|"Hey captain, should we go back for that piece of big metal scrap or should we leave it behind?"|
Space junk is dropped by enemies when you kill them. You can pick it up by flying over it. If it is not collected within 30 seconds, it disappears (it blinks for the last 10 seconds). When it is dropped, it cannot be picked up until at least one second has elapsed (five seconds for bosses).
Space junk has several uses, the most important of which is to be converted in to into Refined Materials at a Recycle Station. Refined materials are needed to purchase upgrades and unlock star systems.
Unrecycled space junk can be useful too:
- for upgrading the compressor on your ship.
- to unlock some star systems.
- to clone weapons at the Pirate Bay(Advanced Data Chips only).
- to complete certain missions (by recycling specified junk).
Space junk is stored in the cargo bay of your ship, which has a capacity of 100 to 10,000 junk items depending on its upgrade level. If you cannot pick up any space junk, it is probably because your cargo bay is full. (It could also be due to the server connection being lost.) You can see if your cargo bay is full by looking at the lower left corner of the screen, in the toolbar with Map, Artifacts, Alien Encounters, etc on it. Clicking there (or pressing the "C" key) will display a window which shows exactly how much you have of each type of possible junk, and also lets you upgrade the cargo bay or eject your junk.
When you recycle junk into refined materials, the space in your Cargo Bay becomes available again, because refined materials do not take up any space in your cargo bay.
The cargo window also has a button "eject cargo". If you eject your cargo, then all of your junk is left in a big pile around your ship, just like when you die (except you don't die). There is no way to eject only some of your junk -- it is all or nothing. There is a delay of 5 seconds before you can pick it up, enabling you to fly away without picking any of it up. Ejected cargo stays around for 60 seconds (blinking for the last 10 seconds) instead of the usual 30 seconds.
When you eject your junk, a small amount of the junk gets lost. (There is a reason to think it's a PERCENTAGE that's lost, as sometimes nothing is lost. And only after 1 or 2 ejections/drops, sometimes (on some things, it has not been tested) stuff will disappear. Sometimes this happens sooner.)
The main reason to eject cargo is if you picked up someone else's junk after they died, but it was a mistake or you thought they weren't coming back. If you want to give them back their junk that you stole, you can use "eject cargo". Of course this also ejects all of your own junk that you didn't steal, so you can either contribute it to the other player as a kind of apology, or you can collect some of it yourself and leave the rest for the other player. Note that this method does not work for artifacts or crates that were stolen by mistake.
The only other reason (very uncommon) to eject cargo is just to free up some space in your cargo bay so you can pick up more valuable junk. For example if your cargo bay is full but you see some advanced data chips lying around, you could eject your junk, pick up the advanced data chips, and then pick up what you can of your ejected junk. In general you should never need to do this -- always visit a recycling station when your cargo bay is getting full. Also upgrade you Cargo Capacity to max. First thing!
When you die, you lose all your space junk. (This is another reason you should recycle it -- refined materials are not lost.) To avoid losing your junk when you die, you can buy Cargo Protection, also included in the Supporter Package.
Your junk is left in a big pile at the location where you died, the same as if you had ejected it (it lasts for 60 seconds, and some of it gets lost). Unfriendly players will steal it from you; friendly players will leave it for you to collect after you respawn. If you respawn close to where you died, you can go back and recollect most of your junk before it disappears. Your place of death is marked with a skull and crossbones on the map so you can find your junk there. Since you respawn at the last visited safe-zone, it can be useful to visit one near dangerous encounters before heading into them, so when you respawn you are not too far from your place of death. If it is valuable cargo and you can't make it back within the 60-second limit, and/or you're worried someone else will steal it, upon death you can pay 3 Flux to teleport back to your place-of-death.
Types of Space Junk
| Approximate Average Recycle Value
(actual value varies randomly around this average)
|Type of Junk||Steel|| Hydrogen
|Iridium||Sum ∑|| (estimates
|Rarity||Where to Farm|
|Hydrogen Spill||1||1||0||0||2.0||(3k)||Common||Antor systems, Mari, Kaludon|
|Big Metal Scrap||12.5||0||0||0.1||12.6||(6k)||Common||Mitrilion and Cynapsian Dread Moths|
|Toxic Waste||2||0||1.5||0.4||3.9||(8k)||Common||Gellan systems|
|Radiated Junk||2.5||0||0||2||4.5||(9k)||Common||Gellan systems|
|Fusion Core||3.5||3.2||1.3||0||8.0||(439)||Uncommon||Mandrom, Roskur|
|Engine Part||7.5||2.7||1.6||1.5||13.3||(780)||Uncommon||Daren, Roskur|
|Core Charge||8||0||3||1||12.0||(685)||Uncommon||Pirate Bay, Roskur|
|Bug Leg||6||3||5.5||1||15.5||(1635)||Uncommon||Hozar, and for higher levels, Fulzar right side.|
|Simple Data Chip||11||5||0||0||16.0||(11)||Uncommon||Bosses, Minibosses, Missions ,Arborea|
|Medium Data Chip||12.5||5.7||0||0.2||18.4||(201)||Uncommon||Bosses, Minibosses, Missions, Cynapsian Dread Moths|
|Advanced Data Chip||17||3||4||2||26.0||(44)||Rare||Bosses, Minibosses, Missions, Advanced Spawner, Fulzar|
|Heart||0||1.5||2.5||0||4.0||(2k)||Mission Only||The Sacrifice|
|Hydrogen Oscillator||21||17.7||0||6.4||45.1||(107)||Rare||Fulzar Left (from Aureus Judicator,Aureus Sidus and executor )|
|Bionic Implant||12.8||3||-||5.9||21.7||(117)||Rare||Fulzar Right|
|Genetic Control Implant||6||3||5.5||0||14.5||(?)||Very Rare||Bionic Queen|
|Brain Tissue||-||0||25||0||25||(?)||Rare||Mother Brain only|
|Polyhedric Fabric||13.9||0||4.5||5.5||23.9||(102)||Very Rare||Fulzar Left|
|Phase Crystal||0||8674.6||8879.9||0||~18k||(10)||Extremely Rare||Admiral Zhersis only (2-10 per kill)|
Note: The numbers in the table are estimates based on keeping records and observing the average total material obtained from recycling large amounts of junk (specifically, the amount shown under "(estimates based on)"). There is much variance (random fluctuations) in the amount of material you get from recycling, especially noticeable when recycling smaller amounts of junk. This variance has not yet been analyzed.