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Best Ship Weapons In No Man’s Sky

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Image from No Man's Sky showing several spaceships leaving colorful trails as they fly over mountains.

Highlights

  • No Man’s Sky
    offers a vast universe with infinite possibilities, from discovering planets to engaging in adventures with other players. Its journey from a rocky release to its current version is remarkable.
  • The combat system in
    No Man’s Sky
    has evolved significantly since its initial release, especially with the weapons available for ships. Players have a wide range of weapon choices and upgrade options to improve their combat capabilities.
  • Some notable ship weapons in
    No Man’s Sky
    include the Phase Beam, which has long range and can drain enemy ship shields; the Photon Cannon, a versatile default weapon with great firepower; and the Rocket Launcher, a high-damage weapon effective over long distances.

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No Man’s Sky is a game of infinite possibilities. From the various planets players can discover to the adventures they can find with each other. With a universe this large, almost anything can happen. No Man’s Sky’s journey from its more than rocky release to its current version is quite remarkable.

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One aspect that has changed a lot since its initial release is the combat system, especially when it comes to the weapons players can install onto their ships. There are many weapon choices players can equip their ships with, as well as many upgrade options to improve them even further. Choosing the best weapon will help players navigate No Man’s Sky with greater ease and confidence.

Updated March 2, 2024, by Andy Chapman: No Man’s Sky has had one of the greatest redemption stories in gaming history. With every free update the developers release, the game is expanded and improved, creating a bigger player base and more loyal fans. The 4.5 Omega update has brought an additional shared story to the game, where players old and new can experience an expansive exhibition together. On top of this, there are all new on-planet missions and claimable pirate freighters. This article has been updated to include more information on the starship weapon choices and their individual upgrades, which are often found through upgrade modules and are procedurally generated.

8 Phase Beam

Purchased From The Nexus and Requires x100 Tritium and x1 Wiring Looming

Phase Beam

  • Base Damage – 180 per tick
  • Rate Of Fire – 1 second
  • Overheat Cooldown Time – 2 seconds

The Phase Beam has one of the longest ranges in No Man’s Sky and also has a decent damage output over time. The Phase Beam is also a great tool for mining the asteroids found around planets, making this weapon choice a great addition to a player’s ship.

The Phase Beam’s best quality during combat is its ability to drain the shields from enemy ships and recharge the player’s. This can be extremely valuable when overwhelmed by continuous attacks. The downside to the phase beam is that it does not have tracking, which means manual aiming is required. It also overheats quickly, with only 1 sec of continuous firing, causing a stoppage.

Upgrade

Effect

Stat

Materials Required Build/Repair

Fourier De-Limiter

Heat Dispersion

+11%

x1 Solar Mirror, x2 Wiring Loom

Phase Beam Upgrade (C – X Class)

Heat Dispersion

+10% (Min) +100% (Max)

x75 Silver, x125 Cadmium, x1 Wiring Loom

Damage

+12% (Min) +31% (Max)

7 Photon Cannon

Default in Star Ships

Photon Cannon

  • Base Damage – 120 per shot
  • Rate Of Fire – 7 shots/sec
  • Overheat Cooldown time: 4 seconds

The workhorse of ship weapons in No Man’s Sky, the Photon Cannon, comes as the default on all ships acquired in the game. Players shouldn’t brush this weapon off, though. It gives great fire output before overheating and can be upgraded to improve its capabilities, making it a dangerous weapon for enemies to defend against.

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When brought into combat situations, this weapon can be a lifesaver for players going up against multiple enemies, and the amount of shots that can be let loose is impressive.

Upgrade

Effect

Stat

Materials Required

Nonlinear Optics

Heat Dispersion

+11%

x2 Hermetic Seal, x1 Wiring Loom, x100 Tritium

Phase Beam Upgrade (C – X Class)

Heat Dispersion

+1% (Min) +4% (Max)

x125 Cadmium, x1 Wiring Loom, x1 Ion Battery (Repair)

Damage

+8% (Min) +32% (Max)

Fire Rate

+1 (Min) +3 (Max)

6 Spewing Vents (Living Ship Only)

Default in Living Ship

Aiming in a living ship

  • Base Damage – 120 per shot
  • Rate Of Fire – 7 Shots per second
  • Overheat Cooldown Time – 4 seconds

One of the more unique and rarer ships obtained within No Man’s Sky is the living ship. These organic playable starships are only obtained after purchasing a Void Egg for 3200 Quicksilver in the Space Anomaly. These ships have two unique weapons for them. The first is the Spewing Vents.

This ship’s weapon offers a great damage output and works much the same as the Photon Cannon, at 7 shots per second, with 56 shots taken before overheating occurs. This weapon comes as default with the living ship and cannot be used on other starships.

Upgrade

Effect

Stat

Materials Required

Spewing Vents Node

Heat Dispersion

A-Class +3%, S-Class +3%

Full Upgrade Cost from C to S is 950 Nanites

Damage

A-Class +5%, S-Class +6%

Fire Rate

B-Class +1%, S-Class +3%

5 Rocket Launcher

Default in Star Ships

Rocket Launcher

  • Base Damage – 3000 per volley
  • Rate Of Fire – 1 shot
  • Overheat Cooldown Time -5 Secs

The Rocket Launcher comes in as one the trickier weapons to use effectively in No Man’s Sky. Players can shoot three rockets at enemies over considerably large distances. This can give an extremely high damage output to targets within the blast radius.

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Unfortunately, the Rocket Launcher does not have tracking capabilities, so players will need to manually anticipate the target’s movement in order to land a hit. There is also only one upgrade to the Rocket Launcher. Acquiring this weapon is relatively simple, as it is pre-installed into the player’s starting ship and requires x200 Copper and x100 Condensed Carbon to use.

Upgrade

Effect

Stat

Materials Required

Large Rocket Tubes

Heat Recovery

+20%

x4 Unstable Plasmal, x2 Wiring Loom

4 Positron Ejector

Purchased From the Nexus/Requires x200 Uranium and x2 Wiring Looming to Build

Positron Ejector

  • Base Damage – 180 per shot
  • Rate Of Fire – 2.5 volleys per second
  • Overheat Cooldown Time – 1.4 seconds

One of the most effective ship weapons in No Man’s Sky is the Positron Ejector. This weapon fires a burst of shots at enemies, causing high damage. Like a shotgun, this weapon is best used at close range for maximum effect. Ideal for quickly dispatching enemies during dogfights, this weapon allows players to lock on to ships and can be upgraded further to increase the damage.

Only suited for close-range attacks, the Positron Ejector can fire at enemies at 750 distance units. With its high fire potential and faster cooldown time, this weapon is an ideal choice for more combat-orientated players.

Upgrade

Effect

Stat

Materials Required

Fragment Supercharger

Accuracy

+20%

x3 Magnetic Resonator, x2 Wiring Loom

Range

+25%

Positron Ejector Upgrades (C – X Class)

Heat Dispersion

+1% (Min) +10% (Max)

x75 Silver, x125 Cadmium, x1 Wiring Loom (Repair)

Damage

+1 (Min) +2 (Max)

Fire Rate

+1 (Min) +10 (Max)

3 Grafted Eyes (Living Ship Only)

Default in Living Ship

A Living Ship

  • Base Damage – 180 per tick
  • Rate Of Fire – 3 seconds
  • Overheating Cooldown Time – 2 seconds.

The second weapon that can only be used on Living Ships is the Grafted Eyes. This high-damage weapon is great for long-range combat and acts much like the Phase Beam on normal ships.

With the ability to hit enemies at 3000 units away, these weapons will take down targets before they have a chance to fire. Like the Phase Beam, there is no lock-on for these weapons, and they have a similar cooldown time on overheating.

Upgrade

Effect

Stat

Materials Required

Grafted Eyes Node

Heat Dispersion

A-Class +66%, S-Class +89%

Full Upgrade Cost C to S is 950 Nanites

Damage

A-Class +22%, S-Class +24%

2 Infra-Knife Accelerator

Purchased From the Nexus and Requires x200 Phosphorus and x2 Wiring Loom

Ship flying above a planet

  • Base Damage – 35 per shot
  • Rate Of Fire – 10 volleys per second
  • Overheat Cooldown Time – 8 seconds

Like the Rocket Launcher, this weapon requires some practice to use effectively. Once a player is used to the high fire rate and long cooldown time, this weapon can be a must-have in combat situations. The Infra-Knife Accelerator is most effective over long distances and has a great damage output, obliterating enemy ships before they can get close.

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The downside to this weapon is the cooldown time. With the longest of any ship weapon in the game, ideally, the Infra-knife Accelerator is best used in tandem with other weapons. There is also no lock-on for this weapon, so good enemy anticipation is required from the player.

Upgrade

Effect

Stat

Materials Required

Q-Resonator

Adds additional shots to each volley.

+1 +2 (Supercharged)

x3 Hydraulic Wiring, x1 Quantum Computer, x2 Wiring Loom

Infra-Knife Accelerator Upgrade (C – X Class)

Heat Dispersion

+2% (Min) +13% (Max)

x75 Silver, x125 Cadmium, x1 Wiring Loom (Repair)

Damage

+1% (Min) +6% (Max)

Fire Rate

+1 (Min) +15 (Max)

1 Cyclotron Ballista

Purchased From the Nexus and Requires x200 Dioxite and x2 Wiring Loom

Cyclotron Ballista

  • Base Damage – 700 per volley
  • Rate Of Fire – 3.33 volleys per second
  • Overheat Cooldown Time – 1.6 seconds

Ideal for more experienced players of No Man’s Sky, the Cyclotron Ballista is one of the more powerful weapons in the game. Great for both long and short-range combat scenarios, the Cyclotron Ballista offers very high damage output, with only the Rocket Launcher offering more.

Mastering this weapon takes more time than others in No Man’s Sky due to the slow velocity of the projectiles. But once mastered, the Cyclotron Ballista is fantastic against starship shields and can disable enemies, leaving them open to further attack. This weapon can also be upgraded to increase its output. The Cyclotron Ballista blueprint can be purchased from the nexus and requires x200 Dioxite and x2 Wiring Loom use.

Upgrade

Effect

Stat

Materials Required

Dyson Pump

Heat Dispersion

+11%

x1 Amino Chamber, x1 Wiring Loom

Cyclotron Ballista Upgrade (C – X Class)

Heat Dispersion

+10% (Min) +40% (Max)

x75 Silver, x125 Cadmium, x1 Wiring Loom (Repair)

Damage

+2% (Min) +14% (Max)

Fire Rate

+1 (Min) +20 (Max)

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