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I just landed on a planet and would like to invest some time on it to upgrade my ship.

I would like to know what is the easiest way to find a Crashed Ship here (or many crashed ships) so that I can trade up over and over.

Bonus points if I can somehow be guaranteed a 48-slot combat ship lol

EDIT: I am currently flying a boxy 24-slot vessel I saved up and purchased at a station for 1.5mil.

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    While the transmission tower is the guaranteed way, flying low and slow on a barren planet without water makes it fairly easy to find ships as you are going from one tower to the next or one known ship location to the next. The fewer trees etc. the easier it is to spot crashes: look for a blinking light and smoke. Even with ships you don't want, remember to switch anyway, strip them of all components, then switch back. This is a good way to harvest exotics for the higher tier upgrades. Also note that components in the ship (like in the suit and tool) get bonuses by being contiguous. – Yorik Aug 30 '16 at 16:27
  • While the scanner works, bear in mind they don't highlight everything, and the (?) istelf can block your view of the ship. – Yorik Aug 30 '16 at 16:29
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    Please note that since the Foundation update removed the Signal Scanners' ability to scan for Transmission Towers, the answers here are deprecated. If you are interested in the post-Foundation solutions, please check this question: How to find crashed ships fast after Foundations? – Neinstein Dec 27 '16 at 20:23
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Basic Strategy

The easiest way is to use beacons which are located on or near many of the "points of interest" on the planet. (I'm talking about the beacons that have the orange beam of light coming from them, NOT the large pole beacons). When you find a beacon, you'll have to craft a Bypass Chip in order to use it. When you do, select to view nearby transmissions. You will get a new waypoint that will either lead to an Observatory, a Beacon (the pole kind), or a Transmission Tower. The only one you care about when looking for ships are the Transmission Towers.

Once you get a useful waypoint, make your way toward it. Solve the puzzle in the tower to reveal the ship's location, them had over to the ship. The number of slots in the ship you find seem to be directly related to the number of slots on your current ship - it will have plus or minus 1 slot.

That's the basic strategy of how to find crashed ships. It's tedious but it works, and it's a heck of a lot cheaper than shelling out 100+ million for a larger ship.

Optimizations

There are three ways to make this process a little less painful.

  1. All Transmission Towers looks the same. What the building looks like depends on the home race of the current star system (Gek, Vykeen, or Korvax), but once you've found one TT, you'll know what all of them in the system will look like. As a result, you don't have to use the beacon to locate TTs - I often just fly around randomly until I find a TT, then land and collect the prize. Technically, this actually slows down the process, but doing it this way prevents your map from getting cluttered with waypoints you don't need, plus you get to do some sightseeing while you search.

  2. There seems to be a bug with Gek TTs that allow you to "solve" their puzzle multiple times, thus revealing the location of multiple crash locations. Whether or not this bug will be fixed soon is unclear, so if you want to exploit it you should do so now.

  3. You don't need to fix every system on a crashed ship - only the Launch Thrusters and Pulse Jets are required to fly a ship. This saves you some time and effort, since you can scrap/salvage all the other upgrades on the ship while you look for the next one.

Source: I found this info during my research for my question here.

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  • I made a note about point #2 in my answer, unfortunately the Gek exploit is getting patched out. Seems like Hello Games is going the route of Niantic, and instead of fixing the issue, they're removing the offending bug and replacing it with something else. All Gek towers will eventually become Korvax towers in a future update. – Kaizerwolf Aug 30 '16 at 15:13
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    @Kaizerwolf No, I think the Niantic route for this would be to remove transmission towers entirely and add a small window in the HUD that tells you if a crashed ship has been "sighted" somewhere nearby – Vemonus Aug 30 '16 at 15:47
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Find Transmission Towers, as every transmission tower leads to a crashed ship. How do you find Transmission Towers? Use the small, hackable red-beam beacons and search for "Transmissions." Eventually you'll get a hit.

Also, you can be "guaranteed" to get a 48 slot ship this way. There is a 1/3 chance that a ship you find will be one slot larger than your current ship, so just repeat that ad nauseum. I'm currently at 35 slots after my initial buy-in to a ship at 24.

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  • You're going to be burning a lot of Heridium and Zinc on engine repairs that way. – Random832 Aug 31 '16 at 1:04
  • @Random832 True, but I'd argue it's faster to mine a little bit of Zinc and Heridium each time than spend X hundred hours saving up 10 mil for a ship with only a few more slots. More importantly, when you find a new ship that you want, you dismantle all the optional stuff on your ship. That will probably give you enough Zinc that you'll come out only needing an extra 10 or so, and if there are any mods on the new ship you don't need (I find any Proton Cannon mods particularly useless), you can scrap them as well. – nailbones Aug 31 '16 at 1:51
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Currently, there is an easy (semi-exploitable) way to farm for new ships. Unfortunately, there are a few notes to make first in regards to your question:

  • There is no such thing as a combat ship, at least in how the game currently stands. All ships move at the same speed and have the same access to weapon upgrades. The only way you would get a "combat" ship is by finding or buying a ship with a lot of weapon upgrades.

  • The second note to make is that finding crashed ships is a gamble; you will either find one slot less, the same number of slots, or one to two slots more. In my experience, this has been the case every time.

  • The biggest downfall here is; this exploit is being patched out very soon, so I'm not going to post the exact details of it.

As the game will soon stand, this will be the method to find ships:

  1. Find a Korvax Transmission Tower (on Gek planets) or a regular Transmission Tower (non Gek planets).

  2. Solve the puzzle inside the transmission tower. Usually it is a numbers puzzle or something similar.

  3. Once solved, the tower will point you in the direction of a new ship.

Previously, you were able to use a Gek tower an unlimited number of times, with the same puzzle each time. I did this about 10 times per tower, and was able navigate with 10 crashed ship icons on my HUD. Again, this will be no longer possible thanks to a coming update, detailed here.

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    you will either find one slot less, the same number of slots, or one to two slots more. - I went through the process of upgrading to 48 slots and new ships always have had one more or one less, but never the same number or two slots more. That also is what I have read before. Has this been changed in recent patches? My experience is based on 1.04/1.05 – udondan Aug 30 '16 at 15:49
  • @udondan I'm not too sure, as I haven't played in a week or so (burnt out from a lifeless universe) but I have occasionally found a ship with the same number of slots. A friend of mine also reported finding a ship with two more, but I don't have hard facts on how rare it is, or even if my friend was lying or not. – Kaizerwolf Aug 30 '16 at 15:53
  • I have a guess. If you used that Gek-tower-trick and this way "spawned" multiple ships in a row, they would all have been one more or less based on the ship you had at that time. If you then flew to the first ship and claimed it, you either had one more or less than before. Then you flew to the next ship and of course this ship then would have had the same number of slots or two more/less then your now current ship. Unfortunately I didn't know about that Gek-thingy and therefore discovered one ship after the other and always had one more or less then the current one. – udondan Aug 30 '16 at 15:58
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    @udondan That's a good guess - it's what I thought was happening behind the scenes as well. However, I can verify after using the Gek tower exploit and spawning 6 ships in a row, I increased the number of slots on my ship by 3, which should be completely impossible if our original theory is correct. I now believe ship contents are generated the first time you examine a ship. This makes sense, since apparently you can find crashed ships even without visiting a tower first. – Mage Xy Aug 31 '16 at 18:56
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Viewing a few other sites pointed me to this answer. I'll leave the question open for awhile in case someone has a better idea.

Find a Signal Scanner, craft and insert bypass chip, search for Transmission.

One of the possible findings is a Transmission Tower. Go there, solve a math problem, and it will point me to a crashed ship.

There's talk about Gek planets (I happen to be on one), and being able to reuse that Transmission Tower over and over to line up a bunch of potential ships. Since that it being called a bug or exploit right now, I won't consider it viable for posterity.

Sources:

https://www.vg247.com/2016/08/15/no-mans-sky-how-48-slot-ship/
http://www.polygon.com/no-mans-sky/2016/8/10/12419484/signal-scanners-planetary-locations-guide

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In addition to finding new ships using Signal Stations (Orange Beacons) to find Transmission Towers to find crashed ships, it's a good idea to stock up on repair goods (carbon, iron, plutonium, thalium mostly) and upgrade several times in series. When you switch ships, several of the components onboard are usually broken, including the pulse engine and launch thrusters, which are needed to take off. Loading up on these components and switching frequently is far more efficient than occasionally switching ships. This is especially true if you don't repair ship components you don't actually need.

Another trick you can use, when you find a ship that isn't better, switch to that ship anyway, decompose all of it's components, then switch back to your ship. Doing this will generally keep you in high end components for fixing the ships you do keep. (And will generally grant you stacked components that you can use to stack things like cloth and plates)

One rumor I've heard is that depth into the galaxy (closer to the center = better) results in a better chance of you finding a +1 ship.

Finally, consider bulking up your personal inventory first, as it makes moving inventory around significantly easier.

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  • Stockpiling repair materials is a must! TIFU:I ran out of zinc on a low-Zinc planet after switching ships. – vulpineblazeyt Aug 31 '16 at 18:44

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