Aside from the Research and Development options to create new armors and weapons, Mass Effect Andromeda allows the player to upgrade the NOMAD. Despite the fact that you can easily skip this part, as you can move around the planets without investing in any upgrades, some of them are extremely valuable and can significantly increase the overall experience.
The only problem with those upgrades is their cost, especially during the early game, when you lack the crafting materials all the time. This is why you should focus on upgrading the most useful aspects of the NOMAD, ignoring, or postponing (until you have enough materials) the rest. The ones that you should upgrade are as follows:
- Improved Boost - significantly improves the booster of the NOMAD, increasing the time it can remain active before recharging. AS you can imagine, this will allow you to increase the overall speed of the vehicle.
- Supercharged Boost - a more powerful version of the above described upgrade.
- Improved Suspension (4WD) - increases the maximum speed of the NOMAD in four-wheel mode, the one in which the vehicle is faster on even ground, but incapable of driving uphill.
- Supplemental Life Support - increases the effectiveness of the NOMAD's life support system, allowing you to traverse ever more lethal areas.
- Torque Management (6WD) - increases the maximum speed of the NOMAD in six-wheel mode, the one in which the vehicle moves slower but has no problems going uphill.
- Vertical Thrust Upgrade - increases the power of boosters used to perform jumps, allowing them to carry the vehicle higher.
The rest of the upgrades is completely optional and you can easily ignore them - you won't have any problems without them and the resources you will save can be used for other things.