Long read: Who is qualified to make a world?

In search of the magic of maps.

If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

No Man's Sky Freighters and Frigates - how to get Freighters, Frigates and a fleet explained

No Man's Sky's massive storage ships and your new ability to command a fleet explained.

Freighters and Frigates in No Man's Sky have been reworked - or in the case of Frigates, added for the first time - in the big NEXT update of summer 2018.

Here on this page, we'll explain how to get Freighters and how to get Frigates, as well as how fleets work and anything else worth knowing about the system in general.

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!

Cover image for YouTube video[4K] No Man's Sky is Beautiful on Xbox One X - So How's Performance?
[4K] No Man's Sky is Beautiful on Xbox One X - So How's Performance?

Freighters and Frigates explained - what are Frigates and Freighters how do they work in No Man's Sky?

Freighters, and their new companions the Frigates, are special spacecraft you can now own for yourself in No Man's Sky, that can be used to complete missions for you to earn resources and money, or to just store anything you want to stash away for a rainy day.

Freighters explained

Like all things in No Man's Sky these days, Freighters are ranked in terms of quality, from S at the top, down to A, B, and C Class. They come in various sizs, up to 48 slots in the main inventory - the first one you get is randomly sized - and are generally found floating around in space.

The main purpose of a Freighter is to use it as a mobile base of operations. You can build base objects on board, run expeditions to get resources, host a farm of your own on board so you can have a continuous stream of income, and use it for storage. They're easily summoned (down on the D-pad on consoles and then select it from the menu), so essentially it's a whopping great storage unit and base that follows you wherever you go - neat!

Frigates explained

Frigates are smaller support craft that hang around your Freighter. These are the things you actually send on missions from your Freighter's command room (there's a tutorial that runs you through all the essentials for this when you first get your free Freighter), and again they come in various degress of quality.

Where to control your Frigates from while on board the Freighter.

Expeditions are fairly hands-off - that's sort of the point of them - but the main thing to know is that the more Frigates you have, the better their chances of success, and likewise the more expeditions you can run at the same time.

How to get a Freighter for free in No Man's Sky

Early on in No Man's Sky, you'll warp to a new system and a Freighter, with some support craft, will burst into the area. It'll be under attack, with a "Battle Detected" notification coming up and around half a dozen enemy ships flying around it.

Take out the enemy ships (exercising caution while doing so - try not to properly damage the freighter!), and you'll receive an incoming transmission from the Freighter's captain. Accept it, and then head on board the Freighter like you would a Space Station.

Follow the waypoint to the bridge and talk to the captain, and they'll offer you the ship themselves, clearly releived at the chance to rid themselves of the hassle. With that, the Freigher's yours! There'll be a short tutorial you can follow afterwards which guides you through building your first Freighter base, too.

Note, as well, that this battle will keep popping up every time you enter a new system, so there's no chance of missing it if you fled the first time - and likewise no reason not to get it over with and accept the free Freighter when you feel like it.

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.

How to get more Frigates and Freighters

Getting more Frigates and Freighters is pretty simple - just fly up to one and, in the case of Freighters, talk to the captain like you did for your free one and decide if you want to buy it.

For Frigates, fly near them and you'll gte hailed, and invite to come and inspect it. Fly up to the Frigate and you'll be able to inspect it like you would a Starship, and decide if you want to add it to your fleet. It's as simple as that!