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Apricot Mapping Service Guide to starting off in X3
Updated to X3TC

Apricot Mapping Service Guide to starting off in X3.
By Apricotslice

G’Day mate ! Smile

Correct me if I’m wrong, but you look like someone who’s just finished a few rounds in a simulator and been thrust straight into the cockpit of a fighter and been given orders to go engage the enemy. And you cant even figure out where the good guys are ?

Am I right ?

And so here you are in this bar getting a bracer before rushing off to put your life on the line.

Am I right or am I right ? I knew it, you have greenhorn written all over your face. Here’s a towel mate, wipe it off before anyone else sees it Smile

Well, you are lucky you met me. I’m full of it, and you need it. Information mate, what else did you think I meant ? Sheesh. Working for the Apricot Mapping Service, I’ve been everywhere man, been there and got the t-shirt.

So, you just got orders from god-high Ban Danna himself.

Ok, first thing to do is let em wait.

If you havent upgraded your software yet, theres an upgrade to 1.4 available. Just register here, download and install.

You have a Mercury freighter sitting out in space doing nothing except being vulnerable. Park it. For mine, the Argon Prime Equipment Dock or Shipyard are the safest for now. But keep in mind that stations have a habit of disappearing these days taking your ships with them. I’m not sure you noticed, buts its not a nice place out there these days. So park it somewhere safe.

Hey, I’m not here to tell you how to pilot your ship, pal. There are some things you need to work out for yourself.

Next, park your Buster at the Equipment dock, and use some of those credits they gave you up front to get maximum speed and rudder upgrades. You need ‘em, might just save your life.

Next, when your in space again, hit the k button twice, so the guns are set to auto-aim. This means that when you line up to shoot someone, the guns will correct for your lousy aiming and a few more shots will actually hit.

The first mission is in the next sector. The Argon military bean counters are so lousy I bet they didn’t even give you a nav map of Argon sectors did they ? *sigh*.

Ok, so....On your nav map (sheesh, press dot), you will see in the list something called the South Gate. The gates are how we navigate between sectors and each one leads to a particular place. Don’t hassle it, you will get the hang of it rapidly.

Down arrow until you have the South Gate highlighted and press ‘t’ to target the gate. Don’t shoot it !

Now hit dot again or escape, and then press the u key to engage your autopilot. The ship will now fly to the gate at maximum speed and will perform the jump through it.

When you come out the other side, you will be in the sector called Home of Light. Your ship will target the Flight Leader of your patrol for you (the one and only time it will do this mind you), so autopilot over to him. When you get close, the mission will start. Just keep following him.

At some point, you will be attacked by Khaak. These will show up as little red dots and the object of the exercise is to kill them before they kill you. As soon as you see them, kill the autopilot and go get ‘em. Good luck pal, your going to need it Smile

Assuming you survive your first mission, you will find yourself in Cloudbase SouthWest.

Dock at the Goner Temple. They have a few things you need. Jumpdrive and transporter are useful items, but you cant afford them now. But remember they are here for later on.

What you do need now is Salvage Insurance. Buy at least 10.

The X universe is a dangerous place full of unseen hazzards and random glitches. You can die in the wink of an eye for no apparent reason. If a pirate mine doesn’t get you, the asteroid belts will. And sad to say, the electronics in your ship are subject to random malfunctions, and about 1 in 50 docking operations will splat your sorry arse into the station instead of parking you.

By the way, never jump into a gate and then engage the autopilot to go back through the same gate without putting in some distance first. It will quite happily splat you against the inside wall of the gate and send your wreckage through the gate instead.

That’s why we save. So you can resurrect yourself and try again. If you don’t save, you start again. If you saved a long time ago, you lose everything you did since then.

So, SAVE OFTEN. Cant emphasize that enough. Every time you do something you don’t want to have to do again, dock. An Autosave happens every time you dock, but these are overwritten every 3 dock/saves. Manual save as well. This gives you a choice of 20 save points to go back to if you really have cocked something up badly and need to go back further than the last save.

As you save, remember to use the next save position or you will keep overwriting the same one. When you get to position 19, go back and overwrite position 1.

When your in space, you can only save if you have Salvage Insurance. There are times when this is essential, so buy some now.

Complete a mission ? Save. Capture another ship ? Save. Survived a particularly nasty situation ? Save. Save every time you change sector, and save yourself the bother of having to redo it sometime. About to take on something tricky ? Save first, do it, then save after.

Determine for yourself how much you are prepared to redo if necessary and save at that point. And for heavens sake save immediately you do something that may not happen again if you have to reload and do it again, especially anything random that happens. You will work these out as you go.

Save Save Save.

Ok, so you’ve saved. What now ? You got a message from someone at the Goner Temple they want to talk to you. If you want to, use the station com to contact him. You will get told what to do next.

But here’s some advise pal. Don’t do it, not yet. You know bugger all about what’s out there. You don’t know where your going or what you will find when you get there. Your flying a ship that can barely get out of its own way, and while its kick-arse against M5's, any M3 will have you for breakfast until you get some combat experience under your belt.

Money. Yep, you need it. And its not that easy to come by.

Take it from me, most of the well touted ways of making money are just plain hard work and not worth what you spend on them, and besides, you haven’t got either the credits to do them now anyway, or the race ranking.

Talking of which....each race has ranked you according to how well they like you. If they don’t like you, they will stop you landing, prevent you from trading or just shoot you on sight. You increase your rank with them by making them happy. Shooting Pirates/Xenon/Khaak in their territory makes them happy, and so does trading with them after they will let you land somewhere. Establishing a station in their territory also helps your rating as their ships buy your products.

About stations, you cant buy any yet, you don’t have the credits or the ranking. My advise is that you hold off building any until you can protect them. There are enemy Battle groups out there that will take your station apart in a hot second if you haven’t protected it. Protecting stations is something you will need to learn yourself.

If you get hull damage while fighting, this will slow you down, not to mention making you vulnerable. You need to dock at a shipyard to get the damage fixed.

So you need money. You need something to do. What now ?

Well mate, I’m glad you asked that question.

We in the Apricot Mapping Service suggest you do just that. Go Map the Universe.

Commercial maps are available, go find one you like. But these cannot be uploaded into your ship. Sorry about that.

From Cloudbase Southwest, I suggest you go north, until you hit Kingdom End, which is Boron Space. Say hi to the Queen for me. Then go East until you get to Menelaus Frontier. Then south until you get to Split Fire, which incidently is Pirate territory so watch yourself. Then west to Emperor Mines which you will find takes you back to where you started from.

Then fill in all the sectors inside this square.

While in each sector, check for gates in all directions and try and find all the stations. You never know when you want to find one later. Be careful of your y co-ordinate value. If you go too high or too low, your scanner will miss things. If you know a gate is there but cannot find it, check your height and travel up or down a ways in case your too far away. By the way, some gates are hard to find, in funny locations or hiding behind large asteroids. Sometimes the old mark one eyeball will see them before your radar will. Talking of which, there is a better radar scanner out there, so check all the equipment docks as you go. Scanners are not one of the things the Argon do well. The more range your radar scanner has, the faster you find things.

The bad guys are out there. You see a Khaak cluster, run like hell, your not ready to take them on yet. KM3's are lethal, the interceptors and scouts are ok to take in small groupings. Capital ships, don’t even go near them ! Pirate Harrier, yeah, have a go. Pirate Buster, your evenly matched. Pirate Falcon, your outclassed unless you can fly and fight really well. Xenon N’s are easy, M’s are matched and L’s are like Falcons. Anything else Xenon, run.

Back to Menelaus Frontier for a mo. There’s a little ‘gift’ in that sector. An abandoned ship. You will see it on the list when you find it. Its got a really short ship name. When you look at its details, you will see it doesn’t have a pilot listed. Autopilot up to it. Eject from your ship, fly until your 30m from the gift ship, and then enter the ship. Its now yours. Eject again and return to yours.

This is claiming an abandoned ship and its perfectly legal. Its yours to do what you want. You can keep it for future use, or give it orders to send it to the nearest shipyard so you can sell it.

When you have killed enough enemy ships, they start to get wary of you. Some of them decide they don’t want to be killed and bail out. Their ships are now abandoned and can also be legally claimed. They tend to be badly damaged and often have almost no fittings, but they are still worth money. Do yourself a favour and wait until the area is safe before you claim them. And by the way, there is Mk1 and Mk2 Claim software available from pirate bases to make this easier. But beware, claim software is illegal. But mk2 is undetectable, which is why it costs so much. (Getting Mk2 needs an extra script loaded, making it a 'modified' game. You will need other advise before doing this).

A word about claimed ships. The onboard computers are stupid ! If you tell them to fly somewhere they will, by the most direct route, even if that means going through a known enemy sector. So before you send them anywhere, think about the route and maybe do it in several stages to be safe. Telling ships to follow or protect you also brings out the stupidity of the computers. A ship following you will happily crash itself into the station you dock at, so tell them to do something other than follow you before you dock and save yourself some wreckage.

There’s other abandoned ships out there if you want to look for them. Some have a challenge attached either to find them or recover them safely.

If you wish to see the following list, hold down the Alt key as you left click mouse highlight between the spoiler messages.


System Ship Co-ordinates

2nd Unknown Sector by Maelstrom - Nova -12, 1, -19
Menelaus Frontier - Toucan Hauler 43, -7, 35
Family Whi - Iguana Vanguard 0, 0, 40
The Vault - Harrier Sentinel -25, -10, -14
Unknown sector by Xenon 534 - Falcon Sentinel -20, 3, 2
Family Tkr - Buzzard Hauler -35, -7, -10
Akeela’s Beacon - Buster Sentinel 30, -10, -30
Treasure Chest - Buster Sentinel 0, 50, 0
Xenon Sector 101 - Scorpion Raider 0, 0, 80
Depths of Silence - Mako Raider 1, -3, 38
Unknown sector by Unholy Decent - Pericles Vanguard -10, 10, 10
LooManckstrat’s Legacy - Mamba Raider. -17, 0, 0

The Nova is the prize. But it’s a long way away. Follow the recommendation of where to go that follows to find it.

The Mamba is tricky to recover, as it has 2 ship killer mines by it. You need to identify the mines first without setting them off, and approach from the safe side.

The Falcon has a big surprise and you may want to use this as your personal ship for reasons that will be obvious when you find it.


There is a set of hidden containers out there as well.


System Co-ordinates Contents

Unknown sector by Pontifex Seclusion at -55, -10.2, -50 - 50,000 credits
And At -55, -10, -50 - 10 missiles
Empires Edge At -50, -15, -9 - 10 missiles
Patriachs Retreat At 0, -36, 36 - microchips
Spaceweed Drift At -30.1, 10, 20 - Spaceweed
Atreus Clouds At 13.1, 0, -13.1 - 10 missiles
Orebelt At 10, 4, 52 - 75,000 credits
Unknown Sector by Myst of Elysium At -30, -20, -30 - 2 125MJ Shields
Midnight Star At 132, 0.04, 4 - 10 missiles

Altogether, this is a nice little haul of usable missiles or free credits.

Added in Version 2 :


Starburst Ship - Freedoms Reach - (1128, 36181, 43285)
15 Wildfire FF Missiles - Heretics End - (25706, 17845, 32345)
Containers of the new Concussion Impulse Generator (this is a shock cannon).
Family Rhy - (35, 12, 4)
Senators Badlands - (-1.5, 11.5, 8.9) - (location varies because of rock, use ADV Sat to locate)
Merchant Haven - (0, 50, 0)
Light Water - (7.9, -5.2, -13.6)
Black Hole Sun - (12.7, 4, -7.Cool
Priest Pity - (31, 5, 26.7)
Bala Gi's Joy - (-35, -8.6, -37.5)
Unknown Sector (by Patriarch's Retreat) - (-39.4, 8.9, 1)
Cloud Base North West - (32, -35.5, -25.6)
Xenon Sector 597 - (-62.5, -17.2, 22.7)

X3 Terran Conflict Derelict Ships List


There are 19 derelict ships in TC.

Here is the list of ships, in the order I found them. Sector, ship type, co-ordinates x,y,z. (Remember to find ‘y’, you need to hit the insert key on the nav map)

Unknown Sector next to Xenon 534, Falcon Sentinal, -20km, 3km, 2km. (Wont specify the kms again.)
Hilas Joy, Advanced Barracuda, -33,1.5,36
Treasure Chest, Buster Sentinel, -32,-5.4,-33.5
Savage Spur, Enhanced Pericles, 44.7,9.12,-28
Oracoke’s Storm, Advanced Eclipse, 30.1,-1.5,-8
Gaian Star, Elite, 66,0,-10
Vestibule of Creation, Eclipse, -7,-13.5,37.5
Veil of Delusion, Blastclaw Prototype, 47.6,3.5,-41.5
Menelaus’ Oasis, Skate Prototype, 38.5,1,32.5
Xenon 101, Scorpion Raider, 20.1, 0, 61.6
The Vault, Harrier Sentinel, -18, 0.375, -51.6
Unknown Sector by Unholy Decent, Pericles Vanguard, 13.7, 17.3, -27
Thr’s Deprivation, Buzzard Houler, -4.2, -0.058, 62.7
Family Whi, Iguana Vanguard, 38, 0, 35.5
Depths of Silence, Mako Raider, 2.34, 0.729, 40.3
LooManckStrat’s Legacy, Mamba, -12, 1.16, -19.3
Akeela’s Beacon, Buster Sentinel, 100, -10, 77.2
Duke/s Citidel, Advanced Perseus, 42.2, -0.250, 31
Menalaus’ Frontier, Toucan Hauler, 43, -7, 35

X3 Terran Conflict Container List

Menelaus' Oasis (South)-> Unknown Sector [18-16]
75000 Credits -=- 21.1,5,-12.3
Unholy Descent (West)-> Unknown Sector (South)-> Unknown Sector [7-16]
60000 Credits -=- 70,84.7,-25
10 Windstalker Missiles -=- 55,71.2,-40
Spaceweed Grove [11-10]
25 Space Weed -=- -42.1,-1,56
Heretic's End [13-4]
5 Keris -=- -18.7,1.77,76
Maelstrom (West)-> Unknown Sector (South)-> Unknown Sector [18-10]
10 Wildfire Missiles -=- -14.9,0.46,3.52
Saturn 3 [16-1]
15 Poltergeist Missiles -=- 26.5,-9.04,19.7
Oort Cloud (South)-> Unknown Sector (East)-> Unknown Sector (South)-> Unknown Sector (West)-> Unknown Sector [7-5]
10 Shadow Missiles -=- -50,4.31,27.8
Patriarch's Retreat [9-2]
10 Microchips -=- -14.6,-12.3,52.8
Atreus' Clouds [3-2]
10 Rapier Missiles -=- 40.6,0,16.2
Empire's Edge [1-7]
10 Banshee Missiles -=- -51,-15,-14.5
Aldrin [13-10]
20000 Credits -=- -65,38.1,-58.6

I’m not telling you how to collect containers. That little frustration and satisfaction I leave to you to figure out Smile

Needless to say, every time a battle occurs there is stuff lying around after for you to pick up. You can make a nice packet of credits by collecting everything you can and selling it. Take missiles to an equipment dock, every thing else to a station that buys it. If you find an Unknown object, it’s a prize to take to a equipment dock and I guarantee you wont regret it Smile

So, you have finished mapping the Argon and adjacent sectors. Where now ?

Head to Priests Pity. Then head south until you get to Reservoir of Tranquility. Now head East until you get to Interworlds. North a sector, then east again until you get to Grand Exchange. Then South to Maelstrom. This is the South eastern corner of the universe. Off here are 2 unknown sectors. Finding the gates can be tough, but I know you will do it. In the second sector, there’s a little something special waiting for you Smile Just be careful of stray mines on your way back.

This is a long journey I know. But I also suggest you explore off to the side of it as you go, so that all the sectors along the way are mapped.

When you get to the end of this particular rainbow, the pot of gold is worth the trip, believe me Smile

By the time you have mapped the whole universe, you should have the credits for station building and other money making enterprises. And be ready to make your own way in the X Universe. If you want, you can go back to the Goner Temple and talk to the guy you left on hold. At least now, when you get told to go somewhere, you will know where that is.

I’ll leave you with the advise the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy gives on the subject of getting drunk.....

Go to it, Good Luck ! Smile


Edit : The Mercury mentioned above is available in the quickstart option. When I wrote this, I assumed that people would start with that option, especially if having trouble getting on in the game and hence needing a guide. Sorry for any confusion caused. There is a definite difference in gameplay between the Quickstart, Normal and Xtreme starts. If the latter 2 are making it hard to play, then restart with Quickstart. Play that for several days, then when you have a grip on the game, you can choose to restart on a harder setting.

In X3TC, you need to use the Humble Merchant start to get the extra freighter.

Technical tip for several of the abandonned ships, if you really need help :

To locate squash mines, hit the key for "Find nearest enemy" and proceed slowly. When you are in range, it will appear on the map.

To get the Falcon out successfully, go in with a maxed speed disco carrying a jump drive and ecells, transfer these to the falcon and jump it out, then run yourself out in the disco.

The gate for the sector west of Maelstrom is very very west, and off the map. Make sure that you are not too high or low when looking for it. The next gate you want is a south gate, but its more SSW than south. Again, watch your height (y co-ord).