No crashed ships at crashed sites?


As traveling to a crashed ship site,when arriving there aren’t any crashed ships at site? This has happen about four times… Strange!! No one else that talked to has no idea what’s going on?


I have noticed this too. I really enjoyed looking for and fixing high quality broken ships. Its somewhat irritating when many, if not most, of the locations don’t have ships.

I did notice that when I find crash sites with no ship, the distress beacon has the little atlas in the signal pod thing. I assume it has something to do with the “new game” mechanic, but I have no what the connection is.


@jazzparker: I have added the No Man’s Sky category to your topic.

Playing on PC, I noticed the same, although not all are without a ship. I’d like to think those empty ones, actually used to be real players … especially with the message you get from that pod. :wink:


As a big fan of crashed ships, I’ve been studying this phenomenon a little.

Firstly, it seems that only occupied planets have crashed ships. Whilst this is obviously true of uncharted systems, it’s also true of unoccupied planets in charted systems. If there are no buildings or aliens on a planet, there are no crashed ships. Happily, though, the converse is also true. As far as I can tell, if a planet does have buildings and aliens, then it also has crashed ships - just not many.

Basically, if nobody lives there, don’t bother looking for ships.

Secondly, the number of crashed ships has been drastically reduced from the previous levels. In 1.3, some planets had hundreds of crashed ships. They are now much more difficult to find.

It seems that every occupied planet has at least one empty crash site. This site doesn’t have a ship, instead it has the Atlas orb that you encountered at the start of the game.

Unfortunately, if you find a crash site by solving the puzzle in a transmitter tower, this empty site appears to have a very high probability (like 95%) of being the first one the game will direct you to. You’re much more likely to find a ship with your second or third search. The first one usually fails.

A much more reliable method (although more time consuming) is to watch for the blue dot on your radar, and then track it. The blue dot only appears when there actually is a ship. It won’t appear for an empty site.

I can only say that whilst it’s now harder to find crashed ships, they are still out there. Here’s a couple I decided to keep:

Here’s one I kept for a while, until something better came along:

And here’s a few I rejected:


Now in terms of the atlas orbs that appear at empty crash sites where player ships could reasonably spawn…can those be found further in, closer to the center? New players don’t start closer than a certain distance from the center…any idea if maybe those stop spawning as you get closer to the center?


I honestly don’t know. I’m still within 300 LY of my starting system, and trying to build farms (amongst other things). I can only really speak of the 3 or 4 hundred planets I’ve explored so far.

I feel as though I’ve only scratched the surface of what NEXT has to offer. There’s still a lot of discovering to do.

It’s an interesting thought, though. That every viable planet within a certain range has a pre-built Atlas starter site.


Another little aside I noticed with these empty crash sites.

If you get out near one, save your game, quit and reload, Yr ship will be in the empty spot and will have a crashed ship appearance with smoke pluming out. Don’t worry it’ll still be in one peice, just something I stumbled upon the other day.


Thank you for this description. I was starting to think my game was bugged, since I had found only 1 actual crashed ship so far.

I also wanted to add that I have found 1 crash site in an uncharted system, but there was no ship present (Atlas orb). It was the only thing I could find with the signal booster on the first uncharted planet I had encountered.


Thanks for the heads up. I will avoid this bug.


I decided to investigate this thing a bit more methodically.

I started on a planet that I know to be occupied (i.e. has buildings and aliens). I flew around for about 30 minutes, until I saw the tell-tale blue dot on my radar.

I followed it to source, and it was a crashed ship.

This is it:

I didn’t bother collecting it. I got back in my own ship, and flew around for another 15 minutes, until I found another blue dot on the radar:

And I followed that one, too. It was another crashed ship.

This one, to be exact. Once more, not a great ship, but that’s not the point. Here’s the details:

OK. So we’ve proved that there are a number of crashed ships available on this planet, and we’ve proved that we can find them by radar.

Now let’s see what happens when we search by transmitter tower. So I fly around a bit more, until I find one.

I solve the puzzle, and it gives me the location of a distress beacon. I fly to it.

And this is what I find when I arrive:

It’s an empty crash site, with an Atlas orb in the beacon. No ship.

But that was my first search using a transmitter tower. Let’s try again. Back up into the air, and find another transmitter. Here we go:

And that sends us to another distress beacon:

Which leads us to:

An actual crashed ship. Again, not much of a ship. But we’re not looking for quality at the moment. We’re trying to test the principle. Here’s the details:

So I think this demonstrates that the theory pretty much holds good. Just about any occupied planet has crashed ships. You can find them by radar - it’s reliable, but slow.

Finding them via transmitter towers is faster. But the first one it sends you to is likely to be a dud. After that, though, you get ships.


Thanks for the ‘hard work’ and posting that helpful info. :slight_smile:


Maybe it’s intentional? What if your friend wants to join you, and start a new game at the same time? There would need to be a red orb beacon in every system so that a fresh new player could join.