Space Engineers

Space Engineers

75 ratings
Frontier Trade & Economy system
By Captain X (PhoenixX) and 3 collaborators
This is a guide for my "Frontier Economy" space engineers workshop mod -
(Also known as "Blue Mining Inc Frontier Trade Network".)

A fan has linked direct to this page.

Currently we consider the mod to be "alpha" (or early access ha!) but the basic functionality of players trading and paying each other has been completed at this stage.

A "RPG" trade / economy themed mod for players to use to pay each other (ie trade ores and goods etc).
Our long term goal is to work much like a commodity market. It will use a fictional "in game currency" which you get by paying each other and by selling ores and materials.

Potentially more than one "market" could exist, allowing for "Elite style" trade between trade stations on one server.

Public Description
Congratulations on joining the "Blue Mining Inc" trading network. Blue mining Prides itself for being the largest mining company in the frontier, and we welcome you to our family.
(Note: you need to be either within 2500 metres of location 0,0,0 on the map, or within 2500 metres of another player, or near a players trade zone in order to start trading goods.)

What can your new trading system do for you?
Below we have compiled a quick list of the benefits Blue Mining Inc can have to your occupation -
  • As a miner - it allows you to easily sell your mined ores, and negotiate the purchase of much needed supplies.
  • As a trader - it will streamline the process of making money buying and selling commodities.
  • As a mercenary - makes it easier to get paid then safely refuel, repair, and resupply your warships quickly.
  • As a contractor - it allows you to easily requisition building materials and supplies to build your ships and bases and minimising inconvenient distractions such as running out of air or the lights going out. Just make sure they pay you first!
  • As a shuttle operator - it allows your clients to easily pay you for transporting passengers and goods with a minimum of fuss.

How does your trading system move goods?

Blue Mining are leaders in advanced technology research; and have developed ultra high precision(C)(tm) jump drive technology that can transport individual trade goods directly to or from your inventory! All traders have this technology automatically installed on joining our trade network.

Once again -
Blue Mining Inc Thanks you for your business.

Please refer to the attached manual for details on how to service and operate your Trade system.
LCD operation and Usage Summary
Commands are grouped into two categories, normal player commands, and server admin commands.

Note: Commands involving items may be limited to 2500 metres from the person or market you wish to trade with; keep this in mind when trading.

Server admin commands allow staff to monitor other players balances, and add or remove any amount of funds or stock. All player commands are available to staff, but have the usual restrictions removed from them. (for example a staff member can pay a negative amount, in effect removing a players money, while a player can only spend what they have)

Normal player commands allow players to send money from their available funds to any other player with a bank balance in game. Or to buy and sell items on the server or sell to other players.

Other capabilities -
  • LCD Price display - See below table.
  • Logging - some details are logged for debuging purposes if you have any issues.
  • Loads your merchandise into the cargo space of the ship you are flying when you trade.

LCD price display system:
If you name an LCD [Economy] then in the public title use a code for the item you wish to display, it will list the buy and sell pricing for those items. Additionally it is planned that these prices will update automatically to display the prices in the current trading region - perfect for trading ships.

Below is a summary of the accepted keywords in the "public title" text field
LCD code
Display all assembled component category items for sale
Displays ore pricing. Good for small LCDs on mining survey ships
Display refined ingot pricing
Display ammunition pricing
Display hand held object pricing, drill/rifle/welder/ginder etc
Display on hand stock (Must be used with stock types above. eg ore stock)
Display only items lines from line x onwards eg #30 will only show the 30th item and onwards. Allows long LCD price lists to be spread over more than one LCD
Similar to using the '#' code. Displays only the requested LCD page number 'x'. Eg P1 for first page of items, P2 for second, P3 for third etc.
Gas / Fuels / Organics
Not yet implemented (although gas bottles are tradable)

Player commands
Display your balance (or create a balance if this is the first time using it)
/pay # X Y
Pay player #, X amount of money, for Y OPTIONAL reason [reason displayed on receiving player screen] eg /pay fred 100 you are awesome
/seen #
Display the timestamp of the last time player # was on the server
/ehelp (#)
Display a summary of all the commands, or usage of a particular (#) command
/buy # X
Buy item from nearest market, amount to buy "#", buy item "X".
X item can be a partial match eg /buy 1 meta, if you want to specify exact item name or a name with spaces use quotes. Eg /buy 10 "uranium ingot"
/sell # X
Sell an item to nearest market, amount to sell "#", item to sell "X". # can use keyword "ALL" to sell everything you are carrying eg /sell ALL stone, "X" item can be a partial match eg /sell 1 Rifle, if you want to specify exact item name or a name with spaces use quotes. Eg /sell 10 "iron ingot"
/sell # X Y# Z
Offer to sell an item to another player. Example: /sell 1 magazine 10 rambo. Amount to sell "#", item to sell "X", price to offer item for "Y#", player to make offer to "Z". Notes: # can use keyword "ALL" to sell all of a particular item you are carrying, "X" item can be a partial match eg. Rifle, if you want to specify exact item name or a name with spaces use quotes. Eg "iron ingot". Sell offers will automatically expire if the buyer doesnt want them.
/sell cancel
Cancels a sell offer if it hasn't completed yet.
/sell accept
Accept the offer and purchase the offered items
/sell deny
Rejects a sell offer
/sell collect
If a sell offer is rejected use this command to retrieve your items from the Trade network back to your inventory
Retrieve items from the trade network that could not fit in your inventory during a transaction. Functionally identical to /sell collect.
/value # Z
Display the market price(buy/sell) for item #, and optionally calculate how much qty Z would be worth in total at that price.
/pricelist #
Display a pricelist of the current trade region in a window. Pricelist can be filtered by ore/ingot/component/ammo/tools. Eg /pricelist ore ingot
Calculate the value of the targeted ship or station object (based on component construction value) and displays any sell price if the owner put it up for sale
/sellship #
Puts a targeted ship up for sale for price # (Note the person selling the ship must own the vast majority of the blocks being sold)
/buyship #
Buys the targeted ship (if it is for sale) for the price # (Price should match price set by seller) If price # is omitted it checks to see if targeted ship is for sale and for how much. Also shows approximate component value. Identical to /worth
Cancels trying to sell your targeted ship
Display the news history log (either globals or events) - Note this is not yet fully implemented.
/gps add|del ##
Quick adds or removes GPS points of optional name ## eg /gps add gold, can remove all GPS's with given text too eg /gps del ice would remove all GPS points with "ice" as the name or in the description. !! Use with care !!
Debugging command to displays the mod build version and any relevent notes we may wish to give users.

Most commands entered without parameters should display brief help.
Player controlled trade zone facilities.
Note: playertradezones default to on - If you have an older install and want to enable it (it was previously off by default) Admins please enable them with this:
/econfig enablePlayerTradeZones on
(off can also be used to turn it off on new installs)

Using the /tradezone command (which can be shortened to /tz or /shop) - players can; with enough funds, register as traders, to do so a player needs to construct a beacon on either their space station, or on their ship. Then place their crosshair on the beacon and apply to register as a trader with the command:

/tz register "Name of your Trade Zone" radius
Example: /tz register "Bobs mining shop" 1000

Once registered as a trader the trade region will follow the beacon. Traders can only register large ship or space station beacons. This beacon can also be used to turn off the trade zone (turn beacon off!) if for some reason the owner doesn't want to be buying or selling at that moment.

  • Always set your buy (from players) price lower than you sell it to them for.
  • If you dont wish to buy (or sell) an item with other players either black list it, or set the buy price really low or the sell price insanely high. If a player still trades it you get rich anyway!
  • If you REALLY hate an item, but still need to keep stock, you can limit how much it buys using the /tz limit option. See below.
  • If you wish to trade with another players shop or the NPC market either close your market or turn its beacon off first if it is on the ship you wish to trade inventory from.
  • If your beacon is lost or destroyed you can relink your shop to a new beacon.
  • Many npc market commands like /pricelist and LCD price displays will also work in your trade shop region - except they will use your stock.
  • The size of your trade zone is important. Bigger zones cost more, and smaller zones force players to get in close to trade. Weigh these factors carefully. Eventually trade fees will be higher on larger zones!

Player trade zone commands summary:
/tz register name radius
Register as a trader, with shop name "name" of region size "radius"
eg /tz register TradeNStuff 2000
/tz relink name radius
Relinks an existing trade zone "name" to a beacon under players crosshair, of region size "radius" eg /tz relink TradeNStuff 2000
Used if your trade zone beacon loses its connection to your shop. (eg damaged, destroyed or hacked)
/tz unregister "name"
Unregisters/removes your market
/tz close "name"
makes the market closed for business but doesnt delete it or stock. Beacon must be linked and active. You can also turn its beacon off or on for similar effect.
/tz open "name"
makes the market available for trading again - Beacon must be linked etc
/tz list
List your registered trading zones
/tz buy "item" price
Sets the price you wish to buy this item from players - must be in your trade zone!
/tz sell "item" price
Sets the price you wish to sell this item to players - must be in your trade zone!
/tz limit "item" amount
Sets the the maximum amount to limit on hand stock - stops buying when this number reached - use 'MAX" for no limit. Must be in your trade zone!
Examples: /tz limit "iron ore" 10000, /tz limit ice MAX
/tz blacklist "item"
Toggles if you should have this item available to buy or sell. - must be in your trade zone!
Note this command may be made obsolete by restrict flags later.
/tz export
Exports current trade zone pricing and limit settings to the LCD currently targeted by the player crosshair in game

General Usage
Players interact with a player owned trade zone the same way they would the NPC zone. They still use /buy and /sell. Overflow will still be available with /sell collect etc.
The main difference is the owner of the zone earns the profit or pays for the items being sold instead of the NPC.

Stocking the market
We are planning to add additional commands for this. But selling into your own market will add stock to it at the moment, and buying it out again will take it out again.
You are paying yourself so it doesn't cost you either way.

Market Fees:
The player markets will have fees involved, this allows money in the server economy to keep circulating - instead of all getting stuck in a single player or market. Fee's get paid into the server NPC balance which returns it to the general world economy as players can continue to sell goods to access this money.
Although not all are implemented yet - these are the proposed fees:
  • Registration fee - this applies when creating a new market.
  • Transaction fee - this applies per sale transaction. (it will be pretty tiny however)
  • Relink fee - this applies if your trade station loses its link to its registed beacon. (for example attacks, hacks or accidents damage or destroy it)

Admin functions
Various settings can be set - refer "Economy Config/behaviour settings" under Admin section.

Trade Network Hud
We have a partially completed trade network "hud" to compliment the rest of the mod.
This HUD is used to display various (configurable) items of interest related to the trade network.

/hud on | off
Display the HUD at all - Default - Off
/hud balance on | off
Displays your current bank balance. Allows you to quietly gloat at your fortune in real time. Default - on
/hud region on | off
Display the name of the current trade region (if any) you are currently in range of. Default - off [Not functional yet]
/hud GPS on | off
Display your X/Y/Z Space Coordinates in relation to the centre of the sector of space you are in. Default - Off [Partially functional - only updates on chat]
/hud contracts on | off
NOT FUNCTIONAL SUBJECT TO CHANGE. Proposed to display the number of delivery/trading contracts you have won, or must complete Default - off
/hud cargo on | off
Not yet implemented. Displays the filled and available cargo space for trading. Default - off
/hud agency on | off
Displays who you work for (faction) Default - on
Admin Commands
Display all Player Bank balances and the time they were last on.
/bal #
Displays a particular player # bank balance. If # is omitted display your own.
/pay NAME # reason
allows you to add (or -remove) money on another players balance
Resets your balance to 100 - useful if you have been adjusting players balances with pay command and you have an unusual balance
/npczone list
Displays a list of all defined NPC market zones/portals and their zone name.
/npczone add name x y z size shape
eg /npczone add Maceys 10000 1200 -14000 2500 sphere. Creates an NPC trade zone called "name" located at x y z of radius "size" and in the shape of "shape" shapes can be sphere or cube shaped.

"name" can be any standard combination of normal letters and numbers enclosed in quotes "". For example "Bobs Trading outpost #3" could be used, this will show up on price lists and eventually automatic "welcome to.." messages.
/npczone delete "name"
eg /npczone delete "Maceys". Removes NPC trade zone with the ID name of "Maceys"
/npczone rename oldname newname
eg /npczone rename Maceys Sears - Renames existing trade zone "oldname" to "newname"
/npczone addhere name #size
eg /npczone addhere Sears Asteroid Shop 3000 - Creates an NPC zone called "Sears Asteroid Shop" (name can be up to 4 words) of optional sphere radius "3000". If size is not specified it defaults to a 2500 diameter sphere (or whatever your NPC zone size default is)
/npczone movehere name
eg /npczone movehere Sears Asteroid Shop - Moves the NPC zone called "Sears Asteroid Shop" (name can be up to 4 words) to your current location. Note: Size will default to the global NPC zone size default when moved! (usually a 2500 radius sphere)
/set # item
eg /set 1000 Ice, Allows admin to manually set the on hand stock for a particular market item, for the NPC zone you are currently IN. This is considered a cheat! Use sparingly!
/set * # item
eg /set * 1000 Ice, Allows admin to manually set the on hand stock for a particular market item, for ALL NPC zones. This is considered a cheat! Use sparingly!
/set "zone name" # item
eg /set "maceys" 1000 Ice, Allows admin to manually set the on hand stock for a particular market item, in a specific market zone - eg "maceys". This is considered a cheat! Use sparingly!
/set buy item #
eg /set buy Ice 9, Allows admin to manually set the buy (from player) price of a particular market item, in the market zone they are currently IN
/set sell item #
eg /set sell Ice 10, Allows admin to manually set the sell (to player) price of a particular market item,in the market zone the are currently IN
/set * sell item #
eg /set * sell Ice 10, Allows admin to manually set the sell (to player) price of a particular market item,in ALL the NPC market zones
/set * buy item #
eg /set * buy Ice 10, Allows admin to manually set the buy (from player) price of a particular market item,in ALL the NPC market zones
/set "default zone" sell item #
eg /set "default zone" sell Ice 10, Allows admin to manually set the sell (to player) price of a particular market item,in the "default zone" NPC market zone
/set "default zone" buy item #
eg /set "default zone" buy Ice 10, Allows admin to manually set the buy (from player) price of a particular market item,in the "default zone" NPC market zone
/set blacklist item
eg /set blacklist rifle, Allows admin to toggle if an item is allowed to be traded, or not (blacklisted) must be in range of desired market zone you wish to blacklist it on
/set * blacklist item
eg /set * blacklist rifle, Allows admin to toggle if an item is allowed to be traded, or not (blacklisted) in ALL NPC market zones
/set "zone name" blacklist item
eg /set "default npc zone" blacklist rifle, Allows admin to toggle if an item is allowed to be traded, or not (blacklisted) in the specified market zone name
/mission #
eg /mission 4, Debugging command.
Allows admin to set their current mission to mission id #
[[ (Mission system under construction so best not used yet.) ]]
/global X X X X
Allows a pop up mission message to be displayed to all online players
[[ (under construction) ]]
eg /global We will be restarting the server shortly, or /global Pirates attacking!

Admin commands (continued)
Economy Config/behaviour settings
All items below assume the admin has typed: /econfig ITEM VALUE.
Eg. /econfig LimitedRange True
/econfig setting value
/econfig Language #
Offers an in game method to set your default language.
(ie the language that items are displayed on the LCD in) Refer localisation section for valid # codes.
/econfig TradeNetworkName Name of Network
Got a roleplay server? Use this to change what the trade network calls itself when interacting with players. Eg /econfig TradeNetworkName The Dark Federation
/econfig CurrencyName name
Credits too boring? how about Marscoins, Latinum, or Starbucks.. ? eg /econfig CurrencyName pirate gold
/econfig LimitedRange true|false
Should you be forced to be near whom you wish to trade with? Default - False
/econfig LimitedSupply true|false
Should NPC trade zones have a limited or unlimited supply of items. Default - True
/econfig EnableLcds true|false
Allow [Economy] LCDs to be used to display pricing. Default - True
/econfig EnableNpcTradezones true|false
Run an anarchy server..? want to give the "man" some cement shoes? Controls if NPC trade zones are enabled or not. Default - True
/econfig pricescaling on|off
Turns on or off the NPC price scaling based on stock on hand. Too much stock reduces the buy from player price, too little increases the sell.
/econfig EnablePlayerTradezones true|false
Shall we allow players to register and transact with player owned trade shop zones. Default - True
/econfig EnablePlayerPayments true|false
Shall we allow players to pay each other directly. Default - True
/econfig TradeTimeout #
How long to wait until we give up waiting for someone to buy something we offered them.
/econfig AccountExpiry ##
How long (##) to wait until remove a players bank account from the database. Default 2 months.(60days)
/econfig StartingBalance #
How much money (#) do we give new players at the start. Deault - 100
/econfig LicenceMin|LicenceMax #
The minimum and maximum Trade License price (#).
/econfig ReestablishRatio #.#
The price ratio for relinking your zone to a beacon.
/econfig MaximumPlayerZones #
The number of trade zones a player is allowed to own. Default: 1.
Tip: If you wish to limit the number of player controlled markets set this to zero. Already registered trade zones continue trading but prevents new ones being added. If you want to allow a player to register a new zone, set this to 1 until they register. Then return it to 0.
/econfig shiptrading on|off
Enable or disable players from directly selling a ship or station to each other.
LCD Language localization.
If you are running the frontier trade and economy system mod in a non-english country pricing on LCD screens will be in English. To set the screens to display in your own local language refer below.

The Space Engineers Dedicated Server by default do not have a language.
By setting the `Language` in the Economy Config, a language can be applied to a Dedicated Server.
Note that Client language is NOT affected by this, but LCD's that are composed by the Server are.

You can select your desired language with the following command:
/econfig language #
Where # would be the number representing the desired language. See list below.

Alternately you can also modify your Economy Config file to add the `<Language>` element if it doesn't already have one as per below.

The following values are the only values accepted by the game.

English = 0,
Czech = 1,
Slovak = 2,
German = 3,
Russian = 4,
Spanish_Spain = 5,
French = 6,
Italian = 7,
Danish = 8,
Dutch = 9,
Icelandic = 10,
Polish = 11,
Finnish = 12,
Hungarian = 13,
Portuguese_Brazil = 14,
Estonian = 15,
Norwegian = 16,
Spanish_HispanicAmerica = 17,
Swedish = 18,
Catalan = 19,
Croatian = 20,
Romanian = 21,
Ukrainian = 22,
Turkish = 23,
Latvian = 24,
ChineseChina = 25
Economy Datafiles
Below is a list and explanation of the admiin editable datafiles for this mod.

Frontier Economy uses several datafiles. These files are currently stored in the following location:
%appdata%\SpaceEngineers\Saves\[your steam # ID code]\[Your map name]\Storage\504209260.sbm_Economy.scripts

For example on my PC it is:
C:\Users\Dell\AppData\Roaming\SpaceEngineers\Saves\76561197968837138\Mars Sector\Storage\504209260.sbm_Economy.scripts

In this folder you will find the followng files:
  • EconomyConfig.xml
  • EconomyData.xml
  • EconPriceScale.xml

These files should only be edited manually IF EVER when the server is not running.
For pay-to-win server hosting the host could allow you to edit these files from your dashboard. Although we prefer hosts don't charge extra money to use economy - being able to configure it as part of your existing services might be helpful for some admins running role play worlds.

To edit these files it is recommended you use a good text or XML editor. Microsoft has a free crude XML editor that should be adequate. Always backup your file before editing - since malformed XML files may prevent Economy from working correctly.

EconomyConfig.xml contains all your Economy logic/behavior settings. For example the default prices used when creating a new NPC trade portal, or how long to wait before considering accounts abandoned and removing that player from the list and transferring their cash back to the NPC.
Note: Almost all of these options can be changed in-game using admin config commands. Thus this mod can be managed even on shared hosting where you have no direct access to your files; so long as you are listed as an admin. The only exception is the default prices which are created on first run; and used to generate starting prices when you add new NPC zones.
But in general you shouldn't need to touch this file unless configuring/provisioning a server without steam installed.

EconomyData.xml contains all the NPC and PLAYER market portal locations, their size, and the pricing at each market. It also contains the last seen date and bank balances of all your active players. (/accounts in-game will display the player accounts)
Note: Although most settings here can be edited in-game as well; this file could be used as a quick way to edit all your market pricing, manually place new markets, or give players private markets if your max player markets setting is 0, or they want more than you have configured. Player balances can be viewed/edited here all at once too.

EconPriceScale.xml this contains your price break points that effect pricing behavior in NPC markets if you have Reactive Pricing (sliding price scales) enabled. This allows quite a lot of control power over how much to break down price changes based on being under or over stocked.
Note: This is one file that is designed to be edited by Admins outside of the game. It has some basic price adjustment rules, but admins can fine tune there quite a lot more to suit their own world.

Other files
There is also some basic logging in the global storage folder; depending on your situation this may be helpful to check occaisionally when you are having issues. These files are located here:
This may also contain some obsolete economy data XML files which you can safely ignore.
FAQ for players
Why cant I trade?
In order to allow players to run their own trade companies, trade is limited to within a 5km sphere around the place or person to which you want to trade. For example the default trade region for Blue Mining Inc, is a 2500 metre radius from location 0,0,0 on the game map. (5km diameter)
Depending on your version this may also apply to trading with other players. You also need to have enough money or items to trade it! (obviously)
A future option is an option to prevent new players trading right away to prevent players selling off all your factions supplies; this may prevent trading to begin with for new players.

My Trade Shop Zone is doing wierd things
Troubleshooting steps:
  • Check your beacon is turned on.
  • Check your beacon wasnt hacked/destroyed. (Or somehow lost its link to your zone)
  • Check your trade zone is open for business (/tz list should give details)
  • Check you have not entered, or overlap another trade zone. When zones overlap NPC zones have priority. Eventually the zone with the lowest sell price and the highest buy price will have priority. (Work in progress)

My ship is full of item X but i cant sell it - tells me i have none?
If the item is stored in a connector, refinery, gun, reactor or assembler it will not automatically sell.. since these are usually needed.. If you really need to sell it, move it to a crate (or your inventory)

What if I need to buy more than I can carry?
Frontier Economy is designed to check how much you can carry. If you are flying a ship, the goods will be placed into the ships cargo space, if you are not in a ship and buy too much. It stores the overflow in the trade system until you collect it.

What if I need to sell more than I can carry?
We allow players to sell items in ships they are piloting; So just store it in a crate or attach a crate to your cockpit with a conveyor, and it will let you sell from there.

How can I check the value before I sell or buy?
use the /value command. For example - /value metal
If you are near a trade region you can also use LCD price lists, see LCD section above.
There is also a /pricelist command for an overview of current area pricing.

I am getting "did you mean..." messages and I cant seem to buy or sell some items?
This usually occurs if you try to trade an item with a name made up of two or more words - or several items have similar names.
Try putting quotes (talking marks) around the item name. For example /sell 1 "Iron Ingot"

Ugh Do I need to type out each item i want to sell in full each time?
No. So long as you use enough letters to identify a particular item, it will automatically match.
For example /sell 1 "Uranium O" or /buy 1 "Construct" or /buy 1 25mm or /sell 3 ammo

I am trying to sell an item, but it keeps telling me I don't have enough?
We discovered the game rounds to 2 decimal places, but actually uses 6 decimal places.
The "not enough" error should show the exact decimal places, retry the sell using those; or you can sell using the "all" keyword. For example /sell all stone

Can I trade blueprints?
YES - they have to be workshop blueprints tho.. not sure if secret/private ones work. Basically ask a player to pay you money for a BP. Then hit F10 once they pay you, open the blue print workshop entry in the F10 menu in details, and select the player from the drop down list and press close. They now have your blueprint. Only works on workshop blueprints! So upload ones you want to trade to steam!

How do I create a trade space station?
Make yourself a cool space station - then build the a beacon on your space station. Use this beacon when registering the trade zone. (point at beacon and type /tz register "shop name" 1000 - this would create a shop called "shop name" with a range of 1000 metres) See earlier section on player trade zone commands for more detail.

How do I become a roaming gypsy trader?
Build the beacon on a space ship instead.

How can i move my shop?
There are three obvious ways:
1: Grind out your beacon. Build it in the new location. Then link it to your existing zone.
2: Convert your space station to a ship and tow it there.
3: Build your beacon on a space ship to begin with. Fly it wherever.

1 Word: Railguns
Well that is one way to use all the extra rock I suppose.

2 Words: Air Strikes
Thats an in-house joke between the developers. One day maybe, but they cost extra..

Why is ammo/explosives/magnesium/weapons so expensive?
Buy prices are set based on a formula we used based on production waste, ore scarcity, and demand. Sell prices on the other hand is retail price. Since Blue Mining Doesn't condone violence (hey they waited 10 years instead of risking a war to recapture their own base) and to minimise the chances of piracy, (plus we assumed any merchant would try to profiteer from weapons) we increased their price above the starting balance so that new players couldn't jump on and start gun battles on the trade station right away. If you want your show down at the OK Corral Space Base, you gotta work in the mines some to save up for your bullets first.

Why is item XXXX so expensive?
Item prices are based on the pricing formula applied to materials, and the cost of the materials that would be necessary to construct a given item; plus a small retail markup.

Why is material YYYY so cheap when i sell it?
The more common the material in space, the less it is worth. Its basic economics.

I heard about this great ZZZZZ server that runs your mod, but when I joined I spawned in nothing but a space suit, and I've got no tools.. this sucks..
That might be our fault - we pointed out to server admins that the starting amount is enough to afford tools; and admins concerned about ramming or griefing could quite safely disable tools and spawn ships if they use this mod. Just type /buy 1 drill and do some mining, then sell the ore. If you find a valuable enough ore, you should be able to pretty quickly throw together a small ship or base. We also suggested servers doing this provide a public med bay and oxygen supply.. trust me the ZZZZZ server probably is as great as you hear, they just use the economy mod to screen out the trolls and griefers; since you actually have to do a bit of mining first to get anywhere - most griefers and trolls have no patience so they leave.
FAQ For server Admins (including cheating and singleplayer)
What do I need to do on my server to use this?
Unlike other attempts at economies this mod is designed to not require doing anything crazier than simply adding this mod to your mod list in your server or game save. On first run it builds a RRP price table, and generates the NPC bank balance and starting stock. On join new players are each given 100 currency units. All commands are entered into the chat box. Occaisionally you may need to top up your NPC's money supply see later section for details. You could also Add an LCD displaying your NPC prices, see LCD section earlier; but you dont need it to trade.

What can I do as an admin?
As an admin the restrictions from the /pay command are removed. You can give or take as much money as you like if needed. This means you can allocate additional funds to new players etc.
For example - /pay fred 10000 Welcome to our server!
As an admin you can reset your (probably massively negative balance) to 100 with /reset
You can also take money from the NPC server trader (or a player) using a negative pay amount.
For example - /pay NPC -10000 Mining Tax!
You can also override stock on hand for the NPC market, see set command.

What SHOULD I do on my server
Firstly; it may go against your better judgement, but you may want to increase the players inventory space. This will make large trades a lot less frustrating for your players.

Also by default the Economy allocates the area near 0,0,0 on your map as the "Server trading Zone" simply because new players usually spawn near here anyway. It is probably a good idea to build a small space station here to represent your server "Trading facility" if you have the capabilities you could (for example using the midspace admin mod) set this base as indestructible, and share with all. On our server we have an LCD with a welcome message, basic details of the economy, an oxygen supply, medbay and a guest book.
Also depending how you configure your game, players may need a place to spawn or get oxygen. This is particularly critical if you decide to use this mod to replace the need for spawning with tools or space ships as an anti-griefing strategy.

What is the difference between NPC and player zones?
NPC zones are managed by all admins, and never expire. They have no limit to the number of zones (or "access points") although each zone maintains its own inventory and pricing it shares a common bank account. They are tied to a location but it doesn't matter what exists in that location. When new zones are created they create with a starting balance of stock.

Player zones are owned and managed by a single player only, require a fee to register, and will eventually expire if idle too long. New zones have no stock. Only a limited number can be created by each player (default 1) Their location is tied to the beacon used when creating it. They can also be managed by the owner of the zone only. Eventually they will also function as a shared faction zone if configured this way by a member of that faction. We also hope to add an option to allow some way for players/pirates to "raid" these zones as well..

Custom items supported?
Yes mod adds it on startup. Defaults to blacklisted. Set a buy/sell price and go.

What If the NPC runs out of money ?
If your NPC market was buying too much dirt etc, you can refill its money supply with /pay _default_NPC_merchant_ 100000 Financial Bail out!
Then do /reset to reset yours if its negative.
Note: players can also pay NPC out of their balance although why would they?

What if the NPC runs out of item XX
We provided several ways. Lazy way is the /set command. eg /set 1000 ice.
Another way is to edit the XML file next time you stop your server.
Another way is as an admin you should have the ability to spawn items anyway (if not look to Midspace Admin Mod) if nothing else, you can use creative mode to spawn in some items and then /sell them to the server.
Or you could just mine some.. or offer money to players to deliver more to the market. Eventually we want to add NPC AI traders who buy and sell to the server to maintain the market levels.

How can I move the location of the NPC trade hub?
You can now manage this detail with the in-game /npczone command or you can edit the EconomyData_<mapname>.xml file and look for this:
<MarketZoneSphere> <Center> <X>0</X> <Y>0</Y> <Z>0</Z> </Center> <Radius>2500</Radius> </MarketZoneSphere>
You can set it there.

How can I keep an eye on everyones bank balances?
If you want to monitor bank balances for suspicious activity the /accounts command displays all players balances in a pop up window. This can also tell you who has been on your server, and when the server saw them last, think of it as the /seen command supersized.

A player is suspiciously wealthy.. how can I work out what they are up to?
Hosted in the same folder as the XML files should be a series of log files these may help. Or if you are also using the Midspace Admin mod, their /chat command will show the history of commands used with Economy.

Someone mentioned anti-grief?
Because each new player begins with 100 credits, usually near the middle of the map - you could disable players starting with ships or tools. 100 Credits is enough to buy some tools, and all you need is a drill to mine ore that you can then sell for more money. So long as they sell their ore before leaving and end up with more money than they started with having no medbay is fine too.
You can also disable players spawning in a space suit - and force them to start at a "new players" space station, which you could render indestructible if you also use the Midspace admin mod.

How can I tweak settings, prices, etc
See admin "set" command section - admins can now set pricing within the game.

Although not fully implemented yet - most the "config" XML options should be available in-game to admins in the /econfig command too.

Getting bored.. what else could I do?
You could use this mod on an "empty world" and by using the admin version of the "pay" command allocate money to players. Then they are forced to use funds to get materials.
You may want to turn the limited supply option off however if you do this.

For example:
  • Have a ship building contest "You each have a $30000 budget, try to build the best ship, winner wins 100,000 prize" etc.

  • Raider style Capture the flag - as there are no asteroids to mine - spawn ores into a crate in two bases. Players would need to steal this ore in order to sell it to get enough money to upgrade their bases and ships and ammo.

  • Have a trade focused server, with designated, traders/suppliers and builders.

  • Post a bounty! Use the messaging system or a LCD to offer a reward for something.

  • Hire someone to build for you.

Cheats: Hey I am an admin, gibb0r me more pow3r
Buy and sell commands still enforce balance for admins when buying - so what if I want to buy a pile of stuff - and i have no money?
Really? ...........
Fine.. try this..
/pay _Default_NPC_Merchant_ 100000 abusing my powerz
/pay _Default_NPC_Merchant_ -100000 just cause i can
That should leave you with 100100 funds. Should work with any amount of funds you need.
If we get enough cheating admins complaining we may add an input to the reset command.. but really you dont need to be cheating.

What if its got no stock? Or I just want free stuff?
Pfft did you even read the rest first?
See the set command - it allows you to magically create new stock out of thin air - add that to the above trick to give yourself money; and thats pretty much unlimited items.
Official Blue Mining Inc corporate Bio
Blue mining maintains their main HQ on Mars, which is in Federal space. This is where all their rare ore, and mass produced goods from Ramblers Frontier are shipped.

They also maintain a number of remote outposts mainly used for mining and trade, and a small fleet of transport and mineral survey ships. Their main outpost is located near Jupiter at the edge of Ramblers Frontier near the border of federal space. It is used mainly for mining, trade and light manufacturing. Many freighters and traders transport goods there instead of travelling all the way into Federal space.

Previously they had several hundred stations, and many thousands of space crafts however most of them were abandoned roughly 10 years ago when the AI war began. It is not known what happened to these ships and bases. Several unconfirmed reports from miners suggest that many are simply adrift and forgotten in deep space. Many heavily damaged, some almost untouched. Rumors indicate a small number of them have recently become active again.

Name: Blue Mining Inc
Location: Mars, Karzok Crater City; Olympus Mons.
Coordinates on Mars: 18° 25′ 0″ N, 131° 55′ 0″ W  (18.416667°, -131.916667°)
Main imports: Rare Earths and Ice.
Locally mined: Iron, Uranium, Silica
Main Products: air, fuel, Tools, components, life support tech, mineral scans and ingots.
Main research: Life support, Energy, propulsion and mining technologies.
Main markets: Space suits, small shuttles, space stations, life support and mining equipment.

Work Environment:
Mars is an industrialised world, with a modest workforce of around a million. Some scientific research and aerospace development is done, but they mainly mine and manufacture equipment for the military and civilian market. Other than mining, mineral surveys and basic ship and station design, Blue mining also researches life support, energy production systems and maintains an X-series research program which focuses on exotic propulsion systems.

Military Evaluation:
Blue Mining has little interest in offensive technology, but there is several corporations active on Mars which they regularly trade with. Some of them specialise on weapons research.. so Blue Mining doesn't need to.

Weapon Tech:
Due to the dangers present in Ramblers frontier, Blue mining inc has licenced a number of phased energy weapons technologies in their space stations; which can be assembled and fitted on any trader ship docked there.

Flagship Evaluation:
Blue Mining's main flagship, the "Blue Mining Survey Ship" is a small multi purpose passenger transport and mineral survey ship armed with two Repulser Disruptor Cannons to defend it from attack by throwing hostiles backwards. It also has several missile and gattling turrets, the gattlings are mainly used to disrupt creatures, missiles or metorites before they harm the ship; the missile launchers are mainly used to make core samples on asteroids, although they can be turned on an enemy if needed. It also has a basic defensive turret protecting the main passenger boarding ramp.

The survey ship also has basic ore refining and manufacturing capability, a small hangar bay, redundant power and control systems, sleeping facilities and a medical bay.

The ship is propelled by a mix of Ion, Hydrogen and Turbine thrust, and is certified for use in space or on planets. Depending on the mission; due to numerous module hard points, it can also be equipped with any number of exotic technologies, including but not limited to a civilian spec Alcubierre Jump drive, a military spec FTL warp drive, a gravity wave impulse drive, additional energy storage or reactor systems, drilling, welding and salvaging modules.

In effect the ship is an all rounder, and can be used for any purpose from deploying outposts, scanning ore deposits, mining, manufacturing, building space stations, acting as a portable command centre, rescue ship, tow truck, taxi, light warship or trading ship.

Mod Roleplay Canon / backstory
This workshop idea was inspired by the fictional mining trade company story dreamt up for my Space engineers ships, stations, game servers and so forth.

In these a simply named trading company called "Blue Mining Inc" has become a major player in Space mining in the region of space affectionaly named "Ramblers Frontier".

Blue Mining's head office is located on Mars, and they built their initial fortune from mining Mars. They expanded into the outer solar system where their reputation for valuing the safety of their staff and miners over profits (after all they still make a fortune mining on Mars) led to them adopting a policy of over engineered, if uninspired designs which incorporate multiple backup and redundant life support systems, along with modular ships that can by the addition or removal of modules be adapted to a variety of tasks.

Rapid Growth:
This led to Blue Mining having the best safety record in the region, and subsequently the best SALES reputation since most of the time, orders arrived, and their crews were still alive. As such they rapidly grew to become the biggest mining operation in the sector, with most miners preferring to deal with them over other companies; since high profits are pretty pointless if you are dead. At their peak they had hundreds of space stations and thousands of miners and transports.. (this helps explain all the abandoned exploration mode ships and bases)

The AI war:
Blue Mining also had a policy of relying on real miners instead of AI control technology, while other companies with less than ideal safety records were forced to use AI systems, as nobody was willing to work (and Die) for them. Given corners were cut, and many AIs were designed by "The Federal Alliance" a sprawling great (and currupt) political bureaucracy it was inevitable something would go wrong.

As is often the case, the more currupt the regime, the more numerous its laws, so many contradictory politically driven and quite stupid laws were made to police the Rim sector - unsurprisingly a day came when the majority of these "AI police" suddenly went haywire one day after some particularly stupid new orders; with regard to those mining the quite lucrative oort cloud were sent and they decided all humans were immoral-lewd-pirate-tax-evaiding-smuggler-seperatists, and started attacking anything that moved with humans on board.

Quite amusingly the first place to be attacked by this malfunctuion was not the "immoral-lewd-pirate-tax-evaiding-smuggler-seperatists" but instead a deep space federal policing and (mostly) revenue (taxation) raising (confiscation) space station setup by the federal alliance which in practice was basically a protection racket picking on all the heavily laden mining freighters passing through the usually quiet Rim Sector - claiming "protection from pirates" of which there were none, unless you count the police themself.
This resulted in the loss of the space station, and a fleet of UFP (Universal Federal Police) survivers running with their tail between their legs to the much safer Ramblers Frontier region, where they consolodated their forces and have been keeping the AI raiders at bay.

The Seperatist War (Ramblers Frontier War, and the Blue mining exodus):
Not so much a war, as a political exercise. To distract attention away from the AI war; which was caused by the Federal alliance cutting corners trying to make AI's enforce conflicting rules, they began running propaganda about a "seperatist movement" in the Ramblers Frontier region. This eventually culminated in pressure to deal with them; but since there was no real war, just a handful of armed miners and even less pirates, the UFP, fresh from their defeat by the AI's, started strong arming the mining companies in Ramblers frontier. Blue mining being the largest group eventually became the target; as they were building a recreation station for their miners; when the UFP confiscated a shipment meant for the facility claiming it was stolen, and rather than start a conflict, and make the propaganda into a self fulfilling prophecy, they chose instead to shut down mining operations in Ramblers Frontier and withdraw back to their Mars business.
To the UFP they said, "to hell with you all, '$^&% keep the ship then if you think the water was stolen, we got plenty more."
To everyone else they said simply, "They stole your beer, so we took away their entire supply chain rather than go to war. If anyone wants to know who to blame, ask the UFP why they took our supply shipment.."

This left a few hundred abandoned space stations(fully operational, on autopilot, even when leaving they didnt want to abandon their miners, they just told the guns to shoot at any UFP ships that got too close), leaving a few thousand very angry miners who all had guns, very many of which soon became pirates, a bunch of very desperate UFP ships with no supplies and pretty soon there was a real seperatist war on their hands, the entire Ramblers fronter section becoming classified as a politically "contested" region. Which had at least one benefitial side effect, the UFP were now actually forced to do their job as a police and protection force; instead of acting like a bunch of pirates themself, escorting the remaining mining company shipments, in return for supplies, lest the Federal alliance get nothing at all from the region.

The return:
10 years after Blue mining left, the UFP are spread pretty thin. Between holding off AI incursions, the pirates, angry miners, and shortage of supplies; they have become a public relations embarrasment. The last outgoing director of the old Blue Mining Jupiter base (who was officially classified as a pirate to those who didn't know better) sends out a message on the disused Blue Mining Trade Network, calling for assistance from anyone stll loyal to Blue mining in order to chase off and recapture by force if necessary his old Jupiter facility, which at present is used for little more than UFP soldiers to get drunk; and some half hearted protection rackets escorting freighters in return for supplies. Although heavily armed and even more heavily armored, the UFP are poorly supplied, and lack training; usually relying on intimidation over strategy, and lose two of their warships in the first 30 minutes of the battle, before all those involved withdrew. As a result of the Battle, the federal alliance cut them off entirely. Forcing them to join the trade network or die.

"Federal Space" represents the space between the Sun and Jupiter. This area is controlled by an alliance of Earth, Mars etc

"UFP" Universal Federal Police - the military/police branch of the Federal Alliance, (the cats paw of the currupt politicians) little less than pirates themself, they usually protect small mining ships, industrial facilities and freighters from attacks by real pirates.

"Ramblers Frontier" represents the space stretching from Jupiter outwards until Pluto. Principly that taken up by the lurative Kuiper Belt. Previously the sector was dominated by Blue Mining Inc, it is now a politically contested zone after a disagreement arose between Blue mining and the local government representatives in the UFP. Leaving the sector in charge of the miners.

"(Ramblers) Lawless void" also known as the Rim Void Sector, representing the space between Pluto, the Heliopause and the edge of the bulk of the Oort Cloud. A previously busy region frequented by mining freighters, the region is now populated only by die hard pirates, meteor showers, and frequent raids by AI warships.

"(Ramblers) Oort cloud" a dangerouss resource rich region full of a high density of asteroids, it has a lot of places to hide, but it is dominated by a high density of AI warships too, and even more meteor showers than the void.

Not Implemented, Planned, or Incomplete Functions
Following section contains commands, and notes for things that are not yet implemented, incomplete or represent planned functions. These may be added or discarded without notice before final implementation

  • Missions/contracts HUD - generic delivery contracts, and admin designed/scripted "story" style choose-your-own-adventure travel/trade/target/objective based.
  • Realtime GPS location tracking HUD
  • Realtime readout of available storage space HUD
  • Realtime display of bank balance HUD
  • NPC roaming "ambient" traders for stocking npc markets
  • stockmarket-like offers system
  • Multi-sector travel hubs or "we have moved here" type ability.
  • Crate that can be used to interact with market stock
  • A way for raiders to steal items from a shop zone
  • Directly trade gases for faster refueling (partially complete)
  • Auto-sliding NPC prices based on availability or scarcity
  • Trade Subsidies (part of generic delivery contracts in mission point above)

(/sell number item price player/faction/territory ) sell to a player or faction or market[under construction]
/sell number item price (to post a stockmarket sell offer)

/buy number item price player/faction/territory to offer to buy item from player / faction / market for price
/buy number item price (to post a stockmarket buy offer)

/request # X Y (Send a request to play X for # qty of money, for reason Y[A prompt will display on the target player screen to approve or deny]) [not implemented]

/cancel sell/buy # X Y(cancel a listed stockmarket sell or buy order for item #, up to qty X, optionally from listing at price Y, otherwise items are removed most expensive first for buy orders, and the money returned; or least expensive first for sell orders) [not implemented - partially in use by player to player direct trade]

/orderbook # (display a listing of all items, qty available and the current buy/sell prices, optionally display the order book buy/sell prices and qtys per price of item #) [not implemented - mostly superceded by LCDs and /pricelist command]

Block functionality [not implemented]
The "trade block" should appear to be a container with a qty of every ore and material available for purchase in it.

If an item or stack is dragged onto the "Trade Block" prompt the player if they wish to enter a unit price to list the item in the market, (no payment until sold) or sell directly for the reference price (gets paid right away) items are removed from inventory.

Dragging an item into your inventory (either player or ship?) from this block should trigger a prompt to confirm you wish to buy the specified qty at the current price. (or if tooltips can be used the price is displayed in tool tip and dragging makes the purchase from items at that price, higher price items will not sell until all lower price items sell) the trade block should prompt for each price point up to the desired qty - or ask if it should buy all items up to the desired qty within the limits of the players available fund balance.

Another possible feature is the possibility that the players bank balance is available from all game worlds hosted on the same machine, allowing people to for example mine and prospect on one server, (possibly with a connect to server X command using the new mod api ability to make clients connect to a different server) and then use the proceeds to pay to build a base on the other map. However this adds other technical difficulties - and will be a very late feature if it is implemented at all.
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TheAdmiral23 Nov 20 @ 9:38pm 
Good thing I have no debug mods then
Captain X (PhoenixX)  [author] Nov 20 @ 2:22pm 
you could edit the xml file perhaps, but that runs the risk of messing up the file layout. Plus you need to stop the server while editing the file. Beyond that blanket changes to all the blacklisted inventory isn't practical as that would also accidentally enable any debug items added by keen that would likely crash space engineers if they actually got into a players inventory
TheAdmiral23 Nov 16 @ 1:45pm 
Ok so I unblacklisted everything. ANd now I'm wondering if there's a way to add all the modded guns and ammo into the market at the sametime. So I don't have to do it individually. Any ideas?
TheAdmiral23 Nov 16 @ 1:34pm 
Also is there a way to unblacklist every item all at once? Like so you don't have to unblacklist every single modded ammo type there is.
TheAdmiral23 Nov 16 @ 1:27pm 
It gives me an error saying the item is blacklisted by the server. Any ideas?
TheAdmiral23 Nov 16 @ 1:25pm 
Captain X (PhoenixX) Is there a possible way to unblacklist a modded item can you walk me through how to do it?
somdudewilson Oct 25 @ 10:39am 
I wish there was a way to blacklist multiple items at a time - I only want my station to trade uranium and ice, so imma have to manually blacklist everything else one at a time. :(
Ben Swolo Oct 21 @ 6:07am 
I'm amazed and i love it and i can't wait for more, I was engrossed just reading this, i havent even tried the script/mod yet aaah!
Captain X (PhoenixX)  [author] Oct 17 @ 7:29pm 
Player trade zones can restrict maximum stock of a given item. Generally the usual process to restrict sale on NPC stations is to set unfair prices.

Example, your ore refining facility could buy ingots for a really low price like 0.001 a price no sane person would sell for, but could sell players ingots at a good price like 5 credits each, compared to another station that sells them at say 10 each. Likewise it might buy particular ores at a slightly more generous price than the other stations, but sell ore at a really high price (eg - if they ARE refining ore, then the buyer would really need to make a large offer price to buy it back again)

Just keep in mind that the trade system is a "warehouse" system. It stores items for sale away from the station itself, it doesnt feed them into a refinery or anything. So you would need to run NPC zones with unlimited stock or periodically refill the ingots as the refining station.
RedRobin Oct 17 @ 2:04pm 
Thank you for this awesome guide and system!
Is possible to consider few ideas? Is possible to have LCD's that shows prices for certain trade zones? Like set name of LCD to [ECONOMY_tradeZoneName]?
Is possible to have an option to set certain trade zones to buy/sell only? (eg. Ore refining facility buys ore and sells ingots) Thanks!