Can't Recruit Trader Frigates

The title says it, really.

I’m moving into the meaty part of a new game. I’ve built my farm, and made some money. Now I’m off across the universe in my big, expensive, freighter.

Except, I find I can’t recruit trader frigates. Here’s a picture:

This is a trader frigate. You can see in the picture it is showing the “recruitable frigate” sign. But it won’t talk to me. Over the last few hours I’ve been to dozens of systems, and seen hundreds of trader frigates. None of them will talk to me. I can recruit all the others - exploration, combat, support, industrial, - no problem. But I can’t talk to the traders.

Ideas? Suggestions? Comments?


I have had issues (the same issues as you) with combat frigates in my main game. Now I have a creative game for 3xperimental and I am having issues with the frigates with the circular hoops…:grin: can’t remember what type they are. There seems to be a real issue that varies from game to game?

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I didn’t have any issues with the games I launched soon after NEXT. This problem is new to me, and I’m not currently running the experimental branch.

From what I’ve seen, it seems that one of the later patches to NEXT may have introduced some instability to frigate selection, but I haven’t experienced it until now.

Irritating, isn’t it?

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I have had the exact same thing happen to me. Cannot recruit more than two trade frigates. I’ve only managed two and gave up. If it is a bug (it must be?) It has been there for months now. I can’t think of any real reason why they would be restricted or any frigate type limited to two.

I decided to level support ships or anything else and hopefully in an update maybe exchange the levelled friagtes for new Trade types later.

I’ve never tried the experimental version. The Normal Mode save is the orginal (updated) from release.


I can’t even recruit one. And that’s really messing up my business strategy. But I understand your point.


The only thing that did occur to me was that if I recall the Trade frigates brought back to me some high value ‘antique relic’ things. Where as the other expedition types brought back more resource type items. The antiques take up a whole slot so possibly that may be a reason for them being limited. I never seem to have much room in my freighter for all the stuff that I have to off load. That really is irritating. :slight_smile:

It’s been a while and I think I had to visit several systems to even find the Trade frigates. Sometimes not every frigate visited is open ‘for sale’. I set out not really knowing what I was doing when first time I tried Fleets and aimed to find about 5 or 6 of each type. It didn’t quite end up like that…

I’ve just been concentrating on building up ranks hoping maybe to exchange or sell them for what I do want later, I hope. :slight_smile:

As I happened to have this handy here’s the last Trade frigate I decided to level. It was weird to find a C class that appears to start from quite a high Trade rank. I have no idea what it might become when it reaches an S class.

As for the naming … I was watching a Brexit Trade deal discussion on the TV at the time hosted by the presenter Emily Maitliss, who was discussing Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal deal. Please NO trolling me lol.


Seems its a bug with the markers themselves. . Try approaching trade frigates in other systems that have no marker showing, I had much better luck that way.


Makes as much sense as anything else. I’ll try it tomorrow.

For now, it’s half-past midnight here in England. And I’m shutting down.

Goodnight, everyone.


I tried this before with my main game and in my current creative save. It sometimes works for me.
I managed to purchase 1 of 2 available marked frigates from one fleet. The 2nd would not respond. I flew to another fleet and could purchase one unmarked frigate but no more. I flew to another fleet and couldn’t purchase any, marked or unmarked.
I currently have the 2 frigates plus the one that came with my freighter.


One of my partners NEXT era saves has this issue.
So far nothing has worked to fix it.
PS4 (normal)


Yeah, expect mixed results. Beforehand only some(or none) in a group were obtainable , I expect that’s the same now but the markers are just meaningless.


I don’t mess much with frigates, so I could have this same issue and not even know, :thinking:
Is there perhaps a limit to the amount of the various types you can have?


This is a bug that got introduced with 1.63 (Pilgrim update). Markers are no longer reliable, with often unmarked frigates hailing you for sale, as @dersvr mentioned. Basically give any frigate a try, marked or not.
Additionally, if a certain type appears completely unavailable, try another system. There have been reports where a seemingly ‘unobtainable’ frigate type, seems to change in different systems.


I don’t know about types, but there is a limit to the total number of frigates you can have. I think it’s around 30.

However, I’m nowhere near that limit at the moment. I have 8 - 2 combat, 2 explorers, 2 industrial, and 2 support. I would like 2 traders - but I can’t communicate with them, so I can’t recruit them.


Starting yesterday, I have tried dozens of different systems - all with the same result. However, I was looking almost exclusively in yellow star systems.

Thinking about your suggestion, I decided to try not only a new system, but also a new colour of system. So I warped to a nearby green star.

What do you know? The very first try in a green system, I was offered two trader ships.

So, for now, my problem is solved.

I can’t say for certain that changing system colours was what did it - it might just have been dumb luck. Nevertheless, it worked.

Many thanks for your suggestion (and to everyone else who tried to help).


Hi guys, I’ve been playing a new game since the latest update screwed my original save :roll_eyes: and I’ve had my freighter for a week, I get how the system works for frigates ie the green icon for them to sell but I’ve been to 20+ systems and not a single frigate has had the icon. Was wondering if anyone has an idea of how to fix that? Like OP said they did I’ve been to different color stars, restarted the game, tried an update on ps4 and for the game, tried scanning and hovering near every frigate in a fleet even without the icon (there’s usually at least one up for grabs from previous save experience so figured it might still work if the icon has the glitch ). It can’t just be bad luck/ algorithms surely? If anyone can offer any other suggestions I’ll try anything! Sorry for reviving a fixed thread I’m desperate!


Welcome to the forum!
There are a number of bugs related to the frigates. I am unable to purchase certain types.
There is a bug reporting thread that is a direct link to HG.

Hopefully BEYOND is near at hand and will settle these issues.


Wow first thanks so much for such a quick reply! Was expecting to wait a few days :sweat_smile: and I will head over and do that right away, in the past I’ve wrote to them about bugs but never even get an automated reply :joy: I hope beyond Isn’t too far away too but also hope it doesn’t mess everything up like the last big one did :joy:

Thanks so much!