ByKen McDonnell, writer at
Now Loading's sentimental Irishman. I can't stop playing Overwatch, please send help.
Ken McDonnell

In No Man's Sky, if you're not running around on planets and staring at some strange creatures, assigning them embarrassing names that they'll have to live with forever and then trying to make them your pet, you're in your ship.

Your starship is your home as you travel across an 18-quintillion-planet-wide galaxy, and it's important to take care of it and understand all there is to know. So let's break down these space vessels, how they work, how you can pick up some new ones, and ensure they carry you to the center of the galaxy in style.

No Man's Sky: Let's Talk Starships

The Classes

There are three classes of ships in No Man's Sky, with each one providing various benefits and fulfilling roles for different kinds of gamers. Which one will you pick?

  • Explorer - Equipped with superior engines and improved hyperdrives, these ships will carry you faster and further than any other class. They boast improved stealth capabilities, too, if you fancy being a sneaky explorer.
  • Fighter - What else could one of these ships be good at other than combat? For players that enjoy taking part in space battles with pirates and attacking all that they can in the final frontier, this is the ship for you. They have improved weaponry and shields, enabling them to deal plenty of damage while taking it.
  • Trader - These are some big (ugly) ships. After all, they have a lot to carry. Trader ships have larger cargo capacity enabling the player to transport a lot more resources and items across space. They may be slow and bulky, but they have some big guns to keep any would-be pirates at bay.

Upgrading Your Ship

In order to reach the center of the galaxy, you're going to need a far superior vessel to the one you start off with. Upgrades are paramount in No Man's Sky. At the beginning you're left with a rundown, destroyed starship that is going to need a lot of reparations. But these initial tasks teach you how to improve as you go.

The Ion Propulsion V1 engine is the standard system of movement players start with in No Man's Sky. But upgrades can be developed by collecting Blueprints and gathering resources to complete the schematics and designs of improvements for said engine, or completely new ones. To upgrade the ship's components, open the starship's inventory. There are 4 technology upgrade categories for ships: Health technology, Hyperdrive technology, Scan technology, and Weapons technology.

For a more in-depth examination of the crafting systems in the game, check out this piece.

Buying A New Starship

If you're not happy with slowly upgrading your vessel as you progress, or you have your eye on a particularly fancy starship, you can always save up and buy one! They can be acquired at trading posts, observatories, space stations or landing spots for other ships. Any landed ship can be approached by the player, inspected and then purchased if the owner is down with it. You won't be able to rob them unfortunately, as you can only get into the ship you own. This ain't GTA, people!

Additionally, the game will often have waypoints indicating a crashed ship in the vicinity. It'll obviously have something wrong with it, but they're generally superior to your own vessel. If you have the resources on you, you can repair crashed starships and take them as your own. But remember, your fuel and upgrades do not carry over to new ships.

Also, if you see a ship that you really like and have enough money to grab it, it may be worth your while. The game procedurally generates its ships so it's likely you'll never see the same one again.

Don't Crash in Space

Just don't. If you manage to crash your ship in space, it's gone. For, like, ever. You'll respawn with a little pod that resembles the one you started the game with; it won't have a hyperdrive, any upgrades, and you'll have to start all over again. Why? Because crashing in space sucks. However, if you crash and burn on a planet, your ship will still be there, you'll just have to repair it. And if you die outside of your ship on a planet, nothing will happen to your space vessel.

That about covers ships on our end, but...

If you have any ship related questions, let us know in the comments!


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