X4 notes


X4 notes



From the most important

  1. vanilla, no cheating, no modding, no editing
  2. make as few irreversible decisions as possible
  3. make as many available options as possible
  4. as much automatic as possible
  5. to alleviate CPU stress: build nothing more than necessary, and in the most efficient way


  • ability to produce every ship, ware, station module
    • with the exception of useless ones (like Prometheus because I won't use these ships in any situations anyway)
    • reputation for factions
    • reputation fix for below -10
      • station criminal traffic shooting
    • reputation fix for above -10
      • fast ship trading
  • as many inventory items as available
    • xenon gate drop collection
    • xenon gate defense
    • xenon gate drop collector

general strategy

game basic flow

  1. do Hatikva, CoH plots until Yaki reputation level 0
  2. set up drop collectors (hours into the game)
  3. set up HQ research (hours into the game)
  4. set up reputation traders (hours into the game)
  5. fly-by board Asgards and set up gate defense (several hours into the game)
  6. start setting up miners (several hours into the game)
  7. start setting up HQ production modules (a day into the game)
  8. set up shipyards blocking ships (a day into the game)
  9. SETA, finally (feel one can count this as the end game, about 2 days into the game)
  10. do terraforming, especailly fund start-up so you now finally have money to buy everything


  • hard limit: if hull<75%, shield<25%, then bail check every 30 seconds
  • your own max hull points matter, the bailing chance *= (target_max_hull/your_max_hull)
  • checkpoint can be revealed by communicating with the pilot, if they respond then the next damage/surrender command will cause a bail check
  • Yaki Kurokami and Moreya are great bailing targets early game, just attack from the subordinates (usually cascaded so make sure you are not attacking any leader) and they will not fight back

see also


  • prepare a ship with a large crew, for example, Shuyaku Vanguard, disarm all turrets, and remove all cargo drones.
  • buy marines from VIG shipyard, note that crew can be transferred over distance so you don't have the boarding ship be the actual buyer
    • transfer all the marines with 1.3 star and sell the rest, repeat until you have a full ship of 1.3 star marines
  • good boarding targets include TER intervention corps Asgard and Tokyo, petrol Asgard as the Moon gate (to Venus)
  • treval mode fly by target right beneath its belly, pause, launch marines with both conditions set to 'very strong', unpause. If you bump into the target, pause and deactivate fly assistance then unpause
  • remove the boarding command from the ship, fly to a safe area

see also

faction reputation fix

A lot of equipment is locked behind the reputation, so one needs to unlock these reputations fast.

reputation fix for below -10

Find a station, or better several stations close to each other, you need to wait until criminal traffic pops up and then shoot it. The criminal vessel is spawned on intervals, and stations nearby will spawn on separate timers, but you need to get there to 'discover' the target.

reputation fix for >= -9

manual way

If you want to raise your reputation fast, 100 energy cells sold one by one will raise the reputation from 0-11 in several minutes.

automatic way

Get a fast ship, set on repeat orders to sell wares one at a time, e.g. buy 10 energy cells and sell one at a time. However, buy one sell one seems efficient enough if the distance between stations is not far. Can configure multiple selling target stations to avoid failing to sell. This will level from 0 to 30 in about 3 days.

drop collection

This is the best investment one can make in the game, though quite risky if the ship assigned is not fast/tanky enough.

It will give you:

  • one of your main income sources, even in late game
    • programmable field array to sell for quite a fortune
    • spacefly eggs for crafting spacefly caviar for quite a fortune
  • basic modifications
  • modification components (consumables)
  • seta components
  • materials needed for unlocking black markets
  • ...

It requires you

  • set up a S/M ship on repeat orders on 'collect drops' near a Xenon gate
    • add a command to dock at the nearest station / your Asgard if you have one defending this gate to maximize efficiency / ensure safety
    • do not let the pilot use judgment, override this so the pilot always flees under attack
  • guarantee Xenon production (do not let NPC factions destroy Xenon logistics)

The best sector for this is Hatikva's Choice, but almost every Xenon gate will do just fine.

gate defense

So that Xenon does not destroy core stations like Equipment Dock in Family Tkr.

It will give you:

  • safer working environment for your drop collector
  • guarantee a place to buy/repair/update your ships before you have your own facility

It requires you

  • have an Asgard stationed there
  • or at least, when it's an emergency, any personally piloted M ship to disable the invader's engine and turret so that local reinforcements can finish it

An Asgard may not be enough. You may need to teleport there to save it.

A defense station may be the best defender, but is rather inflexible (say if you want to remove the block and let Xenon pour in). I may do this in the future.

shipyard block

If not blocked, NPC faction will produce capital ships threatening Xenon or their own neighbors. Buy/dock ships (usually 2 L 1 XL) in their fabrication bay to block their production.

  • pause game right at ship construction 100% finished
  • issue a dock and wait command and remove the undocking command
  • fire/remove the pilot
  • unpause

Occasionally fired/removed pilot may still manage to undock the ship before being fired/removed. You will need to redock the ship (best in person) to the dock. Do not request docking permission, just fly into the intended fabrication bay and the correct docking permission will be auto-granted.

A ship with no pilot (excluding yourself) will not be removed in any way, thus a reliable block on the shipyard, much better than production module hacking or other methods.

FAF cannot build their pirate ships in this way, which is a highly preferable side effect, and saves one's trouble to do Split plots.

But SCA ships can still be there because they are spawned.

full loop factory

It will give you:

  • every ware you need at no cost
  • decent credits
  • terraforming capability

It requires you

  • use your own builder
    • for 30 building drones so construction is proceeded with 100% efficiency
    • for 219 crew super fast training
  • have your own miners
    • for saving cost and making the resources reliable
  • build ships and sell them manually to shipyards for controlled results / best credits
    • If you let NPC buy ships directly, they will actually use the ships, causing potential regional problems. And they pay 20%-30% only.
    • If you sell the ships to a shipyard, ships will fly there and be recycled into materials, and you get full (selling price) credits

I build all the modules to my HQ.

The reason to set up only one factory, at the price of slow construction, is to avoid any kind of logistic nightmare. The ships and factory numbers will be reduced to a minimum for the same amount of ware produced, as objectives require. Other than that, the entire structure can be teleported anywhere.

The only potential loss of such a strategy is the inability to utilize the mineral resources of other than local areas, and potential GPU performance issues when at HQ.

To avoid troublesome planning, I put all my modules (except docking modules) at position 0,0,0 via xml editing. This yields a very clean plan (both in game and in xml), and almost all modules are hidden in the HQ asteroid. I can not measure the exact performance issue caused by z-fighting, but 400 modules there seems not a problem for GTX2080.

The plan is available at constructionplan.

The docking piers are put in such a way to allow as many to function as possible. (6 faces of the cube considered)

Then, use TER docking piers and fabrication modules for aesthetic reasons.

Build in a certain sequence to optimize building time production, mostly in a stage-by-stage manner.

see also

workforce and building method

The workforce can be seen as providing 20-50% of the output (at all production stages!) with ice, which is easy to mine and quite abundant.

The application of workforce on different stages of the pipeline has a great effect on the efficiency in terms of raw material usage. This is a very interesting analog to reallife efficiency boost using the pipeline mass production. The more stages a final product is going through, the more (multiplied!) workforce boost it enjoys. Therefore, using workforce on a Universal production pipeline is far more useful than the Terran or Closed Loop methods. On the other hand, even without workforce, the Universal production pipeline uses the least raw material to produce a final product.

The greatest improvements in the productive powers of labour, and the greater part of the skill, dexterity, and judgment, with which it is anywhere directed, or applied, seem to have been the effects of the division of labour. —— Adam Smith, An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations

The downside is that, unlike silicon and ore which will not be consumed when the module is not producing, ice will be consumed to support workfoce continuously. It is fair though, as the employees cannot be fired simply because the factory is not working. It is not fair that the workforce will not shift themselves to those actual producing modules.

Use Argon workforce for long-term benefits.

see also

xml editing

  • entry index does not matter, the sequence matters
    • import then export the plan will generate correct indices
  • 0 value property can be omitted and will be automatically omitted when exporting from the game
  • a basic cross connector is a 400m length cube centered at (200,200,200), most modules follow the 400m grid
  • snap in game does not guarantee precise alignment, you will notice small error like 0.0052 in the xml
  • exact marco with exactly the same offset will be preserved, otherwise will be torn down and rebuilt


The actual usage of terraforming is to cause a need for production... So you can still play the game if you are not at war with someone. but there are benefits too, the most important ones being the ability to train pilots (although troublesome), and the ability to do start-up funding.

In my current gameplay, I do not have many sources of credit income, so start-up funding might just be the way for me to earn my blueprints.

see also

fund start-up

High school mathematics.

The expected output (of unit investment) is

E(X) = 0.1 \times 15 = 1.5 > 1

Seems fine, but there is a trick. The investment amount is not entirely controllable by the player. It is in fact, fixed to 10% of the player's cash amount when the mission is provided. This mechanic actually lowers one's ability to profit and adds some problems, because you will now have to own 10 times more to be able to invest the same amount.

Under such terms, there is a 35% chance that a player fails 10 times in a streak (I'm currently on 20 and decided to look into the problem) and the final pay does not cover their loss.

However, given a proper strategy, that one always invests a calculated amount so as to always win back the sum of former losses, then one can always make money in the end.

To achieve the above strategy, between two investment cycles, the player needs to make their total cash 1+all_previous_loss/15 the next time.

a_1 = 1, p = \cfrac{0.1}{15}, s_n = \sum_{i=1}^{n}{a_i}
a_n = 1 + p s_{n-1}
\therefore s_n - s_{n-1} = 1 + p s_{n-1}
\therefore s_n = 1 + (p+1)s_{n-1}
\therefore s_n + \cfrac{1}{p} = (p+1)(s_{n-1}+\cfrac{1}{p})
\therefore s_n = (1+\cfrac{1}{p})(1+p)^{n-1} - \cfrac{1}{p}
\therefore a_n = (1+\cfrac{1}{p})(1+p)^{n-1} - (1+\cfrac{1}{p})(1+p)^{n-2}, n>=2
\therefore a_n = 151 \times ((\cfrac{151}{150})^{n-1} - (\cfrac{151}{150})^{n-2}), n>=2

To give a sense, here is a1 to a{40}.


So, a proper investment plan would be to put only a fraction of your total cash as your initial flown cash, then act according to the strategy. How much? Depends on how much risk you want to take. To prepare a streak of 10, 20, 30, 40 failed investments, with the probability of 0.3487, 0.1216 (me right here), 0.0424, 0.0148 accordingly, the additional 1.031, 2.132, 3.309, 4.567 unit of cash should be frozen somewhere. Note this does not take your passive income into consideration.

Say you want a 87.85% secure investment (20 fail chances), you need to put 1/(1+2.132) total cash in the account, then before getting the next investment offer, refill the account to the next status.

Once you make a successful investment, the entire strategy is reset and you'll snowball exponentially.

This is meant to be an interesting mechanism, as credits have almost no usage in late game, for example when you are terraforming (unless you actually rushed here for this start-up funding like me... good luck).

On the other hand, saving spam should work, but in a special way. According to some speculation and my own observation, the consecutive results may be only updated after a successful mission. This seems to be some deliberate anti-save-spam mechanic, at least it makes sure you cannot have a success every time. So save spam (before getting the offer) but use very little account money, and revert to the latest save when the result is a success and put all you have in your own account.

I succeeded on the 22nd trial.

see also


The plots in X series are always optional. I do not need, or want to experience the trashy scripts and buggy plots by any means, so I only opt to do the most rewarding plots with no significant consequences.

see also

Hatikva's plot

No decisions need to be made here, and this plot opens up options for other plots.

see also

CoH plot

I do this plot to unlock Yaki reputation.

Push until you can dock on the Yaki pirate station so that you can raise the reputation with trading and consequently unlock their blueprints, stop right here to preserve the ship with a unique cloak

  • one irreversible decision and one easy-to-miss opportunity
    • giving Litigious Rodent to Bosa results in the Moreya to have the cloak with no pilot available on board (until finish the plot which I intend not)
    • giving Litigious Rodent to TSS results in a Katana to have the cloak, and you can assign a pilot before undocking. The assigned pilot can not execute any command though. They will have a blue identity like allied pilots, but you can communicate with them correctly. You can reassign the pilot elsewhere later, but none can be assigned here from now on. If you exchange pilots with other ships, the one to be exchanged to the Katana will vanish.

The choice boils down to, whether to put the cloak on a Moreya or a Katana. I have blueprints of both, so nothing special here. Moreya is the fastest S ship that can install a TER engine, and Katana is the fastest M ship that can install a TER engine. Both have distinguished ship paint, and the Katana gets a slightly better one, but this is no important reason. It's better to think from the perspective, of who gets more benefit from such a cloak.

In real life, a high-speed scout, e.g. SR-71 Blackbird, does not need a cloak, speed is its best protection, and so is Moreya.

The Katana, on the other hand, can achieve things a Moreya cannot do, for example, survive friendly fire when accidentally activating the cloak near allies, and can kill almost any ship with less effort than a Moreya (How do you even kill a battleship with a Moreya?).

Katana it is.

see also

Spoilers: Compilation of New Plot Rewards - egosoft.com

Yaki Plot Combinations - egosoft.com

ToA plot

I do this plot to get Astrid.

The only decision to be made here is whether to side with the twins or against them. The latter option gives the blueprint, which is not available otherwise.

I need to finish the plot to get the Astrid, speaking of which is so ugly and not quite useful. A Moreya/Katana can do a better job moving everywhere and be used as a personal ship when required, in comparison the maneuverability of Astrid is too awful to be used personally. The best use might be to quickly fly and dock on a unteleportable station so I can teleport there fast, even then it's a M ship thus too far away from the teleportation room.

see also

other plots

I put all other plots, together with the remaining part of the CoH plot on hold. These plots tend to have irreversible decisions with little benefit to my goals.

For example, Paranid plot will unlock BUC reputation which I tend to avoid so I can keep harvesting exceptional chassis mod at no loss.

best equipment for specific purposes

  • shield
    • TER
    • fast regen rate with almost the best capacity
    • exclusive MK3 M shield
    • TEL
    • best capacity with worst regen rate
  • engine
    • TER
    • exclusively best travel boost, much better than any other engines
    • SPL
    • exclusively best combat MK4 for best cruising speed
  • turret
    • PAR L plasma: best IS/OOS anti capital
    • ARG M flak: best IS anti-fighter, good OOS performance
  • weapon
    • TER M meson stream MK2: best OOS, very hard to hit fighters in player's control, barely acceptable IS
    • TER M proton barrage: second best for TER ship OOS, acceptable IS

see also

best ships for specific jobs

drop collector

Large ships collect drops with very slow drones, which is not an option. No ship can promise survivability near a Xenon gate, especially a S/M one. It requires to be fast (cruising speed) enough to be able to flee, and tanky enough before it manages to get away.

  • Katana
    • exceptional mod: Nanotube
    • engine
    • SPL combat engine MK4
      • basic mod: Nudger
    • shield
    • TER M shield MK3
      • exceptional mod: Targe
    • weapon
    • TER meson stream MK2
      • basic mod: Slasher
    • turret
    • ARG flak MK1
      • basic mod: Slasher
    • high level pilot
    • high level crew

Make no mistake here, any ship, even the starting Elite Vanguard can do the job, just very likely to die fast. A non-modded Katana with SPL MK3 is acceptable in the early game.

reputation trader


  • Moreya
    • engine
    • TER combat
    • shield
    • TER
  • Moreya
    • exceptional mod: Tenacity, for RIP
    • engine
    • TER combat
    • shield
    • TER
  • Pegeasus, if you cannot get (enough) Moreyas yet
  • Katana, proper shields for traveling to Yaki in deep Xenon territory
    • exceptional mod: Shroud, analog to reallife stealth
    • engine
    • TER combat
    • basic mod: Reaver


efficiency (cargo, speed)

  • Crane Sentinel
    • exceptional mod: Nanotube
    • engine
    • TER all-round
      • basic mod: Reaver
    • shield
    • TER
      • basic mod: Buckler
    • turret
    • TEL/any mining
      • basic mod: Digger
    • ARG flak
      • basic mod: Slasher
    • 4-5 star pilot
    • 4-5 star crew

A typical Crane Sentinel will mine and sell a full shipload in about 20-25 minutes, which is highly efficient. 15 mineral + 2 gas such miners can support my 480 module HQ with redundancy.

The logic of choosing cargo over speed is that despite the mining process being mostly bottlenecked by the delivery process, the delivery process is not completely controlled by top travel speed. The rotation after each jump gate, the docking process, and the ware transferring process can not be reduced by faster speed. Now almost all large miners have a similar cargo*speed, then the one with the largest cargo wins. Extra advantages include very good shields and weapons against Kha'ak.

The theory is validated by experiments, see

misson/personal ship

travel speed, damage, shield

  • Moreya
    • exceptional mod: Nanotube
    • engine
    • TER combat
      • exceptional mod: Traction
    • shield
    • TER
      • exceptional mod: Slingshot
  • Katana
  • Kurokami

see also


travel speed

  • Moreya
    • exceptional mod: Nanotube
    • engine
    • TER combat
      • basic mod: Reaver

gate defender

tank, damage

  • Asgard
    • exceptional mod: Nanotube
    • engine
    • TER all-round
      • basic mod: Reaver
    • shield
    • TER
      • basic mod: Buckler
    • weapon
    • ATF XL beam
      • basic mod: Piercer, for one-shot I without creating a cooling issue
    • TER L beam
    • ARG M flak

personal battleship

damage, maneuverability, speed, tank

  • Asgard
    • exceptional mod: Nanotube
    • engine
    • TER all-round engine
      • exceptional mod: Vikas
    • shield
    • TER shield
      • exceptional mod: Traction
    • weapon
    • ATF XL beam
      • exceptional mod: Annihilator
    • turret
    • TER L beam
      • basic mod: Slasher
      • enchanced mod: Kite/Cast
    • ARG M flak
      • basic mod: Slasher
      • enchanced mod: Kite/Cast
  • Erlking
    • exceptional mod: Nanotube
    • engine
    • Erlking engine
      • exceptional mod: Vikas
    • shield
    • TER shield
      • exceptional mod: Traction
    • weapon
    • Erlking main weapon
      • exceptional mod: Annihilator
    • turret
    • Erlking turret
      • basic mod: Slasher
      • enchanced mod: Kite/Cast


fast, crew

  • Shuyaku Vanguard
    • exceptional mod: Nanotube
    • engine
    • TER
      • basic mod: Reaver
  • Asgard
    • exceptional mod: Annihilator
    • TER engine
      • basic mod: Reaver / exceptional mod: Vikas


fast, crew

  • Heracles Vanguard
    • exceptional mod: Nanotube
    • engine
    • TER
      • basic mod: Reaver



  • Astrid
    • exceptional mod: Nanotube
    • engine
    • Astrid
      • exceptional mod: Slingshot
  • Moreya/Pegasus

XL ship M dock additional M turrets

  • Jian
    • turret
    • ARG M flak
      • basic mod: Slasher
      • enchanced mod: Kite/Cast



  • basic mods
    • drop collector
  • advanced mods
    • Prometheus hunting
    • difficult because BUC will destroy your satellites so may be hard to find these ships
      • as an exception, Morning Star IV lets you deploy a lot of satellites, so hunting Prometheus here is easier
      • automatic farming could be less efficient because most of the time these ships are cloaked
  • exceptional mods
    • initial spawned Prometheus sometimes carries full exceptional mods
    • chasis
    • all BUC ships can be destroyed at no consequence to harvest exceptional chassis mods, so put some M ships on defense position order with fire authorization set to ruthless, and a drop collector to farm on the same spot
    • weapon
    • guild/war missions
    • shield
    • guild/war missions
    • war missions that reward an L miner guarantee an exceptional shield mod
    • engine
    • guild/war missions, most often need you to deploy resource probes
      • have ships stationed at the deploying position to facilitate next time's operation, as the location pool is quite limited for these missions

see also

numerical target

  • chassis
    • Nanotube, every 10 rolls
    • 0.22 drag
    • Shroud
    • 0.79 visibility
  • shield
    • Pavise, a lot of rolls (no consumption)
    • 0.69 shield capacity
    • Traction for S ship, a lot of rolls (no consumption)
    • 0.65 rate
    • 0.65 delay
    • Traction for M and above ship, a lot of rolls (no consumption)
    • 0.69 rate
    • Kite/Cast (these two are exactly the same mod but one guarantees capacity and another rate)
    • 0.19 capacity
    • 0.19 rate
  • weapon
    • Slasher, every 20 rolls
    • (1+reload * 1+damage) > 2.5, e.g. 0.4 damage, 0.8 reload
    • Slasher for TER L beam, every 20 rolls
    • 0.45 damage
    • 0.67 reload (larger is useless)
    • Digger, every 20 rolls
    • 0.49 rate
    • Piercer, every 10 rolls
    • 0.19 damage
    • Annihilator, a lot of rolls
    • rare, and depends...
  • engine
    • Reaver, every 20 rolls
    • 0.44 travel speed
    • Nudger, every 20 rolls
    • 0.44 forward thrust
    • Slingshot, every 1000 rolls, good that you don't need to do this very often (only for personal S/M ships)
    • 0.29 forward thrust
    • 0.49 travel thrust
    • Vikas, a lot lot of rolls (only for personal L/XL ships)
    • high rotation thrust
    • high forward thrust
    • high travel thrust

naming scheme

[.?][M/T/Z][L/M/S][Detail job code] [Ship class name] [00]

  • [.?] preceding dot to distinguish between named and unnamed ship
  • [M/T/Z] Military/Transporter/muSeum ship, ensuring M is listed first, then T, finally Z
  • [L/M/S] ship docking class
  • [Ship class name] e.g. Crane (Sentinal)
  • [Ship special job?] e.g. M for Mining, B for boarding (MB), B for building (TB). General purpose ships have an empty job and will show on top of the others
  • [00] two digits sequential code

Ships not managed by player are not named.


.ML Asgardpersonal Asgard
.MLB AsgardAsgard for boarding
.MLS Asgard 01Asgard for Static defense
.MM Katanapersonal Katana
.MM Kurokami 01personal Kurokaimi, 01 ship
.MM Kurokami 02personal Kurokaimi, 02 ship
.MMD Katana 01Drop collector, 01 ship
.MS Moreyapersonal Moreya
.MSS Moreya 01Moreya for Scout, 01 ship
.TLB Heracles 01Large Builder
.TLM Crane (Mineral) Sentinal 01Large Miner
.TMR KatanaReputation trading ship for Yaki
.TSR Moreya 01Reputation trading ship
.ZS Perseus Sentinelship bought in HQ engine research plot


station plans


X4 has the best economic/war simulation of the entire series, implementing a lot of RTS concepts into the game, but there are still limitations.

In X the cores are always trade, build, fight, think.

Well, the devs may have found out that if a trading/logistic system is too perfect, that there is nothing left for the players to accomplish. Might just be the reason why the system is trash. The economic simulation has its problems, that it is almost completely built on the war. No war, no attrition, no requirement. This causes most players to find themselves class-A war criminals later in the game, trying to wage wars, one way or the other, so that the game may continue. The designers tried to implement a terraforming project into the game to manually create requirements but failed to implement a good rewarding mechanism.

The modular building is all fun, but the devs might also have found out that if the building process is too easy, there is nothing left for the players to grind. So they allow modules to be teared down simultaneously, but not the building process. The problem is that, unlike city planning simulations, there is not much to consider when building a space station.

The fight/war simulation is more of an awkward pre-WWII navy simulation focused on battleships, carriers, and destroyers, with fighters being a quite strange role. Since X3, fighters have been able to manage long-distance trips on their own, while in reality, the lack of such ability is the only reason that carriers even exist. In X4, the fighters have even better long-range capability (compared to carriers), rendering it completely obsolete to even have a carrier, thus the pre-WWII claim.

The best part is the thinking part, thanks for reading.