Space Stations are NPC-run facilities that allow for trade in a solar system.
To dock at a Space Station, just get within the blue beam of light near the entrance, and a tractor beam will pull your ship in toward the back of the facility, with your ship coming to rest on a landing pad. On either side of the bay are ramps leading up to other NPC's including vendors. These characters sell resources and blueprints, and occasionally offer missions in exchange for rewards.
Do not shoot at Space Stations. Doing so results in a fleet of Sentinel attack ships descending upon you rather quickly. Unless you're skilled at fighting off the combatants, there's a very good chance that your ship will be disabled and destroyed. When a player approaches the space station from warp speeds, their warp engine will automatically shut off before reaching it. Pulse engines can still be used however, and it is possible to accidentally hit the station with the ship.
Once docked, other ships will fly in and leave the station as well. The majority will belong to NPC's that the player can trade with. If desired, players can also make an offer on the NPC's Starship and either purchase for full price, or make an offer that includes their ship in trade.
Each station comes with several features. These include:
- An Appearance Modifier that allows the player to change their characters race and armor design. The colors of the armor and backpack can be changed, as well as the head of the character if the Anomaly race is not chosen. Changing the gloves can also determine the number of fingers a character has.
- The Teleporter. This device allows the player to fast-travel to the player's base.
- Galactic Trade Terminals. These are unmanned terminals that the player can use to purchase resources and other items. These are also located at Trading Posts, and on the player's base if they choose to build one.
- Vendors - These sell Starship, Exosuit, and Multi-tool upgrades.
- Guild and Faction representatives. Players can visit with these NPC's to gain missions.
In addition to the normal Space Stations, there are special ones that appear as a spacial anomaly.
- The Atlas Interface - This was added during the Atlas storyline. To access the interface, the player will need to locate a monolith to change their Atlas guidance coordinates to the Atlas Interface.
- Space Anomaly - This station includes 2 NPC's named Nada and Polo. If the player has reach a specific progress in their achievements, Polo will be able to sell the player a blueprint for a Starship, Exosuit, or a Multi-Tool for the special price of 20 Carbon.
Abandoned stations exist in systems that have been abandoned by it's inhabitants. Their ragged appearance is due to the lack of maintenance, with floatng debris nearby. Instead of the blue traction beam, they will have a red beam. With the exception of two locked rooms, one on either side, the inside will also appear dirty with visible goo in random places. The locked rooms will require an Atlas Pass v3 to enter.