'''Tropes 0 - F''' | XUniverse/TropesGToL | XUniverse/TropesMToR | XUniverse/TropesSToZ | ''VideoGame/XBeyondTheFrontier'' | ''VideoGame/XRebirth''
----
!!! The ''VideoGame/{{X}}'' series through ''Albion Prelude'' provides examples of the following tropes:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:#]]
* TwoDSpace
** Played straight in the first two games -- most ships, planets, and stations are laid out on a two-d plane. Averted and repeatedly lampshaded in the third game.
** ''Terran Conflict'' actually falls right back into the trope a bit: while the core X-'verse sectors are certainly much more variable in their layouts compared to the earlier games, many Terran sectors are flat as a pancake with stations smack dab on the same horizontal plane. Likely due to the fact that Terran stations are ''massive'' compared to even the largest non-Terran station; you'd have trouble fitting a Terran Orbital Patrol base in a smaller Commonwealth sector.
*** In a possible case of [[TruthInTelevision Truth In Video Games]], this kind of makes sense as almost all Terran sectors are in the Solar System, and the planets are mostly on the same elliptical plane anyway. By extension, Lagrangian 'points' (stable 'places' which are suitable for constructing stations) tend to trace elliptical orbits on the same plane.
*** ''Albion Prelude'' adds varying station altitudes to the Sol System. The Asteroid Belt demonstrates why this trope can be an AcceptableBreakFromReality: they put the system's equipment dock way "below" the system ecliptic with the docking ports on the ''bottom''. And the station still has an autopilot docking corridor longer than a Commonwealth station, meaning it takes ''forever'' to dock.
** 3D maneuvering is very important in combat. Most capital ships have their guns arranged with the intended anticapital mounts on the forward and flank batteries and the flak mounts on the dorsal, ventral, and stern batteries. The ideal position for a capital ship is to be three or four kilometers "above" or "below" the target, oriented on a sideways diagonal to present a broadside and the forward guns. The AI isn't smart enough for this, however, which means battles typically consist of charging the target, maneuvering to avoid a crash, then turning around. Rinse and repeat as necessary.
* FourX: A rare example played through the first person perspective.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:A]]
* AbnormalAmmo: The Terran [[WaveMotionGun Point Singularity Projector]] shoots what are essentially black holes at enemy ships.
* AbsentAliens: Subverted in the backstory. The only reason the Terrans didn't meet any aliens during their early explorations is that the Ancients had modified the gate system to keep the Terrans isolated.
* AbsoluteCleavage / BareYourMidriff / MsFanservice / PaintedOnPants (whew!): Saya Kho is frequently depicted as such. [[http://extreme.pcgameshardware.de/attachments/397450d1301531304-spieler-frauen-die-beliebtesten-frauen-charaktere-computerspielen-x3saya.jpg This image]] is on the back of ''X3: Gold Edition''.
* JustForFun/AbusingTheKardashevScaleForFunAndProfit: The Outsiders in the backstory and Encyclopedia are somewhere above Type V, and the Ancients are borderline Type [=IVs=]. DysonSphere and Matrioshka Brain civilizations are mentioned, and they fit into the borderline Type [=IIs=]. However, all the races the player actually interacts with are at best Type I (as an example, the Terran Osaka's weapons reactor produces just under 9 GW).
* AbusivePrecursors / BenevolentPrecursors : The Ancients ''do'' have theoretically good goals, like doing something about that whole "Heat Death Of The Universe" ''thing'', and they consider the PortalNetwork they built and maintain a gift to the younger races. On the other hand, they've got a nasty habit of thinking about the younger races as one collective group, making them [[WellIntentionedExtremist frighteningly]] willing to toy with other species. Since their most direct method of manipulation involves switching gate pairs in the PortalNetwork, this means that they do things like start interplanetary wars seemingly ForTheLulz, [[YouCantGoHomeAgain separate colony ships from their home planets]], simply lock fleets in deep space with nowhere to go, or [[InferredHolocaust turn off the entire system of interstellar travel]]. On the gripping hand, that bit about shutting down the entire PortalNetwork also came in response to the [[AIIsACrapshoot Xenon terraformers, who have a bad habit of terraforming people out of existance]], [[OhCrap having control of a large portion of the galaxy]].
* AcceptableBreaksFromReality: NPC Solar Power Plants will continue to run even if they run out of Crystals. Without this, it would be entirely possible for the game economy to grind to a halt if too many Crystal Fabs were destroyed.
* AcePilot: The player. The highest combat rank, X-TREME, requires the player to slaughter tens of thousands of enemy starships.
* ActuallyFourMooks: Kha'ak Clusters read as a single M3 on gravidar but may contain anywhere between six and 26 ships. An attentive player learns to check any hostiles that come into sensor range on the sector map, which gives away the type of ship but not how many Khaak you're dealing with.
* TheAestheticsOfTechnology: [[AvertedTrope Do not rely on what a ship looks like as a measure of how dangerous it is.]] Terran ships, despite being the most advanced ships, [[http://i.imgur.com/SyPVb.jpg don't look much more advanced than the modern Space Shuttle]] -- just a lot more clean and streamlined. This becomes particularly egregious by the time the 2900s take place, since they should already have sleeker and more visually appealing designs by then to complement their [[HumansAdvanceSwiftly sufficiently advanced technology]]. The Paranid, the second-most advanced race, on the other hand, use [[http://i.imgur.com/VG130.jpg very high-tech looking ships]] with lots of curves and shiny hulls. The Split [[FollowTheLeader follow a similar pattern]] to the Paranid by both design and technology, [[http://www.elite-games.ru/images/x3tc/ships/ss_sh_s_m3p.jpg only with more angular and spiky ends]]. Argon/[=OTAS=] ships look like sleek DieselPunk-styled craft with rusty, scorch-filled marks in their design ([[http://www.elite-games.ru/images/x3tc/ships/ss_sh_otas_m3.jpg specifically their fighters when looking like the latter part]]), despite being bought fresh out of a shipyard. The Teladi, who buy or reverse engineer all their technology from the other races and use lower tech weaponry, have [[http://i.imgur.com/Z17s7.jpg cobbled-together ships]]; in other words, they're the ugliest ships aesthetically speaking (with a few exceptions: the [[http://www.elite-games.ru/images/x3tc/ships/ss_sh_t_m3p.jpg Kea]], [[http://www.elite-games.ru/images/x3tc/ships/ss_sh_t_m5p.jpg Kestrel]], and [[http://www.elite-games.ru/images/x3tc/ships/ss_sh_t_m8.jpg Peregrine]] look surprisingly sleek among the [[UsedFuture usual Teladi design philosophy]]), [[WhatAPieceOfJunk but don't judge them by their looks alone]]: they are usually just as effective as the other race's ships. The Pirates on the other hand, use scavenged and spot-repaired ships, with their capital ships cobbled together from the hulks of old transporter ships, and it shows when you look at their stats - almost all the Pirate ships have terrible stats compared to the original race's ships. Boron ships ''look'' like they ought to be superior to everything else, but really only excel as transports.
* AfterActionReport: Gameplay and story based after-action reports are popular in the Fanfiction section of the Egosoft forums; typically with a self-imposed challenge (such as [[NoDamageRun deleting their save upon a game-over]]); [[http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=222994 Squiddy McSquids possible short life]] is one of the most well known, and is the basis for the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlAWC2HSOYM Nautilus]]' [[RealTrailerFakeMovie trailer]]
* AIBreaker:
** Enabling the [[TimeDilation Singularity Engine Time Accelerator]]. This causes the game to run AI routines less frequently, resulting in them getting dumber and dumber the higher the acceleration is, which typically results in AI gleefully plunging headfirst into asteroids, stations, or your ship. This will also apply when you enable your own autopilot, so don't sign your own death warrant by [[PressXToDie pressing J to die]]. When the game is taxing your CPU heavily (such as in a large battle), the enemy ships will stop firing entirely in order to lessen the load on your computer. In extreme cases, all ships in the sector will grind to a halt to lessen the CPU load.
** The AI in ''Terran Conflict'' is almost totally incapable of handling combat against a [[MacrossMissileMassacre missile frigate]], frequently attempting to shoot down incoming missiles with anti-capital ship cannons, or outright ignoring the incoming death rockets. In the case of fighters, they will tumble wildly through space to attempt to get away. ''Albion Prelude'' largely fixed the issue - by making ships respond in kind by spamming missiles at incoming missiles.
* AIIsACrapshoot: The modern-day Xenon are descended from the Terraformers, originally built by the Terrans to terraform worlds. After a badly-written ''software update'', they began to 'terraform' people, cities, and stations. Eventually they [[spoiler:gained true sentience]]. This is why you bug-check your changes before you implement them, people. Non-bugged AGI is human-friendly, however, as the Aldrinites can testify. And [[FlipFlopOfGod according to some sources]], the aforementioned software update was sabotaged by an engineer angry about the cancellation of the terraformer program, after which he would be unemployed.
* AintTooProudToBeg: [=NPCs=] will attempt to bail out their about-to-be-destroyed ship (only if they're in fighters and/or transports that are not of the TL-class) if you [[CherryTapping Cherry Tap]] them enough once their shields are out, in order to save their miserable hides after [[SmugSnake smugly]] [[TheComputerShallTauntYou taunting you however many times]] [[SuicidalOverconfidence and being so idiotically overconfident]] (though transport pilots are more timid than smug). This, unfortunately, does not apply to AGI Task Force fighter pilots, [[GoingDownWithTheShip since they would rather die with their craft rather than surrendering]].
* AirJousting: The AI's idea of combat is to fly straight at the target while firing every weapon it can hit with, then banking away to avoid collisions ([[ArtificialStupidity and sometimes failing]]). This results in an OldSchoolDogfight when fighters do it, and the {{Standard Starship Scuffle}} when capital ships do it.
* AliensSpeakingEnglish:
** All species speak a version of Japanese. TranslationConvention makes them all speak in English (or whichever language your game is set to).
** Lampshaded in ''Farnham's Legend'' with Kyle Brennan being surprised and confused to be greeted in pidgin Japanese by a Teladi.
* TheAlliance: The Foundation Guild, the economic/military alliance between the Argon and Boron.
* AllianceMeter: Each race has its own independent status. Argon and Boron are allied, and Split and Paranid are allied, but each side has neutral status to the [[TrueNeutral Teladi]] and one of the races from each side. Argon hate the Paranid, and Split hate the Boron. Killing hated ships in sectors will give you a reputation bonus, while killing neutral or allied ships will give you a reputation hit to both the victim and the sector owner. Terrans are neutral to everyone in ''Terran Conflict'', but are at war with the Argon in ''Albion Prelude''. It ''is'' possible to ally to every side (besides the Xenon and Kha'ak), including the SpacePirates and Yaki, but you can't do combat missions if you wish to remain neutral or allied - race combat missions will usually feature Pirates or Yaki, and Pirate and Yaki combat missions feature race ships (like protecting a Pirate station from a Boron corvette).
** The ATF in ''Terran Conflict'' are unique in that, while it is possible to lose notoriety with them by attacking them, it is ''impossible'' to gain notoriety with them. Once your reputation goes down with them, it ''stays'' down.
* AlliterativeName: Several of the starting scenarios use these for their titles, such as "Suicidal Squid", "Tormented Teladi", and "Lost Lar".
* AllPlanetsAreEarthLike: Averted. A good number of planets in-game look Earth-ish (most likely due to the Terraformers, well, ''terraforming'' them) but plenty look and are described as fairly different -- the Boron homeworld being an aquatic planet with an ammonia-based atmosphere, for example.
** Actually, when the network was first explored by the Terrans, it was noted that there were an unusual amount of worlds that were similar to Earth. They only had small differences (geological differences, etc.), which is why Terraformers were required.
* AllThereInTheManual:
** The ''X-Encyclopedia'', a 200 page [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin encyclopedia]] on the background of the X-universe, its future (past the games' timeline), and how technology works. It loves to talk about stuff that isn't mentioned in the games at all, like the "Hatikvah Free League", a separate human government, or a species of sentient whales on a hidden Boron planet.
** A rather extreme case of this makes the destruction of the Torus make military sense (since the Torus acts partially as an orbital defense station, destroying it opened the way for the Argon to invade Earth), though it's still an atrocity. Without the ''X-Encyclopedia'', though, ''Albion Prelude'' offers no clues that this is the case.
* AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs: Late in Operation Final Fury in ''Terran Conflict'', you get called back to base after completing a mission. You emerge from the gate in Argon Sector M148 to see a Kha'ak warfleet doing its level best to turn the sector into free hydrogen.
* AlternativeCalendar: The calendar starts at '0' in 2170, twenty-four years after a Terran colony and war fleet is separated from Earth as part of a mass deception to save Earth from the Xenon. They quickly form their own society (the modern-day Argon are their descendants).
** They also erase all mention of Earth from their histories, possibly to prevent anyone from accidentally leading the terraformers back to Earth. By the time of ''[=X:BtF=]'', [[FutureImperfect Earth is a fairy tale]].
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: The Xenon and the Kha'ak. Pirates and Yaki begin looking like that but it's possible to eventually get on good terms with them, and it's possible to befriend ''everyone'' at the same time if you avoid doing combat missions.
* AntiAir: Starburst Shockwave Cannons, Flak Artillery Arrays, and [[WaveMotionGun Phased Shockwave Generators]] are weapons geared specifically to taking down fighter craft, with their extremely high muzzle velocity, high damage, and splash damage. Carriers and some frigates are capable of mounting them en-masse, to clear the area around them for their own fighters.
* {{Antimatter}}: Terran ships have Matter-Antimatter reactors, their corvettes can mount Matter-Antimatter launchers, and they also have Matter-Antimatter mines. The first game's novelization ''Farnham's Legend'' specifically mentions that the matter/antimatter drive aboard the X-Shuttle gave it superior acceleration to Commonwealth ships. The Commonwealth eventually manage to improve on the design with its Jonferson Engines.
* ApocalypseHow: Apocalypses of various types are ''all over'' the games and lore.
** Let's start all the way back in the [=2140s=] A.D. The terraformers going nuts resulted in Galactic-level Societal Disruption for the Terrans. Earth came within a hairsbreadth of being rendered uninhabitable.
** From the encyclopedia: As a byproduct of the Xenon Conflict in the first game, a star was turned into a black hole (now the sector Black Hole Sun), causing a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamma-ray_burst gamma-ray burst]] which the Kha'ak homeworld was caught in the path of. It suffered Planetary/Total Extinction at the very least.
** The Kha'ak did a system-scale Physical Annihilation of President's End in ''X2: The Threat''. All that's left is rubble and the gates.
** The [[SpaceColdWar Terran Conflict]] turned into a hot war after Saya Kho blew up the Torus Aeternal in ''X3: Albion Prelude'', a Planetary/Societal Disruption for Earth. A year later the {{Precursors}} shut down the gate system ([[WildMassGuessing maybe to prevent the younger races from obliterating themselves]]), which caused Galactic/Societal Collapse.
* ApocalypseWow: The destruction of the Torus Aeternal in ''Albion Prelude'' is shown in [[http://store.steampowered.com/video/201310?snr=1_5_9__400 the opening cinematic]].
* AprilFoolsDay:
** The trailer for ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlAWC2HSOYM Nautilus]]'', a [[RealTrailerFakeMovie fake film]] set in the ''X-Universe'' about Squiddy [=McSquid=] came out on April Fools' Day.
** 2012's April Fools' shows that ''X: Rebirth'' has a [[http://www.egosoft.com/news/images/news_2012_03_29_001.jpg Dance Central style method of bartering prices]]
* ArbitraryHeadcountLimit: You can only have a maximum of 21 marines boarding a ship. This bites the [[CripplingOverspecialization OTAS Sirokos]] in the ass; it can carry 30 marines, and if you try to board a ship with a full bay of marines, you have to either waste time deselecting 9 marines or let those excess float around aimlessly in space to get vaporized by enemy fire.
* ArbitraryMaximumRange: All weapons have a maximum range, the longest being 8 kilometers on a capital ship cannon. The effective range of most weapons is lower than the listed max range, because at long range the target will usually avoid the {{Painfully Slow Projectile}}s.
* AreaOfEffect: Phased Shockwave Generators and Plasma Burst Generators.
* ArmorPiercingAttack: The Mass Driver main weapon will outright ignore ship mounted shields and damage the ship's (very expensive and frail) hull directly. It doesn't do that much damage, but since it's ammo based rather than energy based, it can keep firing until you run out of ammo (which on a large fighter, may be 10,000+ rounds).
* ArtificialBrilliance: Rapid-response navy ships in ''Albion Prelude'' will jump around the universe to respond to threats to their installations and ships. They'll also jump away from combat if they start taking too much damage.
* ArtificialStupidity:
** Fatal collisions among NPC ships are commonplace. Fast NPC fighters tend to splat on the station they are attacking after a few minutes of fire. [[HoistByHisOwnPetard Unwanted self-destruction by launching a missile slower than their ship is also relatively common]]. Gets elevated to the power of itself if you activate time compression; the AI routines have trouble running 10x faster, and glitch out -- generally in more dramatic ways the faster the ship is. Expect to see fighters zig-zagging all over the place and capital ships ramming stations.
*** The player ship's autopilot appears to use the same lousy programming, leading many members of the community to jokingly dub it the "auto-pillock".
*** [[http://apricotmappingservice.com/autopillok.html Some believe the auto-pillock consists of a gerbil (or lemming) in a box, with a rough sketch of the sector map and a joystick.]]
*** Fighter craft love to smash themselves into capital ships when attacking them. In [[http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=295405 a series of tests]] on the EGOSOFT forums, a player ordered swarms of fighters to attack a weaponless capital ship. Two waves, one of Busters and another of Mambas, suffered 50% losses because they were splatting themselves on the sides of their target.
*** Oddly enough, the auto-pillock is the only thing that mitigates the Aldrin Spitfyre's status as a Game Breaker. This is an M3 heavy fighter [[SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale capable of topping 450 m/s, has 75 MJ of shielding]], and can mount and fire ''corvette''-grade weapons. The game self-balances by smashing it into things on attack runs.
** The player has a number of well-documented, non-exploit tricks available to him in combat that the AI is evidently not programmed to use, such as strafing and actually [[MacrossMissileMassacre launching missile barrages from [=M7M=]- and M8-class ships]], which are supposed to do that in the first place.
*** The latter behavior is corrected in ''Albion Prelude'' to a rather frightening degree. As long as they can maintain their stores of ammunition, AI missile bombers and frigates will not hesitate to pour long-range ordnance into a sector until everything in it has been purged of life.
** Your trading ships and Universe Traders will [[TooDumbToLive blissfully fly through Xenon and Pirate sectors]] without any regard for their life. Universe Traders will ''sometimes'' jump away when they come under attack, but ''not'' when the enemy is coming towards them - the pilots don't seem to ever notice 3 kilometer long destroyers bearing down on them.
** The targeting computer auto-aims for the center of every ship, and is smart enough to lead its targets. But the [[http://eng.x3tc.ru/screenshot/ship.php?NTg4MDg1NDc Terran M1 Tokyo]] (and its base design, the [[http://eng.x3tc.ru/screenshot/ship.php?ODk4MzExMTU TL Mobile Mining Base-Ship]]) have a long, narrow primary hull with an offset saucer section about a third of the way from the stern; the geographical center of the ship is in empty space forward of the saucer. This means that if you're attacking from above or below, auto-aimed shots will quite often miss cleanly.
** In ''Albion Prelude'', racial military ships in war sectors will attack your PlayerMooks when you're OOS regardless of your reputation with them.
* ArtisticLicenseEconomics:
** Taken UpToEleven. Not only would the economy not work in RealLife, ''it doesn't work InUniverse either''. The most infamous example is the Terrans, whose economy is perpetually stagnated, with goods sitting in factories unsold. Doesn't help that the Terran stations and sectors are ''massive'' and have a docking corridor that's the size of a Commonwealth station; anything that gets in the way will cause a docking trading ship to avert and restart its docking path. The game's GOD engine (regulates the economy, and what is spawned/removed) also likes to destroy Terran stations because they don't receive their necessary resources, which happens a lot since there will be 3-4 sectors between a technology factory and the ore or food that it needs to run. Terrans fail civil planning forever.
** This is an opportunity in disguise. The Terrans are merely waiting for someone (i.e. you) to revitalize their economy by placing in their sectors factories that produce what their stations lack; doing this properly can bring stupid amounts of money to entrepreneur-type players.
*** Even then, there's never enough weapons to go around unless the player builds his own.
** Less well-known is the fact that the Commonwealth will also crash without player intervention. The most common symptom is the removal of both TractorBeam factories in the game (no station buys them, so traders don't trade with them), which forces the player to build and feed an entire SpaceStation for something he only ever needs one of.
* AscendedGlitch:
** In ''X3: Reunion'', dropping your shields out from your cargo bay then picking them up again would instantly recharge them. Egosoft kept it in ''X3: Terran Conflict'' as it's useless in combat and nobody wants to wait half an hour for their destroyer's shields to recharge.
** Similarly with the spacesuit's repair beam: entering a ship and leaving it instantly recharges the repair beam's energy, cutting down {{scratch damage}} fixes by a large factor.
* AsteroidMiners: Ships can be outfitted with Ore Collectors. Blow up an asteroid with a big missile or a Mobile Drilling System, cut up the chunks into smaller pieces with your weapons, then pick it up. Players can sometimes see AI ships mining asteroids, but it's fairly rare.
* AsteroidThicket: There can be upwards of 40 asteroids (each of which 1-2km in diameter) in a 60 kilometer radius. Most sectors have only a couple asteroids fairly spaced out, but sectors like Savage Spur have several dozen asteroids in a tiny area between the gates; the sector is a death trap for capital ships, more so if SETA is running on 10x.
* AttackAttackAttack: Xenon and Kha'ak ships will ''never'' retreat from battle, and will blithely throw scout ships to try and kill your destroyers. Pirate and Commonwealth ships will occasionally try and retreat, but by the time they realize "oh god we're all going to die", there is usually only one scout ship left alive.
* AttackDrone: Freighters ''love'' to drop these by the dozens to swarm attacking ships.
** ''Terran Conflict'' has two new types of enhanced drones, and a little squad of them (bought dirt-cheap) could easily kill the biggest ships in the game in less than a minute with almost no casualties, because it will overwhelm the game's AI, and cause the game to use more system resources. [[AIBreaker As more AIs are running, the game runs the AI routines less, making them fire less often and react slower]]. Also, because [=NPC=] capital ships are [[PointDefenseless rarely equipped with weapons capable of hitting them]], these drones (especially the Mark II variants) could turn even the most difficult of space battles into a cakewalk. Combined with the ability for almost any ship larger than a Scout to carry them, and you have basically a DiscOneNuke ([[TheComputerIsALyingBastard it's since been a common misconception for players to assume that only TS and TM-class craft carry fighter drones and no other craft can carry it, presumably because the AI is only seen using these drones coming out from these class of crafts whenever they're under attack, and also since the information of the X3 wiki does not seem to properly value the use of these drones]]. Which is emphatically false); the only disadvantages being the one-use nature of the drones and the game not registering their kills for your reputation bonuses or for your combat rank.
** ''Xtended Terran Conflict'' adds the [=M7DC=] drone frigate class (based on the Griffon drone frigate from ''Xtended Reunion''), which can produce up to 24 advanced combat drones. Each race has its own drone frigate and its own advanced drone. The drones are slightly weaker than an M4 Interceptor, but are quick, swarm enemies, [[MookMaker and losses can quickly be replaced by the frigate's drone construction system]].
** The Motional Analysis Relay System (MARS) script for ''X3: Terran Conflict'' allows any capital ship with the MARS software suite installed to use the Goblin drone system. Goblins just use regular drones (MKI, MKII, Keris), but they are linked up to the ship's computer to form a comprehensive and intelligent offensive/defense system. Goblins will be catapulted from the controlling ship's fuselage towards their target, and will smartly execute a variety of orders - they can set up satellite arrays, pick up loot and bring it back to the ship, shoot down incoming missiles, attack enemies (or only keeping their shields down for [[BoardingParty boarding]]), and will even return to the ship to recharge their batteries & repair to prevent losses. The drones also [[WhatMeasureIsAMook have their own chatter, referring to the player as "Master", and present loot as "gifts"]].
* {{Autosave}}: The later games autosave when you dock at a station.
* AwesomeButImpractical:
** Missile frigates and bombers fall into this category in the early game. Fielding them requires the player to build up a strong supporting industry to manufacture munitions. Once said industry is built up, however, they become more useful and practical, fully capable of singlehandedly leveling sectors.
** The ATF Valhalla. 14 gigajoules of shielding, 32 [[WaveMotionGun Point Singularity Projectors]], 24 [[MoreDakka Starburst Shockwave Cannons]] ... and it's so wide that it can't fit through gates. Seriously, when it enters a sector, it ''bangs into the gate rim and loses its shields'', reducing the ATF's trump card to a sitting duck. There's a good reason it doesn't spawn in vanilla TC. The behavior is corrected in ''Albion Prelude'', where the Valhalla warps next to a jumpgate, not inside it.
*** It's also absurdly slow and hard to maneuver, and its size gives it some pretty big blind spots in its laser targeting.
** The Paranid M2 Odysseus and Boron M6+ Heavy Hydra are sometimes ''treated'' like this (notably on the wiki), though they're really only impractical for early and mid-game players: their price tags are quite a bit higher than the rest of their class.
** Through care or an exploit, ''Terran Conflict'' players can capture the carrier-class Terran #deca, and even reverse-engineer it. Effectively gate-maximum size and with enough hangar space for fifty heavy fighters, it's a massive and frightening machine that dwarfs most other ships. Outfitting it with any weaponry, however, requires farming Khaak destroyers, and the resulting equipped ship is extraordinarily capital-intensive compared to most of the other options.
** Likewise, the Goner Aran is a unique mothership class craft capable of docking ''another capital ship'', along with massive numbers of fighters and a huge cargo bay. Completely unarmed and terribly, terribly slow, though, its primary utility is to act as a supersized cargo bay or to jump into a system, undock fighters, and jump out. It's also found in extremely poor shape, and as a result, repairing and equipping it is an exercise in frustration.
*** Only if you try to repair it with your spacesuit's repair laser. Just send the damn thing to a shipyard and be done with it. As for equipping it, by the time you have an Aran you're likely to have enough money to finance some shield generator factories.
*** Besides the gimmicky ability to dock a capital ship, players often forget that the Aran is also unique in that its internal hangar can hold M6 corvettes and [[MacrossMissileMassacre M8 bombers]], and for the latter its massive cargo space can be used to stock and resupply torpedoes very well. While the Aran cannot use any weapon because it was built by pacifists, [[TechnicalPacifist there is nothing stopping you from using it to field and support a fleet capable of wiping out entire sectors]].
** M2 destroyers as player ships, because they're too slow and can't carry a fighter for use as a captain's yacht (for docking at stations without capital ship docking clamps). Most players prefer high-end M6 corvettes (which don't ''need'' a captain's yacht), M7 frigates (versatile, not horrendously slow, and many can carry a small number of fighters), or the fastest of the M1 carriers (ditto).
** The [[HealingShiv Repair Laser]]. Free repairs? Hell yes! Except the repair laser restores hull points so slowly that anything bigger than a fighter will take upwards of twenty minutes to fix - and that's with hopping in and out of the ship to cancel the recharge time.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:B]]
* BadassBandolier: In the ''X3'' trilogy, several pirate [=NPCs=] and one Split NPC who sometimes gets mistaken for a pirate because of it.
* BagOfSpilling: Between ''X2'' and ''Reunion'', Julian Gardna somehow lost his entire trade empire and battlefleet.
* BatmanCanBreatheInSpace: The Paranids can't ''breathe'' in space, but the encyclopedia says they can survive unprotected in hard vacuum for an average of forty minutes.
* TheBattlestar:
** The Split M7 Panther, which has a fighter bay rivaling a carrier and a decent number of frigate-sized guns. M1 Carriers also pack a good number of guns behind powerful shields, though they don't have the stamina of M7 or M2.
** The ATF M1 Woden is a variant on their primary M1, the Odin. It trades off fighter capacity for additional weapons power. [[DummiedOut It doesn't spawn]] in vanilla ''[=X3TC=]'', but it did make it into ''Albion Prelude''.
* BeamSpam: Kha'ak capital ships.
* BeePeople: The Kha'ak.
* BerserkButton: As a whole the Argon are a pretty tolerant people and normally content to be a mild ProudMerchantRace. Do something that they perceive as a threat to their way of life, however, and [[GuiltFreeExterminationWar you have no idea the kind of Hell you will unleash]].
* BigApplesauce: New York City was one of the cities targeted by the Terraformers - the introduction movie in ''Terran Conflict'' shows Central Park burned to a crisp courtesy of an [[ColonyDrop aimed meteor impact]], with most of the buildings reduced to rubble, while the Terraformer ships [[OminousFloatingSpaceship hover overhead]]
* BigBad: The Xenon in ''X: Beyond the Frontier''. The Kha'ak in ''X2'' and ''Reunion''.
* BigBadassBattleSequence:
** Most of the War missions in ''Albion Prelude'' involve dozens of capital ships duking it out with at least a hundred fighters zipping around taking potshots at corvettes.
** The Aldrin Expansion in ''Terran Conflict'', during which the player leads an ATF task force in pushing the Xenon out of the Terrans' former colonies in the Aldrin region.
* BigDumbObject:
** [[spoiler: The HUB. It's a giant sphere 30 billion kilometers in diameter, it's orbiting a ''massive'' red giant star, it's drawing power straight from the star itself, it can modify the PortalNetwork, and it's unknown who built it.]]
** The [[http://fc01.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2010/305/8/c/the_torus_aeternal_by_firedragon20-d31xyz7.jpg Torus Aeternal]], a ''massive'' station that wraps entirely around Earth's equator. It houses millions of people, builds most of the Terrans' enormous fleet, and has weapons capable of annihilating ''anything'' that dares to get too close.
* BiggerIsBetter: The Terran Kyoto and [=ATF=] Valhalla, the ultra-destroyers introduced in ''Albion Prelude''. They are by far the largest ships in the game, and have huge amounts of weaponry.
** As mentioned in AwesomeButImpractical, the Valhalla is a subversion in ''Terran Conflict'': it's so wide it clips the gate when it enters a sector, stripping it of its shields and rendering it a sitting duck for other capital ships. ''Albion Prelude'' fixed it so it warps next to the gate rather than through it.
** This is also the design philosophy of both the Boron's and Teladi's ships, though it's more justifiable in the latter's case because their ships fit the MightyGlacier role, typically have mammoth cargo carrying capacity, and it's all for the sake of [[MemeticMutation profitsss]].
* BigNo: Terran and Argon pilots usually scream "NOOOOO!" when killed.
* BiggerOnTheInside: Cargo bays, due to quantum compression. Ships not much larger than a modern F-16 jet can fit several dozen people in their cargo bays - which would be about the size of a refrigerator.
** Special mention has to go to the [[SuperPrototype Enhanced version]] of the Teladi Kea, which has a ''humongous'' cargo bay that is comparable to most M8 ships, making it the largest fighter in terms of cargo capacity. Because of this, it's often used as a poor man's M8, but slightly faster and better armed.
* BizarreAlienSexes:
** The [[FishPeople Boron]] have three sexes: male, female, and Lar. The presence of a Lar during reproduction is highly valued, though not strictly necessary.
** The [[TheTheocracy Paranids]] have ''eleven'' sexes, and while not all of them are required for any individual act of reproduction, the combination of parents will affect the development of the young.
* BlackAndGrayMorality: ''Albion Prelude''. After the Terrans begin moving fleets around because of rumors of the Argon developing AGI ships, Saya Kho blows up Earth's Torus Aeternal, killing potentially ''millions'' of people on the Torus alone, with even more from wreckage [[ColonyDrop falling back down onto Earth]]. The Terrans then go on a RoaringRampageOfRevenge against the Argon Federation, who deploy [[TooDumbToLive artificially intelligent ships reverse engineered from the Xenon]]. Some of the Paranid, who normally despise other races, were horrified by this and sided with the Terrans. The year after the Argon butcher millions of Terrans, the [[NiceJobBreakingItHero entire gate system shuts down.]].
* BlackBox: The jumpgates play with this trope. While operation is terribly easy -- push a spaceship in one gate, and it'll pop out the other gate in the pair a few seconds later, no matter how far away -- no one in the Commonwealth understands anything but the lies-to-children version of how they work. While there are a few scientists capable of repairing damaged gates, no one even thinks about trying replication or reconfiguration, and the irregular outages or changes in the system caused by meddling precursors is treated like mystery or even legend where it's not just a natural risk of the gates. The species that actually made the system in the first place not only consider it [[TheWorldIsNotReady outside of the range of understanding of the normal races]], they think it's impossible for a species to understand without getting [[AbusingTheKardashevScaleForFunAndProfit a few points higher on the Kardashev scale]]. Then the [[HumansAreSpecial Terran humans get involved]], and not only get the theory down and create a new gate on their own, but also create a Jumpdrive that's a ''separate'' Black Box to everyone else in the setting.
* BlindJump: The Unfocused Jumpdrive will randomly generate a sector, and warp the player to it; complete with radio hash and distant visible galaxies off in the distance. It's great for escaping your doom, but you better hope you brought energy cells for the return trip, [[{{Unwinnable}} otherwise you'll be stranded forever]].
** And that is why the random sector always has a crate of cells in it. It may be on the opposite side of a Kha'ak swarm, [[OhCrap or in a cloud of Xenon fighters,]] though.
* BloodSport: The Split are fond of arena deathmatchs. Taken to the next level in ''Xtended'', where the Split have created an incredibly violent version of the ''TheCannonballRun'' [[RecycledInSpace in space]]. A random set of checkpoints are given to the racers at the start of the race, and they must fly through the checkpoints. Any time a pilot doesn't fire on another race when they have the opportunity, they lose points. When the winner crosses the finish line, all the racing ships will explode after 7 seconds. Because it has such a high mortality rate, the Split have declared it the [[ItsTheBestWhateverEver best sport ever]].
* BlueAndOrangeMorality: The Ancients' goals and motivations are basically incomprehensible to the young races. Since they've been around longer than Earth has been Earthlike (over 3.2 billion years), they've had the chance to become Type IV on the Kardashev scale, and their main plan is intended to prevent the heat death of the universe. But because they've been united for so long, they seem to have forgotten that other groups might not be so unified. Like the young races, for instance. Also, for some bizarre reason they told the Commonwealth not to finish off the Xenon after the Second Xenon Conflict, [[FridgeLogic even though it was the Xenon that derailed their long-term plans in the first place]].
* BoardingParty: You can recruit and train Marines/captured slaves to board enemy ships, murder the crew, and hack the central computer. When they board, they'll eject from your cargo bay and space walk to the enemy ship, or if you have Board Pods you load them into your missile tubes and fire it at the enemy ship. If the enemy ship has shields when your marines come into contact with it, it will fry them.
* BoardingPod: Added with the [=M7M=] in ''Terran Conflict''. Pod boarding has both advantages and disadvantages over spacewalk boarding: on the one hand it requires less mechanical skill for your marines to penetrate the hull, and the pods are a good 200 times faster than jetpacks which makes release position almost a non-issue. On the other hand you now have to distract the enemy's point-defense in addition to keeping their shields lowered (Flail Barrage Missiles and fighter drones are good for both), and then there's the logistics issues since there's no factories available to build your own pods: you have to buy them from Community of Planets military outposts.
** ''Albion Prelude'' makes pod use a little bit easier (and cheaper) by making them not targetable by point defense.
* BoldExplorer: In the backstory, the crew of the twelve-man starship ''Winterblossom'' set forth in 2045 AD to explore the newly discovered [[PortalNetwork jumpgate network]] and find habitable worlds for colonies.
* BoringButPractical:
** Rapid fire, low damage per shot weapons. Capital ships would be better off if [[MoreDakka all their turrets are filled to the brim with anti-fighter weaponry]], rather than using the biggest WaveMotionGun they can carry, even when facing enemies of equal or surpassing size. The only real advantage of capital class weaponry is range, not firepower. Unfortunately, it's next to impossible to hit even a massive, slow-moving target at ranges reserved for these weapons due to their {{Painfully Slow Projectile}}s.
** Most of the race-neutral weapons like High Energy Plasma Throwers, Particle Accelerator Cannons, and Photon Pulse Cannons are all boring, but practical due to how common they are (There's over a dozen PPC factores in the game, but only 3-5 factories for Phased Shockwave Generators, for example).
** [[AttackDrone Drone]] [[SpamAttack Spam]] in X3. Beat the enemy [[AIBreaker by overloading your computer's processor]].
** Energy Cell trading runs, particularly in the early game. Profit margins are small, but they're always in demand -- as they're a necessary resource for absolutely ''everything'' -- and the game breaks its own economic rules to make sure there's always a supply of them to be had.
* BossInMookClothing:
** Pirates armed with Plasma Burst Generators, and Xenon fighters armed with Pulsed Beam Emitters. Then there is the dreaded Phased Shockwave Generator in X3:R, which is a Plasma Burst Generator with a 90 degree sphere of doom ahead of the firing ship. Thankfully nerfed to capital ship-only in X3:TC.
** M8 Bombers in ''Albion Prelude''. In ''Terran Conflict'', they were largely free kills because they spawned with hardly any missiles. Between the games, they TookALevelInBadass, and are now capable of killing at least some ships before running out.
* BrainUploading: The encyclopedia speaks of "presence clouds," an artificial nebula made of a form of degenerate matter called computronium that forms a sort of DysonSphere around a star. The Ancients virtualized their consciousnesses into one and create new ones around other stars as dictated by stellar life cycles.
* BreakingTheFourthWall:
--> '''P.A. Announcer:''' Egosoft would like to thank you for buying their product.
* ButWhatAboutTheAstronauts: The Argon backstory consists of this.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:C]]
* CanonImmigrant: The [[NGOSuperPower Optimized Technology And Shielding]] [[MegaCorp corporation]] debuted in the ''Xtended'' mod for ''X3: Reunion'', as a secretive producer of high-tech ships for private customers and for the elites of the Argon Navy. Come ''X3: Terran Conflict'', OTAS has become canonical, is effectively the most powerful corporation, and is the producer of some of the [[LightningBruiser best ships in the game]].
* CasualInterstellarTravel: Space is pretty damn crowded with (damn annoying) civilian ships.
* CentrifugalGravity: Teladi shipyards and both Argon and Teladi trading stations feature large spinning sections to generate gravity for its occupants. In ''Xtended Terran Conflict'', every Teladi station has a centrifuge in its core section, along with several new Teladi ships having small centrifuges.
* ChainLightning: The Ion Disruptor will arc between multiple ships and deal shield damage to all of them, provided the ships are within a kilometer of each other and are somewhat lined up. It's also the best way to deal with enemy [[MacrossMissileMassacre missile spam]], as the lightning effectively instagibs missiles and can arc between them. Beware its ability to make the local police angry as hell with friendly fire, as it doesn't distinguish between friendly or enemy targets. The Ion Pulse Generator is essentially the Ion Disruptor scaled to corvette-size [[CoolButInefficient but drains far more energy when used and is inefficient in most situations]].
* ChargedAttack: The Incendiary Bomb Launcher, Photon Pulse Cannon, Point Singularity Projector, and the Ion Cannon are all already very powerful capital ship weapons to begin with, but all of them have the ability to be charged up [[ForMassiveDamage for even greater damage]], [[AwesomeButImpractical at the cost of significantly high energy drain]] and [[HeroTrackingFailure aiming difficulty]].
* CherryTapping: Pounding on a slower ship who cannot turn around to face you with a weak weapon. The bailing out mechanic actually encourages it: each hit on a ship with shields down has a chance of causing the pilot to abandon the ship, leaving it for you to claim it and use it or selling it. The Pulsed Beam Emitter, which does tremendous shield damage but almost no hull damage, is very popular because of its ability to force rival pilots out while leaving their ship relatively undamaged.
* CityGuards: The system police like to buzz around and scan ships for illegal goods, and have destroyers to back them up. Due to how GOD works, the police fighter craft tend to be pathetically armed; most of them only have a couple Impulse Ray Emitters, which are the weakest guns in the game, excluding support equipment and Ion Disruptors.
* CloseRangeCombatant:
** Quite frankly, Terran/AGI Task Force fighters (as well as the Keris, their only [[AttackDrone fighter drone]]), due to their only compatibility (as far as gun arsenals are concerned) with the Electro-Magnetic Plasma Cannon. To elaborate, the [=EMPC=]'s stats are comparatively weak compared to Commonwealth guns; while the damage against shields and hull are respectably high enough and the energy drain is very manageable, the firing rate and velocity of its shots are poor. This means Terran/AGI Task Force fighters will have major trouble facing off against the annoying [[FragileSpeedster M5 scouts]] as these can fly circles around them and [[DeathOfAThousandCuts slowly chip them to death]], unless they come right at them head-on.
** Aldrinite ships also qualify thanks to their prototypical (but rather inferior) versions of Terran guns.
** The FlavorText for Paranid ships states that their race-based weaponry tends them towards this trope. However, it is subverted in gameplay in which their ships don't always follow this trope and they can mount any weaponry like all other ships from other races.
* ClownCar / ClownCarBase: The player's headquarters and a few of the trading stations have room for a ''potentially unlimited'' amount of fighters. And thanks to how the out-of-sector battle simulation works, a couple hundred scout ships bought with (end-game level) pocket change can keep the station safe from heavy invaders with little attrition costs. Some stations are ''far'' larger than the large freighter that built them - build almost any Terran station and it'll dwarf the ship that assembled it. With a [[UnnecessarilyLargeVessel Terran Military Outpost]], a single component of the station will be larger than the largest large freighter in the game.
* ColonyDrop:
** The Terraformers/Xenon bombarded Earth cities from orbit with asteroids and comets when "terraforming" it.
** A variation is used as an actual combat technique by some players, wherein the player builds a SpaceStation ''directly on top of an enemy ship.'' The tactic has earned the moniker "station-bombing."
** The destruction of the Torus Aeternal caused millions (if not billions) of tons of de-orbiting debris to rain down on Earth.
* ColourCodedForYourConvenience:
** In ''Xtended Terran Conflict'', race sectors are typically color coded via background nebula. Argon sectors are blue, Boron are aquamarine/green, Teladi sectors are yellow/green, Paranid sectors are gold/yellow, Split sectors are red, and Aldrin sectors are gold/bronze. Terran sectors have no color scheme but typically have very bright suns and ''very'' colorful planets or nebula, whereas Pirate sectors are typically [[EvilIsNotWellLit dark]]
** In the base game, Police and Navy ships generally have altered hue and saturation. Navy ships tend to be unpainted or very dark gray, while Police alter the color (such as the Argon Police having purple highlights on their ships rather than standard red highlights). Depending on the race, it's either very noticable (such as the Split) or less so (Paranid). Boron ships don't get this treatment, as they always remain green.
* CommonplaceRare:
** Microchips in ''Terran Conflict''. They're everywhere -- weapons, ships, components of all kinds. And yet, good luck finding some in the universe -- there's so much demand, and the production process involves such a convoluted chain of supply, that most chip factories are permanently empty -- the few chips they produce are instantly snatched up by NPC traders. And if you do manage to be faster than the traders, expect to pay ludicrous prices for them.
*** Oh, and [[spoiler:you need 75,000 of them for the Hub plot.]]
** Some critical weapons are also exceptionally rare. Incendiary Bomb Launchers (the "primary" frigate weapon) and Plasma Burst Generator have only a couple factories in the universe, and they are all Pirate or Yaki owned -- meaning you need to befriend the Pirates and the Yaki in order to buy them. Since Pirates shoot ''anything'' that enters their sectors, the stations are also typically nearly empty of resources, meaning that you'll probably need to stock them up yourself, then wait for the wares to be produced, then buy them. When ''Albion Prelude'' came out, pre-existing Flak Artillery Array production stations were completely non-existent, meaning the only way to get Flak arrays was to buy and build your own (very expensive) Flak forge, then stock it up, or farm enemy capital ships and hope they drop standard flak weapons.
*** There is also the possibility of acquiring a station building mission to build a Flak Artillery Array. Should you have the resources, it would be advisable to take them up on their offer.
* CompilationRerelease[=/=]LimitedSpecialCollectorsUltimateEdition: The ''X-Superbox''. It contains very high-quality versions of the game's soundtrack, 3 fan-made soundtracks, the [[AllThereInTheManual X-Encyclopedia]], and every ''X-Universe'' game made - when ''Albion Prelude'' came out, owners of the Superbox got the normally $9.99 expansion pack for free.
* TheComputerIsACheatingBastard: A lot of the time it goes the other way (see ArtificialStupidity above), but...
** Boarding operations against Xenon capital ships automatically fail if you have less than (eighteen?) marines remaining when they reach the computer core.
** AI-controlled ships are able to fire their energy weapons with no weapon drain penalties, [[BottomlessMagazines meaning they have some sort of infinite weapon capacitor]]; [[GameplayAndStorySegregation something the player does not have]]. Especially frustrating when you face Xenon, Pirate, and/or Kha'ak ships, as they can quickly tear you or your [[PlayerMooks Player Mook]] ships down with little effort, although your Player Mook ships share the same advantage as the AI.
** See the second entry under DeathOfAThousandCuts, below.
** If you stray very far from the allowed approach vector in Earth sector in ''Terran Conflict'', you'll be warned your ship will be destroyed. Continue, and you'll be the subject of a scripted insta-gib, regardless of how much shielding you have. You can't try to destroy the Torus defenses, either: they're invincible.
* TheComputerIsALyingBastard: With one exception, every time ''X3: Terran Conflict'' tells you you need to board a ship with marines during a plot mission, it's lying. The first boarding target will be given to you for free if you wait a while, the second one will get boarded by {{NPC}}s if you wait a while and the third time you can just eject in your spacesuit and claim the target like an abandoned ship. This is significant, as training marines to the point where they could actually capture anything is a very expensive and time-consuming process, far beyond the scope of anything in the campaign missions.
** The one exception is [[spoiler:the Orca you have to capture during the HQ plot]]. That one actually ''does'' require you to board it.
** To a lesser extent, the way how [[AttackDrone fighter drones]] work in the X3 trilogy, the information states that only TS and TM-class freighters can carry fighter drones and is made evident in gameplay with these ships offloading them when they're under attack by hostile ships. Yet this information doesn't hold water and omits the capability of other ships to carry these drones; fighter drones can actually be carried by ships of any size as long as they're capable of carrying cargo that is higher than S-class. In other words, a ship ranging from a small interceptor to a big destroyer can carry them as long as they have space in their hold. This makes fighters drones [[DiscOneNuke Disc One Nukes]] in some sort.
* TheComputerShallTauntYou: Attacking enemy ships will make them taunt you, [[SuicidalOverconfidence even if you're in a carrier and they are in a M5 scout ship]]
--> '''Enemy Argon pilot:''' You've got the flying skills of a large asteroid.
* ComputerVoice: [[FanNickname Betty]], the ship's computer and autopilot, uses a monotone female voice.
* ContinueYourMissionDammit:
** In all Taxi missions, the passenger will begin to nag you as your deadline approaches. The Boron will complain about their tentacles drying out, but due to the voice filters they have, it comes out sounding more like "My testicles are drying out!"
** Plot missions do this, too. The second mission of the Terran plot in ''Terran Conflict'' will have your commanding officer repeatedly calling you and telling you to head to X system to [[StalkingMission tail a ship to its destination]]. And of course in ''Albion Prelude'' you'll get constant calls from the military your gamestart is affiliated with to help them invade (or repel invasion of) a sector. Thankfully shutting them up is as easy as disabling mission guidance in the first case, and turning off war reports in preferences in the second.
* ContinuityNod:
** The introduction to ''X3: Terran Conflict'' shows a fleet of Xenon capital ships flying towards Earth from the surface of the moon, the same scene shown a decade before in ''X: Beyond The Frontier's'' introduction.
** The ship the started it all in ''Videogame/XBeyondTheFrontier'', the [[CoolStarship Xperimental Shuttle]], is a reward for completing the [[spoiler: Treasure Hunt]] plot in ''X3: Terran Conflict''. With a spankin' new model and a potent arsenal, it's a great ship, though one which is [[BlackBox impossible to reverse-engineer]], and is given [[BraggingRightsReward at point when the player is likely to be flying around in destroyers]].
* ContinuitySnarl: Deciphering what is canon and what isn't can be a little difficult. As Helge Kautz put it in the X-Encyclopedia,
--> most of the information comes from the usual unreliable sources such as forum posts, off-hand references in text, translations, reverse translations and an awful lot of guesswork. What's still missing is made up as people go along. It's no big deal as long as people are having fun, but what ends up happening is that there a large number of slightly different universes that don't quite fit together. This is a particular problem across the various language barriers. ''(The text goes on to explain that codifying the lore is the main purpose of the Encyclopedia.)''
* CoolButInefficient:
** The Fragmentation Bomb Launcher. Yes, it does sound like a dangerous weapon but the gun drains up a good deal of energy from your ship, its firing rate and shot velocity are slow, and unless you actually manage to hit your target ''before'' the projectile detonates and unleashes its FlechetteStorm, you're not going to hit anything smaller than a corvette. What's more unfortunate about this weapon is that the FlechetteStorm lacks any AreaOfEffect damage whatsoever due in part of a programmer's oversight. The only thing good about this weapon is its high selling price, which makes for VendorTrash at the equipment docks.
** The Cluster Flak Array is essentially the [=FBL=] scaled up to frigate size. There is one actual saving grace that prevents it from being generally useless, however: the weapon is often paired by some crafty players with the Ion Disruptor, which can chain-lightning between the flak shards to reach further than it could normally. This tactic is known as "Ionized Flak" among fans.
* CoolGate: Ordinary jumpgates look pretty nifty. Then compare them to the Terran-designed Neptune gate in TC.
* CoolStarship: Hundreds of them!
** [[spoiler: [[http://i.imgur.com/fFoMj.jpg #DECA]] M1, a massive cylindrical Terraformer CPU ship. The nose of the ship is a massive gaping hole, leading to a glowing red interior.]]
** [[http://i.imgur.com/GTkAR.jpg OTAS Boreas M2]], a destroyer looking like something from ''Series/BabylonFive'', and which outguns basically every ship in the game.
** Argon Elite M4+, an advanced interceptor which is a throwback to the original Argon Elite M3 from ''X: Beyond the Frontier'' and ''X: Tension''.
** [[http://i.imgur.com/wHsBw.jpg Springblossom]] M6, the single most overpowered corvette in the game, which has ridiculously insane stats for a M6. It's effectively a cockpit with some wings and a giant engine strapped onto the back.
** [=X3R=] has the [[http://i.imgur.com/lrXiu.jpg Hyperion]] M7, a one-of-a-kind, class-creating (M7s didn't exist before it) ship that is given to you after you complete a fairly hard mission. Described as a space yacht, it's in reality a very capable crossover between the M6 corvette and large M2 destroyers. As it's very fast and quite well armed, it's capable of swatting standard frigates out of space with little trouble, and can kill destroyers in a one-on-one fight by evading most of their fire. It also looks ''wicked''.
*** The Hyperion returns in X3:TC, and while it had been downgraded to an M6 corvette it is easily the best M6 in the game and is a fan favorite playership. It flies like an M3+ heavy fighter, practically turning on a dime, has top of the line firepower and shields for an M6, has an absolutely gigantic cargo bay (3333 m^3) and is the only M6 in the game that can dock fighter craft. And if you pick a specific game-start you can even get an overtuned Hyperion that flies far faster than you can normally tune a Hyperion to fly; reports of getting overtuned Hyperions with top speeds over 300 m/s are quite common.
** The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAQ7x8K6Yjg&t=1m5s Boron Megalodon]]. Originally in the Xtended Terran Conflict mod, but now part of ''Albion Prelude''.
* CorporateWarfare: The {{Mega Corp}}s all maintain hundreds of fighters and a couple capital ships apiece, mainly to protect their supply chains from SpacePirates, [[AIIsACrapshoot Xenon]], [[BeePeople Kha'ak]], and sometimes raiding fleets of rival governments. [[AnEntrepreneurIsYou The player can engage in this as well]], and can also be hired as a contractor by the corporations and be sent on (among other things) station defense and assassination missions.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: ''Prelude'''s adding Stock Markets allows the player to easily become this -- obliterating rival corporate ships in order to reduce the value of their company, to get stocks for cut-rate prices.
* CosmeticAward: ''Terran Conflict'' acquired an achievement list for the Steam version in the 2.6 patch. ''Albion Prelude'' has one as well, and ''VideoGame/XRebirth'' is no different.
* CrackIsCheaper: [[invoked]] ''Xtended Terran Conflict'' has the Fuzzico® Fuzzy Dice collection, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin which are fuzzy dice valued by collectors]]. Their prices vary from ''negative'' credits to hundreds of thousands on the black market, though the only way for the player to acquire them is by looting freighter cargo bays, while also having almost no value, simply being a BraggingRightsReward.
* CrazyPrepared: Among the functions of the popular MARS script is automatically switching guns in and out of a ship's gun batteries based on what the battery is targeting. You have to have the spare guns in your cargo bay, meaning you might end up carrying two or three entire loadouts (anti-fighter, anti-capital, and maybe anti-corvette).
* CrewOfOne: One man scout ships? Sure. Corvettes the size of a large yacht? No problem! Battleships that are 5 kilometers long? Piece of cake; I don't need a crew! The player never needs a crew on any of his ships (save for Sector and Universe traders, which still has just one pilot), though this is averted for the AI - if you open a comm channel with an AI corvette, frigate, destroyer, or carrier, you'll get a list of names, such as the Captain and navigation officer.
** [[http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=329422 There's some discussion about this in the forums.]] The fandom's consensus is that the ships ''do'' have crews; they're just invisible PlayerMooks.
* CrimeOfSelfDefense: Police only react to ''hostile'' ships (such as the Xenon) attacking civilians (or you) in their sectors. If you've angered a neutral race enough for them to take pot-shots at you even in sectors they don't own, the police will not react. Thankfully, the police are [[EasilyForgiven pretty forgiving]] and [[PoliceAreUseless ineffectual even if they stay angry]].
* CripplingOverspecialization:
** The Boron Kraken missile frigate drops ''all'' point defenses for [[MacrossMissileMassacre more missile launchers]]. This essentially means they have no way to protect themselves from incoming missiles - save for spamming their ''own'' missiles at enemy missiles and hoping they hit. This was changed in ''Albion Prelude'', where ''all'' ships can mount Mosquito missiles, which coupled with a Bonus Pack script provide a workable missile shield. Missile frigates take this one step further and automatically provide this ability in vanilla ''Albion Prelude'' - except that they use all their launch tubes simultaneously, creating a Macross Missile Defense.
** Kha'ak craft take directed-energy weaponry to one extreme with their (near) HitScan Kyon Emitters. While this makes them terribly effective against missiles (especially if they aren't of the [[RecursiveAmmo Swarm variety]]) and any craft below M7-class, they don't rely on any weaponry other than their own, they don't scale well against the bigger capital ships, and the shielding and hull strength of Kha'ak ships are so painfully below average that they can easily be defeated by a concentrated assault of [[MacrossMissileMassacre missile barrages]] and [[WaveMotionGun Wave Motion Guns]]. Or, better yet, [[AttackDrone fighter drone]] [[ZergRush swarms]].
** The OTAS Sirokos [=M7M=] is designed as a [[FlavorText "heavy capture frigate"]] and carries an extra ten marines ... at the cost of being unable to fire anything but {{Boarding Pod}}s. It's not completely useless, though: players have learned to use it in tandem with an [=M7M=] that can actually fight, in order to bolster marines' numbers when boarding Xenon.
** Terran/[=ATF=] ships are configured to only carry their own race-specific weaponry, and thus, they are unable to mount weaponry designed by the Commonwealth. Unfortunately, some of their arsenal (discounting their missiles) puts their fighters and frigates at a marked disadvantage when facing their Commonwealth and Xenon counterparts, and it only gets worse when their [[ArtisticLicenseEconomics economy is horrendously drawn from the inside-out]].
* CriticalExistenceFailure: Averted in ''X2: The Threat'' and later games. Once the shields go down, the ship starts taking damage to the hull. When hull integrity goes below ~85%, the ship starts to lose speed, and upgrades and weapons randomly break.
* CurbStompBattle: The final mission of ''Reunion'' has the Paranid activating their new jump gate in the middle of the largest Kha'ak attack the universe has ever seen. Then the Terran fleet begins to pour out of the gate and ''stomp'' the Kha'ak into the ground. They then set up a blockade around the gate to prevent anyone from reaching Earth, which is guarded by ''thousands'' of ships and the [[BigDumbObject Torus Aeternal]]. In ''Reunion'', the Terran ships are apocalyptically powerful, capable of shredding anything they come across. Even when they were nerfed for ''Terran Conflict'', they are ''still'' incredibly powerful, leading to Terran capital ships typically ripping apart Argon capital ships in ''Albion Prelude''.
* CyberPunkIsTechno: Much of the soundtrack has this feel, and the setting has some of the elements of CyberPunk.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:D]]
* DamnYouMuscleMemory: Players new to the series will try to pick up Space Fuel from destroyed Pirate craft, thinking it will serve as actual fuel for their ships, [[OhCrap only to find out later that it is actually an illegal alcoholic drink and will be fired upon by Police craft in non-Pirate sectors]]. Actual spaceship fuel is nowhere to be found; the series averts this by giving all ships some [[EasyLogistics unlimited, unspecified source of fuel]] as well as using Energy Cells, which serve as fuel for your jumpdrive (as well as your turbo booster in the Bonus Pack of ''Terran Conflict''), besides being the main source of energy for most any factory.
* DarkerAndEdgier: ''Albion Prelude''. The opening cutscene has one of the main characters from ''Reunion'' blowing themselves and the Torus Aeternal up, killing millions instantly (and then millions more [[ColonyDrop when the wreckage falls back to Earth]]). A full-on near-genocidal interstellar war kicks out between the Terrans' United Space Command / AGI Task Force and the Argon Federation.
* DeathOfAThousandCuts:
** The only way for a lone fighter to win against a capital ship (without MacrossMissileMassacre, at least) is to hide in a blind spot and shoot its comparatively weak weapons until the target dies. A couple hours later.
** The player risks being on the receiving end of this in Xenon and Kha'ak sectors. Such sectors will spawn enemies without end.
* DeathWorld:
** Quite a lot of planets with their crust blasted off, leaving behind molten red hellholes.
** Albion in ''Albion Prelude'' takes it to another level, with massive fissures actually penetrating deep into the mantle of the planet.
* DefeatMeansPlayable: Pilots of fighter-class ships and freighters would sometimes bail when critically damaged in order to save their butts. The player can then exit their own ship in a spacesuit, and claim the ship to add to their fleet (or to pilot it themselves). This is the only way to acquire Pirate, Xenon, Kha'ak, and AGI Task Force ships. ''X3: Terran Conflict'' added [[BoardingParty marine boarding]], allowing the player to steal capital ships after draining their shields and killing the crew with a squadron of marines. By using the PlayerHeadquarters, the player can then reverse-engineer captured ships to put them in mass production.
* DeflectorShields: Every single ship has these, you're dead without them. (Even Goners, the space monks, use them)
** This was quite literal in the games before ''X2''; ships had no hull strength meters in those, so if your shields were gone [[OneHitPointWonder a pea going too fast would kill you instantly]], even if you were in a superheavy transporter.
* DerelictGraveyard: the "President's End" sector, which is full of wrecked stations and ships from a Kha'ak attack. Some other sectors have smaller graveyards.
* DescriptivelyNamedSpecies:
** "Paranid" seems to be a pun on "para''noid''".
** The Split are an InUniverse example according to the encyclopedia. Their allying with the Paranids in the Boron Campaign caused a rift, or "split," between the Argon and Paranid. Similarly the name for the Kha'ak is a loan word from the Split language, a creature from their mythology analogous to a parasitic wasp that lays its eggs in Split children. The Kha'ak bear no actual relation to this, of course.
* DesignItYourselfEquipment: Subverted. You don't actually get to see the equipment you've installed in your ship other than the guns. You can, however, give custom paint jobs to your ship in the PlayerHeadquarters. The only ships you can't give a color makeover to are Boron ships, thanks to their organic construction.
* DestroyableItems: In ''X2'' and later, you have a random chance to have outfits destroyed when you take hull damage. The more damaged your hull, the higher the chance.
* DestructibleProjectiles: You can shoot down incoming missiles. They're {{One Hit Point Wonder}}s in most of the series, but gain a health bar in ''Albion Prelude''. Woe betide to any player shooting down AreaOfEffect missiles such as Firestorm or Hammerhead missiles; they can easily vaporize almost any non-M7-class vessel if too close.
* DiegeticInterface: Ships in ''The Threat'' and previous games had cockpits which had bits of the HUD on them, such as a capital ship having a large gravidar screen to the side of the ship's control bridge. Fighters had hull, shield, weapon strength incorporated into the cockpit pillars or on the dashboard, with the gravidar generally occupying the center of the dashboard. ''Reunion'' removed cockpits entirely, but several different mods re-add the cockpits from ''The Threat'', and some added entirely new cockpits.
* DiscOneNuke:
** ''Terran Conflict'' gives the player a [[SuperPrototype one-of-a-kind]] ATF Vidar corvette midway through the Terran Conflict plot. It's a ''very'' good ship, with a very slim profile, good shields, and ammo-based primary weapons (negating the normally obnoxiously weak laser generators in most corvettes). A little while later you get access to the Aldrin Springblossom, which is frankly considered a GameBreaker.
** ''Albion Prelude'' dumps a high-end Argon Centaur corvette on the player about an hour into the plot. The Centaur normally takes anywhere from an hour to a dozen hours to buy, after saving up enough credits and getting on the good side of the Argon Federation.
** ''Xtended Terran Conflict'' has several [[MultipleGameOpenings alternate game starts]] which give the player capital ships. One of the Paranid starts gives the player a Hercules TL (~30 million credits) which is carrying the PlayerHeadquarters (~190 miil). A Terran start gives the player a partially equipped Yokohama frigate (~35-50 mil).
* DisproportionateRetribution: The reason the Argon Federation blew up the Torus Aeternal and [[GuiltFreeExterminationWar declared war]] on the Earth State? Terran spies were trying to steer the Argon away from AGI research ([[ProperlyParanoid for a very good reason]])
* TheDon: Don Marani in ''Reunion''
* DownerBeginning: ''Albion Prelude'' starts with the destruction of the Torus Aeternal, the jewel of the Solar System and the home of millions.
* DownloadableContent: Normally incorporated into major patches.
** Each game has an add-on bonus pack that adds a number of useful scripts, ranging from smarter AI trading (Commercial Agent, Commodity Logistics Software) to a near-impenetrable missile defense program for Commonwealth vessels (Mosquito Missile Defense).
** ''X3: Reunion'': "The Bala Gi Missions" (part of a patch).
** ''X3: Terran Conflict'':
*** "A New Home": New plot. Added in patch.
*** "Aldrin Expansion": New plot. Added in patch.
*** "HQ plot": New plot. Added in patch.
*** "Balance of Power": New plot. Added in 3.0 patch.
*** "A Place of Sunshine": New sector distributed over {{Steam}}.
*** ''X3: Albion Prelude''. $9.99 (or free for people who own the X-Superbox), requires ''Terran Conflict'' to be installed. Adds in a stock market, improves the UI, and adds some ships from the ''Xtended Terran Conflict'' mod.
* DroneDeployer: In vanilla, NPC freighters frequently carry a dozen or so fighter drones and deploy them as distractions upon being attacked. PlayerMooks equipped with Fight Command Software Mk2 and using Sector Trader, Commercial Agent, or Commodity Logistics Software will automatically buy drones for this upon reaching a certain experience level. PlayerMooks tend to have a better escape rate since most players fit their trade ships with jumpdrives.
* DummiedOut: [[http://x3wiki.com/index.php/Non-Vanilla_Ships A couple dozen ships]] don't spawn in vanilla ''Terran Conflict'', though most were never actually finished and use other ships as placeholders. The Valhalla and Woden, on the other hand...
* DynamicDifficulty: In X³, combat ranks are used to determine enemies, making the game harder as you destroy enemy craft. The combat rank will decay if you let the game idle, decreasing 2% every in-game hour. Said decay won't drop the rank below Fighter (Rank #10).
* DysonSphere:
** [[spoiler::The HUB]]. Follows the Dyson Swarm model, though. [[spoiler:Each is a hollow sphere about 60 kilometers, orbiting a massive red giant star.]]
** The Ancients' presence cloud is one formed of degenerate matter surrounding a star.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:E]]
* EarlyGameHell: ''Reunion'' and previous games were famous from dropping the player into the universe in a crappy ship with next to no credits, upgrades, or weapons. Combat missions are ''painful''.
* EarnYourFun:
** In ''Reunion'' and previous games, you start with [[WithThisHerring one of the cheapest ships in the game]] and enough cash to make a half decent trading run ''if you're lucky''. You're going to be spending a while grinding for credits and reputation before you can afford anything really cool.
** There's several starts in ''X3: Terran Conflict'' which give you a much better fighter, or trading ship. ''X3: Reunion'' players are stuck with the Buster, [[spoiler: the Kha'ak start]] a couple M5 starts, or a couple of trading starts. The Xtended Terran Conflict mod has a start where you start in a 35 million credit frigate, and another with a 250 million credit station and a 20 million credit large transporter.
** This is easily subverted when the player realizes that the trader start is the best for a fighter character. It gives you a light freighter you're supposed to trade with and a light fighter to defend yourself, but if you sell the freighter you'll get enough money to kit out the fighter and arm it to the teeth. Then you start looking for medium pirate fighters to capture and resell, and before you know it you're sitting in an M3+ superheavy fighter.
** The difficulty dropped ''a lot'' in ''Albion Prelude''. The Argon start puts you at the controls of an M3 Enhanced Nova, and grants you an M6 Centaur within the plot's first hour. The Terran start skips the M3 stage entirely; you get an M6 Katana.
* EarthShatteringKaboom:
** [[spoiler:Supposedly the fate suffered by the Kha'ak homeworld courtesy of a gamma ray burster, whose fragments form the Nividium asteroids scattered about.]]
** The plot of ''X:BTF'' revolves around the Second Xenon Conflict, the campaign to prevent the Xenon from using their M0 planet killer. ''X2'' has this happen to President's End at the hands of the Kha'ak; the plot's objective is preventing an encore performance.
* EasterEgg: While flying around in ''Terran Conflict'' you may come across a ship called Unknown Object. It's a small M3 fighter in the shape of a UFO. According to the wiki, it's a remnant of a "Xenon Unknown Object" from ''Reunion''.
* EasyLogistics:
** Hyper-averted. Your ships ''will'' run out of ammunition, ''will'' run out of jumpdrive fuel, and they ''will'' run out of missiles.
** Played straight with actual spaceship fuel. No one ever needs to refuel, though the ships clearly don't have any ReactionlessDrive and leave behind an exhaust trail.
** The actual commodity known as "space fuel", is, in fact, an illegal alcoholic drink. [[DamnYouMuscleMemory A new player may easily be stalked by the police for accidentally salvaging it from a destroyed pirate ship without knowing]]. Actual spaceship fuel is nowhere to be found; the series enforces this trope by giving all ships an unlimited amount of fuel (matter/antimatter for Terran ships according to the literature, but left unspecified for Commonwealth ships).
* EldritchAbomination: A few have been hinted at in flavor text. In particular, the description for Xenon Sector 596 says the sector was discovered by a lost Boron pilot, who was found driven insane with terror, screaming about an 'eternal cosmic horror' living inside the planet.
** The Kha'ak themselves can be possibly considered this to the other races, [[StarfishAliens thanks to their practically indecipherable culture]].
* EliteArmy: The AGI Task Force is a small, independent arm of the Terran military, which specializes in hunting down [[AIs artificial general intelligence]] and the people who create them. ATF ships are incredibly powerful, as they are [[LightningBruiser fast, well shielded, and very potent]], with their only downside being smaller cargo bays and the [[CripplingOverspecialization inability to mount non-Terran weapons]]. And once you piss off the ATF, they will ''never'' forgive you.
* EliteMooks: The Pirate Blastclaw, their only homebuilt fighter, is far superior to the outdated production models the pirates usually use. The Xenon have the relatively rare "LX" heavy fighter, which carries superior firepower compared to their standard "L" fighter; it's a favored personal ship by many due to its powerful stats, which stand in stark contrast to the Xenon's [[CannonFodder usual design philosophy]].
* TheEmpire: The Split Patriarchy, a totalitarian regime and the only member of the Commonwealth that practices slavery. The Paranid have an actual empire and come pretty close, though.
* EncyclopediaExposita: Ships, governments, corporations, trade goods, weapons, the whole shebang, accessible from a drop-down menu in ''X3''.
* EndOfAnAge: The end of ''Albion Prelude'', when the Ancients shut down the gate network.
* EnemyChatter: Ships will broadcast for help when they're taking damage, yell that their shields are down to their allies, and taunt you - even if they're about to die.
* EnemyMine:
** Advanced players who have befriended the [[{{Yakuza}} Yaki]] often make use of their NGOSuperpower status to steal ships from [[http://x3wiki.com/index.php/Return_Ship "Return Ship"]] missions, by docking the ship at the shipyard in Senator's Badlands. The SpacePolice sent to destroy the stolen ship will spawn and immediately come under attack by the Yaki, [[CurbstompBattle who have an M2 Akuma at their disposal]]. [[http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?p=3686774#3686774 This post is a great example.]]
** ''Albion Prelude'' provides a story example. The Argon and Paranids are traditional rivals, which goes back to the latter's refusal to help them in the First Xenon Conflict. The rivalry gets bloody frequently, and when the Second Terraformer War breaks out, the Paranid help out the Terrans. One of their top officers aids Lt. Col. Elena Kho in stopping the final attack on Earth, and is marooned in Sol after the gates shut down.
* TheEnemyWeaponsAreBetter: In ''X3: Reunion'' and later games, players frequently ditch their Commonwealth or Terran heavy fighters for [[AIIsACrapshoot Xenon]] heavy fighters, as the Xenon LX fighter is in most regards superior to comparable (non-[[SuperPrototype Prototype/Enhanced]]) Commonwealth fighters (It probably helps that the LX [[SpikesOfVillainy looks]] [[RedAndBlackAndEvilAllOver cool]]). In the late game when players can [[NGOSuperPower out-produce most races]], some switch over from buying (or [[BoardingParty boarding]]) [[MileLongShip capital ships]] from the six main races and instead start to produce Xenon capital ships, though this is mostly because Xenon capitals take a fraction of the time and resources to produce.
* EnergyBall: Several of the game's EnergyWeapons fire spheroidal shots. The most obvious of these are the frigate-grade Incendiary Bomb Launcher and the destroyer-scale Photon Pulse Cannon.
* EnergyEconomy: Energy cells are the basis of the economy, though not its currency.
* EnergyWeapons: The vast majority of them, from the short-range, rapid-fire, very weak Impulse Ray Emitter up to the battleship-shredding, {{Painfully Slow Projectile}}s of the Photon Pulse Cannon.
* TheEngineer: In ''Terran Conflict'', Mahi Ma of the Boron. [[spoiler:The guy manages to restore an ancient piece of LostTechnology, the Hub, to full operation. All the player does is [[FetchQuest bring him supplies]].]]
* AnEntrepreneurIsYou: One of the main points of the game is building your own economic empire, with dozens of trading ships and hundreds of orbital factories.
* {{Epigraph}}: Every gamestart of every game has a quote from a famous scientist, author or politician somewhat related to the game.
* EscapePod: In ''Xtended Terran Conflict'', corvettes and larger will launch up to a dozen escape pods upon destruction or bailing; the pods will blast off in excess of 400m/s, perform some evasive actions, and use their miniature jumpdrives escape safely. Smaller craft don't get it so easily; fighter and freighter pilots either go down with their ship or jump out in a space suit, and EVA to the nearest space station; the player can pick them up and [[VideogameCrueltyPotential sell them into slavery]].
* EscortMission:
** From HELL. The amount of opponents that spawn during missions varies with your combat ratings but the escortees remain painfully slow and barely shielded cargo freighters which go down to any interceptor and fighter in a matter of seconds. The attackers seem to appear indefinitely in fixed time intervals, so it's easy to end up having to fight a swarm of 10-15 fighters every 20 kilometers -- if you're lucky, as the AI certainly seems to take its time to pass through gates and dock to stations. To add insult to injury, [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption sometimes the freighters break formation and fly in separate directions.]] Once you have a high combat rank, the AI will start spawning in ''battleships'' at regular intervals to try and kill the freighters.
** After the first couple of such missions, most players learn not to accept them unless there is no other choice, [[spoiler:as with the hiring missions for some of the corporations and one of the plots.]]
*** [[spoiler:A solution to the must-do {{Escort Mission}}s lies in an exploit: since the game only begins spawning enemies for the mission once the player enters the freighters' sector, ''simply never be in the same sector as the freighters.'']]
** The one plot-relevant escort mission that you can complete without the above exploit is the exception that proves the rule. When [[spoiler:the Terrans tell you to babysit a ship carrying Terraformer debris on a trip from Heretic's End to Venus]], the enemies involved spawn once at a scripted location, you have additional naval forces for backup, and the escortee is a personnel transport instead of a freighter so it's much faster and somewhat tougher than usual.
* EternalEnglish: Played with.
** The backstory averts it. The faction names "Argon" and "Goner" are both derivatives of the name of USC officer Nathan R. Gunne, mutated by eight centuries of language drift.
** Played straight by the fact that despite being separated for about 800 years, the Terrans, Argon, and Aldrinites have no trouble understanding each other.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: In ''Albion Prelude'', the normally xenophobic and totalitarian Paranid are so disgusted by [[spoiler:the fall of the Torus]] that they ally with the Terrans.
* EverythingsBetterWithSpinning:
** One forum member discovered that corkscrewing, or flying in a spiral by putting his joystick to the stops on all three axes, was a pretty effective evasive maneuver in a fighter. He was even able to survive a mob of Kha'ak fighters in a Split Mamba Vanguard.
** Many ship models have spinning components, just because. Some (like on the OTAS M2 Boreas) are justified by looking like sensor dishes, or by being an engine turbine in the case of the Boron Megalodon.
** Back in the days of the first game, both the Terran capital ship you start from and the planet-killer you have to destroy in the endgame have unreasonably ''huge'' spinning parts for no observable reason.
** The [=OTAS=] Venti M3 fighter has twin gatling-style guns that even rotate when it fires.
* EvilIsNotWellLit: The main pirate sector, Loomanckstrat's Legacy, is the only sector in the game with no sun - making the sector extremely dark. In ''Xtended'', poor lighting is the [[ColorCodedForYourConvenience color coding scheme]] for Pirate sectors.
* EvilVersusEvil: The Xenon Vs. the Kha'ak, if the Kha'ak were to jump in a sector the Xenon are in. Especially if it's a Xenon-controlled sector. Usually the Kha'ak gain a distinct advantage over the Xenon due to their near HitScan laser beams, unless the Xenon ZergRush them.
* ExplosionsInSpace:
** Capital ships create a giant white fireball and a large shockwave when blown to bits. It has no discernible effect on any craft passing by.
** While lacking the large shockwave effect, stations also produce massive explosions when destroyed; particularly big or important ones, such as Xenon Shipyards, produce fireballs ''several times'' as massive, easily topping fifteen to twenty kilometers in size. Most also leave debris behind, which disappears after a couple game-days.
* {{Expy}}:
** The Boron are essentially the [[Franchise/StarWars Mon Calamari]], but with a squid-like appearance and lacking the iron resolve and prowess that the Mon Calamari are touted for.
** The Kha'ak are essentially the X-Universe's version of the [[VideoGame/{{Elite}} Thargoids]]. Except unlike the Thargoids, the Kha'ak are practically impossible to attempt understanding them by any means.
** The Split are the X-Universe's version of the [[Franchise/StarTrek Klingons]]. Also, their culture is reminiscent of the [[BattleTech Clans]].
** The Teladi share many similarities with the [[Franchise/StarTrek Ferengi]], with their devotion to [[MemeticMutation profitsss]] and even the restriction of their particular gender to travel away from their homeworld. The only key differences are their appearances (Ferengi are humanoid, Teladi are reptilian) and their lifestyle (female Ferengi are forbidden to leave their homeworld, female Teladi are ubiquitous in outer space and male Teladi often stay in their homeworld because unfertilized, unsupervised Teladi birth eggs would always hatch as female, though there do exist male Teladi in outer space).
** The Xenon are pretty much the [[BattlestarGalactica Cylons]], except that they are faceless and had [[TurnedAgainstTheirMasters turned on their creators]] [[AIIsACrapshoot by means of a faulty software patch]] instead of [[UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom a person goading them to become self-sufficient]].
** Many mods base their ships on crafts from other games, with some modifications to make them a LawyerFriendlyCameo. The Xtra ship mod by Cadius, for example, features several new capital ships which are based on ships from ''VideoGame/NexusTheJupiterIncident''. Example: [[http://i.imgur.com/TaebsCR.jpg Terran Nagoya]] versus the [[http://i.imgur.com/fGf0Vl2.jpg Noah Colony Battleship]] - The ship's detail has been bumped up and textures are like those of other Terran ships, but the two are obviously the same design.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:F]]
* FactionCalculus: The ships have a lot of stats which can be roughly condensed into: speed, shielding, armament and cargo capacity. CripplingOverspecialization is largely avoided, making ships largely defined by what they ''don't'' have rather than what they excel at.
** Argon ships are balanced (making them a case of HumansAreAverage), providing a nice baseline for the Faction Calculus. Argon vessels make solid, well-rounded performers, but some will stress that there are generally better options depending on your flying style.
** OTAS ships, being the experimental private contractor offshoot of Argon tech, are generally more efficient than stock ships and have just as much versatility. The offset is their excessive price.
** Boron ships are fast and well-shielded, but generally badly armed with undersized weapon generators. Possibly Fridge Brilliance when you consider that the Boron are pacifist, and only maintain a military for self-defense (read as "because of the Split"). Considering missiles are standardized, their larger cargo bays (though not as large as Teladi ships) makes them great at MacrossMissileMassacre.
** Paranid ships are balanced, but reduce cargo space to increase close-range firepower. They also tend to be more expensive than Argon vessels.
** Pirate ships have poor stats (worse in every regard to the race ships they're based on), but their ships typically offer a huge variety in compatible weapons and often can use fairly large weapons. {{Justified|Trope}} by fluff: pirate fighters (except the [[EliteMook Blastclaw]]) and corvettes are obsolete production models modified and updated to be competitive with current ships. Their capital ships and space stations are kitbashed hulks and derelicts.
** Split ships are {{Fragile Speedster}}s, fast with increased firepower at the expense of shielding. Note that their frigates do not follow this pattern and are arguably the most dependable well-rounded performers in their class.
** [[{{Yakuza}} Yaki]] ships generally imitate Paranid ships in handling and looks, but some (notably the Tenjin) follow the Split example.
** Teladi ships are {{Mighty Glacier}}s, slow but durable with respectable firepower. They have significantly increased cargo space for greater [[MemeticMutation profitsss]]. Because of this, besides being good at trading, they are the best ships for MacrossMissileMassacre.
** Terran and ATF ships trade some firepower (limited weapon selection and somewhat lower damage output) for [[StoneWall speed and shielding]]. But they definitely aren't slouches on any leg of the armor triangle, which causes some to regard them as {{Game Breaker}}s.
** Finally, [[AIIsACrapshoot Xenon]] and [[HordeOfAlienLocusts Kha'ak]] ships are The Horde, being hive-minded races. They're subpar in most respects, but Xenon ships can be replicated quickly and cheaply with the PlayerHeadquarters, making them popular among late-game players. Kha'ak ships aren't much used, since they require unique weapons that need to be farmed - although the almost-HitScan ability of said weapons can entice some players.
* FailedASpotCheck: The Autopilot is incapable of looking ahead on its path, and instead will only check what is immediately in front of it with every frame. It's possible for a stationary asteroid 2 kilometers across to sneak up on ship flying around (at which point the ship will gleefully smash into the asteroid), and [[FromBadToWorse even more likely]] if [[YearOutsideHourInside SETA]] is engaged, which cuts the frames from half of the normal frame rate to a mere tenth of the normal - in essence, the higher one's framerate, the better the AI pathfinding is.
* FakeBalance:
** Fansite owner [=ApricotSlice=] wrote [[http://apricotmappingservice.com/unbalanced.html an entire essay/rant on this trope]] in regards to ''Reunion''. In theory the ships in the game have two axes of balance (FactionCalculus and ship classes) and are pretty well designed. In practice, ArtificialStupidity, the SchizophrenicDifficulty of in-sector versus out-of-sector combat, and the lack of a good fleet command interface put the balance into a blender.
** In the sequel, ''Terran Conflict'', in addition to the above Terran, ATF, and OTAS ships are mostly balanced by being more expensive than other ships. By the time you're buying ships in large quantities you'll likely have [[MoneyForNothing more money coming in from your investments than you know what to do with]].
* FantasticDrug: Spaceweed is a Teladi plant that is smoked or ingested and amounts to marijuana [-[[RecycledInSpace IN SPACE!]]-] Space fuel, on the other hand, is a street name or euphemism for Argon whiskey. Both are illegal in the Commonwealth[[note]]which is ironic in the case of space fuel, [[{{Hypocrite}} since you can see two distilleries in the Argon sectors of Herron's Nebula and Nyana's Hideout, and you can actually buy their distilleries from Argon shipyards]]. Spaceweed is legal in Teladi space, however[[/note]], and both are highly prized by players for use as trade goods to pacify the SpacePirate population.
* FantasticRacism: The Paranid consider all other races to be lesser creatures because they have only two eyes. ''Xtended Terran Conflict'' really steps up the racism for several species; the Terrans consider themselves to be [[HumansAreSpecial special]] and are degrading to other races - a Terran study claims that the [[FishPeople Boron]] may be descendants of Terran aquatic life, which would therefore [[InsaneTrollLogic make the entire Boron Kingdom a Terran colony, and eligible for Terran taxes.]]
* FantasticSlurs: "Squids" for the Boron (though they don't seem to mind), and "four-eyes" for the Paranid.
* FeaturelessProtagonist: ''Terran Conflict'' only ever addresses the player as "pilot" or "captain". You have the option to rename your pilot, but it never has any effect on gameplay.
* TheFederation:
** Argon Federation and Boron Kingdom.
*** To be specific, the Argon government is a parliamentary democracy where every station and planet gets a senator. The Argon are led by a president or prime minister (the games use the first title, the ''X-Encyclopedia'' uses the second).
*** The Boron are a [[TheKingdom constitutional monarchy]]/parliamentary democracy hybrid not unlike the United Kingdom: the queen is a figurehead for the parliament.
** The Terrans may also qualify, but their xenophobia might also make them a subversion.
* FetchQuest:
** One category of side missions requires you to collect cargo from another station and deliver it to the client. Another requires you to obtain a crapload of cargo from wherever you can get it and deliver it to the client.
** The [[spoiler:Hub plot]] takes it UpToEleven. It's an entire Fetch ''Plot''.
* FictionalUnitedNations: The Commonwealth/Community of Planets, whose formation was spearheaded by the Teladi Space Company out of enlightened self-interest (i.e. getting the other nations to fight less and work together more makes making profitsss easier). The members still fight among themselves occasionally but also band together to fight common threats such as the Khaak.
* FinalDeathMode: Dead-Is-Dead mode in ''Terran Conflict'' and ''Albion Prelude'' will delete your save game upon death. In a game where saves can have hundreds or ''thousands'' of hours of playtime, it's very painful.
* FireBreathingWeapon: The Plasma Burst Generator fusion powered flamethrower.
* FixedForwardFacingWeapon: All fighters and corvettes and every frigate except the Panther has these, usually putting their [[WaveMotionGun most powerful weapons]] there. Averted in [=M1s=] and [=M2s=].
* {{Flanderization}}: ''Xtended Terran Conflict'' ramps up each race's [[PlanetOfHats hat]]. The Paranid are even more fanatical, the Terrans are even bigger jackasses, and the Split are even more sectional and clannish.
* FlauntingYourFleets:
** ''Reunion'' ends with the AGI Task Force fleet streaming through the newly built jump gate in Heretics End, reuniting [[LostColony Earth]] to the X-Universe. Said fleet [[CurbStompBattle crushes a Kha'ak invasion in mere minutes]] - then the camera goes through the wormhole to Earth, showing the massive [[RingworldPlanet Torus Aeternal]] and even ''more'' ATF ships heading towards the camera.
** The view from the Torus in ''Terran Conflict'' shows probably thousands of ships, about a third of them Osaka destroyers, orbiting Earth behind the Torus.
* FlavorText: Just about every object in the entire game has its own little tale to tell.
* FlechetteStorm: The Fragmentation Bomb Launcher use flechettes to damage targets.
** [[CoolButInefficient It tries to, anyway.]] The flechettes rarely actually hit anything. Ditto the Cluster Flak Array, which is the FBL writ large.
* FluffyTheTerrible: The OTAS Venti sounds like something you'd get at Starbucks. In actuality, it's an extremely deadly M3 fighter.
* FlyingSaucer: Players can sometimes see the stereotypical flying saucer [=UFO=] (labeled "Unknown Object") zipping quickly between sectors, as an EasterEgg. The flying saucer is very useful for exploring the universe -- order one of your scout ships to follow it as the saucer makes its rounds through the gate system, and they'll quickly uncover most of the universe.
** Including Xenon sectors...the caveat to this being that [[spoiler: the UFO is neutral to all races.]] You, however, are not. Sending an M5 into Xenon sectors is a great way for it to suffer CriticalExistenceFailure shortly thereafter.
* ForcedTutorial: Sort of. You're required to complete the tutorial to get one of the achievements in ''Terran Conflict'' and ''Albion Prelude''.
* FragileSpeedster:
** Scout craft, which while anywhere from two to several times faster than any other ship, will get vaporized with so much as a sneer from heavier fighters and any capital ship. Split ships as a whole also fit the type, as they concentrate on speed and firepower rather than heavy shielding. Boron ships also have weakened shields and higher speed, but not as extreme as the Split ships.
** The Teladi Kestrel is the fastest ship to be purchasable from its respective race's shipyards (in fact, it's the fourth fastest overall in the game). It's not recommended to use auto-pilot and SETA at the same time because it can barely control itself at such speeds and carries a high risk of colliding with another object. It's really only good at barging through sectors hopefully unscathed because like all M5s, it won't last long in even an M4 dogfight. Although in the hands of a good fighter-jock-type player it makes a decent GradualGrinder: having better guns than most M5s, coupled with the class's agility and speed, means it can handle itself against anything up to M3 if you keep to the side so you can attack from blind spots. Plus, since it comes with a rear turret, it can shake off any missile that tries to catch it: the Rapier missile is the only one that can catch up with the Kestrel thanks to being the fastest out of any counterpart at a blistering 657m/s (until ''Albion Prelude'', where the still pathetically weak Mosquito missile took the title as the fastest at 700m/s) and doing a reasonable 1MJ of damage.
*** The [[SpacePirates Pirate]] version adds roughly 30 more m/s than the standard version, making it the fastest pilotable armed ship and the third fastest overall in the game.
** The two fastest ships in the game, Starburst and Arrow, aren't even ''meant'' to fight -- they are completely unarmed. They have shields, but they might as well not -- good luck hitting something this tiny going at 1000+ meters per second.
** Some Split ships, by fluff, weren't even designed with shields in mind. The design team clean forgot about it and later had to be retrofitted. Starburst and Arrow, rather than being fighters, are supposed to be used for racing.
** "Raider" ship variants. Shield capacity has been reduced in exchange for more powerful engines and better weapon energy generators.
* FrickinLaserBeams: Kyon Emitters, as well as the developer-disabled Phased Array Laser/Plasma Beam/Tri-Beam Laser/Fusion Beam Cannons.
** Disabled because they would instant-kill any enemy (and the player too). Kyons were nerfed from ''X2'' onwards for that reason.
** Kyons are laser beams in appearance only. Apparently the game engine can't handle actual beams, so the Kyon Emitters are in fact projectile-based weapons with beam graphics and very fast, invisible projectiles. This is sometimes noticeable when targeting fast ships, as the beam looks as if it hit, but the ship takes no damage as the projectile(s) missed.
* FrictionlessReentry: Averted, surprisingly enough. Planets in the games aren't just backdrops, but physical objects with atmospheres and all, and you can actually reach them in a ship if they're not on the other side of the InvisibleWall.[[note]]Though it takes a while; see SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale below.[[/note]] However, ships in the X-Universe are not meant for atmospheric flight, and will burn up. The planet in Split Fire has gotten some notoriety for this, as the atmosphere starts about 1 kilometer behind one of the jumpgates.
* FutureFoodIsArtificial: The main Boron foodstuff is [=BoFu=], a tofu-like substance created in part from plankton. The squids love it and can live on a nugget of it for a week, but the other races can't even choke it down. For their part, Terran foodstuffs include [=MREs=], carbo cake, and vita kai[[note]]a block of concentrated vitamins[[/note]].
* FutureImperfect: For around six hundred years most Argon believed Earth to be a myth perpetrated by the Goners, due to their progenitors having deleted all mention of Earth from their history to prevent anyone from leading the terraformers back there. [[PlayerCharacter Kyle Brennan]]'s [[{{Understatement}} little mishap]] in ''X: Beyond the Frontier'' proved the Goners were right.
* FutureSlang: While the Teladi generally refer to money as [[SnakeTalk profitsss/creditsss]], "buckzoid", although not referred to in dialogue, is another Teladi term for money, seeing that there's a sector named Ceo's Buckzoid. In fact, one of the game starts from ''Terran Conflict'' ([[spoiler: after you reach a certain high rank with the Teladi]]) has a detailed profile for your Teladi character that even says about "[[OnlyInItForTheMoney making the big buckzoids]]".
[[/folder]]
----