Ships are manufactured to order and sold by Ship Traders, who can be found on Wharfs and Shipyards. The Ship Trader can be contacted by right-clicking on the Wharf/Shipyard in the Map (Buy Ship option), or in person at the Maintenance Bay on Fabrication modules (their offices also have Transporter Rooms for fast-travel). Equipment Docks are the other ship-related station.
Wharfs, Equipment Docks, can support ships in several ways:
To initiate non-buy tasks, select the relevant ship (left mouse click), open the context menu for an above station (right mouse click), and select "Upgrade / Repair at..." option.
Ship construction locations:
Ship upgrade/repair locations:
General Ship Capabilities By Size Class
The "Buy Ships" / "Upgrade/Repair" Menu
A single, all-purpose menu is used for this, which is described below. After creating a Ship Design, it is possible to order single or multiple copies of the ship to be built. Ship Designs can be saved for future use. Certain advanced ships and equipment require appropriate Faction Licences to be purchased.
This menu is shown In the image below.
Within the Menu you can see:
The Buy/Upgrade/Repair process
Please note that at this time (v1.50), it is not possible to directly add a Captain to an existing ship via the Buy/Upgrade/Repair Menu. They can still however be gained by manually hiring an NPC on the same Station as the Ship, or remotely promoting promoting another member of the crew to Captain.
Steps taken to buy, repair or upgrade ships:
Once happy with the ship design:
Understanding Delays and Ware Shortages
Wharfs, Shipyards and Equipment Docks are operated by the main Factions. They produce Ships and equipment out of Wares produced at manufacturing stations. The production processes take place in the Slots where ships dock, which means that the player can watch the claytronic-based construction process if they wish (the same visual process can be seen with station module construction).
Delays to ship building/modification can arise when:
If one of these stations is already missing some Wares needed to build/modify a Ship, those missing Wares will be listed on the lower-right side of the Menu. If your build/modify plan needs some Wares that the station doesn't have enough of, they will be added to the existing list, or the list will be displayed before you are able to select "Confirm Order". In the following image shortages for 3 Wares can be seen:
As also seen in the image above, the warning "Not enough resources on the station, order may take a long time" is displayed.
Available Construction Slots
Wharfs, Shipyards and Equipment Docks have finite Construction Slots:
If all Construction Slots are full, new Ship build/modification orders will be added to a Waiting List. To determine if the Slots are full, expand the station's "Ships in construction" info within the Map. This is illustrated in the following image where only one Large ship listed (player-owned), which means the Shipyard could make/modify one additional Large Ship and an Extra Large Ship.
The next image illustrates how the above image would look with both Ware Shortages (two NPC Faction Destroyers block the Large Slots) and an active Waiting List (a player-ordered Magnetar is #1 in the list).
Cancelling a Buy/Upgrade/Repair
Ships can carry a finite number of consumable missiles for their missile launchers and missile turrets. The max number of which is listed in the Ship Builder UI and in the Ship Info menu. Missiles can be replenished at Equipment Docks and, depending on ship size, Wharfs and Shipyards. Once missile stores are depleted, the "Out of ammo" warning greats us. Info in missiles themselves has begun to be added to the Missiles page of the main X4: Foundations Wiki.
Some wares collected do not go into the storage of the flown ship but into a separate inventory for the avatar of the player. These wares are used for completing missions, special actions and crafting an assortment of tools to give the player an additional edge. The player inventory can be found under the Inventory tab of the Player Information menu.
Near Traders and Black Marketeers there is usually a Crafting Bench which can be interacted with open a Crafting Menu. Items to craft only appear once the player has collected one of the components for the recipe. Select a ware to craft and then click the Craft item button before selecting the number to craft with the slider which appears and then confirming by clicking the Craft Item button again. Some crafting components can only be obtained by performing specific tasks like mining or combat.
It is also possible to further customise favourite ships by applying Ship Mods to them. Ship Mods come in 3 tiers: Basic, with a modest bonus, Enhanced with a larger bonus at the expense of a penalty to a related parameter, and Exceptional with a much larger bonus but penalties to to related parameters. When created, the size if each bonus or penalty is random, within defined ranges.
To apply a Ship Mod requires the ship to be docked at a station. Ship Mods may be dropped by destroyed ships and when they do, they can be installed through the Redesign menu in panels in front of landing pads. Alternatively, they can be crafted and installed using a Workbench found near most Ship Dealers, using designs which need to be unlocked through Research (Player Headquarter needed). Installed Ship Mods can be salvaged to regain their ingredients.
Every ship has a limited capacity to host crew. Crew consists of 3 types of NPC:
On stations there are also :
A skilled captain will unlock more maneuvers, fight and trade better and will unlock new options for the DEFAULT BEHAVIOUR of the ship.
Ship crew management is an essential part of improving your fleet's abilities. The skill of Service Crew will also improve the rate of ship actions and the quality of steering, repairing, aiming, trading and fighting (Everything gets better with a good crew!) although their skills will not count as much as those of the captain/pilot. The sum quality of a ship's crew is increased with the number of people and with the SKILL of each individual.
Passengers from missions also count as temporary crew, & need (crew) space in the transport ship to fulfil the mission acceptance requirements: if you've filled your ship with crew they'll refuse to board, claiming 'no space for me' or similar. Fire/reassign a crewmember to another ship, or change ships to one with a free crew slot to allow the passenger their comforts
Everybody Can Be A Captain (if he just has to believe in himself)
Every person you hire, whether through the shipyard or wharf "UPGRADE SHIP" interface or by hiring individual people on platforms, can be assigned to any of the three categories, provided a vacant slot on the selected ship exists. This also means you can assign any marine or crew member to be a captain or manager.
NOTE: unhired station crew NPCs will mostly be designated 'crewmember' despite their individual skillset (you may stumble across a hireable marine etc tho, although these are rare). Open the 'hire' dialog while chatting with them to see their full skillset, enabling you to assign them appropriately. All 'crewmembers' can be assigned to any job, so if you have a station needing a manager or a ship needing a pilot/captain/marine etc you can assign any NPC (your own or a new hire) to that job. They may not be good at it, but it fills the position if urgently required..
The quality of people in your crew is grouped by skill sets. These skills are always shown with star ratings from 0 to 5 stars. If you open the detail view of an individual crew member, you will find that their total skill is made up from individual types of skills such as:
How good an NPC then performs in any duty depends on these skills. While a CAPTAIN's overall performance depends mostly on PILOTING a marine depends more on his boarding strength.
All NPCs improve through their MORALE however.
Training Crew Or Marines
Crew improve their skills though learning by doing. Thus they all get better the longer they survive.
Marines improve their main boarding skill the most in actual boarding missions, while ordinary crew gets better in normal ship operations like trading. Surviving a fight can also improve the skills in many areas.
Digital seminars may be found as loot and sold at/to Item Traders. At this time (v1.50), they can not be used to train crew.