Updated for version 4.20
Custom Game Starts were introduced in the 4.10 update and allow for greater flexibility in getting into X4. Custom game starts can be broken down into two types: Budgeted and Creative Custom gamestarts with the former allowing players to create a start with a few restrictions and will not incur a modified tag. The latter is, as its name implies, far more creative and unrestricted but will incur a modified tag (preventing online functionality). If players are running mods they will not be able to access the budgeted custom game start and will instead have to play through one of the starting scenarios or the creative custom start.
Budgeted Custom Game Starts
Budgeted Custom Game Starts require the player to load an existing unmodified save before becoming functional, this requirement is based on the need for the budget limits to be calculated on game progress. Budget areas include:
- Monetary Budget
- Research and Plot outcomes
How the budgets are calculated and how to optimise them is outlined below
Creative Custom Game Starts
Creative Custom Gamestarts do not require the player to load an existing save and players can experiment from the outset. Creative custom game starts permit the creation of a game start in the exact same way as a budgeted one but without any of the budgetary restrictions (although the player still has a 10,000,000Cr limit). The player also has full control over which plots and research items are completed even if they have not been completed in an un-modified game. Additionally, the player can adjust their faction relations with otherwise locked factions like the Xenon, Kha'ak and Scale Plate Pact (although this can often have unintended and undesirable consequences). Finally, players can choose whether or not they want highways enabled or disabled and can enable and disable local and ring highways separately.
Custom Start Metrics
Monetary Budget Factors
|Has production modules|
|Has pier modules|
|Has dock modules|
|Has a luxury dock module|
Has S and M storage modules
|Has L storage modules|
|Has S ship build modules|
|Sold > 100k worth of goods at once|
Sold > 1mil worth of goods at once
|Bought an M ship||400,000 Cr|
|Bought an L ship||1,800,000 Cr|
|Bought an XL ship||20,000,000 Cr||20,000,000 Cr||1|
|Bought a carrier||27,000,000 Cr||27,000,000 Cr||1|
|Bought a supply ship||25,000,000 Cr||25,000,000 Cr||1|
Increasing the financial budget would intuitively increase the player's starting balance, however, it becomes quickly apparent that that is not the case. This is evidenced by the restriction of the player's starting balance to 10,000,000Cr which leaves a massive 123,890,000Cr left over when the maximum budget has been reached. Instead the overwhelming majority of the monetary budget is consumed by inventory items (limited to a select range that excludes paintmods, and technology modification components), ships and starting stations. Prices of stations and ships are taken to be that of the average cost and the player cannot select the Syn or the Asgard for their starting ship or other property. Finally, having any pre-built stations will require funds for the blueprint cost on top of the cost of the station's built components.
Knowledge Budget Factors
|Opened a normal lockbox (1 lock)||100||10,000||100|
|known_lockbox_rare||Opened a rare lockbox (4 or more locks)||500||30,000||60|
|known_aqueduct||Target an aqueduct||2,000||2,000||1|
|known_khaak_hive||Target a Kha'ak Hive||3,000||3,000||1|
|known_sector||Enter a new sector||200||39,000|
(As of CoH and SV v4.10)
|known_sector_xenon||Enter a Xenon sector||2,000||2,000||1|
|known_datavault||Target a Data Vault||3,000||3,000||1|
|known_timeline_unlock||Unlock a timeline entry||1,000||30,000||30|
The Knowledge component of the Budget determines whether or not a faction or a sector is initially known to a player and in the case of sectors if all stations are known. Knowledge of a faction is a fixed value of 2,000 points per faction but the cost of knowing a sector is variable with more remote sectors having a greater cost (this is important as players can only start in known sectors). Finally, the cost of whether or not all stations in a given sector is also a fixed cost like faction knowledge and is set at 1,800 points per sector.
Personnel Budget Factors
|people_pilot_2star||Promoted a 2 star pilot to 3 stars with a seminar||500||25,000||50|
|people_pilot_3star||Promoted a 3 star pilot to 4 stars with a seminar||2,500||75,000||30|
|people_pilot_4star||Promoted a 4 star pilot to 5 stars with a seminar||5,000||100,000||20|
|people_manager_2star||Promoted a 2 star manager to 3 stars with a seminar||500||25,000||50|
|people_manager_3star||Promoted a 3 star manager to 4 stars with a seminar||2,500||75,000||30|
|people_manager_4star||Promoted a 4 star manager to 5 stars with a seminar||5,000||100,000||20|
|people_pilot_4star_onload||Has a 4 star pilot||1,500||30,000||20|
|people_pilot_5star_onload||Has a 5 star pilot||3,000||60,000||20|
|people_manager_4star_onload||Has a 4 star manager||1,500||30,000||20|
|people_manager_5star_onload||Has a 5 star manager||3,000||60,000||20|
|people_crew_count||Total number of crew||20||60,000||3000|
The personnel budget affects the quality of the crew on ships and managers on stations. If a crew level is not set in the custom game start editor a random level crew will be generated. Crew cost factors in both the quantity of crew and the quality, quantity is considered linearly but the cost of quality crew grows exponentially. The cost of crew is roughly equal to ((star level)/3)^3.5 for levels over 1/3, this means a five star crew member will cost 13,070 points.
Relations Budget Factors
|relation_war_joinedfaction||Joined a war effort||10||10||1|
|relation_war_joinedopposition||Joined a war effort opposing another one||20||20||1|
|relation_tradeguild||Joined a trade guild||20||20||1|
|relation_pirateguild||Joined a pirate guild (currently only offered by the Scale Plate Pact)||30||30||1|
|relation_leak_mission_easy||Completed an easy leak mission||10||10||1|
|relation_leak_mission_hard||Completed a hard leak mission||30||30||1|
|relation_ceremony_10||First level 10 reputation ceremony bonus||20||20||1|
|relation_ceremony_10||Subsequent level 10 reputation ceremonies||5||75||15|
|relation_ceremony_20||First level 20 reputation ceremony bonus||100||100||1|
|relation_ceremony_20||Subsequent level 20 reputation ceremonies||25||250||15|
|relation_27||Reached +27 with one faction||500||500||1|
|relation_27||Reached +27 with subsequent factions||75||525||7|
- Change: In Money Has S and M storage modules → Has S or M storage modules?
- Where are the variables stored and how exactly are they updated?
userdata.xml contains all variables needed for a budgeted game start, but some personnel budget-related ones are named *_onload with the comment Crew status, checked on loading,
Test by starting the game and screenshotting the budget screen. Then load a saved game and compare the values.Tested by Manoeuvring with Difficulty, Peteran and V3T
Relations points exclusively affect relations with factions and can only be used to manipulate how the player interacts with the amicable factions. The default relations in the editor is identical to the 'Young gun' starting scenario with most factions preset and a value of 0 with the exception of the Free Families, Fallen Families, Terran Protectorate, Yaki and Zyarth Patriarchy which are set at -5, -5, -15, -25 and -15 respectively.
Changing relations comes at a cost of 1 point per reputation level between 1 and 10 (raising negative reputation levels up to 0 currently incurs no cost). Between 11 and 20 inclusive raising reputation by 1 level costs 10 points. Between 21 and 26 inclusive costs 100 points per level, the jump between 26 and 27 costs 300 points and for every level over 27 it costs 200 points. The total cost of maximising a factions reputation is hence 1,610 points and is impossible to do.