Chromatic Metal is one of the first properly awkward-to-find resources you'll find yourself needing in the No Man's Sky NEXT update.
It's used for all kinds of important tasks, from building portable equipment to repairing Drop Pods and crafting Technology. Basically, it's a really useful resource to have on you at all times, so we've put together a quick and dirty guide on how to get Chromatic Metal, the Chromatic Metal recipe, and what you can use it for.
Please note that our No Man's Sky guides are in the process of being updated after the launch of No Man's Sky BEYOND - for now, this page may still have plenty of useful info, but bear in mind it's due a refresh! If you're looking for more on that big update though, our guide to what's new in the No Man's Sky BEYOND update and its release time on Xbox One, PC, PS4, our big list of No Man's Sky patch notes, or our guide to the new No Man's Sky multiplayer and Nexus hub are the best places to start!
What is Chromatic Metal in No Man's Sky and what's it for?
Chromatic Metal is a moderately valuable resource in No Man's Sky that's used for a variety of things in NEXT, from the early steps of fixing your ship to late-game crafting and Drop Pod hunting.
Chromatic Metal cannot be found in naturally occuring sources. You need to craft it, buy it, or if you're lucky find it lying around in containersomewhere - although there's no set place to go looking, and you'll only find small amounts in containers, so that really isn't a reliable option.
If you're flush with cash then just about any Galactic Trade Terminal will have it for sale, as well as most NPC pilots that park at Space Stations and Trade Posts.
The most reliable, and efficient, way to do it however is to craft a load in bulk, and then store it intelligently - either in your high-capacity Exo-suit inventory, or even your Freighter, whichever you find easiest to regularly access.
Cycle back to our main hub for what's new in what's new in No Man's Sky Beyond and more basic info on the big update, otherwise take a look at our deep dive on No Man's Sky multiplayer explained for more on teaming up, our guide to base building, an introduction into electrical wiring and powering your base, to how to expand your Exosuit, Ship and Multi-tool inventory space, and Freighters and Frigates explained. Plus other handy stuff like how to repair your ship and get the Hermetic Seal, Pure Ferrite, Metal Plating and Di-Hydrogen Jelly, locations of theAtlas Pass v1, v2 and v3, a guide to No Man's Sky money and how to earn Units fast, plushow to get Antimatter and the Antimatter recipe, and even how to save the game in No Man's Sky, too. Finally, we have pages on how to reach the centre of the galaxy, how to get Chromatic Metal, and a Journey Milestones list, too.
Chromatic Metal recipe - how to craft and get Chromatic Metal fast
Chromatic Metal becomes important pretty early on in No Man's Sky, but unlike most things sinc ethe NEXT update and its various new explainers, you'll need to figure out how to actually craft it yourself.
Thankfully, it's simple enough. Here's how to get Chromatic Metal, step by step:
1. Mine some Copper, Cadmium, Emeril or Indium - Copper is by far the most common of those resources. It's found in big ground-level deposits on most planetary surfaces. Use your Analysis Visor to look around for the diamond-like symbols that indicate a resource vein. Early on, most of these will be either Pure Ferrite or Copper, which makes your life easy. Simply head over to the Copper ones you find and farm with the Terrain Manipulator function of your Multi-tool. If you're struggling to find Coppor deposits nearby, use the Save beacon at any planetary structure to "chart" the nearby area, showing up everything on your visor when you use it.
2. Construct a Portable Refiner - We explain this in more detail in our guide to fixing your ship in No Man's Sky, as it's actually an essental part of the process, but in brief you need 1x Metal Plating (made from 50 Ferrite Dust) and 30x Oxygen (found in small glowing red plants and some Carbon-based plants). Select it from the "Equipment" section of the build menu (press Up on the D-pad on consoles) and place it wherever you like, and remember to pick it up when you're done so you don't have to craft a new one each time!
3. Put the Copper in the Refiner, with fuel, and craft - it's as simple as that. Add Copper, or any of the other resources (Cadmium, Emeril or Indium) that make it on the left, add fuel (Carbon or Condensed Carbon) at the top, and start it crafting, and you'll get Chromatic Metal on the right. Hooray! Remember to actually take it from the refiner when you're done...
With that, you're all set! The key to getting plenty of it is your farming of Copper, which comes back to finding Copper deposits quickly. Again, the best way to do so is to "chart" an area by interacting with a Save beacon you can find these at most planetary buildings - and then using your Analysis visor to look around.
If you're really doing it en masse, bring plenty of Ferrite Dust for your Terrain Manipulator and maybe upgrade it, too!