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Updated for version 5.10, TODO: Add information on seminars, finish terraforming section


Crew management is an important aspect of improving your fleet's capabilities. The ships crew consists of 3 different types of NPCs:
  • The Captain (relief pilot when you're not personally commanding)
  • Service Crew
  • Marines

Stations only require a Manager crew and optionally additional workforce (see Station Building And Management).

Each ship has a limited capacity to accommodate crew members. On a ship, the captain is by far the most important crew member: their ability affects the quality of the ship actions the most. A good Captain is capable of more maneuvers, fights and trades better, and unlocks new standard behaviors for their ship. The Service Crew are no less important for a good ship: they improve the ship's capabilities: controlling, aiming, trading.. and repairing! Everything gets better with a skilled Crew! The overall quality of the ship's crew is improved with the number of crew members and experience level of each crew member.

Anyone can fill the role of a Captain (if you only believe in yourself). Anyone you employ, whether it's through the shipyard, through buying via the ship upgrade interface or through direct recruitment on a station, can be deployed in any position (captain, service crew, marines, managers). This means, for example, you can use a marine as a service crew or an engineer as a captain or manager, whether temporary or eventually permanent.


The quality of employees is summarized in capability groups. These abilities are displayed with a star rating of 0 to 5 stars. If you open the details of a single crew member you will find an overview with their individual skill groups:
  • Piloting
  • Morale
  • Management
  • Engineering
  • Boarding

How well an NPC does their task(s) depends on those abilities. While the Captain's ability to pilot is very important, the Marines benefit most from the ability to board.


Title | Ability









Service Crew   








All NPCs work better with higher morale!

Training the crew or Marines

Learning by Doing

Everyone gets better the longer they survive! While marines best enhance their main attribute "boarding" on real boarding operations, "normal" crewmembers learn from usual ship actions. However, surviving a fight improves their skill across many areas!
See X4 3.1x NPC Skill/Experience training - a short overview for a more detailed explanation of how NPC training happens, with external links to videos

Digital seminars

To be done
Guide written by Bernd, translated to German by Oliver and re-translated from German to English by anonymous, cleaned up by Sao t'Lp


(main page Terraforming)

Crew can have their levels increased either en masse (for low crew levels) or individually (for high crew levels) provided certain terraforming projects are completed.


  1. Anonymous

    It would be useful to know some of the basic impacts of levels of a skill, eg. for stations what impact the management rating has on things like the number of subordinate ships the manger can actively use.

  2. Anonymous

    What function do services crews perform?

  3. Anonymous

    They repair your ships (L and XL !)

    1. Anonymous

      they also repair M ships


  4. Anonymous

    How do I know the optimal number of service crew I need for my carrier? is 1 just enough? is it on how many turrets i have? I can't find any answer for this


    1. Anonymous

      The more the merrier, I personally have a full complement of service crew unless I aim to board something. Service crew on M ships and above contribute to repairing your ship and hence more service crew will be able to repair your ship faster. Additionally, the number of turrets has no real bearing on how many crew members you need as your turrets' efficacy isn't impacted by the amount of crew you have.

  5. Anonymous

    It seems I can't login with my Egosoft account... 

    Anyway, is Service Crew responsible of turrets? Are they "aim better" if their Engineering level is higher?


    1. Anonymous

      Currently only certain moderators are able to login with their accounts due to the way the wiki is set up.

      AFAIK I haven't seen any correlation between turret accuracy and crew skill, from what I understand it is determined solely by the rotation speed of turrets (i.e. argon turrets are able to rotate the fastest and are consequently more accurate)

      Stoats not Goats

  6. While the table is useful as it stands, would anyone object if I flip it by 90deg with individual abilities across the top, while role is in the column down the side? I feel it may be slightly easier/more intuitive to read that way (& also allow for a little expansion on manager vs subordinate pilot skill..)

    1. I definitely agree that it would be more logical with roles on the vertical and also the exact contribution values of each stat towards the star rating. Maybe also expand on what service crew actually do because it is becoming a FAQ.

      1. /Finally/ got around to doing this edit; hope it's OK

  7. Anonymous

    After reading this entry I am more confused about crew related game mechanics. Not less.

  8. Anonymous

    Not having any explanation of what the skill levels mechanically do. A+ wiki work.

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