How to get an S-Class Freighter in No Man’s Sky

Ballin’ across the universe at no cost.

Image via No Man’s Sky wiki.

Freighters are No Man’s Sky’s answer to colossal battleships that can serve a player as a portable resource for crews, building, and as the ultimate mobile house across the universe. If you’re just starting out in the game and want the best of the best, here’s how to find an S-Class Freighter in No Man’s Sky.

How to find your first freighter

If you’re just starting out, gather up the materials needed to craft five Warp Cells for your personal ship. For a quick refresher, that requires a unit of Antimatter and an Antimatter Housing. To craft a single unit of Antimatter, you need 25 Chromatic Metal and 20 Condensed Carbon. For the Antimatter Housing, you need 30 units of Oxygen and 50 units of Ferrite Dust. Or, if you have a Large Refiner, there are various recipes for Warp Cells using Carbon, Condensed Carbon, Sodium Nitrate, and Chromatic Metal.

After crafting the Warp Cells, add them to your ship’s Hyperdrive and open up the Galaxy Map. Perform a warp to a neighboring system five times in a row and then on the final warp, an event will occur where you run into a space battle between pirates and a flotilla of freighters. Clear the hostile ships from the area and the captain of the main freighter will contact you to come on board to meet them. Land on the freighter and speak to the captain. They will make you an offer to become the captain of the fleet and claim their ship as your own.

Select “Inspect freighter” after the dialogue with the captain; upon inspecting, your first freighter will typically be a C-class or B-Class freighter. If you want something better, do not claim the first freighter you encounter. Select “Leave” from the menu while inspecting the freighter to decline the offer and disembark on your personal ship.

Install an Economy Scanner

The fixed encounters with pirates and rescuing a flotilla occur once every three hours of play time and every five warp jumps. To track your play time, simply just refer to the last save you made and make note of the hours spent. After this point, it is best to gain access to The Anomaly by progressing through the main story of the game and meeting Nada and Polo. While on board The Anomaly, visit Iteration: Hyperion for access to ship upgrades you can purchase for Nanites.

You need to unlock the Economy Scanner from the tech tree by first purchasing the Teleporter Receiver for 150 Nanites, and then the Economy Scanner itself for another 150 Nanites. The Economy Scanner is a ship upgrade that allows you to view the economy states of populated star systems before actually warping into them, making traveling a much more efficient use of your time. Install the Economy Scanner in an empty slot on your personal ship and complete the recipe by purchasing or crafting five Microprocessors and a Wiring Loom.

Image via No Man’s Sky Wiki.

How to find an S-Class Freighter for free

After making sure that three hours of game time has passed, check how many Warps you have performed in the Milestones tab under the category “Space Exploration,” to keep track of how often the ship rescue event will trigger. Craft enough Warp Cells to perform five jumps again and make a manual save before departing again just in case something may occur during this step. Hop back into your ship, head for space, and open the Galaxy Map.

Now with the Economy Scanner installed, you can select “Expand” on a neighboring star system to view the state of that system’s economy if it is populated. The trick here is to use your fifth Warp to jump into a Wealthy system. Any system can be labeled as a wealthy type with any of the following descriptors for their economy: Advanced, Flourishing, Prosperous, Affluent, High Supply, Wealthy, Booming, or Opulent. Typically a Wealthy system can be found if it is surrounded by at least three populated systems, but the more there are the higher chances it will be classified as Wealthy.

When warping in, you should see the main Freighter be one of two types, the Sentinel type or Venator type. If you warped into a Wealthy system, there are high chances it will be an S-class freighter waiting for you. If it is an A-class freighter or it is not something you like, you can shorten the process by making a Manual Save by using a Save Beacon on the second to last jump of the process. On the fifth Warp, the game should automatically repeat the ship rescue encounter with a differently generated freighter than before.