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There are 19 types of NPC, which can be grouped as follows:

  • NPCs that may work on the Skunk
  • NPCs that may work on other ships
  • NPCs that may work on stations
  • Specialist NPCs can boost the output of stations.
  • Trader NPCs appear on stations but do not affect their output

euclid describes them all here, and further down this page their stats and abilities are summarised in a table.

Detailed info about NPCs

Each hirable NPC has 7 skills and each skill has 5 levels of competency (the more stars, the better). Numbers of stars are somewhat randomly generated in that I don't think it is possible to get NPCs with really low numbers of stars any more.  <Clarification: this may apply to hired NPCs only; 'free' NPCs given when buying or given plot ships may still have very low skills - Snafu>

In general when hiring an NPC the higher price the better; however as the higher price is calculated from their /total/ skillset (not necesarily from their /primary/ skillset) it's often worth smalltalkng to find the best skillset available during the early game when you are short of cash

Only the skills marked in bold font are relevant to the performance of the NPC in question (their Primary Skills). In most cases, each NPC will have three Primary Skills, but Engineers and some Specialists only have one or two. Marine Officers are unique in that they have a skill that improves with use: "Boarding Experience".

For all NPC types where we know the relative significance of their primary skills (see below) they have been listed in descending order of significance in-game. So for those NPC that we don't know the relative significances of their primary skills (e.g. Managers and Specialists) it is reasonable to assume that they may be in descending order, or of at least equal weighting. For the NPCs with 3 primary skills other than MOs, the average significance of a primary skill is 3.4 and, going down, their average weightings are 44%, 33%, 23%. Those percentages are roughly equivalent to ratios of 4.5:3.5:2.5.

We don't know the weightings for Mangers or Specialists. If wishing to compare Managers to each other, using the above rough ratio may be better than nothing. The same could be done with Specialists although perhaps they are more likely to have top-heavy weightings like Marine Officers.

In Rebirth 3.00, Virtual Seminars were introduced to the game, which allow us to add a star to a Primary Skill of our hired NPC. They are only currently available via Smalltalk from other NPCs and this feature is described in more detail in the official guide to 3.00 here and on this wiki here <edit: they may be obtainable as mission rewards too; needs checking - Snafu>. Virtual Seminars cannot be used to increase a Marine Officer's Boarding Experience, but since Virtual Seminars take some effort to acquire I would suggest that would be a waste anyway.

Info on exactly how the skill values are are used is sketchy but CBJ has revealed a few titbits:

"The relevance of each skill depends on the type of NPC. For example for a pilot there's a ratio of 5:3:2 for navigation, combat and morale, and for an architect it's 3.5:3.5:3 engineering, management and navigation. For an engineer the only relevant skill is, as you might expect, engineering."

"Commanders [Captains] are 4:3.5:2.5 for leadership, navigation and morale; defence officers are 4.5:3.5:2 for leadership, combat and morale. Morale is just another "skill" value that each NPC has. Skills ranges are defined in the characters.xml file, and which characters are used where is defined in charactergroups.xml. Please note that the exact numbers used in the combined skill calculation may be subject to change without notice".


Further info on Marine Officers from w.evans:

 "Boarding Experience 15, Leadership 3, Morale 2. Current as of X:R 3.10. This didn't come from the devs, though, if that's important."


Stats and abilities for NPCS


NPCSkills + (relative
EffectDescriptionHire Fee
Skunk NPCs
EngineerEngineering (1) Repairs damaged equipment (e.g. weapons).
Doesn't repair Skunk's hull (only done by Engineers on stations)
Marine OfficerBoarding (15)
Leadership (3)
Morale (2)
 Affects boarding strength multiplier19'000
NPCs on player-owned ships
EngineerEngineering (1)

0* - repairs to 60% max hull
5* - repairs to 100% max hull

Repairs damaged surface elements and hull.

They also do his job on NPC-owned stations but Player-owned stations cannot employ Engineers and so instead must pay Architects to do these tasks...

Maximum repaired hull percentage: 60+(40*<this.combinedskill>/100) 
Repair speed (5* engineer repairs 4 times faster than 0*): (<this.combinedskill>/25.0)



Leadership (4)

Navigation (3.5)

Morale (2.5)


Captains control capital ships (AKA Large and Extra Large ships). This includes when following trading and combat orders.

Skills infuence the following Parameters (taken from libraries/parameters.xml //aiflight/skills and made into a formula):

Strafespeed, Stafe Acceleration, Steering Speed and Steering Acceleration (this is a multiplier to the max value): 0.5 + ( 0.1* skill )

Reaction Time (this is a delay in seconds): 1.0 - ( 0.2 * skill )

Defence Officer (AKA a DO)

Leadership (5.5)

Combat (3.5)

Morale (2)


Controls surface element weapons on capital ships in accordance with their orderstate and their Capain's orders. When set to Attack, any hostile target in range will be fired upon. When set to Defend, hostile targets will only be shot if they attack the ship or if the DO's Captain is running a combat-related order.

Primary weapons (e.g. Balor torpedoes) may also be controlled by DOs but they don't seem to be used defensively (e.g. to shoot attackers while set to Defend and escorting another ship).


Management (3.5)

Engineering (3.5)

Navigation (3)

 These NPCs can only work on Construction Vessels and they are responsible for building selected stations, upgrading them with missing surface elements or additional production expansion options, equipping drones and initiating station repairs. Higher engineering skill seems to decrease build time, but this is unconfirmed36'000

Navigation (5)

Combat (3)

Morale (2)


Pilots control Small and Medium ships. In combat to capitals, these ships typically attack surface elements (e.g. weak points that may be shooting back at them) rather than ship hulls.
Combined skill and race affects what dogfighting tactics and manoeuvres pilots can execute during combat (see libraries\behaviours.xml).

initial delay for fire missiles based on combat skill:
[10, 20] with combat skill 5. [60, 120] combat skill 0
Frequency of missile usage in combat:
Between [10-15]s best skill, [60-90]s worst skill
Use boost if combinedskill > 30
combinedskill determine chance, that fighter will launch missile at their target


NPCs on Player-owned stations





These NPCs work on stations and they're the equivalent of Pilots and Captains on ships.

Managers look after creating Buy and Sell orders for their station, are required before ships can be assigned to work for stations, and supply a list of required wares to Captain's of assigned ships, who then decide what to buy.
HoL DLC: managers assigned to a Warehouse require 5* Management in order to buy and sell wares of the same type

Defence Officeras DO above   
Specialists boost production up to 10% depending on cumulative skill
Agricultural Engineer
 Meat, Plankton, Soy Beans, Spaceweed, Spices, Wheat122'000
Cell Specialist
Engineering Antimatter Cells, Energy Cells, Fuel Cells, Ion Cells, Plasma Cells168'000
Food Technologist
 BoFu, Food Rations, Spacefuel157'000
Chemical Specialist
 Bio-Electric Neuron Gel, Chemical Compounds185'000
Precision Assembler

Bio-Optic Wiring, Microchips, Plasma Pumps, Quantum Tubes

Weapons Technologist
 All Missiles, EM-Spectrometer, Scanning Array, Warhead Components220'000
Pharmaceutical Agent
 Medical Supplies, Narcotics


Metallurgical Engineer
 Refined Metals, Reinforced Metal Plating, Silicon Wafers, Teladianium145'000
 Cut Crystals, Nividium Cubes


Surface Technician
Engineering All Turrets, Force Field Projector232'000
Power Specialist
Engineering Fusion Reactors, Podkletnov Generators, Plasma Flow Regulators210'000
Hydro Specialist

4.0 Beta 4 added parameters section regarding AI flight behaviour: low piloting skill causes penalities with steering and acceleration (up to 0.5), also it adds some delay between actions.



  1. Anonymous

    Is anyone know when NPCs classes and skills defined in xml? or it is hardcoded in exe?

    1. Anonymous

      They're mostly in the various AI scripts.  Only exceptions I know of are the marine officer, that's in boarding.xml, and the various specialists, those are in wares.xml.

  2. Nice improvements, solntcev, thanks (smile)

    1. Anonymous

      glad you liked my edits.
      unfortunately looks like most npc stuff hardcoded in game (sad)
      can't find anything in xml files, had to load game to check bold skills for specialists

  3. Anonymous

    I'm not sure where you're getting the 'Hire Fee' numbers from, but some of them look wildly out to me..

    Also can you recheck engineer's repair formula?

    Maximum repaired hull percentage: 60+(30*<this.combinedskill>/100)

    ..seems to translate to 60+(<30*5/100> = 1.5) for a total of 61.5 for a 5* engineer (obviously observably incorrect), but perhaps I'm interpreting the formula incorrectly..


    <aside - I can't seem to adjust the leading in my edits; is there an area for general website discussion (as opposed to its content)? I have a couple of other issues too WRT editing..> - Snafu

    1. Good questions about editting...I'm not sure. There's a bit of info here and at related child pages, and googling with 'confluence' may help. I suggest asking questions at the page I linked and we can always move them if Stefan has a better idea.

    2. Anonymous

      Hire fees are found in md/setup.xml, they are range: from price for npc with 0 start in all skills and price for npc with 5 starts in all skill. (all skills counted in hire fee, not only bold ones).

      About combinedskill you can see in libraries/scriptproperties.xml:

      Combined skill value between 0 and 100, based on weighted skills that are relevant for the entity type 

      You can try to raise Issues with wiki on page Known issues in the Wiki system, I did not have any trouble with aligning. What exactly are you trying to achieve?


    3. If you have any questions/suggestions/issues in regards to the wiki, feel free to use this post on the Forums:

      It's also mentioned on the front-page on the Wiki ( "If you want to discuss the Wiki, have questions or suggestions, please use the threads set up in the Egosoft forums: support thread".

  4. Anonymous

    Sorry; 'leading' in printing is the space between the lines ('kerning' is the space between the characters). So I'm referring to the apparent mismatch in (eg) the Marine Officer & Captain's relative skills column. It may be just my browser (latest Firefox) but I don't think so,, - Snafu

    1. Anonymous

      You can use button "Insert > Markup" to open makrdown insert dialog. When you enter multiline text in there, they will be entered as one paragraph with line breaks within it.

      -- solntcev

  5. Oh, I see! Sorry, I miss understood the origional question (sad)

    It can be a bit troublesome but if you press shift+return after a line, the space between lines will be narrow. The tricky part is if you have a group of narrow gaps together and add a new line later, it can end up making the gap between the new line and the line below large (leading to needing to do lots more sequential shift+returns all down the group... Anyone know a away to avoid this?



    1. Anonymous

      Unfortunately I don't know way to change paragraph text to line-break text. When I filled table, I manually reentered all line breaks with Shift + Enter.

      -- solntcev