This page details how to get the best Freighters in No Man’s Sky. Includes how to get your first Freighter for free, and how to get an S class tier Freighter with your preferred appearance. If you want to know more about how to upgrade the Freighter, see our page on How to Upgrade the Freighter. For everything related to Frigates, see our How to Send Frigates on Expeditions page.
How to Get Your First Freighter for Free in No Man’s Sky
Get the Hyperdrive and Economy Scanner Upgrades
The average Freighter can cost an immense amount of Units to purchase, and a lot of time to fully upgrade. Thankfully, there’s a mechanism in the game which allows you to get your first Freighter for free. The only requirements are that you have the Hyperdrive module for a Starship, or the Singularity Cortex for a Living Ship, either of which will allow you to warp to new systems. Ideally, you’ll also have the Cadmium Drive, Emeril Drive, and Indium Drive upgrades for a Starship, allowing you to travel to any system type (between red, green, and blue stellar bodies), while the Living Ship is capable of doing this by default. Finally, it will be useful to have the Economy Scanner upgrade installed on your ship, which allows you to access detailed economic data about systems from the Galaxy Map. This will be most useful if you want to ensure that your first Freighter is S tier (more on that below).
Warp to New Star Systems
Once you have the above upgrades installed on your Starship or Living Ship, you can begin warping to new star systems with the intention of finding a Freighter. To do this, you can access the Galaxy Map from the quick access menu and browse nearby systems. If you have the Economy Scanner installed, you should be able to differentiate between poor, moderate, and wealthy systems without having to travel to them first. This will be indicated by the number of stars shown next to the economy icon when you hover over a system. One star indicates a poor system, two stars indicate moderate wealth, and three stars indicate a wealthy system. If you want the best chances of finding an S tier Freighter to begin with, you should only travel to wealthy systems. It may take up to 5 warps with the Hyperdrive before you encounter a Freighter, so be sure to have enough Warp Cells or Warp Hypercores crafted to fuel the journey.
Defeat the Pirates and Speak With a Freighter Captain
As you warp into a system with a Freighter present, you’ll notice immediately that a battle is taking place. This will always be in the form of pirates attempting to raid the Freighter cargo, and it becomes your task to defend the Freighter by defeating the pirates. This should be a fairly easy job so long as you have a decent Starship or Living Ship with sufficient upgrades to its offensive and defensive capabilities. If you find that your ship isn’t quite up to the task, see our guide on How to Upgrade the Starship and Living Ships before you continue. As a general rule, you’ll probably find it easier to stay one position as you shoot at the pirates, since this will force them to come to you. You can then back up as you blast them with the Photon Cannon to destroy their shields, then finish them off with a Rocket Launcher attack if necessary. The number of pirates that you’ll need to defeat will vary, but there can be anywhere from 3 - 10+ that you need to defeat before the Freighter is safe.
Once you’ve defeated all the attacking pirates, you should get a mission update to board the Freighter and speak with the captain. However, there won’t always be a mission update for this, but you can just board the Freighter regardless. The docking area should be marked by an icon on the Freighter, but if it’s not you’ll be looking for a blue light similar to that which emits from docking bays on space stations. Inside, you’ll find a Starship hangar and two sets of metal steps, which lead to the bridge of the Freighter. Head up these and into the main control room, where you can speak with the captain. When you do, you’ll discover that the captain is tiring of the burden of Freighter ownership, hinting that you may be able to relieve them of it by offering to buy the Freighter. This is actually the same encounter that you’ll experience with all captains on Freighters, but in this case you can acquire the Freighter for free if you wish. If you don’t want the particular Freighter on offer, you can choose to accept payment from the captain for defeating the pirates instead.
Guide for How to Get an S Tier Freighter
Hyperdrive Range, Warp Efficiency, Storage Space, and Fleet Coordination Stats
It’s important to note that unlike with Starships and Multi-Tools, there is currently no way of upgrading the class tier of a Freighter beyond the tier it has when you first find it. This means that if you find a B tier Freighter, it will always be a B tier Freighter. The main limitations this brings are to base stats such as Hyperdrive Range, Warp Efficiency, Storage Space, and Fleet Coordination. Each of these can have important consequences for the capabilities of your Freighter, so it’s worth considering whether or not you should wait for an A or S tier Freighter instead. If the main purpose of your Freighter is going to be using it as a mobile base, a higher tier may not be entirely necessary. However, if you want to maximize things like storage space and Hyperdrive range, a higher tier Freighter becomes much more desirable.
Freighter Appearance Variations
In addition to base stats, you may not be satisfied with the appearance of the Freighter that you’ve encountered. You don’t have to settle for this either, but it’s worth noting that if you want to wait for the discovery of an A or S tier Freighter with decent base stats and an appearance that you like, it can take a long time. The main reason for this is that each system has a unique set of Freighters present in it, so if you’re not finding anything you like in one system, you will need to travel to another to find an entirely new set of Freighters with unique appearances.
The good news is that if you find a Freighter with an appearance that you like, it will always spawn in that system whenever you warp to it, alongside numerous others. Better still, if the desired Freighter is of a low class tier and doesn’t have great stats, you can actually re-warp into the system to reset the base stats of each Freighter in it, giving you a chance of finding a Freighter with the same appearance, but as an S tier with decent stats. If you want to be extra careful and ensure that you will be able to find the same types of Freighters in the same system, you can always make a hard save before you visit.
NMS Endurance Update: Changes to Freighters / Capital Ship
The new 3.94 Endurance update for No Man’s Sky has introduced some major changes to the ways in which Freighters are constructed and used. You can now further expand your Freighter to create an even larger buildable space, and you’ll have access to a number of new construction and technology blueprints, all of which can be purchased for 1 Salvaged Data each from the Upgrade Control terminal on the main command deck of the Freighter. These blueprints are broken down into the following categories, each with a specific purpose or use:
|Freighter Corridor||A contained corridor piece with a glass roof which connects and expands rooms on a Freighter||Silver, Tritium|
|Freighter Glass Corridor||A contained corridor piece with glass panels on the side which connects and expands rooms on a Freighter||Silver, Glass|
|Reinforced Window||A window pane which can be fitted on most Freighter parts, providing a window to space||Silver, Glass|
|Bulkhead Door||A thick door which is hermetically sealed, provides separation between corridors or rooms on Freighters||Silver|
|Exterior Catwalk||An exterior walkway which adjoins to existing Freighter rooms, allowing you to create exterior decking areas||Silver|
|Exterior Platform||An exterior platform piece which serves as an observation deck on Freighters, can be expanded by adjoining to other platforms||Silver|
|Ladder Module||A simple ladder which can be used to travel vertically between Freighter decks, attaches directly to corridors||Silver|
|Fleet Command Room||A pre-built Fleet Command Room with new aesthetics, allowing you to manage Frigate expeditions||Silver, Gold, Tritium|
|Scanner Room||A room which provides the new Planetary Scanner technology, allowing you to instantly scan all planets in a system from the Freighter||Silver, Gold, Ion Battery|
|Teleport Chamber||A pre-built room dedicated to the Base Teleport Module, allows you to teleport to the Freighter from any other teleporter||Silver, Antimatter, Amino Chamber|
|Appearance Modifier Room||A pre-built room dedicated to the Appearance Modifier module||Silver, Carbon Nanotubes, Solar Mirror|
|Science Specialist’s Room||A pre-built Scientist worker room, equipped for research and development of scientific blueprints||Silver, Magnetised Ferrite, Chromatic Metal|
|Construction Specialist’s Room||A pre-built Overseer worker room, equipped with architectural and engineering design software||Silver, Di-hydrogen Jelly, Chromatic Metal|
|Galactic Trade Room||A pre-built room which comes with a functioning Galactic Trade Terminal||Silver, Chromatic Metal, Microprocessor|
|Technology Room (Expansion)||A spacious chamber with a technical aesthetic, for expanding habitable spaces inside Freighters||Silver, Chromatic Metal|
Freighter Agricultural Modules
|Cultivation Chamber||A room with one bed of nutrient-rich soil in which you can plant seeds and cultivate crops||Silver, Oxygen, Faecium|
|Double Cultivation Chamber||A large room with two beds of nutrient-rich soil in which you can plant seeds and cultivate crops||Silver, Oxygen, Faecium|
|Nutrition Room||A pre-built room for the Nutrient Processor technology module||Silver, Pure Ferrite, Oxygen|
|Agricultural Specialist’s Room||A pre-built Farmer worker room, equipped for the analysis and cultivation of farmable crops||Silver, Condensed Carbon, Oxygen|
|Biological Room (Expansion)||A spacious greenhouse chamber which offers a green space in which you can build anything you want||Silver, Oxygen|
Freighter Industrial Modules
|Refiner Room||A pre-built room for a powerful Freighter Refiner which can refine up to 3 substances at once||Silver, Di-hydrogen Jelly, Gold|
|Stellar Extractor Room||A new Freighter technology which extracts materials from deep space based on the local star classification||Silver, Gold, Magnetised Ferrite|
|Orbital Exocraft Materialiser||A pre-built room dedicated to an Exocraft Materialiser, allowing you to summon Exocraft on any planet within the same system as the Freighter||Gold, Ionised Cobalt, Warp Cell|
|Exocraft Specialist’s Room||A pre-built Exocraft worker room, equipped with bespoke vehicular design software||Silver, Di-hydrogen, Chromatic Metal|
|Weapons Terminal Room||A pre-built Armourer worker room, equipped for the development of munitions, explosives, and selected civilian tech||Silver, Pugneum, Chromatic Metal|
|Industrial Room (Expansion)||A spacious chamber with an industrial aesthetic, for expanding habitable spaces inside Freighters||Silver, Pure Ferrite|
|Storage Room - 0, 1, 2, 3||A new type of storage room, each of which can be renamed in accordance with the type of stored material, up to 4 can be constructed with 20 slots each||Silver, Sodium|
New Immersive Freighter Features
Aside from the above new blueprints for Freighters, there are also a number of quality of life changes which help to make Freighters feel more alive when you’re inside them. The first change you’re likely to see when you visit your Freighter is the new teleporter, located at the centre of the Starship docking bay. This will teleport you directly to the main command deck, giving you quick and easy access to all the most important features of a Freighter. You’ll also notice that the docking bays themselves feel more alive, since they now have NPCs patrolling around them, or standing around looking busy.
The new Freighter Construction modules also add to this sense of immersion on board, since you can now see out into space from the interior of the base building parts of the Freighter, through the glass corridors, windows, and exterior viewing platforms and catwalks which can now be built. This is all the more welcome as certain deep space phenomena have also seen graphical improvements, such as enhanced nebulae and deep space storms. In addition, you will now be able to hire and control organic Frigates, which are essentially regular Frigates but in Living Ship form. See our page on How to Upgrade the Starship and Living Ships to learn more about the differences between regular Starships and Living Ships. The main thing you need to know for now is that the Living Ships can be fed Offal Sacs or other food types, thereby allowing them to evolve and improve their stats.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that each of the new Freighter Construction and Technology elements can be further customized once you’ve built them. This allows you to bring a unique feel to each type of room and living / working space on board the Freighter. At present the main way to modify the appearance of a specific room or space is by changing the colours associated with it, but you can also move specific parts within some of the rooms, so be sure to experiment with whatever you build.
New General Improvements and Technology
In terms of other new features introduced for Freighters, you will find that the exteriors have been visually upgraded, with enhanced textures, improved colours, and high-detail surface decoration. These visual improvements can now be appreciated not just when you’re outside of the Freighter, but also whenever you warp to new systems from it, since there’s now a third-person perspective on the Freighter whenever this happens. You will also notice that any new Freighters you encounter will already have something of a unique base structure already built inside, rather than the default empty space which all Freighters used to have before being purchased and built on. Finally, the capital ship’s exhaust trail can now be customized with a range of engine colour modifications.
One of the most useful new construction blueprints for Freighters is the Scanner Room. This room comes with a pre-built Planetary Probe which allows you to scan for all the nearby planets in a star system. In this way you can quickly learn about the type of atmosphere on a planet, the weather, flora and fauna, sentinel threat level, primary resources and other useful information, such as whether it has already been discovered by another player, of if it hasn’t yet been visited. This provides a much more efficient way to scout a new star system for specific planet types and resources, without requiring you to land on the planet first.
Another new useful piece of Freighter technology comes in the form of the Stellar Extractor. This allows you to automatically harvest resources from deep space, such as Nitrogen, Radon, Sulphurine, and other material types based on the system star classification. In addition to this new tech, existing technology such as the Teleporter, Fleet Command, and Appearance Modifier modules have been integrated into sleek, extendable glass-floored rooms. Another useful new feature allows you to instantly teleport to any Frigates in your fleet from the Manage Fleet terminal on the main command deck. This allows you to quickly reach it for repairs, rather than having to fly out to it on your Starship.
In addition to all of the above, Freighters now benefit from a dedicated Cargo Hold Inventory, allowing the storage of even more items. Like other Freighter inventories, this hold can be upgraded with Expandable Bulkheads. As one final note of general improvement: you can now teleport directly to your Freighter from any other Base Teleport Module, so long as you have at least one of these installed on your Freighter already.