I just blew almost all my money on a really cool lookin' ship. How do I regain solvency without spending a lot of time fiddling around in my inventory?

At the moment I've found a sequence of steps that'll turn 50 carbon and 100 Plutonium into ~5000 Units (by creating Suspension Fluid and then turning it into Electron Vapor). Are there better recipes or sequences of recipes I should look for? Or should I just drop the whole thing and go mine a particular mineral?

10 Answers 10


One method that's not incredibly fast but reliable (around 1.5m every half an hour) is to simply go to a space port, look at that ports trader, and note down everything with a gold star next to it that they'll buy for +90% or more value than galactic average. Then, go down to where the space ships come in and purchase everything in their inventory that will sell to the space ports seller for twice the value. Rinse and repeat ad infinitum.

  • 16
    Capitalism at its finest.
    – Mage Xy
    Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 15:46
  • Explorer Joe's Interstellar Arbitrage Emporium, LLC
    – Tacroy
    Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 16:52
  • Good suggestion. I tried this last night and made quite a bit of money. Better than some of my previous mining approaches.
    – dg99
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 15:41
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    I did this last night and the ships quickly ran out of stock to sell. Is that true of all items or just certain things? Also you can combine this with my suggestion if you're waiting for ships to arrive and have the materials on you.
    – Kat
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 16:22
  • I tried this and I noticed that you seem to get the same traders over and over again when you hang out at a docking bay. My particular collection of traders ended up being pretty profitable if I arbitraged Titanium and Dynamic Resonators.
    – Tacroy
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 19:13

You can make two-three million units per hour by crafting bypass chips.

Bypass chips sell for 3575 each, and require only 10 iron and 10 plutonium to craft. This means you can use this method on nearly every planet, with no special equipment or recipes, and without any money currently to your name. It's also very space efficient, as each stack of 500 iron or plutonium will net you 90,000 units worth of chips. This is even better than gold!

For those who doubt that it can really give you this much money, this is how I determined the value: I loaded my game, which I happened to last save by a Trading Post, so I ran over there as my starting point. I then timed how long it took to get 500 plutonium from the trading post, which came out to two minutes. This includes looking around to find a likely location, running over there, avoiding some pesky sentinels, and actually mining it. I had to run a fair bit to find some, and I also mined some aluminium while I was at it, so I feel this is a time you could generally achieve. This comes out to 2.4 seconds/chip (120 seconds/50 chips).

I then timed how long it took to get 500 iron with a mining laser, which was 40 seconds. I didn't add any time for finding iron, as it's pretty much always plentiful near plutonium. I just mined the nearest things, which weren't overly rich in resources, so this should also be a reasonable number to consistently achieve. This is 0.8 seconds per chip.

Next I crafted 16 chips (the amount of inventory space I happened to have open), which took another 40 seconds. I didn't rearrange my inventory at all to make it more efficient, and I'm on the PS4, so you can probably meet or beat this time easily. This adds 2.5 seconds per chip.

Lastly I sold all my chips, which took ten seconds. How many seconds this adds per chip depends on how many you sell at a time, but let's be pessimistic and say you only have ten slots available. This adds one second per chip.

If we add that all up, we see that it takes a total of 2.4 + 0.8 + 2.5 + 1 = 6.7 seconds per chip. There's 3600 seconds in an hour, which gives 3600 / 6.7 = 537 chips an hour. The galactic average for the chip is given as 3,575 units, so presumably you will get that on average if you always sell your chips wherever is convenient. So 537 chips/hr * 3575 units/chip = 1.9 million units/hr. Obviously you will eventually have to travel farther away to get the plutonium, but you could fly to a cave with lots of it and load up before returning to a trading terminal. I think you could sustain this rate if you did nothing but craft bypass chips if you did so on a decent planet and were smart about your process for gathering mats.

This is an average case if you aren't trying to be efficient at all. I ran from a random spot to spots that looked likely for plutonium, then only picked up 500 when there was lots more. If you pick up plutonium as you are walking around and/or clean out large stashes as you find them, you can easily halve that number. If you use grenades to get iron instead of the mining beam, the time is practically 0. (I've gotten 1000 iron in under 10 seconds with grenades.) If you have 20 spots free instead of only ten, then selling them only adds 0.5 seconds per chip instead of one second. This all brings the time to 1.2 + 0 + 2.5 + .5 = 4.2 secs/chip, which is 857 chips/hr. You can also wait until you find a trading terminal that gives you an above average price. The one I happened to sell at gave me 3617 units/chip instead of only 3575. If we work out the math with those values, you get 857 * 6317 = 3.1 million units/hr. Granted, you can't achieve that for 100 hours straight, because it relies on the time walking between nodes being spent on other things. If you're planning to explore anyway, though, then you can't beat the efficiency of picking up every bit of plutonium you see.

  • Do Bypass Chips stack in your inventory? I was not aware that they did this. Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 13:17
  • No, they don't, but if you park your ship nearby then you can have the materials there and keep your inventory open to make chips. It definitely works better the more space you have, but if you're already at a trading post, then you should be able to make room.
    – Kat
    Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 15:02
  • well that seems pretty straight forward and reliable but those chips are worth diddly, since even a basic ship would require you to make and sell 1000+ of them. the mats for those chips don't farm themselves so in the end you would be way faster just mining gold/emeril instead of adding extra steps after collecting like ten thousand units of iron/plutonium. especially considering that valuable minerals can be found on pretty much every planet.
    – garglblarg
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 12:09
  • The key tho is the mats are laying around on almost every single planet in huge amounts and they have a huge profit markup when crafted compared to selling them normally. Yea the individual item doesn't have a huge bang for it's buck but a stack of iron and plutonium translates to a bit more 75-80k Units worth of Bypass Chips which surpasses the material values on all of the high priced individual items. It's trivial albeit a bit boring to make 1mil or more units in about 30mins of farming and crafting.
    – Duffy
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 15:13
  • Iron is trivial to farm; you can get a dozen stacks in under a minute with grenades. It always spawns in large amounts. Plutonium is a little harder, but if you're already exploring, you'll come across plenty unless you're on an especially barren world. If you pick up both as you see them and craft chips as you come across trading stations, it keeps your reserves up without much extra time spent. If you're on a planet with lots of resources, then you can make a couple million by clearing out the stuff around a trading point.
    – Kat
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 16:18

My current method, and granted this entirely depends on your planets, has a planet near me which has Gravatino Balls on the ground worth around 25k each.

For me, any planet where the sentinels automatically attack you, has these orbs, designated by a yellow ! when using the scanner.

Also a bonus (depending on how you look at it) is every time you pick up an orb some sentinels come after you, which you can get titanium and neutrino modules for, which also sell for good money.

  • I ran into a planet like this with venomous sacks. Definitely great units if you can find one!
    – Kat
    Commented Aug 15, 2016 at 15:03

If you can't find a planet with trade commodities like gravitino balls just lying on the ground, a decently fast way to make some units is mining. Find a planet with either Gold or Emeril deposits - these kinds of planets are pretty common, so there should be at least one in any given system - and gather as much of that material as you can, then sell it at a trading post. It can take some time to fill up your ship with minerals, but every 500 stack of Gold/Emeril is worth upwards of 100k units.

A couple tips for using this method - firstly, fly to deposits that aren't right next to your landing site, it's faster to stop and mine some plutonium than to run all the way to a deposit and back, even with the melee-jetpack trick. Secondly, if your environmental protection runs low, you don't have to use oxides or consumables, just tunnel into whatever rock you're mining to allow your protection to regen and mine it out from the inside.

  • 1
    I used to do this, but gets really boring fast unfortunately. Also, you can try to find a planet with gold/emiril green crystals. Each crystal gives ALOT more than just mining the deposits itself. Although, finding the crystal might be a pain in the butt.
    – Sj03rs
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 9:40
  • 2
    I've found this approach works really well in systems with Au (yes, gold!) asteroids. Fill your ship and suit with 3000-4000 Au, dock at the station, sell the stack, rinse and repeat. :)
    – dg99
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 15:43

Not the fasted way to make Units, but I can tell you it's the least boring!

Search for crashed space ships! Dismantle the components which per spaceship are worth ~300k Units. This also aligns nicely with upgrading your space ship.

Whenever you find a crashed spaceship there is a 50% chance (at least that's what I have read - I myself think it's lower) it has one more cargo slot than your current ship and 50% chance it has one slot less. If it's better, dismantle the components of your old spaceship and then take the new one. If the new one is worst, still take it, dismantle its components, then claim back your old spaceship.

You need to repair some components to be able to lift off, but don't waste your resources for repairing anything else.

You need some inventory space to be able to take all resources with you and most likely you need to free your inventory at the next trading terminal before you can hunt the next ship down.

If you can find 4 crash sites per hour, that's about 1.2m Units.


With the NEXT update, I have found a few ways to make units quickly or at least in large amounts at a time.

Scanner Upgrade

Your multitool's scanner without any kind of upgrade is quite a poor way to make units. However, I've managed to obtain an upgrade that I purchased from the store in a space station that provides the following bonuses:


Yes it is an S class upgrade, and yes, I may have gotten lucky with what this technology does, but as you can see, I get a 6512% unit increase for all fauna that I scan (animals), and a 9321% unit increase for all flora I scan (plants). For all of the plants I scan, I get 23,817 units each. Most planets have an abundance of flora to scan, making it quite easy and quick to make some units. As for fauna, depending on how rare they are, I can make anywhere from 30,000 units to just over 100,000 units per fauna scanned.

Plant Animal

Exploring Ancient Ruins

This is one of the more fun ways that I've found to make units. You can also go about finding Ancient Ruins in multiple ways. The first time I found an Ancient Ruin, I asked a Gek for directions (which is one of the dialogue options when speaking to most aliens in the game), and the Gek pointed me towards an Ancient Ruin. At this Ancient Ruin, I interacted with the object that was there (I'm not sure of the actual name of the object). It provided me with two options - seek language help, or seek knowledge of the past. Select the seek knowledge of the past option, and it will point you to another ancient ruin, only this time it should be one that is buried under some terrain.

After you reach the next Ancient Ruin, start digging using a terrain manipulator. Dig near the pieces of the ruins that are sticking out of the ground to find these small chests. These chest contain "Ancient Keys." You will need to find at least three of them, though I believe the ruins contains more than three to find. After finding three of the keys, dig near the center of all of the ruins. You will find a large chest that will require three ancient keys to open. Once you open it, you will find a random ancient artifact item, that is usually worth a lot of units. The first time I did this, my artifact fetched me over one million units.

I believe another way to find these ruins is to use your signal scanner and a Navigation Data chip on it, and select the Scan for Artifacts option. This will lead you through the same process.

As a side note, I believe these ruins always have two Gravatino Balls to be found (one is on a ramp of one of the ruins, while the other may be buried). These are a way to make a quick buck, but picking them up will always trigger the sentinels to attack you, so it may not be worth it.

Crafting Frigate Fuel

After obtaining a freighter, and going through the short tutorial with it, you can craft some Frigate Fuel. This recipe is quite simple to craft as well. All you need is Di-Hydrogen, and Tritium. Di-Hydrogen I've found on every planet I've been to so far. It looks like blue crystals that stick out of the ground. Tritium is quite commonly obtained by destroying asteroids when flying around a solar system. Frigate fuel can be made in the following quantities:

  • 50 Tonnes - requires 50 Di-Hydrogen and Tritium
  • 100 Tonnes - requires 100 Di-Hydrogen and Tritium
  • 200 Tonnes - requires 200 Di-Hydrogen and Tritium

Each of these are worth around 1000 times their weight in Tonnes (50,000, 100,000, and 200,000 units respectively). Depending on the Market, you can get a little more, or possibly a little less that what the fuel is worth.

  • 1
    Wow. You can make tons of units AND explore the universe at the same time! Commented Aug 1, 2018 at 14:15
  • @Wondercricket yea I think I got a bit lucky :)
    – Timmy Jim
    Commented Aug 1, 2018 at 14:19
  • 1
    This answer is the most worthy of the bounty. I will give it another day before awarding it. After finding the S class scanner upgrade, this is a very effective means to obtaining units. It may not provide millions per hour, but it is also a method of obtaining Nanite Clusters (another type of currency for techs and upgrades) for uploading all of the flora and fauna that have been scanned. Commented Aug 5, 2018 at 13:47
  • What makes it ever better is that the S class scanner upgrade is stackable up to 3 modules. I'm sitting at roughly +21k% boost and cashing in anywhere between 120k - 350k per fauna and 50k - 60k per flora Commented Aug 5, 2018 at 20:14
  • @Wondercricket I didn't know that it stacks. I'll have to look into that.
    – Timmy Jim
    Commented Aug 5, 2018 at 21:50

I've found some good money-making recipes like:

  • Magmox: 30 C + 300 Th9 + 300 Pu = ~35K
  • Tumerin (sp?): 20 Pt + 20 Zn + 40 Au + 40 Em = ~35K
  • (can't remember the name): 100 Ti + 200 Pu = ~30K

but @Kat's Bypass Chip recipe is indeed simple and easy to mine. The problem with Bypass Chips is (at least on PS4) the amount of time it takes to construct them, open the merchant terminal, sell them, close the merchant terminal, etc., etc. It's really quite slow on the PS4. Far less insanity-inducing to make 35K in a single construction.

  • The problem with all of those recipes is that they only give you ~10k more than nabbing Graviton Balls off the floor on the right planet, and require a lot more mining.
    – Tacroy
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 19:45

10,000,000 per hour

The best return I've found is combining 20 Temerium with 20 Spadonium to make Albumin Gel which should return ~45K each.

Temerium takes 16 minutes to grow while Spadonium takes 8. Each one produces about 20 units per grow cycle.

Set up a farm with 20 Temerium and 10 Spadonium to make 450K every 8 minutes. That's about 3,500.000 per hour!

Harvesting, converting and selling 10 Spadonium and 10 Temerium takes 2-3 minutes. That leaves 5-6 minutes sitting around waiting for Spadonium to grow so scale up.

Conceivably, you could make 10,000,000 per hour.


By using the power of farming, you can get a lot of money quickly and consistently with a little bit of setup time. I've found this guide to be quite helpful. (Note that the grow times on that page are outdated - actual times are much longer)


You will need to farm four specific plants: Fungal Mold, Solanium, Cactus Flesh, and Mordite (the last you can also kill animals for). By growing enough of these resources, you can combine them to make Liquid Explosives and Circuit Boards, both of which sell for over a million a piece. Depending on the size of your farm, you can make anywhere between 500k to several million units per hour. The major downside to this method is that it takes a significant amount of startup time - you'll have to finish most of the farming quests and many of the science terminal quests as well before you have access to the recipes needed.


Chlorine Expansion. Hands Down.

It'll net you tens of millions without much effort. And, on top of that, you can do it early in game, without needing a ton of space for farming or unlocking and memorizing tons of multi-tiered recipes.

  1. Craft a medium sized refiner. A large one will also do, but it can't be a portable refiner.
  2. Collect a small amount of chlorine. I tend to find it on desert planets, but it may spawn on other planet types. In the analysis visor, it'll show up as a 2-star rarity and is labeled as "Organic" Rock. You can also find it at some trade terminals. If either of those fail, another option is making it by using oxygen and salt in your refiner.
  3. Get a crap-ton of oxygen. It's cheap to buy, and the teleporter UI is such that you can systematically cycle through every station you've discovered by going to the stations tab and selecting the last station in the list.
  4. Stick chlorine and oxygen in your refiner to multiply your chlorine.
  5. 9,999 chlorine = 4-5 million units.

In my experience, 2-3 hours of doing this translates to 20-30 million units. Enough to buy your own freighter. Welcome to the yacht club. ;)

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