Nanites are an extremely important form of currency in No Man's Sky. They are generally quite difficult to get, with only a few reliable sources found throughout the galaxy. Here are the best ways to get Nanites, as of the Frontiers 2021 update.
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No Man's Sky: How to Get Nanites (2021)
No Man's Sky is a game that changes regularly, with major updates constantly switching up how you can get resources like Nanites. As of the Frontiers update that dropped in 2021, many of the old exploits have been patched. There are still some reliable ways to accumulate Nanites. Here's what you need to know.
Visit Helios and Ares
There are two NPCs aboard the Anomaly that will reward you with Nanites in exchange for information. Make sure you are regularly scanning everything from planets to minerals and flora. Head to Helios (shown in the screenshot above, and exchange your data for Nanites. This can be done each day, requiring a different kind of data each time.
As you play No Man's Sky you will unlock Milestones. In the same area as Helios you will find Ares, who will give you Nanites in exchange for reaching these Milestones. They will sometimes also ask you for specific data in exchange for yet more Nanites. This is a good way to build them up as you play.
The Nexus can be found aboard the Anomaly. It hosts a range of multiplayer missions, some of which reward Nanites. This is a really solid way to earn up to 1000 Nanites apiece. Make sure to squad up to make things a little bit easier.
Sell Crashed Ships
Finding Crashed Ships and trading them in at Space Stations can be a quick way to earn a lot of Nanites. Go to the Cartographer and purchase Emergency Data Maps using Navigation Data. Trigger them while in space and there's a chance you will get a Distress Signal leading you to a crashed ship.
Land and claim the crashed ship. You will usually need to repair Launch Thrusters and the Pulse Engine in order for it to fly. Dock at a Space Station and go to the Starship terminal, it's located near the Technology Merchants and Appearance Modifier. Trade in the ship for resources worth a certain amount.
Now, check your inventory for any Upgrades you have received. Speak to a Technology Merchant and take a look at their stock. You can switch to the 'Sell' tab and sell the Upgrades for Nanites. You should also do this for any Upgrades that you don't plan on using.
You can purchase special distress beacons from the Scrap Dealer aboard Space Stations. They cost a lot of units, but you will make that money back and then some. Find a Derelict Freighter and work your way through it. You will need to find the Engineering Control, which looks like a computer console. You can usually see it on your analysis visor. This console will offer you a set of rewards, including Nanites. This is a great way to get 500-1000 Nanites in one go. Make sure you scavenge the rest of the Freighter to make your money back.
Runaway mould can be harvested from Curious Deposits, which grow on certain planets. Use your analysis visor and look for a symbol with two yellow stars. Use a Plasma Cannon to farm them quickly. You can then use a Refiner to turn it into Nanites.
Residual Goop can be refined multiple times using a refiner, eventually granting Runaway mould. You'll find Residual Goop on the terminals in Abandoned Buildings, and any area where alien goop has manifested over nearby technology. Living Slime and Viscous Fluids also refine into runaway mould and then Nanites, so save any of these resources that you collect.
With every new Planet you visit, scan everything you can. Each system holds hundreds of scanning opportunities, so scan planets and as much on each one as you can. Now, head into the main menu and take a look at 'Discoveries'. There's an option that lets you upload all of the data you have collected, rewarding you with Nanites in the process. Do this regularly to keep a steady stream of Nanites rolling in.
That's all you need to know about getting Nanites in No Man's Sky. There are many other methods for obtaining Nanites, but we've tried to stay away from Exploits as they tend to be patched out regularly. For more on the game be sure to check out our guide on getting a free S-Class Freighter.