New Cargoes

From Elite Wiki
Revision as of 05:36, 13 June 2023 by Cholmondely (talk | contribs) (Tagged as "Dark Wheel")
The specialist market is found on the F4 ship/station interface

New Cargoes adds over 100 new trade goods to the 8 galaxies. Each new good is a more specific variety of one of the generic cargoes: valuable to the right buyer, largely worthless otherwise.

In addition, a variety of new short-lived trading opportunities are available (you need TraderNet for these).

New Cargoes was designed to allow other OXPs to add cargoes, traders, and events to the universe as a framework, in addition to the cargoes and opportunities including in New Cargoes itself.


I really enjoy the variety and deepness New Cargoes gives to the game.

One of the things that slightly disappointed me about the original Elite was that you couldn't really follow in the footsteps of the fictional traders. There's a bit in the Dark Wheel where Alex Ryder is at Xezaor looking for cargo, notices that Durassion ore is available at a good price, and might sell well at Lave. But it's a long journey, and the travel would be worthless if a better deposit was found. He decides it's too risky and looks elsewhere. Later fiction has continued much the same idea that your basic Agri-Ind pair of planets won't generally cover a trader's expenses, and so longer and riskier trade routes develop.

In Elite, though, you could only buy general Minerals. And even if Xezaor has minerals at a good price, there's probably somewhere much closer than Lave to sell them for profit. Oolite - while a little more flexible in the cargo department - has much the same limitations ... but is extensible enough to work around them.

So, introducing the New Cargoes OXP. Any cargo you can imagine - provided it can reasonably be described under one of the 14 generic headings of 1TC cargo - can be offered for sale at some main stations and some OXP stations, and be sold for profit at others. Market collapses and variation are included, so the trading involves a degree of risk. Any OXP can define cargo and other functionality for the New Cargoes framework


  • Downloadable through the in-game Expansions Manager
  • The current version of New Cargoes is 1.2.3. Download 1.2.3 and install in the usual way. This moves access to the New Cargoes trading to the new Interfaces screen (F4)

Other OXPs

  • Famous Planets gives much of the F7 screen information which provides the clues for which systems export or require the various "new cargoes".
  • Sothis.oxp & SothisTC.oxp combined provide Sothis orbital stations in Corporate States only where one can read TraderNet for free and where there are more market opportunities for New Cargoes goods.

Other OXPs that affect cargo handling are compatible with New Cargoes.

  • HyperCargo, if installed, should be at least version 1.07. If you take an open contract, you should take care to avoid placing the open contract's cargo in the HyperCargo at any time, as you may lose it if you do.
  • Illegal Goods Tweak, if installed, should be at least version 1.7

Warning: Smugglers is incompatible with New Cargoes (they both involve licenses for regionally banned goods, and New Cargoes was never updated to the Trade-goods.plist, leading to issues with illegality).

TraderNet newsflash
TraderNet "Know your goods"

Using New Cargoes

Once New Cargoes is installed, load your saved game or start a new one. If this is the first time you have loaded the game since installing or upgrading New Cargoes, you should wait a couple of seconds before continuing, to ensure that all New Cargoes data is initialised properly.

  • In current versions: At any supported station, press F4 to bring up the Interface screen, then select "Speciality Cargo Trading" from the "Commerce" category.
  • In version 1.1.0 or earlier: At a main station, press F8 three times to get to the New Cargoes trade interface. At a supported non-main station, press F2 then F8 instead. When you have finished, select "Exit specialist cargo trading" to return to your ship.

Buying and selling cargo

Your first option allows you to buy special cargo from the station's market. This will be available in moderate quantities for a set price, similar to the standard trade goods. As usual, you must have room in your hold and enough credits on hand to buy the cargo. It will then appear on your ship's manifest as 1TC of the appropriate generic cargo type. For instance, if you buy "Goat Soup", it will appear as "Food" on your manifest.

The second option allows you to sell carried cargo to buyers at the station. Again, the price is set automatically for this service. Make sure you sell special cargo in this way rather than through the general F8 screen, or you will make a significant loss.

The trick, of course, is to buy the cargo cheaply at a system where it is plentiful, and then take it to sell for massive profits at a system where it is rare but desired. For most goods there will only be a small number of systems in each galaxy that really want to buy them.

Gathering trade route information

The third option tells you the exports and imports of the current system, and then takes you to the trader bars to gather gossip about other systems. Traders are sometimes happy to chat about their recent successes and failures, and intentionally giving misinformation is rare. Do remember, however, that just because one trader made a massive profit taking cargo from A to B doesn't mean you'll automatically be able to do the same. Try to confirm any information you pick up here before acting on it.

Trade deals

The fourth option takes you to the trade floor. In most main stations there will be someone here offering a more interesting deal - an auction, a special contract, a permit to legally carry controlled goods, or something else. Be careful, as not everyone here will have your best interests in mind. Make sure that you can fulfil your side of the deal before signing any agreements.

Detailed manifest

The fifth option shows your manifest in more detail, on multiple pages if needed. The origin of goods you have collected will be shown to aid your memory and help you assess your profit margins.

Contracts and permits

The sixth option shows you details of the contracts you have entered into, any permits you are carrying, and any special regulations applying to trade in this system.


If you have bought a TraderNet subscription, you can view recent TraderNet bulletins with the seventh option. These contain information on places to buy and sell trade goods, upcoming events, and regional fluctuations in prices. Spara's SothisTC variant station allows free access to TraderNet (requires you to modify the SothisTC oxp).

How to trade well

The concise summary:

  • Look at as many sources of information as you can about trade goods, and look for patterns in what can be bought and sold where. Have Famous Planets OXP loaded.
  • Plan your route in advance. If you don't have a full hold, maybe there's a short detour that would be profitable on the way.
  • Get a TraderNet subscription (from the shipyard), and keep it renewed. If you hear about something nearby, act quickly.

Transcript of the introductory lecture in the "advanced trading" course at Lave Academy.


If you choose to trade mostly or exclusively in new cargoes, then making a trading profit will become much less reliable (though there are higher profits when you succeed), and may require you to travel through more dangerous systems.

Also, New Cargoes makes some OXP stations - the ones which are most friendly to GalCop - use GalCop's rules for import and export of illegal goods. This can surprise you even if you aren't carrying new cargoes, so be careful.

New Cargoes for OXP writers

"New Cargoes provides a flexible framework for other OXPs to add extra cargoes and trade opportunities. See the New Cargoes API reference for more information" (Cim, 2013).

Sadly, New Cargoes was written before the introduction of the Trade-goods.plist with Oolite v.1.81, and never updated for it, so its utility in this regard is now somewhat spotty (Cholmondeley 2021).


"There are a few oxp's which I haven't maintained recently and probably don't work particularly well with the core changes since I wrote them. New Cargoes especially needs a ground-up rewrite to use the new commodity features (in the new Trade-goods.plist) properly (from" (Cim 2015). One supposes that ideally it would work through the F8/F8F8 screens rather than the F4 screen!


New Cargoes attempts to rework all the legal/illegal configuration by turning everything legal at base, and then applying legal penalties via code, essentially bypassing the core game code. It is not certain that the method used to nullify the illegal goods actually works, which means you could be double-pinged for any infringement.

And this is also one of the main reasons New Cargoes is incompatible with Phkb's Smugglers OXP, which is making goods illegal left, right and centre.

(Phkb (2021))

Change log

  • 1.2.3: Fix bugs with save/load of regional data and pricing of fetch contracts. Thanks to Solonar and Keeper for reports.
  • 1.2.2: Fix serious bug with losing cargo on launch. Thanks to Solonar for patient diagnosis.
  • 1.2.1: Fix bug with permits
  • 1.2.0: Oolite 1.77 required. Move access to the Interfaces screen. Some internal improvements, and a few more trade routes.
  • 1.1.0: Removed Snoopers dependency, some interface improvements suggested by JazHaz, by popular demand introduced a few easier ways to find out where trade goods can be exported and imported at a decent profit, and made import prices slightly more generous.
  • 1.0.6: Fix bugs with the handling of permits, Kiota stations, and open contracts found by Capt. Murphy, BuggyBY and XLA
  • 1.0.5: Fix bug with world script startup order found by Eric Walch.
  • 1.0.4: Fix bugs with Ore Processor and with open contracts; thanks to Wardy and BuggyBY
  • 1.0.3: Fix bug with import/export laws at some OXP stations; add new API functions.
  • 1.0.2: Fix bug with permits and misjumps; thanks to Capt. Murphy for report.
  • 1.0.1: Extra API function for HyperCargo compatibility
  • 1.0.0: Initial release version


This OXP is truly brilliant! It makes trading much more complex and realistic. For example, the new cargoes you find can be either cheap local products or more expensive items which have been imported - and you need to work out which! Prices also vary regionally.

It brings some of the Lore to life.

1) it was never updated for Oolite v.1.82 - so the functioning of the illegal trade may not properly work. See here (Phkb, 2016).
2) it is clunky. Needing to shift backwards and forwards between the F4 & F8 screens is not great (one presumes that were thoughts of using the then new F8F8 screen, but they were never implemented). There is no obvious sign on the F8 screen that the new cargo is a much more expensive "new cargo".
3) it clashes with Smugglers which also does wonderful things for Oolite trade. See Phkb 2016 above
4) There are a number of oddities mentioned on the sector system pages which could do with being included eg: Digebitian duelling pistols, Tionislan hunting crossbows & Lavese bacons. These seem to have originally come from The Traders Almanach - and there are a handful of others such as the Bemearean walnut wood used for the Fer-de-Lance dashboards.


Gameplay and Balance Indicator


Trade becomes much more complex (and realistic).

Quick Facts

Version Released License Features Category Author(s) Feedback
1.2.3 2013-02-09 CC-BY-SA 3 New cargoes and trade contracts Mechanics OXPs cim BB-Link