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July. 30, 2014
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Beginner Guide

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Freelancer box shot
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Freelancer box shot
Freelancer is an arcade space simulator with roleplaying elements and full persistence. It has both singleplayer and multiplayer aspects. Released in 2003, the game is the brainchild of almost legendary game designer Chris Roberts, famous for his Wing Commander series. He was also behind Freelancer's prequel, Starlancer. Freelancer was developed by Digital Anvil and published by Microsoft Games Studios following Digital Anvil's buyout by Microsoft.

Freelancer is a very free-form, open-ended game, but there still is a great storyline which acts both as an introduction to the lore and a long tutorial. It is highly recommended to play through it at least once before moving on to multiplayer or fully open singleplayer.

Freelancer is usually easy to use in singleplayer. Few problems are reported, mostly having to do with graphics incompatibilities. It is reported to work on Windows 98, Me, 2000, XP, Vista and 7, both in x86 and x64 flavours when available. Multiplayer can be a bit more complicated to get running, but a comprehensive knowledge base has been accumulated over time which covers most issues. It is highly recommended to visit the technical area of this Wiki if you encounter a problem. Even if you do not, multiple utilities and tricks are available to improve your experience with the game.

Once you have gotten to grips with the game, most people delve into mods. Mods are what kept Freelancer alive all this time and most multiplayer servers are modded, meaning they cannot be used without first downloading and applying the mod(s) they support. Again, the technical area can be of help, with articles describing the full mod management procedure. Simply remember that each server usually has its own mod choice and strictly prohibits using any other. Mods are numerous; there are far too many to list on this page. Check our Mod Database to see a list of all the mods for Freelancer.

It's hard to introduce mods without covering the most unique aspect of Freelancer: its extensive multiplayer support. Freelancer's multiplayer mode is not unified, quite the contrary. Once you have set yourself up to play online, you will see a tonne of servers. Each of these are fully independent, run and continuously maintained by fans of the game just like you. Some are large, some are small. Some use mods, some are "vanilla" (use only the basic game or minimal modifications that are entirely run on the server), some have opt-in mods that do not affect people who are not interested in them. You cannot transfer characters between servers because most are just too different from one another. See a server as an isolated island nation with its own rules, regulations, customs and population, not connected by any sort of link. Speaking of customs, a good page to look at is the Glossary, which holds the majority of oft used words in the Freelancer community.

But once you've been a player for a while, once you've become quite good at player versus player (or PvP for short) and roleplaying, what else is available? Well, why not try to mod then! Any budding modder is highly recommended to look at the Modding Handbook for a very good overview of the game's immense possibilities.

So go, start playing, and welcome to this incredible community!

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