmed weaponstrade shoot at him and ask for their cargo.
you can attack paranids in argonspace and split in boronspace and the other way round without being sopped by the local police, you still loose a bit of noriety with the attacked race.
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Post by Monkspeed » Fri, 2. Jun 17, 11:06

Thanks everybody for your replies. I am reading everything you all write and am trying to follow all the advice but it's all a bit information overload at the moment while I try to understand everything and absorb it in...

Following on from my post yesterday, armed with 10 dragonflies I took a job to defend 3 freighters travelling from Greater Profit to Blue Profit, it pays well and was rated as very easy.

It took about 2-3 hours for them to get to their destination travelling at 50 m/s the whole way, and I dispatched about 5 pirates along the way and got to the destination station and one last pirate appeared but I had run out of missiles so now I just watched in horror as he obliterated the ships one by one, so that was another 3 hours wasted... RELOAD.


I will get some wasps but they are expensive! 1000~ each if I remember correctly.

I managed to find and buy Fight 1 and Fight 2, and some enhanced vision goggles or something? And another 1mj shield so now I have 3, the max the Discoverer takes.

I already have the mineral scanner so accept "scan asteroids" missions when I can cos the pay is lovely! Sitting on about 50k at the moment.

I've got that Toucan still, I ordered it to dock at the shipyard in Kingdom End for now. Even if I keep it or get an Iguanadon, I wouldn't know what to do with them! So any help with that is needed. Or maybe sell it and get a kickarse fighter (which one?).

I still haven't found a IRE, going to go back to Boron space and try to find one as per Honveds instructions.


Fitted equipment to Discoverer:
3 x 1MJ Shields
Engine Tuning MAX
Rudder MAX
Cargo Bay Extension MAX
Duplex Scanner
Triplex Scanner
Fight 1
Fight 2
Mineral Scanner
Trading System Extension
Video Enhancement Goggles
EDIT EDIT: Found one IRE in Atreus' Clouds!!


YES! I FINALLY managed a covert ops mission and kicked the bad guys butt. I found a bunch of IRE's in Rolks Fate but couldn't stop cos I was in the middle of the covert ops mission. Gonna buy another IRE!

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Post by Monkspeed » Fri, 2. Jun 17, 13:41

Monkspeeds chronicles

So whilst I was in Atreus' Clouds I found someone offering a damaged Mako Raider for 100k~ but I didn't have funds to buy it so sold my Toucan and purchased the Mako and fixed it up, now we're both en route to Argon Prime shipyard to sell the Makro and hopefully get some profit.

Compared to yesterday, today fortune is smiling upon me... So far.

Sold for ~300k so made a profit and now sitting on 1.16m :D

What should I buy now??

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Post by hargn » Fri, 2. Jun 17, 14:38


The first million credit is known as the first step of your future empire! Congrats :thumb_up:

Now, they are usually three choices for the first million :
  • - Buy a factory in a shipyard, usually an ore mine, or food factory, with a TS that will be assigned as CAG (merchant) to your stations
    - Buy a large TS and equip it with the Mk3 Commercial Software : it will become a full autonomous trader
    - Buy a fully equipped M3/M4+, but I suggest you to wait until you bail one or you find an ownerless one
Build a factory ensure stable profit, overall if you drop it in the good place (always think where to build a station to maximize its profitsss), you'll need to hire a TL to transport your station to the place you've choosen.
MK3 traders usually make more profits/h than a single station, but it requires time for training, a satellite network, and to avoid pirates, xenon, khaaks...

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Post by zazie » Fri, 2. Jun 17, 14:47

Monkspeed: good read :) reminds my first experience with X2. And that leads to my advice: As the X-games are sandbox-type, there is not one single or predefined way to 'getting the game done'.
That means: go on with your actual game and do whatever you think it might be the right thing now. That way you will make your own experience and know how you like it and what you don't like too much.

When I started my first games in X2/X3, it happened more than once I realized that my decisions earlier in the game were 'wrong' from the perspective of my goals. As an example: I placed my first "Space-Fuel-production" in a sector where my station was attacked by the local police forces.

That was the moment when I decided to start again and 'make it better', based on the experience I had made.

Later, I adapted my game-play (and I still do it today!): If I start a hardy, risky, difficult, mad new project, I make a special save (always 10) just BEFORE going into it. If later my project turns bad, I might go back to that save and leave it or make it better.

[follow my hints (mild spoilers) for your game; you are completely free to read it or not - just mark the text in between if you want to see it]
So before selling the Mako Raider, save the game. It could be the better ship for your style of playing.

Oh, and btw. what to do with 1.16 m ? Equip the Mako Raider and make more money in short time.

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Post by Honved » Fri, 2. Jun 17, 15:37

Now that you've got a million or so, the options are to set up a factory, buy a more powerful ship, or to set up some transports.

The first option, a factory, requires some knowledge about what will or will not sell, and how to supply what it needs and sell the output. I don't think it's a good idea to dive in without a bit more knowledge first. The Argon Prime vicinity has no serious shortage of factories, it just needs more ships to haul the needed resources from the sources to those factories. Other regions will have significant shortages of food, ore, silicon, or various other commodities which you can supply with a factory; you just need to be able to identify the long-term shortage of resources, rather than a shortage of transportation which your additonal factory won't fix. A few items, such as 1Mj shields and certain missiles can turn a steady profit, but are parasitic on the local economy, rather than jump-starting it into a higher (and more profitable) gear.

The second option, a bigger ship, is far cheaper if you have some fight rank already and decent standing with the local faction. Every time you enter a sector, check the local map to see if there's a ship with a "cent" symbol in the general vicinity of the gate you entered by, which may be for sale. Ideally, you want to find a TS, M3, M4, or M5 in bad condition that you can pick up for a tiny fraction of its value, and fix it up. A genuine M3 Argon Nova Raider would be my first choice in that situation, because it's faster than most M3s, carries respectable cargo and firepower, has a rear turret for missile defense, and can mount 3 25Mj shields, where practically all of the faster ships in its class (aside from rare or unique ships) can only mount 2. Incidentally, you can't buy a new one locally, they're sold a looooong way from where you started, and the Pirate Nova Raider is a slug in comparison which deserves to be sold. Your million credits will quickly vanish into shields, weapons, engine and cargo upgrades, and various software additions to bring your new acquisition up to its full potential. Note that outfitting a ship can cost more than the ship itself.

The third option is to buy a couple of TS freighters and Trade Extension software, and send them as a Manually Operated Remote Trader (MORT) to buy and sell basic resources like E-cells, Ore, Wheat, or other basic commodities. Buy where the Products bar at the top is nearly full, and sell where the Required Resources bars below are nearly empty, and you can often double your money in one or two runs. If you have an asset in the sector (such as a Navigational Satellite or a small ship parked at any station), you can see prices, and send your transports where you can get the best deals. As said, Argon Prime vicinity is in short supply of transport to haul E-Cells and food to the factories that need it, and the occasional Ore run can be very profitable if you can find a buyer with a nearly empty resource bar. Optional resources (below required resources) generally don't pay as well, but can sometimes be a way of unloading stuff if you can't find a buyer at a better price. Trade stations always buy and sell at Average price, but can occasionally be a way of making a modest profit if the regular factories have huge excesses or need those items badly.

Eventually, you'll get tired of the tedium of directing 2-10 transports manually, and decide that you need to automate them. There are two distinct ways, either by converting them into autonomous traders by buying and equipping them with Trade Mk.3 software (expensive at roughly half a million credits) and turning them loose in a profitable sector, or by buying less expensive Commercial Logistics 1 or 2 software and assigning them a more specific route and items to carry. You probably want to ask a lot more questions about either of those courses of action, but my own preference is to set up a few Sector Traders with Trade Mk.3 until they gain some ranks, and then restart them after they reach level 6 as a "Local" Trader (a Sector Trader with a Range > 0). That allows them to trade in neighboring sectors, but still allows you to tether them to a specific area to keep them out of trouble. Their Range can be expanded further with each 2 levels of experience, but I rarely allow them more than a Range of 1-2. At level 7, you have the option to turn them into a "Universal Trader", which allows them to freely wander wherever they find a deal, and make greater profits until they wander through a Pirate or Xenon sector and get blown up. Greater risk but greater reward; I use them sparingly, and expect to lose a few now and then.

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