No Man's Sky - How to get navigation data

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No mans sky navi

Plenty of items in No Man's Sky are required of you from the beginning of the game. From Atlas Passes that are used to open containers on the ground level of planets to Salvaged Data that are required for certain blueprints, you will have your work cut out for you from the beginning of your journey. One additional item that you will need near the start of No Man's Sky is navigation data, which is first introduced to you when you visit your first Space Station.

Navigation data is used to purchase maps at Space Stations in No Man's Sky. Finding it can be tricky if you don't know where to look, but there are a couple of surefire places to check. We've outlined where to find navigation data in this guide, and we will also take a look at its main uses and the fastest ways to farm it.

With the recent Interceptor update in No Man's Sky, a plethora of new content is available in-game. Check out some of our guides to help you navigate this new content - here's where to find Dissonant Systems, Radiant Shards, and Atlantideum.

Getting navigation data in No Man's Sky

There are a few ways to get navigation data. Two involve being at the planet level; one can be found inside Space Stations. Here's what you need to know.

  • Ancient data structures
  • Red barrel containers found at cargo drops
  • Encrypted data on Space Stations

Ancient data structures

The most direct way to get navigation data is to locate ancient data structures. These can be found using your Analysis Visor to look for yellow star icons. We've shown this in the screenshot below:

Locating an Ancient Data Structure in No Man's Sky
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Red barrels at cargo drops

Use your Analysis Visor to locate cargo drops on a planet's surface. Often, there will be red barrels that can be opened using an Atlas Pass V1. These have a high chance of containing navigation data.

An Exocraft is parked next to a Cargo Drop on a wintry planet in No Man's Sky
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Encrypted navigation data

Finally, we have encrypted data. These can be found aboard Space Stations, usually as orange cubes on the tables near the Cartographer. Check everything in this area. Tablets, cubes, screens. Interacting with any of these can yield navigation data.

Farming navigation data

The best way to farm navigation data is to use an Exocraft to travel across a planet's surface, picking up cargo drops. Just scan for a cargo drop, and open any red barrels you find. Check for ancient data structures as you go, as this will increase your yield. Upgrading the speed of your Exocraft can do wonders here, and make sure you bring condensed carbon for fuel.

What is navigation data used for?

Navigation data is primarily used to purchases specific maps from the Cartographer. You will need these to find Monoliths in most cases. Here are some other uses:

  • Used to summon ships at landing pads
  • Can be sold for around 1,000 units

That's all you need to know about getting navigation data in No Man's Sky. For more on the game, check out our guide on getting silicate powder. Elsewhere there's also tips on getting a free freighter.

For more articles like this, take a look at our No Man's Sky and Guides page.