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I came back to No Man's Sky and a few things regarding the inventory have changed in the last months. Now I have some violet slots that are marked as supercharged.
As I understood, the tech installed in that slot will be stronger. But is there any strategy to follow?

Should I have supercharged techs or is it better to choose an high-level upgrade module instead?
Are there more susceptible techs that may have a better enhanced effect?

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.... You had to ask this, right? Always sticking your nose into over-complicated stuff... I guess that is to be expected. Traveler anomalies are the worst.

Well, short version: it depends. Check how the displayed stat changes and work it out from there.

... but you won't be satisfied, right? Ok, you asked for it. Take a seat, this will be long.

First thing first. Let me tell you that those supercharged slot you noticed on your suit actually exist on your ships, multitools, exocraft and freighters. And while your suit supercharged slot (SC for short) positions are fixed, those on your ships, multitools and freighters are not. So, now you probably understand why you saw that weird guy in the anomaly talking the quicksilver vendor for hours before finally running away happily while wielding a red staff....
The good news is that at least the number of slots is fixed based on the actual item class and upgrading the class reveals the missing slots.

C - 1 slot, B - 2 slots, A - 3 slots, S - 4 slot

But... let's be real, if you love min-max (and you surely look like you do if you bothered coming here to ask this question) you are set for a fun time savescumming for that perfect slot placement. Don't worry, I will wait here and I surely won't use that conveniently placed teleported to flee while you are not looking.

... You... are not going... FINE. Let's continue.

So, now that you know Supercharged slot and where to find them let's see what they actually do. It is pretty simple, really.

Supercharged Slots just apply a 25% bonus to the stats of the attached tech

Simple right? Ahahah, you wish, poor silly interloper. Oh, btw... last chance to drop this and just look at the stats.

Well, you choose the rabbit hole. Fine with me, but don't say I didn't warn you. Here goes the messy part.

You see, while it is indeed true that SC slots just apply a 25% bonus the actually issue is that different tech stack up differently, some tech love to disguise and your stat screen is a dastardly liar. Which... I guess makes me look kinda lazy when I kept suggesting you to just look at the stat screen.

yeah... Anyway back to the topic at hand, tech bonuses are actually split in two types. ---You have additive reactions like Spread, transformative ones like Hyperbloom--- wait, wrong reality, forget that. The actual types are:

  • Additive: the bonus is added to the base stat, ie BASE + TECH + TECH
  • Multiplicative: the bonus multiplies the base stat, ie BASE * TECH * TECH

(there is technically a third type usually called reductive - but that is just a negative multiplicative bonus.)

An example of an additive stat is the Hyperdrive Range, displayed as a plain number on the tech screen.

enter image description here

So if you took this totally-not-stolen hyperdrive upgrade I have here with a base range stat of 310ly and supercharged it you would just get a (310*125%)-> 386ly bonus that will be added to you other installed techs.

Things like Jetpack Recharge Rate percentage are instead multiplicative. Easy right? I can already see what you are thinking... "Easy, the percentages are multiplicative, the plain numbers are additive."... yeah, keep dreaming. Exceptions exist to make things funny and overly complicated for a reason.

Damage percentage increase is an additive stat, despite being displayed as a percentage. Even better, many will tell you that probably the number isn't a percentage at all but instead just a flat increase to the damage of the weapon (they won't agree on how much damage a "1%" represent though). This mean that you will have to research a little. And no, don't hope to lure us again with a question on AtlasExchange. We never checked the full list either.

A(t)las (you get it? Alas... aTlas..) you probably are still unsure why this should matter? Well... if you try to think Math for a second you will probably realize something. Sum is commutative, product is too, but product and sum are not.

So.. shall we rewrite the formulas from before?

  • Additive: BASE + (TECH * SC)+ TECH + .....
  • Multiplicative: BASE * (TECH * SC)* TECH * .... -> BASE * SC * TECH * TECH ...

Get it? Thanks to the awesome power of products the supercharge bonus is actually getting applied to the result of EVERY TECH, while it gets only applied to one specific module in the additive case.

With this in mind...

  • for additive things like weapon damage it is best to supercharge the base module (which has the biggest base number compared to the small increases provided by upgrades)
  • for multiplicative bonuses it doesn't matter what module you charge, so you should prefer the module with more upgrades (since each will get the charge bonus and "spread" it over the other modules)

Obviously reality isn't so simple and you have modules that mix additive and multiplicative bonuses, but lucky most of the time this is not an issue. Most weapons actually include each bonus category on the base tech so by supercharging it you are actually charging the additive base damage and every multiplicative bonus at the same time.

That said, the Crimson Liar is ... well, a liar. There are some item that are actually tech upgrades despite disguising as random memorabilia. Remember that Polo Figurine you tossed away? Well... first, shame on you. Polo is your friend and you should keep his figure always in your ship. Second, it was actually giving you a 5% maneuverability boost. And other figures do similar things too. And the trail customizations? Liars too they are.

Anyway it is getting late and I should probably go. Have fun with the pandora box knowledge you asked for.

See you later, Interloper. Probably a bit crazier than you are now as you try and experiment with all of this...

UPDATE: since the OP asked for more sources, please refer to this excellent video that gives an even more detailed explanation.

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  • Ok so I should try to exploit multiplicative bonus, that explains why swapping the upgrade modules on SC slot didn't change anything. Where did you get those numbers?
    – pinckerman
    Commented Apr 19 at 21:18
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    @pinckerman multiple sources confirm the 25% bonus. It was originally checked by data miners.
    – Ꮢedacted
    Commented Apr 22 at 7:33
  • @pinckerman for added reference, the value should be called "SpecialTechSlotBonus" internally. And the "More Supercharge Bonus (or Less)" mod on the Nexus seems to reference it by name (note: warning, the Nexus is infamous for frequent malwertising, their server security is very bad)
    – Ꮢedacted
    Commented Apr 22 at 7:42
  • Yeah I found a couple of videos confirming that. The "displayed stat changes" solution works well, but the exosuit does not have a stat recap.
    – pinckerman
    Commented Apr 22 at 9:00
  • @pinckerman I was hoping you would notice that. Yep, an accurate stat display has been asked for years now :P Hopefully they will have one in Lights No Fire
    – Ꮢedacted
    Commented Apr 22 at 12:20

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