+5 No Man's Sky Economy Types Explained

Dec 21, 2021
min reading

The economy type, strength and buy/sell modifiers can all be seen in the system's info page, which can be accessed via the "i" (info) button in the suit menu or by highlighting a system on the galaxy map. 

The new Trade and Economy section of the Galactic Atlas shows some of this data as well.

The Economy of a star system is a vital consideration for any budding multi-trader, as it helps delineate the most profitable trading opportunities. 

While each star system has its own Economy, there are three main types of Economy systems: High Tech, Industrial and Agricultural. 

Each of these types of Systems can have varying strengths, though typically one will be dominant. 

A trading strategy should be tailored to the economy system's type and strength, lest you find yourself in dire need of Materials that you can only acquire by selling a different Material back at base.

Within the current version(s) of the game, there are more than ten and fewer than twenty economy types for each system in-game. 

I've compiled what I believe to be every currently known Type, and even some that are classified as "Unknown" (though, these will likely never be known).

Real-world economies are generally heterogeneous and rely on specialization and mass production that would be unrealistic to duplicate in virtual worlds. No Man's Sky isn't just another game; it reinvents the idea of an economy into something new, with unfamiliar rules that add to the overall experience by enhancing your motivation to gain its unique endgame currency.

Trading Economy

Trading Economy

Trading systems are found randomly and unknown. When the system is discovered, players will be able to use their starship to purchase tradable goods produced by that system, or bring items to trade with the system. 

Some systems will have a black market where rarer goods can be purchased, but at a higher cost.

Trading systems are found randomly and unknown. When the system is discovered, players will be able to use their starship to purchase tradable goods produced by that system, or bring items to trade with the system. 

Some systems will have a black market where rarer goods can be purchased, but at a higher cost.

Trade terminals are scattered throughout the galaxy and act as a hub for all trading activity. 

They do not have to be discovered before they can be used, and once discovered will always appear in their respective color regardless of if you have previously explored that system. 

One interesting facet of No Man's Sky is the trading portion of the game. This is accomplished with the use of a new alien race called the Korvax. 

They have a universal translator as seen in Star Trek and similar to many popular movies or stories about alien encounters.            

Smart phones have become universal translators between people from different nations, but this will be the first time a video game device has been used as such. Also, this is not to be confused with bartering.  

Advanced Materials Economy

Advanced Materials are the primary trade goods between Trading and Scientific systems. Advanced Materials are also crucial for Research in Manufacturing. 

They are used to build many structures and ship types. 

They tie into trading and mostly have advanced economic systems as trade partners. Advanced Materials systems will buy any Advanced Technology that you may have found on a quest to recycle it for credit rewards. 

For example, if you happen to find an Iridium Duty Free Universal Cartel Credit Bar on your travels and wish to keep it, you can place it in your freighter to bring it to an Advanced Materials system and recycle it for 1,250 Units of Nanite Clusters.

They are star systems that primarily contain elements and compounds used for scientific research, such as carbon and Thamium9. 

They produce Silicate Glass and Superconductors, which are the most important tradable goods for scientific economies in the early stages of No Man's Sky universe development.

This can make things a little tricky, given that a particular system might only buy C.R.I.S.P.

Scientific Economy

Scientific Economy Info Card

There are three types of star systems in No Man's Sky. In general, Scientific systems produce tradeable items and buy/sell trade goods while Trading systems do the opposite. 

Advanced Materials systems are rare ones, which produce resources needed for terraforming. 

The scientific economy is a very important aspect that new players may overlook. 

If managed well, it can supply your home system with much needed tradables and at the same time provide a steady income through research.

Much like with the industrial systems, there are a lot more scientific systems to visit in No Man’s Sky than players will ever be able to explore. 

We suggest being mindful of where you plan your travels and what activities you want to do in this vast game to guarantee that you don’t waste time flying across the Universe.

Mining Economy

Mining Economy Info Card

Mining economic systems, also called mining systems, can be identified by the orange star symbols on the galactic map. 

Mining systems are located between several types of economic systems and they produce Raw Materials (tradeable items needed by Manufacturing economic systems) and buy some Trade Commodities (needed by High Tech and Refinery economic systems).

A mining system is a star-system that can be found scattered throughout the galaxies. 

It is inhabited by outlaws, marauders and even pirates. These are not to be confused with alien races or factions; these are the inhabitants of the mining outpost. 

These govern which resources are present and how much of that resource can be harvested at a time. The same type of system doesn't have to have the same exact elements though and each one may differ in its location or resources found. 

Manufacturing Economy

Manufacturing Economy Info Card

Manufacturing economies supply tradeables to Technology economies and buy from Mining economies and can be found in yellow star systems. Manufacturing systems contain a number of factories which produce tradable goods as a result of processing raw materials. 

Being located in the galactic core, their economic activity is very strong. 

Trading with manufacturing systems is a good way to obtain units, technology blueprints and many common crafting materials for alloys, generic products and technology upgrades needed for higher levels of research.

Manufacturing economies are focused on gaining large quantities of these tradable goods. Manufacturing economies do not buy metals or liquid fuel as they produce all they require to thrive. It is possible to sell Sentinel Bounties, Small Amounts of Precious Metal and Rare Elements in Manufacturing economies but not recommended because the quantities will be insignificant and won‡t be helpful for a player with low standing with the association.

Technology Economy

Technology Economy Info Card

Technology is an essential resource in No Man's Sky and directly affects your ability to survive and thrive wherever you are. 

As with other basic resources, technology can only be found in special star systems marked with a glowing blue nanites symbol when viewed through the Galactic Map's economy filter.

Production technology is used in Manufacturing systems to produce tradeable items, such as ships and technology. 

Power Generation Economy

Power Generation Economy Info Card

They are represented by a red star when using the Economy filter in the Galactic Map. 

Most of the exosuit and starship systems in No Man's Sky require power, called Units (U), to function. 

When visiting a planet, the Power Generation system will be revealed on your HUD as a cluster of red stars. 

To begin generating power you have to move close enough to the system that flashes around it. Once you do this, you can deploy an Energy collector that will begin generating power for you.