Freelancer FAQ

First time questions

1) What is freelancer?
Freelancer is a Space flight role playing game. You start of at a low level, and by doing various tasks, gain money and levels until you can afford amazing ships, guns and other things.
2) What are these tasks?
There are 4 things you can do in the freelancer universe. You can do missions, trade between systems, mine for materials and sell them one or become a pirate. There is also a huge universe to explore.
3) What are these missions?
Missions are done for a particualar company or group of people. For example, the first mission you may do may be for the liberty police. Missions come in a few forms. Some require you to dogfight and kill all baddies in the area. Some u may have to destroy small bases or weapon outposts as well as baddies. Some you just need to kill one particular baddy (though there are likely to be more with him) and maybe return the escape pod. Some require you to kill someone so that you can pick up something they had. One last type is to kill someone and destroy the cargo because it is dangerous
4) How do you pick something up on a mission?
You ship is equipped with a tractor beam. When you kill something, they quite often leave parts of their ship behind, usually guns, ammo for rockets/mines/countermeasures, cargo and sometimes engines. You can tractor any of these in by pressing the tractor beam key (default b). It also picks up mission items like esacape pods.
5) How does trading work?
In much the same way as normal trading. You buy something cheap from one place and ship it to somewhere where it costs a lot more. All places you can dock with will sell some commodity. You just have to find out what to buy where.
6) How do i mine?
Certain areas will show up as mineable on your system map. Simply shoot the smaller rocks in these areas and eventually they will provide you with something you can tractor in and sell.
7) How do i become a pirate?
As a freelancer, you are not tied to any job. You cannot completly join a group, you can just do jobs for them or act like them. You can practice piracy by shooting cargo ships and stealing cargo. You can disrupt their cruise engines by firing a particular rocket at them, or interrupt trade lines in the same way.
8) How big is this universe? can i explore it all?
The universe is not limitless, but it is very big. It would take a long time to explore it all. It took me about 50-60hours.
9) OK, im interested. How do i control the ship?
The control is based purely on mouse and keyboard. Joysticks are not required, and not even supported. The mouse is the main control, and the keyboard is there for controling speed and firing rockets, mines etc. The ship moves with the mouse in normal mouse look, but you must hold the left mouse button to move with it. To fire guns hold the right mouse button. W speeds you up, S slows you down. A and D strafe left and right. Tab ingages turbo, but you have a limited time of turbo. F1 brings up the menu. F2 engages cruise engines. F3 docks with selected targets.
10) How does docking work? is it automatic? What can i dock with?
Docking is an automatic function, you just press the f3 button with the thing you want to dock with selected. You must be within about 1K for it to start. To select a thing to dock with, either point to it and click the left button, or select it in your list of entites nearby. You can dock with space stations, battleships, trade rings, jumpgates and planet docking rings. Do not head straight for a planet because you will die. You can only land on planets with a docking gate - if there is no gate, you cannot land.
11) Can you buy a new ship?
Indeed you can. There are many ships to purchase in the universe, ranging from light fighters to heavy frieghters. Not all places sell ships. Good places to find ship are main planets and battleships, as well as some space stations. When buying a ship, the price of your current ship is taken into account. You cannot have more than one ship.
12) How does single player work?
In single player, you are mostly left to do what you want. There is a storyline based on talking to a main character, but you can do whatever like otherwise. Following the storyline is a good way to go though.
13) Is multiplayer good?
Multiplayer is like single player with no storyline, but you can interact with other fellow players. You can kill them or work with them, its up to you. You can group up with players by selecting them and clicking the group button, and then work together, maybe by doing missions (each of you will get half) or escorting them for trade or new areas. Clicking the formation button with a grouped friend selected means your autopilot will follow them for you.
You can also trade with grouped friends. Simply select them and click the trade button. You can swap spare guns, cargo, ammo etc as well as transferring money.

Further questions

1) i just picked up a gun, but my guns hardpoints are all used. How do i swap guns around?
You must be docked to do this. First go to the equipment part, and then the guns. Click the square on the top left of the gun you want to swap out to unmount that gun. Then click the broken square of the gun you want to put in. You can also do this with shields, engines and other devices. Remember that if you die you will loose any guns that you have unmounted.
2) I just died, and dropped levels. Whats going on?
The default setting for a server is for you to loose any cargo if you die. This includes unmounted guns and ammo. Any items you use (e.g. nanobots and shield batteries) since the last dock are also lost.
3) I had a rather hard battle, and have lost a couple of guns. Why?
Some ships have guns mounted rather far out on the wings. If your hull gets damages a lot, you can loose wings, and hence the guns on them.
4) I just accidentally shot some police, and now they are after me. Am i a bad guy now?
Unlikely. Unless you killed a lot of police ships, they won't be too annoyed. Check out the list of who does or doesn't like you by clicking the player button, or press f8. At worst, the area may hate you for a while. Leave it alone for a while and you can return safely later.
5) I want to be a bad guy ! How do i do this, do i just shoot good ships?
If you shot enough of them, maybe. The best way is to go to some hard area freeports (i suggest 10 or 9) and get someone to make the corsairs, red hessiens or outcasts like you. Just find the guy in the bar that has a dollar sign when you point to him. Hacking your profile like this is a good way to get certain people to like you. It can cost a fair bit though.
6) It seems to be taking ages to get money together. No-one is giving me missions hard enough for my ship.
The difficulty of missions depends on how much the group like you, your current level and the hardness of the system. If the first two are fine, then you need to go to a harder system. The further away a system is from New York, the Harder the missions will be. If you do this right, you can be level 30 in 12 hours or less.
7) What ship should i get? i have $xxxx and am in xxx system.
I have created a SQL fully sort/filter able list of the ships, available here.
8) I heard xxxx system was good. How do i get there?
This site has screenshots of all the maps fully filled in. It is very handy.
9) My question is unanswered by this FAQ. Can i contact you ?
Of course. Go here. Also read

The interface

This is an image from the game. Point to any button on it and it will describe what its function is.

Free flight/cruise F2 - Goto F3 Dock show important targets show ships show bases show commodites show all list of ships/bases/etc gun list Shield Batteries turbo fuel speed Health bar (power/shield/hull) F4 Formation F5 - neural net F6 - map F7 - inventory F8 - Player status F9 - Information selected enemy Select Closest enemy Hail ship Scan Ship target List You Nanobots