My Recommended Mods for X4: Foundations

It’s Steam Winder Sale 2022, and I suddenly see some people gaining interest in one of my favourite games: X4 Foundations. Many want tips and tricks, but some are interested in mods as well… and just happens that this game has a great modding community. Mods almost always have been one of pillars of the series, and X4 is no different - some mods are so good and so essential so I personally can’t imagine playing this game without them.

In this article I will showcase some of the mods I personally use and briefly explain what each mod does. Do note though that this list is definitely not conclusive - there are many other great mods for X4 out there, but I simply don’t use them. But the opposite also applies - just because a mod is listed below, no one says you have to use it. It’s just a recommendation.

Mods and Balance
Mods often affect balance, and some can affect it more than others. I’ll try to make a note on the more balance affecting mods, but still keep in mind that any mod can cause balance shift.
In my playthrough, I configured FOCW in a way that Xenons went on a rampage, and now I have to save the galaxy for other factions. For me it’s all cool, but a warning is due!
Mod Updates
Another mandatory warning is that mods might break and not be updated when a large game update or new DLC is out. It likely won’t happen with most mods, and mods made by Shuulo (VRO) or kuertee are probably pretty safe (as they got hired by Egosoft, congrats guys!), but it’s definitely worth keeping in mind.


Wait wait, DLCs? Aren’t we supposed to talk about mods?
Well, yes. However if you think about it, DLCs kinda are like mods, and they contribute to the experience of the game, so I decided to still list them.

Most mods don’t require DLCs usually, but some (like VRO for example) do. Also in this game it’s usually worth to start fresh when you install a new DLC just so you don’t let a new faction fall behind - and this is even more true when your mods affect balance.

Which DLCs do I recommend? Mmm… all of them!
But I’ll list them in order from most important to least important (Kingdom End DLC is last purely cause it hasn’t released yet, so can’t judge yet).

Cradle of Humanity

Adds entire Sol. That alone is huge. But Terrans and Seagaris Pioneers factions also have their own unique and sleek ships, their own campaigns, and even own economy. And to be honest… they’re OP (well, Terrans are). Simplified economy means it’s harder to cripple, and their ships are quite strong. But regardless of that, this DLC offers a lot of new stuff, and as such is really worth it - even if like myself, you largely focus on commonwealth economy instead of terran one cause you don’t want to make the logistical gameplay shallow for yourself.

Links: Steam | GOG

Split Vendetta

Expands part of the map adding a fair amount of new sectors, primarily occupied by the race of Split. Split are focused on firepower, and gotta say, their ships look quite cool. And of course there are new campaign missions as well.

Links: Steam | GOG

Tides of Avarice

Out of currently released DLCs, this one adds the least amount of new sectors and ships. What it makes up with however is the uniqueness - of the new sectors, as well as gameplay mechanics.

The new sectors look really really interesting, especially Windfall which admittedly looks like . But it’s mechanics where this DLC shines at: the tides that happen in Avarice system are a brand new mechanic that adds some time tension while you’re in the system. Combine this with completely new salvaging-based economy, which Avarice uses for everything, and you have a DLC worth getting in general. And as always, there are new campaigns in this one, too.

Links: Steam | GOG

Kingdom End

Not much can be said about this DLC yet as it has just been announced, except… OMG BORONS ARE BACK, BORONS ARE BACK!

Yes, fans of X series longed for Borons ever since X4 released (or perhaps even since X Rebirth). Egosoft had to think how to add them in carefully (yakno, Borons being aquatic creatures doesn’t mix all too well with ability to walk on your ship). But looks like they came up with a solution, and our pacifists are coming back to X4… and from what we’ve seen on trailers so far, the design of their ships and stations is just brilliant. And it’s safe to assume we’ll get more sectors and campaign missions.

And they kept the unique soundtrack of Kingdom End sector! <3

Links: Steam | GOG

Essential Mods

Now with DLCs all explained, let’s finally get to the mods. I’ll start with the mods I personally consider essential. You’re free to decide if you need any of these or not - they’re essential to ME.

Variety and Rebalance Overhaul

If there’s a mod that I can’t imagine playing without, it’s VRO. The simplest way to explain what it does is already in the name, but this mod really does… a lot. All ships got rebalanced, all weapons and missiles got replaced, adds some new ships to fulfill role gaps, and increases speed limit as it’s created with NoSuperHighway mod in mind. It also makes the game harder, as a small fighter now stands little chance against corvette, yet alone a capital ship - but honestly, that’s how it should be in the first place. That said, obvious balance change warning here.

This mod has 2 quirks to be aware of: it requires DLCs, and it is not compatible with vanilla saves. You need to start a fresh game if you install it - but it’s worth it if you ask me.

Author: Shuulo
Links: Steam Workshop | Nexus


A mod with admittedly misleading name, as it doesn’t remove super highways (they’re used to get from sector to sector, similarly to jump gates), but a ring highway around the core sectors of the galaxy.

But why it’s so important? IMO the highway doesn’t belong in space. It looks out of place, and also makes the playable universe feel smaller. With this mod installed, the space in X4 feels more like… ykno, space.
And as mentioned above, VRO mod is designed with this mod in mind as well.

Author: stupidprocess
Links: Steam Workshop | Nexus

Better Piracy

In X4, pirating small ships is a hit and miss. It’s pure RNG, and it’s fine if you don’t actually care about stealing ships - but if you want to make piracy one of your main focuses, it becomes an annoyance.

That’s where this mod comes in. It replaces the RNG small and medium ship piracy with something more predictable - the RNG is still there technically, but given time (and potentially shield on your ship in case you’re being attacked), you eventually will get the ship.
The mod is highly customizable - I personally made it more difficult than default to not make things too easy.
The mod also can affect boarding capital ships - however I don’t use that part of the mod, as it just makes boarding easier imo.

Author: Alberto Rota
Links: Steam Workshop | Nexus

Constant Corruption (TehGM’s Update)

Black Market works a strange way in X4 - you have to scan a signal leak on a station with black marketeer, do a specific mission for him, and only then you can sell illegal goods. However that part is rather fine.
What is a big problem is that, at least in my playthrough (not sure if it was cause of mods or game bug), they barely spawn in the galaxy. This made it really painful to get any proper illegal goods production running.
I also delved into game’s code and found that the black market guys don’t even spawn randomly - their spawn is determined when starting a new game. So if your save is unlucky, it’ll stay unlucky forever.

This mod exists to alter that. Constant Corruption makes it so over time more black marketeers spawn in the galaxy.

However I had mixed results with this mod - the way it’s designed, it’ll make whopping 40% of stations covered in black market guys in a timespan that is big on paper, but given nature of the game is actually relatively short.
Worse yet, trying to debug this mod, I found that it didn’t seem to work for me at all!
What I decided to do is take matters into my own hands. I altered the mod’s code - I fixed bugs and tampered it down slightly (only 12% of stations will have black markets). I also cleaned up the code so it’s easier to adjust the % and the speed of this mod (line 162 determines how often black market spawn will be attempted, lines 50 and 51 control max coverage and number of levels, and line 52 controls timeout between levels).

Author: Vectorial1024 (original mod) & TehGM (fix and rebalance update)
Links: Download TehGM’s Update | Original version on Nexus

Recycle Ships and Stations

As you can tell, I’m really going for piracy-oriented playthroughs. One of the challenges I set for myself was to never buy any ship, or any ship/station/module blueprint - I wanted everything do be procured by… my own means, to say so.
The game allows to hack station modules, unfortunately currently there’s no way to reverse engineer ships and ship modules - you have to buy blueprints off factions, which is what I didn’t want to do.

This is where this mod comes in. It allows you to reverse engineer any ship on your wharfs and shipyards for a chance to get blueprint of the ship itself and any module it has fitted. In addition, it adds a station module that allows you to do this even before you have your own shipyard (I admit I bought this blueprint, as no faction builds it so this was the only way to get it).

Small note: internal shield generators from VRO mod have super low chance to get with this mod, so I won’t blame you if you just buy blueprints for these.

Author: iforgotmysocks
Links: Nexus

Disable Encounters

A mod smaller than previous ones, but still important for immersion imo.

In X4, game can spawn random ships around you no matter where you are, just to provide you some content. I, and seemingly many others, find it pretty immersion breaking.
All this mod does is disable that. One downside is that patrol side-missions can look bugged as no new ships will spawn, but that’s minor sacrifice for a greater immersion imo.

Author: MegaJohnny
Links: Nexus

Mules, Supply and Warehouses Extended

Economy and trading in X4 play a huge role, and you’ll definitely want a fleet of transport ships transporting goods between your stations - be it for sale or further production.
The game itself has support for station traders, but they’re… limited, and admittedly wonky.

Mules mod adds a new set of highly customizable orders for trade ships. This makes it much easier to set up automated logistics without even assigning a ship to a station (although ofc you can do that too)!

Author: MoistDreams & doctorhay53
Links: Steam Workshop | Nexus

Legacy Music

Now a mod that doesn’t even change gameplay at all, but because of my nostalgia, it’s my personal must-have.

This mod expands in-game soundtrack by adding a lot of songs from previous X games. I personally use Extended (Lite) version, but you of course can pick whichever you want.

Author: Winghelm
Links: Nexus

Reaction Force

Vanilla patrol commands for your combat ships are quite lacking, to the point they’re nearly useless. This mod adds a new set of highly customizable commands that allow patrolling ships actually respond to distress signals set by your and friendly ships. Definitely must-have if you want to own sectors and have some enemies in-game.

Author: Shibdib
Links: Steam Workshop | Nexus

Tugs Better Flee

One of small fix-mods from Phipsz. In vanilla X4, tug ships will cling onto the wreck they’re hauling even when under attack. This mod fixes that problem.

Of course, Tides of Avarice DLC is required.

Author: Phipsz
Links: Nexus

Teuta Salvage Workaround

Another small fix from Phipsz. In vanilla X4, Teuta has a bug that sometimes it won’t keep salvaging if player is not in the sector. This mod fixes it.

Of course, Tides of Avarice DLC is required.

Author: Phipsz
Links: Nexus

Multi Scrap Processor Station Fix

A mod fixing issue where salvaging station with multiple processor modules doesn’t use more than 1-2 modules at once.

Of course, Tides of Avarice DLC is required.

Author: Tizuby
Links: Nexus

Friendly Fire Tweaks

A mod changing NPCs’ retaliation logic slightly so they won’t retaliate so often when we shot them cause they decided to fly directly into our bullets.

Author: kuertee
Links: Nexus

KUDA AI Tweaks

Combines Kuertee’s Attack AI Tweaks mod and DeadAIR’s AI Tweaks mod. Together these mods tweak how combat AI works, making it at least a little less stupid - for example, ships will now fall back when their shields are down.

Author: kuertee & DeadAir
Links: Nexus

SirNukes Mod Support APIs

Just a library mod - mod that other mods require to use.

Author: SirNukes
Links: Steam Workshop | Nexus

UI Extensions and HUD

Much like SirNukes Mod Support APIs.

Author: kuertee
Links: Nexus

Balance-heavy Mods

Mods that still are highly recommended by me, but can change balance - which can make game much harder. It should be okay still, and they’re all really worth installing, but caution is definitely advised.
Technically VRO probably belongs in this category too, but I decided to put it in essential mods - it’s just too good to pass on, even though it does affect balance a fair bit.


Sectors in X4 vanilla as well as Split Vendetta all have solar cells production set to 100% - no matter how exposed to sunlight the sector is. This was changed in later DLCs - new sectors now have different solar cell production values - some sectors have efficiency above 100%, some below 100%. This is pretty great, as it adds variety to the in-game sectors.

Unfortunately Egosoft decided to keep all pre-CoH sectors to 100%. Their argument is to not break stations built by players in older versions in the game - this is understandable. I don’t get why they don’t add it for all newly started playthroughs though… ah well.
Luckily, modding community came to the rescue - Starbright mod changes solar production efficiency of all pre-CoH sectors in game depending on how the sector looks like etc!

Author: Allectus
Links: Steam Workshop | Nexus

Foundation of Conquest and War

Probably the most customizable mod on this list. Just after installing, it changes pretty much nothing. But then you can customize the amount of combat ships each faction will aim to produce.
The configuration is done via XML file, which might be scary for less tech-savvy folks, but don’t worry - all you have is to change some values to your liking. Each faction can be altered separately, so you can effectively decide on the balance of power in your playthrough.

This mod requires a few notes though:

  • it allows for a lot of customizability, but you should read all comments and think carefully when setting it up. In my playthrough I boosted Xenons so much so they steamrolled through galaxy, causing a ton of chaos - and I didn’t even boost them all the way, and other factions were boosted too!
  • factions will produce more ships depending on your settings, which naturally affects CPU demand.
  • changing values during existing save won’t merely cause ships to spawn/despawn. This mod merely changes target quotas, so ships still need time to be produced/destroyed.

Author: BlackRain
Links: Egosoft Forum

Reactive Factions Retribution

In X4, you can befriend almost anyone - so what if Paranids and Argons are enemies, you can just be friends with them all. This has numerous issues - it’s immersion breaking, but also many players will avoid wars, which will lead to their game stagnating and becoming boring - and they’ll end up blaming the game itself!

Reactive Factions mod changes it’s so that depending on the size of player empire, it becomes increasingly hard and eventually impossible to befriend everyone - supporting one faction will anger their enemies. This makes player going into wars inevitable, making the game much more interesting and fun!
Reactive Factions was originally developed by Shuulo. Reactive Factions Retribution is a continued and improved version of the mod that also adds an useful in-game menu to customize the mod to your liking.

Author: iomatix
Links: Steam Workshop | Nexus


A small mod that adds maintenance cost of stations in form of a tax paid to the owner of the sector (if we don’t own the sector, that is). It also works both ways though - if NPC faction builds a station in a sector owned by us, we’ll get their tax money!

Author: Shibdib
Links: Steam Workshop | Nexus

Getting Paid

Another small mod, in a way similar to Landlord - adds maintenance cost to stations, but ships as well, in form of salaries that are automatically paid to the crews and workers.
Can be customized through XML file.

Author: iforgotmysocks
Links: Nexus

Smaller Mods

Finally, mods that are smaller, or I consider less essential. That said, I still use every single of the mods listed, and definitely still recommend them all.

X4 Fire and Smoke

Purely graphical mod, making explosions more flashy. Isn’t realistic by any means, but looks super cool!

Author: KungFury
Links: Steam Workshop | Nexus


In X3, there was an option to comm a hostile ship and apologize for attacking them. Assuming we didn’t do too much damage and they weren’t enemy faction, they’d accept it being an accidental friendly fire and move on.
This mod re-adds this functionality to X4.

Author: iforgotmysocks
Links: Nexus

Better Kill Credit

In vanilla X4, we get a “thank you” payment for killing pirates and other enemies next to NPC stations only if we personally killed them.
This mod changes it so that kills made by other ships in player faction also count.

Author: Mysterial
Links: Steam Workshop

Better Scan Colors

Adjusts the color shading that appears on station modules while in scan mode.

Note: I personally use older version that also came in “Light” version. I don’t think it’s distributed like that anymore, though.

Author: FlynTie
Links: Nexus

Event Driven News

Regularly shows us messages/notifications with news based on actual events happening in the game’s universe. This functions in 2 ways: adds immersion, and notifies player about what is happening.

Author: mr_jonesandme
Links: Nexus

Fighter Repairs

Allows commander ship (like carrier) with repair drones to slowly repair small and medium ships docked and escorting it.

Author: iforgotmysocks
Links: Nexus

More Default Paint

Allows many more paintjobs to be set as the default one for ships in our empire.

Author: SkeletalFish
Links: Steam Workshop

Paintjobs Galore!

Adds more paintjobs that we can use on our ships.

Author: Axeface
Links: Steam Workshop | Nexus

More Default Paint - Paintjobs Galore!

Compatibility mod for More Default Paint and Paintjobs Galore! - specifically, allows for the new paintjobs to be selected as default.

Author: SkeletalFish
Links: Steam Workshop

Paintjobs for Sale

Allows to buy all of the paintjobs in-game from traders on station docks without having to unlock them through war missions or ventures. Works with paintjobs added by mods.

Author: Treacherous Tyrant
Links: Steam Workshop | Nexus

More NPC

Spawns more people walking on stations.

Author: Shamon
Links: Nexus

More Ship Rooms

Capital ships have more interior rooms to walk in. Purely immersion/visual change.

Author: Derinzed
Links: Nexus

New Visual Effect for Anomalies (ToA)

Changes the look of anomalies to a much nicer one. This version uses some effects added with Tides of Avarice DLC.

Tides of Avarice DLC is required for this version, but non-DLC version also exists.

Author: WhoKnows
Links: Steam Workshop | Nexus

No Claim Damage

Removes the damage to the ship dealt when you claim a ship that crew bailed out of. Especially useful for piracy playthroughs.

Author: kettu55
Links: Nexus

Sane Office Ambience

The ambient sounds in the Player Headquarters can definitely be annoying, especially if you idle a long time in your office. This simple mod removes these annoyances, making your stay in PHQ much more comfy.

Author: draeath
Links: Steam Workshop | Nexus

Civilian Fleets

Allows you to create a fleet of civilian ships, similarly how vanilla game allows creating fleets of combat ships. Great for management when your empire grows and you have a ton of logistics going all over the place.

Author: Vectorial1024
Links: Steam Workshop | Nexus


X4 Foundations is a great, if flawed, spacesim game. In my opinion - once you look past some of its shortcomings in some areas, it easily trumps competition like Elite Dangerous, Star Citizen and others - it allows much more gameplay flexibility, and has much much more content than its competitors.

Mods for this game help fix/alter some of the shortcomings X4 has. I definitely recommend modding the game as it greatly improves the experience - just be careful not to throw balance out the airlock - unless that’s exactly what you want!

And by all means - do explore Steam Workshop and Nexus Mods for more. My list is just the mods that I personally use and recommend - but X series always had a really strong modding community, so there’s definitely much more to discover - and if I start using more mods, I’ll keep this post updated!