Make your journey through space much easier with the help of these beginner tips and tricks for X4 Foundations.

X4 Foundations Beginner Tips and Tricks Guide

Make your journey through space much easier with the help of these beginner tips and tricks for X4 Foundations.

X4 Foundations, the latest space combat and trading simulator from Egosoft, is an exemplary space strategy that is as complex as they get. New players may feel completely alienated by the overwhelming number of options and features in the game.

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In order to prevent you from enjoying this excellent game, here is a selection of the most important beginner tips and tricks that should help you start this unique space adventure on the right foot. So just follow our advice below and create your own space empire!

Piloting and Docking

The game starts with you sitting in the pilot’s chair of your first spaceship. At this point the game will offer a tutorial on the game’s controls, which you should most definitely take. It will show you how to control your spaceship, so that later you could take full control of your ship.

Tip 1: Turn off your autopilot

If your ship is under control of the Flight Assist Computer, which you need to turn off by pressing Ctrl + Space key combination. This is the first essential step, which will allow you to fly your ship manually.

Tip 2: Dock at the station

After taking control over your ship, you can dock at your first station, which can be found on your world map. Approach the station and request for docking permission by pressing Shift + D.

At the station you can hire a pilot/captain and other personnel for your ship. But be sure to hire a captain first, who will pilot the ship so you could focus on other things.

Finding and Accepting Missions

After the initial steps you need to find a way how to make cash. The best way to make cash at the beginning of the game is to find and accept missions from NPCs.

Tip 3: Scan stations for available missions

When you approach a space station, you need to open your map and choose the Available Missions tab in the left menu. There you will see the types of missions available at the station.

But the best way to make a lot of money quickly is to activate the Scan Mode near the station by pressing Shift + 2. In this way you can intercept secret missions that offer much higher rewards than generic missions.

You can also pick up cash rewards in space by detecting Crystal Clusters, Lockboxes and Data Vaults that randomly spawn in space by using Scan Mode.

Purchasing New Ships

After you completed your first few missions and collected some money, you can buy yourself a new ship. Depending on the level of your income, you can buy:

  • Small to medium ships at Wharfs
  • Large and carrier ships at Shipyards

These ship trading stations can also be used for selling and upgrading your ships.

Tip 4: Buy the best ships

Various factions offer different types of ships in their wharfs and shipyards. The fastest and best M class ships in the game are:

  • Osprey Vanguard (Teladi Company, Profit Center Alpha)
  • Osprey Sentinel (Ministry of Finance, Eighteen Billion)
  • Nemesis Vanguard (Godrealm of the Paranid, Trinity Sanctum)
  • Nemesis Sentinel (Holy Order of the Pontifex, Holy Vision)
Tip 5: Upgrade your hardware

At the ship trading Wharfs and Shipyards you can add or remove certain parts of your ship. If you started off with a small or medium combat ship, then it is recommended to upgrade them with:

  • Combat main engines and thrusters
  • Guns and missile launchers on forward mounts
  • Medium gun turrets for M class ships
Tip 6: Upgrade your software

The two most important software upgrades for your ship are:

  • Docking Computer: Auto-corrects your ship’s position during the docking procedure
  • Long Range Scanner: Allows you to detect stations and other small objects, including Lockboxes and Data Vaults, as far as 200 km
Tip 7: Hire new crew members

During the purchase of a new ship you can hire new crew members, including marines and service personnel. Marines are especially useful during combat and boarding other ships.

You can choose the number of crew members in the left menu and select ‘Add to shopping list’ in the right menu to complete the purchase.

Capturing and Boarding Ships

When you finally get a well upgraded combat ship with marines on board you can start capturing and boarding other ships. Boarding smaller ships is really simple, while doing the same with a carrier is a much harder undertaking.

Tip 8: Capture a small ship

If you attack small ships in space, then usually their owners will immediately abandon them. This will make it really easy for you to capture and own the ship.

Here is how you do it:

  1. Right-click on the abandoned ship
  2. Order a marine to board the ship
  3. Claim the ownership using Boarding Pod
  4. Assign the marine as the pilot of the ship

Later, it is recommended to hire a new pilot for the ship and bring back the marine on the board of your combat vessel.

Tip 9: Create a fleet

If you have several combat ships in your possession, you can create a wing with a wing leader by following these steps:

  1. Open the Map menu
  2. Go to Unassigned Ships tab
  3. Select ships you want for your fleet
  4. Right-click on your main combat ship
  5. Select Assignment
  6. Choose Defend this leader

In this way you will create a fleet of your own, which can now attack and board larger ships.

Auto-Trading and Auto-Mining

When you have more ships in your possession, you can make some of them do the Auto-trading or Auto-mining missions for you. This feature allows you to send trading ships into other galaxies, which will make profit for you automatically.

Tip 10: Create a trading ship

Go to any Wharf and buy a small or medium Trading ship. Upgrade it with Trading Computer Extension software and assign a pilot to it. Then, you can assign the ship for auto-trading operations.

Here’s how you can set it up:

  1. Go to Map menu
  2. Open Unassigned Ships tab
  3. Right-click on your trading ship
  4. Choose Information
  5. Right-click on the galaxy of your choice
  6. Select Auto-trade (Galaxy)
  7. Go to Behaviour tab in the left menu
  8. Add/delete wares you want to trade
Tip 11: Create a mining ship

The auto-mining works in basically the same way as auto-trading, but you need to replace all the instances of auto-trading with auto-mining.

So first thing you need to do is purchase a mining ship and assign a pilot to it, and follow the same steps as above but for auto-mining.

Building Your Own Stations

In the latter parts of the game you can actually start constructing your own space stations. This is a huge undertaking, so be sure to dedicate a lot of time to planning and building your station.

Tip 12: Obtain blueprints

Each space station consists of various modules, which can be assembled to create a single structure. Before crafting modules you need to obtain their blueprints.

There are three sources of blueprints in X4 Foundations:

  • Faction Representatives
  • Data Leaks
  • Space Suit EMPs
Tip 13: Claim a plot

When you acquired the necessary blueprints, you can claim a plot in space. If you claim a sector within a faction territory, then you will have to pay taxes. If you refuse to pay them, the faction will try to destroy your station.

Follow these steps to claim a plot in space:

  1. Open your Map menu
  2. Go to Manage Plots tab
  3. Select New Plot
  4. Use axis sliders to adjust plot size
  5. Confirm by pressing Create New Plot
Tip 14: Build your first station

Finally, you can start connecting your modules to create one giant space station. Here is the list of all necessary modules for your space station:

  • Production: produces wares
  • Build: builds, upgrades and repairs ships
  • Storage: stores resources and wares
  • Habitation: NPC shelters
  • Defence: weapon module
  • Dock: docking facility

Now you should be able to rise up in galactic ranks very quickly using these beginner tips and tricks, and for other X4 Foundations guides at GameSkinny, please follow the links below:

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Serhii Patskan
Serhii is the Writer at GameSkinny. He's been writing for GameSkinny since 2015. Before that, he's been writing for various outlets and playing video games, which eventually turned into a passion. The video games that have contributed the most to his enthusiasm for writing about this industry are Magic: The Gathering, Dark Souls, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.