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How to Get & Farm Nanites in No Man’s Sky

No Man’s Sky is a massively popular science-fiction game that takes players on an epic journey through the vast and procedurally generated universe. As players explore the numerous planets and systems, they will have to craft new equipment and upgrade their gear. Naturally, you’ll need resources to accomplish this, and one of the most important ones in No Man’s Sky is nanites!

You’ll need a ton of nanites to purchase new technologies and upgrades for your ship, suit, and multi-tool. That’s why in this article, we’ll explore some of the best ways to get more (and eventually farm) nanites in No Man’s Sky.

What Are Nanites in No Man’s Sky?

As mentioned above, nanites are one of the most valuable resources in No Man’s Sky. They are microscopic, self-replicating machines that can be used to purchase new technologies and upgrades for your equipment.

The number of nanites required to purchase these items varies depending on the item’s rarity and usefulness. You can also spend nanites to upgrade the Class of your various equipment, raising your ship up to S-class for example.

Nanites are a critical resource in No Man's Sky.
Image: Hello Games

While both nanites and units have their own purposes, it’s hard to determine which one is truly the primary currency of No Man’s Sky. Nanites are primarily used for upgrading existing gear, whereas units are used to acquire completely new equipment.

However, these guidelines aren’t set in stone. If you have a surplus of units, you can easily convert them into nanites. Conversely, converting nanites into units is a more challenging task.

How To Get More Nanites in NMS

Here are the recommended ways to get nanites in No Man’s Sky. They’re in no particular order but offer a variety of methods that are viable at different stages of the game.

Scanning Planets

One of the easiest ways to farm nanites in No Man’s Sky is by scanning flora and fauna on the different planets. Every time you scan a plant or animal that you encounter during your explorations you will earn some nanites. The amount of nanites earned for each scan depends on the rarity of the creature or plant that is being scanned.

Scanning plants and fauna is a super easy and enjoyable way to get nanites in No Man's Sky.
Image: Hello Games

Unsurprisingly, more common creatures and plants will yield fewer nanites, while rare and exotic creatures will yield a higher amount of nanites. You’ll actually get the nanites when you upload your findings into the central database of No Man’s Sky, so don’t forget to regularly upload your data!

Engaging with this system is one of the things that makes No Man’s Sky such an interesting game. You can really feel like you’re an explorer finding planets that nobody has ever stepped foot on before. Explore entire systems and scan every single organism on them in order to earn extra nanites when you upload it all to the anomaly.

Note: If you’re specifically trying to farm nanites with this method, we recommend avoiding any planets that have underground or underwater creatures. The time it takes to scan all of those creatures is not worth the nanites.

Finishing Missions

Another great and easy way to earn nanites in No Man’s Sky is by completing missions. Missions can be obtained from a variety of sources, including space stations, planetary outposts, and NPCs that you come across during your travels.

The main quest line you follow throughout the game will also give you a fair amount of nanites, along with unlocking many of the technologies that you would’ve had to spend nanites on before. So if you’re trying to be efficient with your nanites, make sure to progress through the main quest line!

Complete missions to earn nanites and unlock technologies for free in No Man's Sky.
Image: Hello Games

Missions range from simple tasks such as gathering and delivering resources to more complex objectives like destroying enemy pirate ships. Completing missions will reward you with more than just nanites and credits, as missions are one of the best ways to expand your multi-tool slots!

You’ll also get the added bonus of gradually gaining a reputation with the alien factions of the game, allowing access to more and more extreme and rewarding missions from the factions. Additionally, if you’re very friendly with a particular race, they can come to your aid when you’re being attacked by pirates in their respective star system. More blueprints might be available at their tech merchants as well.

Trading Tech

Another way to get more nanites in No Man’s Sky is by trading with NPCs. Players can trade various resources, such as technology modules, for nanites at space stations and other locations scattered throughout the universe.

Buying tech modules from the black market in illicit systems, opening them, and selling those upgrades at another black market system is a great method for earning lots of nanites fast.

Trade old tech for nanites in No Man's Sky
Image: Hello Games

The amount of nanites earned through trading varies, depending on the rarity and usefulness of the item being traded. Players can also purchase nanites with units, the game’s currency, at some trading posts. Use this to offload old, outdated upgrades from your ship, exosuit, and multi-tool. You can find upgrades for all kinds of systems scattered across the galaxy.

Refining Salvaged Data

Salvaged Data is a resource that can be found on planets throughout the universe. You can exchange Salvaged Data for technology blueprints, which can be used to upgrade your equipment and unlock new building parts or types of gear.

Salvaged Data can be converted into nanites in No Man's Sky.
Image: Hello Games

Alternatively, players can use a refiner to turn a single piece of Salvaged Data into 15 nanites. However, you can also sell salvaged data for 52,000 credit units, so turning it into nanites might not be the most optimal way to utilize Salvaged Data, even if you have progressed all the way through the technology tree.

Runaway Mould Deposit

This might be the absolute best way to farm nanites quickly and easily in No Man’s Sky. You need to find a deposit of runaway mould, which can be found on certain planets and picked up via an orbital scan. These will show up as “Curious Deposits“, round orbs that need to be harvested with the mining beam. Just be careful, as they might roll away when you mine them.

To efficiently farm these, set up a base around a curious deposit, with a teleporter taking you a good distance away – ideally to another curious deposit! Moving through the teleporter, so long as you go far enough away, will cause the curious deposits to respawn.

Set up bases to efficient farm runaway mould.
Image: Hello Games

Once you’ve collected a good amount of runaway mould, take it to a refiner in that same base and deposit them inside. Every five pieces of runaway mould will turn into a nanite cluster. Repeat this process until you have all the nanites you need!

You can also get ahold of runaway mould by processing living slime in a refinery. Living slime can be processed out of viscous fluid that you’ll find as a junk product across the stars. You can also get a bunch of living slime by processing a hypnotic eye that drops from Abyssal Horrors.

Fighting Sentinels

Fighting off sentinels for their scrap is another way to rapidly harvest a lot of nanites. We’d advise you to pick up a Minotaur exosuit before you get started on this particular task.

Sentinel drones are automated environmental defense systems at the heart of the plot in No Man’s Sky. If they witness you harvest resources from a planet, they’ll become enraged and begin to throw successively more powerful waves of sentinels at you, culminating in a huge fight with a Sentinel Walker.

If you properly upgrade your Minotaur, you can use your plasma cannon and superior defenses to blow away the waves of sentinels that will pursue you, but it is possible to fight off the sentinels using just a high-level multi-tool and some of the more powerful pieces of offensive tech.

Make sure you’re ready to finish the fight against your sentinel opponents before you begin one, as trying to escape from the drones is very difficult. They’ll send automated sentinel interceptors after you if you attempt to leave the world on your ship while they’re hostile.

Sentinels drop plenty of scrap that can be turned into nanites.
Image: Hello Games

As you wipe out the waves of sentinels, you’ll get ahold of various pieces of technology from them, like “Glass Shards”, that can be turned into dark and dangerous upgrades for various kinds of gear. Kill enough sentinels and you’ll likely have a huge excess of these systems, which you can then sell to upgrade merchants for nanites. You’ll also get ahold of other minerals like Atlantideum and Pugneum that can be refined into nanites.

Additionally, you can also locate planets called “Corrupted Sentinel Planets”. There are various methods to get even more nanites out of these planets, such as mining the large purple crystals for Radiant Shards that you can refine into even more nanites. Naturally, you’ll be consistently earning scrap from all the corrupted sentinels that you’re killing left and right.

Scrapping Ships

This method is easier to pull off once you have a lot of credits, but since it’s also a great way to earn credits on its own, even a new player can start to amass their fortunes with the ship-scrapping method. All you need to do to make this method work is track down some distress beacon locators from the map merchants at system stations.

Scrapping ships is a great way to get units and nanites in No Man's Sky.
Image: Hello Games

You can trade location data to these merchants for a distress beacon that can, among other places, lead you to a crashed starship. Bring a good amount of basic resources like ferrite and sodium so that you can fix the parts that are broken within this crashed ship, at least enough to get it flying again. Then, take this ship to a nearby system and scrap it.

You’ll be rewarded with some upgrades and often a cargo expansion for your own ship’s inventory. Sell these upgrades off for nanites, and sell the other useless ship parts for units to boot! Buying up cheap ships like this is a great way to spend your excess units since you’ll earn most of the units back when you sell the ship scrap anyway.

Cooking for Cronus

High-level players will have built a nutrient refiner to start transforming various kinds of matter into edible dishes that their character can enjoy. The benefits from these food items range from an increased ability to recover your stamina or health to increased defense against environmental hazards or the vicious sentinels you’ll fight planetside.

But for the sake of getting nanites, you’ll want to hoard the food you create instead of using it.

Milk the dinosaur.
Image: Hello Games

Once you’ve started cooking, you can find a particular entity on The Anomaly called Cronus. You can feed him the food out of your inventory in exchange for nanites. Higher-quality food (typically food that has been heavily processed) will give you more nanites. You’ll get the upper end of nanites from Cronus by feeding him dishes like Mystery Meat, landing as much as 150 nanites per unit of food.

Join the High Ground!

With this list of ways to get nanites in No Man’s Sky, you’ll have all the nanites you need to conquer the universe with the strongest ships and gear in the game. If you think we left a noteworthy method out, let us know in the comments below

For more tips to help you take the high ground, subscribe to our weekly newsletter! Make sure you also follow High Ground Gaming on all social media.

Happy gaming!


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