No Man's Sky - Pirate Station

With the Outlaws update, No Man’s Sky leveled up its space pirates game. Not only did they open up a whole new world of seedy smuggling-based activities, but they also added a new type of space station to the game that’s controlled by pirates.

Pirate-controlled star systems are rare in No Man’s Sky, so it might be ages before you actually stumble on one organically. Thankfully, there is a way to scan for them.

So here’s a complete guide to finding a pirate-controlled star system in No Man’s Sky.

Acquire a Walker Brain

No Man's Sky - Walker Brain

This is going to be the hardest step in this entire process. Walker Brains are super rare, and I only know of two ways to get one. There’s the hard way, and the easy way, and even the easy way takes quite a bit of luck.

The hard way – You can get a Walker Brain by defeating a Sentinel Walker. You’ll do this by finding a planet that has a Sentinel rating of High, Aggressive, or Frenzied, then attacking a Sentinel. There will be several waves of Sentinels that attack you, and eventually a Walker will show up. Defeat it to claim a Walker brain.

No Man's Sky - Mission Agent

The easy way – You can also sometimes get a Walker Brain by doing quests for NPCs. There is a Mission Agent at every single space station, located right next to the sales terminal (location shown above). You can also pick up quests from the Nexus hub, or from pirate-controlled stations.

Note that there won’t always be an active mission that rewards you with a Walker Brain. You might need to grind through quests for a good amount of time before you cycle to one that has that listed as a reward. Be persistent, and eventually the RNG balance will tilt in your favor.

Install a Conflict Scanner

No Man's Sky - Iteration Hyperion

So why do you need the Walker Brain? Well, it’s one of the components of a Conflict Scanner, which you need to install on your ship.

First up, you’ll need the blueprints, which you can purchase at the Nexus. This is a starship upgrade, so you’ll buy it from Iteration: Hyperion (shown above).

Once you have the blueprints, install the Conflict Scanner in your ship (preferably in a Technology slot, but you can also install it in one of the General slots instead). You’ll need the Walker Brain, plus a Wiring Loom. Wiring Looms can be purchased at space stations. They’re expensive but common.

Scan for a Pirate-Controlled system

No Man's Sky - Pirate Controlled

Now that you have a Conflict Scanner, you can now view the conflict level of star systems in the Galaxy Map. Simply launch your ship into space, then open the Galaxy Map (by pressing up on the D-pad and selecting the Galaxy Map option). From here, you can select nearby star systems to get information about them. Now that you have the Conflict Scanner installed, this info tab should have an option that says “Expand” (on PS4/PS5, you expand this tab by pressing the triangle button).

Now you can see the conflict level of each star system. You’re specifically looking for systems that have a “Pirate Controlled” rating. Once you’ve located a pirate-controlled system, you should be able to warp there (so long as its within warp range and your Hyperdrive is fueled up).

What can you do in a pirate system?

No Man's Sky - Outlaw Station

There are several benefits to warping to a pirate-controlled star system. At the Outlaw Station (which replaces the space station in these systems), you can take on bounty missions, purchase Forged Passports (which let you regain your credibility in systems where you’re otherwise known as a criminal), and pick up black market goods. Best of all, though, the new Solar Sail ships tend to land in these outposts frequently, giving you opportunities to acquire them.

And that’s pretty much everything you need to know about locating pirate-controlled star systems in No Man’s Sky.

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