S Class Ship Theory (How and where to find them with the least effort)


I have noticed something not mentioned here so far. In one system with 1 planet I have found a 16 and 20 slot version of the same exotic, Hikuchim S89, but I was after a 38 slot S fighter which turned up later. It was an Orozawat S38 38 slot S class fighter but I had to wait till the 4th one to get good slot placement. I then went back to the same planet some time later chasing the exotic in 20 slot but while I was waiting another type of 38 slot S class fighter showed up, an Abaraoull S11. Both 38s S were $M 57.
Obviously I spent a lot of time on this planet but interesting to see that you can get 2 different types of 38 slot S class fighters and an exotic in one place. I wouldn’t have thought that.
I have 3 - 20 slot Exotics, so far
I am in Hesperius Dimension, Zuhneit Quadrant.


Can’t find a squid exotic?
I have logged 400 hrs game time and hadn’t seen one squid.
Since I have been recording where I found Exotics and 38 slot S class fighters I have found
6 different 38 slot S class fighters
25 Exotics in different locations but NO squids.
I had been using a 15 slot exotic as my swap ship but didn’t have a Warp Drive Tau fitted.
I thought that maybe the squids only were in “E” class systems [Green star]
I fitted a warp drive Tau and found a 19 slot squid on the third system.
I went back to try and pick up a 20 slot squid and my swap ship had no extra drives fitted.
The squid would not show up.
I fitted all the extra warp drives and went back and the squid showed up 15 minutes into the first try!!
It would appear that I need all drives fitted to the ship I am piloting to get a squid to spawn OR that was one hell of a long shot coincidence.


Even though we are on the cusp of the NEXT update & everything might change, I thought I’d post my findings regarding exotic S class ships as of NMS 1.38.
None of this is ‘fact’ beyond my personal experience but hopefully it helps someone.

Each system seems to spawn an S of every ship available in that system at some point, plus a single exotic. There is one exotic type/shape per system. Squids are by far the rarest but hunting techniques are the same.

Reloading on or next to a Trading Post or Space Station seems to encourage a new cycle of ships, increasing the chances of an exotic appearing.
Avoid having your freighter near to your location when ship hunting as ships often divert to circle it lessening your chances. Likewise avoid Trading Posts with small landing pad bases adjacent as they too get ships circling, lessening your chances.

I found that often an exotic will appear within seconds of my landing at a location so carefully looking about at all the arriving ships the moment you land at a viable location is important.

I found that often an exotic only seems to appear at specific Trading Posts. Once seen at a location they don’t seem to appear anywhere else. By following ships overland, you can locate multiple Trading Posts per planet opening up possibilities, as each Trading Post has its own spawn-cluster of ships.
Having tested this theory, I found that only by returning to the original sighting location was I able to do the reload trick to encourage an exotic to appear.
Having said that, I have had them randomly appear onboard freighters, pass me in space, show up in space stations & fly overhead while walking around. Having chased them on a few occasions they often just dissapear without landing so this is not a great way of acquiring one.

Like other ships, slot layouts & number vary each time a ship appears. It seems all exotics will at some point appear with a 20 slot capasity.

After acquiring an exotic, I’ve found maxing out the Shields and Phase Beam (provided you have the tech) to be my preffered way of preparing it for medium warfare. A good supply of isotopic fuel and Titanium/Zinc will help with keeping it fighting.
Maxing out the Pulse Drive & Warp Drive will make it a useful all purpose ship and they make a good exploring vessel due to their open side vision.

There are a lot of ‘ball’ exotics and one typical ‘squid’ exotic, all available in a variety of colours.
The squids have a set 2 tone colour pattern with stripes over the cockpit.
Of the ball exotics, they range from a basic ball with legs through a variety of big and small wing configurations and thruster set ups. Some feature moving components and some have components that change position between flight and landing configuration. There are a number a decal embelishments in either gold or platinum colour plus a variety of antenna type attachments, all purely cosmetic.

Probably the biggest attraction for exotics is the % bonus compared to typical ships, most notably the approximately 50% hyperdrive range bonus.
The limited slot space holds them back from being hugely enhanced but as a ‘sports tourer’ the exotics bonuses work nicely.

Anyway, this is just my own findings as of NMS 1.38
Happy hunting.


I will add one bit to the mix regarding exotics:

I recently started a new save. I settled into a system called “Orordn” fairly close to my other system. Until recently, I had been focusing on certain objectives that precluded me from ship hunting. Recently, over, I started my ship hunting. I am looking for an S Class Hauler. During my search, I ended up on a trading post that yielded me a yellow Squid. Later, when I came back to the post I was greeted by a red Batwing. This is in the same system as the Squid. Which means, apparently, that some systems do have multiple exotics.


If that is the case, then perhaps squids are an extra rare exotic & not neccesarily THE exotic in a system & therefore can possibly make an appearance regardless of the ‘typical’ exotic.
First I’ve heard of this…


By ‘batwing’ do you mean a hauler? Ive had an exotic plus s class haulers & fighters showing up in the same system, never seen two exotics myself though.


I think when people say batwing, they mean the haulers with those wings that have fans on them.


Thats more likely. Initially I thought a batwing might be the flip-wing/gullwing type orb exotic.
I’d consider myself a very seasoned traveller & have never seen two exotics in the same system & was under the impression that it simply did not happen. Lots a various ‘S’ class (if you’re lucky) but only ever one exotic per system.


By batwing, I am not referring to a hauler. I have several of those. I am referring to the Exotic with the foldable wings.

Starships 🚀

Found a Yellow Squid and one just like this in a single system. I have yet to see a return of the Squid, but my buddy Dave found one about a day later. Since then, I have seen the type shown above.


Very curious. I have a couple of sqiddy locations in my locale. I might have to go and see if anything else will pop up.
Might be like I first said: squids are an extreemly rare exotic and are additional to the resident orb exotic.


Interesting. A squid exotic and an orb type exotic in the same system? I’m 450 hours in and I’ve never seen this or even thought it was possible. Very curious. The next squid I come across, I’ll stay in the system and see if another exotic will spawn. Once the squid is confirmed I’ll try to force the other exotic to show by the reloading method at the trade post. This needs to be confirmed because it flys in the face of all we think we know about exotic spawning. Especially squid exotics. Is the distribution of the squid exotics handled completely differently to the other exotics? Or taking it a stage further, is the distribution of each ‘type’ of exotic handled differently to the others?I’ve heard theories that squids will only spawn after a certain amount of hours played, or needing all three warp upgrades fitted etc, but this post really has my attention as I’m probably one of the biggest ship hounds out there lol.


Could you please share details of the system you found the 2 exotics?
Race, Star Type/colour, Economy, Number of planets and what types they are (including a note if it’s an ocean world)
With clues from the Atlas Rises lore indicating more going on beneath the waves, I’m curious as to whether these Squid Exotics have a greater role to play or if there is an obvious connection between them and ocean planets. Plus I’d like to see if I can replicate the findings of 2 exotic types in one system.

I have 2 systems with confirmed Squid sightings to explore which are both within proximity of the Etarc Hub Starchain if others wish to join in.
One in the hub: (bird,dawn,dino,dragonfly,dawn,bird,vortex,fish,tent,rocket,bird,tree)
One aprox 1700ly from the hub centre: (bird,dawn,bird,hex,dawn,dawn,vortex,fish,dragonfly,rocket,bird,tree)
Sorrry, I use my own variation of the glyph names but it should be easy enough to decipher :wink:


I’m in Galaxy 12 and haven’t seen a squid in this Galaxy yet. As soon as I do, I’ll have a try at this. Only ever seen two squiidies in game vs ten or fifteen other exotics. I might start to compile stats on each type. Tall wing, Orb, Squiddie etc, to see if any are more prevalent than others. I’ve also had a thought that maybe certain colour schemes may only become available after certain milestones of hours played. I myself would play 10,000 hours to see a completely iridescent exotic…


Possibly introducing upgrades for the squid for underwater exploration would be a game changer…that’s now on my wish list…


Well, following a long mission of Trading Post haunting & ship spawning instigating, I failed to successfully locate either a squid or an orb exotic in a known squiddy system. Used multiple Trading Posts and Space Station reloads but no luck.
Took note of system details anyway for comparisons after a bit more hunting.

Next session I’ll try the alternative system and see what turns up. Very curious to see if I can replicate Honcho’s interesting find.


The system is the one my base is in - Honcho’s System. It’s in the old Hub area. The base can be found on the Portal Repository here: https://portalrepository.com/2018/04/29/honchos-system-living-glass-farm/

Another of my buddies went there and found the same yellow Squid I found. I don’t think he saw another exotic. But he did get the Squid as a parting gift.

Both ships were found at a trading post on the caustic planet in my system. At least, if I recall correctly.

The base is a bit different than in my picture.


Another long session, in a new system, in multiple locations…

I saw the resident squiddy twice but not surprisingly, no other exotic ships. Interestingly, the squids appeared on 2 different trading posts.

I’m thinking it may be a case of; only in the rarest of cases will a second exotic spawn in a system & that it may in fact be possibly due to a glitch rather than by design.
Perhaps there is a trigger that alters an orb exotic to instead spawn as a squid & somehow something in what you were doing allowed it to revert. Some sort of code loophole maybe or something in the proc.gen involving ship rarity. Having had ships unexpectedly change model or change colour has happened quite a bit so having an exotic change design isn’t impossible…Be cool to find out.
Either way, be it a glitch or an intentional super rare feature, it’s very cool & yet another NMS surprise.


I’m still waiting for a squid to spawn to carry out my own investigation, but while I was hanging around a trade post I happened across this little beauty. I’ve now got 3 Max Slot Haulers (2 S Class and 1 A Class), 2 Max Slot Fighters (1 S Class and 1 A Class), and a 20 slot red and gold orb exotic…



Hi Misterrmac,

I have been wanting the red/orange squid for a long time. However when I input your coordinates into the portal decoder there were two blank glyphs. That seems to happen to me a lot getting two blank glyphs when decoding an address. Am I doing something wrong? Could you please send the picture of the full glyphs?

Thank you kindly.