Various Terms

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This is a list of terms, abbreviations, and other jargon that the FreeSpace community uses.

Fan Terminology

  • AAA - Anti-figther beam
  • AWOL - Absent without leave. In FreeSpace, it is used to refer to the debriefing stage that tells the pilot when he left the area without being authorized to do so.
  • CM - Countermeasure
  • CB - Command Briefing.
  • CBAnim - Command Briefing animation.
  • Colly - The GTVA Colossus
  • FRED - FReespace EDitor. The program created by Volition to make the mission and campaigns for both FreeSpace games. Released to the public along with said games.
  • SEXP - Symbolic EXPressions. Special function strings within FRED that allow for complex mission objectives and other things to be carried out by a mission bulider.
  • FS1 - Descent: FreeSpace, The Great War. Also called Conflict: FreeSpace, The Great War in Europe. The first game of the series.
  • FS2 - FreeSpace 2. The second game of the series.
  • FS3 - FreeSpace 3. Would be the third game of the series, but it won't happen. There is no FS3.
  • FS2_Open - The open source version of FS2.
  • FSO - The open source version of FS2. Used interchangably with FS2_Open.
  • GOG or GoG- Good Old Games. A digital distribution website that sells copies of FreeSpace 2. See Getting FreeSpace.
  • Retail - The original, unaltered version of FreeSpace 2. (=not FreeSpace Open)
  • RTB - "Return to base." Used to refer to the directive that tells the player to return to base.
  • SCP - Source Code Project. The people responsible for creating, maintaining and debugging FS2_Open.
  • V or [V] - Volition Inc., the developer of FreeSpace and FreeSpace 2.
  • VBB - Volition Bulletin Board. The boards Volition maintained as a centre for the FS community. Now defunct.
  • HUD - Heads-up Display.
  • HOTU - Home of the Underdogs. A website used to have some copes of FreeSpace 2 for purchase. See also GOG
  • HLP - Hard Light Productions, the hub of the FreeSpace community.
  • Lucy - The SD Lucifer
  • VW - Volition Watch, developer fansite covering the FreeSpace, Red Faction and Summoner series. Awaiting demolition.
  • F2S - FreeSpace 2 Sector - Smaller FS2 community.
  • MediaVP or MVP - VP files with graphical enhancements for FreeSpace Open
  • SG - Sectorgame - Network which hosts F2S. Often used interchangably (though inaccurately) with F2S.
  • TC - Total Conversion. See Total conversions
  • FS2NetD - FS2 Network Game Monitor - Utility used to monitor FS2 network games being operated on the FS2Net servers.
  • FSPort - FreeSpace 1 ported to run on FreeSpace 2.

Abbreviations of campaign names

This list is incomplete and not necessarily up-to-date. See also Narwhal's Campaign List
  • The 158th: The 158th Banshee Squadron
  • AAB: Ascension and Beyond (dead)
  • AHTW: All Hands to War (not hosted at HLP)
  • AotD: Angels of the Damned (not hosted at HLP)
  • TAP: The Apocalypse Project
  • TBP: The Bablyon Project
  • BtRL: Beyond the Red Line (not hosted at HLP, it can be found on GW)
  • BWO: Blackwater Operations
  • CoW: Casualties of War
  • CoS: Nukemod - Children of Shiva (also refered to as Nukemod-CoS or just Nukemod)
  • DEM: Deus Ex Machina
  • FA: FRED Academy (This is not a campaign)
  • FotG: Fate of the Galaxy (also known as the Star Wars Conversion)
  • FSC or FSPort: FreeSpace Conversion or FreeSpace Port (they're the same project)
  • FSU: FreeSpace Upgrade Project
  • INF: Inferno, can refer to any Inferno mod
  • INFA or INFA1: Inferno Alliance
  • INFA2: Sequel of INFA1 or INFA
  • INFR1: Inferno Release 1
  • INFASA: Inferno Alliance Standalone
  • INF SCP: Inferno SCP
  • ITHOV: Into the Halls of Valhalla
  • JAD: Just Another Day
  • JtEP: The Journey to Epsilon Pegasi
  • LM: The Lightning Marshal
  • MT: Machina Terra
  • MG: Mind Games
  • NTV: Neo-Terra Victorious
  • PI: The Procyon Insurgency
  • RR: Renegade Resurgence
  • SA: Scroll of Antankharzim
  • SoL: Shadows of Lylat (not hosted at HLP, it can be found on GW)
  • ST: Silent Threat
  • ST:R: Silent Threat: Reborn (a FreeSpace Port campaign)
  • SWC: See FotG (Fate of the Galaxy)
  • TI: Twisted Infinities
  • TotT: Teeth of the Tiger (Also ToT)
  • TTP: The Titan Project
  • TS: Technological Superiority (discontinued)
  • TVWP: Terran-Vasudan War Project
  • WCS: Wing Commander Saga

File extensions

These are FreeSpace-related extensions only.

  • .ani - Animation files such as explosions
  • .fc2 - FreeSpace 2 campaign
  • .fs2 - FreeSpace 2 mission
  • .fsm - FreeSpace 1 mission
  • .pof - Model files with additional gameplay-related information like position of subsystems, turrets, etc.
  • .tbl - Table file
  • .tbm - Modular table
  • .vp - Volition package files

Multiplayer Terminology

Following lists some of the terms commonly seen on multiplayer chat screens.

  • AE: Area-Effect weapon. These include EMP missiles, Infyrnos and Piranhas.
  • AI: Computer-controlled ships
  • Coop: Cooperative game. All players are on the same side and work together to accomplish the mission objectives.
  • Dogfight: A free-for-all type of game, essentially the Deathmatch of FreeSpace. All players are on their own and fight for survival.
  • EMP: The EMP missile
  • Fire: The Infyrno missile
  • Fish: The Piranha missile
  • Lag: "Jumpiness" in a multiplayer game due to slow Internet connections. FreeSpace has always had a lag problem, and even modern, high-speed connections have trouble hosting and playing online FreeSpace games. Can be greatly migitated by having all players set their "Object Update" setting to Low.
  • Lag bombing: Double-linking your secondary slot, firing, then quickly switching to your other secondary slot and firing it. Continue cycling and firing secondary slots until the server finally updates and you must wait to reload. This is often outlawed in multiplayer games.
  • Lock/Unlock: Refers to the "Lock" button on the mission briefing screen. The host (or in TvT game, team captains) have to click the "Lock" button to allow other pilots/wingmates to make ship/loadout changes.
  • LOW (object updates): Setting the "Object Updates" on "LOW" on the multiplayer options page - the preferred setting for MP clients. Limits the connection bit rate between the MP host and the client in order to make the game run smoother for everyone. Using something else than LOW against host instructions may get you kicked! Later FS2 Open builds provide a means for the host to force low object updates (the -cap_object_update flag).
  • SD: Self Destruct (by pressing SHIFT+END)
  • STD rules: Standard Rules - A set of rules commonly followed in TvT matches: no AI, no EMP, no Fire, no Fish, no SD allowed during the game.
  • Tab loading: A procedure by which server lag allows one to load a ship with a weapon that it isn't able to carry by default, eg, Helios on a Perseus. Specifically, keep the TAB key held down while you switch ships and quickly jump to the weapons loadout screen to load a prohibited weapon on to your new ship. The server still thinks that you have your old ship selected, and so its "weapons permissions" will not update in time to prevent you from loading something illegal. This usually considered a cheat, but some of the old multiplayer maps were actually made to acommodate this tactic.
  • TvT: Team versus Team game. The players are divided into two sides and fight for supremacy.

Ingame Terminology

  • ETS - Energy Transfer System
  • HUD - Heads-up Display. The interface the player uses while flying.
  • Subsystem - Targetable and destroyable systems of a ship, e. g. radars, engines.

Designation Prefixes

Designation Suffixes

  • _A - AWACS
  • _B - Bomber
  • _C - Cruiser
  • _Ca - Carrier (non-canon)
  • _Cv - Corvette
  • _D - Destroyer
  • _Dr - Drone
  • _Dn - Dreadnaught (non-canon)
  • _EP - Escape Pod
  • _F - Fighter
  • _Fg - Frigate (non-canon)
  • _Ff - Frigate (non-canon)
  • _Fr or FR - Freighter
  • _G - Gas Miner
  • _H - Hive (non-canon)
  • _I - Installation
  • _J - Juggernaut
  • _M - Medical Ship
  • _NB - Navigation Buoy
  • _S - Support Ship
  • _SG - Sentry Gun
  • _SJ - Super Juggernaut (non-canon)
  • _T - Transport
  • _W - Weapon (FreeSpace 1)(FreeSpace 2)

Fighter Units and Roles

  • Wing - A unit of fightercraft, varying in size from one to six ships. The normal number is four. Ships of a wing are labelled by their wing name and a number (i.e. Alpha 1, Alpha 2, and so on). The GTVA uses the Greek alphabet for its wings and the signs of the zodiac for hostile wings. In FS1, Shivan wings were named after Hindu gods. Wing is also sometimes used for freighter or transport groups.
  • Squadron - Refers to an organized group of pilots, e. g. 242nd Suicide Kings
  • Stealth Recon - Fighters that specialize in infiltrating hostile territory and acquiring information without being detected. The GTF Pegasus and the GVF Ptah are the only canon stealth fighters.
  • Interceptor - A fighter role that aims at the destruction of hostile fighters and bombers. Interceptors are fast and agile, but are weakly shielded and armored.
  • Space Superiority - A versatile fighter role that is capable in all sorts of roles, except for bombing. A celebrated example of a Space Superiority fighter is the GTF Myrmidon
  • Heavy Assault - Heavy Assault fighters have tremendous secondary capacity, heavy shielding and armoring at the expense of speed and maneuverability
  • Bomber - A bomber is a very heavy craft that specializes in carrying bombs. They attack freighter-size ship and above. Bombers are very slow and easily taken down without fighter escorts. Bombers are further categorized into light, medium, and heavy bombers.

Ship Types

Cruiser - Smallest combatant capital craft classification. Cruisers are at least several times the size of a fighter or bomber and possess mainly antifighter weaponry, with one or two (or in the case of the SC Rakshasa, three) anticapital weapons. The defensive fire of a cruiser is rarely capable of stopping a determined bomber wing, and most are vulnerable to even a well-handled lone fighter. Unable to carry fighters. Canonical examples include the Fenris and the Leviathan. In FS1, cruisers were deployed for both offensive and defensive tasks by all sides to any situation not requiring the attention of a destroyer. In FS2 Shivan cruisers are often deployed in mainline antiship and strike roles, while GTVA cruisers tend to be used as escorts and patrol craft.

Corvette - Middle ground combatant capital craft, falling between the cruiser and the destroyer in size and capablity. Equipped with between two and four anticapital weapons and considerably more impressive antifighter armament than a cruiser. Corvettes are capable of defending themselves adequately against a small number of enemy fighters or bombers. With the exception of the SCv Moloch, corvettes are unable to carry fighters of their own. Corvettes appear to handle most of the antiship and strike duties for the GTVA fleet; Shivan corvettes are extremely rare and have only been deployed against GTVA destroyers canonically. Whether this is their role or not is guesswork.

Destroyer - Large combatant capital craft, combining the functions of destroying enemy ships and transporting fighters. Destroyers vary wildly in armament and effectiveness against different types of targets. They will have at least one heavy-calibur anticapital weapon and probably several more, plus a number of cruiser-corvette anticapital weapons. Destroyers tend to need fighter cover more than corvettes; some of them actually mount fewer antifighter weapons, and all have much larger amounts of surface area that needs to be defended. Any situation with the direct involvement of a destroyer-class ship is by definition serious.

Superdestroyer - Bigger, meaner, and tougher than a destroyer, yet too small for the juggernaut classification; first applied well before the juggernaut classification came into existence. Only the Hades and Lucifer have canonically been given this classification. The nature of the canonical superdestroyers was such that any appearance by them indicates the major effort by the controlling side. Their success is often decisive for that system, while their failure is a blow that is difficult to recover from.

Juggernaut - The pinnacle of combatant capital craft, a juggernaut is capable of making mincemeat out of an enemy fleet singlehanded and is superbly equipped to combat other capital craft. Due to its large surface area its defenses against fightercraft attack are generally somewhat thinly spread, but a juggernaut's sheer ability to absorb damage means that only another juggernaut or a mass attack by corvettes and destroyers is capable of destroying one in anything like a timely manner. Only the SJ Sathanas has canonically been given this classification, though the Colossus could also be classified as juggernaut. The presence of a juggernaut, like a superdestroyer, indicates the controlling side considers the mission absolutely essential; decisive for the system if not the campaign or the entire war.

Installation - A space station, described as "installation" because of its size, self-sufficiency, and permanence. The only installation class canonically known is the Arcadia. The GTVA's naming system for installations generally includes something indicating their nature. Installation Riveria, Tombaugh Station, Enif Station, and the Vega Installation are examples.


  • AAA or AA - Anti-fighter beam cannon
  • Aspect-seeking - A type of secondary that must acquire a lock to track the target. See GTM Harpoon.
  • Blob turret - A primary weapon-based, warship-mounted turret. Terran Turret is a prototypical example of it.
  • Countermeasure or CM - An anti-missile defensive mechanism for fighter-sized craft.
  • Dumbfire - Secondary weapons cannot acquire any kind of lock on the target. See GTM Tempest.
  • Heat-seeking - A type of secondary weapon that acquires instant lock on the nearest target and chases it until it gets out of its cone.
  • Primary - Primary weapons in FreeSpace are energy-based lasers.
  • Secondary - Secondary weapons in FreeSpace are missiles and bombs.
  • Slash beam - A slash beam is a type of beam weapon.
  • Swarm missile - Swarm missiles are secondary weapons that are fired in multiple numbers. See GTM Hornet

Terms related to modelling

  • Greeble: Small piece of detail which serve no other purpose only to make a ship look better.
  • LOD: Level of Detail. The further you get away from a ship, the less detailed it will be rendered.
  • TrueView: A plugin utility for trueSpace. Ideal for building hierarchy. However, not a must.
  • Single-part turret: A single-part turret, is, in a word, a turret without any barrels.
  • Multi-part turret: A multi-part turret is, in a word, a turret with one, two or three barrels.