Starting with "The Secret Service Missions", X Rebirth now offers different free gamestarts and difficulty levels.
The three new gamestarts are:
Argon Merchant: Trader cockpit with good compromise between overview and instruments area.
Two capital transporters for trading with large amounts of goods and Trade extensions from start.
Start in Omicron Lyrae in Argon government controlled zone.
Argon Mercenary: Fight cockpit design projects instruments and includes an extra large radar
Start in Maelstrom near Xenon infested zones.
Ship equipped with extra weapon upgrades from the start.
Empire Builder: Builder cockpit uses traditional windows but still offers a good overview and readable instruments.
Start in Omicron Lyrae near friendly Argon government hotspot.
Player owned station and construction vessel.
Difficulty levels: X Rebirth 2.0 includes drastic changes to game balancing, and introduces three difficulty levels.
NOTE: Some of the new Steam achievements are only available in the new HARD mode.
Changing the cockpit of the playership
The player can now choose to start the game with different specialized cockpits and can further reconfigure the cockpit layout to their preferences.
To do this, the player has to meet a mechanic and choose the “Reconfigure cockpit” option.
There are four cockpit layouts available, and prices for changing these are relatively low.
As with other products, you can always click on the encyclopaedia button to see more detailed information.
New missions: The Secret Service Missions
X Rebirth now features a new series of generic missions which, if played successfully, can earn the player unique membership in the Argon Secret Service.
Once the player is a member of the Argon Secret Service, he can accept even more special missions which will often be related to the struggles of the Argon government against the Xenon threat.
After proving yourself a trusted friend of the Argon you will be contacted by a captain of the Argon Secret Service aboard Cell Recharge Fab 1 in zone Last Stand.
Here the player can select one of many different missions and gain points on his way to the goal of becoming a highly respected member of the Argon Secret Service.
X Rebirth 2.0 Secret Service Missions are called “Operation Forge Guard”.
Like all generic missions, Forge Guard missions all come with briefings explaining what to do and why.
The ultimate reward from Operation Forge Guard is the Secret Service membership license. This license will give you access to special generic missions offered occasionally to members of the secret service.
Take note that while these missions pay more than the average fight missions, they are also more dangerous..
Radar - Improved navigation feature
A common request from fans was the addition of a permanently visible radar for easier navigation. X Rebirth 2.0 - Secret Service Missions introduces two new powerful radar modes which the player can manually configure on the event monitor.
While the first one (battle mode) offers a perspective view of the zone around the playership, the second (navigation mode) gives a more static top down view of the entire zone, or a large part of it.
To control this powerful new tool, the player can now map two new buttons.
Shift M in the default keyboard layout switches between the two radar modes shown on the left.
Shift R in the default layout switches the text overlay on/off. When turned on, the overlay shows detailed context-related information (for example about your current target, zone or about the object (like a station) which is close to you).
In the options menu (under graphics settings) you can also control the quality of the radar (and even turn it off completely, if you need the slight additional performance boost).
Autopilot - Automatic flight from menus
Another commonly asked for feature which is now added with X Rebirth 2.0 is the autopilot. You can command your ship to fly to a given destination or follow a given target ship. Your co-pilot Yisha and Betty, the ship computer, will then take over the steering, leaving you free to use the menu system to examine the map or look through the trade offers you might have collected.
The autopilot can be ACTIVATED in one of several ways:
1. By clicking on any ship in your HUD you can open the interact menu and select the new “Follow” command.
Using the autopilot for missions and from maps:
2. By clicking twice on a ship or station in the zone map.
3. By pressing the new Autopilot hotkey (Shift A by default) the autopilot will be aimed at your mission target.
4. By selecting the Autopilot option from the "Plot Course" submenu.
The autopilot can be DEACTIVATED at any time either by resetting your speed to 0 (BACKSPACE in default keyboard profile and LEFT SHOULDER BUTTON in default gamepad layout), or by pressing the Autopilot hotkey toggle button (Shift A in new default keyboard mapping).
New highway gameplay
We have decided to radically redesign the highway gameplay in X Rebirth 2.0. The player can now move freely inside the highway tube either by steering or strafing. The highway instantly provides a massive boost of speed, but the player can travel even faster by accelerating their ship.
How to control your speed: Controlling the playership speed works the same way it works in free space. If the player sets his wanted speed to maximum, the ship will accelerate gradually to an even faster speed, while any collision with oncoming traffic or the side of the highway tube will slow the player down. With a little bit of practice the player can now catch up to ships in front of him or deliberately fall back to get behind ships following him.
Controlling speed inside the highway with a gamepad: Highway flight now behaves very similar to flight in free space. To accelerate the player has to hold down the accelerate button (Left trigger by default), to slow down he has to release this button. Matching speed with any other ship happens by flying close behind the other ship.
How to exit the highway: Local highways (connecting zones) can of course be exited at any time (not possible in blue super highways). The player immediately leaves a local highway by either pressing the “set speed to 0” button (BACKSPACE in default keyboard profile and LEFT SHOULDER BUTTON in default gamepad layout), or by repeatedly bouncing against the highway wall.
Highway fights: Attacking ships inside the highway will destabilize ships and push them out of the tube. The player can then leave the highway and catch up to their victim.
Remotely dealing with NPCs
Another feature that was frequently requested by our egosoft.com community, was a fast method of contacting NPCs aboard stations.
Having to land and walk up to a person gave a nice immersive feeling of really being part of the environment, but many players wanted a quicker way to perform common tasks.
By opening up the main menus UNIVERSE section (Enter-3) then OPEN COMM LINK, players can now directly search for NPCs in nearby stations by the search criteria they are looking for.
A very useful category is also the current mission NPC, which is always listed on the first page.
Remote Transport Drone: If you buy upgrades or inventory items remotely this way, they will be transported to you with the very fast Remote Transport Drones.
Delivery Charge: The service of transporting inventory items, drone upgrades, ammunition or even new crew members with these express drones entails a nominal fee. The trade menu shows these costs as “Delivery Charge” of 2500 Credits per transaction.
New NPC icon system
Together with the above improvements, we have also reworked the icon system used on platforms.
Icons are categorized by the same groups used in the COMM LINK interface: Job applicants (people potentially working for you [ENTER-3-3-2 above]) have a circular main icon, while traders [ENTER-3-3-3 above] have a square main icon for example.
The circular sub-icons arranged around the main icon then further categorize NPCs.
Square main icon: Trader
Round main icon: Job applicants
Trade with inventory items (e.g Space farmer)
Working on capital ship (e.g captain, engineer)
Trade with licenses
Working on player ship (e.g pilot, engineer)
Trade upgrades for player ship (e.g: Mechanic)
Working on station (e.g: manager, specialists)
Trade with ships (Ship Dealer)
Remote AI commands - Fleet control
X Rebirth 2.0 adds commands to control your ships, and to execute advanced tasks.
Existing commands for ships: All ships you add to your squad will normally follow the Albion Skunk unless they have an implicit job. These implicit tasks can be trade runs that you give using the trade menu (Shift T) or special tasks like collecting resources, containers or minerals given using the HUD modes (Enter-1). On top of this, ships in your squad will also automatically support you in battle, if they are adequately prepared. All of this should not require any explicit commands through menus.
Once your fleet grows larger, you can assign ships to commanders instead of having them in your squad. This way ships can support stations or other capital ships and receive their commands from commanders, manager or captains, instead of reporting directly to you.
Capital ship built in shipyard
New commands in X Rebirth 2.0 - Secret Service Missions: While all of the above still works as before, a lot of fans felt that these default methods of controlling ships working for you were not detailed enough, and expressed their desire for more freedom. X Rebirth 2.0 now adds a first set of advanced commands:
Take me to
Attack All Enemies in Zone
Gathering resources here
Fly to my Current Position
Fly to Zone
Select “New order” and choose from the available possible orders.
Some commands may ask for additional parameters.
If your active target object is one of your ships, the event monitor can show its current active command.
More details about the current command, including the trade orders for this ship, are available in the ship’s info menu.
Advanced Trading - Making a traders life easier
X Rebirth now features several methods to make trading easier and faster. Trading in X Rebirth is done with NPC ships added to your squad. These can be ships of every size, but ships best suited for serious trading are capital transporter ships.
The new X Rebirth 2.0 “Argon Merchant” gamestart gives the player two large transporter ships, which are even partially filled with goods.
For the player the main act of trading now consists of finding good matching offers: Places where a ware is bought at a high and sold nearby at a lower price.
Trade offers are normally collected automatically when flying near stations. Every time the player approaches trade locations, offers are added to the ship's computer, and will be listed in the trade menu (Shift T) as long as the offer is valid. The trade ship selection area, in which you can select any ship from the player squad, now also shows the most important wares currently loaded.
Text filtering in the trade menu: The trade menu can be sorted and filtered by clicking on the category icons above the ware list. In addition X Rebirth now also has a text filter box in the top right corner of the trade menu. The player can click this box or activate it with the "0" key and then enter any partial string. It is possible to filter not only for the ware name, but also for zone names. Typing a substring like “ener” will not just show wares like energy, but also offers from zones that have the string “ener” in their name.
Trade computer extension: Now this is where the trade computer extension comes in handy. Install this on your ship (or start the game as Argon Merchant) and you will immediately get ALL available offers from nearby stations.
Trade agents: You can take this one step further and get an NPC aboard a station to work as a trade agent for you. He or she will now send live updates of all trade offers on that station to you. To hire a trade agent, the player can enter into a smalltalk conversation with NPCs aboard a platform (possible whenever there is a “…” bubble over their head).
Stations with trade agents that send live updates are marked with an “eye” symbol in the zone map.
Discounts and the smalltalk minigame: Playing the smalltalk mini game successfully is also a good method of unlocking additional discounts on stations. Once the player has mastered the little minigame, the NPC lets him choose one of four possible rewards:
- Station discounts and commissions: Influential NPCs offer a high discount on all trade offers of a station. The discount (for buying) or commission (for selling) will help greatly in getting better deals and is automatically listed in the trade menu (Shift T).
Station discounts (and commissions) can also be randomly unlocked when scanning a station.
- Info on best person to hire: (“Ask about: Job applicant”) NPC will give you help to find the best qualified NPC of a category you are interested in. Better managers for example can improve the quality of the production of your station.
- Work as a Trade agent: (“Ask for: Trade offer updates”) The NPC will send permanent trade offer updates to your ship (see Trade agents above)
- Trader discounts: A trader can be asked to sell cheaper or pay more when buying.
New HUD menus - Accessing menus faster
Menus have been improved and the access to menus is now faster. In addition there is a new menu mode called “HUD Detail Monitor”. The HUD Detail Monitor is activated in the game settings menu.
With “HUD Detail Monitor” enabled, all fullscreen menus will now open as windows in the top left corner, and the player no longer turns towards his co-pilot Yisha.
New graphics settings
X Rebirth 2.0 adds graphic quality profiles. You can select a profile anywhere between low and ultra to find the best compromise between good visuals and high performance.
You can customize your settings manually if you select “Custom” as your profile. Only now you can edit all the detailed graphics settings further down in the graphics settings menu.
Easy installation of mods with the Steam Workshop
X Rebirth supports the Steam Workshop. This interface offers players a very easy method of installing mods for the game. In the Steam client click on the Workshop interface for X Rebirth to see a list of available mods sorted by different criteria.
Installation of a mod is as easy as clicking the “Subscribe” button on the page of this mod. After subscribing, the mod will be listed under “Extensions” from the game menu, where the player can now decide whether to use the mod or uninstall it again.