No Man's Sky chromatic metal location: where to find this valuable technology resource

Although it's relatively rare, it's hard to overstate the importance of No Man's Sky chromatic metal, as this resource is required for a lot of basic equipment, as well as base building. It became very important following the Next update to No Man's Sky, which is why we've put this guide together as it's not the sort of thing you can just find lying around on planets. We've got all the details on how to find it and more importantly, the process behind locating the proper materials and refining it from one of four metals, so here's what you need to know to get chromatic metal in No Man's Sky.

Where to find No Man's Sky chromatic metal?

Before you can even begin getting chromatic metal in No Man's Sky you need one of four metals: copper, cadmium, emeril and indium. It all depends on where you are as to what you can find and how much, but if you do a planetary scan by pressing the left stick while looking at a planet it tell you what's there. The resources you need also produce more chromatic metal the rarer they are in the order listed.

Getting chromatic metal components from your freighter

Chromatic metal is, well, essentially refined out of other metals in case the name didn’t already give it away. While you scan a planet as you’re gallivanting around in order to root out these raw metals, another way to actually get their components is to send your freighter out and about on missions. It can send back materials that can be turned into chromatic metal so long as you have a refiner, which we go into a little more detail about below. 

One you have the starting metals you'll need a refiner, which you can build yourself as long you have one piece of metal plating and 30 oxygen. If you don't have any metal plating then you just need 50 ferrite dust to make one by craft product in your inventory. Ferrite is on every planet, and the dust is its most basic form. 

With the refiner crafted and placed somewhere you just have to put all the things you need in it - which is as much copper, cadmium, emeril and indium as you can stuff in the slot, and some carbon to fuel the actual refining. 

With everything in place, just hit Square to begin. Depending on what you're using it'll take any thing from a few seconds to minutes to churn out that precious chromatic metal which you can then use to create all sorts of important tech. Pro tip: don't forget to pick up the refiner once you're done. 

Getting chromatic metal as a reward from missions

It’s also possible to earn chromatic metal as a reward from completing Nexus Missions (which are new with Beyond) and generic Missions throughout the galaxy. You can be rewarded with this refined metal off the bat as a reward, and if you’re accepting Nexus Missions, you’ll be able to see which ones will give you chromatic metal before you accept them.

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Leon Hurley
Managing editor for guides

I'm GamesRadar's Managing Editor for guides, which means I run GamesRadar's guides and tips content. I also write reviews, previews and features, largely about horror, action adventure, FPS and open world games. I previously worked on Kotaku, and the Official PlayStation Magazine and website.