No Mans Sky Custom Ship Color Guide/Info By: syizm


Examples here:

There have been a few posts in the past about how to accomplish painting or recoloring your ships (NOT your freighter or frigates – those are colored from the home system seed – though freighter’s can now be colored manually as well.) This is NOT a guide on how to edit NMS saves – find that information elsewhere! This is simply an outline of the mechanics of the ship customization system that is in the game, but not utilized.

Some background: the NMS save file is in JSON format, and is basically just plain text formatted specifically. In the save file, there are 15 tables in a section labeled “CharacterCustomisationData.” For example, table 1 is your character’s appearance data (colors, body parts, etc.), tables 9 to 14 are the six exocraft, which can be customized, and table 15 is your freighter, which can also be customized.

More importantly, tables 3 to 8 are the tables for your six ships. The save file CONTAINS tables for ship customization, but for some reason it is not implemented in the game. That’s asinine; all of the hard work for this system is already functional in the game, but the simple ability to do it yourself from WITHIN the game is missing. Perhaps in a future update. Though if it is added, expect the available color choices to be limited to the off-colored palette in game. Anyway, adding color data to these tables does indeed color your ship, and other plays do see it in game.

So, each ship has it’s own customization table, and each table has an area for color, appropriately labeled “Colours” – the proper British way.

All of the color data in the NMS save file is more or less handled the same way. You have a “Palette” and several “categories.” Here is an example of a very basic set of color data:


Infact if you copied that in to the table respective to a ship, it would paint the ship red.

Here is a breakdown of the data:


Type is the palette type. Category is always 1 of 4 possible types, and the color data is universal RGBa in decimal/long/float format, with a minimum of 0.0, and a max of 1.0.

The “Types” of palettes are as follows: Paint,Undercoat,Custom_Torso,BioShip_Body,Metal

The “Category” is always either: Primary, Alternative1, Alternative2, or Alternative3

As for the types, BioShip_Body appears to be used for living ships only, and Metal seems to only have an effect on exocraft. Undercoat functions, but isn’t necessary. And, there is some overlap in functionality between Paint and Custom_Torso.

How about some examples. Let’s use a freighter full of Radiant Pillars for testing, eh?

Here is the default Radiant Pillar:

And here it is again Paint,Primary changed red – as above:

You’ll notice that the default color for the Radiant Pillar isn’t actually what appears in a new game. This is because the Radiant Pillar is tagged ‘^DEFAULT_VEHICLE’ in the save file. If you remove this tag, the seed colors as it should. That is, the real colour of the Radiant Pillar is as above. You’ll also notice without appropriate data, the ships turn a weird cyan color. (At least on PS4, where I did this testing.)

Here is an example of an explorer:

Same explorer edited:

That edited explorer has the following data associated with it (excuse the formatting): “Colours”:[{“Palette”:{“Palette”:”Paint”,”ColourAlt”:”Primary”},”Colour”:[1.0,1.0,1.0,1.0]},{“Palette”:{“Palette”:”Paint”,”ColourAlt”:”Alternative1″},”Colour”:[1.0,1.0,1.0,1.0]},{“Palette”:{“Palette”:”Paint”,”ColourAlt”:”Alternative2″},”Colour”:[1.0,0.0,0.0,1.0]},{“Palette”:{“Palette”:”Paint”,”ColourAlt”:”Alternative3″},”Colour”:[1.0,0.0,0.0,1.0]},{“Palette”:{“Palette”:”Custom_Torso”,”ColourAlt”:”Alternative1″},”Colour”:[1.0,1.0,1.0,1.0]},{“Palette”:{“Palette”:”Custom_Torso”,”ColourAlt”:”Alternative3″},”Colour”:[1.0,1.0,1.0,1.0]}],

Here is basically how the palettes and categories work: (Palette, Category)

Primary Color: Paint, Primary
Secondary Color: Custom_Torso, Alternative1
Accoutrements: Paint, Alternative1
Decals: Paint, Alternative2
Details (Fins, Wingtips, nose, etc.): Paint, Alternative3

And finally, here is a link to images showing the Radiant Pillar edited one section at a time – the images are captioned with the Pallete and Category! You’ll also notice some redundancy in the system.

^ there – that’s a break down of each individual palette and category!

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