Using FRED2

NOTE: Before playing with FRED2, you are strongly encouraged to complete the main FreeSpace 2 campaign. Certain surprises may be spoiled otherwise.

Welcome to FRED2, the mission editor for FreeSpace 2. This powerful, easy-to-use program lets you create your own FreeSpace 2 missions and campaigns.

The help is divided into the following files:

  • Quick Start walks you through designing a simple mission. It will probably take less than two minutes.
  • Basic Concepts explains things like moving the camera and placing ships.
  • The Toolbar covers the buttons near the top of the FRED2 window.
  • Menu Commands explains the various pull-down menus, except for the Editors menu.
  • The Extended Walkthrough shows you how to create a detailed, polished mission.
  • The Editors are explained in a separate section.
  • Working With SEXPs explains how to use FRED2's symbolic expressions, which control events, ship arrival cues, and many other things.
  • Internet Links points you to resources for getting help, learning more, and sharing missions with others.
  • Use the Index to quickly find the right place to do just about anything in FRED2.
These help files are made for reading in a web browser. You can have FRED2 and your browser open at the same time; use Alt-Tab to switch quickly between them. Since there are many screenshots, you will probably want to turn on "automatically load images". Of course, you can print out the help files if you wish.

If you are new to designing FreeSpace missions, begin with the Quick Start. Read the next three sections (don't worry, they're short), then do the Extended Walkthrough. You'll learn about the Editors and SEXPs along the way. Finally, check out the Internet Links.

If you are experienced with the original FRED, read through the Extended Walkthrough; you might learn something new. Have a look at the list of operators in Working With SEXPs. Finally, skim over the Index and follow the link to anything that looks interesting.