No Man’s Sky Expedition 3 Guide – All Cartographers Steps, Rewards, Tips

A Silent Cartographer.

No Man’s Sky is a huge sandbox. You can basically do anything you want. Go explore the cosmos, settle all kinds of planets, invest money into creating mineral extractors, become a farmer, the number of things to do never seems to stop growing. If you’re anything like me, this actually starts to be a problem. I’ve started No Man’s Sky over more times than I have save slots. The early part of the game has clear objectives and goals. You always know what to do next. While I have a list of things I’d like to get to eventually like finally getting an S-Class freighter, unlocking all Nanite research, and getting every Quicksilver cosmetic, those are all user driven goals.

In an update, Hello Games added a new Expeditions feature which gives the game more structure than it’s ever had before. These are essentially seasons akin to Diablo, Path of Exile, or other games of that ilk. You start off with nothing, have a bunch of stuff the game wants you to accomplish and earn rewards along the way. At the end of the season your save file converts to a normal save and a new expedition starts with new goals, new locations, and you get to do it all over again. In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at the Cartographers Expedition including a list of all steps, rewards, and more!

The Cartographers Expedition is available for two months and should expire around November 8. Remember to go claim your previous rewards from the Anomaly if you completed them!

Cartographers Expedition Phases and Steps

There are five main phases in the Cartographers Expedition, each with five to seven different milestones inside of them. Keep in mind that each milestone comes with significant rewards which will help speed up your progress. This includes resources, warp drives, and supreme mods! Make sure to claim them before proceeding!

This expedition is unique in that it is focused around exploring a single planet. Every person starts on Gisto Major with a similarly damaged starship. It isn’t until Phase Five that you’re asked to depart for the first time, a big departure from the previous two experiences.

Phase One

The first phase largely focuses on getting your feet under you. That means getting a base going and exploring your immediate area. Unlike other Expeditions, you aren’t going to able to jump to space right away.

  • Autodiagnostics 1 – Locate and board your ship.
  • Earth Mover – Build and install a terrain manipulator.
  • Foxhole – Use a cave to shelter against the storm.
  • Homecoming – Establish your first base.
  • Technosignature – Deploy and use a signal booster.
  • Any Port in A Storm – Shelter inside an alien building.
  • The Pilgrim – Explore 5,000 units on foot.

Complete phase one and you’ll get the Jetpack bubble trail customization.

Phase Two

Phase two is a little more difficult. Keep in mind that you can always click on a milestone to pin it to your log. After doing so, the game will tell you how to complete it!

These steps aren’t that difficult though it appears as if the Minotaur bay is currently bugged with some players getting a message saying each planet is limited to five. You have a few options here. Either find someone else’s base and use their exocraft station or take advantage of a bug and get credit for Mechanical Man by summoning another vehicle type. At the moment it seems like the Pilgrim completes the milestone for some reason.

  • Autodiagnostics 2 – Restore starship launch systems.
  • Power Surplus – Generate 150 power.
  • Matter Transport – Construct a Teleporter for your base.
  • Fear the Sun – Tunnel 1,000 units underground.
  • Master of the Elements – Explore 1,500 units on foot during storms.
  • Companionship – Adopt an animal companion.
  • Mechanical Man – Deploy a minotaur heavy exosuit hybrid.

Complete phase two and you’ll get the Holographic Chart Projector plans.

Phase Three

Hope you haven’t rushed ahead and left the system. The Complete Fauna milestone requires you to find all creatures on the starting planet so you may need to do some searching.

Industrial machinery is going to take some time if you’ve never gotten there. You’ll need to find a place to put down your mineral extractors. So get that Research Station placed and get going.

  • Autodiagnostics 3 – Repair your ship’s Waveform Engine.
  • Geologist – Discover 18 minerals.
  • Botanist – Discover 12 planetary flora.
  • The Complete Fauna – Find all ten creatures on the starting planet.
  • The Navigator – Chart four waypoints.
  • Herbicide – Eliminate 20 hazardous flora.
  • Industrialist – Extract 1,000 minerals using industrial machinery.

Complete phase three and you’ll get the Bio-Lantern plans.

Phase Four

This phase is probably the most difficult of them all because you can’t just build or easily find everything in it. Rocketman was a tough milestone during the last Expedition and it remains so here. Spending 30 seconds airborne usually requires some searching around for the tallest mountain next to a big ravine.

One last note about Herox. You’ll need it to repair your ship and it’s not something that you’re just going to find lying around. There are a few different options. Either take the time to find Salvaged Data and unlock the Large Refiner where you can combine Ammonia, Cobalt, and Silver to make Herox. Or you can find a trading outpost and get the recipe for making Herox. Use an A-Class Exocraft Scanner and you should have no problem finding one.

  • Autodiagnostics 4 – Repair the Pressurization Capsule in your starship.
  • Spaceport Alpha – Visit a planetary outpost.
  • Network Online – Construct an additional Teleporter. (May require a separate base)
  • Cross Country – Travel 15,000 units by Exocraft.
  • Detectorist – Dig up five buried items.
  • The Hills Are Alive – Summit a mountain of at least 625 units.
  • Rocketman – Spend 30 continuous seconds airborne.
  • The Archaeologist – Excavate ten ancient bones.

Finish all of this and earn Saucer Fungus plans, Cave Creeper plans, Troglotulip plans, Veined Flat Caps plans, Fingery Deposit plans.

Phase Five

Good news! The hardest part of the Expedition is behind you. Do some low-flight maneuvers, head into space, and land on the Space Station. After that, fix your ship and head to the two rendezvous points to complete the Cartographers Expedition!

  • Lift Off – Launch into space for the first time.
  • The Acrobat – Perform 25 seconds of continuous low-flight maneuvers.
  • Welcome Aboard – Dock with a Space Station.
  • Rendezvous 1 – Reach the first rendezvous point.
  • Autodiagnostics 5 – Repair the Frameshift Catapult to restore warp capabilities.
  • Interstellar – Leave the initial system for the first time.
  • Rendezvous 2 – Reach the second rendezvous point.

Finish all of this and earn the Globemaster Title, the Cartographers Expedition Decal plans, and Cartographers Expedition banner customization.

Completing the entire expedition rewards you with a Biological Horror Companion Egg which can only be earned through this Expedition.

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Dillon Skiffington

Dillon is the Guides Editor at Fanbyte. He can't seem to quit games as a service or looter shooters — unfortunate news for his backlog, really. Can't get enough game art, soundtracks, or space games. You can find him on Twitter @Squiblon.

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