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Getting through the start of the game…
Do the first few missions in the starting ship. You need the “standing” in order to progress and doing those missions will also give you a little free equipment.

Once you’ve gotten through the first 4 or 5 storyline missions, head to Herron’s Nebula. There is a Space Distillery in Herron’s Nebula and although it sells illegal product, you can sell that product to the Free Argon Trading Station within the same system. You can buy Space Fuel for around 700 (do not buy for more than 1200 or you make no profit!) and sell them for 1252 per unit. You may occasionally get caught by the local police, but the rewards are worth it. When the price raises for Space Fuel (this happens when you have taken all their stock quicker than they can produce it), you can probably make money bringing Energy Cells to the station from the Power Circle system. Once you have around 400,000 credits from trading Space Fuel (or from recovery and sale of the “free objects” listed below), head to Argon Prime and then to the Federal Argon Shipyard where you should buy a Mercury. You should also upgrade the Mercury’s engine and rudder to full capacity and fit it with a Trading System Extension. You should not board the new Mercury or spend the spare 50,000 credits you should have, stay in your starter ship (the Buster).

Now you’re going to be able to fly around the universe in your Buster, doing whatever you want while remotely controlling the Mercury as it continues to trade Space Fuel on your behalf (using the 50,000 credits you didn’t spend to start with). Remotely controlled ships are never scanned by the police, so you’re going to be free of problems. I’d advise you work to try to supply the Space Fuel Distillery with Energy Cells whenever the price of Space Fuel becomes too high. Energy Cells should be bought for no more than 16 credits in Argon space, Power Circle is a good place to start buying.

There are quite a few “free objects” scattered around the universe, I’d suggest you try to recover some of these items early.

Object Name System (System Coordinates) Position Coordinates
125MJ Shield Unknown Sector (3, 17) -29.6, -19.7, -29.5
50000 Credits Unknown Sector (12, 15) -55, -10.2, -50
75000 Credits Ore Belt 10, 4, 52
Banshee Missile Empire’s Edge -50, -15, -9
Buster Sentinel Akeela’s Beacon (6 , 8 ) 30, -10, -30
Buster Sentinel Treasure Chest (6 , 14) 0, 50, 0
Buzzard Hauler Family Tkr -35, -7, -10
Falcon Sentinel Unknown Sector (0, 16) -20, 3, 2
Harrier Sentinel The Vault -25, -10, -14
Iguana Vanguard Family Whi 0, 0, 40
Mako Raider Depths Of Silence (13, 0) 1, -3, 38
Mamba Raider LooManckStrat’s Legacy (10, 9) -17, 0, 0
Mantis Missile Midnight Star 132, 0.046, 4.09
Microchips Patriarch’s Retreat 0, -36, 36
Nova Unknown Sector (10, 18) -12, 1, -19
Pericles Vanguard Unknown Sector (15, 7) -10, 10, 10
Rapier Missile Atreus Clouds 13.1, 0, -13.1
Scorpion Raider Xenon Sector 101 (7, 5) 0, 0, 80
Spaceweed Spaceweed Drift -30.1, 10, 20
Stormbringer Missile Unknown Sector (12, 15) -55, -10, -50
Toucan Hauler Menelaus’ Frontier 43, -7, 35

Some you will not be able to recover until you’re an experienced player with a powerful ship!

Here is a map of the X3 universe. Note that not all systems have four (north, east, south and west) gates. Also note that in the list above there is a System Coordinate, those numbers count from the top-left system on the map, Kingdom’s End (0, 0).

Once you’ve got enough money I’d advise you setup a Sector Trader. It’s best to start off a Trader in a Mercury (with upgraded engine and rudder) and set him/her loose in Argon Prime, Ore Belt or Paranid Prime. Once those Trader’s reach a skill of 8 you can upgrade them to Universe Trader’s and they’ll trade throughout the entire universe instead of those single system’s.

You can now sit back and watch the money roll in really, though I’d advise you still manually smuggle Space Fuel with your remote controlled Mercury…

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British-born U.S. Resident, Tim Wheatley, works for Image Space Inc., a developer of driver-in-the-loop simulation technology. He lives in Illinois with his wife and children.
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