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

Yet another reason to play.

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 driver goals.

With today’s update, Hello Games has added an all-new game mode to No Man’s Sky: Expeditions. 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 Pioneers Expedition including a list of all steps, rewards, and more!

Pioneers Expedition Phases and Steps

There are five main phases in the Pioneers Expedition, each with eight 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, supreme mods, and entire Multi-Tools and starships! Make sure to claim them before proceeding!

Phase One

The first phase largely focuses on getting your feet under you. That means getting your ship ready to explore, founding a base, exploring, and getting your hands on a freighter. Keep in mind that you don’t need to be the fist person in the world to discover a creature, you just need to scan 20 different ones. It’s also worth noting that even though the quick description for Captain on Deck says “Purchase a capital ship,” you don’t actually need to buy one. Getting a ship through the random encounter where you save the freighter from pirates counts!

  • First Steps: Locate your starship.
  • Lift Off: Leave the planet by launching into space.
  • Interstellar: Warp to a new system.
  • Homecoming: Establish your first base.
  • Naturalist: Discover 20 creatures.
  • Captain on Deck: Become Captain of an interstellar freighter.
  • The Pilgrim: Explore 10,000u on foot.
  • Rendezvous 1: Reach the first rendezvous point.

Complete phase one and you’ll get three inventory slots and the Atlas Firework Pack.

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! A few other notes here: with everyone in the expedition starting on the same planet, being the first to discover a system may become more difficult over time. That said, you will have to go through a black hole which will teleport you somewhere else in the galaxy which may make it easier.

If you’re having difficulty staying airborne for so long, find a mountainous planet with sharp drop offs. It’s not too hard to end up falling for an entire minute on some of the more extreme worlds. In fact, Ibata 17/T1 is the perfect place for this and it’s in the starting solar system!

Finally, earning 6,000,000 credits may seem like a lot. But use refiners and such to produce lots of valuable materials. I recommend combining chlorine with oxygen to make even more chlorine which you can then sell for a massive profit.

  • Rendezvous 2: Reach the second rendezvous point.
  • Sightseer: Explore five different planetary environments.
  • Farmer: Grow and harvest 35 plants.
  • First Contact: Be the first to discover a system.
  • Event Horizon: Enter a black hole.
  • Rocketman: Spend 30 continuous seconds airborne.
  • Red Skies: Visit a red star system.
  • Moneybags: Earn 6,000,000 credits.

Complete phase two and you’ll get the Pioneers Expedition flag decoration and the Surge of Storms B56-K1-6 multi-tool.

Phase Three

Good news! The hardest part of this phase is likely getting your hands on an A-Class Multi-Tool. Thankfully, you just need to keep exploring systems until you find a good enough one in the space station. You can also find them on planets, of course. Outside of that, use planetary navigation data if you’re struggling to find buried ruins. You’ll also need an Emeril Drive to visit a green star. Getting companions is easy! Just feed them some food pellets and they’ll join your side right away!

  • Rendezvous 3: Reach the third rendezvous point.
  • The Collector: Excavate ten ancient artifacts from buried ruins.
  • Mission Control: Complete 15 fleet expeditions.
  • Cluster Horde: Earn 5,000 Nanites.
  • Light Show: Acquire and A-Class Multi-Tool.
  • Companionship: Adopt four companions.
  • Emerald Dreams: Visit a green star.
  • Space Oddity: Find five deep space anomalies.

Complete phase two and you’ll get the Golden First Spawn Battle Mask customization for your traveler.

Phase Four

Honestly by this point you probably already know 50 alien words. Just make sure to ask each alien you encounter to teach you a word. Our starship advice is the same as our Multi-Tool advice, just keep exploring space stations and planets. Get an Indium drive and traverse your way over to a blue star system. While you’re at it, complete Explorer Guild quests at the mission board. For Cleansed by Fire, you’ve already been given an Emergency Broadcast Receiver as part of the Space Oddity milestone in Phase Three. Use that here to find a derelict freighter.

  • Rendezvous 4: Reach the fourth rendezvous point.
  • Linguaphile: Learn 50 alien words.
  • The Good Ship: Acquire an A-Class starship.
  • Blue Expanse: Visit a blue star system.
  • Nest Robber: Steal 30 whispering eggs.
  • Uncharted: Discover 35 star systems.
  • Famous Explorer: Earn 30 Explorers Guild standing.
  • Cleansed by Fire: Extract salvage by completely exploring a derelict freighter.

Finish all of this and earn the super cool streamlined jetpack unit customization.

Phase Five

This last phase is just a simple grind. Find an extreme world, preferably one with Storm Crystals, and just walk around gathering them. The story with abandoned systems is a bit harder unless you teleport to one. Warp from system to system and the achievement should pop before you even know you’re in an abandoned system. Everything else is pretty easy. You should get The Jackpot from our earlier moneymaking schemes.

  • Rendezvous 5: Reach the final rendezvous point.
  • The Survivor: Walk 10,000u on extreme worlds.
  • The Glass Bead: Acquire an abyssal treasure.
  • Boundary Failure: Kill 50 Sentinels.
  • The Jackpot: Earn 1,000,000 units in a single transaction.
  • Lost in Space: Discover an abandoned system.
  • The Navigator: Chart 60 waypoints.
  • Stormy Skies: Collect 50 Storm Crystals.

This will reward you with the Pioneer title, the Pioneers Expedition decal, and the Pioneers Expedition banner. After you’ve grabbed those, be sure to click over to the final phase to claim your Golden Vector starship.

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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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12 Comments

  1. What time frame do we have to complete all of this? I’m guessing “seasonal” means we will get a new set of phases and these will go away? I would like to take my time, but I’m feeling the pressure of not knowing.

    1. I believe they said this Expedition was two months long. So you’ve probably got about a month left.

  2. Anyone figure out how to complete Phase 5 – The Glass Bead? I’ve been to so any underwater ruins but never found an abyssal treasure.

    1. It’s a random number of visits to underwater ruins for everyone before they get the prompt to “offer a hypnotic eye” to get the Glass Bead treasure. It took me 7 attempts to finally get the Glass Bead and I read in the forums that it took someone else 9 tries. A couple of people also said they were awarded the Glass Bead from completing some Derelict Freighter events. Hope this helps.

    2. You need a hypnotic eye in your main inventory, not cargo. Then when speaking to the refracted light you get the option to give it the hypnotic eye and it gives you the treasure.

  3. All those rewards that we get, including the Golden Vector Starship, will be available for us to claim on all of our saves or is it only for this expedition save that will later be converted into a normal save?

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