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How to Get Your First Freighter (For Free)


Attaining your first freighter in No Man’s Sky VR (read our review here) is an absolute joy. You can warp it into existence from nearly anywhere, making it the perfect mobile base of operations. But how does one come into possession of such a titanic craft? Well, it’s actually much easier than you might expect.

But before I explain how to get your first freighter (for free) in No Man’s Sky VR, I want to break down the way that freighters are classified. No Man’s Sky VR boasts ‘regular’ freighters and ‘capital’ freighters, which vary wildly in inventory size and exchange value. Inside of each category, there are then C, B, A, and S-class freighters.

Regular freighters range from 15 to 19 inventory slots and are valued between 8 to 15 million units. Capital freighters, meanwhile, range from 24 to 34 inventory slots and are valued between 26 to 178 million units, respectively.

no mans sky freighter captain

Do Not Buy Any Freighters Below Class A

Freighters are expensive. They’re also easy to get as a quest reward very early into the game, without much effort or investment at all. Unfortunately, this isn’t explained too well through regular gameplay. You will often see lower-tier freighters in No Man’s Sky VR warp into systems and pitch themselves up for sale, enticing players that have saved up just enough past the opening hours of the game. This is a shame for anybody who invests their hard-earned units on a ship they could easily have gotten for free.

That said, you can only have one freighter at a time, and you can’t sell additional freighters outright, so buying a C-class or B-class freighter is useless. Especially considering you’ll quickly learn that you can earn a freighter of equal or near-equal value for absolutely no units at all.

It’s possible for your free freighter to be an A class or even an S class freighter, despite the likelihood being far, far lower than with the other classes. What I’m saying here is that you might just not want to buy any freighters at all. Let the game do its thing, then upgrade once you find the one you’re satisfied replacing your free one with.

no man's sky planet upload centauri

Do Go Looking for Trouble in No Man’s Sky VR

In order to stumble over the quest, you’ll need to go hunting for pirates. Not just any garden-variety No Man’s Sky VR pirates will do in this case, either. Once you’ve completed the first series of tutorial missions and acquired the hyperdrive, start moving from solar system to solar system as you please until the quest springs up. Using a Conflict Scanner to tell which systems are more dangerous than others might not prove useful here, since the game actually calculates whether it’ll give you a rescue mission based on the number of times you’ve warped.

Once you find the quest, you’ll know it. You’ll get a distress signal in your ship communicator from the captain of the gigantic ship sitting in front of you that’s being attacked by no fewer than six pirates. While you can accept this and complete the mission as requested, you can also turn the captain down and fly off, or worse, shoot down the freighter’s cargo pods and take whatever precious loot you find, essentially aiding the pirates.

Unfortunately, becoming a pirate and siding with the attackers won’t help you get a free freighter in No Man’s Sky VR, so we’ll go with the first one.

Watch No Man’s Sky VR Space Combat Gameplay:

Blast all of the pirate ships in the area, which should be easy with even the most basic starter ship, and land your ship inside of the freighter afterward. You should have gotten a message from the captain once all of the pirates were shot down, and they should now be waiting to speak with you up in the ship’s bridge. Proceed from the docking bay up the stairs and follow the corridor to the bridge.

Speaking with the captain will quickly reveal that they’re way too old for this job and they’d prefer not to have to run such a massive ship on their own anymore. Guess who’s extending an offer to replace them? The captain will give you the entire freighter for the grand price of 0 units, which is quite fair given that you saved their life and all of their cargo a few moments prior.

Currently, it’s possible to earn a capital freighter rather than a regular freighter by not accepting the first free freighter you run across. When you break the siege on the second freighter you discover under attack, you should receive an offer for a free capital freighter with greatly expanded inventory slots over the first freighter you ran into previously.

no mans sky freighter menu

Enjoy Your New  No Man’s Sky VR Freighter

Freighters in No Man’s Sky VR are useful for a number of things. You can warp them to you from the ground or from space without incurring any fuel cost. But what’s the point of warping your freighter around at all? First of all, it operates as a mobile parking garage that stores all six of your regular-size starships. Second, any vacant parking space can be occupied by an NPC ship, which means that it’s a mobile trade hub as well. Third, you can amass a fleet of frigates to send out on missions that foster pretty sizeable monetary and mineral rewards.

You can remotely teleport items from your exosuit and ship inventories to your freighter inventory, clearing up space on the fly. And then you can build the freighter’s interior out as much as you’re able to afford, meaning that you can construct a very large but aesthetically consistent base right here, then take it anywhere you go.

While expanding your freighter base, also note that you can put cargo containers in for immediate remote access to any of those fine storage slots you’ve been filling up at your planetary bases. If you put a valuable item into storage on Planet A, you can pluck it right back out while you’re onboard your freighter, and vice versa.

On a final note, your new No Man’s Sky VR freighter will also spawn ships to defend you from pirate or even Sentinel attacks, making it the perfect floating fortress from which to stage interstellar heists or defend trade routes. If the heat gets too hot in space (despite space being mostly vacuum) you can always fight in style — with a freighter and an entire personal fleet at your back.

For more on No Man’s Sky VR, don’t forget to check out our coverage hub and read our other guides on getting started in VR, making money fast, and base building basics. Or read/watch our full review here. And keep an eye on the official website for updates.

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