See Also: Universe Traders Guide
By default, the game only includes two kinds of Trader - the Sector Trader, and the Universe Trader. Following the installation of the Bonus Pack, two more are available to the player - the CAG (Commercial Agent) and the CLS Trader. This page primarily refers to those native to the game. Please consult the relative pages for more information regarding the other types of trader, and their advantages and disadvantages Vs. Sector and Universe Traders.
By installing the Trade Command Software mk 3 in an XL-capable ship, the Sector Trader and Universe Trader commands become available. Both these commands allow autonomous trading to be conducted.
The ship is equipped with a low-ranked pilot on initiation of the command. As trades are completed the pilot gains experience and increases rank. At specific ranks abilities are unlocked, for example, utilising the ship's jumpdrive. The pilot will automatically buy equipment and defensive drones as he levels up, as well as avoiding hostile entities, making these ships totally autonomous, but the pilot will also take a cash payment for each freight run conducted. Despite this, traders are very profitable.
It is possible to switch pilots between ships using the Special Command Software, meaning that they can be trained in a low-value ship in a lucrative area before being promoted to a vessel that has the ability to free-roam.
The ST command will conduct business within a local area, with higher ranked pilots owners may issue the trading command with greater range, permitting the ST to trade in adjacent sectors up to the specified limit from the start sector.
Sector Traders that look beyond the current sector are sometimes called Local Traders, highlighting that they conduct trades beyond a single sector.
The UT command will allow the trader to free-roam of the entire X-universe but is otherwise identical.
Main article: Universe Traders Guide
Often, using Commodity Logistics Software (either Mark 1 or Mark 2) could be better than setting up a Sector Trader, and sometimes even a Universal one.
As the Pilot levels up, he gains new abilities, and is given a new title. This includes purchasing new equipment for his ship, or gaining the ability to operate over a wider area.
|Level||Title||Sector Trader Range||Gains Ability|
|1||Assistant Courier||0 (Same Sector)|
|3||Freight Pilot 2nd Class||0|
|4||Freight Pilot 1st Class||0||Will buy ware at above average price if they see somewhere they can still make a profit|
|7||Distributor||1||Checks Purchase Price vs. Selling Price|
|8||Chief Distributor||2||Universe Trader available / Can use Jump Drive / Buys Fighter Drones for Defense / Checks adjacent sectors for deals|
|9||Paymaster||2||Gets repaired at Shipyard when Damaged. NOTE: This costs the normal amount, but they will earn it back soon enough.|
|10||Senior Paymaster||3||Buys Own Jump Drive if not already installed and replaces it if damaged in combat.|
|13||Senior Trade Negotiator||4|
|14||Chief Trade Negotiator||4|
|20||Major Dealer||10||Sector Trader will stop gaining levels at 20|
The other two types of trader, the Commercial Agent and the CLS Trader both fulfil very different roles to the two traders mentioned above.
Main article: Commercial Agent
The CAG is mostly a facility to assist stations in the purchasing and selling of goods. While being an essential role to fulfil, it does not conflict with the above traders very often, and it is typically very clear what a given ship's task should be.
Main article: Commodity Logistics Software
Using Commodity Logistics Software (CLS) is often a bit trickier, as it can be used to provide many of the benefits of a ST or UT without having to rely on the often Buggy scripting of the Mk3 Traders. The basic premise is you list a series of actions it will attempt to perform if they are profitable. e.g. buy goods, sell them at these stations in this order, until you run out, then buy a different good... etc.
The interface is quite complicated, but this type of trader is ideal for supplying either your own factories, or NPC owned factories. You can use it to ensure that a given factory is always producing goods - useful for certain factories whose wares are often sought after and difficult to source externally. You can also use it to move goods between your own factories to ensure constant supply of materials to different factories.
As CLS is quite extensive, it can be used to replace Mk3 Traders, but due to the difficulty of setup for such an extensive task, many people prefer to use Mk3 Traders instead.
See Also: Reputation
There are a lot of different ranks in X3. There are race ranks, combat ranks and trade ranks. Below you can get a quick overview of combat and trade ranks.
Rank is a representation of character reputation in the X-universe. Killing ships increases Combat Rank, reflecting the character's reputation of combat skill. Conducting trades increases Trade Rank, reflecting the character's reputation as an expert trader.
Missions often come with certain rank requirements, simulating a willingness by NPCs to trust the character with their vital interests.
Ships and wares usually have race rank requirements, reflecting a need for the selling faction to have a certain amount of trust in the character.
Combat ranks are also used by the game to set up opposition forces. A higher combat rank generally implies that you have some skill at fighting. As a consequence the game likes to increase the challenge of fights by spawning heavier and more numerous combatants for you to face.
Per the Offical Egosoft FAQ: If you leave the game idle for a long period of time then your fight and trade ranks will start to decay. Your fight rank will drop by about 2% for every game hour without player input (or for every 6 minutes, on 1000% SETA), and your trade rank by around 0.25%.
It has been tested that the lowest your Combat and Trade ranks will fall is Fighter and Master Dealer, respectively.