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After two unsuccessful attempts to help stranded spaceship captains I would like to know what exactly I should do to help a friendly inquiring captain?

They ask me for some spare parts or food, but don't say exactly what they need. From the 3 possible answers there is none with a real direct help. I only have the choice between "I don't have such parts", "maybe we can find it" and some harsh "not interested" answer.

Is it by design that I can not not help them and leave them alone? Or is it left to chance whether I carry the needed parts already in my own inventory?

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In my experience, they are looking for Iron -- 20 units, in my case, or water. (I've never been asked for food)

At least, with the captains I've helped rescue, they mention fabricating new parts, ergo the use of raw materials, rather than being given specific, already made crafting components.

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  • Do I need to have 20 Iron in my personal inventory BEFORE I meet the captain the first time? Or can I organise it and bring it to him after the first encounter?
    – PeterCo
    Sep 23, 2023 at 15:51
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    @PeterCo I think so. I've had the same happen where they ask for iron and I don't have enough. These seem like random encounters that don't have any consequences if you don't have the materials. I don't know if you can come back to them with the supplies or not
    – Timmy Jim
    Sep 23, 2023 at 17:24
  • My last attempt to go and search for food and bring it back to them was not successful. I will try it with 20 Iron the next time.
    – PeterCo
    Sep 23, 2023 at 18:29
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If one of these captains says their ship needs repairs and asks for parts, then what they want is the item named "Ship Parts", which can otherwise be used to repair your own ship. The Frontier has several of this item in its cargo hold at the start of the game. They are heavy and are mainly used during ship combat, so I usually don't carry any around with me, but when I have encountered this event I have been able to travel back to my ship, retrieve the parts, and return to provide them.

I have not encountered any that request food, water, or iron, so I'm not sure what would meet those requirements.

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If hailed by ship asking for Iron (or possibly other raw materials), in my experience if you leave the area and come back, they will always be gone. To avoid that problem, instead of going to a planet to mine or someplace where you have the inventory saved, mine it from local asteroids. Just shoot them, then fly near (under 500m), scan, and loot the debris.

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    Not all asteroids have iron. Doesn't leaving the planet and coming back count as "leave the area and come back, they will always be gone"? Or is this only for the civilian ships that hail you looking for supplies in space, and not stranded ships on the surface of the planet? Jan 22 at 13:35
  • @RoddyoftheFrozenPeas, yes, for the civilian ships looking for supplies in space, any form of fast travel from your position in orbit (landing on the planet or traveling to another planet) will cause the ship to be gone when you return. The only way to get the needed iron that I know of is to shoot asteroids where you are -- AVOID ANY FORM OF FAST TRAVEL. True, not all asteroids have iron. Shoot enough to get the needed iron. Feb 1 at 22:12

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