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Frigate types clockwise from top left: Support, Exploration, Combat, Industrial and Trade.

Frigates are mid-sized starships.

Summary[edit | edit source]

Frigates are ships larger than a single-user starship, but smaller than a freighter. They can usually be found surrounding an NPC freighter. A player can own up to 30 frigates once they command a freighter. Frigates can then be sent on expeditions to other star systems.

The frigate fleet is controlled by the Fleet Command Room, located on the freighter that commands the fleet. Building more than one Command Room allows the player to have multiple active missions with different frigates at once.

Hiring[edit | edit source]

In order to hire a frigate the player must travel close to the frigate's position and, once the frigate captain is open for communication, use their intercom (via quick menu) to talk to the captain and choose the option to hire their services. Not all frigates that spawn are available for purchase.
The fleet can have a maximum of 30 frigates. Dismissing unwanted frigates was possible in an early build of NEXT. Since then, the middle mouse button has been disabled but is now enabled after the Beyond update.

The five types of frigates are as follows:

  • Combat Combat Specialist - Higher Combat capabilities through the basic trait and potential unique traits. Can assist the player during space combat by warping nearby and sending out friendly sentinel ships.
  • Exploration Exploration Specialist - Higher Exploration capabilities through the basic trait and potential unique traits. Can activate its Artifact Scanner to find the location of an Ancient Ruin in the current system.
  • Industrial Industrial Specialist - Higher Industrial capabilities through the basic trait and potential unique traits. Gives player Magnetised Ferrite when boarded.
  • Trade Trade Specialist - Higher Trade capabilities through the basic trait and potential unique traits. Gives player Chromatic Metal when boarded.
  • Support Support Specialist - A unique frigate that specializes in fuel supply instead of abilities. Each fleet should have one to conserve fuel which can further be improved by later traits. Gives player Condensed Carbon when boarded.

Bargains and Pitfalls[edit | edit source]

With over 60 potential points in their lifecycle and growth, it would seem unimportant which frigate to buy. However, there is a difference of over 15 points between the best and the rip-off frigates and some drink more fuel than a SUV with a hole for a tank. Buying a bad frigate can cripple your fuel supply by 50% and make the entire armada weaker by around 50% in the beginning and 20% in the long run.

Specialized frigates:

  • Lv.1: 1-12 base stats (after deducting the bonuses)
  • Lv.2+: (-5)-14 base stats (after deducting bonuses and levels)
  • Fuel: 8-12 tonnes (without negative traits)
    • Note that the numbers above are the highest seen and documented yet!
    • Pre-trained frigates are not uncommon to show up with -2 base stats of around 10+%
    • A 14 pre-trained frigate is VERY rare.

Support frigates:

  • Same stats as above
  • Fuel:2-5 tonnes (without negative traits)

Expeditions[edit | edit source]

Up to five expeditions per day (0:00 UTC reset) are offered on the freighter bridge for up to 5 frigates each. Their main goal is to gather units, artifacts and rare items for their admiral. They can be accessed by talking to the Navigator standing next to the star map and existing expeditions can be managed by visiting the Fleet Command Room assigned to that fleet. Each Fleet Command Room build allows an additional concurrent expedition. Each expedition itself can take anywhere from 1 to 28 hours in real time, and progress even while the game is not running. Critical events that can lead to the loss of frigates also happen in real time. If the player is not there, he can not intervene in time.

Certain frigate traits affect other frigates in their party and make the journey easier and less costly; or with certain traits harder and more expensive.

Frigate expeditions are rated in difficulty between 1 and 5 stars. While the frigates have lights shown on the fleet management menu, those are not their star rating, but the amount of positive traits. The actual point values matter here! It is recommended that the total star rating of the frigate team after calculation is at least 1 star higher than the difficulty of the expedition. If the team rating is equal to the expedition difficulty there is a chance that the frigates will be damaged, and if the team rating is lower than the expedition, frigate damage is very likely and a loss could occur. Also note that lower class frigates are more likely to be damaged than higher class ones. If a damaged frigate continues its mission and gets damaged again, it will be destroyed and cannot be recovered.

Expeditions focus on one of the five basic roles:

  • Combat - The crew brings back mostly units and various items looted from enemies, or salvaged, such as Geodesite and Iridesite.
  • Exploration - The crew brings back discovered items (i.e. a Gravitino Ball or even an Artifact) and earned units.
  • Industrial - The crew brings back units, refined stellar metals (i.e. Activated Copper) and curiosities, such as Carbon Crystal and Rare Metal Element.
  • Trade - The crew brings back units from trade deals made during travel, along with a number of trade items.
  • Balanced - A random sum of all above. Support Specialist frigates work well for this type of expedition.

Game files show that, even during expeditions of any of the four specialist types mentioned above, expeditions will randomly include occasional encounters of other types, which means that all expedition fleets should avoid leaving extreme weaknesses in any stat.

Known Bugs/Mishaps[edit | edit source]

  • The debrief will often depict fantastical events outside of the reality of No Man's Sky. However, sometimes they even report trade and life on planets in dead and abandoned systems. Do NOT use your expedition infos to judge worthy systems nearby. They are sadly unrelated.
  • Any system an expedition visits will show the original names of the systems and planets, even if discovered and uploaded to the HG databanks or recorded in your own discovery log.
  • A frigate expedition will be spawned and be present in the system they are told to be. Those systems ALL exist and the events take place on actual planets. However, this actual traffic can lead to the player meeting their own expeditions... sometimes in question worthy positions. Surely a story to be told!
  • The player will not die if they are on board a frigate which is currently on an expedition, but in the meanwhile it warps to its next destination. Instead the player will be transported back to their ship and receives a message saying that the frigate has left the system.

Training[edit | edit source]

Over the course of many expeditions, the frigates lose negative traits and gain more positive abilities and base stats. The level up hereby is based on the number of expeditions with an ever increasing demand early on and a static drop to 5 expeditions later. This can be checked on the Manage Fleet panel, where each frigate keeps track of how many expeditions they have been on. The indicated percentage serves no purpose, because it is directly tied to the expeditions.

Expeditions Percentage Level up
0 0% -
1 25% -
2 50% -
3 75% -
4 0% yes
5 13% -
6 25% -
7 38% -
8 0% yes
9 7% -
10 13% -
11 20% -
12 27% -
13 33% -
14 40% -
15 0% yes
16 4% -
17 8% -
18 12% -
19 16% -
Expeditions Percentage Level up
20 20% -
21 24% -
22 28% -
23 32% -
24 36% -
25 0% yes
26 3% -
27 7% -
28 10% -
29 13% -
30 0% yes
31 3% -
32 6% -
33 9% -
34 11% -
35 0% yes
36 3% -
37 5% -
38 8% -
39 10% -
Expeditions Percentage Level up
40 0% yes
41 2% -
42 4% -
43 7% -
44 9% -
45 0% yes
46 2% -
47 4% -
48 6% -
49 8% -
50 0% yes
51 2% -
52 4% -
53 5% -
54 7% -
55 - yes

Each time a frigate's rank is increased one negative trait is removed, if the frigate has any, or a beneficial trait is given. Further each of the four stats is increased by 1 with an additional 2 points being randomly distributed over all categories. The total growth per level is 6 points. These points are unrelated to the class, type, race or flavor text of the frigate. The seed for their growth however is static and can not be circumvented by reloading.

Remaining Level-ups[edit | edit source]

The remaining possible level ups, or the related maximum number of expeditions, should be taken into consideration when purchasing a frigate, because class change depends on the total number of the beneficial traits.

Class Negative Beneficial Total Level ups for CLASS.S.png Expeditions
CLASS.C.png 4 1 -3 8 14 or less
CLASS.C.png 3 1 -2 7 24 or less
CLASS.C.png 3 2 -1 6 29 or less
CLASS.C.png 2 1 -1 6 29 or less
CLASS.C.png 2 2 0 5 34 or less
CLASS.C.png 2 3 1 4 39 or less
CLASS.C.png 1 1 0 5 34 or less
CLASS.C.png 1 2 1 4 39 or less
CLASS.C.png 1 3 2 3 44 or less
CLASS.B.png 1 4 3 2 49 or less
CLASS.C.png 0 1 1 4 39 or less
CLASS.C.png 0 2 2 3 44 or less
CLASS.B.png 0 3 3 2 49 or less
CLASS.A.png 0 4 4 1 54 or less
CLASS.S.png 0 5 5 - -

Level-up Cap[edit | edit source]

Even after a frigate is promoted to S-class, it can continue to improve its base stats (6 randomized points per "promotion"), but not add new traits, until it reaches a maximum of 80-100 total points. It is not clear what constitutes a frigate's level cap, but for Support Specialists it appears to be the attainment of two stats of 19 or more points. (Max stat condition is indicated by the disappearance of the "Progress to Next Rank" percentage dial)

Real gameplay examples of maxed-out support frigates:

  • 20/17/17/20
  • 19/19/13/18
  • 17/12/22/19

Another support frigate was not maxed out at 18/17/21/15.

See also: Frigate Traits

Crew mood[edit | edit source]

Each frigate has a starting mood for their crew and its changes only on the frigates returning from expeditions. There is no information about whether this would affect the expeditions in any way.

The following examples for crew mood changes were documented for successful expeditions:

  • Bubbly → Harmonious → Chipper → Resourceful → Exemplary → Happy → Aggressive → Peaceful
  • Lively → Docile → Fussy → Grateful → Harmonious → Obsessive → Peaceful → Grateful
  • Industrious → Zealous → Aloof → Hungry → Thoughtful → Jolly → Strong willed → Jolly
  • Rambunctious → Dynamic → Agreeable → Delighted → Welcoming → At peace → Pragmatic → At peace → Industrious → Jumpy
  • Happy → Dedicated → Unflappable → Rowdy → Poetic → Content → Dutiful → Delighted → Bloodthirsty → Pragmatic

Consumable Upgrades[edit | edit source]

Each expedition provides three slots for consumable frigate upgrades that provides a bonus and lasts for one expedition.

Designation[edit | edit source]

The designation of the frigate changes with class.

CLASS.C.png Interstellar Frigate Science Vessel Mining Vessel Merchant Vessel Supply Vessel
CLASS.B.png Interstellar Corvette Expeditionary Cruiser Industrial Hauler Trade Clipper Fuel Bulker
CLASS.A.png Interstellar Battleship Deep Space Surveyor Industrial Galleon Merchant Cruiser Mobile Supply Platform
CLASS.S.png Interstellar Dreadnought Data Harvesting Platform Orbital Factory Platform Trade Galleon Advanced Outfitting Platform

Fueling[edit | edit source]

Use the screen on the freighter bridge to see the frigates fuel consumption. Fuel consumption is given in X tonnes per Y light-years.

The frigate fuel blueprints are rewards for finishing the Freighter Command mission. After crafting and storing them in the freighter inventory, will allow the frigates to use them. Frigate fuel is made of 1 part Di-hydrogen and 1 part Tritium, and comes in 3 flavours; 50 tonnes, 100 tonnes, and 200 tonnes. When using fuel, smaller quantities stored will be used first. If the expedition requires 200 tonnes, the game will consume 4 units of 50 tonnes, or 2 units of 100 tonnes first. Excess fuel is kept as smaller quantities. If a 200 tonnes unit is consumed for a 150 tonnes expedition, the player will receive a 50 tonnes unit given if the freighter has space to hold it.

Fuel cost calculation for missions[edit | edit source]

The fuel costs per expedition depends on three points:

  • Expedition distance (in light years): The distance is rounded to the nearest multiples of 250.
  • All ships' fuel costs (in tonnes / 250 LY).
  • Fuel cost reductions of traits (in tonnes), e.g. from Support specialists.


"Effective distance" = round("Expedition distance" / 250) x 250

"Total fuel costs" = ("Effective distance" / 250) x "All ships' fuel costs" - "Fuel cost reduction"

And because the shortest value for frigate fuel is 50 tonnes, total fuel costs must round up to the next multiple of 50. Note that this means that 50 tonnes per ship is an irreducible minimum, except for Support ships.

Support specialists[edit | edit source]

This section only concentrates on support specialists' fuel (dis)advantage and ignores benefits from all other stats.

Every trait with fuel cost reduction decreases expeditions' total fuel cost by an absolute value and not X tonnes / Y light-year. Therefore support specialists reduce total fuel costs of expeditions till a certain distance, after this distance they increase missions' fuel costs, because they need more fuel than they reduce. But they only affect expeditions' fuel costs if they increase total fuel costs over or decrease it under a multiple of 50.

For the game it means:

  • A support specialist in every expedition is not always a good deal.
  • Shorter expeditions profit more from support frigates.
  • Longer expeditions' fuel costs can be increased by support frigates.
  • Support ships nonetheless use little fuel, none at all on shorter expeditions, making them good "filler" ships to get a flotilla's star-rating up to the next level. All-Support flotillas can handle some Balanced expeditions on their own, often for zero fuel cost.

Repairing[edit | edit source]

If a frigate was damaged during a expedition, the captain will contact the player and ask for help to repair it. The number of how many times each frigate required repairs is tracked by the Times Damaged counter for each frigate.

The damaged frigate returns to the freighter and is marked in red. After flying over and landing on one of the frigate's landing pads, the captain contacts the player and marks the damaged components. These can be reached by entering the frigate and going to the Control Room or downstairs to the big vent apparatus. There are some locked doors, terminals and computer screens that the frigate owner can now access to repair the frigate. The required materials for the repairs should be stored in the player's freighter, starship or exosuit inventory for easier and faster completion.

See also: Damaged Component

Additional information[edit | edit source]

  • If the player jumps off a frigate's landing bay into space, they will "fall" for a few seconds[1], then take damage and instantly die. The player will respawn in the nearest space station, and a grave marker will be created in the place where they died, to retrieve the inventory. When flying to the grave, the inventory items will be added to the starship's inventory instead of the exosuit inventory. If there are more items than there are free ship slots, then the player has to move the items from the ship and fly back to the grave multiple times until all items are retrieved.
    • However, death in space can be prevented by constantly refueling one's Life Support, allowing one to "fly" in space for an indeterminate amount of time and even fall to a planet's atmosphere, if close enough.
  • The resources given when boarding are accumulated over time and there's a cap to how many resources a ship can store. Ships with a higher class rating can store more resources. The collected resources are transferred to the player's freighter inventory.
  • Frigate research can be viewed here.

•The pricing of a Frigate can vary from 2,000,000 to 12,000,000 Units depending on the class.

Release history[edit | edit source]

  • NEXT - Frigate was added.
  • NEXT 1.51 - Fixed a crash when fleet expeditions end without their capital ship present.
  • NEXT 1.52.2 - Fixed an issue with expeditions where, under very specific circumstances, a certain pattern of loading and reloading within a limited timeframe could cause saves not to be loaded (Fix to recover saves for those affected will follow).
  • NEXT 1.53 - Fix to restore savegames for players affected by a specific issue with freighter expeditions. Fix for frigates not reporting their damaged state correctly.
  • NEXT 1.55 - Fixed a number of issues where expeditions would reward the wrong player in multiplayer. Fixed an issue where a fleet of frigates would return to the wrong location on the completion of an expedition.
  • NEXT 1.57 - Fixed an issue that prevented Exploration Specialist type frigates from charging their scanners. Fixed an issue that prevented damaged frigates from being completely repaired. Fixed an issue that could cause expedition rewards to artificially increase after save/loading.
  • NEXT 1.58 - Fixed an issue that caused expedition length, difficulty and rewards to scale incorrectly relative to the power of the player’s fleet.
  • NEXT 1.60 - Fixed a number of collision issues onboard frigates.
  • NEXT 1.63
    • Fixed an issue where frigate cargo would be lost if inventory space wasn’t available upon landing on the frigate.
    • Fixed an issue where expedition upgrades were not refunded when the expedition was cancelled.
    • Fixed an issue where players were unable to land on frigates owned by other people in multiplayer.
    • Added the ability to cycle between frigates when viewing the fleet.
    • Fixed an issue where frigates would revert their colours to blue and white.
  • Abyss 1.70
    • Improved spawning of frigates in multiplayer games when players are onboard them.
    • Fixed cases where specific frigates would always take the same type of damage.
    • Added ability to scan frigates and freighters using the Analysis Visor.
    • Added ability for players to repair their friends’ frigates.
    • Prevented dust being permanently active on frigate landing pads.
    • Fixed an issue where frigates failed to reset their resource collection after giving resources to the player.
    • Made frigate icons less intrusive.
  • Abyss 1.71 - Fixed an issue where the interior of the science frigate could be missing.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. What Is Microgravity? Editor: Sandra May at