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How to Start Playing Trade Wars 2002

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  • How to Start Playing Trade Wars 2002

    For a brief introduction to what Trade Wars 2002 is all about, read my Introduction to Tradewars 2002

    There are at least two ways to play Trade Wars.[list=1][*]the Java client at the War of the Worlds site.[*]a 3rd party client program[/list=1]

    for the purposes of this guide, I will assume that you have tried the Java client at War of the Worlds, briefly looked at the New Player Strategy Guide below, and decided that you are interested in playing the game regularly. If that's so, it's time to move to step 1.

    Connecting Using SWATH

    Step 1: Download & Install SWATH

    There are other 3rd party clients, notably ATTAC and the new Kokua client, but SWATH is arguably the most mature and easiest to use of the three.

    Start by going to the Swath homepage and downloading a free trial version of the SWATH program.

    Once you've downloaded it, run the installer and start the program. SWATH runs for 30 days free, after which you have to pay - or switch to another client.

    Step 2: Configure a new Connection

    Now that SWATH is up and running, it's time to start a new database and connection. SWATH keeps track of all the data from your tradewars game for you, and uses a database to do this, so you need to create a new game file for each game you join.

    Go to File->New

    Enter the following information:

    Game name: War of the Worlds Practice Game
    Port: 2002
    Sectors: 5000 (default)

    Later, if you want SWATH to enter your username and password automatically when you connect, you can fill out the optional section of this dialogue.

    For now, hit OK. Save the file to an appropriate folder.

    Step 3: Connecting for the First Time

    After setting up a new connection, SWATH has a fresh database all ready to go. It's time to connect with the galaxy...

    In your SWATH toolbar, you will see a plug, the button you must press to connect to the game:

    Click that button. You should get something like this:

    Enter a name to your liking, and hit enter. You will get a game menu:

    Enter the letter of the alphabet that corresponds to the practice / test game, and you will be greeted by the game's main menu:


    The name of the game is Trade Wars, and you can trade by porting at star ports to purchase goods, and taking them to a port that demands the same goods.

    You are safe from the "wars" part of the game as long as you have positive alignment, less than 1000 experience, and are in fedspace. This is called being "fedsafe".

    You can purchase ships and accessorize them at Stardock, which is in sector 10 in the Apolyton game. Stardock is the hub of the galaxy.

    If you want to corp with someone... ask burbel, I hear he's looking for help

    Recommended Further Reading:

    EIS Online Tradewars Help

    The Official Trade Wars 2002 Support Forums

    Trade Wars 2002 FAQ & Guide

    Trade Wars 2002 Tips, Tricks, and Cheats

    Feel free to post to this thread if you need additional help. I will be posting strategy and tactics guides to this thread, and if you have some good tips for new players, be sure to post them here
    Last edited by aeturneus; November 24, 2004, 21:49.
    "There are but two powers in the world, the sword and the mind. In the long run the sword is always beaten by the mind."
    - Napoleon Bonaparte

    Visit the Tradewars 2002 Forum

  • #2
    New Player Strategy Guide

    New Player Strategy Guide

    TW2002 2.0 New Player Info, by Stephen Whitis (revised by bdk)

    This is far from being the last word in TradeWars strategy. It is designed to help someone new to TW's (or v2.0) get off to a good start. Some of the info is accurate for other versions, some of the info isn't.

    What to do First: As soon as you join the game, you want to find SD (StarDock.) In many screens, its listed on the V-Screen (V at the main command prompt.) In others, you have to hunt for it. As soon as your find SD, you should get into a new ship. The Merchant Cruiser you started in isn't a very good ship, so you should sell it. I usually buy a Merchant Freighter the first day of a new game. You might want to drop off your fighters first, outside of fedspace, because their trade-in value is pretty low. Then you can pick them up in the new ship. After buying a ship, buy a long range scanner for it, even if its just a density scanner. Then buy as many holds as you can afford, saving about 1,500 credits to use as starting cash when you go trading. Priorities after that: Holo-scanner (includes a built in density scanner), 25-50 or so fighters (you don't need many yet) and etherprobes.

    How to make money: As a good aligned trader, your common money-maker is paired port trading. Equ/Org (Equipment/Organics) pairs are best. Two ports in adjacent sectors where you can sell Equ/buy Org at one, and sell Org/buy Equ at the other. Move back and forth, trading in each sector, till one of the ports runs dry. Then move to another pair. Later in the game, once you have a planet with a level four (L4) citadel, you can make a lot more money every day.

    How to stay safe: With good alignment and 0-999 experience, you can stay overnight in fedspace with almost no risk as long as "Ships per fedspace sector" allows it. (Check the V-screen.) Too many ships will get you towed when Extern runs (but you are protected until then.) Carrying too many fighters (50, I believe?) will also get you towed out during Extern. Next best after that is cloaking, and cloaking can be done anywhere (by any alignment.) Cloaks are not 100% safe: they can fail after 24 hours, they will cause an anomaly on a density scan, and while no one can attack you while you are cloaked, they can fill the sector with mines, offensive fighters, or navhazard.

    By being careful where you stay at night (cloaking in low traffic areas, or using fedspace) and density scanning before you move (to avoid mines and such) you can stay alive, rarely, if ever, getting blown up.

    Alignment: Good alignment is much easier to play, and has several advantages, such as the ISS (Imperial Star Ship) and the ability to Transwarp direct to fedspace. Evil requires more knowledge, and isn't recommend for new players. Regardless of which alignment you choose, you should eventually learn the basics of both, just so you'll know how players of the opposite alignment will be doing things.

    How to spend your Turns: 95% of your turns (maybe more) need to be spent making money. Thats how you finance the other 5%, when you are invading planets and such. Your day-to-day ship should be chosen with money-making in mind. Good choices are the Merchant Freighter, Corp-Flagship, and the ISS. (Evils should look at the Colonial Transport, also.) Horde turns. Turns can be translated into money made, colonists transported, etc. Don't waste them.

    Etherprobes and Exploration: Etherprobes are very cost-efficient - you can do a lot of exploring for little money and few turns. Sending a few of them on long routes (with lots of unexplored sectors) will help you find trade-pairs to make money at. By the time you trade those down, you can afford more etherprobes. In the long run, you'll want to do most of your exploring with etherprobes, saving your turns to use making money.

    Scanning: When moving, always move & scan. Density scanning doesn't cost turns, but can keep you from running into mines, etc. When you have several sectors you can move to, and no particular destination (which happens early in the game), choose sectors with a density of 100. These are usually ports, so this increases your chance of finding trade pairs. (And you can make a little money while your looking.) Holo-scanning is very useful when there are several unexplored sectors next to you. You can explore them all, and it only costs you one turn.

    Planets: When you are ready to develop a planet, 25,000 credits for a genesis torpedo is a good investment: You can pick your own home sector: one which is easier to defend and harder to find. The freebie planet sometimes has some products and/or a couple of fighters when you get it. If so, take the fighters and product, then move on.

    Ferrengi: If the ferrengi ask you to surrender your holds, do it. If you have equ. or org. on board, they'll just take the product and leave you alone till you log out. If you have fuel, they'll take the fuel and some holds. If you fight them, or try to run, you'll get a ferrengi grudge. This is something to avoid, especially early in the game. You can kill ferrengi sector fighters without getting a grudge - but attack or run from their ships, and you'll get one. There is no good way to get rid of a grudge.

    Comissions: As a "good", you want to get an ISS as soon as possible. To do that, you need 500 alignment points. Then ask for a commission at the fedstation. The feds will bump your alignment to 1000, which means you are commissioned. (Even if you didn't ask, 1000 alignment is commissioned.) The best way to get the 500 alignment is to post rewards on evils in the fedstation. 1000 credits per 1 point of alignment gain. So you could move from 0 to 500 for 500k, then ask for a commission to reach 1000. With 1000 or higher alignment, you can buy an ISS.

    Unecessesary Expenses: Be careful not to log out of the game with a lot of credits on you. As a good, when you reenter the game, that will cause you to get taxed. It raises your alignment, but costs you the taxes. Alignment that way costs 1,500 per point, so bounties are cheaper. You can also raise it by attacking evil aliens, but that too is expensive and not recommended. Aliens are a distraction. Using your resources to attack them isn't worthwhile, even if you capture their ships.

    T-Warping: Once you have a commission and an ISS, you can Twarp (transwarp) direct to fedspace (sectors 1-10 and SD), or to any sector you've deployed a fighter. This can save a lot of turns. Twarp uses 3 fuel (from your holds) per sector distance. You can also blind Twarp, which is safe as long as the destination sector is completely empty. If it's not, you get a shiney new escape pod. To do it safely, send an eprobe, and immediately Twarp to a completely empty sector. I avoid sectors with aliens, feds, or ferrengi in the adjacent sectors shown by the eprobe, because right after you fire the probe (any time you pass a command prompt) they get an opportunity to move - you don't want them moving into your destination sector! Also, be warned that limpets don't show on eprobes, but will destroy you.

    Colonization: When you decide to build a planet (goods tend to do this fairly soon after getting the ISS) then find a dead end. I recommend a 1 or 2 deep dead end, at least 6-7 warps from sector 1. Deep dead ends are the first place good competition will look for your planet. Shallow ones take them a little longer. (There are more of them to check.) I recommend a sector with no port, so you don't have to worry about blocking a port report and someone coming to check it out. As soon as you build your planet, move several loads of fuel ore onto it. (Remember your Twarp drive when doing this. And thats what the fuel is for, too, as we go get colonists.) Calculate fuel needed to Twarp to sector 1, and back again. Starting with that much fuel on board, Twarp to 1, grab colonists, Twarp home (you did drop a fighter at home, didn't you?) and drop off the colonists. Then grab fuel from the planet and repeat. You generally want the colonists producing fuel at first. That provides fuel to go get more colonists, and on most planets it produces the maximum fighters per day.

    Citadels: Once you start building a planet, haul in as many colonists as you need to start citadel construction, then haul in any products needed. Don't wait 'till your colonists can produce enough organic/equipment - haul it in. You want your construction to take as little time as possible. The day it reaches L1, start it working on L2. Etc. Remember that fighters on a planet do *not* defend it (and are free for anyone who lands there) until the planet has a L2 citadel. Keep them on your ship, or use them as sector defense. (Sector defense isn't worth a lot, as a photon can bypass it, but its better than leaving them on a planet with a L1 citadel, or no citadel at all. And sector defense is better than leaving the planet undefended.)

    In the long run, the way to win a game is to have two or three very strongly defended planets, all with money in the citadel's collecting 2% interest a day, and at the same time not allowing your opponents to keep a planet with a citadel. It is very expensive to invade planets, and the stronger the planet is when you try to invade, the more expensive. So try to find and destroy their planets early - ideally, before they reach L2. Once a planet reaches L4, even when you find it, if you can't invade *that day*, they can Twarp it away, and you have to find it again. Always try to find and destroy their planets as early as possible. The V-screen, again, can help. It tells the # of planets, and % of citadels, so you can make reasonable guesses about what they are doing. The V-screen also shows total # of fighters & mines in the game and several other useful things - keep an eye on it.

    Most of the time, you should only develop 1 or 2 planets at a time, both in the same sector. Trying to keep and defend several planets can spread your defenses to thin, making your vulnerable. When you invade someone elses, you are usually best off to just blow it up. Always destroy or remove the colonists before using the atomic detonator - else you may get blown up with it.

    Evil Techniques: I think that covers most of the basics. Lets skim over a couple of more advanced things. Evils basic money-maker is called SST. (Sell, Steal, Transport.) It requires two ships (usually two CT's or a CT and a CF.) (Colonial Transport and Corporate Flagship.) Find two equipment buying ports in transporter range. Both ships full of equipment, one in each sector. In the first sector, sell the equipment, steal it back, then transport to the other ship. Do the same there, and transport back. You have to have -100 or lower alignment, and a lot of experience, for this to be effective, but it can be very profitable. Evils goal is to be using this effectively early in the game, and to keep the good-aligned traders from ever having a L4 citadel. SST will make more money than goods can make trading ports, so goods need at least one L4 in order to run PT (Planetary Trading).

    Citadel Transporters: Both evils and goods can take advantage of citadel transporters. You can build one in any citadel. They transport you and the ship you are in to another sector. A "good" can cut his 10 turn ISS colonists runs down to 7 turns using one, for instance. Evils could use two L4 or better planets, Twarp each to one of the sectors they would run SST in, and run a variant of SST, but instead of using two ships and ship transporters, use one ship and planet transporters. Goods can trade non-adjacent paired ports the same way, and save a number of turns to boot. That is very profitable. (Planetary Trading). You can do sort of the same thing with only one planet. At a xBS planet, for instance, you sell organics, buy equipment. Land. Leave the equ. on the planet, and pick up organics. Repeat until the port is empty. Then move to another port. If you run low on organics on the planet, start using a xSB port, selling the equipment you've been buying, and buying organics.

    Conclusion: Strategy & tactics are still developing for TW2002 2.0. It's new enough that we don't know all the tricks yet. And this is designed to give a rough outline, not all the details. This should get you off to a good start.
    Last edited by aeturneus; November 20, 2004, 22:55.
    "There are but two powers in the world, the sword and the mind. In the long run the sword is always beaten by the mind."
    - Napoleon Bonaparte

    Visit the Tradewars 2002 Forum


    • #3
      Zero-Turn Mapping

      Zero-turn Mapping (ZTM) is a way of mapping the universe without actually using any turns exploring. Sound promising? Read on...

      ZTM mapping collects information about the warps in and out of each sector by charting routes without actually moving. When done dilligently enough (by a script, always) this can provide a very accurate picture of which sectors are connected.

      You may be wondering what the point of such a map would be, since it doesn't provide any information on the contents of a sector, such as ports, planets, and whatnot, but only the warps leading in and out of a sector. The answer is simple: dead-ends, or bubbles.

      Bubbles, clusters of sectors that have a one sector bottleneck connecting them to the rest of the galaxy, are where you want to build your colonies. Bubbles allow you to protect all the sectors in the bubble by defending only one sector, with full mines, thousands of fighters, volcanic planets, nav haz, and whatever you can think of.

      So, ZTM'ing the universe allows you to use one of the excellent bubble-finding scripts out there to determine the ideal location for your future galactic empire.

      Automated ZTM'ing and bubble finding can only be done with a client/helper program that supports scripts... this is one great reason to check out the clients & helpers thread, check out what's available, and perhaps download a client like SWATH.
      "There are but two powers in the world, the sword and the mind. In the long run the sword is always beaten by the mind."
      - Napoleon Bonaparte

      Visit the Tradewars 2002 Forum