No Man's Sky Wiki
Photon Cannon
Photon Cannon
Category Starship - Weapons
Type Starship Projectile Weapon
Updated Outlaws
Disambig.png This article is about the current version of the Photon Cannon. For the Atlas Rises version, see Archive: Photon Cannon (Atlas).

Photon Cannon is a starship weapon.


Photon Cannon is the default weapon installed on all starships, and is more commonly used than the alternative Phase Beam. This weapon may occasionally be referred to as a Starship Cannon, although Photon Cannon is the preferred usage.

Game description[]

A destructive starship projectile launcher, the weapons system for choice for the interstellar trader and pirate alike.

Use () to change weapon mode. Press () to fire.


The cannon can be used both in direct combat and in clearing asteroids for traversal.

Combat Properties[]

Base Specifications
Rate of Fire ~7 shots/sec
Time to Overheat ~5.6 seconds
Overheat Cooldown Time 4 seconds

Photon Cannon has a typical range for a starship weapon, having the ability to hit targets from up to 1500 distance units (1500u) away (for reference, fugitive pirate ships will attack the player if they get within 1500u). By default, the weapon fires at a rate of ~7 shots per second and can fire 40 shots before overheating, resulting in a time to overheat of ~5.6 seconds, Upon overheating, Photon Cannon takes 4 seconds by default to recover from overheating.

Despite its visuals, the Proton Cannon is a hit-scan weapon with high lock-on potential, making it the easiest weapon to land hits with against starships.

Photon Cannon deals 120 base damage on direct hits to the following targets: fauna, starships, Space Fleets, and destructible obstacles such as Reinforced Doors (Manufacturing Facilities and Operations Centres). Against starships in particular, the starship weapon deals 4x damage to the rear (resulting in 480 effective base damage).

Photon Cannon deals 24 base damage on direct hits with a full volley to all planetary Sentinels.

Mining Properties[]

When used to harvest a planet's flora and minerals, Photon Cannon has a base mining power of 24 for each shot.


Photon Cannon can be repaired using the following ingredients:

Photon Cannon cannot be dismantled.








C Class B Class A Class S Class X Class
Min Max Min Max Min Max Min Max Min Max

(Damage Stats don't

appear as they should)

C/B 1-2

A 2-3

S 3

X 1-3

Fire Rate 0 1 1 2 2 3 3 0 3
Heat Dispersion 0 1 1 2 2 3 3 0 4
Damage 8 16 12 20 16 24 20 (6) 28 (8) 8 32 (9)

Additional information[]

  • The Photon Cannon was frequently shown in the pre-release trailers, including the reveal and PS4 Explore trailers (see below).
  • Photon Cannon is one of two starships weapons used by NPC starships (the other one being Phase Beam).

Release history[]



See also[]