Download and install the AI Battles mod.
(For those who've never installed a mod before: extract the zip such that you get a path Starsector/mods/AI Battles/mod_info.json
Also install the mod for the faction you're playing as, obviously. And Starsector+ (which changes some hullmod costs and such).
Vanilla faction players should also pick up SWP, although it's not strictly necessary.
Open AI Battles/tournament. You'll see this:
Do NOT rename those files! You have to use a code editor to modify their content in order for the game to read your fleet. I recommend using Notepad++ or Sublime Text as it won't modify the files' layout, that could potentially corrupt them. DO NOT use Word, DO NOT use Excel/Open Office and such unless you know how to configure them to not corrupt these files. Using the default Notepad is not recommended either.
Open the file playerX_data.csv
, where X is your player number in the brackets spreadsheet.
The first three values are self-explanatory. The number at the end is crew veterancy (0 = green, 1 = regular, 2 = veteran). Set it to what is set for your faction on the tournament bracket page.
Now we need to make a fleet. Open playerX_fleet.csv
The values, in order are:
ID (give each entry a different number)
Round number. For now, set this to 1
SHIP or WING
Ship variant or fighter wing ID
Officer personality. Values are "timid
" and "aggressive
". Does not apply to fighter wings.
Wing cost. Unfortunately fighter wing costs have to be entered manually; look up data/hulls/wing_data.csv
for your mod.
To start building my fleet, I like to fill in my entries with existing variants, like so:
(You can get variant names in data/variants
Launch Starsector with the AI Battles mod and any other needed mods.
In the mission list, scroll down to the tournament mission, hold down the Right Arrow key
, and click on the tournament mission till you get to your battle. If you overshoot, click while holding down Left Arrow.
(MAKE SURE your fleet is the player side, not the enemy one!)
(If your mission fails to load and you get the "Variant <name> not found" error message in the mission screen, make sure you're referencing the variant correctly in the .csv, then click the mission again to retry)
Let's quickly run the mission to check our fleet costs. Deploy all your ships at start, then close the map view.
The game will pause and the cost of the two fleets will appear as a popup.
Hmm, we're significantly over budget for the first round. Better get rid of one of the ships.
Exit the mission, but do not exit Starsector
. Open your fleet CSV again, and comment out (with a # at the start of line) or delete one or more of the ships:
Back in SS, click the mission again to refresh it.
Then launch the mission again.
There we go. Now it's time to customize our ships.
Export your variant using the GUI when you're done. (This can be helpful in the likely case that the game loses the variant info for it later, and to quickly set up a bunch of identical ships)
Once you're done, leave the refit screen and launch the mission to check costs again.
If you're still slightly over budget, try tweaking the weapon loadouts. You can find weapon costs in data/weapons/weapons.csv
PROTIP: After changing your fleet composition in the CSV, check your ship loadouts again. If you change the order of the ships by adding/removing a ship, all the ones that came after it will try and fail to get saved variants for the wrong hull type; you'll need to refit them. If you change a particular ship's hull, it'll also need refitting.
Exporting your variants
Once you've finished customizing your variants, it's time to export them.
Open Starsector/saves/missions/variants. Your exported variants will be saved as missions_common_<hullname>_<gibberish>.variant
(If you saved more than one variant and can't tell them apart, open in text editor and check the loadout).
Rename the variant file to something readable, like <myUsername>_<hull>_<variant>
. Open the file and change the ID as well.
Move the files to mods/AI Battles/data/variants. Update your fleet CSV to use them, like so:
restart Starsector and run the mission again to make sure everything checks out.
Submitting your fleet
Package your .csvs and variants into a zip, as shown in the images in the thread OP:
(Make sure to change your user name, fleet name and fleet prefix in playerX_data.csv
if you're using placeholders!)
Testing your fleet against potential opponents