The 4.00 update is, without a doubt, the biggest free update so far to our space simulation X4: Foundations. This major update, which will be available to all owners of the game when it is released in the first quarter of 2021, enhances X4: Foundations in numerous ways, including completely new gameplay features and extensive technical improvements. For the full change log for the 4.00 beta update, please visit our forum.
Some of the most significant changes include:
The 4.00 update to X4: Foundations will see the introduction of several wide-ranging visual improvements, first and foremost volumetric fog. For those of you with an interest in the technical side of things: most implementations of fog in games are calculated on the surface of an object by the shader used to render that surface; volumetric fog, however, is calculated at intervals in the empty space in front of the camera, independently of any surface.
In practice, this means that you will notice soft fog layers in our universe, inviting you to come closer and check them out. We also hope that you'll enjoy how the volumetric fog interacts with light, and how this technical improvement changes your sense of space in the X4 universe.
Improved Fleet Control
If you've ever commanded huge fleets through the X4: Foundations universe, then there's a good chance that you'll be excited about the following news: we've invested a considerable amount of time in improving fleet combat for the 4.00 update. This includes improved steering behavior and several important AI script changes.
There are a number of different elements to this feature, and we don't want to spoil all of them at once, but we'll start by giving you an overview of a new order called "Coordinate Attack". This tactical order is given to the fleet admiral when engaging a target fleet in battle. The admiral can subsequently give movement, escort and attack orders to all the subordinate ship groups, to coordinate positioning, formations and attacks against the enemy fleet. Once all the subordinate groups reach their positions, the new "Sync Point" feature is triggered. The admiral then moves on, to give orders to the groups of ships to attack specific targets.
This new Sync Point system allows the AI to synchronize orders to ships, but also gives you the freedom to manually trigger the release signal yourself, or let it be released automatically.
While a fleet battle is taking place, the groups of ships will dynamically receive new attack orders and will switch targets if the group configuration changes. This is especially useful once you have seen how the battle is progressing, and allows you to reconfigure your attacks with different group configurations.
Once you've had a look at this new feature and are feeling experimental, you can edit several of the order parameters. For example:
- "Fleet aggressiveness" defines how aggressively the fleet should behave, as well as affecting the initial positioning of all ships and individual formation attacks.
- "Weak targets first" determines whether to prioritize closer, weaker targets, or go for the larger, stronger ones.
- "Ignore rally points" allows all ships to ignore Sync Points.
(click gif for video demo)
This is just the first of several public beta updates for 4.00 which will lead up to the final release version of 4.00 in Q1 2021. These updates will introduce additional fixes and new features, including the Terraforming gameplay that was mentioned during our gamescom 2020 live-stream. Keep an eye on our news channels to avoid missing anything!
How do I take part in the Public Beta?
Every player who owns X4: Foundations has the opportunity to download the new 4.00 beta version. In order to ensure that beta participants are aware of the risks and rules involved, we ask all interested players to visit our forum where they will find both the rules and disclaimers, as well as practical instructions for participating in the beta. Follow this link to our forum (no registration required) to find the relevant information.
Please note the following important changes to X4: Foundations login and the Egosoft forums!
- New login method, both in-game and on the Egosoft forums, from 4.00
- Login no longer available in-game with modified clients
During the public beta of the 4.00 update, which starts today, you will still be able to log into the game with your forum username in the usual way. However, when the finished 4.00 update is publicly released in the first quarter of 2021, it will become mandatory to login using your e-mail address.
Please note that those who use modified clients to play X4: Foundations will no longer have access to their online account in-game.
The reason for these changes is related to a major update to the X4: Foundations online gameplay planned for the near future. Before our plans can be implemented, these preparatory steps are unfortunately necessary. More information about these changes will be made available when the 4.00 update and the X4: Cradle of Humanity expansion are released, if not before.
X4: Cradle of Humanity - The next chapter of X4 awaits you in the new year!
As announced at the beginning of October, the final release of the 4.00 update and the new X4: Cradle of Humanity expansion, has been postponed to the first quarter of 2021.
X4: Cradle of Humanity is the second expansion for X4: Foundations and will bring the X series back to Earth. It significantly expands the game universe with new sectors and welcomes two Terran factions along with their economy, ships, weapons and stations. New game-starts bring players closer to the identity and political stance of the Terran factions and offer alternative perspectives on events in the history of X4: Foundations.
---> Watch the Extended Teaser with Developer Commentary <---
You can already add X4: Cradle of Humanity to your wish lists on Steam and GOG. Owners of the X4: Foundations Collector's Edition will automatically find the second expansion in their game library when it is released.
We would like to thank all beta testers for their contributions. We hope you enjoy trying out the 4.00 update and discovering its new features!