No Man’s Sky: Pirate Dreadnought

Jonathan Kao

No Man's Sky Logo

The Pirate Dreadnought is a well-known unfriendly large ship in the game No Man’s Sky. It appears when players enter certain dangerous star systems and get into space battles. These encounters mainly happen in star systems with a 3-star conflict rating or in outlaw systems, making the Dreadnought a tough opponent. Players often try to find and add the Pirate Dreadnought to their fleet. It’s important to know its weaknesses and the modules it has to be successful. The ship was added to the game in the Orbital update, showing its importance to the current gameplay.

Tips and Tricks for Taking Down Pirate Dreadnoughts

Pirate Dreadnoughts are formidable foes in No Man’s Sky, but with the right strategy and preparation, you can emerge victorious and claim valuable rewards.

How to Find a Pirate Dreadnought

There are two main ways to encounter a Pirate Dreadnought:

  1. Warping: After playing for at least three hours, warp to five different star systems. On your fifth warp, there’s a chance you’ll encounter a Dreadnought battle. To increase your chances of finding a Pirate Dreadnought, warp to conflict systems.
  2. Outlaw Systems: Jumping to three or more outlaw systems in a row can also trigger a Dreadnought encounter.

Ship Preparation

Before engaging a Dreadnought, ensure your ship is well-equipped:

  • Upgraded Weapons: Focus on upgrading your ship’s lasers and projectile weapons.
  • Shields: Install high-capacity shields and shield boosters.
  • Nanite Clusters: Stock up on nanite clusters for quick repairs during battle.

Battle Strategies

During the battle, prioritize destroying the Dreadnought’s critical systems:

  1. Shield Generators: These are located in trenches on the Dreadnought’s hull. Take them out to disable its shields.
  2. Fuel Pods: These are also found in trenches and are vital for the Dreadnought’s warp drive.
  3. Warp Drives: Once the fuel pods are destroyed, target the four warp drives located on the rear of the ship.
  4. Weapons: Focus fire on the Dreadnought’s weapons to reduce incoming damage.


Successfully defeating a Pirate Dreadnought can yield valuable rewards, including:

  • Nanite Clusters
  • Units
  • Salvageable Technology
  • Upgrade Modules

Table: Pirate Dreadnought Weak Points

Weak PointLocationEffect of Destruction
Shield GeneratorsTrenches on hullDisables shields
Fuel PodsTrenches on hullDisables warp drive
Warp DrivesRear of the shipPrevents escape
WeaponsVarious locations on the hullReduces incoming damage

By following these tips and strategies, you can confidently take on Pirate Dreadnoughts and emerge victorious in No Man’s Sky.

Key Takeaways

  • The Pirate Dreadnought is a hostile freighter in No Man’s Sky.
  • Encounters occur in 3-star conflict or outlaw systems.
  • The ship became notable with the Orbital update.


Pirate Dreadnought in No Man’s Sky appears during space battles after warping into a system. Players encounter it only in 3-star conflict or outlaw systems. Upon arrival, defeating this powerful freighter requires specific tactics. Destroy its engines to prevent escape. Handle the anti-freighter cannons to secure victory. Check the ship’s class post-battle. Reload your game save if it’s not S-Class.

Pirate Frigates

Pirate Frigates in No Man’s Sky can be acquired by defeating a Pirate Dreadnought. These frigates, well-armed like combat frigates, are ideal for perilous missions. After the battle, the accompanying frigates from the defeated Dreadnought become available for purchase.

These frigates can be sent on expeditions, and owners can buy, repair, fuel, and level them up. Despite their strength, high-difficulty expeditions can damage them. It is advisable to send Pirate Frigates alongside other frigates to improve survival chances.

Players can manage their Pirate Frigates through missions with various degrees of difficulty. Ensuring a mixed fleet helps in maintaining their operational effectiveness.

Dreadnought’s Systems

Warp Propulsion Units

The Dreadnought Warp Propulsion is powered by four primary engines. Each engine can be individually targeted and destroyed. If the overall hull integrity falls below 70%, the Dreadnought initiates a warp sequence that lasts for 30 seconds. To prevent the warp, all four engines must be disabled before the countdown ends. Once the engines are taken down, the hull can be attacked directly without worrying about warp disruptions.

Missile Armaments

The Pirate Dreadnought utilizes torpedoes as its main weaponry. Each torpedo takes 10 seconds to prepare for launch. Even during this countdown, individual torpedoes may still fire. The countdown tracks the time until all torpedoes are ready to launch. Players can use their ship’s weapons to target and destroy these torpedoes before they are launched.

Defense Systems and Power Rods

The Dreadnought is shielded by multiple shield generators. Each generator provides about 20% shield capacity and is visible on the HUD. These generators can be destroyed, exposing fuel rods. Once exposed, these rods can be targeted. Destroying a fuel rod inflicts around 7% damage to the Dreadnought, even if the shields are still active.

Dreadnought Battle

When entering a system, players might find themselves in a freighter battle between a Pirate Dreadnought and a civilian freighter. The Dreadnought, controlled by pirates, rapidly targets the civilian freighter, dealing significant damage.

Encounter and Initial Steps

  • Destroy the Warp Drives: Start by disabling the warp drives to prevent the Dreadnought from escaping.
  • Enter the Shield: Fly through the shield entrance where five shield generators are located, positioned on the left and right.

Combat Strategy

Destroy the shield generators carefully, as torpedoes from the Dreadnought can cause substantial harm to the civilian freighter. Once all generators are down, the Dreadnought’s defenses will be down.

Final Assault

  • Find Fuel Rods: Locate the exposed fuel rods to deal heavy damage to the Dreadnought.
  • Damage Calculation: Each destroyed fuel rod reduces the Dreadnought’s health by roughly 7%.

Outcome and Rewards

After defeating the Dreadnought, players can expect a significant reward from the civilian captain. If the civilian freighter is destroyed, the reward will be limited to scrap from the Dreadnought.

Summary of Process

Step 1Destroy the warp drives
Step 2Fly through the shield entrance
Step 3Destroy shield generators
Final StepAttack exposed fuel rods for significant damage


To acquire a Pirate Dreadnought, the player must first engage in combat until its health is low. Then, a choice to demand control or a reward will appear. Destroying the dreadnought remains an option.

Combat and Rewards

The dreadnought fires anti-frigate lasers at starships and anti-freighter cannons at hostile freighters. An S-Class Dreadnought can offer substantial rewards, typically ranging from 5-10 million units.

Useful Tips

  • Neutralizing the engines stops the freighter from escaping.
  • Eliminating anti-freighter cannons helps to further weaken it.
  • Scanning its class can guide whether to reload if not an S-Class.

By following these steps, players can effectively acquire and benefit from Pirate Dreadnoughts.

Release History

Updates and Features

Echoes: This update introduced the Pirate Dreadnought as a hostile freighter. Players now encounter these dreadnoughts during space battles after warping into specific systems.

Omega: Players can now claim the Pirate Dreadnought. This change allowed more interaction and control over these vessels.

Class and Pricing

Freighter prices depend on their slot count and class. This pricing system came into effect since update 1.3. Classes affect the battle strength and capabilities of these freighters.

Miscellaneous Changes

Older updates made travel easier by updating portal mechanics. Portals initially had limitations that impacted how freighters could be managed or called upon.

Additional Information

Destroying a surrendered Dreadnought grants only the bounty’s Units. The player cannot recruit Pirate Frigates afterward. This can impact their fleet expansion. It is crucial to weigh the benefits of Units against missed opportunities in star systems. Civilian freighters might offer alternative rewards during space encounters. Use a Conflict Scanner to identify high-risk pirate systems for potential missions and exploration.