No Man’s Sky: How to Find and Fix Free Ships | Location Guide


Tired of your current spaceship? Thinking of trading up for something better, but don’t want to waste the units? The universe of No Man’s Sky will provide, because it’s entirely possible to discover a new ship without paying a single unit. Check out our method for tracking down crashed ships below.

Of course, this isn’t the only way to get a new ship. For a huge fee, you can purchase ships off of alien traders when you see them arrive at Space Stations or other outposts throughout the galaxy. You’ll get to examine those ships and decide whether they’re worth the investment — that’s the up-side of purchasing.

If you’re looking to get a ship for free, it’s all randomly-generated, so there’s no telling what color / upgrades your ship will include. There’s no guarantee these free ships will be better, but there’s always a chance you’ll find something that’s an improvement. Learn all about this feature — keep scrolling for the full guide.

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How to Find and Fix Free Ships

Crashed Ships litter the planetary surfaces of No Man’s Sky. Like everything in this massive, procedurally-generated space-simulation, they can be easy to miss if you’re not looking for them. Follow these tips to track down a wreck and repair it so it can be your’s, free of charge.

How to Locate Wreckage

First, look for an orange beam shooting up into the sky — this is a Signal Scanner. These important devices will reveal tons of important landmarks on a planet. Give your planet a quick fly-over to locate the Signal Scanner first whenever you arrive at a new place.

To activate a Beacon, you’ll need a Bypass Chip to hack it. Create a Bypass Chip with:

  • 10 Plutonium
  • 10 Iron

Create multiple Bypass Chips. Why? Because you can use Signal Scanners multiple times! After using a Bypass Chip on the Signal Scanner, you’ll get several options.

  • Monolith
  • Colonial outpost
  • Transmission
  • Shelter

Always select “Transmission” — we’re looking for something called a Transmission Tower next. You might get locations of other spots like Observatories or Beacons. Just ignore those and keep selecting Transmission until we get a Transmission Tower.

Once you get a Transmission Tower marker, fly to it and use the terminal in the center of the room inside. You’ll probably have to solve a simple mathematical equation — look for a basic pattern. For example:

  • 1 – 2 – 6 – 24 – 120 – XXX (Solve for XXX)

The answer is XXX=720. 1×2=2 / 2×3=6 / 6×4=24 / 24×5=120 / 120×6=720

The multiplier increases by one in each sequence. You can also look at the answers and work backwards to solve these equations.

Input the correct answer to discover a “Distress Signal” — Distress Signals lead you to crashed ships. You can get these at any Transmission Towers, so if you’ve found a Tower, don’t worry about locating a Signal Scanner first.


How to Claim Your Free Ship

Once you’ve located the Distress Signal and arrived at the Crashed Ship, check the ship’s inventory to see if it’s an improvement. Often you’ll find crashed ships with more inventory slots — but maybe the design / colors are more to your taste! Whatever the case, to get a crashed ship working, you’ll need to repair all of the damaged systems.

  • To fix a ship, repair these systems:
    • Pulse Engine
    • Hyperdrive
    • Launch Thruster
    • Phase Coolant
    • Etc

Whether you repair it right away or not, you can take the ship for yourself right away. Enter the crashed ship’s inventory and look beneath the slots; there is a green bar that reads “Accept” — choose it to make the crashed ship your’s.

Don’t forget to transfer the contents of your ship’s inventory over to the new ship before accepting. If you do accept, you can always re-accept your old ship to get back your inventory, then swap over a second time later. It sounds complex, but it’s a very easy process that doesn’t require anything from you.

Crashed Ships are a random bet, but sometimes you can find something extremely cool. It doesn’t take that much effort, and it won’t cost an insane amount of units. Repairing a crashed ship costs plenty of rare elements, but those are (usually!) easier to acquire than millions of units.

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