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X4: Foundations – Trading and Mining Guide


Items versus Wares

Other X4: Foundations Guides:

It is important to understand the difference between Inventory (also known as items) and cargo (usually referred to as wares). Cargo is in your ship, while inventory is on you. Inventory is listed with the SHIFT I menu under player information. It moves with you when you go (or later teleport!) from ship to ship. Cargo is in your ships storage and can be seen in the ship info menu (Shift Enter for your current ship or INFO on map).

Most ships have CONTAINER class storage which are most tradeable goods. Mining ships can have LIQUID or SOLID storage. Trading with ship storage items happens with the TRADE menu when docking, while trading with inventory happens with the trader on a platform.

Price Development

The production and exchange of wares is key to any healthy economy and the X-Universe is no different. Despite fierce competition from NPC traders there are always gaps in the market for the player to fill and line their pocket with credits in the process whether it is using a small courier or a huge manufacturing complex.

Ware prices vary a lot depending on the quantity of the ware the station has in its reserves. For reference menus often show the average price of a ware to give a trader an idea of how good a price is.

How To Buy And Sell Items – Station Trader

Items are often found in space as loot (dropped by other ships), or in lockboxes and other storages. Some items can be useful in crafting special upgrades or useful items like the EMP bombs used in a spacesuit. Most however can be sold at a good profit. When on station platforms the player can interact with traders and ask for them to “Show me your wares” opening the trade menu for wares from the personal inventory. Use the sliders to buy or sell items and then click the Confirm button to complete the transaction.

How to Buy and Sell Wares – Ship trading

When in the pilot seat of the player ship the Ship Interactions menu will have the Trade option in the middle allowing the ship to trade with the station currently docked at. The trade menu works similar to the item trader menus, except the ship and station will trade wares from their storage with the type of wares able to be exchanged being limited by the storage type. Other player assets can be told to remotely trade by left clicking them in the Object List or Property Owned menu and then right clicking a target station and selecting Trade With to either trade with the station or its Build Storage (only present on expanding stations). Alternatively after selecting a player owned ship the wares shown by the filter can be right clicked to open a trade menu to order the ship to buy/sell the wares for the best price within the viewed area of space. Wares on stations will be automatically sold to interested NPC traders by the manager or by player owned ships assigned to act as a subordinate for the station.

How to Transfer Wares Between Player Owned Ships – Ware Exchange

There will be times when it is preferable for wares or consumables to be on a different player owned ship or station. This can be to free up cargo space for other purposes, stock up a reserve ship for exploration, meet mission requirements or to keep fleets supplied. To transfer wares between ships or stations requires one of the assets to have Cargo Drones before left clicking the asset with the ware to transfer in the Object List or Property Owned menu and then right click a target asset in Map and select the Transfer Wares With action to open a trade menu allowing wares to be transferred between the two ships up to their respective capacities for the ware.


Ships with Solid or Liquid storage types can harvest nebulae and asteroids for resources which can be sold to NPC stations as source of income which requires no operating costs or fed into player owned stations to act as the basis for manufacturing chains. For solids the player ship can use Scan Mode to detect asteroids with resources of interest before shooting the asteroid or the marked surface spots with a mining laser, to release solid rocks which can be gathered using the Container Magnet. Liquids are unable to be manually mined. With L ships Mining Drones are used to pick up the resource. All player owned mining ships can be ordered to mine using the Mine order by right clicking a resource region on the map and selecting the Mine order before left clicking a resource to harvest from the list.

Auto Trading And Auto Mining

Player owned ships that have captains with enough skill stars can be set to automatically find profitable transactions or to mine resources and sell them at nearby NPC stations. The AutoTrade and AutoMine behaviours are set as the Default Behaviour under the Behaviour menu. As opposed to an order, a behaviour is a permanent assignment for a ship until revoked. For AutoTrade and AutoMine the player must specify a whitelist of wares to trade before adjusting the leash range for how far to look for stations to buy and sell at. The ships will then be fully automated allowing the player to divert attention to other tasks.

Natural Resources

At the base of the ware manufacturing chains are natural resources which have to be harvested and refined into useful products. Solar energy is converted directly into Energy Cells by Energy Cell Production modules while other Solid and Liquid resources need to be harvested by specialised Miner ships. Liquid resources are collected from flying in nebulae while solids require asteroids to be broken up and the fragments collected. The abundance of solar energy in a sector can be seen under the entry for the sector in the Galaxy category of the Encyclopaedia while the abundance of other resources requires a Resource Probe to be deployed at the mining site. Nebulae are represented as blue tiles, asteroid fields as red tiles and mixed collection sites as purple tiles on the Map.

  • Liquid Resources: Helium, Hydrogen and Methane
  • Solid Resources: Ice, Ore, Nividium and Silicon

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