|The FRED Portal|
|5 Easy Steps|
|FRED Hints and Tips|
|Common FRED Mistakes|
|Volition's FRED2 Tutorial|
|Highlighted FRED Features|
|Command Line Options|
|Improved Team Loadout|
|List of Minor Features|
|Tutorial - Autopilot missions|
|Counting with Variables|
|Tutorial - In-Mission Jumps|
|Mission Designer's Reference|
|Friendly Wing Names|
|Enemy Wing Names|
|FreeSpace 1 Ship Database|
|FreeSpace 2 Ship Database|
|Stars and Planets|
|Common Issues FAQ|
Welcome to the FRED portal. Here you will find tips, guides, links, reference material, and other information regarding the FreeSpace Editor and mission design. What you will not find here is information on modding FreeSpace. For that, please see the Modding Portal.
FRED (main window pictured left) is the editor developed and used by Volition to make the missions and campaigns of both FreeSpace games. As such, FRED is very powerful, once the initial learning period is over. Unlike mission and level editors released for other games, no functionality was removed from FRED.
FRED is a fully 3D editor, allowing placement of objects on all axes (X, Y, and Z), has full symbolic expression (SEXP) scripting support, allows the inclusion of voice acting for briefings and mission messages, can create both subspace and nebula missions, contains a full-fledged campaign editor, including the ability to add cutscenes, and much more.
There are actually three versions of this editor: FRED, which was the original editor supplied with Descent: FreeSpace - The Great War and is largely obsolete now; FRED2, which was the updated editor supplied with FreeSpace 2, and finally FRED2_Open, which is the open source version of the editor and the only one to support the many additions and improvements made, since the source code of FreeSpace 2 was released.
The information found on these pages refers primarily to FRED2_Open, as it is the most recent version and the only one continually updated with support for new features, but some reference material is available for FRED2. The general continuity material in the "Mission Designer's Reference" section is valid for all versions of the editor.
The best way to become familiar with FRED2, and by association FRED2_Open, is to complete the FRED walkthrough, provided with the retail version of FreeSpace 2. The walkthrough covers everything needed to design a working mission, but it may not be available to those who do not own the retail version of FreeSpace 2. To alleviate this problem, a link to the online version of the walkthrough, without the sample mission, is provided below. Additional resources for FRED users of all skill levels are available in this section, with material in the "Learning FRED" section being geared specifically toward beginners.
Also, keep in mind that FRED2_Open is under constant development. This can create difficulties in keeping this section up-to-date, but as new features are added to the editor, the information box below will be updated to reflect the most recent changes.
FRED2_Open builds are included with every released Windows build of FreeSpace Open (FSO), whether the release is an official (final) release, a release candidate, or a nightly build. Please see the Source Code Project forum and the Nightly Builds forum for builds. Note that during a release candidate process, new nightly builds are not released.