No Man’s Sky – How to Profit Off Trading (Next Update)

Ever wondered how to make trading between systems profitable? If so, you are in the right place.

Other No Man’s Sky Guides:


The purpose of this guide is to give everyone an understanding on how to efficiently trade between systems and make a profit while doing so. It is a fast method of making money which you can grind to make millions!

What You Need

Before you can begin trading between systems, there is a few things you will need.

Must have

  • Economy Scanner
  • A ship that contains a working hyperdrive

What I recommend having

  • Upgrade modules for your hyperdrive
  • Enough warp cells to get you to a few systems
  • A few free exosuit spots

How Each System is Categorised

Every system has their own type of economy. The economy is one of the most important aspects to trading efficiently and you MUST have the economy scanner to be able to tell the type of economy each system is.

Types of Economies

There are seven economies each with their own icon. The icons are important for later.


  • Mercantile 
  • Trading 
  • Shipping 
  • Commercial

Advanced Materials

  • Material Fusion 
  • Alchemical 
  • Metal Processing 
  • Ore Processing


  • Research 
  • Scientific 
  • Experimental 
  • Mathematical


  • Mining 
  • Minerals 
  • Ore Extraction 
  • Prospecting


  • Manufacturing 
  • Industrial 
  • Construction 
  • Mass Production


  • High Tech 
  • Technology 
  • Nano-construction 
  • Engineering

Power Generation

  • Power Generation 
  • Energy Supply 
  • Fuel Generation 
  • High Voltage

How to find economies easily

When you are in the Galaxy Map you can press the up arrow to change your filter to economy. This will highlight every planet with a different colour.

Each of the above economies have their own colour.

  • Trading Systems are given the colour green. 
  • Advanced Materials Systems are given the colour purple. 
  • Scientific Systems are given the dark blue colour. 
  • Mining Systems are given the colour orange. 
  • Manufacturing Systems are given the colour yellow. 
  • Technology Systems are given the light blue colour. 
  • Power Generation Systems are given the red colour.

This helps identify the system you are looking for.

Using the Economy Scanner

Firstly, you want to go to a system (Does not matter which one). You then want to press ‘X’ to open up the quick menu. Scroll across to ‘Utilities’ then press ‘F’ to select and then select ‘Scan for Trade Outpost’.

The scanner will mark a Trade Outpost in the currect system you are in. (Some times it will not mark one and you will either a) Need to fly around a planet to find one or b) Warp to another system).

Fly to the Trade Outpost to start your adventure!

Buying Items (Step 1)

Now that you are at the outpost, you want to go to the Galactic Trade Terminal and go to ‘Buy items from the Galactic Trade Network’.

The first few items are the ones you are after. They have a white background and are components. In this image it is the first 3 items.

You want to buy as many of these as you can! You want to buy the most expensive ones first for the best profit!

Now that you have the items purchased, in your inventory, you can hover over the items and in the description they will tell you what type of system requires these components the most. In this image the ‘trading’ system needs these components the most.

You want to sell to this type of system to make money! Refer to the types of economies above to tell you what icon you are looking for in the Galaxy Map.

How to Find the Right Place to Sell (Step 2)

When you look at a system in the Galaxy map, in the bottom left it will display that systems economy (You must have an economy scanner). This is extremely important! You want to look at the icon and Sell and Buy percentage!

To maximise profit, you want to look for the system that has the best sell percentage (Usually anything greater than 70% is good). Make sure when you are looking for a system that has correct symbol and a good sell percentage.


E.g I need to sell my items to a ‘Trading’ economy. So I look for the Trading icon and look for a high sell percentage.

This system has the trade economy icon and has a sell of 72.4%


Once you have found the perfect system you want to warp to it. Having upgraded hyperdrive modules will allow you to jump further as well as be more efficient with your warp fuel.

Selling to Make a Profit (Step 3)

Now that you are in the system you want to open up your quick menu again (X) and scan for a trade outpost once again.

You want to sell your items to a trade outpost, NOT the space station!

Fly to the outpost and sell your items! Boom you have just made money back off your investment.

Repeating the Steps

There are a few ways you can repeat these steps.

Easy and Short Way

Once you sell the items to the Galactic Trade Network, just go to the ‘Buy’ option on the same Galactic Terminal and buy as many of the components as you can once again. Then rinse and repeat. Find the best system for the items you have, warp, find a outpost and sell.

Longer and More Profitable Way

Now you may of been wondering what the ‘Buy’ percentage in the economy information means. The lower the percentage the more discount you will get buying your items (e.g -25% is better than -10%). If you want to maximise your profits, fly to these systems, buy your items from a trade outpost, then go sell to a high selling system. Then go find another system that has a low buy percentage and repeat. This process takes a lot longer but CAN (sometimes it will not) make you more money.

Things to Keep in Mind

Selling to the same system over and over again will decrease the value of the items. It is best if you go to different systems each time you.

Try to sell to a mixture of the seven economies to keep the value of items high.

Bonus: Finding Better Class Ships

The economy on the Galaxy Map also shows the wealth of the system. There are three different wealth types; Low Wealth, Medium Wealth and High Wealth. The High Wealth systems are more rare than the other two but have a greater chance of finding S Class Ships.

The names of each wealth type:

Low Wealth Types

  • Declining 
  • Destitute 
  • Failing 
  • Fledgling 
  • Low supply 
  • Struggling 
  • Unsuccessful 
  • Unpromising

Medium Wealth Types

  • Adequate 
  • Balanced 
  • Comfortable 
  • Developing 
  • Medium Supply 
  • Promising 
  • Satisfactory 
  • Sustainable

High Wealth Types

  • Advanced 
  • Affluent 
  • Booming 
  • Flourishing 
  • High Supply 
  • Opulent 
  • Prosperous 
  • Wealthy 

The names of the wealth of a system is located at the end of the economy information on the Galaxy Map. The better the Wealth the better the ships you will find.

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