No Man’s Sky: Where To Find Technology & Adjacency Bonuses Explained

Your starship, your multi-tool and your exosuit are the three pillars of your journey into No Man’s Sky‘s galaxy. In a neat cycle (aka, a gameplay loop), they are also the principal beneficiaries of all your toil, as there’s really no purpose to your resource gathering and money making other than to improve your ship, tool and suit.

If you’d like to increase your inventory space, or find a bigger multi-tool, we can help you out with that. But what to do with all those slots? Apart from filling them up with resources, you’ll also want to improve your equipment’s effectiveness. In this guide we’re going to discuss the best places to find technology upgrades for your ship, tool and suit, and how to place them to optimise your gear.

When technology mentions Greek letters, these denote the strength of the relevant tech. In ascending order of power, the tiers go: Sigma – Tau – Theta – Omega. Not all techs have an Omega rank, and some don’t use this tiered system at all.

No Man’s Sky: where to find starship technology

There are four categories of ship technology: health, hyperdrive, scanning and weapons. Health tech improves your deflector shields; hyperdrive tech improves the fuel efficiency and range of your hyperdrive (and includes other engine types such as launch thrusters and pulse engines); weapons tech improves the damage and cooldown of your ship’s cannons and phasers; and scanning tech presumably increases the range and effectiveness of your ship’s system scanners, but despite many hours of play, we’ve yet to find a single scanning tech blueprint, nor heard reports of one. Perhaps scanning tech for ships will be added later.

General technology blueprints are awarded from various sources, including NPC interactions, plundering certain building types, and loot crates. If you’re after starship technology specifically, though, the best source is damaged machinery. These are mechanical pods, leaking a plume of dark smoke, which are marked on your HUD with blue cog icons. They can be found scattered across the surface of a planet, but also appear fairly often at certain points of interest, particularly abandoned starships and abandoned buildings.

No Man’s Sky: where to find multi-tool technology

The four categories of multi-tool technology are: scanning, lasers, projectile and grenades. Scanning tech improves the range of your multi-tool’s planetary scans (and includes other surveillance techs such as the analysis visor); laser tech improves the damage of your mining beam against terrain and enemies, and reduces its cooldown; projectile tech improves your boltcaster similarly; and what grenade tech does is a dark and terrifying secret. Both grenade and boltcaster tech can also alter the behaviour of those weapons, changing the boltcaster to a shotgun or causing grenades to bounce, for example.

These gold tech boxes are the best source of companion units for your multi-tool

If you’re looking for multi-tool tech, the best sources are the gold wall-mounted terminals inside certain buildings. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a consistent rule determining which buildings will house them; we’ve seen them inside trading posts, abandoned buildings, those otherwise pointless double pods and many others.

As with ship tech, you’ll get some tool tech from other sources, but these terminals offer it specifically. It’s annoying they aren’t more dependable, but they are quite common, so multi-tool tech is likely to accumulate over your journey rather than be something you actively pursue.

No Man’s Sky: where to find exosuit technology

The exosuit’s four tech categories are health, protection, stamina and utilities. Health tech simply improves your hit points, while different protection technologies can improve your resistance to cold, heat, radiation and toxins. Stamina tech extends the time you can sprint and survive underwater, and utilities tech improves your jetpack and life support duration.

Abandoned buildings seem to be the most consistent source of suit tech

Abandoned buildings have a good chance of granting exosuit tech, but they’re less common than tool tech boxes, and can’t be revealed by a signal scanner. They can sometimes be found by scanning a planet from your starship.

Thus, specific sources for exosuit technology are slightly more consistent than for multi-tool tech, but are perhaps more rare. Other sources include those which drop tech in general, which is to say operations centres, manufacturing facilities, alien and monolith interactions and various other loot boxes.

No Man’s Sky: companion unit adjacency bonuses

Companion units which share one of the four categories outlined above, on starships, multi-tools and your exosuit, will gain performance bonuses when placed next to one another. You’ll know when the adjacency bonus has taken effect because the complementary units will each be outlined by a thick border of the same colour.

Note the green borders around all the mining beam upgrades. Minerals tremble before us.

We don’t have precise figures, but it appears that adjacency bonuses are substantial. Redditors report, and we can confirm, that with several mining upgrades connected on a multi-tool they could instantly mine almost anything, whereas “without synergy [they] lost a lot of efficiency”. When one considers how long it can take to mine the rarer elements, you’ll appreciate every extra second of mining performance, especially on an extreme planet where you have to recharge your environmental protection every thirty seconds.

In theory, this system offers a free and easy way to strengthen your essential equipment (while rewarding those of us who like to keep things sensibly organised). What’s annoying is that new multi-tools and ships are rarely arranged with these adjacency bonuses in mind, and companion units can’t be moved. So if you want to optimise your gear, you’ll have to scrap and replace certain companion units until you have all related technologies in nice, neat groups.

This needn’t be an issue if you’ve been maintaining a decent blueprint collection, since many low-tier units are easy to craft. However, do look out for rarer or more powerful units for which you either lack the blueprint or which are annoyingly expensive to recreate. Preserve these, and arrange your refit around them. You can fashion a new scanner from sticks and bubble gum, but a warp reactor theta would be a real pain to replace.

Like this, but didn’t learn what you’re after? Try our guides to finding creatures, making money, warp cells and how to find the Atlas Pass. Or hit up our No Man’s Sky guide hub for everything.

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33 Comments

  1. Vacuity729 says:

    Not going to try and play with tags when there’s no edit system, but:
    “Abandoned buildings have a good chance of granting exosuit tech, but they’re less common than tool tech boxes, and can’t be revealed by a signal scanner.”

    Is not correct; use the option to scan for shelters and eventually you’ll pick them up. They’re pretty uncommon compared to the other stuff that comes up for shelters, so you can easily go through ~20 chips and only find one abandoned building.

    • Tacroy says:

      I almost always seem to find abandoned buildings when I do a sector scan from my ship (go up out of atmosphere and scan)

  2. daver4470 says:

    Also, don’t forget to break down your old upgrades before buying/switching to a new ship or multi-tool. It didn’t occur to me that you could do this until I was about 30 hours into the game, alas. You get a fraction of the input cost back, which helps if you have to re-build your cool addons in your new tool/ship.

    • whorhay says:

      The quality of new ships and tools is based on what you already have, so dismantling stuff ahead of time can wreck the thing you are trying to get. The number of inventory slots won’t change but the tech certainly will. For Multi-tools there isn’t a way around this so far as I know. For Ships you can dismantle the companion bits while you are transferring inventory from one ship to the other.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Captain Narol says:

    Thanks Richard, that’s useful information !

  4. oafish-oaf says:

    FYI the Rail Shot Adapter for your multi-tool beam is ridiculously overpowered, both in mining and battle.

    • aircool says:

      Yes, you can strip out all your upgrades for the other weapon (bolt something or other) as long as you keep the initial upgrade.

      Not sure if keeping the bolt gun upgrades improves the laser… perhaps someone else can help answer that one?

      • oafish-oaf says:

        I still keep the Boltcaster because the Homing Bolt Adapter is the best way to shoot down those blasted flying creatures that you can’t scan from the ground for some ungodly reason. The only way to scan them is to shoot it and watch where it falls, I’ve found.

        I’m not a fan of wantonly destroying wildlife, but this is in the name of science.

        • aircool says:

          I don’t kill em… I’ve jetted up to one before, but usually just find some near a hill.

  5. Smi7h says:

    Manufacturaing Facilities (the ones that are blue when found) usually always give you good formulas and blueprints. I’ve got a lot of upgrades, moving towards the center to see if the buildings will give better upgrades at some point as I keep running into the ones I’ve found.

    Don’t forget about the scanner at outposts as well! The one with the golden laser shooting out of it. They’ll automatically scan for 4 differnt posts, giving you an exact locale; drop pods for exo-suit upgrades, monoliths, abandoned facilities, the whole lot.

    It’s not perfect but hopefully it gets there! Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was Rome 2 but then we got Warhammer and no one seems to care. Lol.

  6. aircool says:

    I’ve got to the stage where I’ve got all the normal tech as far as I’m aware. I haven’t had a new piece for about six days, and unfortunately, it makes exploring for anything other than a bigger ship extremely boring. I’m even struggling to find any more contaminated shelters, although the last one did say that ‘my journey is at an end’, whatever that means because nothing significant happened.

    I definitely hit a wall yesterday and it didn’t help that I’d warped into a a system that had already been named. Unfortunately again, the player hadn’t been very imaginative and had just left everything with their completely forgettable random names.

    Is there any other tech available, apart from the V2/3 Atlas Pass which doesn’t seem to access anything exceptional?

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      Nauallis says:

      Since I don’t know where you’re at tech-level wise, it’s hard to tell you yes or no. Based on my own experience, I’m “stuck” at tech levels sigma and tau for most ship upgrades, level 3 & 4 for weapon and multi-tool upgrades, and I’m very, very slowly finding the jetpack, health and stamina upgrades. I’ve read that there are “theta” level upgrades for everything that uses the greek alphabet, but I have yet to come across anything like that.

      To put this in perspective I’ve only warped about 8 or 9 times, and of those visited only three stars that were not G-yellow class. Apparently the closer a player gets to the center of the universe, and the rarer the star type (red, blue, green), the more likely advanced tech will show up. So far that theory has held true for my own exploration.

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        Nauallis says:

        However I don’t know if there are multitool mining upgrades, photon cannon, or phase beam upgrades that go past level 4, because I haven’t found any, or if the boltcaster has any upgrades past level 5.

      • Titler says:

        You can take all upgrades to maximum level in a single starter system. So far I’ve got the 24 slot Multi-Tool, the 48 slot Exosuit, all the Multi Tool and Exosuit and Starship recipes, and a L38 ship (10 short of cap).

        I suspect, but can’t prove for certain it’s just a random roll as to which reward you get from any eligible trigger. For a while I thought the ships had to be found via the Chip > Communications Tower > Ship path, as every time I did that I got a +1 slot… until after about 10 when I didn’t. And now I’ve found +1/-1 from just flying over the surface.

        I’ve got the Tier 4, and even Tier 5 recipes from before I even had the Atlas V1 Key. You don’t need then to get into special chests or anywhere else to find them.

        The multi-tool is just on the walls of the Trading Outposts, the ones with the single slots, and again is random +/- 1… I saw it more often on the Vy’Keen Outposts, but I’ve also had upgrades from guessing quests with NPCs, abandoned buildings etc…

        Indeed, they’re ALL in the other buildings too. It just depends which answers you can work out; for instance I got an Exosuit upgrade from an Observatory console (which normally locates Ruins) when something stabbed my chest, and I could read enough Gek to see it was suggesting it was helping me… when I selected “wait” it then dropped the recipe for the exosuit instead. They seem to be weighted towards certain rewards, but you can just get them all by grinding out each waypoint…

        Honestly, the game is unbelievably shallow mess. The upgrade path, and the language barriers are just there to hide the absolute lack of content. I’m working on a video review to show how, but if you find yourself a dead world, without flora, and you can see the world building mechanics, and they’re very, very empty…

        * Fly in a straight line; you’ll see everything spaced roughly two minutes flight time at maximum apart from each other
        * There are only the 4 building types, you don’t need to be pointed at them to use them. They correspond exactly to the 4 upgrade paths; once you can visually recognise them, the game part of NMS is largely over.
        * There’s also ALWAYS a small valley or a cave with Plutomium near to a waypoint or building, also containing some of the 4 resource plants that are on every planet, and often the second crystal based resource too. This means you can always refuel and take off again, or just recharge your environment shileds if you land near a waypoint.
        * The Drones being every where is so you can always get Titanium too, which is needed for your solar system engine.
        * Landing at these locations will almost always have some of the creatures nearby too; you can quickly complete the planet by again just flying in a straight line, and landing to check which random creature roll is there.
        * Space travel just repeats the process but adding in the Warp Fuel for the hyperdrive. And once you’ve visited enough Manufacturing Plants to get the crafting recipes, it’s a case of just landing, quickly farming what is needed, and moving on.
        * Upgrading Ships, Suit, Multitool with recipes doesn’t require any thought; get to the maximum, demolish all the bonus items, and rebuild them; as long as there’s a single unbroken line, you get all the adjacency bonuses.
        For instance, my multitool looks like this;
        link to s16.postimg.org
        Eventually I’ll have the resources to swap out two of the grenades for the final Mining and Grenade upgrades, once I find a trader that’s selling them. I’ve just forgotten to look every time I sell off my stuff so far… But anyway, notice they move all over the place but the lines are unbroken.

        The only catch is there doesn’t seem to be many crashed ships on a planet. I have found a few vaguely amusing systems in 8 total warps since; one where everything was immediately hostile, including the drones, but which had Graviton Balls scattered on the surface, and one which I’m terming “The Land Of The Legless”, where everything on land is a bouncing tube or pineapple. But once you work out the shallowness of the terrain builder and gameplay… sigh.

        NMS is an overhyped, overpriced horror show.

        • aircool says:

          Oh, I totally agree that the resource element of the game is utter bullshit. You have to refuel your launch thrusters, which is supposed to persuade you to explore on foot (and if that’s the best reason to explore on foot they can come up with, then that’s pretty poor), but as you say, there’s always plutonium easily available. There’s always enough for at least one launch just in the loot boxes.

          So as a mechanic, it totally fails because it just becomes an annoying chore and doesn’t dissuade you from flying everywhere at all.

          The resource plants are also a bit of a joke. I thought Thamium9, or whatever it’s called, was as rare as rocking horse shit, but as soon as you blast into space, where you really need it, you can’t move for rocks made of the stuff. What’s the point in having a resource management mechanic for the engine when its impossible to run out of the stuff. Even with damaged weapons, you just crash into it. There’s no point in it apart from repetitive clicking to recharge your engine.

          I played it for just over a week, but the resource management bollocks seems to be what pushed the game in the wrong direction, although some would say that it needed the new direction so it actually offered something besides a ‘not quite ready yet lol’ tech demo.

          • Titler says:

            Oops, I meant the Red Lightning Bolt icon for Thamium from plants; sorry. It only looks rare because it shares the same Icon with plutonium deposits, but it’s always there too.

        • whorhay says:

          Uggh, that multi-tool is wasting a lot of placement bonuses. Each companion unit of the same type that touches another gives it a bonus. So four companion units in a straight line results in two units getting two bonuses each(the units in the middle of the line), and two units getting one bonus each(the units on the ends of the line). If you placed those same four units in a little square then all four of them get two bonuses. So it is best to build as big of a block as possible without having other types of units snaking through or around. And you want to place the highest level units, or the ones you want boosted the most, in a position where they get the most connections.

          • aircool says:

            I was not aware of that… so the bonus work in a similar way to the XCOM Ant Farm?

            Bah… I’m going to have to redo everything (in the future when I have the time and patience).

          • Titler says:

            I’m not sure that’s actually the case; but even if it were, I’ve already got 5 minutes of mining run time out of it, sentinels die to the mining beam in 3 seconds, and are instantly gibbed by the grenades… and I only really keep the grenades on just to one-shot the locked doors at Manufacturing Facilities. I could re-do the bonuses, but the game just has absolutely no challenge even so, so I’d be just giving in to the min/max inventory grind juggling which does so much to hide what little content there is.

            Oh, and on this;

            “The resource plants are also a bit of a joke. I thought Thamium9, or whatever it’s called, was as rare as rocking horse shit, but as soon as you blast into space, where you really need it, you can’t move for rocks made of the stuff”

            Just hit the scanner, the basic plants are on every planet too; the Thamium9 is rare, but every blue triangle with the glasswear icon will be it. And as you say, you can take off and then go hog wild. The only true rares are the Exotics, but you can just keep trading outpost hopping until you find a market for them.

            L47 ship now btw; just looking for a L48 model that I actually want to fly before claiming it…

  7. Smi7h says:

    Found that the mining laser upgrades make the best weapon. No extra slots needed for it too so you can upgrade fully for mining with two combat amplifiers for your mining laser with a plasma grenade.

    Great for mid/kinda long range, “shooting”. Plus I need the titanium so I guess it’s….mining?

    They started it!

  8. Smi7h says:

    Also also, formulas are where it’s at!

    You can build lemmium, 30,000 each. Titanium and plutonium. These formulas can save you time as most usually take basic ingredients to create. These formulas are harder to come by but I’ve mostly found them in manufacturing.

    Some take some rarer ingredients but when combined will usually net you more than had you sold it alone. Except maybe gold and elerium.

    • Premium User Badge

      Captain Narol says:

      Btw, the name “Lemmium” is an hommage to Lemmy Kilminster !

      Nice easter egg, I think.

  9. geldonyetich says:

    My main reservation about progression in No Man’s Sky is that there’s absolutely no opposition. Even the sentinels can be easily defused by dispatching them or sitting around indoors for less than a minute.

    So the question of if you’ll find all the tech is moot. Wander to your heart’s content, mix things up a little, it’s enevitable, insultingly so.

    • jonahcutter says:

      “Insultingly”?

      Don’t over-think things here. NMS is a casual, easy game for everybody. It’s nothing personal.

  10. daver4470 says:

    When breaking into manufacturing facilities, I’ve never actually found it necessary to pay any attention to the sentinels. By the time you bust the door down, your shield is maybe 50% down at most, and they deactivate as soon as you’re inside. Saves you a little time.

  11. fdel says:

    “Overly easy” is the right word. “Underly ambitious for its scope”, “full of execution and design mistakes” and finally “kiddish” are the rest for defining this game.
    From the fact that pirates pass trought the freighters, freighter don t fight back. And any 2 upgrade to shield and weapon is enought to take the pirates as long you have iron to recharge shields…
    The world being 20 meters deep at most (take the lower surface ground and dig down with your grenades)
    The interfaces that are slow (ut to 10 seconds to begin a trade) and a lot of view that view this that doesn t add anything for the player, this game is a monument to naive design.
    Don t get me wrong i have 85Hours in hit but i m hitting the wall.
    No more technology, Milestones utterly unambitious, easy fight (someone was able to bring big sentinels in? as much as i try impossible) on the ground and in the air i starting to struggle to find something to keep me hooked.
    Also the (maybe insulting) fact that you find monoliths that say the universe is full of repetitions (really?) instead of wild diversity. Is that a nudge to the convergence teory, is that a very low metagame excuse for very low matrix generating more of the same, or is there really something behind that once you reach some point the game get wilder ?

    • fdel says:

      Uops double post delete this if able.

    • aircool says:

      I’m at 74 hours and I bet that about 10 of those hours were just waiting for aliens to finish talking, or those unskippable parts of the game which look cool once or twice, but really, really grate quite quickly.

      I gave up saving the game on those lamp posts because I couldn’t stand seeing that bloody animation again, and I can’t be arsed talking to aliens anymore, they’ve nothing to offer me that I don’t already have, and talking to them for a second time or more is just sooo fucking tedious.

      What makes me laugh, is when you click on one of those Beacons and it tells you about a signal from an undiscovered planet, but actually just shows up a monolith two minutes walk away.

  12. fdel says:

    Well i like the game, i have 85 hours in, hundred planets, 3 black holes, maxed space battle… but…The game not sustaining itself.
    The game is impressively “underambitious” for its scope. This shine in the milestones, this shine in the mere 3 race of aliens, 15 or more of each ship part to compose the mix, and the utterly repetitive patterns. For 3 years of development with such low quality (nothing agaisn t it) GFX i had expected a broader pattern, seems the millions are in the colors. Or is it a mistery brought forward with the Shrines, or was that merely a low metagame justification of the game lacking.
    It is also full of execution mistakes and worst design mistakes.
    From Pirates going trought freighter hullsm to those not fighting back. (Has anyone witnessed a real space battle? so far zero)
    To the overly easy sentinels (was anyone able to bring bipede or quadripede sentinels? as much as i try its impossible, it stop at the doglike robot) that become enrichment fountain, passing by the 1 only pixelated night sky to the trade interface and time to start that can take up to 10 seconds…
    All in all its as if:
    1) the team wasn t expecting selling so much
    2) the team wasn t expecting people willing to stay so much ingame
    3) The team has been misgided (by sony staff?)
    4) The team is naive and wayyyy tooo inexperienced in any design.

    So far NMS, with those tons of mistakes looks more like a concept of a game that has been launched by amateur team willing to sell the concept than a game that have been planned and tought about. All seem hastily knitted together.

    And even so i like it…Imagine if it was a good game, that it still can be, provided the team doesn t derail.
    But all those promises about multiplayer and bases make me wonder. No one want to multiplay in a draft game or will build a base in a “nothing to do” planet.
    Everywere you look the game is crashing in public Opinion, suporters reversing good reviews, even Rock Paper Shotgun sayd it will be remembered as a study case of what can t happen.
    Sad.

  13. stormdude says:

    Sigh. Yes and no.
    I know this game is shallow, I knew that going in.
    But people are just brutal imho.
    I’m talking about no one on here but I bet alot of bad reviews are from people who got stuck on yellow planets and got bored by all the grinding. Didn’t go any further. Those who raced to the end felt enraged.
    This isn’t a game, its a sandbox. Sandboxes are predictable.
    Once I have been shot out in COD, brutally eviscerated in Dark Souls 3 and worried as I come to an end of Witcher 3, there is always this drop of water holding a whole universe, empty as it is to tinker about in.
    I know it’s limits. There are no limits to my imagination…this is my break time.
    But i am the player that will play GTA 5 Story long after the game has ended for sunsets and making sure the dog gets a run.

    I’m amazed on how polarizing this game is.

    • JuJuCam says:

      I’m with you. It’s a lovely meditative experience for the most part, great to put in front of you while listening to podcasts or with a documentary on TV. There’s really little else in my Steam library that scratches that particular itch. I fear this game is being punished for being unique in this regard.

      • Premium User Badge

        Captain Narol says:

        It’s punished for not being hardcore enough for “twue gamers” but it will become cult for many others, to their utter disappointement…

        The hate campaign about it is so excessive and caricatural that it is totally counter-productive and bringing even more attention on the game, in the end.

    • DookieJones says:

      “But i am the player that will play GTA 5 Story long after the game has ended for sunsets and making sure the dog gets a run.”

      This is exactly the problem. A good sandbox gives its players the tools and gameplay variability to do imaginative things. It’s staggering how many things there are to do and see in GTA5. Hell, I can’t imagine how many hours I spent playing GTA4 online (which was WAY more limited than GTA5) with a couple friends; one minute someone is trying to jump off a motorcycle mid-air and land on an unsuspecting friend, the next we’re playing grenade tag on the freeway.

      The game didn’t need to give us a story arc to have fun, we just needed OPTIONS. Creative tools. Things to… do. Standard sandbox stuff.

      NMS did a good job creating an unfathomably large universe, but I can count on one hand the amount of things you can actually do on any given planet and there is absolutely no excuse for that. And once you begin to notice the patterns/limitations of the algorithms’ variables (as admitted by Sean Murray himself: animals can only have so many eyes, legs, etc), the novelty of the vastness of the universe, the most important/marketed feature of NMS, becomes trivial.

      “I can easily generate 10,000 bowls of plain oatmeal, with each oat being in a different position and different orientation, and mathematically speaking they will all be completely unique.”

      “No Man’s Sky is like 18 quintillion bowls of oatmeal.”

      At the end of the day, this game feels like it was made by *programmers* more than it was made by *gamers*. It’s interesting, it looks cool, but there is no gameplay to be found.

      It probably sounds cliché, but, ultimately, this game lacks a soul.