List of FRED-related topics

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In this section, you will receive a number of suggestions from beginner level to advanced.

Click here to go back to the main FRED portal page.

General topics

This article deals with the process of getting started with FRED, from the moment you decide to create your own mission to the point of making it a reality. Written by Black Wolf.
Some quick one-liner tips to making your missions better.
This article deals with how to and when to edit your missions in a text editor.
Some tips to find the right difficulty for your missions.
Deals with spelling/punctuation mistakes FREDders typically make.
Hints and advice to avoid technical flaws in your missions. Somewhat related to mission balance, but this article is more technical.
A collection of 13 typical FREDding mistakes, copy/pasted from a forum post by karajorma.

FRED features

Tips, tricks, and tutorials

Basic tutorials

How to set up a "You had no authorization to return to base, pilot." debriefing stage.
How to avoid messing up object position in the briefing editor.
How to make convoys approach one waypoint without ramming into one another.
Teaches you how to make variables keep track of the number of specific things in a mission (number of turrets, enemy ships etc.)
Clears up the confusion regarding the different meanings of term disarm.
This article is about invisible characters in ship names and how to use them.
Deals with the basics of making cutscenes in FRED. Yes, FRED, not animated ones like the official cutscenes!
Two articles that deal with the creation and maintenance of the "Return to base" directive.

Tips and tricks

Written with the Wing Commander Saga in mind, this article deals with how to use the autopilot feature of FRED Open.
Matrix-style bullet time is possible with FreeSpace Open. Here's how.
A quick and easy tutorial on how to make a directive turn false (colored red on the HUD) whenever you want it to.
An in-depth discussion of applying effects (harmful and helpful included) to ships within a given area.
Deals with making objects behave like proximity mines.
How to make ships turn completely stealthed within regular intervals. This is not the same effect as the one in Out of the Dark, Into the Night!


These articles are more subjective and debatable than the rest. Please do not make content-altering changes to them without discussing it on their respective talk pages.

The Battle of Endor Syndrome is a community jargon that refers to massive engagements. These battles are very often problematic because the player has little influence over the outcome. The current article is a heavily revised version of the original article, posted by Zarathud back in the FS1 days.
The first version of the article was written by Mobius, and was dealing with the narrative techniques of character-driven campaigns. The current revision represents a more balanced and commonly accepted view of the subject.
This article gives some hints on how to avoid the "infinite loop" scenario. Original article is written by TopAce, which is the current revision at the Wiki at the moment.
The essay gives some tips to make your conversations more engaging. The current revision is essentially the same as the one posted by Blaise Russel(?), with some formatting changes to fit a wiki interface.
The author gives some suggestions on how to make pirates act more credibly in your campaign. Written by NGTM-1R.
This how-to deals with upgrading old campaigns with newer FreeSpace Open features, while retaining the original gameplay of the campaign under revision. Originally submitted by Mobius, with the title "The Art of Upgrading Campaigns."
An essay dealing with a minimalist approach to creating missions. The original version was written by TopAce. The current revision is essentially the same as the first draft, with some additions and grammar fixes.


A copy/pastable reference material regarding mission backgrounds. You must have some knowledge of editing missions in a text editor.
A list of canon friendly wing names.
A list of canon enemy wing names.
The accepted command lines of FRED Open. The last major revision dates back to 2006, so the article is outdated.
Reference regarding how much distance a ship takes while jumping in/out.
Sorting canon nebula backgrounds by color.

Hints for mission types

See also

A community project headed by HLP admin karajorma.
A lengthy article posted by Ken "frobby" Ramsley, titled "Inducing Reality - the Holy Grail of Storytelling," dealing with narrative techniques.
An in-universe reference of canon ships and weapons.