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Comment: Minor text updates; specific training page link added
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 need the Manager crew type and optionally 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: his abilities affect the quality of the ship actions the most. A good Captain masters more maneuvers, fights and trades better, and unlocks new standard behaviors for your 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 good 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 be a Captain (if you only believe in yourself). Anyone you gain, 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 (eg) 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 most important, the navy benefits 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 get better from usual ship actions. However, surviving a fight improves your skills in 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 vids

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