The Pirates is a group of factions that regularly raid any sector and will have a hostile relations towards all other factions. These relations, as of now, cannot be changed via diplomacy. Although all the groups of pirates have that in common of being pirates, they do not work together, on the contrary the pirates tend to attack each other if given the chance. All pirates follow the same naming system, being The [Pirate Faction] Pirates, for example: The Ujvaek Pirates.
Pirates tend ambush the player in sectors with hidden mass signature, in groups of roughly ten ships plus a Marauder. Bear in mind, that the player can always escape the pirates by jumping into another sector, the pirates will not follow. However, when close to player-owned ship, pirates increase hyperspace cooldown time, making immediate escape problematic.
Sometimes pirates attack random sectors, spawning several ships with the appropriate notification. They do not appear in the sector unless the player is also in this sector.
It is possible to find sectors owned by Pirates, marked as hidden mass signature sectors, although it is very rare to find such sectors. In these pirate-owned sectors, there is always a shipyard present, and if a player is to find such a station, and they destroy it, it will drop massive amounts of loot, some being marked as stolen cargo and some acting like normal cargo. These sectors, however, could prove challenging for new players: while some pirates merely warn to leave their space at once, others attack on sight, and the sector usually has a number of ships stronger than average.
It is possible to spawn pirate-infested sectors (or even pirate-owned shipyards) via certain quests.
Sometimes, the player will receive a distress signal from an unknown source. This distress signal can either be a real call for help, or it can be pirates making a fake call for help to lure unexpecting ships into a trap. The distress signal will lead the player to a sector – marked with an exclamation mark, but coordinates are also given in chat – where, if it's a real call for help, a group of convoy ship are heavily outnumbered by pirates. If you successfully defend the convoy from the pirates, you will receive money, a turret and your relations towards the faction the convoy ships belong to, will also increase with roughly 5,000. If, however, the signal is a pirate lure, you will be greeted by a pirate frigate, taunting you for your stupidity of falling into their trap. If the pirates are defeated, you will not be granted any goods except for those you gained from the fight itself.