Money is tight in No Man's Sky. You've got ships to buy, new Exosuit expansions to pay for - not to mention a hungry pet that needs feeding. Okay, well you can feed your pet with some random plantlife you find nearby, but the point remains: if you want to do well in No Man's Sky, you're going to need to earn some cash.
Fortunately, there are a pretty wide range of methods for doing so. Money - referred to in-game as Units - can be earned through mining, trading, piracy, and even botany in No Man's Sky, and as such there's a fair bit of confusing or contradictory advice over how best to go about earning it, particularly when you want to do so as quickly or efficiently as possible.
On this page, we'll hope to clear some of that up, through an explanation of what we believe to be the fastest method for how to earn money fast in No Man's Sky - from Whispering Eggs, we reckon! - as well as a summary of all of the other methods and pieces of advice for bringing home the space-bacon.
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!
The fastest way to make money in No Man's Sky, using Whispering Eggs
Although there's quite the range of options for making money in No Man's Sky, we discovered one - first explained by "Smelly Ferrett" on Twitter (what a name) - which really stood out, even more so than the old method of trade, thanks to a combination of its ease of use and early accessibility.
The best way to make money is to harvest the Larval Cores found inside Whispering Eggs. Yes, those same Whispering Eggs that spawn waves of those awful "Biological Horros" when tampered with. Bear with us, because there's actually a way to farm them quickly and safely! Here's how to do it:
The fastest way to make money in No Man's Sky explained:
1. Scan for Abandoned Buildings on a planet's surface - These are the ones that have the purple Whispering Eggs scattered around the outside, a "Red Eye" in a terminal on the inside, and some general alien goop everywhere. You can do this by building a Signal Booster or by scanning when in your ship in the atmosphere, or even by scanning a planet from space. You also get sent to one fairly early on when following the story, too.
2. Bring resources for a Base Computer and four wooden walls - That amounts to a total of at least 40 Chromatic Metal (put stuff like Copper into a Portable Refiner) and 160 Carbon.
3. Build a square wall around a cluster of Whispering Eggs - Simple enough to do: first plant the Base Computer near the main Abandoned Building somewhere, then build your wall. Make sure all four sides connect properly (they should snap neatly into place).
4. Mine an Egg outside of your walled area - This will trigger the appearance of the Biological Horrors, but at the site of that Egg you mined, not the ones inside your little wall, leaving you safe to mine them.
5. Jetpack into your wall and safely mine the Eggs clustered there - be sure to do them one at a time, picking up the Larval Cores as quickly as possible when they appear, as they fade away after a brief moment.
6. Rinse and repeat - Use the roof of the building for safety (the Horrors can't jump or climb) and remember to pick up the walls you put down to re-use them somewhere else, recycling the Carbon you spent in the process (or, alternatively, you can box in all of the clusters before you begin if you have enough Carbon, because the Horrors might spawn inside them but, while they can escape the boxes, can't actually get back in).
7. Head to a Space Station and sell your loot! - The Larval Cores are worth a lot of money. We found you could consistently get over 3 Million Units worth from each Abandoned Building site that we found.
Here's Smelly Ferrett with the original how-to video on Twitter:
One final note on this method - you can, apparently, do this just as efficiently by actually standing on top of the eggs, and doing so you'll still be safe from the Horrors - but, the downside is this is a little bit exploit-y, by which we mean, it's a bit more of an exploitation of some quirks in the game's code, as opposed to doing it "within the rules" of the game, so it may well be patched out.
You also can't move from the egg you're standing on to harvest any cores that roll away from you, but all that said it is much faster than building and moving base panels around, so it's up to you!
Other ways to make money in No Man's Sky
As we've noted above, there are plenty of alternatives to making money in No Man's Sky, so if you don't fancy mingling with the Horrors of the universe then here are some alterantives:
- Mining and farming - The most obvious means of making money is simply mining rare resources - Gold is relatively plentiful in asteroids, and we found that we mined about 100,000 Units from them in a couple of minutes, which isn't bad (but isn't anywhere near as fast as the Larval Egg method above). Alternative between rockets and regular laser from your ship to avoid waiting for weapons to cool down, and just park yourself in the middle of an asteroid field in space and get shooting. Down on planets, a good source of income is clusters of Vortex Cubes, the little black objects that seem to grow near little pillars of Cobalt. They're not on every planet, but they go for about 25,000 each and are often found in clusters of five or so (and with other clusters in sight nearby), so you can pick up a fair few at a time if you find a good planet.
- Piracy - Another means of earning large sums is piracy or, in other words, shooting open freighters for all the sweet sweet bounty inside. There are two problems with this however: a freighter's loot is fairly random, so you could get stuck with less-than-valuable resources, and face a lottery with whether or not the Galactic Network (or parked-up NPCs) buys them at a good price; plus, there's the matter of the huge amount of sentinel attention you'll draw for attacking them. If you're going to do it, make sure you give the freighter a scout first, take out it's turrets, and focus on just grabbing the loot and booking it back to the space station, where you'll lose the sentinel aggro. We found that our upgraded mining beam blew freighter storage apart very quickly, as opposed to the standard plasma weapon attacks.
- Trade - It's simple enough, but as you progress in the game you can equip your ship with an Economy Scanner, which shows the prices of goods in other systems on your Galactic Map, allowing you to buy in bulk in one system when something's underpriced, and sell them on for profit in another where they go above the average rate. The more money you have, the faster you can make profit (that's capitalism, after all).
- The Cryo-Pump method - A No Man's Sky subreddit favourite that we haven't had a chance to test for ourselves, if you have some cash up front this looks it can be extremely profitable. First, get the blueprint for the Cryo-Pump item, which, according to that subreddit is found in Abandoned Factories on planet surfaces (these are identifiably by a lack of landing pads and reinforced doors that you need to shoot open). Then, buy the ingredients (Hot Ice and Thermic Condensate) at a Space Station from one of the ships that land, and craft the Cryo-Pump. Sell it right there for about 2 million Units a pop (way more than the cost of the parts), re-buy the materials, and repeat!
Here's the orignal post on the No Man's Sky subreddit detailing that last method a little more, if you're interested in the original source.
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.
Other tips for making money in No Man's Sky
Finally, there are a couple of other minor points worth bearing in mind in your quest for eternal fortune:
- The items sold at a space station's Galactic Trade Network terminal indicate the items which are available in that system to buy - so if, upon arriving in a new system, you check what items are available to buy at the terminal, you'll know exactly what's available to mine or find on the planets within that system. This is another great tip from a subreddit post right back near the game's launch.
- Each system's space station always buys and sells things for the same price - in other words, you can rename systems according to the resources they buy or sell for good value, because regardless of how many times you leave or return to that system, the prices won't change.
- It's worth investing your money into a large ship and some Exosuit inventory expansions before you do your real farm for money - regardless of the method you use out of those listed above, a large set of inventories will always make a huge difference to the speed at which you can earn cash. Check out our guide to expanding your ship, Exosuit and multi-tool inventories for more on how to do just that.
With all that in mind, you should be well on the way to mogul status in no time. Just don't spend it all at once.