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Section One: Basics and Getting Started

An Unofficial Manual for X4 Foundations

Default Keyboard Map (Printable) 

Flight & Basic Ship Systems

Welcome to your brand new ship! Regardless of how you acquired it, you should be aware that it has a throttle, which you can set with the Z (Accelerate) and X (Decelerate/reverse) keys. In order to turn it, you need to hold down the left mouse button while moving the cursor, and you can strafe it up, down, left and right using W/S/A/D.

Your ship most likely has a weapon or weapons - these may be fired using spacebar, and L or R keys on your keyboard. You can select a target in front of your ship simply by right clicking on it. You can request docking from a targetted station when you're very close (approx 5km) by pressing Shift-D. Docking requires you find and line up with your assigned docking bay - follow the green lines, then align yourself with the red and green docking hologram. Ensure that your roll axis is aligned, that your nose is pointing at the direct center of the hologram, and that you have moved to the precise center of the docking bay by using A/D to strafe left and right, and gentle use of the throttle back and forth - Z and  X - until you are directly over the center. The use S to drop down. If you like, you can buy a docking computer software upgrade, which will assist by automatically landing your ship once you're close enough, with each grade of the software landing you from further away.

Platforms, or Spacelegs (Hanging out on stations. Crafting. Etc.)

Now that you've docked, it's time to stretch your legs! While you can perform many tasks from the comfort of your cockpit through the menu (enter), you can also step out and walk around with the WSAD keys. You can usually find a trader nearby, hiding under a shopping-cart shaped hologram, and you may be able to find an elevator to take you to various rooms within the station. It's a good idea to get to know traders, as you can often buy crafting materials from them. With some legwork, it's possible to gather the ingredients to valuable items, such as medkits, by buying individual needles, bandages, and sedatives in bulk from traders where you can. Selling these medkits on to other tracders is a great source of early income.

What next?

Now that you can fly around, and you can stretch your legs, what next?

You can likely find tutorial information at any time by selecting that option in your menu (Enter), or pressing H. These tutorials, while not the clearest, will be very valuable in helping you get started in space.

If you'd like to take missions, you can find them in the map section of the menu, as one of the side tabs on the left. Missions are technically found on stations, and stations with missions will present with a yellow icon on the map, but you can accept them from the side interface.

If you've heard something about the strange acronym 'PHQ', or are interested in nefarious plots, a great start would be to do the ship modes tutorial and learn how to use scan mode (shift-2). You may encounter someone who needs your help by following up on a data leak signal near a station shortly after completing this tutorial, and your first steps to PHQ might be someone you find saying 'Please Help Quick'.

Section Two: The Interfaces

Part two: Interface/The Menu (Player Information)

Part three: Interface/The Menu (Ship Interactions)

Part four: Interface/The Menu (The Map)

Part Five: Interface/The Menu (Encyclopedia)

Section Three: How the Universe Works

Controlling Crews

A great guide is found here:


Part Six: The Universe (Basics of economy)

Part Seven: The Universe (Examples of things to find/do)

Part Eight: The Universe (Missions, rough overview + details on how to use map for them)

Part Nine: Your Empire (Hired ships, command, control, fleets.)

Part Ten: Your Empire (Stations, building, owning, interacting.)

Part Twelve: Faction relations and things to do with them


Appendix 1: Hotkeys + Default keybinds



Steer - up/down/left/right
Strafe - W/S/A/D
Roll - Q/E
Accelerate/Decelerate - Z/X
Match Target Speed - shift-X
Stop Engines - Backspace (Recommend to alt-bind to shift-z or similar)
Boost - Tab
Toggle Mouse Steering - Shift-Spacebar
Toggle Flight Assist - Ctrl-Space


Fire Primary - Spacebar
Fire Secondary weapons - L/R
Fire Primary weapons at cursor: Middle Mouse Button
Next Ammunition - K
Deploy Countermeasures - Shift-C

( I don't see it in the settings, but...)
Change Primary Firegroup: 1/2/3/4
Change Secondary Firegroup 5/6/7/8


Toggle Travel Mode  - Shift-1
Toggle Scan Mode - Shift-2
Toggle Long-range Scan mode - Shift-3
Toggle SETA mode - Shift-4

Menu Access:

Open Quick-Action Menu - Enter
Map - M
Missions - Shift-M
Property Owned - Shift-P
Player Information - Shift-I
Current Ship Information - Shift-Enter
Help/Tutorials - H
Interaction Menu - F
Object Info - I
Object Comm - C
Target Object in Map - T

Options Menu:

Options Menu - Delete
Options Menu - Shift-O
Save Game - Shift-S
Load Game - Shift-L
Exit Game - Shift-Q
Quicksave - F5
Quickload - F9


Camera Mouse Look - Shift+Middle Mouse Button
Standard View - F1
External View - F2
External Target View - F3
External Static View - F4
Zoom in/out - Num Plus/ Num Sub
Camera left/right/up/down - Num 4/Num 6/Num 8/Num2
Camera up/left, up/right, down/left, down/right - Num7, Num9, Num1, Num3
Change Camera Mode - Num 0
Reset Camera View - Num 5

Target Management

Target Closest Enemy - Shift-E
Target Object - T
Next Target/Previous Target - PGDown/PGUp
Next Surface Element/Previous Surface Element - Home/End


Dock - Shift-D
Get Up From Chair - Ctrl-D
Toggle Radar Mode - Ctrl-M
Toggle Autopilot - Shift-A
Toggle Guidance - Shift-G
Pause - Pause
Toggle Sound - Shift-V
Container Magnet - O (letter o on keyboard)

Expert Settings

Toggle HUD - Shift-H


Platform Movement

First Preson: Digital

Forward/Backward/Left/Right - W/S/A/D
Run - Double tap W
Crouch - C
Jump - Space

Menu Navigation

Menus - Digital

Menu Scroll Up/Down/Left/Right - Up/Down/Left/Right
Menu Select - Enter
Menu – Open Context Menu - Ctrl+Enter
Menu Page Up/Down - PGUp/PGDown
Menu Tabulator - TAB
Main Menu Tab Right/Left - CTRL-Right/CTRL-Left
Menu Back - Esc
Close - Delete

Holomap Pan Left/Right/Up/Down - A/D/W/S
Holomap Rotate Left/Right/Up/Down - Num4/Num6/Num8/Num2
Holomap Zoom in/Out - Num Plus/Num Sub

Dialog Menu

Dialog Menu Interaction - F
Select Option 1,2,3,4,5,6 - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6


Target Object in Map - T
Zone View - . (Period key/fullstop key)
Sector View - , (comma key)
Toggle Plot Course - Shift-G
Remove Order - CTRL-Delete





Appendix 2: Purpose of this document + Mission statement for contributors

This manual started as an offshoot of my early attempt to gather up tips and tricks for users in a Steam Guide. Unfortunately, Steam Guides are both tricky to use, and limited since it makes it difficult to open it up to the public to contribute, and X4 is a big enough game that I certainly don't know everything about it, and your expertise won't match mine. Thus, the hope is we can all figure this thing out together. This document is everyone's document - if you see something you want to change, change it. If you want to reformat something, reformat it.

The original steam guide I started work on can be found here:

 - Rataphract




  1. Anonymous

    A great guide is found here:

    Link doesn't exist and is broken

  2. Anonymous

    ( I don't see it in the settings, but...)
    Change Primary Firegroup: 1/2/3/4
    Change Secondary Firegroup 5/6/7/8

    The only way to edit this atm is by editing inputmap.xml directly.


    and at the part it says :   "INPUT_KEYCODE_

    you put in the desired keybind after the _

    I.E if you want to bind it to "SHIFT - W" The edited code would read:


    If you are going to rebind all number keys up too 8, you can pretty much go ahead and delete the whole SECONDARY_WEAPONGROUP commands.

    Remember to save a copy of your unedited inputmap.xml file first just in case.

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