This is a Beginners Instructions thread for those that are just getting into X3 Terran Conflict.
Note that X3 Reunion is slightly different and older then X3TC, so the controls and such will be different, so this thread will deal only with X3TC Setup.
GET THE 2.5 UPDATE
When you first install X3 and get it running, if you have the PC version, you will want to go to the Egosoft.com website and download the 2.5 update. If you purchased the Gold pack, you will not have to as your Edition of X3 will already have all the updates.
SETA DRIVE ACCELLERATOR
Next, when you start up X3, you will note usually that you will need to install your SETA drive. The SETA engine is a Singularity Engine Time Accellerator which speeds up time during Sector flights, (flights 'within' Sectors). You can find your SETA drive at the local Free Trade Station. Once you purchase it and it is installed, when in space flight, click the J key and you will accellerate.
DOCKING AT STATIONS
When you dock at the Free Trade station, remember to use Autopilot and select Dock At.... You can click on the station with the mouse and click Shift D, or go through the menu. You can also put your cross hairs on the station and click the T key (targeting and scanning) and the station will be selected, at which point, you can select Shift D and your AP will automatically go to docking approach mode to that station selected.
NOTE: It is best to always dock at the stations in AP mode until you are totally familiar with how all the thrusters work in the spacecraft. Also note each ship flies a bit different. The freighers are more sluggish the bigger they get. Fighters will be super nimble and tricky at slow speeds.
In your Gameplay / Game settings, you can adjust the SETA drive from 650% to 1000% which seems to go alot faster. While you are there, you should also turn on 'Show Warptunnel' in Gameplay / Game Settings. (It looks 'groooovy'! ).
Now, when you start out in the game, you have a choice of selecting various types of game play, including fighter pilot, and humble trader. Trading will encompass making money by trading goods and selling them at the various stations. Fighter Pilot is self explanitory. They are all quite fun. You will find 4 versions to select from.
SHIP CONTROLS AND SPACE FLIGHT
You can use most joysticks with X3TC, but its good to also know the keyboard commands.
First, you have thrusters that will 'push' your craft sideways, (X axis) as well as up and down (Y axis). This is done with the S and W keys. S key is great for down thrusting away from a parking dock arm at a station (if you are outside the station and not in a hanger bay. Side thrusters are good for using when you are getting close to a ship in side to side combat (boarding it) or claiming another ship, ship to ship transporter use for freight, you, personel, etc, etc. This sideways movement is done with the A and D keys. To rotate your ship left or right (like a barrel roll along the Z axis, nose to tail), you use Q and E keys. Main Thrusters (engines at the rear of your craft) are Z and X keys. Z is decellerate, and X is Accellerate. Full speed is ~ key and all stop command is Backspace key. Steering (up and down, left and right) is done with the arrow keys.
When using a joystick that has rudder pedals or a twist option, this will effect 'roll'. These space craft do not 'bank' in a turn. You just aim it and it sort of slides for a moment and then starts heading in the new direction. Sort of like being in a car in a iced over parking lot in Minnesota in the winter. Change directions at speed and you slide for a bit then start in the new direction.
Looking around in your pilot position is done with your HAT switch on the joystick (like in FS), or with the NumPad keys, (also like in FS).
Exterior view is F2. Interior (hud view) is F1. Hitting F2 several times cycles you back and forth from front to rear view. Good for seeing who is chasing you. You can rotate your views when external by the NumPad keys.
When you wish to save your game, you must be in a Station, docked.. (MUST!!!). If you crash and burn in space, you lost that activity up until your last save to your crash point. So, save as much as possible when you make alot of gains in this game. Note; that if you just docked at a station, your system did an auto-save for you, so if you do crash, you can at least start over from your last docking, then resave as next number up in the base saves, such as 1 thru 7, etc. (You might wish to log your last save numbers. I do, on a yellow Post-It sheet on the computer box. You can also cross check your dates and times from last time played if you lose your spot. You might have to start at an auto-save if you forgot to save your last flight).
There are a huge selection of cheats by a person named CyCrow over at www.egosoft.com in the X3TC Forums, Scripts and Mods section.
CHECKING YOUR BALANCE
To check your balance of credits, click P, P (two times) and your Pilot background will show up. Near the top is your total credits available. Other information will be there as well.
OTHER SHIPS YOU MIGHT HAVE
When you start up in Humble Trader, you have 2 ships, a fighter and a small freighter ship. You can find the other by click on the R key and locating your other ship and its location, including the station name if its parked at a station and not in park orbit in space. If in a space dock at a station, you simply dock at that station, then click R to bring up the station screen and find the ship, click on it, click Advanced/Change Ship and momentarily you will shift over to the other craft. From there, simply hit Escape twice to go to 'undock' mode and click Enter and you are off into space again in the other ship.
You can make money by doing various jobs, from hauling people to hauling freight to doing secret missions, protecting people, doing hits, etc, etc, etc, etc. The list is endless on what all you can do in this game. Its built off of 4 different motives; Think, Build, Fight, Trade. Each of those will be 'icons' on stations in your HUD screens. Build will be a lightbulb, trading will be a money symbol, fighting will be a gun target sign, and building will be green bricks. Clicking on the COMM (communications link) with that station, when it is selected, and when you are within 24 Kilometers from the station will allow you to find out who on board the station needs help.
There is a brilliant set of perhaps 10 or 15 various cockpits that are in 3D that you can equip into your X3TC package. This will give a Virtual Cockpit to each ship, though most will share certain ones. They are quite nice and available at the Egosoft.com X3TC Scripts and Mods website. I do not have the link to this presently.
LEAVING YOUR SECTOR; JUMP GATES
You may have noticed what appear to be GIGANTIC star gates floating in the sector with ships passing through them. These are Jump Gates. When you pass through them, you go to different area's of a solar system or parts of the Galaxy. Some are different planets, some are in Nebulae's, and in X3TC, we now have the Terran sectors, which is Earth.
There are perhaps several hundred Jump Gates. Some sectors will only have 2 or 3, or even 1. Some have missing, blown up Jump Gates with debris floating around. These are area's of huge battles and massacres. You will find burned out stations and space craft debris at these locations as well.
NOTE: Never park in front of a Jump Gate. You can get rammed by another incoming ship coming through the wormhole. I have lost several ships this way. When you come out of a hyper jump, you are at near zero speed or perhaps 15 M/S. You will sometimes be hit if you stay there. So move quick.
BEWARE; PIRATES AND HOSTILE ALIENS
In X3, you will encounter many pirates and also two very rough races of hostile aliens. The pirates seem to acquire bases in hole in the wall sectors, while the hostile aliens have remote sectors and can usually traverse into our area's quite easily and stage offensive attacks on the innocents. Most of the Galaxy is friendly, but some sectors for NUB's will be almost uncrossable unless you are very fast or very well armed and good in a furball. The hostile alien races are the Kha-ahk, (pronounced Kochhhh) and the Xenon (pronounced Zee-non). When you first encounter them, be prepared. They fight quite well. I recommend getting full tunes on your fighter craft's engine and rudder at the Trade Station so that it handles exceptionally well. Your speed in a tune up will go up as well.
You can purchase missles and different weapons and shields at the various stations. Learn to know which ones are best against your enemies.
TARGETING AND FIRING
To go to battle status, click Shift-T and your cross hairs will turn red. You can use AutoPilot to lock onto and fight your enemies. It has good aim but might run into things as well. (So can you, though). To aquire targets, either click on them with the mouse, or use End-Home keys to go up/down in selection order.
To fire, use your Enter key or Left Mouse.
You can fly via using your Mouse as steering (sort of like viewing in FSX) by clicking the Space bar key and using the mouse to guide your ship. Great in furballs and dogfights. Use left mouse key to fire.
MISSLES AND LAUNCHING THEM
If you have missles on board, load the first one by clicking M key. Then have a target selected. When you are in range, fire off the missle by clicking L (L for Launch). If you wish to select a different version of Missle, select it with M key. This will cycle through all versions of Missles you will have on board.
There are lots of things you can do in this game. From exploring to trading to fighting, you can do all of this in a single night. Some nights, I just go exploring. Some of the planets are just so awesome to see. The clouds (if full graphics settings are on) will be moving over a rotating planet. Absolutely awesome to see.
Note; you cannot land on these planets. One is said to be able to wreck you if you go into its atmosphere, but so far, the game doesnt allow for atmospheric flights.
I guess thats enough for now. Have fun...!