This content requires the base game X3: Terran Conflict on Steam in order to play.

User reviews:
Very Positive (868 reviews) - 92% of the 868 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Dec 15, 2011

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This content requires the base game X3: Terran Conflict on Steam in order to play.

Buy X3 Albion Prelude

Packages that include this game

Buy X3 Terran War Pack

Includes 2 items: X3: Albion Prelude, X3: Terran Conflict

Buy X3: GoldBox

Includes 3 items: X3: Albion Prelude, X3: Reunion, X3: Terran Conflict

Buy X-SuperBox

Includes 6 items: X3: Albion Prelude, X3: Terran Conflict, X3: Reunion, X2: The Threat, X: Tension, X: Beyond the Frontier

Buy Egosoft Collection

Includes 9 items: X Rebirth, X Rebirth: Home of Light, X Rebirth: The Teladi Outpost, X2: The Threat, X3: Albion Prelude, X3: Reunion, X3: Terran Conflict, X: Beyond the Frontier, X: Tension


Recent updates View all (4)

July 6

X3: Albion Prelude Update 3.1a Released

This is a small technical update for Windows only and does not contain any new gameplay features.

• Fixed selection of wrong graphics card on systems (particularly laptops) that have dual graphics.
• Fixed issue with menu performance on systems with particular AMD graphics hardware and driver combinations.

55 comments Read more

About This Content

X3: Albion Prelude is the latest game in the X3 space game series. TRADE, FIGHT, BUILD, THINK in a living and breathing universe. A new plot and many additions to the open free-form gameplay.

A Bridge Between the Old and New X Universe

X3: Albion Prelude plays in a time between the old and the new X Universe. It shows a universe in flux, and prepares players for things to come. The old X Universe is passing; a new X Universe is about to be created.


The X universe is undergoing a period of massive change. What started as a conflict of interest between the Earth and the races of the X Universe has now escalated into a full scale war. Play a part in a war scenario bigger than anything the X Universe has ever seen before!

Corporations Compete for Control of the Future

With the war as a backdrop, corporations old and new are vying for power and are driving the X Universe in a new direction. A technological breakthrough will soon allow massive accelerators, forming highways in space and allowing the economy to expand on an unprecedented scale. Highways, a key feature of X: Rebirth, are not yet ready, but you can see them being built and participate in the power struggles around the construction of much larger self sustaining economies.

Key features:

  • A new plot throws you into the power struggle between corporations at a time of war.
  • New Stock Exchange feature allows advanced investment strategies
  • Improved graphics quality setting for high end machines
  • Improved UI introducing charts to visualize economic developments
  • Support for head tracking
  • Note: X3: Albion Prelude will not be compatible with save-games from X3: Terran Conflict.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows 10 / 8 / 7 / Vista SP1 / XP SP2
    • Processor: Pentium® IV or AMD® equivalent at 2.0 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB 3D DirectX 9 Compatible video card (not onboard) with Pixel Shader 1.1 support
    • Hard Drive: 10GB of free space
    • Sound: Soundcard (Surround Sound support recommended)
    • OS: Windows 10 / 8 / 7 / Vista SP1
    • Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo or AMD® equivalent at 2.0 GHz
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB 3D DirectX 9 Compatible video card (not onboard) with Pixel Shader 3.0 support
    • Hard Drive: 10GB of free space
    • Sound: Soundcard (Surround Sound support recommended)
    • OS: 10.7 (Lion)
    • Processor: Pentium® IV or AMD® equivalent at 2.0 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256MB OpenGL 2.0+ discrete NVIDIA/AMD card or Intel Core i7-2620M
    • Hard Drive: 10GB of free space
    • OS: 10.8 (Mountain Lion)
    • Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo or AMD® equivalent at 2.0 GHz
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512MB OpenGL 3.0+ discrete NVIDIA/AMD card
    • Hard Drive: 10GB of free space
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
    • Processor: Pentium® IV or AMD® equivalent at 2.0 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256MB OpenGL 2.0+ discrete NVIDIA/AMD card (with proprietary driver) or Intel Core i7-2620M with Mesa 9.0
    • Hard Drive: 10GB of free space
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
    • Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo or AMD® equivalent at 2.0 GHz
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512MB OpenGL 3.0+ discrete NVIDIA/AMD card (with proprietary driver)
    • Hard Drive: 10GB of free space
Customer reviews
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Very Positive (868 reviews)
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
118 of 122 people (97%) found this review helpful
19 people found this review funny
115.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 6, 2014
If you live a life where you already don't have any friends, have no hope of ever having a girlfriend, and have given up on the idea of healthy productivity in favor of being a waste of talent then I would say this is the game for you. Otherwise you best steer clear for fear of tripping and falling down a rabbit hole from whence your real life will never return. Im only slightly joking.

There are two games I have ever played that I truly love on one hand and truly regret on the other. The first is Dark Souls, which drained away my entire year of 2011. The second, is this game and its predecessor, Terran Conflict. I have played X3 for probably 1000 hours and it was a major contributing factor to my college GPA dropping seriously about 3 full tenths of a point and leading to a few failed classes that I had to stay an extra semester to retake. There were other factors too dont get me wrong, but seriously if you don't have a healthy lifestyle to fall back on and you are a sucker for space sim type games this game might hook you and never let go until one day you stumble out of your apartment, blinded by the sun, realizing you havent shaved in 8 months and have lost 30 pounds and arent sure what year it is or what happened to your life or any of the people you used to know. It is simultaneously the best and most dangerous thing you can buy for twenty dollars. Whats sadder still is my hard drive failed and so I literally have nothing to show for at least 800 hours of my life. Holy Sh!t.

I tell you all this because theres no way to sum up what you can actually do in the game in any reasonable amount of words, but heres a few useful bits I have divided rather arbitrarily into 3 good points and 3 not as good points.

Good stuff:

1: Think of EVE Online, except its a single-player sandbox with about 200+ beautiful sectors populated by about 8 races, each with their own ships, technologies, stations, food supply chains, goods, etc.

2: You also can actually fly your ship (theres hundreds to choose from, some you'll have to capture but seriously you'll find something you love) itself with wasd or a joystick and dogfight unlike in EVE.

3: You can basically do whatever you want from escorting passengers or assassinating criminals to mining manually or by setting up individual stations, fill holes in the economy to help AI fractions or build self-sustaining war fleets or illegal drug empires and supply chains that exist only in a single sector or stretch across the universe via automated trade fleets operating out of closed-loop complexes. You can of course be a pirate too, ejecting marines out of you cargo hold and watch them jet-pack onto a ship and cut their way through the hull and kill everything inside while you delicately keep the ships shields down on the outside (otherwise your poor meat-puppets will fry and you'll be ♥♥♥♥♥♥ cause training them is time sucking and expensive). You can command huge fleets by piloting one ship, waiting till its on its last leg, ejecting into space, and teleporting into the cockpit of another one within 15km of you and keep hopping around as needed, some engagements can go on for a few hours if you want them too. Heck you can even be a bloody day trader using the stock market.

The less good parts (and things to take note of to help you).

4: The interface takes some getting used to as its not all that intuitive but theres so many options and key bindings that I can see why making one would be hard. You also need to remember that software upgrades and racial notoriety are the keys usually to success in the game. You also need to pay attention to what areas need what goods and set up satellite networks to watch prices and supplies.

5: The vanilla universe can be a bit dry though because the AI factions and even the pirates arent always aggressive enough towards you or each other. The economy can also kind of sputter out in certain areas if you don't help it out. That said, I highly recommend you go to the Egosoft forumsd an download either the X-Tended Mod or the XRM mod as that will solve this problem. You wont be able to get achievements but who cares about that anyway? It also might disable the plot but the plot missions are soo long and absurd for such little story in return that most players dont bother and just create thier own roleplay story as the play in the sandbox.

6: I find managing large fleets to be difficult as there just arent enough options available for commanding large groups of them in meaningful ways. The combination of SETA and autopilot can make things either crash into staions occasionally or make AI ships circle each other forever without ever being able to accurately hit each other. Little bugs here and there like jumping through a gate in a large ship and accidentally ramming into a smaller ship on the other side and killing it, so the po-po comes after you. Large trade fleets are tough to cause you rely so much on remote piloting by software commands and it becomes tough to keep track of them all and rememebring what routes you have going where, what sectors to avoid because of the Xenon and whatnot. Again scripts and mods can fix a lot of this stuff though and I HIGHLY recommend modding the game as any issue you have with it or any added feature you would want someone has though of on Egosoft forums and has made a script for it. The community is really helpful and dedicated, though it has shrunk some because of the unforgivable mess known as X;Rebirth I should also mention theres a few exploits in the game too like nVidium mining and stock market abuse.

I hope you find this review to be of some use to you. Be aware of what happened to me and tread carefully. Its a great game for those with patience, intellect, and no hope of success in the real world. It is probably a grave risk for anyone else. If you do take the plunge on an X game though, this is the one to get.
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92 of 99 people (93%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
419.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 27, 2014
The metacritic review score, in this case, I would personally say is innaccurate. This game is immense, with a small price tag for the hours you can get out of it.

If I had to describe the game to someone, I would call it a singleplayer EVE online. But not only that, its a game where at the beginning you can scratch out a living as a trader in a universe with a living economy, or you can take part in skirmishes to fight your way to the top. Thing that I love about this game is the fact that say a pilot bails from a target ship, or you purchase a new ship. You can actually issue orders via a command console to any of your ships, including your current ship. Now of course you can fly them all yourself as well and take part in dog fights, launch boarding parties at vessels, or even later in the game take part in capital vs. capital ship battles. You could start a trading empire and purchase software for trade ships under your command where they act autonomously, seeking deals across the galaxy in your name. My point here is, the ability to loadout ships and amass fleets essentially means that if you choose so, you can turn the game into an RTS. The game can be as hands on as you make it, basically.

Not to mention, you can purchase and construct space stations and factories yourself, impacting the economy. Prices rise and fall across sectors, a stock market exists impacted by station construction or destruction, and various races have different products. You have reputation with these factions as well, and there are randomly generated missions that appear constantly at stations during play. You can pick sides in a large scale conflict between two of the factions, or go after a specific race yourself in a bid to become a pirate lord.

As I mentioned above, the game has immense potential for fun here. Being a sandbox game however, I will say the storyline missions for this game are poor. Sometimes bugs occur, your auto pilot can run you into things, etc. However, the flaws i've seen are vastly outshined by the positives, IMO. The graphics arent extremely good, as can be expected from a title getting a few years older now. No performance problems to mention except for occasional slow down during large battles, particle effect apocalypses, and certain nebulous sectors. The game IS also running calculations for an immense number of things in the background though!

One other large thing to mention is there was quite a large modding community for this game. I personally run the X Rebalance Mod, and it has made my game much better, fixing and filling out features. Recommend it as well, though there are plenty of other mods out there worth checking out too. I will say modding here is not quite as easy as say, skyrim, using the workshop to place the new files automatically.

+ Combat is thoroughly enjoyable, dogfights with fighter class ships a favorite, ducking in and out of capital ship fire
+ Diversity in styles and types of ships, i enjoy diversifying my fleet
+ Nonviolent methods to amass wealth and power as well, using trade to satisfy requirements for sectors
+ Large number of mods out there
+ RTS style commands for your ships

~ Graphics are looking dated
~ Sandbox haters, steer cleer!

- Bugs are occasional, but often when it rains it pours: autopilot & asteroids dont mix!
- Collisions: Your ships can seem magnetized. you will become frustrated, trust me. Theres a mod for that though!
- Poor plot missions
- Randomly generated missions can become repetitive
- Difficult learning curve -- There are tutorials and guides!

Plenty of people steer towards a certain type of 'space sandbox' but I for one have found my favorite game in the genre. No telling how many hours I'll end up with.

DISCLAIMER: Haven't played X3:Terran Conflict, or any other X3 game, ONLY X3: Albion Prelude! I've heard X Rebirth was shoddy, don't buy that thinking "its the next game, must be better!"
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64 of 68 people (94%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
2,366.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 22, 2015
Ask your self this , what do you want to do today.

Cammand a large trade empire with fleets of freighters at your disposal , Sit in your cozy little ship and play the stocks n shares , Plunder the shipping lanes and have every merchant fear your name , Own a vast manufacturing empire and countless factories , Take the skick of a starfighter and fly by the seat of your pants as you turn n burn around large capitol ships avoiding missile and battery fire , Train and elite squad to capure and board enemy ships for glory and profit ,Command your own epic fleets lay waist your enemies , Explore the universe flying a vast array of different ships or all the forementioned.

In this game you can do all the above .
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46 of 47 people (98%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
182.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 11, 2015
The paramount of the original X series, and the richest of all the space simulation / sandbox games I've ever come across. After spending 170 hours on this game and just finishing all of the plots it has to offer, I consider it convenient to write an accordingly comprehensive review of this masterpiece.

I would like start with noting that I've been playing the X series for several years, starting with X2 The Threat and spending the most time on X3 Terran Conflict, which makes me consider the 170 hours of story gameplay quite a generous ammount of time a sandbox game has to offer, needless to say that I already knew all the controls from the previous games. But this game is not about to be ended by finishing the story, since it's a sandbox with a vast modding community, allowing to add even more amazing experience to it. Within those 170 hours I've only merely scratched the surface of what it has to offer, and didn't even find enough time for some complex constructing, as I did in TC.

Albion Prelude is a great improvement over Terran Conflict, most notably the UI and hull overhaul, which means a much better use of wide screens and longer capital ship combat. All the tiny features which were simply missing from TC are now added and some of the flaws fixed (within the engine's capabilities), Xenon Hub no longer takes months to complete, and boarding is slightly less frustrating thanks to the heavier missiles having an actual hull value, so they won't explode after a first hit with practically anything. Some new ship classes were added aswell, including the military freighter, light carrier (drone frigate), and the heavy destroyers. That being said, I see no point in continuing Terran Conflict anymore, as Albion Prelude completely takes over it - just forget about the other X3 games if you only wish to get the most polished-out gameplay, not caring for the lore or story at all!
The war which takes place throughout the game seems fun from the start, as the mighty Terran fleet clash with Argons over several sectors, but I don't find it very interesting due to the rapid response fleet and it's random behaviour, with enemy ships spawning out of thin space near your vessels, even in a friendly sector.
A slight spoiler regarding the war and how to deal with it once and for all:
it can be ended during the Shady Business plot, after choosing the option to turn against the pirates instead of capping/destroying the Ozias.

The game is already content-rich enough that it needs no modding at all - at least not for the story and achievement getting period. Some of the ages-lasting downsides of X also carry over, since it's still the same old engine being desperately improved upon, including the clunky autopilot and not-the-most reliable AI pilots. A simple solution to that is to not use autopilot within Terran sectors (or not use it at all- manual flight with SETA is almost always the fastest option), and to not use AI wingmen way too often. It is usually possible to deal with anyone on your own, without the need for vast fleets.

As for the modding part, I suggest the cockpit mod as it brings a lot of immersion into the game, and for dealing with the clunky AI constantly crashing into stations, there's the Bounce mod. I heard that the XRM is not the best option because of the annoying beam weapon spam and other things, but you can still get some of it's components, such as the X-Tra Ship/Station pack or the Combat Mod

If you're new to the X games then you should know that this game gives you the power to experience a living universe with dynamic economy that is developing real-time: hundreds of ships endlessly traveling throughout the universe and stations that are being randomly built and destroyed, varying in each game based on how the economy decides to develop. Albion Prelude now offers over 200 sectors to visit and over 350 ships to fly with, has a beautiful calming soundtrack accompanied by exquisite starry sector backgrounds, is virtually crashless (unless you screw up with mods, audio codecs, or some other technical stuff), has a highly responsive UI, completely controllable by keyboard which is great for macros (you would be surprised but it's really useful as it can make accessing some deeply burried menus lightning fast), and the game has an enormous replayability potential, both vanilla and modded. I think it's really fine-coded and thus enjoyable, unless you're trying to run it on a calculator.

Things to take in mind before getting into the X Universe
The X series have always been quite difficult to grasp for newcomers and it's crucial that you arm yourself with a lot of patience for the first few days. You are going to die many times and probably get overwhelmed by the scale of the world aswell. It lacks a decent in-game tutorial and it won't guide you everywhere, so you do your best by looking up some beginner tutorials online before giving up entirely. For X3AP, the Argon Peacekeeper gamestart has the main plot of the game, but based on my experience I would rather suggest that you pick something a bit more peaceful first, such as the Humble Merchant. Master the controls and understand how trading works before engaging on something more serious, and you will relieve yourself of most of the trouble.

The newest game of the series, X Rebirth, is showing a promising return to the forgotten roots of the old gameplay which took an unrepairable and undesired detour after X2, and the next X game will hopefully deliver us the features and content that most players still staying with X3 have been yearning for. But the original X series will always remain it's honorable place in my space sim heart.
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47 of 53 people (89%) found this review helpful
19 people found this review funny
141.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 29, 2015
One of the greatest games ever made!

The game is a mess, incredibly confusing even after hundreds of hours of gameplay (try to stay 1 month without playing it and I assure you you will forget how to do some stuffs), sometimes boring as hell... and yet, you keep playing it, year after year, expansion after expansion... you keep building your empire somewhere in the galaxy, you keep trading, fighting, exploring... and then you stop playing it, you leave it for months, perhaps a year, and someday you play it again, you try another start, and than you are upset again with all the mess, with the odd menus, with the bizarre steps to do simple things, you try to stop playing... and then... you keep playing it, you keep dreaming about new ships, new factories, new objectives... and when finally you turn it off, you can still listen to the girl's machinal voice when you enter a new sector : "Bala Gi Joy", "Menelaus Frontier"...

This is the worst best game of all time ever! Why we love it? Can't say, it's a **** paradox, but we really love it!
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38 of 39 people (97%) found this review helpful
265.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 4, 2014
Buy ONLY if you have the patience to learn to play an absolutely astonishing game in detail, I did for 178 hours and I would play another 100 if I had time.

I will list all the positive and negative sides that I can think of;


* Open World
Open Space in fact, because it is reaaaaally large

* Very limited Restrictions
Almost none frankly

* Multiple Approaches to gameplay
Be a grand industrialist, Trader, Pirate, Pilot in Military, Monopoly or go mad and be a terrorist in terran space!... or ALL OF THEM

* Constant progress
Thats right, there are plenty of things to do and improve, you won't have so much time to finish all the projects you had in your mind

* Interactive World
Some games offer just open world, here, you can literally affect the way things work... With consequences.

* Virtual Economy
You can affect or be effected by wide and witty created economy system, dont expect a huge touch in this, but know that it will certainly spice up the gameplay

*Variety in Ships/Stations
The spaceships you can use, destroy, board, capture or disable are plently. Different classes (Scout, Fighter, Heavy Fighter, Destroyer, Carrier, Transport, Cruiser, Capital Ship, Boarding Ship, Missile Boat, Lasertower and many more)
Each Race owns different stations with different properties which require different materials, goods and also provide different resources or weaponry parts etc.

* Quests, Tasks, Missions
Besides the main story, there is a VERY large range of things to do in the game.. Buy the asteroid data or sector maps, build stations for others, follow ships to their secret meetings, escort or raid ships etc. You will find many things to keep yourself busy if desired.

* Immersive Design and Fluentness
It may sound weird, but you know there are some games that you want to play awhile but ending up playing hours of it and not even know how the time passed... Yeah, its that because there is always a great transition between the things you did, can do and will do in the game that you wont find a proper time to say : Ok Im done with it for today

* Harsh environment
You can deny if you want but we all know that is always better to succeed a hard task than a simple one... Sometimes, your mistakes or miscalculations in industry will cost you severely. Good thing is, there is always a way to bounce off the bottom rise again, it pushes you to think while playing too.

* Quality Soundtracks
That is actually my opinion, but usually every sector you fly to will put you in the mood of that zone... Except combat, combat music is a bit.. meh... But again, that is just my opinion

* Mod Support
Does this Need explanation? Very large texture or gameplay mods to improve gaming experience... DUH!..


* Insufficient Tutorial
Well the game does have a tutorial system, but just enough to say "yes it does have it" it only teaches you the basics and the most fun parts (advanced systems, complex installations, running economy, ship design and weaponry etc.) are either learned from the internet or experience... It was both in my case. So be patient if you really want to taste the game's true potential and trust me, its not Quantum Physics, you can get the hang of it in no time.

* Needs more User-Friendly Prompts, Commands and Interface
What I mean is, this game is very deep and large in scale and detail that even though game offers very advanced and complex ways to fulfil your tasks or goals you still need various interactive ways to make things more accurate or better. It falls victim to its own depth in gameplay. (There are plenty of mods to improve this, you can still be satisfied with the current system if you aren't a fan of mods and prefer vanilla experience, so no worries)

* Minor AI problems
As I said, they are minor... Sometimes (Rarely) a huge transport ship you hired from Paranid Empire can not fly to the jump gate because of small asteroids or similiar objects and detours indefinitely. This has very simple solutions with no fix or mod requirement (like flying out of sector and waiting for it to come) and similar little problems like these. In case it is needed, mods to fix these issues can be found throughout the web.

* Needs More
Yes, yes I know I said this game has plenty to offer but you would understand if you played. They make the game so large that you will start asking for more even though it has serious amount of features in it already... Frankly, they released a patch (which is in expansion pack size) with a whole bunch of new things and 2 major storylines and more sectors with races and such... The developers provide, respect.


I would give this a clear 8.5 / 10
Mainly because it gave such an experience that I bothered to write a review about it!... Oh yeah, its my first review. Hurray.
Also, I have played EVE Online for 4 years so if you already know that game, you will be familiar with the concept of this game. I also recommend X3 Terran Conflict & Albion Prelude to those who own the latest X title (X Rebirth) because you will witness completely different experience nevertheless!
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51 of 60 people (85%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
1,872.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 11, 2014
This game has claimed many an hour from me, and rightfully so. It brings to the table a world that you interact WITH not in, and does so in ways that has meaningfull impact to both the world, and yourself. You have to be patient, like most things in life, it takes time... it's not easy, but it it is rewarding. There is no instant gratification here, but if you want to test yourself, if your tired of the simple shooter and want to emerse yourself in a world that will test you.... you will enjoy this game.
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38 of 41 people (93%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
55.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 9, 2014
It's a great game--but not for newcomers to the series.

For those unfamilliar with the series, There have been three main editioons of X3: Reunion, Terran Conflict, and Albion Prelude. Reunion and Terran conflict surround a core story of the game, with TC (in terms of gameplay) being an improvement on Reunion in virtually every way. This game (AP) is the most polished installment of X3; but it has little in the way of plot, vs the other games. It has little in the way of ttorial and everything else. Which means, any user is basically going to find themselves completely at a loss for what they should be doing. I only mention this by way of saying, if you haven't played any of the X games, start with X3: Terran Conflict. It is much more acessible (though this game's learning curve is almost vertical) than AP. Once you feel comfortable with the game, and have a sense of the Universe you're in, then you may want to give this a shot.

AP improves in several ways on TC, with improved AI, improved long-distance (OOS) combat results, and better balance for ship strengths (hull plating is no longer made of paper mache). So for veterans of the series, this ogame is top. It lacks virtually any story, really...but that was never the most interesting part of these games anyway, was it?
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33 of 34 people (97%) found this review helpful
895.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 19, 2015
Well, what's there to say about the game Steam lists as the single largest time-sink in my library?

It's good.

With any suspense now ruined, let's continue with the review. X3AP is a game that has a 12 year legacy behind it, itself nominally the expansion to X3:Reunion released in 2005. It's "Yet Another Elite Clone" (the 1984 grandaddy that defined the Space Sim we all know and love today), part of a series that had done at the time what no other Space Sim could: it faithfully expanded upon the core gameplay and scope of space sims.

Before Elite: Dangerous, the X series was considered the spiritual successor to Elite, and X3AP stands as the final product from years of refinement. X3AP is far from a perfect game; its quirky with flat race and character design, simple narrative and mission systems, and plays better as a sandbox "universe" than it does as the story-driven experience it toys with. The UI is functional but clunky and opaque without practice. Its learning curve is more of a mountain, however the game's designed to be picked up piecemeal without forcing all of the meta and control systems down your throat at start. It crashes, somewhat often, and many of the useful time-saving features (like in-space save) have to be earned. Music can be glitchy; I've had it improperly download the music files on clean installs before and have found out recently these files might be the cause of some of my crashes. Auto-pilot will end up killing you more often than missiles if you use it, and combat's fun but somewhat simplistic.

Sounds like a solid 6-7 "meh" of a game, right? Except that it isn't. At the time X3 came out, it was a visually stunning game that pushed the benchmarks of PCs and user expectations. Its dynamic world system created actual working trade where destroying a transport could affect the economy of a sector, either raising prices for the needed items or causing its weapons or munitions production to stop. GoD (The Global Decison Engine... I know, we call it GoD anyways) would remove factories that were no longer in use and add new ones as required creating a unique playthrough every time. It also creates military patrols for the different races in order to protect areas that come under attack and pirates to disrupt trade. There's even times when "war" happens, with two race militaries facing off in large skirmishes within sectors (this is different from AP's War Sectors, although it's pretty rare to see). And the universe is always running, even for the sectors you aren't in, the game calculates the lives of near a hundred sectors filled with ships and factories. Profit and death continues, regardless of what you do.

Add to this a vibrant world where there's no "tier" system of ships, and all races offer competitive fleets to choose from that follow unique fleet doctrine (eg, Split field fast and aggressive ships, Teladi defensive and slow) while also giving players a chance to OWN their own fleets and factories and command their own battleships. It's expansive, it's literally a game greater than the sum of its parts. And AP has only honed this by adding new features (namely the war zones, some ship upgrades, and the stock market), some re-balancing and overall improving the experience to make it a solid 2011 game. It's a game with few peers if any (I haven't played Eve).

If it sounds too complicated or in depth for you, I don't blame you. It can take more than 40 hours of playtime to hit "mid-game" of a playthrough. There's a great modding community which can expand on the game's playability endlessly. The game's script engine is readily accessible if you want to try adding in new features.

If you think you're up to the challenge, I highly recommend this game to you, if only until the release of the 2016 "next gen" Space sims.

If you're reading this and No Man's Sky, Star Citizen, and Limit Theory are already released? I'd recommend watching their LPs and getting those games first (assuming they're good). Afterwards, get this. X3AP is a milestone in the Space Sim genre. And it might still remain the best example of a first-person fleet-strategy-action-economy-simulation game we'll get for a long time. It's worth the money, at least until Egosoft releases its proper successor.
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37 of 44 people (84%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
50.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2013
This is the world's premier trading simulator. Don't let anybody trick you into thinking this is about spaceships or shooting ♥♥♥♥ with lasers. This game is all about middle management of trading convoys.

Have you ever dreamed of punching time acceleration in a game to 10x then letting it run overnight instead of actually playing it? Then THIS is the game you want. Grab it whenever it goes on sale, because no true merchant pays full price.
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Recently Posted
Balder Jarl
651.6 hrs
Posted: October 11
Very good game, has its downsides as all games do but they are easily forgiven. The best space sim game/series on the market.
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23.1 hrs
Posted: October 7
I first discovered the X3 universe when I purchased my Gold box edition in 2010; it included:Terran conflict 2.5 and Reunion 2.5, the Bala GI Missions. I have recently updated with the Steam version of TC and AP. I have played a lot of games of this genre, but none come close to the graphics and open world experience as this series. I still have not fully discovered all this game has to offer. I would love to see a steam workshop arise for this game.

GET THIS GAME! READ THE MANUEL! And stock up on some power drinks, because this game is more than a game - it is a virtual universe!
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21.7 hrs
Posted: September 21
I'm sure I can speak for a modest few when I say that I occasionally drift away from X after playing it hardcore for a hot minute.

It might be a few months naturally, or...

I'll read about some new space game coming out and start thinking to myself "Self," I'll say aloud because I have issues not related to the topic at hand, "aside from being such a casual, yet debonair gentleman of good taste, you know for a fact that you own one of the best space games of all Morris Day and the frickin' Time! Instead of reading about [insert whatever the hype is about], why don't you just double click the "X3AP.exe - Shortcut" icon on your desktop and stop triflin'? Gimp."

Then, I'll chuckle and think "You right. But don't call me gimp again or I'll gut you."

tl;dr Some people don't think the universe be like it is... but it do. Play X3, Albion Prelude today!
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Posted: September 8
What you see, is what you get.
Way better than One Man's Lie.

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329.6 hrs
Posted: September 1
Awesome game! deep!
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87.8 hrs
Posted: August 30
I'd explain this game to you, but it would take me literally hours. Do yourself a favor and pick up this game. X3 will take you hours and hours to wrap your head around, not because it is too complicated, but because you can do so much stuff. X3: Albion Prelude is perhaps one of the only game that I can honestly say is more in-depth and open that Skyrim.
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Slappy™ | Ain't Dead Yet
473.5 hrs
Posted: August 29
Well as it stands, i'm not a X game veteran yet but i know my things in the games of those i played so far.

This game of all of the X-series i seriously can't stretch enough of how good it is to waste hours into, i played X-rebirth for 600 hours atleast but albion prelude in my honest opinion is the gem of all of their games, atleast so far.

The game itself has lot of space to travel in, it has also a strong economy that you can start trading in to learn the basics and as well to get a good head start of playing the game in a safe and progressive way also the start of the game's economy is random generated from ''somewhat poor to really good'' The best start as a trader should always be a wish for a poor economy that you can benefit from, for combat as a starter it can get a bit overwhelming at the beginning, depends atleast on what kind of ship you were playing with and aganist otherwise its really fun just destroying enemies that thought you were an easy kill.

For any recommendation for this game i can only give you that i won't spoil too much but say its all worth it if you really want a space game that you can com home to and waste a day or your life into, it also contain the possibility to be replayed.

Honestly, this was my first ''serious recommendation'' of a game that i gave some time to write about, if you truely love space games that isn't a ''No Man's Sky'' Then i would give this game a go, if you're in doubt, wait for a steam sale to drop by, almost at every summer or christmas sale these games goes on for a good price but other than that? It's a solid game.

As i said, i won't spoil the game so it had to be short, also why are you even looking here?
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378.6 hrs
Posted: August 27
Kiddies play No Man's Sky.

Boys play Elite Dangerous.

Men play X3.
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74.4 hrs
Posted: August 27
With the Litcube mod this game is really good. On its own it is not so amazing. Litcube does away with that awful feeling you get with these games (the feeling of pointlessness).
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37.4 hrs
Posted: August 25
Well, ladies and gentlemen, I've given it my darndest. I played the game long enough to have three stations and a chip/computer complex. It took me 30 hours, and I still feel like I haven't even started.

This game is long. Like, get up and leave for half the day while the game is running and you will be a little bit closer to your goal long. I'm not joking. In fact, about half or more of my hours in the game I was gone. If you're focusing on building a trade empire, the best thing to do is hit the fast-forward button and run the game in the background for a few hours while you do something else. It's the only way to build up cash without any player input.

I'm not really not sure whether to give this game a thumbs up or a thumbs down. On one hand, I would not have gotten to this point without the ability to minimize the game and go do other things. On the other hand, I have enough infrastructure now to have my trade empire really start to take off. I could eventually build a massive fleet and do whatever I please.

Whatever Egosoft has done here, I think they have have succeeded. For that reason, I give the game a thumbs up.
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