How To Find The Best Planetary Settlements In No Man's Sky (2024)

Quick Links

  • How To Find Timber (Gek), Stone (Vy’Keen), Or Alloy (Korvax) Settlements

  • How To Find A Good Settlement

  • How To Make An S-Class Settlement

  • Tips For Finding And Managing Your Settlement

No Man's Sky can be a lonely experience if all you do is float through the vast nothingness of space. It helps to keep yourself grounded by realizing the galaxy is full of weird and wonderful aliens to talk to. And there's no better way to keep your conversational skills sharp than by becoming the overseer of your very own settlement.


No Man's Sky: All Planet Types, Explained

Get ready to go on a planetary tour of No Man's Sky.

Besides offering lucrative rewards, planetary settlements bring out a Traveler's nurturing side as they protect their settlers from the predations of Sentinels, pirates, and sometimes even themselves. This guide will teach you how to find the best possible settlements to protect.

How To Find Timber (Gek), Stone (Vy’Keen), Or Alloy (Korvax) Settlements

How To Find The Best Planetary Settlements In No Man's Sky (2)

No Man’s Sky’s initial settlement mission has a random settlement contact the player to request their assistance. While this is an easy way to gain your first settlement, the settlement itself might be less than ideal. It might be on an inhospitable planet with destructive storms or frequent pirate attacks, for example.

You also might not like the settlement’s aesthetic choice of building material. The building materials used to construct the settlement cannot be changed by the player and are set by the settling species. Gek create buildings made of wood (timber), Vy’Keen make buildings out of stone, and Korvax make buildings out of metal (alloy).

The ownership of the system determines the settling species. For example, if you’re currently in a Gek system, then any settlement you find will be mostly inhabited by Gek and the buildings will be made of wood.

If you have a particular preference for your settlement’s building material, search for a settlement in systems controlled by the species that build using your preferred building material.


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How To Find A Good Settlement

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After finding a system controlled by the species of your choice, your next task will be to find the settlement itself. To do this, go to the system's station and talk to the Cartographer vendor. You'll be able to purchase a Settlement Chart for five Navigation Data.

Next, use this Settlement Chart to locate a settlement on the planet of your choice. Settlements can spawn on even inhospitably hot or cold planets, but it's best to choose a planet with a temperate atmosphere and as few extreme weather events or storms as possible.

Look for Lush planetsdescribed as Paradise, Temperate, Verdant, Bountiful, or Flourishing. These planets typically have no storms and idyllic atmospheres better suited for larger populations.

Once you have selected your desired planet, land on it and activate the Settlement Chart in your inventory. The chart will then locate a nearby settlement for you to travel to.

Settlement Charts will attempt to find a settlement on the planet you're currently on first, but if it doesn't find one, you'll be directed to a nearby planet.

Settlements will not spawn on dead worldsor in uninhabited systems. If you receive the error message "Cannot use chart - Locational interference," the chart couldn't locate a settlement anywhere in the system, and you’ll have to warp to a new system to try again.

Once you’ve located a settlement, head to the terminal at the center to view the settlement’s stats. A settlement’s initial stats are completely random, so if you don’t like them, you’ll have to search for a new settlement on another planet.

How To Find The Best Planetary Settlements In No Man's Sky (5)

A settlement’s stats are as follows:


Number of citizens currently inhabiting the settlement. The higher this number, the better.


This can range from 0 to 100 percent. Obviously, 100 percent is the ideal number.


This is how many units your settlement produces per day in economic activity.

Maintenance Cost

This is the daily cost your settlement incurs to continue operation. Note that if this number is higher than your settlement's productivity, you will accrue debt.

Sentinel Alert Level

This number determines when a Sentinel wave will attack. This number increases over time until it reaches 100 percent, at which point you will need to defend your settlement from Sentinel drones.

Settlement Overview

This ranks your settlement from C to S class, similar to ships. This can be raised by increasing your settlement’s population, happiness, and productivity while minimizing costs.

A settlement will also have several features listed below its stats. These features will often start negative, but they can be turned positive later on by making the correct decisions at the Overseer Terminal.

Focus on finding a settlement with high productivity and low maintenance costs. Population and happiness can be brought up over time through meticulous management, but overcoming a settlement's debt burden can be difficult.


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How To Make An S-Class Settlement

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Managing your settlement involves resolving citizen disputes, hearing citizen requests, making policy decisions, and ordering new buildings to be constructed. As your settlement grows, you'll also need to decide if you'll accept new arrivals or turn them away.

Since population size determines your settlement's ranking, you should always accept new arrivals. However, new arrivals often incur additional maintenance costs for the settlement. Your first priority as overseer should be increasing your settlement's productivity to account for these new arrivals. New construction opportunities should first focus on productivity and then potential happiness.

Construction opportunities will often arrive with a settlement poll that determines what the people would prefer. The more popular option will often increase happiness more than productivity. Unless the building choice is wildly unpopular, go for productivity.

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Policy decisions will often involve two choices between increasing one stat (like productivity) at the expense of a different stat (like happiness). Some taxation choices will either increase productivity at the cost of happiness or increase happiness at the cost of productivity. Here, there is less of a clear-cut choice as it will depend on your settlement's current stats.

Finally, citizen disputes can sometimes put you in the position of deciding someone's fate with very little information. These choices are often random and will have little impact on the overall health of the settlement.

Continue making policy decisions to build your settlement’s population while balancing productivity, happiness, and maintenance fees, and you’ll eventually have an S-class settlement of your very own.


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Tips For Finding And Managing Your Settlement

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  • Don’t be dissuaded by settlements with a C ranking. You can improve that ranking over time. Instead, try to find a settlement with high productivity and no debt to pay off.
  • Inhospitable planets (such as Scorched, Frozen, or Volcanic planets) will have a hard time convincing people to visit, which will keep their populations low. This will prevent them from becoming S-ranked settlements.
  • Be sure to visit your settlements every so often to protect your inhabitants from Sentinel and pirate attacks.
  • Check the “Settlersmission in your objectives log to see if Overseer decisions are waiting for you.
  • Settlements with a positive unit position (producing more units than their maintenance costs) will also produce resources that the player can take periodically. These resources are random and won't be visible before you take control of the settlement, but they're generally not worth very much and shouldn't factor into whether you decide to become Overseer or not.


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