No Man’s Sky Expedition 3: Cartographers Walkthrough & Milestone Guide (2024)

No Man’s Sky’s Expeditions have become the best part of the game for many in the community. They give players a set of quests to complete, a story to follow, and a task that makes them feel accomplished. None is more satisfying than No Man’s Sky Expedition 3: Cartographers.

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The third Expedition in No Man’s Sky is one of the best because it’s set entirely on a single planet. Instead of being a system-spanning journey of epic proportions, players must focus on a single world and put all their effort into completing a task that’s often forgotten about at the start of every new save. It’s this subtle twist that makes No Man’s Sky Expedition 3: Cartographers so good.

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How to Start No Man’s Sky Expedition 3: Cartographers

No Man’s Sky Expedition 3: Cartographers Walkthrough & Milestone Guide (1)

To start No Man’s Sky Expedition 3: Cartographers, players must launch the game and choose the option to start a new save file. Then, they’ll be presented with every type of game they can start, including the current Expedition in the top right-hand corner. After selecting the Expedition, players will jump into Expedition 3: Cartographers.

At the time of writing, December 23, 2023, No Man’s Sky Expedition 3 Redux: Cartographers is live as part of the Holiday 2023 Expedition reruns. This means that it’s being run long after its initial debut, so players have the opportunity to grab the rewards it offers even though they missed out on them the first time around.

How to Complete All Milestones in No Man’s Sky Expedition 3: Cartographers

No Man’s Sky Expedition 3: Cartographers Walkthrough & Milestone Guide (2)

In the tables below, we’ve outlined every Phase and Milestone in No Man’s Sky Expedition 3: Cartographers and how to complete them. Players must complete all of them to claim the exclusive rewards from the event. Note that some Milestones require rewards from others, so the order may not be linear.

No Man’s Sky Expedition 3: Cartographers Phase 1 Milestones

The table below shows every Milestone in No Man’s Sky Expedition 3: Cartographers and how to complete them. This is the easier Phase of them all.

Milestone NameHow to CompleteRewardsTips for the Milestone
Autodiagnostics: 1Locate and board your starship.Five Ion Batteries, 120 Oxygen, and a Recovered Item.Follow the icon on-screen for the starship to locate it and get inside.
Earth MoverBuild a Terrain Manipulator.Advanced Mining Laser Plans and a Significant Mining Beam Upgrade. Players must install the Terrain Manipulator on their Multi-Tool.
FoxholeUse a cave to shelter against a storm. Base Computer Plans and a Powerful Hazard Protection Upgrade. Players must wait for a storm to hit and use the Terrain Manipulaor to dig a hole and hide in it.
HomecomingEstablish your first base. Construction Research Unit Plans, a Construction Research Unit, and 20 Salvaged Data.Use the plans form the Milestone above to build a Base Computer and establish a base
TechnosignatureDeploy and use a Signal Booster. Four Wiring Loom, a Korvax Casing, a Convergence Cube, and five Navigation Data.Using the Construction Research Unit, players must build and use a Signal Booster.
Any Port in a StormShelter inside an alien building.A Significant Underwater Oxygen Upgrade and three Planetary Charts. Players must locate an alien building using a Plentary Chart or the Signal Booster and enter it.
The PilgrimExplore 30,000u on foot.A Significant Defensice Systems Upgrade, a Powerful Movement System Upgrade, and five Sac Venom.Playes need to walk around until they clock up 30,000u.

No Man’s Sky Expedition 3: Cartographers Phase 2 Milestones

In the table below, we’ve highlighted every Milestone in Phase 2 of No Man’s Sky Expedition 3: Cartographers. This one has a few Milestones that can be completed early if players pay attention.

Milestone NameHow to CompleteRewardsTips for the Milestone
Autodiagnostics: 2Restore starship launch systems.Galactic Trade Terminal Plans, a Supreme Moveement System Upgrade, and a Significant Life Support Upgrade. Players must repair the Launch Thrusters in their starship.
Power SurplusIncrease power generation capacity.Six Wiring Loom and Quantum Computer Plans.Players need to establish power at their base. We like to use solar arrays for this.
Matter TransportConstruct a Teleporter for your base.Power generation blueprints and Survey Device Plans.Players need to build a Teleporter at their base, and power it up.
Fear the SunTunnel 750u underground.333 Gold, a Supreme Mining Beam Upgrade, and Large Refiner Plans.Players need to use the Terrain Manipulator to tunnel underground until they hit 750u.
Master of ElementsExplore 800u on foot during storms.Minotaur Geobay Plans, a Powerful Scanning System Upgrade, and a Powerful Life Support Upgrade.Players need to wait for a storm and go out exploring on foot. This is a good chance to tunnel underground as well.
CompanionshipAdopt one animal companion.256 faecium, a Recovered Item, and five Gravitino Balls.Players must craft Creature Pellets using Carbon and use them to tempt and adopt an animal.
Mechanical ManDeploy a Minotaur Heavy Exosuit Hybrid.512 Chromatic Metal, a Supreme Minotaur Weapon Upgrade, and a Supreme Minotaur Engine Upgrade.Players need to use the Geobay to deploy a Minotaur Heavy Exosuit Hybrid.

No Man’s Sky Expedition 3: Cartographers Phase 3 Milestones

Below, players can see every Milestone in Phase 3 of No Man’s Sky Expedition 3: Cartographers. This is where some truly challenging Milestones lie, so it’s worth checking them out early to help work through them faster.

Milestone NameHow to CompleteRewardsTips for the Milestone
Autodiagnostics: 3Restore starship main engines.Airburst Engine Plans, a Suspicious Package of Tech, and a Supreme Movement System Upgrade.Players need to restore the engines used for interstellar travel in their starship.
GeologistAnalyze and discover six minerals.Magnetic Resonator Pland and Industrial Extraction Blueprints.Players need to scan rocks everywhere they go to discover a total of six. We always find the ones we’re missing in caves underwater.
BotanistDiscover eight planetary flora.Waveform Recycler Plans and a Supreme Scanning System Upgrade.Players must scan everything they can see until they’ve racked up eight flora scanned. This includes underwater flora.
The Complete FaunaDiscover all six creatures on the planet. 15 Salvaged Date and 25 Creature Pellets.Players need to keep an eye out for life and scan it as soon as they can see it. Don’t neglect underwater cave systems.
The NavigatorChart four waypoints.Ten Navigational Data, four Planetary Charts, and six Factory Override Units.Players need to get waypoints from their base and fly out to find them.
HerbicideEliminate ten hazardous flora.A Multi-Tool Combat Enhancement Upgrade and a Powerful Defensive Systems Upgrade.Players must kill every hazardous flora they encounter until they get to a total of ten.
IndustrialistExtract 200 minerals using industrial machinery. Alloy Crafting Blueprins and the Pilgrim Geobay Plans.Players need to construct some industrial machinery and leave it running while they explore until it’s extracted 200 units.

No Man’s Sky Expedition 3: Cartographers Phase 4 Milestones

In this section, we’ve explained how to complete all the Phase 4 Milestones in No Man’s Sky Expedition 3: Cartographers. This is where things get really tough, so players need to attack them from the word go.

Milestone NameHow to CompleteRewardsTips for the Milestone
Autodiagnostics: 4Restore starship life support systems.999 Nanites.Players need to check in and repair the life support systems on their starship.
Cross CountryTravel 6,500u by Exocraft.Exocraft Summoning Station Plans and a Localized Teleportation Blueprint.Players must use any Exocraft until they’ve built up 6,500u travelled.
DetectoristRecover five lost objects. Optical Drill Plans.Playerrs must use their Scanner to find Hidden Treasures and dig them up five times.
The Hills Are Alivereach an elevation of 950u.Rocket Boot Plans.Players must find the biggest mountain the can and climb it using their jetpack. The planet is littered with them, so it should be easy, but always look out for a tall one just in case.
RocketmanSpend 16 continuous seconds airborne.Three Storm Crystals and a Supreme Movement System Upgrade.Players need to climb a high mountain and jump off of it. Using the jetpack, they can slow their descent and stretch it out to last a full 16 seconds or longer.
The ArchaeologistExcavate six fossils. Three Planetary Charts.Players need to use their Scanner to find and dig up three Fossils.

No Man’s Sky Expedition 3: Cartographers Phase 5 Milestones

Here is where we’ve outlined how to complete every Milestone in No Man’s Sky Expedition 3: Cartographers Phase 5. This is the final and most challenging Phase of the entire event.

Milestone NameHow to CompleteRewardsTips for the Milestone
Lift OffLaunc into space for the first time. Five Storage Augmentation.Once the starship is fully repaired, players can launch into space and complete this Mileston.
The AcrobatPerform 15 continuous low-flight maneuvers. Ten Red-Gold Atlas Fireworks and a Supreme Pulse Engine Upgrade. Players need to pull off acrobatic moves in their ship while flying in an atmosphere.
Welcome AboardDock with the Space Station.600 Nanites and three Multi-Tool Expansion Slots. Players must head out into space and dock at the Space Station. It’s indicated with an on-screen icon in space.
Rendezvous 1Reach the first Rendezvous Point.5,000,000 Units and 512 Nanites. Players need to follow the path in the Galaxy Map to the Rendezvous Point. Then, they must use their Scanner to narrow down its location and complete the Milestone.
Autodiagnostics: 5Restore starship warp capabilities. 999 Nanies and a Station Override. Players need to find the resources to repair their starship’s Warp Drive.
InterstellarLeave the initial system for the first time. A Supreme Hyperdrive Upgrade and Specialized Warp Blueprints.Players must use th Warp Drive to leave the system.
Rendezvous 2Reach the second Rendezvous Point. Five Gold-Blue Atlas Fireworks and Orange Pustule Palns. As with Rendezvous 1, players must find the second Rendezvous Point.

What is the Story of No Man’s Sky Expedition 3: Cartographers?

No Man’s Sky Expedition 3: Cartographers Walkthrough & Milestone Guide (3)

The story of No Man’s Sky Expedition 3: Cartographers is all about players repairing a unique starship. Every player is trapped on a planet, though that planet changes from player to player. They’re stuck because their starship has broken down and is in need of repair.

While this sounds all too familiar and is the same as the start of every new save file, there’s a twist. Players must complete most of the Milestones in the Expedition on the same planet if they want to take the custom-built starship and fly away with it on their new save file once the Expedition ends.

This was the first Expedition to pull the focus back to a single world, and it’s a refreshing change. The starship that players end up with is incredible. Our save file with the most hours on it is from the first run of No Man’s Sky Expedition 3: Cartographers because we love that ship so much and have been spoiled by how useful it is.

Players will need to iron out a concrete story for themselves because it’s totally subjective. The story is one of players seeking out a way to repair their starship, one that’s clearly seen them through thick and thin and that they don’t want to let go. In a universe where it’s so easy to throw a starship away and pick up a new one, this Expedition is breaking new ground.

Is No Man’s Sky Expedition 3 Redux: Cartographers the Same as the Original?

No Man’s Sky Expedition 3: Cartographers Walkthrough & Milestone Guide (4)

Yes, the story of No Man’s Sky Expedition 3 Redux: Cartographers is the same as the original. The Redux name simply means that this is a rerun of the Expedition that came long after that initial run. However, players don’t have as much time to complete it, often a week or so compared to a few months. This means players will need to rush through the Expedition as quickly as possible if they want to get all the rewards on offer while it’s live.

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No Man’s Sky Expedition 3: Cartographers Walkthrough & Milestone Guide (2024)

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