The Pirate's Handbook
Written By Draxis.
Edited by NovaCatt, Losman, Anon Loyalist, and Eliah.


So you've gotten tired of trading legal goods? You're sick of fighting no one but Khaak and Xenon? Then its time to become a pirate and let the loot roll!

This guide is something I've made for myself so maybe it'll help you too.
  • First off, I suggest you get the Xtended mod: If you're reading this, I assume you know what I'm talking about, if not.... We'll get to that later...
  • Second, if you play as a privateer like I do, I recommend the Bail Signal Extension script: Link here
    This adds the ability to capture any class of ship and it makes captures more common: very useful...
  • Third, get the Demeter Civilian Ship carrier Link here It can carry up to eight fighters and it is great for raids or evacuating your captured ships.
  • Fourth, get the Jump Drive Kit script from LV, Link here For a price, it allows you to buy jump drive kits. These kits can be transfered over to another ship and then install them, there by allowing you to install jump drives on any ship you cap.
(As a pirate later on, I like to use an M7 and cap carriers in some sectors, try a Xenon one?)

Right, on to the guide then
Starting Up

Okay, this guide deals with the Bankrupt Assassin start, but feel free to use it anywhere. I like this start b/c it lets you trade with some races, thus, sell ships. Remember, the galaxy is huge, you can keep friends in one side of the galaxy, then jump to the other side, do your evil work there and jump back. (If capping, just bring a TL or a Panther later on and carry your prizes back)

First, I moved to a pirate sector, to Hatikvah's Faith to start my nefarious deeds. A few rules to live by here if you want to pirate:
  1. Have friends, always have a shipyard handy to sell to
  2. Never pick a fair fight if you can help it, always attack freighters until you can afford to lose once in a while.
  3. If you like to pick up loot, cap a TS or TP and let it collect goods for you
  4. Never cap in populated space, IE core sectors, better off in pirate sectors b/c no one will bother you and no one will help those hapless traders!
  5. Save often! It sucks to lose your prizes!
  6. Raid the border worlds! Border worlds are not well defended usually and you can often run to a near by pirate sector if the **** hits the fan.
  7. If you can afford it, buy a carrier or Demeter Ship Carrier (see above) it will let you evac your prizes en masse and ensure that more of em reach the shipyard intact.
As anyone knows, if you're gonna make money, you gotta have some first. I'm doing a fresh start and I made 1 mil in 20 minutes. How? Simple. I went around shooting freighters until 2 surrendered, and they happened to be Demeter Super Freighters. They each sold for at least 500k. All ready you see the chances for cash! Be sure to have a shipyard to sell to.

Capping for Cash!

Let's face the facts. If you want to trade, you'll need cash. If you want to buy equipment, you'll need cash. You NEED cash. However, if you're a pirate, the rules don't apply. Kill that freighter. Take what you want. Goods, missiles, even entire ships can be yours and capping is the best way to turn a profit from scratch.

In the beginning, you have a Mamba and 2 A HEPT's, not much, granted. No money at all. I like to start by moving "west" to Brennan's Triumph and I shoot at freighters all along the way. The thing is, I just use on A HEPT and 2 out of 10 ships will bail for me. I managed to grab 2 freighters so i sold them. One Mil and I've been playing for 20 minutes.

Now, Iím writing this in real time, playing then writing what happens. Iíve engaged a M3 Paranid Perseus and I let loose with 2 A HEPTís and he bailed! I gave me another M3, 2 more A HEPTís and a B PAC. The trick? Destroy the shields. Low power lasers usually help here, but I didnít have any.

I meant to live off of loot until I could afford low power lasers, but thatís the beauty of piracy! Things fall into your lap!

My Capping strategy;
  1. Stay in front of the target: many freighters have PACís which will reduce you to slag if youíre not careful, also, forward guns are fixed in place, and therefore, easier to dodge.
  2. Save before you engage. Sure, there will be other ships, but it is always rewarding to capture a ship almost entirely intact, especially if its a Capital Ship, repairs can be pricey...
  3. Donít be afraid to do damage: let loose with all your lasers, nothing is as demoralizing as seeing your shields disappear in 2 seconds, and besides, if you kill the ship, there will be others.
  4. Do not, I repeat DO NOT fly in a straight line! Even if the ship has no lasers, escorts can come out of nowhere
  5. Avoid missiles, dodge em and donít use em. The blast radius of a missile could take out the very ships you want to capture.
  6. Strafe, move around, hit the sides and top of a ship. Keep em guessing.
  7. Interpose yourself between your prize and the escort. Use the innocent as cover.
Time for a quick break: here is my capping guide.

The X3 Capping Guide

Have fun and read the whole thing, if you have to pause every minute, you're gonna die. Go forth and liberate some ships. Note: I made this on my own and if you want to contribute, send me a PM

Why capture?

Capping is a great way to make cash in the beginning of the game and can play a big part in getting enough cash to start an empire. Also, it requires NO start-up cash. Just a ship and guns.

  • Q. What can I cap?
    A. M3, M4, M5, TP, TS. If you have the Bail System Extension; anything
  • Q. Can I get right into capping?
    A. Yep, just pick your targets well...
  • Q. What should I capture?
    A. Start with pirate harriers, that way you can have a smuggling ship and you don't lose rep points. Then work your way up the food chain.
More questions coming soon

The Basics (m5 capping)

This section assumes you have a buster, start by getting a unit of salvage insurance and if possible 2 BIRE's. Fly to ore belt and wait for a convoy of pirate harriers to come along, make sure they are 30 KM away from their base and fly with in 10 KM of the convoy. SAVE. Fly in full speed and kill everything except a SINGLE harrier, you choice which one.
Remove the shields with PAC's and get behind him. Switch to IRE's and let loose (Tip, have two weapon groups one with PAC's and one with IRE's) when you hit his hull and reduce it about 14%, fly away and make sure he's following. Reason: Weapons are mounted on the front and if you hit their weapons, they bail faster. Switch to PACs and remove the shields then hit him with IRE's. Get behind him, wait for shields to regen alittle and let loose.
Soon the ship turns blue, the pirate has bail , kill him. get close to the empty ship and bail. Fly to 30m away and hit "i" and then claim. Get back to your ship by selecting it and hitting "E"

You just capped your first fighter.

Capping m4's
Get in close and rip in with PACs until the shields drop and pop two shot from a PAC into him and fly away and hit em from the front. When the shields are down, use the IRE's and wait for him to bail

Capping M3's
The same idea here, but wait until you have a nicer ship, Ions, PACs and IRE's. Use the Ions and use PACs to drop the hull a little and fire the PAC's and IRE's until they bail,

Ships for Capping (weapons below)
-Recommendations and tips

These are from the Vanilla version of X3.
  • M3- A falcon hands down, use Ions to strip shields and then use the highly accurate PBE to remove the hull, piece by piece.
  • M4- A Mako is the best: fast, Ions, PBE's, its great, Just remember to come from directly above if attacking a M3, turrets are nasty
  • M5- A harrier if you want shields or a Jaguar if you like speed, both can carry APAC's and IRE's, use recommended for M5 capping only
  • M6- A Xenon P if you can get it, but if not, a Hydra, Ions and PBE's, have fun
  • TP- Only use a Iguana, if you can, a vanguard, Ion's, PAC's and IRE's on a cheap hull, a good substitute for a M3.
These are from Xtended.
  • M3- A Pirate Kea hands down, I like to use alpha kyon emitters en masse to coax a pilot out of his ship.
  • M4- A Mako is the best: fast, Ions, PBE's, its great, Just remember to come from directly above if attacking a M3, turrets are nasty
  • M5- A harrier if you want shields or a Jaguar if you like speed, both can carry APAC's and IRE's, use recommended for M5 capping only
  • M6- I like the Sennin Raider. It is fast and can carry alpha and beta kyon emitters. Throw in a huge cargo hold and speed; its great.
  • TP- A good choice might be a Terran TP, good guns and shield.
  • IRE's- Great for removing hull points bad with shields, use with Ions or a heavier laser,
  • PAC- Ok for M4 and M5 shield removal, use with IRE's to make great cap combo. If you're fighting a M3 use it to remove hull points
  • HEPT- M3 shield removal, and M6 hull removal, very heavy fire, use sparsely
  • PSG- good for removing m5 protecting a M3, use to remove shields
  • Mass Drivers- Useful for removing the Hull BEFORE the shields, if you forget this you will destroy the ship, generally, this is good for removing escorts from the picture
  • Ions- Great for killing shields and equipment very useful
  • PPC- Good for nothing unless you are after an corvette or capital ship.
  • FAA- Too strong, will kill too many people.
  • PBE- Good and accurate, low range but weaker versions are good for removing hull
  • Kyon Emitters- Yes! These are great! They do damage to hull and shields and always hit. Also, they stop as soon as you release the fire key; preserving the hull of the ship you're capping.
  • Missiles- Only for dropping shields, use sparingly and at you own risk
Capping Guide Ends Here

In any event, by now you should have a decent cash flow, so its time to build a factory. ďA factory?! Iím a pirate!Ē you say. Yes a factory. But of course, nothing legalÖ Try something along the lines of Spacefuel? Illegal yes, but highly profitable. You do need a reputation to buy one, so its time to get this good rep, donít worry, you can trash it laterÖ

Getting A (Good) Rep

Right, before we can turn you into a drug/booze king pin, we need to get you a good reputation. Now this is for many reasons. Factories will keep you in business if you stop capping and besides, if you have the Bala Gi missions, you will get many free ships, including a M3+, a M7, a M6, and many M4ís and M5ís, not to mention a shipyard.

Now we canít have you walking into Paranid Prime and trying this. This is going to be like piracy, except pirates will be your targets, ironic isnít it? Whatever, go to a sector next to a pirate or xenon sector and start shooting pirates, khaíak, xenonÖ anything that would please that raceÖ
Bala Gi Missions

To me, this will be an essential. Letís face it, if you declare war against the galaxy, youíre gonna need a shipyard and youíll probably shut off a lot of the flow from the rest of the galaxy. Once you have fulfilled the requirements to take on the missions (need docking rights with Boron, Paranid and Split, 5 million credits, a station and 10 hrs of playtime) and youíve done the first few missions, youíll get a choice of M3+ís.

Argon Eclipse: A M3 with a TS in it

Split Chimera: Speed, Guns, my favorite

Paranid Medusa: Balanced,

I recommend the Chimera, but the Eclipse is a great smuggling ship. In any event, once youíve gotten your m7, your m6, your m3+, you HQ, and your rewards for the Bala Gi Missions, we can get started in earnest.

Gearing Up!

I would set up my HQ close to the Teladi, because youíre gonna need their help. The Teladi donít care about piracy, and if you want to attack the Boron or the Split, you can easily reach the borders of both nations. The Teladi trade a lot, there are tons of asteroids in Seizewell (is that a sketchy name or what?) and they donít have an enemy. What do I mean by this?

Here: 4 nations are at war, if you destroy the enemyís ship in their territory, you will get rep point bonuses.

Argon <-> Paranid
Boron <-> Split
*E.G. kill Paranid ships in Argon space and youíll be fine (cops won't attack I mean) and get rep changes (Argon up, Paranid down)

P.S( Iíd side with the Argon and the Split)

So set up your HQ near the Teladi and start reverse engineering ships. Then again, with the inception of the Ollerus (Jump Gate Creator). You could set up your HQ in a less easily accessible area and then make your own connection to the universe.

Getting The Big Money

Remember, the factories I was telling you about? Well try opening a Spacefuel distillery in Elenaís Fortune. Then tack on a large wheat farm, a large dream farm (Teladi) and a bliss place (Teladi) link em, and set the price of space fuel to one credit below average and raise the buying price of resources (which will only be energy) to one credit above average. There, itís pretty self sufficient, people will sell and buy from you and youíll have tons of illegal goods to spread around the universe!

If that isn't your cup of tea, buy a HCF. Available from OTAS, this ship uses soldiers to capture any ship in space without doing any damage, the guide is located Link here

Now on a side note, if you got that mod and the scripts I suggested, youíre in for some good times. There are new classes of ships, M8 utility frigates and many new m7ís, one for each race. The m8ís: Argon Griffon; builds, stores and supplies up to 24 m4-class combat drones, all made from creds. Split Panther, same as the Griffon, except it builds Split fighters from ship parts (buyable at any shipyard), albeit, somewhat slowly. Reverse Engineer those at your HQ and youíll be able to turn out fleets anywhere and spread your piracy everywhere.

Also, if you got that script, feel free to capture your enemyís M7s for a serious pay off.

(PS if you have cycrowís mercenary guild script, you might even be able to destroy your competitorís factories without losing rep points)

Moving On

The End of the Road
Right, weíre at a junction here, youíve climbed the ladder from poor scum to rich kingpin. Youíll have narcotic factories turning out stock and you can bring fleets to bear and crush your enemies. What you do now is your business, destroy the galaxy, take it over, spread your goods and trading business. Whatever you want is yours now.

This wonít be easy, but you now have the basic information you need to launch your pirate career. Good luck!