No Man's Sky: How to Get Cadmium

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No Man's Sky screenshot

The universe that No Man's Sky is set in is filled with elements and materials to harvest, and players need a lot of them to craft the items and structures they need to survive. Here are the best ways to get Cadmium in No Man's Sky.

You'll need Cadmium to complete the base-building quests in No Man's Sky, and to build technology like the Soul Engine. You can only find it in a particular kind of system and will need to warp to get to them.


With No Man's Sky finally available on the Nintendo Switch, check out some more guides to help you travel the galaxy on a new platform - here's where to find Tritium, and Paraffinium, and how to increase your ship's storage.

How to get No Man's Sky Cadmium

To get Cadmium, you will first need a Cadmium drive installed in your ship. This can be unlocked at the Anomaly, at the Starship Research Station. Spend the Salvaged Data required to unlock it, and take a look at the recipe.

The Cadmium Drive upgrade shown in the research station aboard the Anomaly

You'll need the following to craft the Cadmium Drive:

  • Chromium Metal (x250) - Refine from Copper
  • Wiring Loom (x3) - Purchase from Space Stations

Install it into your Starship inventory, and head out into space. You will now need to warp to a red star system. These can be seen as red orbs in the galactic map. Find one that is in range and warp there.

The galaxy Map in No Man's Sky showing a red star system

Once you've entered the system, scan planets and look for Cadmium listed in their available resources. Land on a planet and use your scanner to highlight Cadmium deposits. They are shining red piles of metal, easy to spot. Using the Terrain Manipulator, mine Cadmium.

Making Cadmium in a Refiner

If you already have some Cadmium on you, but not enough for an upgrade, you can actually make more using a Medium Refiner. Add Cadmium and Chromatic metal to get double the amount of Cadmium that you put in. This can be useful as Chromatic Metal is much easier to come by.

cadmium shown in the Exosuit inventory in No Man's Sky

What is Cadmium Used For?

Cadmium is primarily used in the forging of the Soul Engine, an item required to complete the main storyline. Here are some other uses:

  • Atlas Pass V2 - A permission pass that allows access to higher-level areas and outposts.
  • Emeril Drive - The second upgrade to the Hyperdrive, this allows warping to green star systems in the ship.
  • Amplified Warp Shielding - A freighter technology that allows players to warp to red star systems in the ship.
  • Warp Core Resonator - Another freighter technology that upgrades the Hyperdrive's capabilities, and increases the distance you can travel.

That's all you need to know about getting Cadmium in No Man's Sky. For more help with the game be sure to check out our guide on finding Portals. Elsewhere, there's our look at getting a Free Freighter.