Dark or Light

Missions [Re]Started

Red Thomas Posted:
Columns 0

Rounding out my No Man’s Sky coverage for a while, I thought I’d take a look at the mission system in the game.  I’m not certain how much of this is intentional, but since it remains unpatched at this point, I’d say some of the suggestions I put forward today are apparently legitimate uses of the system, despite how wonky they may sound.

So, let’s look at the mission system in No Man’s Sky and explore some of the ways you can get the biggest bang for your virtual buck.  Included in that is the idea that time is money, so some of this is as much saving you time as making or saving money.   Depending on your goals in the fairly open game, that can be just as big of a deal.

First, you can take as many missions as you want.  There doesn’t seem to be an upper limit, so go to town and keep picking them up until you get bored.  I tend to use the teleporter and work my way station to station picking up missions (which happen to come from right next to the teleporter and thus are convenient).  Missions can also be turned in anywhere, so where you pick them up doesn’t matter, except in a very few situations which the mission text will walk you through.

Look for missions that can be stacked, like scanning stuff or killing animals/Sentinels.

A quick way to rank up in faction is to take the pirate bounties.  Completing one mission will actually complete all similar ones and they can all be turned in at the same place.  After my spastic teleportation period, I’d ended up with about 15 missions to kill a “low-level pirate.”   I just undocked from the station, blew him away, looted the bits, redocked, and turned in a ton of missions.

Ranking up with factions allows you to talk to the guild envoys, who’ll give you gifts or missions for that faction.  The missions, like those that come from the mission board can often be completed in one shot.  Most, if not all, the missions I’ve gotten from envoys was to go to a planet, repair a terminal inside a base (with no resource requirements to deal with) and return.

On the money side of things, I’ve been taking Sentinel and animal kill missions and “valuable items sought” missions, which require you to turn in 250 of a given resource.  If you have missions to kill 3, 6, and 12 animals, killing 12 completes all of them at once.  The same is true of missions to kill Sentinels.  I’ve found that a good way to do it is to go to a trade post to turn in the item missions, and then jump off the platform and go hunting.  When they’re all done, head back to the station to turn them in.

I can’t totally confirm this because I didn’t realize what was happening until it was too late to check before the article, but it does look like you need to be careful with inventory on the item/resource delivery missions.  The turn-in point appears to be selected from the trade posts in the system you’re in at the time you get the first resource of whatever type.  I’d recommend stashing resources in your refiners until after you’ve taken the mission, so that you get all the turn-ins for trade posts in the same system.  I’ve had a few actually turn in all at the same trade post.

Pyrite, Chromium, Dioxite are all common requests, but it seems like Uranium is the most popular by far.

Once you have the missions, head back to base to collect and craft all the required material (which also may have you out hunting and killing sentinels for Pugneum and Mordite anyway).  You might consider even building a base specifically for farming missions from.  Picking a world with plenty of animals and in a system with a strong economy, especially if the system has a number of diverse planets with various resources, can make farming credits very easy.

Just as a test, I loaded up on missions and managed to do pretty well in the course of about an hour.   Part of that was refining material into what I needed for the missions, but it wasn’t as boring as other ways of farming credits that I’ve tried.   Switching between industrial stuff and shooting bots and critters seemed to break up the monotony quite a bit.  After roughly an hour, I was up by over 3.5 million Units and more than 5,000 Nanite Clusters.  I suspect that’s a little on the low end because I didn’t totally focus on completing the higher value missions.  There’s also a certain factor of chance in the rewards, especially those from the freighter’s mission terminal.

I’m certain there are better ways to make credits in No Man’s Sky.  Since the Next patch dropped, many of the new-found methods have been patched out, meaning they weren’t really intended features.  I wanted to explore the economy in a way that seems a better match for what the developers intended and steer away from exploiting unintended opportunities.  Unfortunately, even trying to do it the “right way,” I still found a system that doesn’t seem to work the way it’s intended.

Freighter missions are a pain because you have to fly all the way out to them, but their random rewards can be impressive, and if you expect you’ll be killing a Sentinel Walker at some point anyway...

Oddly, it’s a system that doesn’t really take advantage of the freighters or amazingly diverse galaxy created by Hello Games.  I’m kind of left scratching my head because I’m still not sure why they steered the economy away from where they were to where it is now.  I’ll easily admit that I had fun making that 3.5 million, though.

Using the mission system broke up the monotony of having a single over-powered economic scheme and allowed me to enjoy a number of the game’s cooler features.  It won’t appeal to everyone, but missions are a cool way of adding a little context and interest to an otherwise very sandboxed game.  While it’s not precisely what I was looking for, I do think it’s a nice touch with some cool design opportunities down the road if Hello Games takes advantage of them.  Hopefully you readers take a crack at it and find your own reasons for enjoying the mission system in No Man’s Sky.


Red Thomas

A veteran of the US Army, raging geek, and avid gamer, Red Thomas is that cool uncle all the kids in the family like to spend their summers with. Red lives in San Antonio with his wife where he runs his company and works with the city government to promote geek culture.