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There are an incredible number of differences between X-Piratez and Vanilla X-COM. This lists some of the major ones.
1. Melee - Melee is very viable in this game. Weapons are highly dependent on your gals' stats, so take some time to make sure you're equipping them effectively. Also, every unit has an Evasion stat that reduces the hit chance of melee weapons. This is reduced when attacking from the flank and back.
2. CQC - Units with an enemy next to them have a larger chance to miss with firearms. Rushing into melee is a viable tactic to keep your gals alive.
3. Research - The research tree is ludicrously big and interconnected, and you start knowing basically nothing. Make sure to research everything and read every article, as the many new mechanics are explained within. It is also very worthwhile to research captives multiple times. Right-clicking a research topic will bring up the research tree viewer.
4. Weather - Some maps have weather conditions. Only you are affected by weather, so taking too much time can result in a surprising loss.
5. Infamy - You get a monetary bonus at the end of each month equal to 333 x Score. Negative score doesn't deduct money.
6. Morale - Gals constantly lose morale in battle, down to their Bravery stat.
7. QOL - There are lots of minor features added to X-Piratez that will make your life easier.
Middle-click on anything, including enemies, to get more information about them. Press Q to bring up the search bar. Scroll-lock toggles Night Vision mode. F5/F9 in inventory to save/load loadouts. Ctrl-H brings up the hit log to see if your weapons are doing damage. It displays 4 outcomes: =>,0,hit,hit! Hold Alt to show direction arrows above enemies. Alt also displays damage range of weapons when you are shooting. Ctrl-clicking lets your gals run. This takes less TUs, more energy, and disables stopping on seeing an enemy or reaction fire, so you can run into your death. Hold Ctrl while shooting to force fire.
The general goal of X-Piratez is to lead your crew to riches and glory, while also ensuring they live long enough to partake in such riches. The first thing any player should do is read the in-game bootypedia, and get your base affairs in order.
Go through your combat crew and arm them on the Airbus. The automatically assigned weapons aren't always appropriate. Try to give each of your gals a weapon that can stun, as captives are quick way to make cash.
Once finished, assign a research project. It is highly recommended to start with
Visit Nearby Town-> Call a Meeting -> Loot Distribution -> Recruitment
You can sell the starting Corridor for some extra money. Make sure not to sell the Menacing Hull, the Laboratory, and the Tiny Drill.
Most missions (pink crosses) don't cost you score if you ignore them. There are 2 exceptions to this - Help the Lokk'Narrs and Mutant Pogroms. You will suffer a -100 score for ignoring pogroms, it's often best to at least arrive, and if you can't succeed immediately retreat.
You only start with 6 gals and need to research to hire more so do everything in your power to keep them alive and healthy. Be sure to bring bandages and heal fatal wounds to reduce healing time.
Your starting weapons have horrible accuracy. Try going on night missions at the start. You have a small vision advantage over most early enemies, and it allows you to get close enough for your weapons to be effective. Shotguns are a natural choice of weaponry if you do this. This only applies for human opponents - Don't go on monster hunts at night!
There are many different enemies and environments in X-Piratez, which require a large variety of equipment. There is no 80 item limit on your craft, so stuff everything you could possibly need in, and make use of the inventory save/load function.
Don't hesitate to abort a mission if it looks unwinnable. Sometimes it's better to just kill whoever's near the LZ, grab their loot and run. OTOH, most weapons can be used without being researched, so use that loot to try and win the mission.
Bows and other indirect fire weapons can be really useful early on, especially on Ratmen Rodeos. Also, keep a couple of Molotovs on your gals, as they are the quickest way to kill drones and cause panic. Furthermore on Ratmen Rodeo missions be sure to bring a gal or two armed with hammers or pickaxes to destroy walls that Enemies may be stuck behind.
Furthermore you will eventually access space missions, one of these missions, "Disruptive Transmissions" is VERY dangerous for the two gals you will likely send, so make sure you have space suits and laser weapons for them to fight with. Ignoring Disruptive Transmissions will incur a penalty.