The galactic market will become an integral part of your No Man's Sky spacefaring adventures almost as soon as you can access it. Selling goods at a premium is one of the best ways to make money quickly, and buying whatever you need from the market is probably the quickest way to progress through the game’s crafting tiers. Here's how to do both in the most efficient way possible.
The galactic market is accessed via distinctive Galactic Trade Terminals, which look a bit like the AI personality cores from Portal 2. You can find them in every space station, and in planetary outposts, so once you get off your starting planet you’re never too far from one.
No Man's Sky: supply and demand
Successful trade is all about understanding supply and demand, and each star system will value commodities differently. It would be realistic if the prices were determined by local resource availability, but in our experience so far the correlation between the two phenomena seems erratic at best.
Anyway, when you reach a new star system, you can check local prices at the Galactic Trade Terminal at the space station. You’ll notice that all prices are given a percentage relating to the galactic average: when you’re selling, over-priced items are marked green and under-priced items red. When you’re buying, it’s the other way around, so remember that green numbers always indicate a good deal. A gold star indicates an especially good deal; you can feel well-pleased with any bulk sale of starred goods.
A fantastic way to get rich quick with minimal effort and movement is to check the store of your local space station for a high-price commodity like Dynamic Resonators or Vortex Cubes that are being bought for 100%+ their regular price. Find one of these and then simply dash around the visiting spaceships in the hanger, buying up their supplies of said item, and sell them off for almost double the amount back at the terminal. It's dull busywork, but in just a few minutes you'll make millions.
In general, whenever you enter a new system, check what’s in demand and mine accordingly. And don’t forget about the alien merchants you’re able to meet on planetary outposts and in the space station - each has their own set of prices, so if you need to offload some cargo but you’re not happy with the market rate, look around for nearby ships and see if you can get a better deal from their occupants.
No Man's Sky: How to make money from crafting, aka everyone loves bypass chips
We’re sure there are plenty of cost-efficient item crafting hacks that turn cheap components into profitable secondary goods, but it’s hard to conceive of any that are more efficient than bypass chips.
These useful trinkets reveal important points-of-interest via planetary signal scanners, which possibly explains their galactic average value of 3,575 units. When you consider that you can craft one from a meagre 10 iron and 10 plutonium, which you can gather in bulk for free from almost any planet, they represent a solid (if rather dull) money-making scheme for the early game. (If you’re interested in the maths, plutonium is valued at 41.3 and iron at 13.8, so 10 of each is worth 551. Thus, simply holding down the crafting button multiplies the value of a chip’s components by a whopping 648%!)
Fill your ship’s inventory with iron and plutonium (so you have lots of room in your suit inventory for chips), then head to a trade terminal and get crafting. If you’re going to use this trick, find a system with high rates for bypass chips and maximise your No Man's Sky inventory space to make each run more efficient. Note that the rate of return in this approach is probably outpaced by mining large stocks of gold, aluminium or emeril, so by the time you’re finding planets with rich deposits of these minerals, you can stop flooding the galaxy with cheap electronics.
Though the galactic market can make you rich quick, you can also do so by discovering all the creatures on a planet and learning how to efficiently gather resources. You'll also probably want to increase your ship and exosuit inventory slots. Or hit up our No Man's Sky guide hub for everything.
Disclosure: Our Alec did some writing for No Man's Sky, and so doesn't write about it for us anymore.