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No Man's Sky Walker Brain Guide: How to Farm & What It's For

Need a nice, juicy Walker Brain in your NMS run? Here's where to farm them and which blueprints need them.

In No Man’s Sky, Walker Brains are a fairly valuable commodity for a number of reasons. The first of which is their literal value: you can sell just one Walker Brain for a hefty 35,000 units. This won’t exactly make you rich, but it’s a nice little stipend when it comes to consistently selling loot. The second use is as a crafting component. You need a Walker Brain for the No Man’s Sky Conflict Scanner and Explosive Drones. Both of which have their own uses. The question, of course, is when and where to farm Walker Brains in No Man’s Sky. Let’s take a look!

What Are Walker Brains for in No Man’s Sky?

Let’s get the minor details out of the way first. You can randomly receive a Walker Brain from a variety of sources throughout the game. For many players, this often means Nexus missions. You can get one as a reward from the random assortment of quests provided there. If you’re reading this guide because you received a Walker Brain this way, and now don’t know what to do with it, now you do! You just need the proper blueprints for the items listed above.

The Conflict Scanner is a piece of starship technology. Thus, its blueprint is sold by Iteration: Hyperion — whom you can easily find on the Space Anomaly. This is the very same multiplayer hub where you can accept Nexus missions in the first place. Though Iteration: Hyperion and their fellow blueprint sellers are found in another part of the station. You need to go to the center back of the building to find them. Hyperion is the first NPC on your left (with a convenient starship symbol over their head).

The Conflict Scanner blueprint costs a measly 150 Nanite Clusters to purchase. Though you need the Teleport Receiver technology first. Once the upgrade is complete, it does exactly what it says on the tin. It lets you scan the conflict level of nearby systems without traveling there first. Handy!

Explosive Drones are a bit harder to come by, unfortunately. The item itself is a rare, random drop from Sentinel starships. Though you can get the blueprint to make your own from one of three sources: a Manufacturing Facility, an Operations Centre, or the Freighter Research Terminal on your… uh, Freighter.

The first two options are planetary buildings. You can find these via simple exploration or with the proper coordinates from charts bought on space stations. If you want to skip the randomness, however, the Freighter Research Terminal will let you purchase the blueprint with a Salvaged Frigate Module. You can get these from a number of sources (surprise, surprise). Though certain Industrial Frigate Expeditions have the highest drop rate.

Crashed Freighters, Derelict Freighters, and certain Nexus missions will also award Salvaged Frigate Modules. Keep an eye out for all three; you’re going to need a lot of these modules to research everything.

Explosive Drones are a consumable, for the record. You need one Walker Brain for each you create — so you might want to stock up on the component if you plan to make a bunch. That’s where the next step in this guide comes in handy! Time to farm.

nms sentinals update sentinel mech

How to Farm Walker Brains in No Man’s Sky

Like so many things in No Man’s Sky, there are many ways to acquire Walker Brains. Here’s a very basic list:

  • Nexus Missions – Space Anomaly
  • Mercenary Missions – Space Station
  • Suspicious Packet (Goods) – Purchased Scrap Dealer and/or Outlaw Space Stations
  • Sentinel Walkers – Sentinel Enemy Type

The first three options are all random. Nexus missions frequently include a Walker Brain in their reward pools, however, and successfully completing any such quest will provide guaranteed Walker Brains. Keep this in mind when and if you decide to undergo Nexus missions!

Of course, if we’re talking about farming Walker Brains en masse, we need to go straight to the source. We’re talking about Sentinel Walkers.

These are some of the highest-level Sentinel enemies in the game. As such they’re fairly dangerous on their own. More than that, though, walkers tend to arrive with backup and in large groups. This is because the units spawn once you hit a four-star wanted level on any planet.

You can achieve this basically anywhere in the galaxy; just find and piss off some Sentinels. In the most basic sense, this means shooting the drones on sight, but planets with high-level Sentinel activity will also shunt them your way for just mining rocks. After which you need to keep on pissing them off by killing more and more of the robotic enemies as they come. This will raise your character’s wanted level until you either escape, disappear from Sentinel sight for long enough, or shut down your foes altogether.

Killing Sentinels will cause them to drop loot canisters. Any one of these can be “mined” or simply shot to, well, loot it. You’ll receive the rare resource called Pugneum and various other items depending on the enemy variant. Case in point: a Sentinel Walker will drop a Walker Brain. Simple!

nms sentinel scanning no man's sky

Tips for Farming Walker Brains in No Man’s Sky

You can make this process even easier in a variety of ways. There are tons of combat options to make battle smoother in No Man’s Sky. Especially after the Sentinel Update in early 2022. These include Active Camouflage, the Neutron Cannon, and a Minotaur AI companion. I highly recommend going into battle with at least one good projectile weapon, such as the Pulse Spitter, and not just relying on a Mining Laser. Sentinel armor gets tough.

Another useful trick is to build an “offensive base.” This basically means constructing a small outpost anywhere you find lots of Sentinels, such as on a planet with aggressive Sentinel activity. The construct a small, forward structure where you can dip out of combat and heal yourself between attacks. You can even dig out a large ditch near the habitat using your Terrain Manipulator, forcing Sentinel canisters to roll downhill and into the impromptu “grave.”

All of this setup can get pretty tedious. Yet the long-term benefits of having such a base are great! Besides Walker Brains, you’ll also gain an easy supply of Pugneum, which is used in a number of components throughout No Man’s Sky. Not to mention you can just refine the purple stuff into Nanite Clusters: one of the more important resources in the game.

That’s about it for the all-important Walker Brain in No Man’s Sky! Best of luck collecting as many as you need, whether it’s for crafting or selling.

About the Author


Senior Managing Editor of Fanbyte.com and co-founder of the website. Everyone should listen to their opinions and recommendations sooner.