Playing the game at a faster pace by developing good practices and getting used to them is a guaranteed way to not only save time, but also enjoy a smoother gameplay experience. Once you incorporate the following 15 tips & tricks, you will no doubt improve your gameplay and enjoy the game more. Saving time is important.
In this guide I am going to give you some really simple, as well as more comprehensive techniques. But none of them are hard to master, you just might need a little bit of time getting used to some. Watch the video for demonstrations. 🙂
- 1 Deconstruct Junk (Terminals & Containers)
- 2 (PC Only) Hotkeys
- 3 Fast Jetpack Travel
- 4 Quick Item/Material Management
- 5 Fast Refining
- 6 Efficient Space Travel
- 7 Multitool Scanner for Ships
- 8 No Fleet Damage
- 9 Exosuit Inventory Upgrade
- 10 Galactic Centre
- 11 Upgrade Modules
- 12 Freighter Warping
- 13 Keeping Track of Star Systems
- 14 Ship Shield Recharge
- 15 Creative Mode
- 16 Bonus Tip for PC Players
- 17 What’s Next?
Deconstruct Junk (Terminals & Containers)
Early in the game, inventory management can be problematic. You don’t actually have to collect the junk that’s covering the terminal/container you want to use or open.
Opening your inventory, deleting the junk you don’t need and activating the container/terminal again is a loop that you can totally avoid if you simply deconstruct (destroy) the junk that’s covering it right there in the interface.
Check to see which key/button you have this action mapped to and start utilizing it. Position the cursor over the junk and destroy it while you’re right there. You will quickly make a habit out of this if you haven’t figured it out on your own initially.
(PC Only) Hotkeys
This also might take a bit of time getting used to, but basically any action that you’re finding yourself undertaking often – can be ‘hotkeyed’.
If you want to summon your freighter, space anomaly, change camera, recharge shields or weapons – use hotkeys. You don’t have to put everything on a hotkey (not that you could anyway) but certain actions are much more accessible when hotkey’d.
For me personally, summoning my main ship as well as freighter (or space anomaly) via a hotkey is now common practice.
Fast Jetpack Travel
Save yourself an inventory space and get rid of ‘rocket boots’. They are clunky and unreliable and unless you can’t master this technique for some reason, there’s no point in having them.
Use the melee key and right after that the jump key, depending on whether you’re playing on PC or consoles. Once you practice this enough you will be able to cover large distances on foot easily. In fact, you might not even need an exocraft if your jetpack/sprinting capabilities are fully upgraded.
Quick Item/Material Management
There’s no need to actually physically interact with different storage containers such as your ship/freighter/base etc. You can press a key (on PC ‘X’ by default) and drop the selected item (or material stack) in your preferred storage area.
Install the ship/freighter teleportation technologies and simply dispatch items right there from your inventory. Same thing goes for picking them up.
You can refine materials at a faster pace by simply utilizing multiple refiners. Certain resources take long time to refine so splitting stacks between 3-4 refiners can save you a lot of time in the long run.
Efficient Space Travel
Upgrading your pulse and hyper drive is pretty much a must. Not only will you save on recharging and resources but you will actually travel faster in space, on planets etc. You will descend and ascend from planets faster and you will be able to travel to many more star systems before having to refuel your hyper drive.
Connect 3 S class upgrades for both your pulse and hyper drive, and utilize your ship’s technology inventory for additional 3 of each. Make sure they are all adjacent to each other (same type upgrades) and enjoy a much better ship.
Multitool Scanner for Ships
You can use your multitool to quickly obtain information about various ships you’re looking at without having to go and talk to the NPCs. Ship’s class, type, inventory size, price etc.
Same thing goes for freighters but you do have to land on them. This way you can quickly scan a bunch of ships at a trading outpost when you’re ship hunting. Zoom in if you need to.
No Fleet Damage
When sending your fleet on missions you will see a mission ‘difficulty rating’. If you assemble a fleet that has a strength of at least 2 stars above that rating, they will not get damaged on that mission. At least from my experience (maybe they will change this in the future).
Balance your frigates when sending them on specific mission types, and always use some support ones to lower the cost of fuel (so you don’t have to craft as much of it as you normally would). Once the ships in your fleet level up considerably, their efficiency will increase a lot.
Exosuit Inventory Upgrade
When you’re using Drop Pods to hunt for suit inventory upgrades, stack up on all materials needed as well as a bunch of drop pods (warning, they ‘can’ get expensive).
Then, when you’re out there and scanning for them, never go above 3-4 sites per planet or you risk going in circles and wasting both time as well as those valuable items.
I like to explore so 3-4 per planet sounds about right.
Traveling to the center of the galaxy is most efficient via black holes. Loading screens can be punishing and even though you might have a fully upgraded explorer ship, you will never reach the center of the galaxy as fast as you would by utilizing black holes.
Once you progress enough in the story you will start seeing them on the map, or alternatively you can also get them from the space anomaly NPCs.
Took me a while to figure this one out when I first started playing. You can actually sell all those sub-class upgrades at the vendor that sells them. So if you’ve got an A class upgrade for your ship and you don’t plan to use it, instead of installing it and destroying to get some materials back, you can actually go to the vendor and sell it there.
Nowadays it seems like a no-brainer but sometime ago it was kinda tricky to learn this so just in case, I’m mentioning it here so you know. This way you can earn more nanite clusters and save time when it comes to getting the upgrades that you DO want.
You don’t actually have to go inside your freighter and warp with it. You ‘can’ and it can be fun, but if you don’t have a fully upgraded warp drive (which can take some time to do on your capital ship) you will not be even close to reaching distances that you could via an exotic or explorer ship.
Your freighter (when summoned) will simply appear wherever you are so if you’re one of those players that have been warping with their freighter – you don’t have to.
Keeping Track of Star Systems
Should you want to return to a specific system, before you go to a space station in that system, go to a planet and re-name the star system. Upload it and it will retain the name you’ve given it. You can include information such as economy strength and conflict level.
Then, when you go to a teleporter on the space station you will have this information available in the name of the system. This can be useful if you want to quickly go to a rich system with low conflict and so on.
You might also have a certain ship model that drops in that system (or even a different color) so in the future you might want to go back and hunt for an S class ship when you have more time. Or maybe you’ve found a cool planet you’d like to return to at a later point etc.
Ship Shield Recharge
If you’re dying often in space combat, you’re not recharging your shield either at all, or not fast enough. Needless to say, if you’re on PC you can even hotkey this action so recharging is a matter of pressing a single button.
If your shields are fully upgraded then they will last a lot longer so it’s not as important, but if you’re playing a hard core mode then you definitely want to take such precautions.
Are you an adult with a job and not much free time? Consider playing the game in ‘creative mode’ where you have no costs, you can’t die etc.
This way you can experience the game at a much faster pace while still experiencing pretty much everything it has to offer. You won’t be able to play with players who aren’t playing this mode, but NMS is primarily a single player focused game anyway.
Bonus Tip for PC Players
Loading screens nowadays seem to be much more forgiving but they can be a big part of the game if you’re often jumping through different systems. So one of the ways you can cut down on time used here, is to get an SSD drive.
This is not beneficial just for video games but your overall system’s performance as well. Everything is much faster with an SSD.
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