X3 Fighting Tips
Knowing your enemy
Before attacking an group of enemy ships, first check to see what they are and how many there are. Sometimes the groups are so big, even a M1/M2 would have problems. Often the best rule to follow is that you can take on around 3/4 lower class ships than your own, however depending on how skilled you are or not you may want to increase or lower that number, ie. Attack 3/4 M4's if your in a M3, 3/4 M5 if you have a M4 or 3/4 M3's if you have a M6 ship. So really you need to have the next class of ship up to deal with a group of lesser ships.
One on one
If your lucky enough to get a 1 on 1 fight (lone enemy) then you can normally stay behind them all the time by keeping them in the middle of your crosshair and matching speed. Most ships don't have a rear turret so you can simply stay behind and keep shooting. If you get a 1 on 1 it is worth trying to capture the ship.
Front Lasers and turrets
Front lasers are lasers mounted forward and can not move, to move the laser you have to move the whole ship - not an problem for smaller ships. A turret on the other hand can move in a 180 degree arc and can hit targets without turning the whole ship around - which is very useful on larger ships. Turrets are normally only used on larger ships because slow turning speed. Turrets are also used on a select amount of M3 ships, TS and TP ships. Turrets can be a bit wasteful with laser engery, as many of the shots will miss, using laser energy from your other guns.
The Ion Disruptor
The Ion Disruptor is a gun which can only deal shield damage to a target. The Ion Disruptor can also damage equipment onboard a attacker when the shields are down. You can use a Ion Disruptor to totally dis-arm a ship as it will destroy lasers, shields and ship extensions on any type of ship.
The Mass Driver
The Mass Driver is like the Ion Disruptor in one way but it will only do hull damage. The Mass Driver requires Mass Driver Ammunition to fire. This cost around 3,000 credit an box, however a box of ammo will normally last a fair amount of time. The Mass Driver does not even need the shields down to do hull damage however the damage which it inflicts is fairly low. Due to its very fast moving bullets and insane fire rate, the Mass Driver is often used to defend agaisnt missiles.
Enemy rear turret
An enemy rear turret can make life very difficult, specially on the Nova (M3) and Pirate Nova (M3). If your shields are very strong then you can simply stay behind these ships. The turret is also set to defend the ship from missiles, so using a missile can be a bad idea as the turret will shoot the missile out. The best way of fighting these ships is do as much damage as you can from the first frontal attack and finish them off from either the side or if you have too - the rear.
Your fighters rear turret
If your fighter ship carries a rear turret, then I think the best option is to use it to defend your ship against missiles, mainly because it will have a lot of trouble killing ships and will waste much of your important laser engery. You can save using any energy in a rear turret by equipping a Mass Driver (if you can) into the rear turret and order it to defend against missiles.
Find your nearest attacker
In X2 you could press 'e' and automatically the nearest attacker would be selected. In X3 it still exist however its a capital 'T' to active it. I highly recommend that you change this by going into the keyboard setup and removing 'T', then assigning 'e' to it. When your in a battle all you have to do now is press 'e' and your have nearest attacker selected, with no fuss.
Missiles are mostly over-looked because they cost money. Missiles can be very useful in a battle as they can deal a lot of extra damage to enemy ships. You will need to buy missiles around the 5,000 credit range or higher because the weaker missiles really too weak. I however wouldn't spend more than 15k on one missile mainly because the cost will mount up quite heavily and often missiles can get destroyed or miss completely.
Attacking larger ships
You have to be very careful and have a fairly powerful ship (M6+) to take on a larger ship (TL/M1/M2). Many of the larger ships do have a 'blind' spot where none of the turrets can hit you. You have to find a 'blind' spot fairly quickly, stay there and keep firing. You will often notice the larger ships cant out-run an smaller ship so staying in the 'blind' position isn't too hard to do but finding can be a problem.
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