Ostranauts – Making Money in the Early Game

A guide, on how to go from debt to above 50k, and fend off debt if necessary.

General Overview

Saw that there was no general guide for getting out of the early game. Hence, this.

If you’re just looking for the best way to make money, it’s probably either gathering fusion reactors, or transporting AI servers while going at ~3km/s.

Else, the guide is ordered by cash amount, as that can drastically affect what methods you can actually use to make money.

Once you get about ~50k, you can experience all current content.

Character Creation


The only available career at the moment. Getting more than ~5000 before launching might mean you can get a scrappers licence right out of the gate, skipping right to above 6k on this guide. Else, the only real guide affecting parts are the smuggle it out for the Hydra Intake (which provides you a black market contact) and getting crates which allow you to store more stuff on your dinky starting pod.

The coffin allows you to avoid the mortgage, but you need to find a replacement ship ASAP.

Below $6000

The first goal here is to get enough money such that you can buy a licence to scrap, and dock with KLEG for a full resupply.

This will not only prevent heavy fines from the police, but allow you to have a different seller to compare prices to. (I’m pretty sure that the price multiplier for the black market/scrap trader are random in a range).

  1. Familiarize yourself with the nav console and ship controls.
  2. Resist the urge to dock at the asteroid at KLEG immediately. It’ll cost you more money than you likely can float at this point.
  3. Align bearing with a derelict that is pretty far away (preferably with another close by to avoid getting boned by RNG). Then, accelerate towards it with about 1/4 of your Delta V.
  4. Pray that the police and micrometeroids don’t notice you head towards whatever derelict you chose.
  5. Decelerate when close to the derelict, then dock.
  6. Pay attention to what’s on the ship.

If you bought the optional crates, you can store 3×3 items/modules in a 2×2 space, now. If it’s a big enough ship, with a reactor and a safe/isolated center, I’d consider making it your new ship. Else, if it’s too much work to get up and running. (EG: Too few RCS thrusters/No reactor) I’d just scrap it and look elsewhere.

  1. Loot the Ship.

Valuable items of note, rough figures. : Reactor (3×3)~40k, Hydra RCS Intake(2×2) ~10k, Nav console (3×3)~3-5k, RCS clusters (2×1)~1k, Doors (5×1)~1k, Batteries (2×2) ~1k ,Low-tier RCS Intakes (2×1) ~400, Turbopumps (3×1) ~400.

  1. Head back to KLEG.

When you have more than ~11k of loot total, you can head back to KLEG without much worry. I’d have around ~40k just in case the police fine for not having a licence to scrap, or loot you for your most valuable items.

Make sure you have enough Delta V to make the trip comfortably. I’d have around ~40k just in case the police fine for not having a licence to scrap.

  1. Sell your loot to the black market contact.

They’ll be sitting at the bar at the Mescaform station. If you got the contact from your career, great. Else, you’ll have to kiss ass or threaten them to get them to trade with you.

At this point, you should be able to sell the loot from the ship to get you your first 5k, for the general scrapper pass.

Above 6K

Now, you have enough money to get to the general scrap market. You might have gotten here from using character creation well, and finishing a gig or two locally in KLEG.

The next goal, is to find a big derelict with lots of space. Passengers and heavy lifters are good candidates, but any big box will do.

Find a derelict that’s mostly intact. Make sure it has enough RCS Thrusters, a Fusion Reactor, a Deuterium tank, and a Helium tank.

Repair it. Make it able to fly and hold atmosphere. It’ll be your new moneymaker/home from now on, so make sure that you won’t die spontaneously. Add a bed from a derelict if you start getting drowsy.

At this point, you should be pretty clear about how to earn money from scrapping, so go forth. If not clear, revisit below 6k. Goal is about 50k. Two reactors should be plenty to get you there.

Above 50K

Congratulations. You’ve reached the point where money is a non-issue.

Breathe easy, as you’ve earned a reprieve from debt slavery for the moment.

If you feel like taking a break from scrapping for cash, you can now take gigs with servers as cargo, where you either need a vacuum atmosphere, or ~3 coolers per server. I recommend at least 6km/s of Delta V. You can earn ~50k per trip, which isn’t that bad for a sure payout.

Else, just scrap ships for fusion reactors, or expand your ship by uninstalling floors and walls from others.

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