As you go boldly into the No Man's Sky universe, driven by the noble virtue that is curiosity, staring unblinking into the majestic yet terrifying abyss of space with steel in your heart, you must prepare for constant battle with the enemy of every spacefarer: pockets. Your inventory space is the hard cap on each resource-gathering run, and thus a major brake on your progress in No Man’s Sky. It’ll spend much of the game fighting you, so here’s how to fight back.
No Man's Sky: How to upgrade your exosuit
Unlike ships and tools, you don’t replace your exosuit with an entirely new one. Instead, you add inventory slots to it one by one. You can find suit upgrade stations behind the V1 Atlas doors in space stations, so check out our Atlas pass guide to unlock a consistent source of suit upgrades. If you don’t have an Atlas pass yet, you can also find suit upgrades in drop pods, so let’s talk about how to find them.
Drop pods are, like alien monoliths, crashed ships and the like, a point of interest that your HUD will mark once you’ve found one. If you’re lucky, you can stumble across them while exploring on the surface or (more likely) in your ship, but you can also seek them out by using signal scanners.
Signal scanners are squat antennae which emit a tall beam of orange light, and can be found near settlements such as outposts and waypoints. You’ll need a bypass chip to hack the scanner, at which point you can use it to find points of interest. Drop pods are one of several results you can get if you scan for “Shelter”, but if you don’t get a drop pod on your first go, you can just make a new chip and try again with the same scanner. When it marks a drop pod, simply head there and use the terminal inside to add a new slot to your suit inventory. The first is free, but they will increase in price by 10,000 units each time.
No Man's Sky: How to upgrade your starship
So your exosuit is upgraded, but ships and multi-tools are replaced. Since each slot on a ship has double the capacity of a slot on your suit, and since you can always teleport stuff from your suit to your ship, upgrading your ship is the best way to expand your total inventory.
There are two methods to get a new starship: salvage a crashed one, or buy one outright from the alien merchants you can meet at space stations and planetary settlements. Both methods have their merits and demerits; ships are the most expensive items in the game, especially the bigger, better ones, and you’ll have plenty of important purchases competing for your units in the early game (such as crafting materials and multi-tool upgrades).
On the other hand, hunting down shipwrecks is a lengthy process, and it’s not always worthwhile. Reddit community reports suggest the ship you find will always have either one more or one less slot than your current vessel. On top of this, you have to repair its damaged systems yourself, with the pulse engines and launch thrusters as a minimum if you want to fly any significant distance. This can put a burden on your inventory slots as you need to craft four carite sheets for those launch thrusters. Its technologies are also never placed with synergies in mind, so if you like efficient ship design, you’ll have to do an extensive refit.
So it’s quite a bit of effort if you want to keep the new model, but perhaps you’d just like to grind through as many wrecks as possible, doing minimal repairs on each, until the game gives you a 48-slot hulk. If the ship you find is not an upgrade, you can also break its systems down for parts: accept the trade in the comparison screen, jump into the wreck, dismantle everything, then return to your original ship. Transfer all the material you just salvaged and accept the trade back to your original ship. This can often earn you a good haul of rare elements.
If you decide to salvage a ship, here’s how to go about it. Starship wrecks are, like drop pods, a possible waypoint result from signal scanners. Find and hack a signal scanner as discussed above, but this time, the category you’re searching under is “Transmission”, and the specific result you’re looking for is “Transmission Tower”. This will send you to a distinctive-looking base. Inside, you’ll have to solve a simple puzzle; you need to spot the rule generating each number in a sequence and extrapolate the next number accordingly, choosing from three options. It’s rarely difficult. When you’re done, you’ll get another map marker, which will direct you to a shipwreck.
Since you're expanding your inventory, you should probably find some things to fill it with. You can do so by learning No Man's Sky's galactic market and how to efficiently gather resources. Or hit up our No Man's Sky guide hub for more.
Disclosure: Our Alec did some writing for No Man's Sky, and so doesn't write about it for us anymore.