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Updated for version 5.10

Layout of the X-Universe

The X-Universe in X4 is set in a Galaxy containing multiple different Star Systems (AKA a Star Cluster). The areas within which ships fly are called Sectors, and there may be more than one Sector in each Star System. Including the Split Vendetta, Cradle of Humanity and Tides of Avarice DLCs, there are 65 Star Systems (a full catalogue of which is available here), roughly half of which contain 1 Sector, with the others containing 2 or more.

Sectors are connected, and laid out in the map, in 3 main ways:

  • Jump Gates:
    • These connect Sectors if they are in different Star Systems

    • The Sectors' map hexagons have a solid, uniform-colour border

    • Crossing a Jump Gate counts as moving 1 "jump" in context like auto-miners operational range  
  • Orbital Accelerators:
    • These connect Sectors if they are far apart within the same Star System

    • The Sectors' map hexagons touch, and those hexagon borders have a hollow border

    • Traveling through an Orbital Accelerator counts as moving 1 "jump" in context like auto-miner operational range
  • Super Highways:
    • These connect Sectors if they are close together within the same Star System

    • The Sectors' map hexagons are within a larger hexagon

    • Traveling through a Super Highway does not count as a "jump" in context like auto-miner operational range

The local area within a Sector around objects (e.g. ships and stations) is referred to as a Zone. Zones are transient and do not have specific locations illustrated on maps.

Visit the Piloting And Travel page for further info on Jump Gates, Orbital Accelerators and Super Highways.

The above layout is illustrated in the following diagram where different 4 Sectors are located around 4 bodies in two stellar systems.


The X-Universe Map

Use the Map hotkey (M) to open a map of all the Sectors the player and player-owned ships have visited. Unexplored areas of Sectors will appear as grey (AKA "Fog Of War"), whilst resource areas will appear as red, purple or blue. Most stations will not be found in the same places each time we restart the game. That station variation has some constraints to support faction viability.

Selected objects on the map can be targeted by the player ship using the Target Object In List hotkey (T). Player assets are coloured green, friendly NPC objects are Blue and hostile objects are Red. If the checkbox "Show Faction Colors" in Filter Settings->Think Filters is marked, the objects will use the faction colours.

The outline for sectors and systems is the colour of the faction with local administrative power:

The viewing angle of the map can be adjusted by holding the right-mouse button while moving the mouse (or controller equivalents). This helps the observation of the height of objects relative to the ecliptic, represented by a thin grey line pointing from the object to its 2D position on the ecliptic. Since we can centre the map on objects, these view rotations can also be used to look at station module layouts.

If you want to reset the rotation/angle of your map to the default position, you can press "R" on your keyboard.


Each object type is represented by a symbol on the map for easy identification when zoomed out (activate Legend button in top-right of the map to see a key).


Micro Scale

When zoomed in the map will show all the details seen on the ship radar including containers, missiles, asteroids, lock boxes, ships and station modules. The traded wares of individual stations will be shown next to the station. Modules of NPC stations that have been scanned will be highlighted yellow on the map when selected under the Object List. As the player zooms out, groups of stations will become clustered together in a box and their traded ware lists combined. Eventually all stations from groups of systems/sectors will become grouped together and individual ships will stop being represented on the view of the map.

Macro Scale

When zoomed far out the map will only show key stations for factions like Wharves, Shipyards, Equipment Docks and Trading Stations, along with Highways, Superhighways, Jump Gates and Orbital Accelerators. Resource tiles will cease being visible and all systems/sectors will be represented as grey hexagons with a border colour of the owning faction. If zoomed out far enough, the net wares for the entire X-universe will be clustered together.

Object List

This is a list of all known stations and ships within radar range of player owned assets within the viewed area of the map. As the map is zoomed out more objects will show until smaller ones start being filtered out by the micro to macro transition. Left clicking player assets will select them and enable orders to be given by right clicking objects in the Object List or map and locations in the map. Stations have a + next to them to expand them to allow individual station modules to be selected. Station modules which have not been scanned appear as "???" icons.

Property Owned

This is a list of all player owned assets. Double click an object to centre the map on the object. Left click objects to select them and right click on the map or other player assets to give them orders. Right clicking an asset has the Information option at the top of the menu, which shortcuts to the Information tab for that asset.

Mission Offers And Mission Manager

'Mission offers' is a list of all missions currently being offered in the sector the player ship is in and has vision over, via satellite or other asset visibility radius (see below). Guild Missions will always show on entering the sector (if unlocked by faction rank promotions) while Other Mission Offers will only show if the player has assets near the offering station or has unlocked them from an Audio Signal. Left clicking missions will open a window for the mission allowing the player to accept or open the briefing window.

The Mission Manager will show all currently accepted missions. Left clicking such missions will allow the player to abort the mission, toggle guidance for the mission or open the briefing window. Upkeep missions are automatically generated by player assets to highlight a crucial lack which can impair operation.


This shows information for the left-click selected object. General information shows stats from the owner, current shield and hull values to the loadout and station modules. Click the + next to sections to expand them. The amount of information shown for NPCs is limited by how deeply they have been scanned, while player assets may have additional fields which can be set (e.g. the weapon configuration for ships and the amount of credits in the manager's account for stations).

Global Standing Orders are automatic responses towards police and pirate hostility or if the ship encounters an abandoned ship with each having 4 simple options.

Ship Standing Orders have the same options and override Global Standing Orders should the player want some assets to be exceptions. Ships have Default Behaviour, which can be adjusted. Order Queue allows the player to see all current orders and set the Default Behaviour for a ship (when not the player ship) which is the order to perform when no additional orders are given by the player (for example getting idle Trading ships to Auto Trade). Change the Default Behaviour by clicking the pencil symbol to the right of the order, while the * symbol determines what weapon systems the ship will use for combat while carrying out the order.

To make an order queue right click a point or object on the map and select an order from the list. The arrows to the right can be used to shuffle the position of the order in the queue. Each order will have several parameters that can be adjusted, usually by right clicking objects in the Object List which appear when the parameter is selected or using Shift+Left Click to target a 2D point in space. If the ship has no Default Behaviour the player will be notified when the ship completes the list of orders.

Manage Station Plots

This opens the view to show plots for stations and allows the creation and purchase of new plots. Friendly NPC plots are blue while hostile ones are red. Plots can range from 1x1x1km to 20x20x20km. At the top is the list are plots the player already has and left clicking will centre the map in plot view on the selected plot while at the bottom of the list is the option to create a new plot. 


At the top right of the map are Filter Setting options to select the amount of information displayed on the map at one time. This can be useful for focusing on trading specific wares (eg Claytronics and Hull Parts for station module construction). Wares can be added to the filter by right-clicking the ware listed for a station or group of stations, and removed by left-clicking. Alternatively use the Filter Settings button to add and remove wares from the filter.

You can set the "alert level" under "filters setting", "other filters", below "alerts". This shows "!" of different colors on the map for upkeep missions for your assets (hire a captain, assign trade ship, etc).
A low setting will also show medium and high alerts.

The search bar in the top right next to the filter settings can be used to provide greater filter capabilities for known ships, stations and landmarks. Searches can be done for the object's name, type or 6 digit identifier. A table of accepted types is outlined below

Search QueryResult
aShows all objects in the universe regardless of how far the map is zoomed in or out (this often causes fps issues)
AcceleratorShows all trans-orbital accelerator gates
Data VaultShows all data vaults
Equipment DockShows all equipment docks
JumpgateShows all Jumpgates
ShipyardShows all wharves and shipyards
TradeShows all trading stations
TradesShows all trading ships as well as equipment docks, wharves and shipyards

Note: Some of these filters are order sensitive (despite not always conflicting), if the filter isn't working just delete some and then re-add them in a different order.

The Encyclopaedia

The in-game encyclopaedia hosts a vast wealth of information and trivia about sectors, factions, station modules, ships, consumables, weapons and turrets, equipment, licences, wares and lore of the X-Universe. Sectors, ships, factions and wares will have their entries appear as the player encounters them, while consumables, weapons and turrets, equipment and licences require the player to have docked at a station which sells them. Station modules will only show when the player has obtained the blueprints for that module. Encyclopaedia entries list key stats as well as the types of wares needed to produce/build the item.

Ship Comparison Tool

The in-game encyclopedia also houses the ship comparison tool which permits the comparison of two or more ship classes and the equipment they can mount. This allows for a quick comparison of ships before actually purchasing them.


As the player unlocks timeline entries they can be revisited by going to the timeline section of the encyclopedia. The entries in the encyclopedia timeline don't constitute an exhaustive list of events in the x universe and the wiki timeline page provides a more brief but more complete history of events in the x-universe.


  1. Anonymous

    SO where is the explanation of the Hex Border colour codes for the Key, not in game, not here, encyclopedia is empty....

    1. Those are the faction with legal jurisdiction over the sector (have an Administration Module). We are planning to add the faction colours to the Factions section of the wiki. Dark Green is TEL, light green is MIN, dark blue is ARG, light blue is ANT, cyan/teal is HAT, pink is HOP, purple is GOP and red is XEN. I do not know SCA and KHK colours. 

      1. Thanks for posts, both. Page updated.

      2. Anonymous

        SCA dont claim sectors and I think KHK is red like XEN

  2. Anonymous

    Page could do with an explanation of what a Cluster/Sector/Zone is too, although that would be more for modders i suppose, but helpful nonetheless.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion. A "Layout of the X-Universe" section has been added above.

  3. Anonymous

    ... be set (like the weapon configuration for ships and the amount of credits in the manager's account for stations. Global...


    ... be set (like the weapon configuration for ships and the amount of credits in the manager's account for stations). Global...




    1. Fixed - thank you.

  4. Anonymous

    When you're flying and you target a ship, on the upper left of the target it displays the symbol for the ship type but sometimes it shows a small square with four dots in it. What does this mean?

    1. That indicates that the icon represents more than one ship.

  5. Anonymous

    I think that page would be the correct one to explain the expanding zones when you get to the borders. This is a rather puzzling game mechanic... Like, is there a limit to the zone size? Are you able to get to the "other side" or their borders are dead-ends? Are they populated on demand, or are they hand-made to have interesting quests or objects?

    1. As far as I know the limit to map zone expansion is a bug in that sectors should not have a hard size limit and the problem was on the to-do list of Egosoft since 1.0. You can not fly between sectors without a gate but can fly an equivalent distance into the yonder. I do not know the hard limit to distance but in low attention over 1,300,000 km can be achieved while there used to be a game crash in high attention if the player exceeded 800,000 km. Within the expanding area there is hand crafted stuff like abandoned ships, wrecks, data vaults, SCA stations and resource fields (tip follow the south east resource patch in Grand Exchange I). There is very little beyond the sector map boundary with the exception of Nopileo's Fortune II which has an asteroid belt stretching for 16,000 km with an abandoned magpie at the end (former highway end). Only ships you will find that far out are those placed by the encounters system (Xenon, SCA, Kha'ak M/S and random miners).

      1. Anonymous

        Thanks. That clears up a lot. I don't know what "low attention" and "high attention" mean, is it something like, or related to, In-Sector and Out-of-Sector?

        1. Close enough, tho the details & mechanics change a bit between X3 & subsequent game series' due mostly to no fixed sector borders & increased sight range (eg reveal of distant huge objects such as gates or some stations prior to being within scan range)

  6. Anonymous


    in der Kartenansicht werden neben den Schiffen Symbole angezeigt. Eine Legende oder Erklärung der Bedeutung wäre sehr hilfreich. Einige kann ich mir selbst erklären bzw. erkennen aber leider nicht alle!


    vielen dank

  7. Anonymous

    I know that "T" selects an object in the map but how to DESELECT it?  clicking outside the map or anywhere is not working

    1. Anonymous

      I figured out that by clicking on the cockpit window in cockpit view will removed selected objects in the map

  8. Anonymous

    This needs a change:

    At the top is the list are plots the player already has and left clicking will centre the map in plot view on the selected plot

    should read

    At the top of the list are plots the player already has and left clicking will centre the map in plot view on the selected plot

  9. Anonymous

    How do i control where the map opens by default? It seems to be randomly stuck to a station or some ship of mine for a long time.

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