Wanted to type this out, because the info is scattered. This isn't exploiting the game, this is using knowledge wisely so you don't waste your real life time poorly. This is the order you should do these things in, and before you start, make sure you have the bypass chip recipe.
1) First get a boatload of money. Do this by going to a space station in your star system. Upon entering go through the right door (if the exit to space is behind you). Go down the hall and check the galactic computer trade network on the wall and click "Sell Items." Look for what has a star next to it and keep note of it (Usually there's about 3 items that have stars next to them. The star means they are willing to pay A LOT more than the average value for the item). Especially keep note of items that are common and expensive, like Dynamic Resonators. Ignore any weird rare trade items like daggers or relics. If suspension fluid is one of the starred items, do not touch, it's an exception in this case, go to another planetary system. Leave the terminal and go back to the ship dock area. Clear out your suit inventory and ship inventory. When a person comes, buy those items starred items, no matter the price, and repeat until you fill your inventories. Go back to the computer terminal and sell them for MAD PROFIT BRO. At the beginning with basically no inventory upgrades, you can make like fuckin 1.5 mil every 30 minutes. Fucking raining cash, it don't make no sense, pockets get heavy yo. If you change star systems, you can get a wall computer wanting different items. For advanced strategy, go to bottom of the post
Note: Do this until you have about 2 mil
2) Time to max out that exosuit. Go down to the planet. The smaller the better. Get a metric shit ton of plutonium and iron, which is easy to find. Make a shit ton of bypass chips. Fly til you find a signal beacon, which is easy to spot cause it's shooting a constant orange beam upwards for all the brothas and sistas to see. Make sure the chip is in your exosuit inventory. Use it on it, and click "shelter." If it shows a shelter, ignore and do again. If it shows a "Drop pod" do this til you have about 3 drop pod waypoints (any more than this and game gets weird and glitches.) Go to each one, and spend money on the exosuit. MAKE SURE YOU HIT THE SAVE FLAG EACH TIME, or else later a signal beacon may guide you back to it. Each time it adds a storage slot. 10k for the first, 10k for the second until you max out. The total cost is going to be about fucking 6 mil to fully upgrade to 48, but remember, with the 2.3 mil you made earlier, you can get to like the 30's of inventory slots, and when you go back to the trading port to trade, you can carry A LOT more per haul and make about 2-4 mil per half hour. So don't worry bro. Do this (step 1 again) until your exosuit it maxxed out (48 inventory slots). Shouldn't be long to do this, this guide gotchu.
3) Now to get maxed out ship inventory. Go back to the trading port and do step 1 shit until you make about 2-3 mil. Then, buy a ship that has above 24 slots. Then, use the ship to fly back down to the planet. Remember the bypass chips? you need one or two again. Aside from bypass chips, you don't need crack shit except those and plutonium/iron. Find the orange signal beacons again, but this time choose "transmission." You either will get an Observatory, beacon, or a Transmission Tower. When you get a single transmission tower. Go there and solve the code. If you can't solve it go here. After you solve it, it'll either show you a path to a shelter or a "crashed ship." IF AT A GEK TRANSMISSION TOWER DON'T GO THERE YET. Simply hit the transmission tower computer again (they give you the same puzzle riddle code...smh...must be a mac..) and get more waypoints for crashed ship. (If you are using the GOG or experimental version on steam, or not at a gek transmission tower, it won't let you use it a second time and you'll have to find another transmission tower). DON'T GET MORE THAN 3 FOR THIS (because game gets glitchey and shit will be invisible. like 4 real doe you will feel like u b trippin galaxy shit when you see the ship shadow but no ship). Each time, the ship is most likely a 1 slot upgrade then your current . Dismantle your ship parts, and swap the gear. Only spend time repairing the pulse engines and launching gear. Might want to unplug headphones cause if the shields are broken the alert is fucking annoying like wtf. Then repeat this entire step until you hit 48 slots (the max). The reason you bought a ship earlier is because this is time intensive and jumping from a 16 inventory ship to a 24 will save you a lot of time.
4) Now let's pimp this multitool to max Almost same shit as Step 1. [Go down to the planet. The smaller the better. Get a metric shit ton of plutonium and iron, which is easy to find. Make a shit ton of bypass chips. Fly til you find a signal beacon, which is easy to spot cause it's shooting a constant orange beam upwards for all the brothas and sistas to see. Make sure the chip is in your exosuit inventory. Use it on it, and click "shelter." ] This time: ignore the results that show a drop pod, and go to the ones that simply say "shelter" or "advanced life form detected." More often than not these are expensive though, so you need a lot of money. Max is 24 slots for this.
HOW TO SPEED THINGS UP: Travel a bit closer to the center of the galaxy. This will cause trade ships to enter space ports for trading a lot more frequently.
VISITING CRASHED SHIPS BUT THEY ARE SHITTIER THAN YOUR SHIP? Happens sometimes, there is a chance that the ship is 1+ better than yours, or 1- worse than yours. Current community theory is that progressing/getting closer to the center of the galaxy increases your chances of it being better ships
HOW TO GET ATLAS CARDS v1, v2, and v3: Atlas card v1 occurs randomly as a space anomly when flying between planets. Using a signal beacon for "colonial outpost" is how you get atlas card v2 and/or v3. When selecting "colonial outpost," you'll either get a colonial outpost or a manufactoring facility. These manufacturing facilities need to be broken into, but they'll have blueprints which have a chance of being card v2 or card v3. The atlas v3 can be used to open up v2 doors as well.
TRANSMISSION TOWER NOT LETTING YOU REPEAT? Seems it sometimes does not let you repeat usage of one computer. From comments it seems like it is half patched depending on what version or console you use (pc/ps4/GOG/experimental) and it may also only work on Gek Transmission towers. In this case, best bet is to make a ton of bypass chips (which is easy, just plutonium and iron which is common) and reuse the signal beacon to get a bunch of transmission tower sites.
ADVANCED STRATEGY FOR STEP 1: Take record of the ships that come into the space station. Usually it's the same people with the same ships. Learn the colors for speed. For example, if you learn that the red ships will buy the item at 100%, so you can quickly sell your shit there instead of hiking back to the computer terminal. I've seen differences between people, so it's best to just learn the colors for your group.