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X3: Auto money maker

My burgeoning trading empire in X3: Reunion is earning credits automatically for me now. I’ve got two Mercury trade freighters travelling across the galaxy looking for profitable trading deals on my behalf and I’m going to add another Mercury to my trading fleet in my next session. This has freed me to do more exciting things like finding new and interesting ways to blow up my Buster.

Automating trading involves upgrading the trading software in a trading ship and designating it as a Sector Trader. At this point, an NPC is automatically employed to pilot the freighter and trade on your behalf.

The Sector Trader will ply his trade in a single sector, scanning the stations for opportunities to make a profit. He will initially be quite awful at spotting great trade runs with the result your expensively outfitted trade freighter will sometimes be on standby doing absolutely nothing in its assigned sector. This can be frustrating since I would have no trouble whatsoever finding great deals in the same area. But as the AI trader earns profits, he also begins to gain experience and levels. Before long, he will become quite adept at turning a profit.

Once he reaches level 10, you can turn him into a Universe Trader and unleash him. Instead of sticking to a single sector, the NPC trader will travel throughout the galaxy looking for great deals. A Universe Trader will have greater opportunities for trades but the risk factor will be much higher as well as he jumps from sector to sector.

I had a close call in my last session when my first Universe Trader came under pirate attack in a distant sector. Fortunately, the NPC trader ejected his complement of fighter drones and these apparently distracted the pirates long enough for the trader to jump to safety. The Mercury didn’t get away scot free, though, as there was heavy — and costly — damage to the ship’s hull.

The lesson here is stick your Sector Trader in safe, well-patrolled sectors and if you’re going to turn a Sector Trader into a Universe Trader, be sure to equip the ship with the best shields and some weaponry.

It costs over 500,000 credits to turn a trade freighter into a Sector Trader and it would be prudent to spend a little more in order to safeguard your investment.

Posted in Games, X3.

6 Responses

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  1. Anton says

    I want to know if you could claim the lonely nova in Duke’s domain? I cant, and i dont want to blow it apart because its a NOVA, just sitting there ready to claim…im doing something wrong or there is a glitch.

    The nova is very far north, past the north gate about 20 clics. Let me know if and what you did to get your hands on that ship…pleeeaaassee.

  2. Gobi says

    It’s been a long while since I touched X3, I’m afraid. I can’t recall seeing any free Nova ships so I can’t help you with that. But it does sound like it’s a trap of some sort.

  3. Gobi says

    Anton, having checked out the abandoned Nova in Duke’s Domain, I would have to say there does appear to be a glitch. I wasn’t able to capture it either.

  4. Finray says

    Try using the Pirate Claiming software on it.

  5. Rob says

    is that trade command software 3?
    because i have 1 and 2 and i can’t get them to trade in a sector automatically, also, if it is or isnt TCS3 then how to i designate a merc as a sector trader?

  6. Dave says

    In order for a ship to trade on its own, you need to upgrade it to Trade MK3. The teladi sell the software at their equipment docks.

    Once you have the software make sure you also have trade extension, full shields, and possibly even buy the drones for it now when its cheaper. Triplex scanners dont hurt either. The AI will buy the drones and upgrades automatically later when it gains more experience, but it will be more expensive.

    Ok so you stocked your ship up with all the stuff it needs. Press Shift-C (or whatever you use to get to the command console), click on Trade, then sector trader.

    It will ask where you want to trade, select a sector, and its off. In time it will reach a high enough level to be a uni trader. Be aware tho that you should be prepared to lose a couple of these ships as they will go to any sector you have been to, including pirate sectors where they are likely to die. However, you should easily turn a profit in the area of 1 million an hour (on SETA x10) so any losses shouldnt be a huge problem.

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