View Full Version : Guide The Professional Privateer: A Guide for the Discerning Pirate

04-12-2009, 04:55 AM
The Professional Privateer:
A Guide for the Discerning Pirate
by Draxis

Table of Contents:
Recommended Scripts,
Starting Out,
Expanding the Operation,
Station Owning,
Mobile Station,
Capturing Capital Ships for Profit,
Profitable Privateering,
Contraband and Smuggling,
Establishing a presence,
Waging War as a Privateer,
Capturing Guide for fighters,
Capturing Guide for freighters


Odds are that you have run into pirates during your forays in space and, if you are like me, you think them to be an irritant. However, I see these pirates as irritating because they are amateurs that get in the way of my privateering career. That said, I am here to redeem my trade and show you the way to riches without spending your time in trading while simultaneously teaching you how to rise above the classless “smash and grab” approach.

I will suggest multiple scripts during this guide. If you consider some of these scripts to be cheap, then don't use them. Simple as that, but I find that many of them add significantly to the play value of the pirate life style. For example, in the vanilla game, I was restricted to destroying other stations. Now I can board them, steal them and place them in my TL's have a fleet of mobile factories ready to move at the first sight of the fuzz. You gotta admit, that's pretty awesome.

Scripts Used or Recommended:
All scripts can be found >>here<< (http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=216690&sid=49d26a35d3724cdf65d0b8ce8530c921):
Station Boarding (http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=250936)
Improved Boarding (http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=219597)
Ship Hijacker (http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=231169)
Marine Training Manager (http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=224612)
Marine Repairs (http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=221116)
Production Modules (http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=255379)
Upgrade Kits (http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=220579)
The Marauder Shipyard (http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=223132)
Freight Distribution Network (http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=227813)
Strategic Sector Defense Network (http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=247324)
Light Support Drone Carrier (http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?p=2973783#2973783)
Capital Ship Energy Cell Generator (http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=255640)
Player Workshop (http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=244052)
NPC Bailing Add On (http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=219440)
Station Repacker (http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=224396)

The Early Days: Starting as a Privateer

No matter how you start, the idea is the same: make some cash to get started. I chose to start as an Argon Patriot and immediately headed west to Scale Plate Green. You might be wondering why I am not starting by attacking everything in sight and there are a few reasons for this:
1.Never attack neutrals in space where you want to have friends (exception is Teladi space where anything is legal short of attacking Teladi ships)
2.Never attack when the cops are near by (see above)
3.Always keep one race friendly so as to have a place to sell loot

That said, lets get started. We are going to start by docking at a station in Scale Plate Green and saving the game. We need some scratch to get started and more importantly Fight Cmd Software MKI and 2. We are going to get this money by collecting loot and perhaps a captured ship. Capturing ships is going to be our main source of income, so get used to it. The NPC Bailing Add On allows ships to bail and makes piracy, erm, privateering more lucrative. I chose to follow a Teladi patrol into Xenon space, but doing missions also work...

Right then, I am taking a mission for the Teladi because I am afraid of all those Xenon. This is a rule for privateering: if you can't win, don't fight. There is no shame in running, remember you are a privateer and the only causes worth fighting for are survival and cash.

I recommend having one race as friendly, and the Teladi are usually a good bet because they don't care about piracy in their space. Take a few missions to get started. You need to get some equipment to do well and the Teladi will supply it... if they like you. Go do some missions until you can afford Fight Command Software Mk1 and MK2 and the Trade Extension System.

Got 'em? Good. Lets get started. We are now going to begin our career as a privateer. Capturing ships is the best way to make money in my mind's eye. Its fast, easy enough, and can be done at any point in the game. Our starting prey are going to be a few small fighters, and that is why we needed the fight command software; it allows you to aim less precisely and focus on keeping the hull intact.

You saw that script above? Ship Hijacker it says. I love this script. It allows to take a ship nearly entirely intact. This is our goal now we need to get jump drive, transporter, and computer components to use this tactic. That is going to cost us, so we are going to make our cash from missions again.

I said missions, allow me to rephrase that, we are going to get money from stealing the ships in those missions... Station defense missions are the best: they will get us reputation with the Teladi and offer prey at the same time. We are aiming to capture fighters here so if you are not comfortable with capturing fighters, see my capping guide below.

Moving On: Upgrading Our Ship

We now have a little scratch and now know how to capture ships so its time to get started in earnest! Go to Scale Plate Green or another sector next to a Xenon sector. Periodically Xenon ships will come through the gate and fall into your lap! Perfect for capturing ships. You must now get a certain amount of cash until we can progress. One million should do it.

Keep capturing until you get one million in cash.

If you got the upgrade kit script like I said to, we now need to get to Getsu Fune. This sector is in the far upper right hand corner of the map and we are looking for the upgrade kit station. These kits allow us to install any upgrade we want for a certain cost (higher than buying at a dock) but these can be transferred to other ships we capture, meaning that it will allow you to install upgrades that you usually won't be able to get if a race isn't friendly with you. It also means that you will be able to install jumpdrives on ships you capture. This is essential if you're going to make cash quickly because a freighter that never makes it to the dock doesn't bring in any cash.

Expanding The Operation

Now we have a decent ship, hopefully an M3 or M3+. Now we are going to go after the big bucks and there is a few ways to do this. We can use the ship hijacker to expedite the money making process or you can do it the old fashioned way.

Option 1: Capturing M3+'s
For this we need a military transport. This is essentially a Small Transporter with four fighter hangars rigged to it. This will allow us to move our captured ships quickly and safely. You can find these all over the galaxy. You can either hijack one or buy one. They are all mostly the same and so I leave it to you to choose how you want to do it.

Once you have captured or bought the ship, we need to find a target. Pirate Keas or BlastClaws are good targets, but deadly so I recommend extreme caution. This is especially true around the BlastClaws because they use something like a flame thrower to deadly effect.

You can either choose to use the ship hijacker or do it the traditional way. At this point, I prefer the hijacker because it is faster. See the fighter capturing guide at the bottom if you need tips.

Option Two: Capturing Freighters
Check my guide for this, but once again I recommend the hijacker method. It is faster and will give you a large amount of weaponry and raw resources if you are lucky. Scroll down to find the freighter capturing guide.

Moving On

Now that you have some money under your belt, we can start making larger amounts of cash and there are a few ways to do this, but because this is a piracy guide, we will tackle boarding operations first.


Once you have a few million, we are going to prepare for boarding operations. For this, we need a corvette and equip it with cargo life support system. Buy or hijack it, it doesn't matter to me. After you have gotten one, send it to a military outpost of a friendly race. You are looking to buy ten marines. You are looking for marines with at least two stars in the fighting category. It is imperative that you have marines that are good fighters because this determines the chance of survival of that marine.

Once you have purchased the ship and equipment required, you need to train your marines. There is currently a great marine training program out on the forums (link). This will allow you to train multiple marine at once and do it more rapidly than at a military outpost, though it will cost more.

Now, once you have your corvette and marines, you have a few choices. You can attack Xenon targets as they attack civilized sectors or you can go after race ships. Xenon ships are easier to capture because they are under attack as they invade, but at times they can be difficult to find without going into their sectors.

The main races occasionally send patrols through the pirate sectors and these often consist of a corvette and a few fighters. The corvette is your goal.

Let's take a step back to discuss boarding. I view Cycrow's advanced boarding script as essential here. It allows you to launch boarding parties at the touch of a hotkey. Boarding require marines and they can be deployed to an enemy ship via space walk or boarding pod. The pod is ideal, but few corvettes can carry them.

First you must drop the shields of the enemy ship and get in very close. You then hit the boarding hotkey (assigned from the control menu) and your marines will bail out and attempt to attach to the enemy hull. At this point, their engineering training kicks in and, if they are good enough, they will cut through the hull. They will then proceed to fight their way through the ship (sometimes this will cause damage to the ship itself). Meanwhile, the other ship will be fighting back the entire time and trying to kill both your ship and your marines. You can fly away at this time, or use another ship to deliver more marines to the target.

After the marines fight through a number of decks, they will reach the computer core. Your two best surviving marines will hack the core and attempt to disable the ship and turn it over to you. They can fail at this and if they do, they will jump out an air lock and you will have to repeat the process. If they are successful, you gain control of the ship.

Keep in mind, the marines can be killed at any time in space, they are simply wearing space suits and are quite vulnerable. If the target ship takes too much damage, they will jump out an air lock (if they make it in time) to avoid dying.

These are the basics of boarding, so essentially, you want to drop the enemy shields and send in the marines. The ship will take some damage, but with some luck you will have another ship at your disposal.

This process is slower, but more certain and yields better ships and equipment than capturing fighters.
There is also a script that will have marines slowly repair any ship they are one (link)

Making the Big Bucks

The real money can start flowing now through a few different avenues. Capturing ships is good, but requires direct player participation, so I recommend setting up a few stations if you want the cash to keep rolling as you wage war.

On Station Owning for Profit

Having stations is useful, you can make a lot of money, make your own weapons and even your own ships. You can use the regular game settings to set up stations, but it would be foolish not to utilize scripts offered by the community.

The best I've seen are Logain Abler's scripts and I whole heartedly endorse them if you are looking to set up your own station network (see the links at the beginning). His freight distribution network consists of stations called nodes that will connect to each other and then to your stations and essentially allow you to make complexes that are not connected by tube or even in the same sector. These goods can then be routed to docks for your own consumption, to outfit your own freighters, to store for later use, or even to sell for profit.

Once you have enough cash to afford stations, you can set them up to your own satisfaction. I recommend starting with a small loop that creates energy cells. This will require a silicon mine, a crystal fab and a solar power plant. How you set it up is up to you. You can do this using the in game complex kits and deploying the stations from a rented or owned TL, or you can set up a node to do it. I recommend the node.

There is also an interesting station in the PM script: the Production Complex. This station costs 25million or so and contains space for 200 production modules. This means that you can load a station into the complex and then it will have the same effect as having 200 of those stations, or you can divide it up differently. This station can be connected to nodes throughout the galaxy to move its wares else where. Essentially, you can have 200 stations in the space required for a shipyard (a CPU godsend).

The Mobile Factories

There is another script I highly recommend by Logain Abler called “Production Modules” and its nothing short of genius. Essentially, it allows to buy (or in our case, steal) a station and then load onto a TL and use the TL as a mobile factory (pulling resources from nodes). As a privateer, I find this awesome. I can literally pick up my base and move at any time. See the links at the top of the guide.

Eventually, if you are going to wage a war, stations will be required to arm your fleets.

On Capturing Capital Ships for Profit

If you can grab a capital ship, its going to sell for a lot of money. Its difficult, but profitable. The easiest ones to grab are the missile frigate patrols that wander the pirate sectors or the pirate frigate (Carracks) that roam space. The missile frigate is a weak tool in the hands of the AI, but deadly when properly equipped and controlled by the player.

You can cap this ship with a corvette. Same deal as usual, clear the enemy escort, down the shields and board em. Once you've done it a few times, it becomes easy. However, carriers and destroyers are far more difficult to cap than missile frigates or TL's.

To take these ships, we will need to plan ahead. A missile frigate (the one you just captured or bought) is idea for this. They tend to be faster than destroyers or carriers and their missile armament is fantastic (if you fill up on flail barrage missiles, torpedos, and boarding pods).

Eliminate the escort fighter using flails, and then get the attention of the target ship. Head away from the center of the sector so that you will be alone with the target ship. Drop the enemy' shields will torpedo's but be careful as the shields are nearly depleted because torpedos will wreck the hull incredibly quickly.

Save often while boarding with pods, things can go wrong easily. When the shields are down, whittle em down with your turret if you need to (most M7M's have at least one turret with guns) and launch a boarding pod (can be bought at pirate bases) and a few flails. The idea is that the flails will provide a screen for the pod. Hopefully it will get through and your marines will take control of the ship. You can launch multiple pods if you need to.

Contraband and Smuggling
I don't produce contraband in my factories and I don't smuggle. This is not because I don't like it, but because its not worth it. If my factories are turning out shields or weapons, I can sell them all in one run to an equipment dock and I know that there is a market for my goods.

If you are inclined to trade in contraband, keep in mind that the market is pretty small. Only certain stations will buy your goods which means that its rarely worth the trip, however stations are a different story.

Many people have had a lot of success with contraband complexes (IE spaceweed and spacefuel) and make a lot of money doing it. The problem is the consumers are, shall we say, less than regular. Ultimately if you want to smuggle, its easy. Move fast and stay away from the police and use the jump drive as much as possible. You can always use a TM and keep the goods stored on your docked fighters, because the scan shouldn't pick them up.

Establishing a Presence

By now you've got quite a bit of cash at hand by capturing or stations or both. You can do what you want at this point, but its time to defend our territory and we're going to need patrols for this. If you got the Marauder Shipyard Script (top of guide) you will always have access to a shipyard that will sell you pirate ships. I say this because one of my favorite ships is the Carrack. The ship is fast and carries a ton of good weaponry. I like to have these parked at the gates in my sectors and if coupled with the Capital Ship Energy Cell Generator Script, they can keep themselves stocked with energy for jumps.

Equipping these ships will require you to search high and low for equipment, take it from other ships, or establish your own stations. I recommend the last option. And by using the upgrade kits, you will be able stock your frigates with upgrades. There are other scripts for fighter equipping but they are complex and I prefer to use yet another Logain Abler script called “Light Support Drone Carrier.”

This script automates defense of a sector by taking a ship of your choice and allowing it to produce drones using wares in its cargo bay. These drones will then be beamed out of the cargo bay, attack and kill any enemy ships or report them based on your settings. Its smarter than any AI for the fighters we have now and far simpler. In addition, if you permit it, the ship can draw from your nodes (ware houses) to supply construction. I love this and plan to use it to defend all my sectors.

I recommend having several TL's loaded with drone and several Carracks on hand for combat duty. Ideally, I would want to have a home sector with my HQ and four of each ship. A sector containing a minor out post would have one frigate and one drone carrier or two drone carriers.

Waging War

We've reached the end of the road here. You've got a fleet, you've got stations, you've got money. You have choices now and can do what you want. A common goal of players is to go to war. Be it the eradication of the Xenon or the genocide of a main race, it's your call.

My tips for waging war are simple, go balls to the wall. I plan to use two dozen drone carriers, eight destroyers, five missile frigates, and two dozen frigates (Carracks) for my warmongering. No fighters. Why no fighters? Because they are much harder to replace and rearm than drones and far fewer of them fit on a ship. You are going to take losses so get that in mind now. The enemy will bring destroyers and carriers and you must have the infrastructure to support the war effort.

I don't believe in using destroyers much in sector because they are too slow. M7's form the core of all my fleets because they are maneuverable and, ultimately, I can afford to lose a few. Instead, believe that destroyers should serve as blockade ships and position them at gates. Two destroyers at each gate will slow down nearly anything the AI can throw at you and if things get hairy, jump them out and flood the area with a barrage of torpedos.

If you can clear the sector of ships, you can capture the stations using marines and the ship boarding script listed above. Essentially, if your ship has system overrides software and docking computer, you can force the docking clamps open and attempt to commandeer the station and then integrate it into one of your factory ships, so now there is a reason to go to war. You can repack the station and sell it.

Capturing Guides:

Capturing Fighters:


Capturing ships is the best way to make money in this game if you don't want to waste time with trading. Its risky, but pays well. However, we must start small and for that our targets will be fighters.

I will describe two ways of doing this: traditional, and with scripts.

I also highly recommend the NPC Bailing Add-On script. It allows you to customize the percentage of pilot who bail.

Part One: Targets and Target Prioritization
“Know your enemy and you are halfway to victory”


Targeting sounds simple and you might want to dive into capturing, but research is important. For example, some heavy fighters carry a rear turret which will shred you to pieces and therefore it might be better to attack from the front than the back.

As a general rule, its safer to attack from the rear because the enemy can't put as much fire power on you from that angle (not the case with larger ships all the time), however this is not always the case. Certain heavy fighters carry turrets and this is highly annoying in a dog fight if you are in the weaker ship.

Know the enemy:
M5': Fast and harder to target but can be deadly if ignored or in large groups
M4: Middling speed and firepower, the easiest to dispatch but still worth some cash
M4+: An interesting class, they are fast and yet are pretty well defended. Some can carry M3 class shields and weapons.
M3: Heavier and have good shielding and weaponry, worth more. Our main targets.
M3+: Even heavier and better protected, these are very valuable and can sell for several million.

The beginning pirate should attempt to capture M4's until a better ship can be gotten. However, pirate falcons are present in abundance and lack a rear turret. They can sell for half a million if even reasonably intact which makes them good targets.

Target Prioritization:

Target selection is of paramount importance. For example, lets say you are stalking a small patrol of two scouts and a medium fighter. You might be tempted to go after the M4 from the beginning because it is the biggest target. Do not do this. When you are starting out, you are vulnerable and these small ships will flank you. Kill the escort first, always. It allows you get the faster ships out of the way and then you can focus on the real prize.

Part Two: Area of Engagement
“Location, Location, Location...”

You wouldn't snatch a purse in front of a cop because that would be stupid. The same goes for capturing ships in heavy populated sectors. The police will track you down and make life harder, so as a general rule, do your work in less populated or pirate sectors.

(Note: There is an exception to this rule. Some races are at war and so you can capture the ships of their enemies without fear of police intervention. The Paranid and Argon are at war as are Boron and Split. Example: I attack a Paranid fighter in Argon space, no cops. If I were to attack any other race, the cops would be angry.)

The best stomping grounds for fighters are the borders of populated space or near Xenon and pirate sectors. These areas tend to have a decent number of targets for your enjoyment but don't tend to have capital ships lurking around. This means you can grab a few fighters but disposal could be hard without time so I recommend the following.

Attack between borders of different races. Example, attack ships in Hatikvah's Faith and then send your prizes into Argon space. This protects your prizes from further attack and means that you can spend more time on capturing and less time on conveying the prizes to the shipyard.

Part Three: Traditional Capturing Techniques

There are a few ways to capture, but we are now talking about fighters and doing it the old fashioned way. The best way to do this is with a varied set of lasers. I prefer to use High Energy Plasma Throwers and have a pair of Particle Accelerator Cannons or Impulse Ray Emitters for back up. There are other lasers for the job but they cost a lot more and I prefer the good old guns from the first games for this purpose. If you kill the target, there are always others. If you really want the ship, save before engaging and then reload until you get it.

First up, put your weapons in groups from most powerful to weakest. We want two weak weapons in one group, you decide which. This allows us to switch from doing to heavy shield dropping blows to precision blows in a button push.

(use the NPC bailing add on, it gives you a better chance of enemy pilots bailing and allows you to capture certain ships that are not usually able to be capped without boarders. But this is a personal choice)

This is my strategy: I come from the back and decide what ship I want to capture. Inevitably, that ship is in a group. I always attack from behind because I can get the first blow in and not get blown up by enemy fire from the first moment. That said, kill either the scouts or the heaviest ships first. The scouts get at your back like a small dog and like to launch missiles. The big ships have the heaviest firepower and its nice to be able to destroy as much of their shielding as possible in the opening salvo. Its your pick.

Let's get started. We are attacking from behind, remember that. Eliminate your ships of choice and until only the target(s) remains. It is tempting to go straight for the target. Do not do this. Doing this leaves your flank exposed. If you kill all the other ships, you can spend more time on the target and keep it more intact. Drop their shields quickly (heavy lasers or ion weapons work a treat here) and then switch over to your weakest weapons. Hammer away slowly and keep shooting till the enemy bails. If they don't jump ship, reload and try again; but don't worry if you can't cap the enemy, some pilots are braver than others and you will have another shot.

(You can check a pilots bravery using the Bioscanner. This is available at Jonferco and Terracorp Headquarters respectively. Scan the ship as normal and it will tell you the pilot's “bravado.” The lower the number, the easier the capture.

Remember to chip away at the hull slowly. It is important not to rush this step because the price you get for that ship is based on the hull's integrity. For this reason, many people like to use Pulse Beam Emitters or Phased Repeater Guns because they do little hull damage. Both are viable, but IRE's work too and cost far less.

Part Four: Alternative Capturing Technique
“Sometimes, breaking away from tradition is profitable.”

This section highlights how to capture ships almost entirely intact through the use of a script called the ship hijacker (look at top for link)

This is a very useful script. I used to use it extensively because it turns over the ship and its equipment intact. It might seem a little cheap, but it has limitations which balance things out.

4.Only the player ship can use this script
5.You must be with in 5km
6.The target shields must be down
7.You must have a Transporter device
8.You need computer components

To use this, assign the device to a hotkey under the controls section. Then fly behind your target and drop his shields to zero and hit the hotkey. The components will transfer across and begin to work. The time necessary depends on the size of the ship.

The ship will remain hostile and keep shooting at you, but you can flee the area and the ship will transfer to your control after a time. The pilot will be ejected in a space suit.

This tactic is useful if you want the ship intact and I love using this tactic coupled with ion disrupters. Simply fly into a group of ships, drop their shields and transfer components to each ship in rapid succession and flee the area.

I don't use this so much any more, but its what some people like.

Part Five: After The Capture
“Getting the loot is half the job, selling it is the other half.”

Once you get the pilot to eject, you have to claim the ship. To do this, fly next to it and use either salvage software to claim it, or eject and claim it manually. The former is done from target interface and the latter is done via ejecting from your ship, approaching the target and hitting the appropriate button. I prefer the former because it is safer, easier, and faster. This software can be found at pirate bases, but is considered contraband.

Once you have the ship claimed, you then can do one of several things. You can assign the ship to fly to a shipyard, or load it onto a TL, TM, or M1.

The TM holds lots of cargo, holds four fighters, and can mount weapons. This is makes it a good portable base. This ship allows to move capture fighters in bulk to the shipyard and the use of a jump drive makes this process fast and efficient and is relatively cheap. They cost about a million to fully kit out and quickly pay for themselves by helping you extract valuable M3+'s from pirate space before that frigate can reach you...

Transporting the ships back in a larger craft is safer and faster. It ensures that all of your craft will make it back in one piece and it will take far less time. Also it expands the range of your operations: you can jump into a sector, grab three fighters and then dock to your TM with your spoils. This allows you to flee the area quickly and operate in areas where you might not be expected.

Part Six: Conclusion
“Good luck and good night”

I hope this guide has helped you in your privateering endeavors, I wish you the best of luck and humbly ask you to recommend this to others and say thanks for this mini guide.

Freighter Capturing Guide

Part One: Introduction
Freighters are tempting targets: they are loaded with raw resources and products and can sell for a pretty penny. More importantly, they are easy to capture which means you can make money quickly in the beginning of the game until you can afford marines

Recommended Scripts:
NPC Bailing Add On
Ship Hijacker (truly optional)
Upgrade Kits

Part Two: Locations
There are many locations to capture freighters and so it all depends on how gutsy you are. The largest number of freighters can be found in core sectors, but these are well protected.

A more sane alternative is to engage freighters in border sectors or pirate space. I have found Split Fire to be ripe with targets, but areas like Hatikvah's Faith and Farnham's Legend are good too. What we are looking for is a lightly defended sector with a lot of civilian traffic. For this reason, it is a good thing if you are on the border of an empire because there tends to be a lot of traffic going through those gates.

Also, an interesting alternative is possible. Nations are at war and so it is possible to capture freighters of one nation in their enemies space without fear of police intervention. The only downside to this is that you will probably have fewer targets than if you were in pirate space.

Part Three: Targets
Freighters are slow, and generally poorly protected; however, they have three advantages – turrets, drones, and escorts. Turrets are the transport's only weapons and all transports mount at least one turret and military transports mount two or more.

Also, freighters can have drones. Drones come in different flavors, IRE mounting and PAC mounting drones. These sentinels are not heavily armed or protected, but the issue is that they tend to come in swarms and can be dangerous. They are difficult to target because they move quickly. I like to target one and keep moving until I see its coming closer, then I swing my guns toward it and annihilate it.

Part Four: Traditional Technique
Freighters are not fighters and, as such, it is best to use different methods of attack against them. Freighters have long side profiles and are usually only armed at the back. This means that the safest way of tackling a transporter is from the front or the sides. I like attacking from the front and then strafing sideways while I strip the shield.

Freighters tend to move alone which makes them highly vulnerable. These transports are slow to move or maneuver and therefore usually pose no threat. However, weapon transporters or military transports tend to have an escort and are far more dangerous.

If you run into a convoy, take out the escorts first and attack from the front if possible. This will defend you from the turret of the TS which tends to be more accurate than front mounted weaponry of fighters. I recommend that you are armed with at least two particle accelerator cannons or impulse ray emitters. This will allow you to destroy the faster targets and allow you to whittle down the enemy hull slowly.

When you destroyed the escort, begin to strafe the target freighter from the front to remove the shields. Only make one run and then orient the nose of your ship toward the middle of the freighter and move in closer until you are only a few hundred (500 or less) meters away. This will protect you from the turret of the ship and if you set yourself perpendicular from the target, you can strafe to keep up with the freighter. This will offer you protection and mobility and shields yourself from potential escorts by using the freighter itself as cover.

Weaponry to be used is quite basic. Particle accelerators work just fine because most freighters only pack about 75 mj of shielding. This means that the ship has about as much shielding as a heavy fighter and handles significantly slower. It will be easy to capture, it is just a matter of how many hull points the target has remaining.

Of course there is always the TM. The Military Transporter is a new addition and packs four fighters and extra turrets. They carry less cargo, but I find that they are worth their weight in gold if you can take them intact. They bail far less frequently than regular freighters and are worth less (monetarily) but more useful than regular freighters.

Part Five: Alternative Technique
This section highlights how to capture ships almost entirely intact through the use of a script called the ship hijacker (found here: http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=231169 )

This is a very useful script. I used to use it extensively because it turns over the ship and its equipment intact. It might seem a little cheap, but it has limitations which balances things out.

9.Only the player ship can use this script
10.You must be with in 5km
11.The target shields must be down
12.You must have a Transporter device
13.You need computer components

To use this, assign the device to a hotkey under the controls section. Then fly behind your target and drop his shields to zero and hit the hotkey. The components will transfer across and begin to work. The time necessary depends on the size of the ship.

The ship will remain hostile and keep shooting at you, but you can flee the area and the ship will transfer to your control after a time. The pilot will be ejected in a space suit.

This tactic is useful if you want the ship intact and I love using this tactic coupled with ion disrupters. Simply fly into a group of ships, drop their shields and transfer components to each ship in rapid succession and flee the area.

This is incredibly useful if you want to get raw resources. Simply use this technique to capture the freighter in question and you are good to go. I find this to be very useful for getting materiel for ship building at the PHQ.

Part Six: Selling The Loot
At the beginning of the guide, I recommended that you have the upgrade kit script by LV. This script allow you to buy these kits and then transfer them over to the captured ship. This then opens up an option called “install upgrade kit” under the “custom” menu which will allow you to install jumpdrives and other useful tools. If you were to couple this with a captured energy transporter and a few other ships, you could easily jump your captured ships out. It is far safer and faster than just ordering the freighter to go to a shipyard.

Other than that, selling loot is easy; just find a factory that needs what you stole and then sell the ship to the shipyard.

Part Seven: Conclusion
Well, that concludes this guide. I hope you find it useful and that it will allow you to make a lot of money. I have always used the aforementioned scripts to great effect and it has made the game far more interesting. I wish you the best of luck with your privateering endeavors.

Final Conclusion and Credits:

Well, that's it for piracy guide. This was my attempt to consolidate my extensive experiences in piracy in a format for others. I hope this guide was instructive and that you enjoyed it. If you found this useful, please say thanks and feel free to post suggestions.

Egosoft: for the game
TXU: for letting me stay here for so many years
Kozaki: for working on a German version of the guide (K: I need much more time ;))
All those who gave feedback on the first pirate guide

04-12-2009, 09:15 AM
Good job! imo deserves a sticky or at least a place into some 'guides' section :)

04-12-2009, 10:10 AM
Edit: tidied up link, and stickied

Very nice guide, well done! :)

You should add the Marine Repair script link though (or when I have time to find it, I will)... :)

Adding the other links, even though the odd one might change would be helpful too. :)

04-12-2009, 02:56 PM
Glad you guys enjoyed it, I was hesitant to add all the script stuff in at first, but they add so much to the game play.

08-12-2009, 07:31 PM
Glad you guys enjoyed it, I was hesitant to add all the script stuff in at first, but they add so much to the game play.

you are right, and I agree, those are good scripts (the ones I've used which is most of them)...

Thanks for adding the links :)

04-01-2010, 02:41 PM
I added some anchors to your guide.

I hope you have no problem with that and I set them all right :)

04-01-2010, 10:53 PM
No problem, thanks for helping the guide reach more pirates... I mean people...

Sam Redstone
02-02-2010, 11:19 PM
Hey Draxis, have you ever taken a look at the "Pirate Guild" AL plugin? It completely revamps the whole Pirate lifestyle in TC by allowing you to actually join a new faction, take missions from them, rise in rank, and even request Pirate raiding parties to do your bidding for you, such as attacking a specific target. It accomplishes most of this via a working "bulletin board" system. I've only just installed it, so I have no actual experience with it. I was wondering what you thought of it and how it would affect your excellent guide. I am starting a new game (after more than a year of playing my wealthy industrial tycoon) as a bankrupt pirate, and I value your expertise on this new life I'm entering. :)


EDIT: I guess I could add links so you can see what the heck I'm talking about:

The author's web site here (http://anarkisfederation.99k.org/main/?category=download),

and the Ego forum thread here (http://forum.egosoft.de/viewtopic.php?t=244949&sid=85ad5de2b13e97e94555c4702b46de2e).

04-02-2010, 03:34 PM
I have played that plug in but it was a while ago. In my experience, It is useful, but impacts the player more when starting out. It is useful for eliminating the competition, especially when you ask for a station to be nuked... Of course, I prefer just to hijack a station...

In conclusion, its a great mod and I like it, but it won't severely change your play style. Its useful, so enjoy!

If you have any questions, feel free to get back to me.


19-08-2010, 01:39 PM
hmmm i havent played X in a while (blasphemy! O.O)

and ive always found ym game more enjoyable as a pirate and remember all the pointers from this guide (i started yesterday, ive racked up over a days worth of hours already (with SETA help ofc :P))
but im now at the stage were i want to start making stations. im kinda based in scale plate and PTNI and im wondering what station i should make... i was thinking a solar plant as there isnt much energy supply in that area... BUT there are NO silicon mines with enough yeild and to get enough i would need 3 silicon mines in scale plate to supply a self sufficient energy complex, that would put the cost up to around 50,000,000 credits. so i thought maybe a bliss place and dream farm, is thta good choice? (considering its in teladi space, quite close to pirates)

thanks muchly,

edit: im friendly with pirates. thanks to the pirate guild AL plugin.