No space violence necessary
Your interactions with No Man’s Sky‘s extraterrestrials can be aggressive (B-E Aggressive!), but they don’t have to be. There are more diplomatic space ways of conducting your space business.
Consider, if you will, trading as a means of subsistence. It has all the positive effects of combat, but with none of the political blowback. Nobody’s angry (or dead) after a thoughtful, fair trade.
In No Man’s Sky, a bonus to trading with alien races is that you’ll learn their language. Interactions with other lifeforms slowly grant an understanding of what they’re saying, and, most importantly, what they want. Figure that out and you might have one big payday after another. Keep going back to the well.
The downside is that you have to collect all sorts of resources before the aliens are interested. Blast away at those rocks until you have enough bargaining chips to entertain them. Ahhh, you’re right — it might not be the most popular, but space piracy is probably the most efficient way of getting what you want.