User Manual

Eons ago the Drox ruled the galaxy through their mighty Operatives. These elite starship captains were trained to accomplish the impossible at whatever cost necessary. Whether employing stealth or brute force, they were always deadly. Using these Operatives, the Drox built a starlane system for quick travel amongst the stars, colonized and conquered millions of planets, and ruled the galaxy with an iron grip for over 100,000 years. Eventually realizing their Operatives were a threat, they attempted to assassinate all of them. They failed. The following Galactic Civil War was devastating.

Thousands of years later, the Drox are extinct, but the secretive Drox Operative guild lives on. They have learned their lesson though: loyalty to any one race is foolish. They now work for whoever can pay. And pay they do! Empires might span hundreds of planets and thousands of ships, but when a critical task arises, they
still turn to an Operative.

In the new space race, the major races are scouting, colonizing, and expanding, trying to take over the galaxy by diplomacy, technology, war, or any other means their scheming minds can contemplate.

As a Drox Operative it's NOT your job to manage all of those annoying people, build thousands of buildings, play nice with your enemies, or balance the budget. It IS your job to pick the winning side and maybe even help them conquer the galaxy if you're being nice, more importantly though is to rake in as many credits as possible, well that and build the coolest, deadliest ship in the known universe. Not many screw with an Operative captaining a Dreadnaught!

System Requirements

These are all educated guesses on our part. Try the demo to see the performance on your specific system.

Windows Minimum specs:
  Windows 98/ME/2000/XP/Vista/Win7
  1.5 GHz Pentium 4 (or other equivalent)
  256MB RAM
  GeForce 2 (or other equivalent)
  200MB of hard drive space
  DSL or better for multiplayer on internet

Windows Recommended specs:
  2.0 GHz Pentium 4 (or other equivalent)
  512MB RAM
  GeForce 3 or better (or other equivalent)

Mac Minimum specs:
  OS X 10.4 or newer
  1.5 GHz processor (PowerPC or Intel)
  256MB RAM
  GeForce 2 (or other equivalent)
  200MB of hard drive space
  DSL or better for multiplayer on internet

Mac Recommended specs:
  2.0 GHz processor (PowerPC or Intel)
  512MB RAM
  GeForce 3 or better (or other equivalent)

Linux Minimum specs:
  Not sure yet on minimum Linux distribution
  1.5 GHz processor (x86 or x86-64)
  256MB RAM
  GeForce 2 (or other equivalent)
  200MB of hard drive space
  DSL or better for multiplayer on internet

Linux Recommended specs:
  2.0 Core Duo processor (or better) (x86 or x86-64)
  512MB RAM
  GeForce 3 or better (or other equivalent)

Mac OS X 10.3.9 should also run Drox Operative fine, but you need OpenAL installed first.  You can download the OpenAL installer from Creative.

Getting Started
To start a new character choose Play and then choose New Ship.

Choose the race you want your ship and basic crew to be from. Your race controls what your ships will look like, an initial crew bonus, additional crew bonuses when you get new ships, and what can go in your race specific slots. You can choose Human, Dryad, Utopian, Fringe, Hive, Drakk, Lithosoid, Cortex, Shadow, or Brunt. The description for each race is below:

Human: More advanced than the ragtag days of early space exploration, Human civilization has finally united, at least enough to compete with the other expansionist races of the galaxy. But will they keep their natural aggression external, or collapse back into the old pattern of infighting, sticking to their tiny section of the universe? They can be messy and unpredictable, but also fiercely determined and obsessive.

Crew Bonus: +3 Tactical and +2 Computers
Attribute Bonus: +30% damage mult per Tactical point and +20% attack per Computers point
Race Component Slots: Mine, Computer Boost, and Human Crew

Dryad: The mobile plant-based, female dominated Dryad civilization expand organically with dormant seasons often followed by bursts of activity. Don’t be fooled by the Dryad's pleasant and trusting natures- they’re fierce defenders of their territories, and organic life in general. While vastly superior to most others in terraforming technology and natural medicine, they’re appallingly inept at mechanical devices. Unabated pollution horrifies them. It is against one of their cultural mores, and they try to avoid dealing with civilizations with this obscenity.

Crew Bonus: +3 Structural and +2 Engineering
Attribute Bonus: +30% structure per Structural point, +20% energy per Engineering point, and +20% energy regen per Engineering point
Race Component Slots: Damage Control, Shield Regen Boost, and Dryad Crew

Utopian: From the wheel to the cog to the self-aware artificial intelligence, the string of invention led to a race of robots free from biological oppression. Logic is their god, but a shared memory stream has led to suspicious and unforgiving natures. For industrious Utopians, new life is as simple as hardware replacement. Death is only relatable through annihilation. Anything less is negligible. The Utopian are relentless and brutal killers. As fast producers, they optimize and use newly acquired resources while implementing redundant defenses. Expansion is less important than protecting the information network and newly gained materials (which could be anything- rock, wood… or even organic matter of a more sophisticated structure).

Crew Bonus: +5 Computers
Attribute Bonus: +50% attack per Computers point
Race Component Slots: Computer, Computer Active Boost, and Utopian Crew

Fringe: Unlike most life forms, the Fringe are made entirely of energy. With their unique applications of science, they’ve developed astounding drive, shield and beam technology. Even with such impressive advances, don’t be surprised by the Fringe’s chaotic personality and culture. They are not strangers of anger.
Diplomacy is not easily achieved.

Crew Bonus: +3 Engineering and +2 Tactical
Attribute Bonus: +20% damage mult per Tactical point, +30% energy per Engineering point, and +30% energy regen per Engineering point
Race Component Slots: Power Plant and Fringe Crew

Hive: The insectoid Hive civilization includes many species evolving together into a communal caste system. While art, economy and technology aren’t their strong suits, utilizing different breeds for workers, warriors and rulers definitely has its advantages. Few civilizations can compete with the Hive’s efficiency at production and harvesting.

Crew Bonus: +3 Structural and +2 Helm
Attribute Bonus: +20% defense per Helm point and +30% structure per Structural point
Race Component Slots: Missile Defense, Thrust Boost, and Hive Crew

Drakk: The aggressive, flying dragon-men are fierce opponents planet side and in space. Perfecting war to an art helped quell rebellious in-fighting. The peace promoted a long-term stability for a species with such a slow reproductive cycle. This secure warrior tradition makes their race very dangerous to outsiders. Some believe a rogue Operative influenced the Drakk culture in ancient times.

Crew Bonus: +3 Helm and +2 Tactical
Attribute Bonus: +20% damage mult per Tactical point and +30% defense per Helm point
Race Component Slots: Fighter and Drakk Crew

Lithosoid: Hardy Lithosoid find sustenance in almost anything, and their regenerative abilities give them a colonizing advantage, especially on hazardous planets. Both characteristics make them very hard to kill. Luckily, these rock-men are not known for intelligence. Their evolution didn’t require it. Lithosoid destroy like a force of nature, taking what others don’t want before overwhelming them by sheer numbers. They’re avid explorers and fill a gluttonous procreative compulsion through rapid growth and expansion.

Crew Bonus: +5 Structural
Attribute Bonus: +50% structure per Structural point
Race Component Slots: Armor and Lithosoid Crew

Cortex: While physically weak, the small, quiet, calm Cortex make up for their diminutive size with an uncanny intelligence. They are exceptional researchers and scientists. While clever with defense, Cortex are not quick to invade neighbors. It is a mistake to consider them benign, for when it comes to betrayal, nothing will stay their hand from justice. Stubborn is an apt description. They’ll fiercely pursue a grudge, so care should be given to maintain a decent reputation among their kind.

Crew Bonus: +3 Engineering and +2 Computers
Attribute Bonus: +30% energy per Engineering point, +30% energy regen per Engineering point, and +20% attack per Computers point
Race Component Slots: Battery, Shield Active Boost, and Cortex Crew

Shadow: Small, stealthy Shadow are hard to find. These camouflage artists employ excellent planetside tactics and well skilled ambushes. Feisty demon-beings, Shadow will quickly change sides when it’s to their advantage. They are hard to trust for a reason. Betrayal is in their nature, but there is no species better suited to the spy profession.

Crew Bonus: +3 Computers and +2 Helm
Attribute Bonus: +20% defense per Helm point and +30% attack per Computers point
Race Component Slots: Cloaking, Explosion Resistance, and Shadow Crew

Brunt: Brunt are as impressive as their size- huge. You’ll always find them carting large personal weaponry. While relying on firepower and aggressive tactics, they happily sacrifice speed and cunning. Intimidation and posturing often give the Brunt an advantage when dealing with other races, and it precedes their true joy of mindlessly pummeling enemies to death. They are warriors of blood, fire, and brutality.

Crew Bonus: +5 Tactical
Attribute Bonus: 50% damage mult per Tactical point
Race Component Slots: Missile and Brunt Crew

Scavenger (Invasion of the Ancients expansion): A mixer of vehicle components, Scavengers adapted both mechanical and biological tech as solutions for advancement. Natural evolution led to incorporating any leftover debris after battles, including other races' ship wrecks and technological abilities. Profiting from the demise of others was business as usual, but the other races thought it an abhorrent practice and despised the Scavengers for it. The Scavengers enjoy a period of great advancement and wealth during wartime, which explains many other races' fear and hesitancy to engage this voracious enemy.

Crew Bonus: +3 Tactical and +2 Helm
Attribute Bonus: +30% damage mult per Tactical point and + 20% defense per Helm point
Race Component Slots: Thruster, Scavenger component, and Scavenger Crew

Name your ship whatever you like.  You can also use the random name generator to generate ship names or just to give you some ideas.

After picking your race and naming your ship, click the Ok button to continue.

On the next screen, you can select some basic options on how difficult you want the game to be.

Select the starting monster level. This will normally default to the nearest choice to your ship's level. You can set this lower if you want the game to be easier or higher if you want more of a challenge. For your first ship, you should probably leave it at 0.

When you get to higher levels, you will eventually be able to choose higher world difficulties (Expert, Veteran, and Legendary).

There are also more advanced options to determine the pacing of the game, the sector size, and the number of races. For your first game, you should probably keep the defaults.

When you are done selecting these options, click Create New Sector to start the game.

Most of the tips in this manual also show up in the game in the form of help topics. To read a help topic, click on the blinking question mark icons. You can also hit the H key to get context sensitive help on most screens.

Please also take some time to read the tool tips. These tell you a lot of useful information.

Movement: Hold down the left mouse button or use the WASD keys.

Attacking: Press a number key corresponding to one of the hotkeyed components or   left click on an enemy.

Targeting: Your ship automatically targets the nearest enemy, but you can manually target by attacking while you are highlighting an enemy with the mouse cursor.

Left clicking with the mouse is context sensitive and does the most common action (move, pick up, etc.) whereas right click does the more rare actions like using a component.

You can also set up up to 3 components in the slots in the lower right corner of the screen to use when you right click on an enemy. Right clicking uses the component in the bottom slot. Use the up and down arrow keys to change which order these are in.

By default, components in space show text above them for easy identification. You can press the ALT key to toggle this feature on and off. You can click on the text to pick up a component. This is usually easier than clicking on the component itself.

The easiest way to move around is to simply hold down the left mouse button. Your ship will continue to fly towards the mouse cursor as long as you hold down the button. You can also move around with the WASD keys where W thrusts, A and D turn, and S stops. There are 3 options on the Game Options screen to customize the WASD movment.

1) Thrusters Toggle (defaults off) changes it so you don't have to hold down W to keep your thrusters on.
2) Thruster Disengage (defaults on) automatically toggles your thrusters off if you click on something.
3) Thruster Cursor (defaults off) makes it so your ship always follows the cursor when the thrusters are on.

You can also change which keys are used for movement on the Configure Input screen.

There are 3 ways to attack an enemy.

1) Left clicking on an enemy will use whatever weapon is specified in the first hotkey slot.
2) Pressing a number key will use whatever component is in the corresponding hotkey slot (row of slots at the bottom of the main game screen) on the enemy nearest to the mouse cursor.
3) Finally, right clicking will use the bottom component in your right click slots on the nearest enemy to your mouse cursor.

You will continue to attack if you hold down the button or key used.

Much of your ship's targeting is automated, but you still have a lot of control if you wish to use it. Targeting priorities:

1) Selecting - if you use a component and you have the mouse cursor on top of an enemy, it will use that enemy as the target.
2) Locked on - if you already have an enemy targeted, it will continue to target that enemy.
3) Auto target - your ship will automatically target the nearest enemy to your mouse cursor.

In general, the objective of each game is to make the races of this sector understand that using the Drox Operatives is the only path to winning the space race. There are 5 ways to succeed at this and 3 ways to fail.

Military Win: ally with the last living race.
Diplomatic Win: all remaining races (including the Drox) are allied together.
Economic Win: make the Drox Guild enough money in this sector.
Fear Win: A sector that cowers before a Drox Operative will make the Drox High Command very happy. Do this by destroying race ships, planets, and powerful monsters.
Legend Win: The more Legends the Drox Guild has the better. Do this by destroying powerful monsters and solving noteworthy quests.

Military Loss: if one race manages to conquer this sector and you aren't allied with them.
Diplomatic Loss: if at war with all of the remaining races.
Economic Loss: you lose the Drox Guild too much money from this sector.

You have 10 minutes to fix a losing scenario. See the Win and Lose screens for more specific info.

When you have conquered a sector through Military, Diplomatic, Economic, Fear, or Legend means, you can finish up whatever you need to and can then start a new sector. Make sure you open your reward chest(s) though. Once you are done, you can start a new sector by clicking on the blinking won game icon. Don't worry; your ship, crew, and components all carry over into the new sector.

Each ship that you create shares some basic crew attributes: Tactical, Helm, Structural, Engineering, Computers, and Command. How important each of these is to your specific ship really depends on your play style and how you equip your ship.

Tactical increases damage and is a requirement for better weapons.

Helm increases defense and is a requirement for better defenses, engines, and thrusters.

Structural increases ship structure and is a requirement for better armor, damage control, and structure.

Engineering increases energy and is a requirement for better batteries, engines, power plants, and shields.

Computers increases attack and is a requirement for better computers, ECCM, jammers, radars, and sensors.

With enough Command you receive a new, bigger ship. Each new ship has more component slots than the previous ship or more base structure.

For the most part, all of the crew attributes are useful to every ship.

There are many different stats in Drox Operative. They are pretty simple to learn though.

Structure is a measure of how much damage your ship can take before being destroyed. This is split into max and current structure. Your max structure is how much structure you will have when complete repaired. Your current structure is how much you have right now. If you get to zero structure, your ship will be destroyed.

Armor Plating is an extra layer of armor on the outside of your ship. It gets damaged before your structure. To increase your armor plating value, install armor or plating components on your ship.

Shields is another layer on the outside of your ship. It gets damaged even before your armor plating. To increase your shields, install shield components.

Energy determines how many components you can use in a short period of time. Each actively usable component uses up a specific amount of energy. If you don't have enough for that component, you won't be able to use it until you have enough energy again. If you run out of energy too fast, you can put more of your crew points into Engineering and/or install some batteries.

DPS (damage per second) is a measure of how much damage you can dish out every second by using all of your weapons. It doesn't take into account that some weapons are more difficult to hit with (like mines) or that some weapons can hit multiple targets at once (like bombs).

Attack is how likely an attack will hit an enemy. This number is relative to an enemy's defense.

Defense is how likely you are to be hit by an attack. This number is relative to an enemy's attack.

Max Speed is how fast your ship can travel once it accelerates up to its full speed.

Radar is how far you can see blips on your minimap.

Resistances reduce the amount of damage you take from that specific type of damage. For example, the more thermal resistance you have, the less damage you will take from something like a laser.

Power Load is a measure of how much power you generate to support all of your components. This is further explained in the next section.

Find Extra Credits is a measure of how well you notice extra money floating around.

Find Components Chance gives you better chances to find components.

Tweaked Find Chance gives you higher chances to find better component types. This will never give you a 100% chance to skip any of the component rarity types since there is a cap per rarity type. However, since the bonus carries over into the next type huge Tweaked Find Chances are still extremely useful.

Shields Regen, Armor Plating Regen, Structure Regen, and Energy Regen are simply how fast all these types of stats replenish naturally. Only shields and energy regenerate on a new ship.

The player's ship has multiple layers of damage mitigation: resistances, shields, armor, and structure/components.

First, your resistances will reduce the damage taken. Then the reduced damage hits the shields. If any damage gets through the shields, it will hit the armor plating.

The danger really lies when any damage gets through all of those layers. Now, all of the remaining damage is going to hit the structure of the ship itself or your installed components. Both are bad news.

The more max structure your ship has compared to the max durability of its installed components, the more this damage goes to the structure of the ship and thus protecting your components.

If any of your installed components' durability gets to zero, they will break and will no longer function until fixed.

Even worse, if your structure gets down to zero, your ship will be destroyed.

Race Relations
One of the most important aspects to winning a sector in Drox Operative is Race Relations. During a game, you will need to keep track of your relationships with other alien races that you discover during the course of play. In addition, you will need to pay attention to how the different races are responding to one another. You will need to make your decisions based on all the different race relationships and standings, so discovering as many of the races as you can is important! Explore the sector to find them all, if possible. Choosing to ignore this aspect of the game will most likely cause you to lose the sector!

The race relations screen (default hotkey: R) shows how much everyone likes or dislikes each other and the treaties between all of the races.

You can talk to individual races on the race relations screen to negotiate treaties, trade for things like jump gate activations, get or solve quests, or interact with the races in many other ways.

Consider carefully how you interact with the races. Although there are several ways to win a sector, establishing good relationships with the most powerful races in a sector are often key to winning that sector.

Ways to improve relations:
1) Solve a quest for them
2) Trade with them (components, technology, etc)
3) Destroy an enemy monster near their planet or civilian ship
4) Solve a quest for a friend

Ways to hurt relations:
1) Solve a quest for an enemy
2) Refusing demands
3) Attacking them or demanding stuff from them

The most important thing to remember is: Check the Relations screen often to see how you are faring with the other races. It may be your key to winning the sector.

Use the context sensitive help for more details.

Power Load
Your ship's Power Load is critically important to how well your ship operates! Your ship only has so much power load to go around. It has a little built into the ship, but most of it is usually generated by any power plant or power collector components that you have installed. Most other components use up power load.

At the bottom of the Ship Components screen (default hotkey I), you will see a horizontal bar indicating how much power load your ship is consuming. When you have plenty of excess power load, this bar will be green. As you approach your power load limit, the bar will change to yellow. If you go over your power load limit, the bar will then change to a flashing red, indicating that you are overloaded.

You can use more power load than is available (overloaded), but this will greatly slow down the regeneration rate of your shields, armor plating, structure, and energy and also slow down your ship movement speed. You will probably want to avoid this whenever possible. The amount penalized is based on how much over your power load limit you are and will be displayed with status effect icons in the upper left of the screen.

If you are using too much power load, you will want to install a better power plant and/or power collector or install components that use up less power load.

Ship Speed
The speed of your ship is very important to your survival. Thrust improves your speed, while weight slows it down. Also, the faster your speed, the faster you turn.

The main way to improve thrust is by installing drives in your heavy slots and/or thrusters in your medium slots. You can install more than one drive and/or thruster. The highest speed possible is 200 (under normal circumstances) though.

The only thing that increases weight is the hull of your ship. Bigger ships weigh more.

Beware, there are several things that can slow you down such as gravity wells and overloading your ship by using too much power load.

Special Types of Hits
There are 2 types of special hits that have a chance of happening on every hit.

A Direct Hit is a hit that automatically causes the maximum damage possible for that hit.

A Critical Hit is a hit that does double damage.

You can get multiple special hits at once, but it will only show you one of them.

Dynamic World/Quests
Unlike most games, Drox Operative has a very dynamic environment. Each and every sector you play will be very different.

Without giving away any spoilers, when someone says do this quick or something might happen- well whatever that something is, it will probably happen if you don't do something about it. When someone tells you to hurry, they really do mean it. The game will change depending on what is going on in the sector when you arrive, what you do, what you don't do, what the races do, and even what the monsters do. So keep on your toes and solve the sector's problems as quickly as you can. You are a Drox Operative after all.

Solving everyone's problems is done through the quest system. The normal processis you accept a quests from a race's planet, you go to the appropriate star system and perform whatever task was asked of you, and then you return to the original planet to finish the quest and collect your reward.

This doesn't always work out quite this simply though. Many times you don't have to accept a quest before you complete it. If someone wants the ship Sting destroyed and you destroy it, you will get credit for the kill, regardless if you currently have taken the quest or not. Also, many times you can talk directly to the race to obtain and solve the quest.

Remember that you are a Drox Operative. Without your help, who knows what those pathetic races are capable of. Sometimes they might solve a quest without you, but don't count on it. Of course, if they are an enemy you might not want to fix their problems at all.

Ways Around
You ship doesn't have a faster than light drive, so you need to find alternative means to move between star systems.

The most common method is to use a starlane. The Drox created the starlane system thousands of years ago. Starlanes usually connect each star system to a couple of its nearest neighboring star systems.

Occasionally there are also stable, natural wormholes that can be used to travel to a typically far off star system.

Both of them will ALWAYS be found near the outer edges of a star system. In addition, both of them will connect from the closest point of a system to the closest point of the other star system. Using this knowledge and the galaxy map can greatly narrow down where a starlane probably exists to a nearby known system.

Another method is to use a Jump Gate. Jump Gates form a network of locations in the sector where a ship can instantly move from one network location to another.

The only other option is dying and resurrecting, but I wouldn't recommend it.

Jump Gates
Jump Gates form a network of locations in the sector where a ship can instantly move from one network location to another. All star systems in the sector will have one Jump Gate.

To travel to another star system by jump gate, left click on an activated Jump Gate in space. This will show a map of the sector. Then right click on the desired and available destination Jump Gate/Star System.

There are a few limitations though:

1) You must activate each Jump Gate to be able to use it. To activate a Jump   Gate, you need to find and click on it once or buy the activation from one of the races. Every race will have the activation code for the Jump Gate in each star system where they have inhabited planets. You can buy these by using the relations screen, talking to the race in question, and then going to their trade screen.

2) Since Jump Gates need regular maintenance, a Jump Gate can only be a valid   destination if it is located in a system that has at least one inhabited planet.

3) Each race that has an inhabited planet in the system will charge you a fee to   use their Jump Gate as a destination. This fee is based on how much they like you, so try to use Jump Gates controlled by allies.

The Jump Gate you are bound to is the one exception to the last 2 limitations. If you are bound to a Jump Gate, there doesn't need to be any inhabited planets in that star system and jumping to that system is free.

Main UI Screens
Here is a list of the main UI screens. These screens can be accessed through the small buttons at the bottom of the screen or their hotkeys (listed here and shown when you highlight the button).

Character - C
Quests - Q
Inventory - I
Relations - R
Map - M
Journal - J
Shipyard - Y
Main menu - Esc
Minimap - Tab

The character screen shows the basic stats of your ship. Place the mouse cursor over anything that you want more information about. Use the context sensitive help for more details.

Inventory Screen
The inventory screen along with all of your cargo bays shows you all of the components you are carrying around and which components you actually have installed. Open your Inventory by clicking on the third button from the left on the bottom of the main game screen (default hotkey I).

Unidentified components will have a question mark in the upper right corner. You can identify a component by right clicking on it.

Once identified, placing your cursor over its icon will give a short description of its properties. In addition, if you already have a similar component equipped, you will be shown your equipped component's information for comparison.

To install a component, simply left click on it and then click where you want it to go. While "holding" the component, the outline of slots that can hold that specific type of component will flash. You can also just right click on the component and it will automatically install into an empty slot or replace your worst component of the same type.

A ! on a component icon means some known planet needs that good.

A + on a component icon means it is better than one of your current components. Either it is worth more or its main modified stat is better.

A X on a component icon means that you don't meet the minimum crew, level, or race requirements to equip or use the component.

Every populated planet can buy and sell goods and ship components. Note: races have a finite amount of credits to buy things with.

To buy something, just move it from the vendor's inventory to your own, right click on the component, or use the buy hotkey (defaults to spacebar).

To sell something, just move it from your inventory to the vendor's or hit the sell hotkey (defaults to spacebar).

Vendors will save the last two components that have been sold to them. If you made a mistake, you can buy these back for the price that you sold them for.

If a vendor has a component that you would like them to save for you, you can move it to one of the hold slots.

You can also donate a component to a planet if you want to. To donate, move one of your components to the donation slot. This gives them the component for free.

You can also identify all of your unidentified components, repair components/heal injured crew, or repair your ship's structure here for a price.

Use the context sensitive help for more details.

Every populated planet can give you quests if they have something they want you to do for them. Most of the time you can pick up and turn in quests directly from the race instead of traveling all of the way to the planet in question though. There are only a few cases where you need to physically pick something up at the planet.

Doing quests for a race improves your relation with them. However, this will also impact your relations with the other races. It will decrease relations with enemies and increase relations with friends of the race you solved the quest for.

Components come in many different rarities or types: normal, common, rare, elite, artifacts, and legendary.

Normal components are just that, normal.

Common, rare, elite, artifacts, and legendary components have some random enhancements with the rarer types having more.

The stash is your extra inventory space where you can store whatever components you want. Your shared stash is shared by all of the ships that you have created. Only cargo bays can go directly into the stash. Any type of component can go into these cargo bays though.

You can find ship components in many ways. The most common way is to destroy enemy ships. Another way is to explore planets and scan things like derelict ships, space junk, and anomalies. You can also buy components from any planet inhabited by a race that you are not at war with.

Cargo Bays
Cargo Bays are pretty critical to your inventory since they affect how many components you can carry around. They are pretty simple to use and understand, but there are a few rules that you need to keep in mind:

1) You can right click on a cargo bay to see what is in it or to put components in it.
2) All components that you want to store (not install) must ALWAYS be stored in Cargo Bays.
3) You begin the game with 1 main Cargo Bay (holds 16 components). There are also 3 empty Cargo Bay slots where you can install additional Cargo Bays. You can see all of these slots on the Ship Components screen (default hotkey I).
4) Cargo Bays cannot be moved, replaced, or sold unless they are empty!
5) If you want to store components in your stash or shared stash, you must first place a Cargo Bay into a stash slot. Components can then be stored in the Cargo Bays that you have installed.
6) There are 8 different sizes of Cargo Bays ranging from Tiny (holds 4 components) to Giant (holds 16 components).
7) You cannot put any components into a cargo bay that is itself in another cargo bay.

Slot Types
There are five types of slots on your ship.

General slots can carry any type of component. These are only found inside of cargo bays and vendors. Basically this is just general storage.

Bay slots can only contain cargo bays. Your ship has four of these at the bottom of the ship components screen. All of the slots in your stash and shared stash are also bay slots.

The last three types are heavy slots, medium slots, and light slots. Your ship starts with three slots of each of these, but you get more as you get bigger and bigger ships.

Heavy slots can only contain heavy components. The most important heavy components are weapons, but there are many other types.

Medium slots can only contain medium components. There are many varied types of medium components.

Light slots can only contain light components. The most important light components are crew.

Most components have a limited durability before they break. You will be warned when any component gets too worn, but pay attention or something might break at a bad time. Inhabited planets can repair components for a fee.

Components usually have little normal wear and tear; most durability loss is caused by battle damage. Once your ship's shields and armor plating have been depleted, all further damage will hit either the structure of your ship itself or the installed components of your ship. Losing a key component during a battle is a quick way to die!

Staying Alive/Destruction
There are many ways to regain the structural integrity of your ship when it gets too low. Typically, the easiest way is to go to the nearest friendly, inhabited planet and choose the repair structure option. This does cost credits. A quicker way is to use an Emergency Nanite Repair which will slowly regenerate your structure, but they tend to be more expensive.

Destruction is inevitable in Drox Operative. Don't worry too much about dying though, unless you are playing hardcore. As a Drox Operative you are backed by an insurance policy (for your ship and components) and clones (for you and your crew). This is paid for by the Drox High Command. There are some down sides to losing your ship though. You will be resurrected next to whatever Jump Gate you are bound to, which might not be very convenient. You will also incur a small XP debt penalty. This means you get less experience until you work off that XP debt. However, if you can retrieve your black box that dropped where you were
destroyed, the XP debt will be decreased. Black boxes are not saved between game sessions, so be sure to pick them up quickly!

Press "M" (default hotkey) to display the map of your current star system. You will see an oval area that represents a single star system. As you fly around, the gray (fog of war) areas will turn black to show areas that you have now explored. Many things that you discover in a star system will show on this map such as stars, planets, starlanes, wormholes, and jump gates. You can set Waypoint markers by right clicking a point on the System map. These waypoints will also show on your Minimap, and can aid in finding your way back to a specific point in a system. Waypoints can be removed by right clicking on them on either your System map or Minimap.

Press "M" (default hotkey) to bring up your System map. At the bottom right of the screen, click on the button labeled "To Galaxy Map" or press the hotkey (defaults to "Tab"). Your screen will switch to a starfield that shows all of the star systems that you have discovered and how those systems are connected. Star names are color coded by the colors of the races that inhabit planets in the system. The color for each race is shown in the upper left corner of the the map screen. You can view any discovered Star Systems' Map from the Galaxy Map by right clicking on that star on the Galaxy Map.

The Minimap is displayed in the top right of the main game screen. It can be toggled on and off by pressing its hotkey (default "Tab") or by clicking on the compass icon on the menu bar at the bottom of the game screen. Many things show up on the minimap in different ways.

1) Waypoints, discovered gates (starlanes, wormholes, and jump gates), and other players in this system are displayed no matter how far away.
2) Planets and stars are displayed from fairly far away even if undiscovered.
3) Enemy blips will display depending on your radar stat compared to their level.
4) Many other important objects will also display like your stashes, recharge stations, and storage pods if in range.

Hovering your mouse over any icon or blip on the minimap will display information about that item.


Marines are only available in the Invasion of the Ancients expansion.

A marine is a crew member with a special trait that allows them to board enemy ships to attack from the inside. If a marine does the last bit of damage to a ship, the ship is disabled instead of destroyed. A disabled ship drops way more loot and your marine has twice the normal chance to level up.

To board your current enemy, use the crew with the marine trait like you would a weapon component. A B will show on the marine's icon to show that they are on another ship. You can use them again to bring them back at any time. They will automatically come back if they disable the other ship.

1) The target must be an actual ship (not a being like the Talons)
2) The enemy ship can't have any shields up

Other things:
1) Marines from different races have different bonuses (health, attack, defense, damage, etc)
2) For each additional marine boarding the same enemy, each marine gets a 25% bonus to their attack and defense

Vendor Specialties
The vendors from each race have a different specialty when you trade at one of their planets. These abilities almost always cost a lot of credits.

Human: Gambling - You can gamble on their current components. If you win, you get a higher rarity version of the component. If you lose, you get the component shown.

Dryad: Repair Discount - 66% discount on all repairs

Utopian: Enhance Component - Each attempt has a chance to add an empty chip socket to the selected component. Failures can decrease the component's max durability. (Invasion of the Ancients expansion only)

Fringe: Reduce Power Load - Each attempt has a chance of decreasing the power load needed by the selected component. Failures can decrease the component's max durability.

Hive: Order New Goods - You can order a random planetary good.

Drakk: New Crew - They will find a crew member that is looking for a ship. The crew member will still require you to complete a quest for them though.

Lithosoid: Increase Durability - Each attempt has a chance to increase the max durability of the selected component.

Cortex: Retraining - This allows you to redistribute your allocated crew points.

Shadow: Spying - They are better at spying than you, so they can do your spying for you. While the targets won't get mad at you, if the spying fails, the Shadow's relation with you will drop.

Brunt: Order Bomb - They will set up a bomb type of quest against the race of your choosing.

Scavenger: Scavenge - Give them an example component and they will find another of the same general type for you. The resulting component will be the best of that type that you can use but not more than 5 levels above the level of the Scavengers. (Invasion of the Ancients expansion only)


For the most part, Drox Operative works the same in multiplayer as it does in singleplayer. The multiplayer experience is designed to be co-op, so generally you can't hurt other players and things like quests and experience are shared.

There are a few differences. You can chat with other players by hitting enter or clicking on the chat button in the lower left of the screen. You can also hover the mouse over the icon in the upper right of the screen to find out information about the game. You can see the locations (either a dot or the system name) of other players on the system/galaxy map. Each player's structure shows up on the right side of the screen. If the player is close enough, left clicking this health bar will select their ship and right clicking it will show you their components. You can even trade with other players by right clicking on the player's bar to see their components and then clicking on request trade.

The game uses ports 26503 through 26508.

26503 - client port
26504 - server port
26505 - port on server & client to talk to master server
26508 - master server port

Other Useful Info
The speed of your ship is very important to your survival. Thrust improves your speed, while weight slows it down. Also, the faster your speed, the faster you turn. The main way to improve thrust is by installing drives in your heavy slots and/or thrusters in your medium slots. You can install more than one drive and/or thruster. The highest speed possible is 200 (under normal circumstances) though. You can see your current max speed on the Character Screen. The only thing that increases weight is the hull of your ship. Bigger ships weigh more. Beware, there are several things that can temporarily slow you down such as gravity wells, overloading your ship by using too much power load, traps, and enemy special abilities.

Each time you increase in level, you get five more crew points to distribute and one free component from the Drox High Command. To use your crew points, open up your character page (defaults to the C key), and press the + button next to the attribute you want to increase. Note: crew points are very important. They are the key to which components you can install on your ship and there are very few ways to increase your ship's attributes.

There are many ways to regain energy when your energy reserves get too low. The easiest way is to just let it naturally regenerate. This is the slowest way however. You can use an Energy Spike to instantly regain some energy, but this can get expensive. Using an Ancient Recharge Station will work great, if you can find one. Finally if you talk to a planet of a friendly race (greater than 50.0 relation), you will get a regeneration bonus.

There are 10 hotkey slots at the bottom center of the main game screen. These are here to make it easier to use components. To use a component in these slots, hit the number key that is displayed in the hotkey slot you want to use. These slots are usually filled automatically when you equip usable components on your ship, but you can manually add components here by left clicking on a component and then clicking on which ever hotkey slot you want it in. Adding your consumables to the hotkey slots might be a good idea.

Component find, tweaked find, critical hit, and direct hit bonuses are slightly misleading. They represent the bonus compared to normal. For example, a 100% bonus to critical hits means a 100% better chance than normal, not a 100% chance. So if your normal critical hit chance is 5% and you have a 100% bonus, the final value will be 10%.

Pretty much anything the game saves like ships, screenshots, and exports goes into a User directory. Where this is depends on your operating system:

Vista/Win7 - C:\Users\YOUR USER NAME\AppData\Local\DroxOperative\User
XP - C:\Documents and Settings\YOUR USER NAME\Local Settings\Application Data\DroxOperative\User
Mac - /Users/YOUR USER NAME/Library/Application Support/DroxOperative/User
Linux - ~/.local/DroxOperative/User

Note: The AppData directory in Vista/Win7 is hidden by default.

Replace YOUR USER NAME with whatever your specific user name is on your operating system.

Designer & Programmer
  Steven Peeler

Story & Writing
  Delilah Rehm

Sound Effects & Music
  Tori Kamal

Lead Artist
  Stephen A Hornback

  Patrick Boisvert
  Rebecca L Smith
  Andy Arrondo

Special Thanks (for real pictures of space)

Alpha Testers
Eric Fowler, Roland Smith, Emily Peeler, and Scotty Mitchell

Beta Testers
Roswitha, Valgor, ScrObot, Crisses, incognoscente, ShaggyMoose, fluffybot, Sedlex, Chumpy, aReclusiveMind, Shadowy Figure, jonasan, Evan, Lyranaar, RoboAV, Bluddy, LostSoul, Cheet4h, alstein, kerzain, Mivo, Waffles, all_zebest, eRe4s3r, gornova, desophos, Castruccio, NefariousKoel, Aganazer, Virosa, longshot, Wanderer, robmack, Sendrien, Philexan, graffen69, cpmartins, MOOMANiBE, Shardz, Moonshine Fox, DarkTraveler, random_rolle, snow, DeathKnight1728, Eduardo X, pnakotus, profanicus, Bomphav, xemu, Ripperjk, spacehog, Jinsai, Nori, Magitek, void, Worthstream, sbach2o, PrimeIntellect, pecet, goodgimp, dtolman, transigent8, Brian Rubin, Krippakrull, Puce Moose, Caal, SoggyGravy, thither, Tchey, Film, jamuelscones, cthonic, fotan, Taolaen, Heffro, justanotherjoe, Von Paulus, Jab, Lekon, Luringen, jerebaldo1, BQwoobie, Excellion, roy7, Schappelijk, Grifman, Shrugging Khan, kizune, viper34j, eidolad, Zengrath, Draciel, Lollipop, keith.lamothe, Katrin, demoss, Anskier, and DrIstvaan

These are roughly in order from number of changes. To see specifics look at the latest Drox Operative change list.

First make sure you have the latest video and sound drivers installed for your system.

If the main menu looks shifted over and doesn't fit on the screen correctly and you have a high resolution monitor this might help: right click on the game's icon, select the compatibility tab, and check the "Disable display scaling on high DPI settings".

If your graphics are flickering, especially if your mouse cursor is having issues, try turning off the hardware cursor in the graphics options menu.

If you are having any strange sound issues try setting the Sound Device to DirectSound or MMSYSTEM in the sound options menu if you are using Windows. You will have to completely get out of the game and restart the executable for this change to take effect though.

There is also a startup problem when running the ATI tray tool's on-screen-display (it shows fps for any 3D application).  If you have this tool turned on and the game fails to start, turn it off.

Triple buffering has been known to cause problems on some cards. If you are having graphics issues or are having startup issues, try to turn off triple buffering in your graphics driver options.

Sometimes the Evolve client can interfere with the game. If you are having problems and are running Evolve, turn Evolve off and see if things work better.

AC 97 sound cards with old drivers have had problems with Drox Operative. If you have one of these sounds cards, please make sure you have the latest drivers.

for AC97 (normal): go here

for HD: go here

If you have OS X 10.3.9 and the game doesn't start correctly you probably need to install OpenAL.  You can download the OpenAL installer from Creative.

If the game isn't saving correctly:
  1) Make sure you have enough hard drive space for wherever your saves are going
  2) Sometimes there are temporary permission issues, a reboot might fix this
  3) Make sure your anti-virus program (if you have one) is not preventing the game from saving

If the game is having problems connecting in multiplayer:
  1) Make sure your MTU is higher than 1300 (preferably 1400 or 1500)
    a) At a command prompt (Windows only):
       netsh interface ipv4 show subinterfaces
       along with other info this will tell you the MTU of different network connections
    b) to change you mtu, at a command prompt (Windows only):
       netsh interface ipv4 set subinterface "NetworkName" mtu=1460 store=persistent
       where Network Name is the name of the network in question, might be something like
         Local Area Connection or Wireless Network Connection

If you are still having problems your best bet is to read the Drox Operative forums at to see if anyone else is having this problem and if there is a known work around.  This is also the place to report any unsolved problems.

Troubleshooting Linux
Drox Operative needs OpenAL and OpenGL to run. Everything else that is required should already be on most, if not all, Linux distributions. While not required, it also runs better if you have S3/DXTC texture compression support.

We will add instructions for more Linux distributions below as we can. If you get Drox working on a distribution that is not on this list, we would love to know the details on our forums -

OpenAL on Linux
Ubuntu 12.04:
  sudo apt-get install libopenal1

OpenGL on Linux
Ubuntu 12.04:
  probably already installed and lots of packages contain it, one is:
  sudo apt-get install libgl-mesa-glx

S3/DXTCTexture Compression on Linux
Ubuntu 12.04:
  sudo apt-get install libtxc-dxtn-s2tc0

Forums -
Website -

Please go to to find out about the latest updates and patches for Drox Operative.

We encourage people to modify the game if they want as long as they don't sell it in any way.  See the EULA for specifics. 

The pack files for the game are just normal zip files, most of the data is in there somewhere, and it is usually in a text file format, which means the game is pretty easy to modify.  Also if you post questions on our forums about modding the game, we will in general help out if we can.

More legal stuff
Drox Operative and Soldak Entertainment are trademarks of Soldak Entertainment, Inc.

Copyright (c) Soldak Entertainment, Inc. 2012

All rights reserved.

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