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Derelict freighters are loot filled, explorable areas within space, that are procedurally generated, with no two interiors the same.
They can be forced to appear by using an Emergency Broadcast Receiver, which can be bought from the Scrap Dealer aboard the Space Station. The price increases with each purchase, (5m, 10m, 20m, & caps at 30m), but resets each day.
After completing at least one freighter, a receiver can also be obtained for free from Iteration Helios on the Space Anomaly, once per week.
Each derelict freighter has a unique story to tell. Uncover hints about each crew member’s fate by retrieving ship logs and personal effects, and ultimately gain access to the captain’s log for insight into the vessel’s final hours.
The game cannot be saved during derelict freighter missions, if you leave, save, and try to come back to it later, it will vanish.
They have four Landing Pads to allow for tackling them in multiplayer.
Players must board the freighter, which has been sealed shut, to collect information and loot. Interacting with the airlock terminal computer will unseal the freighter for exploration. You will be unable to use your jetpack and your movement will be slowed down.
The freighter will be cold and can be warmed up using heaters that you can turn on, which are scattered around each room. Take Dioxite or Oxygen with you for recharging your life support, and Sodium for environmental protection. You will also get three Repair Kits and 10 - 25 Sodium and Oxygen from the airlock computer. Derelict freighters have small containers floating around with 40 - 100 Sodium, 250 - 350 Ferrite Dust and 150 - 250 Condensed Carbon.
Uncovering the freighters' secrets won’t be easy, as these derelicts are full of danger. As the crew fled, systems failed: the lights are off, life support and gravity are offline, and the security AI has gone haywire. Some freighters have been infested with a sinister alien presence. These include Rogue AIs, One Eyed Roaches & Green Jellyfish Horrors.
You must collect Security Credentials from particular readable logs that are lying around. You must then find three terminals (Records Terminal, Secure Mainframe, Engineering Control) in the various rooms of the freighter. The Records Terminal will give you a Crew Manifest item. The Secure Mainframe will give the Captain's Log item in return for the security credentials from earlier. The final third terminal, Engineering Control will give you a choice of: nanites (400-600), Cargo Bulkhead (an item that allows you to add a slot to your freighter general or tech inventory) or Salvaged Fleet Unit (a random installable upgrade module for your freighter that boosts stats on frigate missions or Freighter Hyperdrive stats).
You can sell your Crew Manifest and Captain's Log to either the Guild Envoy or the Scrap Dealer on the Space Station. Rewards from the guild envoy randomly switch between nanites and standing with a dominant race. Rewards from the scrap dealer are in the form of Tainted Metal.
Replaying a Derelict Freighter in the same star system will result in the same layout inside. Whatever class of Salvaged Fleet Unit you were awarded before, it will be the same class again, but potentially a different item. They can award bonuses to: Freighter Hyperdrive OR to all of the frigate expeditions: Speed / Fuel Efficiency / Combat / Exploration / Mining / Trade.
A typical derelict freighter will yield 2-6M Units and 1,500-4,000 Nanites in a form of scrap (see reward table above), plus a Cargo Bulkhead, or a Salvaged Fleet Unit, or additional Nanites.
Any derelict freighter with the same name and characteristics, including Salvaged Fleet Unit class, exists in many galaxies at the same coordinates.
Derelict freighters with the same name will all provide the same class of Salvaged Fleet Unit, with random type.
Derelict freighters in the same Region have the same type of enemies.
A derelict freighter with the same name and characteristics can be encountered in many systems in the same Region, although layouts will vary between systems.
You can use your scanner to highlight all items and lootable containers in your current area.
Opening pressurised capsules (containing one-eyed roaches or plants) as well as shooting the festering pustules on ships with biological infestations will yield a significant amount of living slime, which can be refined to nanites at 5:1 ratio.
Unstable containers can be shot to explode. Shooting them from the close range will damage you.
You can sneak by Horrific Nests, avoiding the swarm, as long as you do not move while they are shaking.
You can "safely" move past a nest by using the Analysis Visor without having to stop. It will begin stirring, but won't break open.
Any kills on board count towards "Kill the creatures" missions.
Defense Turrets will only attack if you enter their red search area, or if you attack them first.
The older style derelict freighter space encounters still exist. These can appear while using pulse drive and require you to shoot cargo pods or a destructible door for small rewards. Can sometimes attract pirates.