No Man’s Sky – Hyperdrive Guide
Since its rocky beginnings, No Man’s Sky has always been focused on the idea of exploration. It encourages players to seek unique planets, discover weird creatures, and learn the ways of alien races. However, just like in the real-world where technology limits our ability for space travel, the No Man’s Sky universe also requires players to upgrade their gadgets to discover new frontiers.
When you look at your galaxy map to warp to a new system, you’re only able to reach planets that are close in distance after first installing your Hyperdrive. Without any upgrades, your starship is limited to a range of 100 light years, and you’ll only be able to warp to yellow colored systems. To explore the No Man’s Sky universe unencumbered, you’ll need to invest in three new technologies: the Cadmium Drive, the Emeril Drive, and the Indium Drive. All of these can be bought as blueprints from technology merchants found on space stations. You’ll need Nanite Clusters for the transactions, which can be easily acquired by uploading discoveries or searching through abandoned shelters on any planet.
Your first goal is the Cadmium Drive, which allows players to reach red star systems. What’s so great about these systems? Well, for your next Hyperdrive update, the Emeril Drive, you’ll need the resource Cadmium. Only red systems have Cadmium available, and you also have a slightly higher chance of finding rare materials, so it’s a worthy investment for your future adventures. Once you’ve purchased the blueprints for the Cadmium Drive, you’ll need 250 units of Chromatic Metal and one Technology Module. The Technology Module can be bought from a Galactic Trade Terminal or dismantled from Obsolete technology, and to craft the Chromatic Metal, you’ll require a Refiner. You’ll learn how to craft a Portable Refiner in the early stages of the game using 30 units of Oxygen and one Metal Plating. Once it’s set up, throw in some fuel and Copper, and you’ll soon be able to build your very own Cadmium Drive. The ratio for Copper to Chromatic Metal is 2:1, therefore you’ll need 500 units of Copper to create enough Chromatic Metal for the upgrade. Having trouble finding Copper? Use your Analysis Visor to find deposits nearby, and you’ll need the Terrain Manipulator to mine the resource.
After installing the Cadmium Drive, it’s time to purchase your next set of blueprints and travel to a red star system. You will need to warp to a red system since Cadmium is exclusively found on planets there. The resource is required for construction of the Emeril Drive. To build the actual Emeril Drive, collect 250 units of Cadmium through resource deposits, and purchase two Technology Modules. Once installed, players can warp to green star systems where you’ll have a slight chance of finding abandoned systems without an NPC in sight. More importantly for our current needs, green systems have Emeril as a unique resource, which is essential for constructing our final upgrade: the Indium Drive.
Now it’s almost time to complete the trio and open up the No Man’s Sky universe in all its glory. Yet again, acquiring the blueprints for the Indium Drive is simple. Just head to your local technology vendor to purchase, although it is possible to receive them as a reward from Nada. To construct the final piece of the puzzle, you’ll need 250 units of Emeril and, you guessed it, more Technology Modules (three to be precise). Just like all unrefined Chromatic Metals, you’ll find Emeril in resource deposits across different planets with this one specifically being found in green systems. Occasionally, the deposits that you’ll find may require the Advanced Mining Laser to harvest. You may also come across Emeril in the form of crystals and asteroids while travelling through space. Obtaining this final upgrade allows players to be able to reach blue star systems, which feature the unique resource Indium, perfect for use as a crafting ingredient and to refine into Chromatic Metal.
With all of these drives installed, the universe becomes your oyster. Of course, the light year range still exists, but that can also be improved through more upgrades. At the moment, your range can reach over 2000 light years with S-Class upgrades, like the Harmonic Reality Destabilizer and the Supercharged Antimatter Injector, while also improving your warp cell efficiency. I find the ability to travel 100 light years quite substantial for the early parts of the game, especially since you can teleport through portals if you want to return to base or hand in a mission on another planet. Although, I’ve had trouble with a previous save where I couldn’t find planets that were in warping distance when I first installed the Hyperdrive. I spent over 30 minutes trying to search for a different system I could visit before I gave up. The galaxy map features also did nothing to help, and I ended up starting another save. I suppose it’s the downfall of a randomly generated universe.