There’s a crafting system in NieR: Automata, and frankly it’s kind of a jerk. There are just a lot of random items you’ll need if you want to upgrade all your favorite weapons, and keeping track of them ain’t fun. And once you do have the right items, you have to cough up the cash on top of that! One of the best ways to keep your pockets as full as your inventory is with machine cores, which especially holds true on later “runs” through the game. How do you get machine cores though, and what exactly are they for?
To put it simply, machine cores in NieR: Automata are your “nugget” items, in terms relative to other JRPG-style games. These appear in the game like other crafting ingredients, but they aren’t actually good for making any specific items or upgrades. But what they are great for is selling. Machine cores have quite a price tag, and the value only goes up as you keep diving deeper into NieR: Automata.
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You can get machine cores through various means: as a reward for a couple of quests, drops from specific enemies, and a sort of general random drop from a wider range of enemies. The two quests are “Threat Disposal” and “Idiot Savant.” The enemies that drop machine cores are the Amusement Park Rabbit, Amusement Park Goliath Tank, Gold Tank, and Courageous Brother. Technically, machine cores can drop from nearly any machine enemy. But the rates are all over the place. The ones listed are either guaranteed or much more likely.
If you sell machine cores during Route A you’ll earn 10,000 G each. They go up to 15,000 G in Route B, and max out at 22,500 G in Route C.