Gameplay Questions

How do I play FreeSpace online?
Are there any rules for playing online I should know about?
Where can I get multiplayer missions from?
Where are the multiplayer websites?
How can I make my joystick's throttle work?
How can I take screenshots?
How do I get the aces?
How do I get promoted?
How can I check how much further away my next promotion is?
I can't get through the last mission alive. The S******** keeps killing me!
I'm on a different mission. Help me!
I can't get a certain medal. My chest feels empty without it
When are you given weapon x/ship x/when does movie x play?

How do I play FreeSpace online?

Back when FS1 was released you had two methods to play online. You could play an IP game or you could play using Volition's PXO system. The main drawback of playing via IP was that unless you were playing a networked game with people on the same network as you you had to find out the IP addresses of the hosts PC and enter it before you could even see their game. That meant you could only play with people who already knew you. PXO on the other hand gave you a way to simply host a game and have it announced to everyone else on PXO.
Unfortunately as PXO aged it became more and more hassle to keep running and eventually it was taken down by Volition after it became too much effort. As a result you can only play FS1 & FS2 Retail via IP games.

However the SCP had the source code for the game well before PXO went down and FS2_Open lacked multiplayer because the PXO code had been removed to stop people using it to cheat. This meant that a replacement for PXO already existed in FS2_Open before PXO went down. This replacement (called FS2NetD) was then added to the original FS2 source code to create a retail-like version of FS2 which could play on FS2NetD but lacked all the other features of FS2_Open. This version is known as Tom's Old Build.

The source code for PXO was eventually turned over to the SCP and now work is underway to get this working again as it will work with FS1 and retail copies of FS2 as well as FS2_Open.

Till PXO is running again you'll have to use FS2_Open or Tom's Old Build to get online as retail won't work. A guide on how to get online with Tom's old build can be found on Game Warden. The majority of it is also applicable to FS2_Open so it's worth reading at least.
Other people like the eye candy that FS2_Open gives them. In addition when multiplayer missions come out using the new features of FS2_Open the old build won't be able to play them. If you want to play using a newer build the SCP Website has a guide on what to do.

I don't want to use FS2NetD / I want to play on a LAN

All versions of FreeSpace support IP play. To play an IP game follow these simple steps.
  1. First thing you'll need is the IP address of all the computers that will be playing.
    1. On win9x. Start>Run>Type WinIpcfg into the box and press okay. Note down the IP address.
    2. On Win2k\XP Start>Run>Type cmd to open a command prompt. Type IPconfig.
  2. Once you have your IP address run FreeSpace. Press F2 once you've chosen your pilot to get into the options screen then click on multi to configure your multiplayer options.
  3. Turn off the light by PXO. Make sure TCP is selected instead of IPX.
  4. Choose ADD in the IP Address field. Type in the IP Address of the other machine(s). (There is no need to add the address of your own machine).
  5. Click accept. Go play multiplayer

Are there any rules for playing online I should know about?

The SCP Website has a pretty in depth guide on some of the terms used in multiplayer as well as a few words on how to set up your copy of FS2 correctly so that you don't get complained at for slowing the game down.

Where can I get multiplayer missions from?

FreeSpace includes several multiplayer missions. There are more available for download from Game Warden or from FRED Zone When you play online FreeSpace will automatically download the level that everyone is playing for you but it is far less annoying for other players if you get the missions ahead of time.

Where are the multiplayer websites?

Game-Warden runs a multiplayer forum which can be found here. The GW site is mainly used by people who mainly play single player and dabble in multiplayer occasionally (Like myself). The true hardcore players can be found at their clan's sites. The list isn't definitive by a long way so if anyone feels they've been missed out PM me on HLP or something and I'll add you.

SSX
Darkwing
Freespace.pl (A polish fansite although they do have an English language area)

Teamwars also has a list of other active sites and apparently acts as a hub for the various multiplayer groups. Their website can be found here

How can I make my joystick's throttle work?

FreeSpace 2 has two different throttle options. Absolute throttle allows you to move the throttle between stop and maximum speed. Relative throttle is used for devices that don't have a minimum and maximum setting like a mouse wheel where you can spin down to slow down and up to speed up (it can't be used with an actual mouse wheel just joystick devices that have something similar). Activating the throttle is reasonably simple but by default the throttle option isn't activated. To activate it do the following.
  1. Press F2 to bring up the options menu
  2. Click on Control Config
  3. Select Ship
  4. Select either absolute or relative throttle axis
  5. Click Bind
  6. Move your throttle

How can I take screenshots?

Press PrintScreen. The game will take a screenshot and save it in your FreeSpace folder. (Some OpenGL builds of FS2_Open save the file elsewhere but if you hunt around you should find it).

How do I get the aces?

The aces are awarded purely on kills.
60 kills for ace
150 kills for double ace
350 kills for triple ace
The figures are slightly different for FS1 and FS2.

How do I get promoted?

It's all work, work, work. The more enemies you kill the more points you earn. Some user made campaigns also award points for completing mission objectives. You get more points if you play the campaign on a higher difficulty.

How can I check how much further away my next promotion is?

Not from within FreeSpace. However there are tools that allow you to look. Download pilot manager from Descent Network You may have to download the DLL pack to get it to work though.
NB : Pilot Manager will not work with modern FS2_Open singleplayer pilots. It probably will work with single and multiplayer pilots using Tom's Old Build though.

I can't get through the last mission alive. The S******** keeps killing me!

You can complete the last mission. Think hard and you'll realise there is a way to survive. If you still can't figure it out look below.

I'm on a different mission and I'm stuck. Help me!

Okay. The best walkthrough I've found so far is on this page Tim Wuyts' FreeSpace 2 Walkthrough If for some reason the link won't work click here for the text version.

I can't get a certain medal. My chest feels empty without it

Stealth's page has pictures of all the medals and the missions they can be earned on but unfortunately Stealth has told me he couldn't get hold of the information on how to get the FS1 Medals. At least you can find out which mission you need to play by looking here for FS1 medals. FS2 medals can be found here with full information on how to get them.
Remember that in FS1 medals are awarded depending on the mission outcome AND the level of difficulty you are playing on. In FS2 it depends solely on the mission outcome (which means you may be able to get the medal by lowering the difficulty).
If on the other hand you know that there is a medal on a certain level and still can't get it you may need to know what is preventing you from getting it. I'll put up a guide to the FS1 medals as soon as I find a good one.

When are you given weapon x/ship x/when does movie x play?

I figured those questions were best answered in a table. Here's a listing of all the missions by name and filename along with the weapons and ships granted in that mission (remember that a weapon granted in one mission will only become available in the following mission!).

 FilenameMission NameShips AddedWeapons Added
1SM1-01.fs2Surrender, Belisarius!
2SM1-02.fs2The Place of Chariots
3SM1-03.fs2The Romans BlunderHerc MK IIPrometheus R, Hornet, Harpoon
4SM1-04.fs2A Lion at the Door
5SM1-05.fs2Mystery of the Trinity
mono1.mveBosche's Monologue 1
6SM1-06.fs2The Great HuntBoanergesCyclops#short
7SM1-07.fs2Slaying RavanaPerseusStiletto II
8SM1-08.fs2The Sixth Wonder
colossus.mveColossus
9SM1-09.fs2Into the Maelstrom
10SM1-10.fs2Feint! Parry! Riposte!Morning Star, EMP Adv.
loop1-1.fs2Rebels & Renegades
loop1-2.fs2Love the Treason...
loop1-3.fs2...But Hate the TraitorArtemis D.H.
11SM2-01.fs2Battle of the WildernessTAG-A
12SM2-02.fs2A Game of TAGPegasus
13SM2-03.fs2Proving GroundsArtemisPrometheus S, **Cyclops
mono2.mveBosche's Monologue 2
14SM2-04.fs2The King's GambitPiranha
15SM2-05.fs2The Sicilian DefenceTornado
16SM2-06.fs2EndgameTauret, SerapisMekhu HL-7, Maxim, Lamprey
17SM2-07.fs2The Fog of WarPtah
mono3.mveBosche's Monologue 3
18SM2-08.fs2A Monster in the MistTAG-B
19SM2-09.fs2Speaking in Tongues
20SM2-10.fs2A Flaming Sword*BakhaTrebuchet, Helios
21SM3-01.fs2Bearbaiting
22SM3-02.fs2High NoonCirce
mono4.mveBosche's Monologue 4
23SM3-03.fs2Return to Babel
24SM3-04.fs2Straight, No ChaserUD-8 Kayser
25SM3-05.fs2ArgonauticaErinyesInfyrno
loop2-1.fs2As Lightning Fall*Mara (Terran)
loop2-2.fs2Into the Lion's DenAres
26SM3-06.fs2Exodus
27SM3-07.fs2Dunkerque
28SM3-08.fs2Their Finest Hour
29SM3-09.fs2Clash of the Titans II
bastion.mveBastion's Final Mission
30SM3-10.fs2Apocalypse

* This ship is never granted to the player and only appears in one-off missions. I've marked where the player would have been granted the right to use it (i.e just before the first time the player flies it).
** The Cyclops never has a distinct grant. It appears as though the Cyclops#Short grant gives the player access to both weapons. The real Cyclops is first given to the player in Kings Gambit. Before that all Cyclops missiles the player used where actually Cyclops#Shorts.
*** The GVB Sekhmet is never actually given to the player at all. You never get the chance to fly this ship in FS2's main campaign at all (even though several people including myself would have sworn blind we flew it at some point).

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