No Man's Sky Activated Copper Guide

No Man’s Sky Activated Copper Guide: Repairing Starships With Storm-Infused Elements

A Galaxy Ripe with Metal 

Exploring the universe is both magnificent and resource-consuming. The further you’d like to travel, the more Antimatter you’ll need. Suppose you’re familiar with No Man’s Sky. In that case, you’ll know that everything you do requires some shiny element or crafted component. Activated Copper is a rare element needed for repairing starships and refining a bulk of Chromatic Metal.

It’s not the greatest resource you can obtain in No Man’s Sky. Still, it’s more valuable than mining regular Copper. In No Man’s Sky, you want to be as efficient as possible with your time. However, finding Activated Copper is not as easy as finding a space fairing Travelers may first believe, well, that’s a half-truth.

mining activated copper no mans sky
Mining Activated Copper with the Terrain Manipulator – Image by Alex Maksymiw

Once you know what kind of star systems you’re looking for, searching for the storm-charged Copper becomes less like searching for a needle in a haystack to more like trying to find a Gek Space Station in a system filled with shiny gold, and if that one went over your head; very easy, these amphibious aliens loving nothing more than filling their bank full of Units and Nanites.

I’ve been having an absolute blast with No Man’s Sky; the scale of the universe, the beautiful vistas, the variety in fauna and flora, and last but not least, the friendly and always helpful community makes No Man’s Sky a brilliant sci-fi game to pick up if you love exploring and stargazing at night.

So without further ado, let’s fill up our Hyperdrive and blast into the universe to collect some Activated Copper! Welcome to a No Man’s Sky Activated Copper Guide.

Key Details Up Front

If your settlement is getting raided by space pirates, or Sentinals are chasing you, and you don’t have time to read the entire article, no worries, Traveler, here are the details you need to know about Activated Copper, where you can find it and how you can mine it:

  • Activated Copper can only be found in Yellow Star Systems; luckily, the game will always spawn you into a Yellow Star System, making it easy to obtain Activated Copper early in the game.

Once you’re in a Yellow Star System, scan planets with your Starship to reveal each planet’s list of resources; if the planet contains Activated Copper, it will be revealed.

To shave down time, focus on planets with Extreme Weather, as these are the only types of worlds to contain Activated Copper.

In my No Man’s Sky experience, I tend to create a small base fitted with a Base Teleport Module, allowing me to quickly return to the planet to collect the necessary resources.

Activated Copper appears in mineral deposits and looks just like Copper. Now if you’ve just started a new playthrough acquiring Scanner upgrades for your Exosuit is a great way to increase your chances of finding Mineral Deposits. Activated Copper will be revealed within a grid in the scanned overworld when you use your Analysis Visor.

Although Activated Copper is more valuable than its counterpart, you will still need to collect it as it can not be used in Blueprint crafting.

Activated Copper appears as Cu+ in your inventory, so don’t confuse it with regular Copper (Cu).

  • Finally, a Terrain Manipulator module must be installed into your Multi-Tool to mine Activated Copper deposits.

Activated Copper in a Nutshell

activated copper no mans sky
Activated Copper in-game description – Image by Alex Maksymiw

Much like our own galaxy, No Man’s Sky galaxies are filled with resource-dense planetary bodies. Unfortunately, we don’t have the technology that is available to us in No Man’s Sky to reach these gold mines, so to speak. However, in No Man’s Sky, the universe is your oyster, and millions of Units can be made if you know what you’re doing.

Every Traveler has a Multi-Tool, a modular device allowing users to manipulate their environment from building bases to mining resources. Focusing on the latter using your Multi-tools Terrian Manipulator, a Traveler can alter the landscape and the ground that they walk on.

Using your Terrain Manipulator alongside your Exosuit’s scanner lets you identify valuable resources like mineral deposits such as Activated Copper.

Activated Copper (Cu+) is fundamentally the same as regular Copper (Cu) apart from one significant difference. Activated Copper is activated by a planet’s extreme weather, giving it more potency than its counterpart.

Key Features of the Weather-Charged Copper

One of the first standouts of Activated Copper is that it sits at a base blueprint value of 75 units, thats 45% more units than regular Copper, and considering it’s just as common as finding regular Copper deposits on an Extreme Weather planet of course, it’s a no brainer why you should seek out this material.

Activated Copper has four uses in No Man’s Sky, none involving crafting. Let’s take a look at its uses: 

  • Chromatic Metal: Refining 1x Activated Copper will yield 1 x Chromatic Metal. This is much more efficient than regular Copper, which produces 1 x Chromatic Metal for every 2 x Copper.
  • Chromatic Metal: Refining both Activated Copper and Pure Ferrite yields 2x Chromatic Metal, a superior method for obtaining Chromatic Metal; however, it comes at the trade of Pure Ferrite, which is used to refine into Magnetized Ferrite. Thankfully theres an alternative solution.
  • Magnetized Ferrite: Refining both Activated Copper and Ferrite Dust will yield 2x Magnetized Ferrite.
  • Corroded Tanks: Activated Copper is an essential element used for repairing Corroded Tanks in crashed Starships.

How to Find Activated Copper

Finding Activated Copper in the gigantic expanses of space may seem daunting; however, knowing where to search should not take you long to find. Moreover, you can access Activated Copper in your starting Star System as this will always be within a Yellow Star System.

This narrows down the search to make it much easier to find, although once you’ve scanned a planet to reveal that it contains Activated Copper, you will have to contend with its hazardous weather.

finding a planet with activated copper no mans sky
Finding a planet with Activated Copper – Image by Alex Maksymiw

Extreme Weather Mining

Extreme Weather means that hazardous storms will frequently occur all over the planet. This can be anything from burning hot rain, as I had to recently contend with, to subzero blizzards that would make even a frost-loving Nord blush.

Therefore I highly recommend that you equip your Exosuit with the correct shields to endure these hostile worlds. The right Exosuit upgrade can make the whole mining process a lot faster.

For example, my Thermal Protection upgrade made exploring cold, snowy planets trivial, as even harsh snow storms only dent my shields. If you want to learn more about how you can bling out your Exosuit, see No Man’s Sky Exosuit Guide.

However, while mining Activated Copper on planet Eunice XV111 (if you were interested), I had to frequently run to my ship to escape the burning rain and temperatures of storms.

If you’re feeling cheeky, you could use your Terrain Manipulator to create a small cave or pocket in the ground to continue to mine the Activated Copper without being affected by the storm.

extreme weather mining no mans sky
Digging out the ground to provide cover from a storm while mining – Image by Alex Maksymiw

The harsh environment of these planets makes base building and mining difficult, as it’s impossible to predict the frequency of storms. Granted, your Exosuit will warn you of the impending dangers; however, a new storm may appear after a storm subsides.

Remember that Extreme Storms are deadly; throw Atmospheric Events into the equation with Firestorms, Lightning, Meteor Showers, and Tornadoes, and you’re asking for trouble. I

highly recommend you seek shelter if playing on Survival or Permadeath Mode; trust me, the Activated Copper mineral deposit will still be there when you return! If you want to better understand the different types of planets you can discover in No Man’s Sky, see No Man’s Sky Planet Types.

Scoring Deep-Level Mineral Deposits

scoring deep-level mineral deposits no mans sky
Mineral Extractors and Supply Depot autonomously working – Image by Alex Maksymiw

No Man’s Sky can be an absolute time sink if you collect resources to upgrade your gear and Starship. Not everyone has time to spend hours digging into mineral deposits with Terrain Multiplayer. You only get punished for using the large dig radius with few resources, so don’t even bother.

Thankfully Hello Games introduced Deep-Level Mineral Deposits into the game, which are areas of a planet with a high density of resources within a relatively small area. Deep-Level Mineral Deposits can be found all over the planet. However, without the Survey Device Multi-Tool Scanner upgrade, you would fly over them with your jetpack without even knowing.

eos multi-tool tech trader on the space anomaly no mans sky
Eos Multi-Tool Tech trader on the Space Anomaly – Image by Alex Maksymiw

So I suggest you fly over to the Anomaly and trade with Iteration Eos. They’re a shark/whale-looking Traveler who sells valuable technology upgrades. The Survey Device may only set you back 320 Nanites; however, your Nanite Cluster reserves will take a hit from unlocking all the blueprint components required to craft this Multi-Tool upgrade. 

You must unlock the Quantum Computer and Magnetic Resonator Blueprints from the Synthesis Lab on the Space Anomaly to craft the Survey Device. In all, this will set you back 820 Nanites; if you want to increase your Nanite wallet size, see No Man’s Sky Nanites Guide: How to get Nanites.

The spending doesn’t stop there, though, as you must unlock the Mineral Extractor, Supply Depot, and Supply Cable by spending Salvaged Data at the Construction Research Unit… Yep, you’ll have to jump through many hoops to set up your autonomous mining business, but it’s definitely worth it!

quantum computer and magnetic resonator blueprints no mans sky
The Quantum Computer and Magnetic Resonator Blueprints in the Synthesis Lab – Image by Alex Maksymiw

Once you’ve installed the Survey Device, it’s time to scan like a crazy gold prospector. Four options on the Survey Device will allow you to target specific resource types:

  • Power Survey Mode
  • Mineral Survey Mode
  • Gas Survey Mode

Since you’re searching for Activated Copper, switch to the Mineral Survey Mode on your Analysis Visor. You should consider a few things when setting up a base on a Deep-Level Mineral Deposit.

  • The Deep-Level Mineral Deposit’s Class: S Tier deposits will yield the maximum amount of gains, while C tier deposits yield the least.
  • The location of the Deep-Level Mineral Deposit: Planets are filled with these mineral deposits, so you may want to consider what other structures may be nearby.

Once you’ve found an Activated Copper Deep-Level Mineral Deposit that best suits your needs, you must craft Mineral Extractors in the center of the deposit. The further you move away from the deposit, the fewer gains you’ll make.

Building columns of Mineral Extractors is a great way to maximize your mineral gains. You will start to get diminishing returns for every Mineral Extractor you place, though.

Mineral Extractors No Man's Sky
Mineral Extractors on an Activated Copper Deep-Level Mineral Deposit – Image by Alex Maksymiw

Mineral Extractors passively extract resources even when you’ve logged out of the game; however, they need to be powered and be linked to Supply Depots, a structure that stores resources collected by the Mineral Extractors. I’m not going to lie. This is a slow process, and I much prefer using the Terrain Manipulator set to small to extract resources.

If you plan on returning to the planet, then setting up a base with Mineral Extractors is a no-brainer. You’ll passively earn Activated Copper, and when you’ve accumulated enough for your needs, you can sell the excess at a Galactic Trade Terminal since it sells for a decent price. 

Activated Copper Uses

refining activated copper no mans sky
Refining Activated Copper into Chromatic Metal – Image by Alex Maksymiw

So you’ve collected thousands of Activated Copper thanks to me and now looking at your clogged-up Starship inventory, wondering how you can use it.

Activated Copper doesn’t have a lot of uses in No Man’s Sky. However, you will get a lot of value out of this storm-charged element. Why would you need the items above? Chromatic Metal is used for crafting many Exosuit, Starship, and Multi-Tool upgrades.

It’s also a vital material used in building your base. Basically, you can’t make it through the galaxy without collecting a ginormous amount of Chromatic Metal. Therefore, you are much better off refining Activated Copper to obtain Chromatic Metal.

Refining and Fusing

There are three types of Ferrite materials, Ferrite Dust, Pure Ferrite, and Magnetized Ferrite. It can be a little fiddly and especially confusing for new players to recognize each Ferrite item. Ferrite Dust is one of the game’s most common and primary resources.

While its base form is used for some crafting and repairing, you must refine it multiple times before getting Magnetized Ferrite, a much more potent version of the material.

Speaking from experience, obtaining Magnetized Ferrite using Activated Copper is worth obtaining as your inventory and storage can quickly become clogged with Ferrite Dust, Pure Ferrite, and Magnetized Ferrite as you refine bits you need for crafting and upgrading.

During the refining process, you will lose some of your Pure Ferrite in the process. However, using both Activated Copper and Ferrite Dust in the Medium Refinery will yield more Magnetized Ferrite. If collecting resources is your survival game jam, then see No Man’s Sky Resources Guide: Building Blocks of the Universe. There is a silly amount of items to collect.

Repairing a Crashed Derelict Starship

repairing a crashed derelict starship no mans sky
Corroded Tanks in Damaged Starship – Image by Alex Maksymiw

Lastly, Activated Copper is essential for repairing broken Corroded Tanks in Starships. Corroded Tanks take up inventory space, and repairing these slots will increase the value of the Starship so it’s a good idea to carry around Activated Copper if you plan on replacing your current ship with a crashed Starship or plan on selling recovered Starships for scrap.

You can acquire your first Distress Signal quest to claim a crashed Starship relatively early in the game, requiring you to talk to numerous aliens on a Space Station.

Be careful, however, as some antisocial aliens won’t want to talk to you for the sake of the narrative. As a result, you won’t be able to interact with them ever again, so it’s a good idea to complete this objective in a space station that you don’t plan to use regularly.


Question: How Many Activated Elements are there in No Man’s Sky, and Where Can I Find Them?

Answer: No Man’s Sky has four types of Activated elements that can only be found on planets with Extreme Weather and specific star systems:

Activated Cadmium: Can only be found within Red Star Systems and has a ratio of 1:2 = 2x Chromatic Metal for every 1x Activated Cadmium.
• Activated Copper: Can only be found within Yellow Star Systems and has a ratio of 1:1 = 1x Chromatic Metal for every 1x Activated Copper.
Activated Emeril: Can only be found within Green Star Systems and has a ratio of 1:3 = 3x Chromatic Metal for every 1x Activated Emeril.
• Activated Indium: Can only be found within Blue Star Systems and has a ratio of 1:4 – 4x Chromatic Metal for every 1x Activated Indium.

Each Activated element value is significantly higher than its regular elemental counterpart. However, Activated Elements can’t be used in non-activated materials. So you won’t be able to craft an Emeril Drive or Warp Core Resonator using Activated Cadmium.

Question: How Do Autonomous Mining Units Work in No Man’s Sky, and are they Worth It?

Answer: Autonomous Mining Units are a great way to farm materials when you’re AFK from No Man’s Sky. However, Mineral Extractors are a much better option than the Autonomous Mining Unit as AMUs have an inventory capacity of 250 units taking an hour to reach this.

Moreover, unlike Mineral Extractors, AMUs cannot be powered by electricity and must be fueled with Carbon or Condensed Carbon to work.
Luckily you can place up to five AMUs down in the world. I recommend placing them all on one mineral deposit; this will net you a thousand units of the desired resource. Bear in mind that to craft an AMU, you will need the following materials:

• 100x Uranium
• 2x Metal Platings
• 1x Ion Battery

As a result, AMUs might not be worth it if you are low on Uranium; however, if you can acquire five AMUs, you can quickly rack up thousands of resource units throughout the day without lifting a finger.

active autonomous mining units no mans sky
Active Autonomous Mining Units – Image by Alex Maksymiw

Question: How Can You Explore Planets Without Using Your Starship In No Man’s Sky?

Answer: You may decide to explore a planet without using your Starship to conserve your Starship’s Launch Fuel, dodge unwanted Starship attacks from Sentinels, or discover resources you would otherwise miss flying by. Traveling on foot, however, can be terribly time-consuming. Thankfully, there are a few ways you can speed up the traversal of a planet:

Melee Jetpack Boost: Pressing the melee button and promptly activating your jetpack will allow you to boost easily across canyons and escape harm’s way. Speaking from experience, I recommend saving a little bit of fuel for when you approach land, as you’ll end up taking damage from slamming into a wall or ground.
Exosuit Upgrades: When you begin your No Man’s Sky adventure, you will have a stock Exosuit with minimal Life Support, Shields, and maneuverability. You can purchase Movement System Upgrades at Space Stations with Nanites to increase your jetpack’s fuel and speed. I always go for this upgrade first in my playthroughs.
Exocraft: You can purchase Exocraft blueprints from the Space Anomaly for Salvaged Data. Exocraft allows you to traverse a planet, especially once they are upgraded quickly.
Flying Mounts: Although mounts do not have an inventory, they are fast transported around a planet. The bigger your mount, the faster it will fly, so catch the biggest flying alien you can find.

Mineral Masters of the Galaxy

So there we have all the Multi-Tools, Portable Mining Structures, and intergalactic knowledge you need to make it rain with Activated Copper. Just remember to stay out of the actual rain in an Extreme Storm. You don’t want burning hot rain scolding you through your Exosuit like what happened to me!

Activated Copper may not have the most use cases in No Man’s Sky. It is, however, a precious resource that will allow you to get your alien mitts on a bulk of Chromatic Metal, and by now, you should know how valuable this shiny resource is.

Before I leave you, I want to say that although the strategies used in this guide to find and mine Activated Copper may seem like they favor a player who hunkers down in a singular base. I highly recommend that you keep exploring No Man’s Sky.

There are hundreds of galaxies to explore, and I’d confidently bet that no one player could visit them all even if they had two, three, or four instances of No Man’s Sky running. Meaning that the more planets you find containing Activated Copper, the faster and more resources you will be able to acquire.

Read More: No Man’s Sky Expedition Guide

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