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Best Ways to Make Nanites Quickly

Scott Peers

This page details some of the best ways to earn Nanites in No Man’s Sky, including uploading of discoveries, looting abandoned buildings and repairing damaged machines, completing missions, crafting and farming food, and destroying curious deposits.

How to Make Nanites Quickly in No Man’s Sky

We’ll cover eight main ways that you can make Nanites in No Man’s Sky: uploading discoveries, examining buildings, refining larval cores, killing Sentinels, salvaging unwanted starships, farming curious deposits, speaking with specific NPC on the Space Anomaly, and completing local and Nexus missions.

Upload Discoveries for Nanites

This is probably the method that you’ll use to earn your first nanites in No Man’s Sky. All you need to do is explore a planet, examining specific locations and all the flora and fauna that you come across with the Analysis Visor. You won’t necessarily earn a lot of nanites in a short amount of time doing this, but the small amounts that you do earn certainly stack up. You should make a habit of checking the Discoveries tab from the main menu, where you can view the different types of discoveries that you’ve made. You can upload the discovery of specific planets within a system, but you can also select the planet to upload any discoveries related to the flora and fauna, or specific structures.

Examine Buildings for Nanite Clusters

As you explore a planet you’ll come across different types of buildings such as Abandoned Buildings, Manufacturing Facilities, Observatories, and Shelters. Most of these will offer some form of nanite acquisition, but some will be easier to loot than others. Abandoned Buildings, Shelters, and Observatories are perhaps the easiest to obtain nanites from, since all you need to do is walk through the structure and interact with any interface available to you. There are usually a few different points in each structure which provide nanites after interacting with them. Manufacturing Facilities are slightly more complicated, since they will often be patrolled by Sentinels who will become hostile if you try to break into the facility. However, killing the Sentinels in this scenario is part of the nanite farm, since you’ll gain nanites for each sentinel that you kill, although only a small amount.

In addition to the types of buildings listed above, you can also find nanites from damaged machines which are scattered across the landscape of most planets. Most of the time, all you need to do is remove the various types of gunk which have clogged these machines to effectively repair them, and you’ll receive a small number of nanites in return. However, sometimes you’ll find machines which require specific materials to repair, and you’ll receive more nanites from these as a result if you provide the materials.

Refine Larval Cores From Whispering Eggs

This is essentially the same method noted in our guide on how to make units quickly. However, the difference is that you’ll be refining the Larval Cores rather than selling them. If you haven’t read that page, an overview of how to find the Whispering Eggs which contain the Larval Cores is noted below.

The creatures you’ll be stealing the eggs from are only found at specific sites known as Abandoned Buildings. These are found on almost every planet, especially those you start on, so you shouldn’t have much trouble locating one. When you first arrive at an abandoned building you’ll notice that it’s surrounded by nests, but with no creatures visible. The nests contain Whispering Eggs which can be destroyed using the Mining Beam or a type of ammunition, revealing the Larval Core within. You can farm as many cores as you want before taking them back to a refiner, where you can process each core in exchange for 50 nanites.

The only trouble with this method is that as soon as you destroy a Whispering Egg, numerous hostile creatures known as Biological Horrors (aka Fiends or Burrowing Monstrosities) will emerge from beneath the ground and begin chasing you. These can inflict a lot of damage in a short amount of time, especially if you’re overwhelmed by a lot of them, so you’ll need to keep moving or find a safe place on the rooftops of the building as you take them out. You can kite the horrors fairly easily around the area as you kill them one by one, but all of this can take quite a long time, making other methods potentially more desirable if they’re available to you.

Hunt and Kill Sentinels for Combat Supplies

This is one of the best ways to acquire nanites, but it’s something you’ll be doing once you’re a bit more experienced, since you’ll need to kill multiple Sentinels. However, it won’t take long before you can do this fairly comfortably. The main thing you’ll need to ammunition for your multi-tool, effectively turning it into something more like a weapon and allowing you to kill Sentinels much more quickly than you would by using the Mining Beam. Once you know that you can take on multiple sentinel waves and survive, you can begin to hunt them for their valuable drops.

(1 of 3) You'll gain a lot of Salvaged Glass as you kill Sentinels.

Almost every Sentinel that you kill will drop Combat Supplies. These will appear on the battlefield where the Sentinel falls, and you can immediately loot them by walking up to them or by shooting them. You’ll earn a small number of nanites for each combat supply that you loot, but there’s also a chance that more valuable items will drop with them. This can include things like Salvaged Data, but the most valuable item in terms of farming nanites that you should be looking for is Salvaged Glass. This item may seem unimportant at first, but if you interact with it to extract the components, you will receive different types of valuable items that you can sell for units or nanites.

The most valuable items that you can sell for nanites are upgrade modules, which will generally sell for anything between 300 to 1,100 nanites, depending on the tier. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to sell these at the Galactic Trade Terminal or to regular vendors such as visiting pilots. Instead, you’ll need to find NPCs who specialize in selling upgrade modules, whether for the exosuit, multi-tool, or your starship. The best place to find these is at Space Stations, since every station has a set of NPCs who sell such items, and to whom you can sell the items. Given that Sentinels are fairly easy to kill once you have decent ammunition, this is one of the easiest ways to earn a lot of nanites fairly quickly.

Salvage Unwanted Starships

This method can be used once you’ve acquired a sufficient amount of units to regularly purchase B+ tier starships. If you need help in terms of how to earn a lot of units quickly, see our page on that here. The best place to find and purchase starships is at Space Stations. Here you’ll see a steady flow of visiting pilots with whom you can trade regular items, but also offer to purchase their starship, or trade in yours at the same time for a reduced cost. It may be difficult to find many B+ tier starships early on, since these will most often appear in systems where the economy is listed as either Advanced, Booming, Affluent, Flourishing, Wealthy, Opulent, Prosperous or High Supply. If you’re in a system with an underwhelming economy, you won’t be seeing many B+ tier ships land at space stations, so you’ll probably need to do some exploring with the Hyperdrive first.

Once you’ve found a system with a sufficiently advanced economy, you can locate a space station and wait there for starships to fly in. Speak with a pilot to check the status of a ship, then make an offer if it’s comfortably within your price range and has good potential to yield upgrade modules. You can then interact with the Starship Outfitting terminal and salvage the ship. As with the upgrade modules from Salvaged Glass noted above, you’ll need to trade these with the NPCs at the space station who specialize in the upgrade type. You’ll get similar amounts of nanites from these modules as you did from Sentinels, depending on the tier of the module, but it’s well worth the trade in units if you already have plenty of those, and a much quicker method than hunting Sentinels.

Farm Curious Deposits for Runaway Mould

This is a simple method of earning nanites so long as you have access to a refiner, and a planet with Curious Deposit clusters present. These deposits are relatively rare features of planets, and are most often found in the more advanced systems which can be reached using upgrades to the Hyperdrive. However, there’s still a reasonable chance of finding a planet with these deposits in starting systems, so be sure to do some exploring first. The Curious Deposits themselves are so valuable because they contain Runaway Mould, which can be refined into nanites. Each deposit contains hundreds of mould, so you can refine a large quantity of nanites in a fairly short period of time. All you need to do is destroy the deposits using a Mining Beam or any other item which inflicts damage.

The main difficulty with farming Curious Deposits arises when you discover that whenever you hit them, they will roll away. There are easy methods to overcome this however, including building a makeshift wall around the area where the deposits are present. The reason this works is that once you’ve destroyed a cluster of Curious Deposits and obtained the Runaway Mould from within, you can travel away from the area to reset the spawn, then return to find more deposits in the same place. This brings the potential for massive nanite farms, since you can locate an area on a planet where the deposits are present, build a small base fitted with Large Refiners, and get to work with destroying the deposits and resetting them continuously.

While this method has a few more requirements than most of the others, it has the potential to yield the most amount of nanites in the shortest period of time, depending on your farming setup. It will also cost you much less than the scrapping of starships method. It’s useful to note that Runaway Mould can also be refined from other more common materials, in the following order: Residual Goop > Viscous Fluids > Living Slime > Runaway Mould. So, if you come across any of these materials in decent quantities, be sure to take them to a refiner if you’re in need of nanites, before you consider selling them off.

Speak with Space Anomaly NPCs

Once you gain access to the Anomaly, you’ll find a number of curious NPCs within it. The ones we’re most concerned about for the purposes of gaining nanites are Iteration: Cronus, Iteration: Ares, and Iteration Helios. Each of these will ask for specific things in exchange for nanites. Iteration: Cronus offers nanites in exchange for food types, which can be produced at your base with the right ingredients or discovered while exploring. Iteration: Ares offers nanites each time you reach a new Journey Milestone, so be sure to visit him each time you accomplish one. Finally, Iteration Helios offers nanites for each discovery that you make. You don’t need to visit these NPCs on a daily basis, especially since the amount of nanites you get from them is fairly small compared to some of the other methods listed above, but it’s definitely worth paying a visit every once in a while, since you will have probably accumulated at least a lot of discoveries and milestones.

(1 of 3) Iteration: Cronus will accept food in exchange for nanites.

Complete Local and Nexus Missions

This is probably the most obvious method to earn nanites, but not necessarily the most lucrative. Nonetheless, it’s just one more incentive to complete missions. You’ll earn some nanites from the main questlines, but you can earn even more by completing multiplayer Nexus Missions at the Anomaly. In addition, you can complete Local Missions for nanites, which are given by Mission Agents at Space Stations. The objective of each mission will vary for each station that you visit, but it will always list exactly how many nanites are up for grabs upon completion, so you can decide whether it’s worth the effort.


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Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Hello Games
  • Platforms,
    PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, XB One, XB X|S
  • Guide Release
    27 April 2022
  • Last Updated
    11 January 2023
    Version History
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This ongoing guide for the amazing No Man’s Sky includes the following:

  • Tips and Tricks to get started
  • Technology Upgrades
  • Building a Base guides
  • Crafting Guides
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  • Encounters
    As well as this there is also information on the game’s numerous updates, as well as the forthcoming Nintendo Switch version of No Man’s Sky.

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