X3 TUTORIAL - Starters controls Mission 1 & 2 Walkthrough

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

User avatar
Posts: 4839
Joined: Fri, 19. Mar 04, 19:46

X3 TUTORIAL - Starters controls Mission 1 & 2 Walkthrough

Post by Chips » Sat, 29. Oct 05, 13:07

To view material between spoilers tags, click and drag your mouse to highlight/select it. Alternatively click the print button at the top right, and a new window will open with the page setup as print friendly. The spoiler material is in white text on a black background, so you do not have to highlight it.

PDF Acrobat Download Of this tutorial.

Mission 2 Walkthrough

I hope this is useful for some.

X3 Handling/Basic Key commands Tutorial:

Okay, to start with – this is going to go over the basic controls you’ll need to play the game. Others will come in time ;)

The mouse: The new controller. It’s a point and click deal these days, anything with blue around it can be clicked to select it.

Left hand mouse button: Either fires the guns, or selects the target (toggles between the two due to RHMB functionality).

Right Hand Mouse Button: This is your “Free Flight Controller” – or, in more simple terms, your “Flight Lock”. Pressing the RHMB will alternate between the mouse controlling your free flight… and the mouse being a mouse (ie a device to click on items to select them).
When you are able to fly around nicely, you can move the mouse, and your ship will turn as per flight method for ships (so up is down and down is up…. Left and right remain the same ;)). You can also click the LHMB to fire your weapons.

When you click the RHMB though – it “locks” the ships flight control so the ship won’t follow the mouse movements anymore. Now you will have a mouse cursor instead – which can be used to click and select items. You can select items such as anything surrounded by blue on the screen – or the little boxes at the edge of the screen (items behind you etc) by clicking your LHMB. It is also used to navigate the menu, which I will touch in one second.

To return the mouse function to being able to steer your ship – click the RHMB once more.

So – when flying around in space, if you see something –you can RHMB to stop your ship moving, and activate the cursor – and then click on the square around the item of interest to select it as your target, and then RHMB to return flight controls back to the mouse to steer.
You can also get the same effect by simply pointing your ship towards the item you want to target, and pressing T – which is the “Target” key. This will initiate a kind of “search” on your hud, for the item under the cross hairs.
Once an item is selected, the computer usually tells you what it is… if it’s a jumpgate, it will tell you where it goes to. If it’s a ship/station – it will give the name.

The Menu:
Menu = useful. You can do nearly anything here, search the maps, read messages etc. To access the menu – you press Enter. If you are in freeflight, then to navigate the menu you will need to press the RHMB to “lock” your steering, and activate the “point and click” cursor. Then you can use the mouse to navigate the menu/sub menus.

We’ll touch back onto the menu in due course – don’t worry. There is no point in me listing all the controls is there? The manual does that already – these are going to be linked to functionality.

Esc: The Esc button is a kind of “back” button. If you are in a menu, using Esc will take you back one screen. Keep hitting it to take you back to space etc.

Moving the ship:
Z, X - controls the engines. Hold X (if i remember) and you accelerate, hold Z and you de-accelerate. Once you hit 0, you can go slowly in reverse by continuing to hold Z down. So in effect, these are your throttle control.

Tab is like "instant X" - it is the booster (needs booster extension; installed by default on starting ship). Pressing this button accelerates the ship very quickly… in effect, you can get to max speed nearly immediately.
Backspace is like "instant Z" - its the immediate “slowdowner”. It actually sets throttle to 0 immediately, and you slow down to 0 in due course. It is a lot quicker than holding Z down, simply because throttle = 0, instead of decreasing through the numbers accordingly.

Okay, so those are the basic commands to move the ship. “Wha?” I hear you say, only forward/backwards? Well – for the moment, yes. You see – strafe is a great command, but at the start you may get confused hitting all these buttons – best to keep it simple right? For the first mission, we just have to get you moving – so with that in mind, a few shortcuts and a few menu items are next on the agenda.

Okay – moving quickly onwards:
Nav Map: For navigation!
My next two favourite buttons: the comma(,) and the full stop (.)
These open the nav maps respectively (shortcut keys). The fullstop does the sector map, the comma does the universe map, and I find using shortcuts a lot quicker than the menu (although I’ll cover that too). Click the full stop button, and up pops your present sector map (the one you are sat in). You can only see items like ships/stations in your radar range. Ships move, stations don’t… so therefore, if you see a station once, its position is “stored” on your nav map. It isn’t going to move, so even when no in radar range, you can still see the stations that are “stored” on the map.

The nav map is actually useful though, not just a “who is where” type device, because you can select targets. To navigate the map you can either: Use the mouse (you know how, see mouse controls) or use the keys… which I do. The arrow keys – move the selector up and down over the items of the nav map. As you do so, the colour of the items will change when the cursor moves over them. To select an item, you simply use T – which means target of course. Once you select an item, a few cheverons will appear to one side. If you close the nav map at this point (Esc button) – you will see your target reticule (white box) highlighting what you have targeted.
When you target something, you will hear a voice inform you of what it is.

Dock with jumpgates to get to other sectors, or stations.
Very useful, as when you enter stations – it autosaves your progress. Of course, you can enter stations to trade, get news, jobs etc as well – but early in the game, and for new players – autosaving is very useful ;) Last thing you want to do is fly through a load of sectors, die and have to start again eh?

To dock, you select your target – either by your hud screen as in the mouse control section, or alternatively – by targeting the item in the nav map (press the full stop .)
Once you target the item, be it a jumpgate or a station, simply press Shift D. You will hear some message from the computer, and your autopilot will engage. You can manually dock, but lets get crawling before trying to kill ourselves eh?
So you can open nav map, scroll down to either the jumpgate or station name – press T to select said item, press Esc to close the nav map… and then press Shift D to dock with it. Sounds long winded right? Well, you can always just click on the item, and press shift D, but how do you know what your clicking on? Especially if the station/jumpgate is in the distance.

The last thing – J – for Seta.
Seta is like the “fast forward”, it compresses time. If you are flying across a sector (especially on autopilot) – pressing J engages seta, which will essentially “speed up” the game, so you don’t sit there fore 20 mins in real time. You can deactivate it by hitting J once more, or pressing nearly any key. You hear a sound effect to know when it is activated, and on your screen you will see it above your speed bar stating how much seta you’ve got going on. The words disappear when Seta is disengaged etc.

That’s it… “wha?” – well, yes – that is it. That is all you need… to move with purpose. Hey – do you want all the commands in one go – you will get confused!?

Those controls will get you moving, which is what you will want to do in order to achieve the first mission right?

For the game:Quickstart I recommend – you get cash and a free ship too.

X3 Mission 1 Tutorial/Walkthrough - includes the keys to press/learn how to do things.

You will start with a view of your ship in space, wait for the storyline to start with the speech. Ban Danna gives you some commands, and then it’s followed by a screen showing graphics of the jumpgates etc whilst saying what to do.
The patrol instructions were “Patrol are at the north gate of Home of Light, then go through the west gate to Red light, and then the south gate to cloudbase south west”.

After this – you get an incoming message which will give the details. However, this is a good introduction to the menu – so lets use it.
Press enter to bring up the menu screen, now to be able to click on the icons you will need to press RHMB to “Lock” the ship (stop free flight) so the cursor appears and you can move the cursor and click on the menus.

You will notice that although there are many selections, one has yellow writing underneath it. This is because there is something new waiting for you… a message. Click on the pilot icon (it will highlight when you hover over it) and it will take you to the pilot sub menu. You will now see that the icon for “messages” also has yellow writing, it is that upon which you must click. The message will appear in your HUD, for you to read. Clicking okay will close the message.

To navigate back through the menu you have several options.
1.Press Esc to go back down a menu level, press it twice to return to space.
2.You can click on the little arrow button to the RHS of the screen (with an X next to it, which will close the menu completely) you can click this twice, or click the X
3.If you hover over any of the main icons towards the bottom of the icon, a little arrow appears. Click on this to go down level.

I just use Esc, its quick and easy…
So you read the message, but is it much help? Well, your ship should still be “locked” so the mouse can still move, we need to get to Home of Light. To do this, you need to fly through a jumpgate. So – how to find it… well, it selected it at the start, so it may already be your target – BUT never pass an opportunity to learn your controls. I would therefore use the full stop button to open the nav map for Argon Prime.

*TIP* - At this point, I thought the radar was a bit small, and awkward. So I took the opportunity to dock at the Argon Equipment Dock instead. In the nav map, use the arrow keys or mouse to highlight the Argon equipment dock (click on it with mouse) – and then press T to select target. Now close the nav map (Esc) and press Shift D. I then used Seta to speed up the process. Once docked (it does it for your automatically), The menu will appear for the station. For now, we are only concerned with the “Trade” button – as this is where you can buy/sell goods that you have (and that the station has/needs).
Click on the trade button, and a new screen opens up in your hud. Items in red you cannot buy yet (not friendly enough), or take a cargo space your ship cannot handle (fighters have max cargo sizes, like S for small, M for medium, L for large. Generally you can take medium in an M4 (which is the shipclass of the buster).
You can scroll through the list using either the arrow keys, or the mouse on the scroll bar. Find the duplex scanner, and click on it. You should now see an empty square appear below the list of items. If you have it installed, that square would be full and blue. It is grey because you do not have it, so click to the RIGHT of the square (as in inside the square, but at the far right) and it should turn blue. This means you’ve selected it. You now need to click “Okay” to buy it.
Once installed, your radar is a lot better. At this point I also bought trading extension- otherwise you cannot command your ships to deal with statiosn remotely, which we can do later!. Use Esc to go back a menu item. You may wish to save your game here, or learn how to at least (autosave is enabled, but it doesn’t hurt). To do this, click the options tab, then click the save tab. You will be given a slot to use, click on it to save. You cannot rename it afaik, although maybe I am wrong – but now you can use Esc to get back to main menu again. Here, click undock. You will find that your ship is in “Locked” flight – so you can use the mouse cursor. Click the RHMB to get freeflight, and then move the mouse UP so that your ship will point DOWN. This is to avoid flying into the station by mistake. Once facing “down” from the station, start moving by using the X button to build up speed, or the Tab button to boost away. You will now need to find that SOUTH jumpgate, so open the nav map (.).

Now you can navigate the nav map by scrolling down with the mouse, or using the arrow keys to scroll through the items. There are A LOT, but near the bottom will be the jumpgates. Find the south gate – and either click on it, or highlight it. Press T to select it as your target. Now close the nav map (use Esc).
Eh, why south gate? It said north… – No, they are waiting at the north gate of Home of Light… you are in argon prime, and Home of light is through the south gate.

*TIP* You will notice that you have two items that are green on your nav map. These are your ships, more specifically – the ship you are currently in, and your free argon mercury that you start with. All your objects appear green and will be at the top of the navmap. Anything dangerous to you will appear red, as well as red on your actual HUD. They will also appear at the top of the nav map too. We’ll give instructions to that ship shortly…

Okay, so you have selected the gate – now you need to fly towards it! Remember you will need “Free Flight” to turn your ship, so hit RHMB to toggle to free flight first – allowing your mouse to control your ships direction again.
You can either:
1.Press X to increase speed and turn towards it/fly to it.
2.Press Tab to speed you up suddenly and turn towards it/fly to it.
3.Press Shift D – which is “Dock with target”, and the autopilot will do it for you.

Okay, if you fly manually – you will have to fly into the ring when you get there. If you use autopilot – it will do it all for you.

Time for a new button though – J, which controls the SETA function. Space time compression is what this basically is, or in laymans terms – the fast forward button. Useful for using on autopilot, as when seta is engaged you can literally drop out of it by pressing buttons/moving the mouse about. If using autopilot you can cancel free flight and navigate menus though. I strongly suggest not using seta without autopilot, and locking your controls off (RHMB) because it takes time to react, and you may not have that much time if you are flying towards something. Autopilot will avoid obstacles, so you needn’t worry.

Much faster with seta eh?

Once you go through that jumpgate, the storyline starts again – as you are contacted by the patrol leader. He tells you that he is to the west of the gate, and afterwards your target is set as him. Fly towards them (remember you may need to toggle free flight if it was locked/you used autopilot, toggle is RHMB). You can check he is the target by using the nav map (.), and then seeing if he has chevrons next to his item in the nav map menu. His name is Gamma patrol leader, you can select him or any others using T, try it.

Okay – so you are flying towards them – so now its time to view that central cross hairs on the HUD. It gives information about your target, you may have noticed before. Anyway – on the RIGHT hand side of the hud is YOUR speed.. your current speed. Max (in quick start) is 175, so if you are not already doing this – you can increase to that speed if you wish. To the LEFT of the cross hair is another value, set at 0 right now. This is your targets speed, and you will notice when you follow the patrol that it takes the value of whomever you’ve targeted. They may fly around 145 or something like that, but right now they are sat waiting for you.
BELOW the cross hair is the range to your target, keep close eyes on this – you don’t want to ram them (it may kill you), and in space – it takes time to stop!! You may want to moderate (lower) your speed as you get closer.

You may also note that the window in the top left hand corner is a camera view of your target. It also displays the distance to the target as well. You can close this if you wish, by pressing F5 I think.

Once you get within 2k of the target (gamma patrol leader), a cutscene will occur – or he will start talking. They will move out, and you will follow them. Gamma patrol leader will still be your target, but note the cross hairs display his speed, and yours. Try to match his speed by using z/x in order to follow slightly behind them.

At this point, it’s a good idea to introduce you to the targeting method. Your target has a box around them, which is white. This is for both good guys and bad, the only difference being that if bad – they have a red box instead of blue surrounding it. You may have no cursor over the target though, it may just be a box. If you press K it will cycle the targeting options. Looking to the left hand side, where the weapons are – you will be able to see a little icon change (near the bottom). It is either a - sign (no help), a little x – which displays a standard leading target crosshair, or a * – which is great. If you select this, you will notice that Gamma pilot leader has this thick blue cross hair infront of his movements (or over him). If you move your target over this, it will start to flash red. This is “target assisted” aiming for want of a better word, and is due to the fight command software installed on your ship. When that little icon is flashing away, you will hit your target.
I mention this now, because you should have this done for your first Khaak encounter – which is coming right up *gulp*.

They will mention checking your nav map, and sure enough – there are a load of lil blighters inbound. You can open your nav map if you wish, and then select a target, OR – you can note that at the side of the screen you can see a load of little red boxes. This is the enemy, and they are out of your field of view. Doesn’t mean you cannot click on one to select it (don’t forget, to do this you may need to RHMB click in order to “lock” your ship, then move the mouse cursor to the red squares and LHMB to select one, followed by a RHMB to toggle back to free flight). If you use the nav map, its easier ( use . to open nav map, arrow keys to scroll down to target, press T to select the target, and then press esc to close the window. Turn to face the enemy with your ship, or simply follow your patrol leader as they go in. The story MAY set your target for you (it did for me, because I was writing down what was going on instead :P).

Fly towards them, and use your LHMB to open fire. Be warned, you do not have unlimited energy, and you will eat through the energy available very quickly – so fire in bursts. Only fire when your crosshair is flashing to indicate you will hit them. Once you blow a target up, I usually just turn towards the nearest target (red box) and press T. It may take a second or two to acquire the target – and check that the target you get IS red (an enemy). Alternatively, you can press E to get the nearest target, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the one you are facing of course (hence why I use the T method instead).

One the Khaak have been eliminated, you’ll hear some speech, and then a target of the gate will be selected. You can fly towards the gate, or you can follow Gamma patrol leader by using the nav map. OR – you could just try RHMB to lock view, and then LHMB click to select the guy (be careful, if view not locked off you will fire!). Whichever you do – start following him (or fly straight to the gate). Notice if you RHMB to toggle to locked screen, and hover the mouse over Gamma patrol leader, that some little icons appear? One is chat (speech bubble) and the other is “follow”. You can click on follow for the autopilot to take over and follow him for you, or click speech to hear some little comment etc. To break Autopilot, just RHMB and you will hear the autopilot switched off.

Anyway, however you do it – go through that gate into Red Light.

Gamma leader is autoselected for you, so follow him.
You’ll get in another fight in this sector too, but it’s nothing heavy – you know what to do right?

After the fight, the gate is autoselected for Cloudbase Southwest – you only have to fly through it to complete the mission (yay!). A good time to use your autodock – so use SHIFT D, and the autopilot will take over.
This is a good time to learn some other commands now, as you are just sauntering through the sector to Cloudbase. This is how to Control a ship remotely to dock

For this, RHMB to toggle onto LOCKED ship, and brings up the mouse cursor. Press ENTER to open your menu, and then click on PROPERTY. You will see two green boxes – signifying that you have two ships (there names are in them). One is asterixed with player control, the other is still sat in space. We are going to remotely order it to dock at the equipment dock (for when you return). Either click on it, or use the arrow keys to highlight it – and a sub window will open. This window has several shortcut keys to open other sub menus to control the ship – we want command (C is the shortcut key for this, so you can press it, or click the option, or use the arrow keys and enter) - then we want the navigation (not fight). Click on that, and then you should see the commands available for it. The second one (number 2) is “Dock at…” – if you select this one, it will open the UNIVERSE map up, with the current sector you are resting on flashing white. Use the arrow keys, or the mouse – and click on Argon Prime. You will now see the System Nav map open. From here, you can select where to dock it at. Which ever station you click on, or use the Arrow keys to highlight and then press enter, will be the place it will dock at (no need to use T here).
Once done, the ship will accept the command, and you can press Esc to cycle back through all the menus to space.

There is another way to do this, from space, you can use the , to open the universe map, and then once more either click on Argon Prime, or move the flashing box over it and press enter. You will now see the system map, with your ship as well. Highligh/click your ship (press enter if using arrow keys) to get to the command screens again. Select command (C), navigation and dock at – you can tell it where to dock at (it opens universe map again, click the system of choice (argon prime) and then the station of choice),

That is your mercury, it will be safely docked at the equipment dock in a few minutes. These are the two methods you can control ships remotely. If the ship is already docked, then you can select the station it is docked at via the universe/system map (click the station or highlight and press enter using arrow keys), and then press L (or click on the landed ships option). You should now see the ships landed, which includes your ship too – and you can select him and use the commands once more). You can still access it via the menu method as well.
Once docked, if you did buy yourself the trading system extension, you can select the ship to "trade with station" and buy equipment. If he were docked at an SPP factory, then he could buy produce (Ecells), and you could command him to sell things he may have bought elsewhere (like crystals). If you didn't buy this extension earlier, you will need to do so in order to control the purchase of items without actually being there.
If you have money to spare, its always good to buy navigation and trading software for ships like freighters.

This is just a quick introduction to controls and how to fly around. Right now you can fly to any sector by selecting the jumpgates via your nav map, can turn on/off the autopilot, Can fight, dock with stations, trade items simply etc.
See this tutorial by Pixel in order to configure your weapons here

I may add more if this is found useful, and refine/improve it if people have suggestions. Later I may write about the missiles, the weapon system and more information about trading with stations - as well as further commands for your ships, what upgrades will do what etc etc.

Mission 3 tip
Buy E-Cells before going to Farnhams Legend, you will need them to fuel your jumpdrive if you don't have any/enough
Last edited by Chips on Sat, 29. Oct 05, 16:54, edited 3 times in total.

Posts: 57
Joined: Sat, 26. Feb 05, 14:08

Post by alkasteveh » Sat, 29. Oct 05, 13:26

Excellent stuff, they should really include this kind of material in the manual (which is really useful for reference material, it's kinda lousy for those who are first starting the game). In fact I wouldn't have spoiler'ed the first mission, since you're not spoiling too much anyway (imho).

Anything that helps people into the game and over that first steep learning curve has gotta be appluaded 8)

Posts: 8
Joined: Wed, 26. Oct 05, 21:11


Post by siden » Sat, 29. Oct 05, 13:27

Fantastic post (speaking as a total newbie) - thanks very much.

User avatar
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri, 28. Oct 05, 23:54

Post by Middenface » Sat, 29. Oct 05, 13:34

Chips for Emperor of...well... everything!! :D

Nice one mate - as posted above, very helpful for X newbies like me :thumb_up:

This is exactly the kind of thing the non-existent in-game tutorial should have covered. Great Job!! I hope someone at Egosoft is watching :wink:

Adept Kilrain
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri, 21. Oct 05, 01:19

Post by Adept Kilrain » Sat, 29. Oct 05, 15:14

Thank YOU, Chips :thumb_up: This is exactly what I needed. All newbs like me should download and printout your pdf--I did :)

Posts: 17
Joined: Fri, 6. Feb 04, 18:28

Post by submarinex1 » Sat, 29. Oct 05, 16:48

thanks again chip, i found the pirates on my own and destoryed them whne i was fluffing abotu trying this mission ,its shame mission brief dont tell you to fly though south gate at start but to go to north gate since it dont even show place on map.

User avatar
Posts: 4839
Joined: Fri, 19. Mar 04, 19:46

Mission 2 Walkthrough

Post by Chips » Sat, 29. Oct 05, 17:07

Mission 2 Walkthrough
Highlight text to view it, or download the Second tutorial: Here
So, you’re in cloudbase southwest after doing your mission 1 patrol, and you receive a message from the Goners. Time to retrieve the message methinks, so you know what to do. Lock off the mouse control to toggle to your cursor (RHMB), and bring up the menu (Enter). See the “pilot” tab? It should have yellow writing underneath if you have received a message that you haven’t read yet, so click on it, and then find the message tab (also with yellow writing). Read the message, you have to head to the Goner temple (in the same sector we are already in!). Exit the menu – either closing it all with the X icon to the far right… or by pressing Escape several times.


So, no messing this time – you know some commands by now. System Nav map (,) followed by a quick arrow down (or mouse click on) to the Goner Temple, and a T to select it as your target.
Exit the map (Esc), and you’ll have it targeted. Now – which do you prefer? Fly freehand, or fly with autopilot? I use autopilot, as I am not 100% confident in my piloting to try docking manually at the moment, so that is a (Shift D) to engage the autopilot to dock with the target.

Of course, a little Seta at this point (J) is always nice.

Just before you do – let’s have a look at some more menu commands shall we, because when you engage seta, you’ll see a percentage appear above your speed bar in the lower middle portion of your screen. This is how much faster (600% default) the seta makes the game (so that’s 6 times faster okay?). It can get faster, but to do this – we need to make an adjustment – which is a great time to work with the new point and click menu in my opinion. So – first off, toggle the ships control so that you have free mouse movement, not free flight (RHMB), and then bring up your menu (Enter).

Note the tabs, they include the pilot (the message you read earlier) but also “options” are there. Click on the options tab to open the sub menus for the options. It includes sound, display, graphics – we are after the “game play” option. Click on that and a screen pops up. You can see seta with its value up there, and two arrows to adjust it. Click on the right hand side arrow to increase it to ten, which will also change text colour briefly). Once done though, you have to save it. To do this, click on the seta again. It should match the other options colours. If you do not save it, when you exit your seta will remain at 600%.

Now fire up your seta, and its 1000% - or ten times faster. Most of the options are like this, you need to click the variation you have made to “store” it.

Okay, if you have docked, nothing happened right? You haven’t gotten anywhere special. Personally, at this point I saved my game. The menu is already open by default on stations, so just click the options followed by the save, and choose the slot to save in.

Right, new command for you then! Communication – or if in space and target selected - C. When docked with the station though, you will need to access this through the menu (yay, we get to use it a lot now!). You’ll note that an option in the actual menu whilst docked at the station is “Comms”, which is convenient eh? Click on this, and a little window will open up. There you will see several names (if there are several, maybe not) – but from the earlier message we were told to talk to Noah Gaffelt. Click on his name, and he will start talking. If you select other names, you can usually ask questions etc – just like if you select a target in space, and when you are within 8k press C, then you can ask them questions/directions too. You could use the shortcut key of 1 or 2 (it’s the number next to his name).

You will find the details of the mission to be accomplished now, which is essentially traveling on a ship and shooting. If you haven’t done this, I strongly suggest that you save the game, exit – and restart. Lower your settings, because later there will be a chase through a city, and your GFX card may struggle.


Okay, once done – all you have to do is click “undock” – and within a few seconds you will be surrounded by a bright white light. You’ve been beamed aboard the ship to man the turret. Saya will then give you some target practice, some drones for you to shoot. USE YOUR MOUSE for all shooting in this mission… its a lot easier. You will need to RHMB click to give “free turret movement”, as by default it starts off locked (and your mouse cursor on screen).

*TIP* Check bottom left, and see if you can see a little star under the weapon part. If you press k, it will change to either a – or a x respectively. You need to put it onto the star if it’s not already on it, as this will help vastly in this mission!! It will be near impossible without it.

If you’ve fiddled with the “laser targeting mode” (K button) correctly, when you hover over a droid (they are red to signify enemy/hostile), then you should (within range of 1k or so) get a flashing little icon. This is your “fire to hit” designation, when that flashes – you will hit your target. It doesn’t necessarily mean that your target is dead in the sites at all, indeed – if you hover over the target with your hud marker and it isn’t flashing, move it to one side/another until it does! When it starts flashing, you start shooting – and then try to track the target to the best of your ability. This is practice, and it should be a doddle. Use your targeting system (T) to target the drones.

Once you have wasted the drones, it’s time for the real stuff – the pirates. Whilst Saya is flirting with them, you will be able to see them coming in and start targeting the first one to “get it”. Usually they will auto select an enemy, but it doesn’t necessarily happen. You may need to press T and hover the hud marker over the intended target to select one. The target will usually automatically swap to the next target when you destroy one.

*TIP* When shooting is easy, holding down the fire button is tempting, as the strong string of shot will easily decimate multiple targets at times. Be warned though, once you run out of energy, the firing rate is greatly slowed, and you may have difficulty taking out the remainders – especially in the city level!

Once you’ve destroyed the first 3 pirates (first attack only consists of 3), then you will shortly be accosted by more. Finish these off, and you go through a jumpgate. You will be attacked by an even larger wave, where you will have to watch the energy of the guns to ensure you can keep firing.

Finally it will come to an end (it’s fairly easy), and the cut scene to the city starts. Okay, the story is a little vague – so I will fill it in for you.


The ship lands, and it is being unloaded. Whilst unloading is going on, income some pirates, whom beam the crystal onto one of their ships. With no time to waste in order to pursue them and retrieve the crystal, Saya shouts at you to go after them, whilst she is left behind on the pad. The Gonad… erm, Goner pilots the ship, and you get the turret. This part can be tough, mainly due to the violent twisting and turning of the ship – combined with the poor frame rates people seem to receive from this. Hope you turned off AA if you had it on, and read the shooting summary below:

*HINT* - X3 physics has mass and reduced friction factored in, so when you turn – your ship will continue to fly in its original direction slightly. This is the feel of “sliding”, just like driving a car on ice. If you could turn the wheel and have it actually turn, your car would still keep heading down the road whilst you are facing “sideways” on. Space is the same.
This adds an extra perspective though – whilst going “sideways” slightly, if you shoot your shot will also be going sideways. So it will “slide” sideways as well as forward through space. This means you need to lead the ship you are firing at more than usual. Place your HUD target system ahead of the actual cross hair of “where to shoot” so the shots will slide into the target. It is very difficult to do unless you have selected the targeting method mentioned earlier, the “star” instead of the x or – under the weapons system. This makes it easier, because if you lead the ship in your cross hairs, when the cursor starts to flash (even though it’s no-where near the actual ship necessarily), that is when your shots will hit. In this level, the amount of twisting and turning is quite large, so therefore you will need to use this method extensively during the combat in order to score hits. Not only do you slide, but they slide as well – hence the requirement. Simply put, having the crosshairs over the target may not actually score a hit, fire when the cursor flashes instead. This also applies to any fighting in X3.

So – you are off in pursuit to recover the crystal that has been beamed aboard a pirate ship from their surprise attack on your landing pad. The pirates chase you to stop you catching the thief; you are to shoot them down so that you can catch the thief.

Clear? Probably not, but so what!

So enjoy the music, pummel the pirates – and watch that energy level too. It may take you one or two goes, but all the best of luck – just keep on shooting them. If you wish to change target (as your current one is off screen or behind buildings/walls) – don’t forget to press T and then point at another red box. There isn’t much I can say to help, remember that everything slides round the corners, you may need to lead so they slide into your shots etc.


All being well, you should eventually follow them into space, and to another cut scene that is slightly confusing.
It appears you are met by some law enforcements whom are trying to stop the pirate with you… But one gets destroyed as they come under fire from a new ship, a pirate cruiser by the looks of things (called the Talon, although you only find this out a little later). It destroys the police, and damages you (so that you have to eject); but sadly the Goner dies. The pirate ship gets away (on the cruiser as it jumps out), and you are left all alone in your spacesuit. But do not dwell, time is of the essence… literally.
You need to not pause, as soon as you are in your spacesuit – turn to your LEFT and you should see a ship there (about 1k away, blue square). Immediately hold down X to make your spacesuit start moving. You will shortly find it’s targeted, and your spacesuit is cracking (so you’ll die) – you only have 90 seconds. Dawdle, and you do the whole thing again (through the city etc). Only one small problem, it’s a mini asteroid field you are going through, so avoid the asteroids. I suppose this is a good time to learn another control feature right? Oh yes, seems perfect way to avoid things in your path:


The strafe commands work in your space suit, as well as in your ships. They are w, s, a and d. Strafe means “slide sideways whilst still facing forwards”, or at least that is what I say it means anyway. A will make you slide to the left, D will make you slide to the right, W makes you go upwards, and S makes you go down. Try it out here, move sideways etc whilst still going forwards as fast as possible. The command is very useful for dodging objects whilst still facing them (to shoot when in a ship obviously). It is also very good for fast evasive maneuvers as well when things are heading for you. Strafe is excellent for dodging incoming fire, objects and other items – and hence why it’s a good idea to get a feel for it here. It’s both useful, and important if you wish to stay alive in X3! If there is a rock in your way, hold down one of the buttons (try A or D first) to move sideways to avoid it. Don’t hold them down too long, you don’t want to slide into another rock for example.

Anyways, back to the mission! You’re heading for the ship – it will automatically be targeted for you as well, but with a head start you should get there with 20 seconds to spare or so. When you are 150m out, it will cut to another cut scene for you.
The cut scene shows Saya coming for you with a ship, and that after talking to a Goner, that you will go out to retrieve the object.


Yep, you are back in space, after being told to meet Saya in Farnham’s Legend. You also find out that you have a jump drive (yay!). You will receive a message, which you know how to read now don’t you, which tells you the same thing.

Jump drives need E-Cells to operate, you don’t have any at the moment – so you will need to buy some

Wait a minute, why is that a hint when I am about to tell you to land at an SPP next? I don’t know, oh – for future reference incase you cannot jump, that’s it!

Okay, we need some E Cells for the jump drive, and it just so happens that an SPP is right next door to you. So open your system Nav map (.), and select the SPP closest to you in the map. Target it (T) and then dock with it (Shift D). Use Seta (J) if you wish to speed up the docking procedure!

Quick and dirty trade, once docked you automatically see the menu open. You will notice the trade icon then I assume? Good, open it – and just like before, you see a little window. The difference is that on stations that produce and receive goods, you see a different layout.

You want to buy E-Cells, which is handy because the product of the stations is E-Cells! You can only buy products at factories, and not the materials they have in stock to create the products (so you cannot buy the crystals it holds for example) – only E-Cells. Click on the E-Cells bar, and it will show a graphic at the bottom of the little window. The graphic probably has some red in it, and then a lot of “grey space” as well. The bar represents your cargo hold space, your total hold space. The red represents items already in your hold (weapons, extensions/upgrades etc), and the grey represents free space. To buy E-Cells, you can either click into the grey area (where you click will affect how much you buy), or use the arrow keys (use the right hand arrow to increase the new blue bar that appears). This represents the volume of stock you are currently putting into the hold, and you can see just below it how much it is costing (out of your pocket). Once you get a satisfactory level (I suggest filling the ship, as you will make at least 3 jumps), you then click on the “okay” button below. This actually purchases the stock and puts it into your hold.
Once done, you cannot sell the stock back to the station that stocks it as a product, although you can sell it to stations that require it as a material! (you roughly do the reverse of what we have just done).


Okay, so we have the E-cells, we just need to get there. Here are the directions, leave the station, use your system nav map (.) and head for the south gate (or select the south gate as your target T, and then use the dock function to engage autopilot (Shift D).
This takes you to the Hole, which is a huge system. You want to head due south, but down the middle of the map if you can. For this, you may end up needing to check your system nav map (.) repeatedly to ensure you are on line. It may take some time, and you may not actually see anything due to the nebula. If you bought a scanner (or had the triplex installed) then you should be okay. Once you see the Cattle Ranch L Beta, the gate is just to the east of that. The south gate goes to Presidents end, the east gate to Atreus Clouds

Once inside Atreus Clouds, you will need to head for the south gate once more, which will take you to Farnham’s legend. I usually dock on my way through here, just to autosave at a nice point.


Upon entering Farnhams legend, you should be able to call up your nav map and see Saya’s ship on display. Towards the East of the system as you are facing it, there is a large station called the “Marauder” - which will appear hostile (red). You need to head to this. When you close to around 7k the storyline will kick in once more.

You will then see the ship “Talon”, which is who you are after. The ship will launch some fighters, which by now you should be able to make small work of. During the fight, the ship will jump out. Saya will find its coords, and jump as well – leaving you all alone and left behind. This was okay for me, simply because I capped a fighter in here, and I intended to claim it!

*SHIP CAPTURE* - only relevant if you wish to capture ships!
When a pilot bails (they may or may not bail, it depends upon how much damage you give them. Capping is a fine art, but with the weapons you start with, I wouldn’t concentrate on minimizing damage to targets in the hope of catching them. There are excellent guides on capping available already from X2, which will still be relevant.), his ship’s target will turn blue, and you’ll see another blue thing floating around (it’s the pilot). If no-one is attacking you, then it is safe to stop and capture the ship. To do this, fly up nice and close (you don’t want to bail at 3k and use your suit for that distance!), until you are within 100m or so (go very slowly, and use Backspace to stop very quickly (sets throttle to 0 instantly).
When you are within around 100m, I press Shift E to eject my ship, and then fly my suit towards it (you know the controls – X to move forwards, Z to slow down/stop. I slow down at a range of 40m or so, and creep to within 20m of the ship, and then STOP! (use Backspace).
Once you are within 20m, press Enter to bring up your menu, and then click on the Target sub menu. You will see a whole ream of icons, but you are looking for Claim. The ship will turn green, and it will now be yours. I then turn my pilot around, and head back to my own ship. Once within 30m you can press Shift E to get back into it, or alternatively – STOP (as menu navigation take time), call up the menu (Enter), select Target and then select Enter ship.

Anyway, Saya will send you a message with the Coords for where to jump, to initiate the jump – you must press Shift J, which will bring up a screen. I personally check Saya’s message to ensure that the coords I receive are correct, and then simply click on the location I need to go to. Once you are in space again (new sector), you will be able to see the Talon immediately, fly towards it, and Saya will start talking. It will launch another wave of fighters, kill them off – and it will jump again. Follow once more.
You will experience a cut scene about a mysterious ship, but it is just a cut scene for now.
This gets repeated several times, but eventually the Talon will no longer jump as it will have no fuel left. This time it will drop the crystal, which will be recovered by Saya in a cut scene. The cut scene continues to the end of the mission, where you will be deposited back in space to check your messages for the next mission.
Hope this has been helpful to some, please post/IM/Email for corrections, suggestions etc.

Posts: 4
Joined: Sat, 6. Mar 04, 21:41

Post by SpookM » Sat, 29. Oct 05, 18:39

Great Posts Chips, I have not managed Mission 2 yet, but at least I think I know why.

With all the difficulties Mission 2 is causing - maybe this should be elevated to sticky/ or incorporated in existing stickies.

User avatar
Posts: 4839
Joined: Fri, 19. Mar 04, 19:46

Post by Chips » Sat, 29. Oct 05, 20:57

No probs spookm, just hate seeing people getting really annoyed and letting off simply because they aren't sure what to do/how to play.

Just trying to do my bit to help :) Glad they are useful for some too :p

Posts: 286
Joined: Sun, 30. Nov 03, 16:07

Post by Orillion » Sat, 29. Oct 05, 21:46

Passerd Mission 2 :)
Last edited by Orillion on Sat, 29. Oct 05, 23:00, edited 1 time in total.
Processor: AMD AM4 Ryzen 5 2600 @ 3.7 Ghz
Motherboard: MSI X470 GAMING PLUS
Ram: 16GB Corsair Vengeance LED DDR4 3200Mhz
GFX: Inno3D GeForce GTX 1070 iChill X3 8GB
Harddrive(s): Samsung Evo 970 250GB - Samsung Evo 960 500 GB - Western Digital Blue 1 TB

User avatar
Posts: 6106
Joined: Wed, 6. Nov 02, 20:31

Post by pixel » Sat, 29. Oct 05, 22:28

good stuff Chips.

Thx for linking to my weapon loadout guide :)

I would add, in addition to your step by step guide where the mission 2 sector is, to try the following:

if you need to get to a sector and don't know where it is, ask a passer by.

Do this by targeting a friendly ship, press c for comm, then click on the box that asks 'way to xxxx' - this questioning is mission sensitive so it will know where you want to go.

The passerby will tell you which gate he 'thinks' is correct, it will afaik always be the correct gate.

tip: ask traders etc NOT patrol ships, patrol ships will not help (they'll say they dont know, perhaps they get tired of helping civvies)
"I find your lack of belief in the Three Dimensionality disturbing." Mercenary

"So getting this chick back is more than just getting a chick back. It's the concrete manifestation of an abstract policy goal. And we like concrete - right, Vic?"

Red wine...the only way to frag

Posts: 118
Joined: Tue, 12. Nov 02, 19:44

Post by rayOK » Sat, 29. Oct 05, 23:35

thanx very much for the tip.

in all of the X games i haven't been able to use the mouse as a
controller, though i used it exclusively in all the elite games.

use of the mouse while using a turret is definately the way to go!

the first time i did mission 2 with the mouse enabled i went thru the
fighting easily, only to crash into an asteroid :evil:

2nd time was even easier :D

must say though that the joystick is better for normal fighting :)

thanx again


Ray OK

Posts: 30
Joined: Mon, 24. Oct 05, 15:04

Post by mbv » Sun, 30. Oct 05, 01:32

Brilliant intro to the handling of the game. That had me up and running in no time compared to just messing about with the menus and trying to figure it all out. This game is so much more enjoyable now. Thanks!

Posts: 2909
Joined: Thu, 1. Jul 04, 17:19

Post by Apocholypse » Sun, 30. Oct 05, 01:34

Just change the controls to the same as X2 then you won't have a problem :evil:

Must of said this a 100 times :P

Go to controls, profile and select classic!!!

Posts: 30
Joined: Mon, 24. Oct 05, 15:04

Post by mbv » Sun, 30. Oct 05, 01:37

Why would I want to do that :? The new controls are great and since I never played X2 it would be no benefit going back to the old interface. Plus the above tutorial uses the new interface. Stick with yer old stuff if you like but I like the new interface :P

Posts: 2909
Joined: Thu, 1. Jul 04, 17:19

Post by Apocholypse » Sun, 30. Oct 05, 01:38

Clearly I didn't mean you genius :lol:

I ment for the people who played X2!!!

Posts: 30
Joined: Mon, 24. Oct 05, 15:04

Post by mbv » Sun, 30. Oct 05, 01:42

Just seemed kinda out of context in this thread seeing as it was for new users who would be unaware of the X2 interface. But thanks for the compliment :lol:

User avatar
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri, 28. Oct 05, 23:54

Post by Middenface » Sun, 30. Oct 05, 09:10

Am I the only one who thinks this should be stickied alongside Giskard's guide?

Before this post I was all for sending the game right back to play.com

After reading this post I now have a good idea of the basics and am really enjoying the game :)

User avatar
Posts: 4839
Joined: Fri, 19. Mar 04, 19:46

Post by Chips » Sun, 30. Oct 05, 10:40

Middenface wrote: After reading this post I now have a good idea of the basics and am really enjoying the game :)
Glad I could help :) Certainly makes the effort worthwhile ;)

Adept Kilrain
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri, 21. Oct 05, 01:19

Post by Adept Kilrain » Sun, 30. Oct 05, 13:38

This tutorial has turned X3 from a nonstarter to a fun KEEPER of a game! The joystick I bought especially to play X3 has been consigned to the bottom drawer--the mouse control is THAT good. I've even gotten used to the lack of cockpit :D

Chips, you have turned the disastrous lack of newbie tutorials around with this thread.

Can I ask one thing more of you though? I need your "Build Your First Factory" tutorial. Where do I buy such a thing? I think maybe I should start with the solar power station of something? How?

Thanks so much for all your help.

Post Reply

Return to “X Trilogy Universe”