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There are several types of regular Mission within Endless sky, Bounty hunter missions, passenger transports, goods transport, Escort, and Scenario missions. These are all randomized and repeatable.
You will only be offered mission that your current ship can complete. If you buy a new ship and the mission requires outfits that your current ship does not have, you will have to abandon the mission or outfit it differently. E.g for passenger missions, passenger space is required, and the only fix is to get the Bunkbeds outfit.
Randomized and repeatable.
Highly paid, usually four jumps away. Pirates always attack in the destination system, if not before. Combat rating or similar, required.
Very highly paid, usually a return journey involved. Incomplete list, feel free to add more:
- Transport Scientists
- Record Convention
- Supplies for party
Named pirates will always be within two systems of the planet offering the bounty. They wander from one system to another. Players tend to prefer taking these missions and then continuing on their business; the mission target will present itself then as an ambush, but with a good ship, pirates ambush the player anyway, and it saves a lot of time searching for the target. https://steamcommunity.com/app/404410/discussions/0/496880203073438936/
Friendly NPCs do not attack bounties, unlike pirates. Upon jumping into the system, the bounty will only target the player (and escorts), likely to make it more difficult for the player and so that the money can go to the player rightfully.
The same each new game, these are linear narratives and unrepeatable.