• Settlements will not produce surplus goods while in debt
  • Debt cannot be paid off using the player's own money
  • Increasing Settlement Productivity is key to removing debt 

Settlements are a great source of passive income in “No Man’s Sky,” and they let players live out their fantasies of being a frontier town mayor to boot. However, not every settlement starts out with all of its problems sorted out.

Settlement debt is a very real issue that most players will have to deal with. Unfortunately, they can’t just use the money they have in their own accounts to make these problems disappear, so they’ll have to make do with the game’s intended systems.

How to clear settlement debt

Essentially, a settlement needs to make more money than it is using for its daily operations.

Go to the Overseer’s Office or the Settlement Hub Interface to get a clear view of the current state of a settlement. It should display the town’s income, expenses and the amount of time left before traces of debt are cleared.

Income is directly tied to a settlement’s Productivity stat, which increases based on the types of facilities available and the sorts of investments players decide to partake in.

Settlement buildings can only be approved via the Overseer terminal - No Man's Sky
Settlement buildings can only be approved via the Overseer terminal No Man's Sky

Unfortunately, opportunities for facility construction and investments like settler expeditions only come randomly. When they’re available, players will receive a notification asking them to return to their town and settle an opportunity at the Overseer’s Office.

Productivity is also tied to other factors like Settlement Class, features and population. Citizen disputes and requests, as well as policy decisions, will also have a hand in a settlement’s income, so be sure to make the right choice whenever these issues arise.

Settlement Benefits

Once a settlement has no debt left, its citizens will start to produce more materials to be sold in the galactic markets. Eventually, the town will reach a point where it will produce a surplus of goods that the players can use. These can be collected from the settlement status page at the Overseer’s Office.

The materials can be used for crafting or sold for profit. Admittedly, there are much better sources of Units in the game, but the surplus materials are good to have nonetheless.

Other than that, settlements provide no other benefits besides being a lively spot for a player-made base.