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On the fringe of Human space, near the Kilrathi border, the industrial machine is running full-tilt to feed the war effort, and there is a lot of shipping - but also a lot of pirates, Retros (religious fanatics who want to destroy technology), military, militia, merchants, mercenaries, and privateers. In the darkness, a battle between ships has woken up something ancient, powerful, and deadly.

Wing Commander: Privateer is a space trading and combat simulation. The player assumes the role of a privateer. Start with the lowly scout, and upgrade to one of the three other superior ships: Galaxy (superior cargo space), Orion (superior protection), or Centurion (superior offense). Buy optional equipment such as armor, engines, shields, weapons, launchers for torpedoes/missiles, and more. Take on missions (multiple sources, from the cheapest mission computer, to fixers who has the toughest but most rewarding missions) and earn money for upgrades. Use spare cargo room to trade commodities to further add to the account. Missions can vary from search and destroy to Fedex (i.e. delivery) to bounty hunting, and more.

The game is set in the Wing Commander universe, but is more of a free-form game similar to Elite. While there is a central plot, the player can deviate from it somewhat and can continue playing the game after completing the main story missions.


Wing Commander: Privateer DOS Leaving a mining base
Wing Commander: Privateer DOS New Constantinople
Wing Commander: Privateer DOS You will visit the bars alot throughout the game
Wing Commander: Privateer DOS The game starts in a base located in the Troy system.

Promo Images

Wing Commander: Privateer Screenshot
Wing Commander: Privateer Screenshot
Wing Commander: Privateer Screenshot
Wing Commander: Privateer Screenshot

Alternate Titles

  • "Trade Commander" -- working title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Despite some mild flaws, an absolutely superb game that everyone should try DOS dogwank (5)
The definitive space mercenary experience.... man, I LOVE this game! DOS Zovni (10646)
Total Freedom! Choose your career. Make your own destiny. DOS Jesse French (2)
A fine "Elite" derivative, with all the WC flavor intact DOS Kasey Chang (4617)
I'll slow roast your (g)uts! DOS Shiek of Geek (30)
Best game I've ever played, period. DOS Cyric (50)
One wonders why Privateer 2 was a step backward from this classic. DOS Chockydonutman (5)
Over all the game rocks DOS Lord Dragon (3)
General Review DOS Chad Henshaw (32)
A must-see game DOS Patrick McCarron (6)

Critic Reviews

ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) DOS Oct, 1993 11 out of 12 92
PC Games (Germany) DOS Oct, 1993 92 out of 100 92
Play Time DOS Nov, 1993 91 out of 100 91
PC Player (Germany) DOS Nov, 1993 90 out of 100 90
PC Player (Germany) DOS Apr, 1995 85 out of 100 85
Score DOS Jan, 1994 84 out of 100 84
Svenska Hemdatornytt DOS Nov, 1993 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 83
Computer Gaming World (CGW) DOS May, 1994 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars 70
Top Secret DOS Feb, 1994 7 out of 10 70
Computer Gaming World (CGW) DOS Dec, 1993 Unscored Unscored


Topic # Posts Last Post
disk 5 1 John Sheehy
Dec 17, 2007



When you finish the game, your character was having a conversation with the admiral... Then all of a sudden they started talking back and forth about the game and its creators!

Hidden game

There is a hidden text adventure. Information on how to access it can be found in the hint section.


Although Privateer's player's guide was quite run-of-the-mill compared to other Origin game manuals it did come with a short story. The Frontiersman: Interview With A Privateer was the account of an interview conducted to our very own Brownhair (with all names changed to protect the innocent, of course) and which told us his story to the point were he sets sail to the Gemini sector. The story also explains his relationship with the Retros and adds a more somber tone to the game, particularly to it's add-on, Righteous Fire.

Player character

According to an early Origin press release the player character (brownhair)'s name is Grayson Burrows.

System requirements

On the box of the German disk version of privateer there was as hardware minimum requirements announced a 386 DX with 25 MHz. But on the first pages of the manual suddenly they wrote that the minimum is a 386 DX with 33 MHz. From nowadays viewpoint, when clock speed is counted at hundreds, nothing important, but in 1993 this was rather annoying when you just owned a 25 MHz machine.


  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 12/1999 - #59 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking
Information also contributed by Benjamin Dunham, Kasey Chang, xcorn1602 and Zovni

Related Web Sites

  • Privateer entry on Old Skool PC - Classics Reunited (Nifty site with lots of info on Wing Commander: Privateer. Game details, overview of all the ships in the game, stats on everything from weapons to commodities, the NavMap, list of planets and bases, mission walkthrough, desktop themes... even some soundtrack files. Also has some links to patches and editors. )
Contributed to by Picard (41048), Sciere (533007) and IJan (1999)