Freighters have become, if not a necessity, then a must-have luxury to own in No Man's Sky. Whether recruiting and commanding space fleets in order to increase your new passive profit margin or utilizing the instantly portable base facilities, there's no disputing the usefulness of these spacecraft.
If you're a newcomer or just returning after writing off the game's simple beginnings, here's everything you need to know about the increasingly beneficial freighters in No Man's Sky.
How To Get Your First Freighter For Free In No Man's Sky
The game offers you your first freighter free, and you don't have to wait very long or jump through a hundred and one obstacles to get it. You may need to warp through countless Star Systems, though.
Stay alert for a distress call from a besieged freighter upon warping into each new system. If you respond to the call and successfully liberate the freighter from the assailing pirate fleet, the freighter's captain will invite you aboard and offer you free command of the ship.
You can choose to inspect the ship upon their offer or request a different form of payment. The latter is advisable as the first freighter you rescue will be a common system freighter with the standard 19-slot capacity. On the other hand, if you pass up this first offer, the second freighter siege you'll run into will be a capital freighter with a 24-34 slot capacity, and its captain also offers their ship's services as thanks.
Other Ways To Obtain Freighters In No Man's Sky
Aside from collecting on one of those gratuity debts, there are a couple of other ways to obtain freighters in No Man's Sky.
Purchase A Freighter
When traversing through space, take note of any fleets you pass. There may be some ships among the group that are tagged with a badge (green for Frigates, purple for Freighters) indicating they are available for recruitment.
You merely have to fly within proximity of Frigates to prompt a radio call from the prospective vessel. You can then inspect it from the comfort of your own ship and decide whether it's worth adding to your fleet.
Freighters, on the other hand, you must board by docking in its hangar and speak with the captain. You will find them in the Freighter's bridge two floors above.
Warping into a Space Battle is no happenstance. These are programmed to occur every so often. Reloading will reliably respawn another freighter battle, with the chance of generating a different freighter each time.
This allows you the chance to shuffle your cards, if you will, and possibly draw a better freighter for recruitment. This mechanic also presents the opportunity to disassemble your freighter before upgrading.
Standard Freighter Operations
Aside from inheriting one as payment for your heroic deeds, why would someone invest millions of their own hard-earned points into obtaining and customizing a freighter?
Well, building fleets, commanding frigates, and directing hands-off expeditions are the primary allures of owning a freighter. However, a portable base and expansive additional storage are major selling points as well. Without any necessary upgrades, there are a set of standard operations freighters will always come equipped with.
The first section you will encounter in your new freighter is the hangar bay, where you will land your ship. Your freighter's hangar is open to other NPC spacecrafts as well, meaning you can trade with these other interlopers and even bargain for their ship in the same way you can at Space Stations.
An interesting note on that topic. You can only own a maximum of six Starships, and despite your freighter's hangar having nine docking bays, space travelers will not be permitted to board your freighter if you have reached your six starship capacity. If you have a few you're not using, any idle ships can be melted down to service you better as parts.
Base Building Command Room
From the hangar bay, head through a set of doors and down a hallway past a set of stairs. At the end, you will find yourself in a project management room where you can oversee the layout of your freighter and the construction of new terminals.
If and when you're ever looking to trade to a different ship, remember to gut the interior of your current freighter first. Any additions or customizations you made to the ship's layout will not carry over to a new vessel. Additionally, the game compensates you generously for the demolition process, rewarding thousands in Silver and a treasure trove of other valuable items for the terminals you demolish. Of course, you can also do this to any new freighters you take command of for even more coin.
Note: Ship floorplans, customizations, and decorations, may not carry over to a new freighter, but speaking with the new freighter's captain will offer an opportunity to transfer your ship's cargo to the new vessel.
- Fleet Command Room - You'll want to build one Fleet Command Station per Expedition you wish to deploy at once. As the game only generates five expeditions per day, you shouldn't need more than six command rooms at a time, and certainly never more than ten.
- Additional Storage - Common system freighters have a range of 15-19 slot storage capacities, while capital freighters boast 24-34 slot capabilities. You can use this project management room to build additional storage units and capitalize on your freighter's cargo hold.
- Galactic Trade Terminal - Building a trading terminal gives you instant and portable access to the Galactic Market, making transactions easier than ever.
- Specialist Terminals - These vary widely from weapon stalls run by an Armorer NPC to a control room for freighter upgrades and many more. Take some time to browse the options and see what combination of facilities is most beneficial to your gameplay style.
Keep in mind some of these facilities are quest-locked behind building-themed side missions.
At the forefront of the hangar bay are a set of stairs extending to a hallway at the end of which sits the main command room known as the Bridge. You will command several operations from this post.
- Customization - Freighters can undergo custom paint jobs, which you can apply here in the Bridge.
- Expeditions - You will select and manage expeditions from the Bridge. These NPC-driven auto-missions are a great mechanic for passively earning money and loot. Each expedition has a certain success rate which you can bolster by sending more frigates on the same expedition run.
- Manage Fleet - Along with coordinating expeditions from the Bridge, you will also manage the frigates that run them. You'll want to recruit many frigates (30 is the max) to your fleet so you can run simultaneous expeditions and increase the success rating of their returns. When an expedition is successful, it is a chance for the participating frigates to tier up in class, ranging through C, B, A, and S.
- Freighter Warp Map - This interface functions the same as the warp drive on your other ships, requiring upgrades and fueling to reap the maximum benefits.
- Galactic Commissions Station - Another feature that makes freighters feel reminiscent of Space Stations, available side missions are posted to this task board. This is always worth a browse if you've got some free time to earn some extra rewards.
Abilities & Limitations
With hefty benefits comes the odd setback, so here is a list of a freighter's special pros and cons.
- You can port your freighter to your current location as you can your other ships by using the menu.
- Each Star System has its own Super-massive Freighter model, so you can reliably spawn the same style upon a return visit, though the class is subject to change.
- Freighter owners can warp full player parties to and from Star Systems if everyone is aboard when they warp.
- A single, player-controlled freighter may spawn in the same Star System at once. Meaning if you round up a group of friends, all of you cannot port your freighters to the same system for a massive haul.
- To access items from your freighter's storage, you must be docked on your freighter.
The whole small, medium, large classification for ships, which used to indicate a ship's carrying capacity, has become irrelative since the Atlas Rises update back in 2017. That update made it so all size system freighters can be upgraded to a storage capacity of 19 and all capital ships to 34, thus allowing players to utilize their favorite ship model, regardless of its size. While these size classifications remain true visually, they are merely an aesthetic reference nowadays.
If you're in the market for a freighter, do a bit of research on the specific models first, as they each come with different aesthetics and functional assets. There are nine models of system freighters and two families of capital freighters, with three models each. Aside from storage capacity, the chief difference between system freighters and capitals is that capital freighters are built for the sieges you ultimately have to save them from. While system freighters are less battle inclined.
Freighter Upgrade Modules
Plug these upgrades into either your freighter's tech or general inventory slots to enhance frigate performance during expeditions and increase your freighter's hyperdrive range. Below is a list of the Freighter Upgrade Modules and their range of effects.
- Beacon - Increases fleets' speed during expeditions by 2-15 points.
- Combat Unit - Improves fleets' combat performance by 2-15 points.
- Exploration Unit - Improves exploration results by 2-15 points.
- Fuel Unit - Increases frigate fuel efficiency during expeditions by 2-20 points.
- Mining Unit - Improves mining results by 2-15 points.
- Trade Unit - Improves fleets' trading success by 2-15 points.
- Freighter Hyperdrive - Increases the freighter's hyperdrive by a range of 50-250.
The magnitude of the effects depends on the class of the upgrade. C-class upgrades will be at the bottom of the spectrum, while S-class upgrades will yield better results.
Technology Blueprints upgrade your freighter's hyperdrive range. You can buy them at the freighter's warping hub in the Bridge. Below is a list of the Technology Blueprints and how much they increase the hyperdrive range.
- Amplified Warp Shielding - 50
- Chromatic Warp Shielding - 50
- Temporal Warp Computer - 50
- Freighter Hyperdrive - 100
- Warp Core Resonator - 200
- Plasmatic Warp Injector - 300
- Reality De-threader - 800
There is also the Matter Beam technology, a console mechanic that utilizes consumable blueprints. Its purpose is to provide backup over great distances by transferring supplies to and from your exosuit.
Zoom vandalism has reached an unsurprising new low.