Trains, taxes, and civilized trades in civilized space. (Hypothetical new way on playing NMS after Next)

I have created an idea for taxes and trains, and it could help bring purpose to units, help new players, and build the community. Above is a diagram with a basic idea of each concept, and a diagram I will refer to.

So let’s begin with the assumption that Next allow some players to trade resources and units. Let’s also assume that players can demand these units, similar to pirates now.

Trains. The train system is a designated path that is occupied by groups of freighters, designated trains. Each train moves to the next stop every 30 minutes. Players may chose to ride a train, at a cost up to the train pilot. These are loose to encourage competition, but the basic idea of a price is:

T=5,000+(System Level * 1,000)

If a train fleet wants cheaper prices, so be it. If they offer more freighters, or luxuries such as tool recharging, ship refueling, etc. they could be more expensive.

But why have trains?

Trains encourage new players to visit exotic systems and player hubs. Ideally each freighter has an upgraded warp drive, meaning that if a player without a theta wants to visit a blue star, they only have to pay 8k units, compared to the hefty build cost.

But what about players further along?

The trains work with a system I’ll cover later, but even without it, hopping a ride in a train means your destination is pre-assigned, but you don’t need to spend fuel.

So what’s that system? Taxes.
Hear me out.

Right now, units are pointless. You can beat the game without buying a freighter, or farming living glass, or selling explosives till no tomorrow. But taxes gives a constant reduction of units. It means that’s you will always need to profit. It’ll be rough first, but late game, it’s nothing.

The idea is that you have to pay each time you visit a CIVILIZED system. It’s is calculated as…

10,000+(System Level * 10,000)

So you’re losing credits now, but why?

The taxes go primarily to two things, “welfare” and trains. Of course whoever owns the system can demand their own price, but this is my idea of a fair price and use. When it comes to trains, it’s simple, taxes are used to buy fuel for government trains. Private trains are privately funded. I mean, think about this. Say you have one system “owned” privately. It’s a common trade hub and you want to sponsor a group of trains to run from your system to the Galactic Hub. If you make it a steep price of 75,000 credits to jump in, and it’s popular enough, people will still pay to visit. Maybe it’s the only nearby black hole or atlas station, or maybe many train lines converge here and people enter the trains via this system. You’re looking at TONS of credits. You can easily sponsor fuel for trains, which bring over more people, and those people bring attention to your system, and the system gets more visitors, and more money.

Boom, interstellar trade routes in a free market.

What about welfare? Well, it’s simple. Say you own a Civilization with an average visitor flux of 200 jumps per day. With an average tax of 60k that’s about 12 mill per day. With that money, you can sponsor trains. Assuming you only have one train, with three jumps, and the price of fuel is 20k (I can’t remember warp cell price), that should be manageable on a low priority train line. Maybe like, an hourly schedule, from 5-9 est. that’s not bad. So what do you do with the leftovers? You sponsor new players. You claim a system near a major train line and you advertise to new players looking to travel cheaper. You buy them a ship. Say like, a b-class fighter, 20 slot. That’s not too costly, but early game for new players, especially if in survival, it can mean the world. And you’re improving pr.

Okay? Now I’m getting more people using trains, and I’m making units from running a large civilization, so what? Trade hubs and pirates come into play here.

Say you own the civilization shown in the diagram. STOP B2 on the train line is a major trade hub, and there are rarely under 50 people in that system. It’s simply, huge. You’ve played your cards right and now there are people everywhere in your Civilized space.

Pirates show up. Slowly and slowly, people warp in with massive freighters (or a potential, new battle cruiser), they wait by the hub and camp people coming from the trains. This doesn’t sound profitable, but if there are enough people shipping goods, you’re talking about hundreds of millions worth of liquid explosives, living glass, etc.

Do you own the system and see this. You hire people. These are the people that want to play the game as pvp. You say “I’ll give you tax-exempt access to my systems, (or if you can spare the cash, a private train line) in exchange for your services. If anyone refuses to pay taxes, you kill them immediately. Ruthlessly, and you provide either their loot, taxes, or if they’re wanted, their… everything.

It’s a win-win-win-win.

Friendly traders get safer systems. PvP’ers get loot and combat with no repercussions, the Civilzation gets more income and better reputation, and the pirates get an authentic, on the run, criminal feel from the game. Sentinels are weak late game, and combat is easy in space after a few upgrades. But other players will be advancing too. You won’t have a tech advantage. They might have better ships, better guns, or bigger numbers.

Okay but what about people that want to play No Man’s Sky normally? Avoid Civilized space. None of this is game changing, and only comes from the idea that Next will add player-to-player trading. With trains you can meta farm profits by having a base near train stops, and those stops take you to a higher profit system, without having to waste fuel.

Okay, but what’s civilized space? Any star system that is taxed and has regular visitors and/or police. Train paths are not limited to civil space. Keep in mind this is a new definition for civil space, just for my idea here.

Okay but the diagram shows a RED ZONE, what’s that?

Red zones are areas where pvp is encouraged. Trains avoid them, and nobody in their right mind carries high prices loot near the stars. Police do not visit the systems, although they can be claimed by a Civilization, no taxes can be applied, otherwise it is LAWLESS, or just, civilization space but with no police.

RED ZONES fix the idea of griefers. I mean, it’s no mans sky, so griefing is downright impossible normally, but in a high density civilization, we might see this happen.

In red zone pvp is everything. There are no restrictions, camping, griefing, trolling, or unfair fight is encouraged. Think of it like the purge. It’s meant to let people be crazy sometimes, so they’re decent normally.

With the fact that it’s No Mans Sky, red zones aren’t likely goin to be necessary, but they might be. It’s just an in-case situations.

Okay but what’s a claimed system? How does that work?

A claimed system is any system that a civilization says it controls. Period. They are allowed in all ways to control that system. They might deem it necessary to border systems off limits. So be it.

But can’t civilizations claim unexplored space? No. Logically, it should be explored first. And uploaded by a respective member of the civilization. If the civilization did not discover the system, they can not exert control. That system belongs to the civ that the explorer is part of. If said explorer is not a citizen of a civ, they exert private control. Taxes may be enforced, but keep in mind the government power belongs to you and just you.

But what about wars?

Wars allow civilizations to make claims on systems owned by other civs. If the pvp system is properly introduced then civil forces may engage in battles. Think of them as Red Zones until a clear victor is determined. If a civilization wins a war, as in they have stronger forces around the enemy capital planet, or have defeated all of the opposition, they can claim anything they want. You can sue for peace, or make negotiations, or tie. All of that deserves its own discussion. The point is no taxes can be made without a force to enforce them. And no system can be claimed without a force to claim them. That force may be money, or the rights to train lines, or anything else.

Any large topic is covered in depth above

Civilization- an rp government of sorts, think of the Galactic Hub Project.

Civil Space- taxed systems

Claimed System- any system that falls under a civilizations sphere of influence.

Pirate- anyone attacking a non-consenting player in the goal of gaining profit or enjoyment from it.

Anyways I’ve been typing for over an hour, I’m on mobile, and my thumbs burn. Apologies for any typos. Also special thanks to everyone from the original discussion.

Oh and side note, this is all rp. None of this is official, and if you want to play NMS normally, nobody will stop you. So please don’t comment things like “overly complicated” or “no fun” or “too meta”.

It’s supposed to be this way, and it’s all RP. I just enjoy this kinda stuff and I know other people do too. If you’re going to comment please provide actual, constructive criticism. Suggestions are welcome too, of course.

My thumbs hurt so I’ll talk back when I get to a keyboard.


You know, I kind of doubt you’ll find anyone willing to do the job :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


I think your on to a good system. But with a few tweeks it might play out easier.

Perhaps having trains AND space warp tunnels/highways.

This would provide 3 alternate methods of transportarion now.

  1. The trains may be piloted by NPC’s. The cost isn’t expensive but the train comes every… say, hour? And it takes longer to reach your destination. However, if you take the train, you get to see a scenic route and see maybe great procedurally generated space scenes. You can choose when to get off but the longer you stay on, the more you pay. Still, its a cheap option.

Then the warp tunnels/space highways will be more expensive but there is no wait and it quickly takes you to another part if the galaxy. Before taking your ship or frieghter through it, you stop and buy your ticket to enter(not paying and entering would result in sentinels waiting on the other end to capture you to pay a penalty). then there is a big galactic map that opens up and tells you where the end of the tunnel spits you out. This would help us reach our friends faster instead of the method of crafting a few thousand warp cells.

The third method would be directly warping to a planet via the portals.

Side note: I was hoping so badly that the portals actually took you to places like “the upside down”(like stranger things) or to some sort of majestic dangerous place with 100% unique materials and content. Teleporting to other places in the galaxy is a cool use of it too though, but it would be cool if they changed the story line for the portals and say that they only take you to dangerous places now and so a new portal system was created that we have to craft(maybe something like “Stargate”).

It’s a great idea… I never felt much of a call for piracy, but this does it.


Oh yeah that was just for an example later on. Honestly it’ll probably be like, one train freighter moving on a path from 9-5 each day. But if it’s packed, people might like to do it. Keep in mind you aren’t just flying around, it’s a 30 min interval, that’s a good harvest time for liquid explosives, and it’s enough time to explore a planet.

Perhaps later on in the game development that could work yeah. The highways sound like a good idea, but this is just, all RP, keep in mind. None of this is implemented by Hello Games. I’m no good at modding but maybe that could come into play.

“Dear passengers, we are sorry for the delay, but our pilot was unexpectedly eaten by a grue during his break…” :smile:


Albator’s ship.!!


Taxes. I’ve encountered numerous NPCs in the game that tried to tax me, and I’ve reduced them and their ships to debris. It’s not their sky.