No Man’s Sky: 20 Essential Tips to Get Started

No Man’s Sky presents a boundless universe full of inexplicable worlds waiting to be explored. These worlds defy the laws of physics, showcasing extraordinary plants and animals that adapt to extreme and untamed environments. With an astonishing 18 quintillion planets, creatures, and atmospheres to discover, there’s no room for boredom.

However, navigating such a vast game can be disorienting for beginners. With countless galaxies, planets, and places to explore, it’s easy to get lost or distracted. The game offers little in terms of explanations, leaving players to figure things out on their own.

If you’re just starting out and need some guidance, you’re in luck! We’ve compiled a list of tips that every novice should know before diving into the world of No Man’s Sky.

Get Acquainted with Crafting

No Man's Sky Resources
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No Man’s Sky is more like Minecraft than Destiny. As you explore planets and journey towards the galactic center, your time will primarily be spent gathering resources to build items, upgrade your equipment, and fuel your ship. You can create two types of objects: “Technologies” that you install on your ship, exosuit, or multi-tool, and “Products” that you use to construct new things. Install technologies using the X button and craft with the Square button.

Managing your inventory is crucial in No Man’s Sky. Trade items between your inventories frequently. Each inventory is composed of slots that can store objects, materials, fuel, or installed technology to enhance your gear. Expand your inventory whenever possible, and ensure you have at least one free slot for crafting. Collect a plethora of items while making sure you always have enough space available. Crafting will become a major part of your experience.

Scan Everything

No Man's Sky Scanner Icons
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One of the first things you need to repair in your multi-tool is its scanning capability. You’ll have a visor to identify plants and animals, so make a habit of scanning everything you come across. It may seem tedious at first, but it pays off later. Another important feature is the ability to ping the environment, revealing nearby resources. Utilize this function constantly to discover ship fuel, alien artifacts, and more. Understanding how the scanner works is essential. Not knowing could cost you your life.

Always Carry Essential Materials

No Man's Sky Toxic Protection
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Technologies often require consumable materials for charging. For example, your spacesuit has two primary systems to monitor: Life Support and Hazard Protection. Life Support depletes while you’re outside of your ship, and Hazard Protection depletes in volatile planetary environments. These systems are vital for survival in No Man’s Sky.

Keep your Life Support and Hazard Protection charged to explore beyond your ship’s immediate vicinity. Charge your Life Support with carbon, condensed carbon, or oxygen. Recharge your Hazard Protection by using specific items or minerals depending on the planet’s conditions. Be prepared to find the necessary materials for unexpected situations. Always take advantage of the opportunity to collect carbon or oxygen. You’ll be needing them constantly, and it never hurts to have extras on hand.

Upgrade Your Exosuit

No Man's Sky Exosuit
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While inventory slots are crucial in No Man’s Sky, many players aren’t aware of how to upgrade their items when starting out. You can purchase new ships and multi-tools, but upgrading your exosuit requires a different approach. Seek out shelters, outposts, and space stations to find upgrade opportunities.

Use your scanner to search for shelters or outposts in the vicinity. Alternatively, visit the cartographer on any space station. Here, you can acquire Planetary Charts with Nanites or trade Navigation Data you’ve found. To upgrade your exosuit, look for the Inhabited Outpost Planetary Chart. Ensure you land on the planet you want to search for upgrades, as using the chart in space can take you to any planet in that galaxy.

Additionally, save up Units and visit every exosuit seller in Space Stations. Each space station offers an exosuit upgrade, but the price increases with each purchase. The extra space you gain is worth the investment.

Gather Upgrades

No Man's Sky Upgrades
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Discover the numerous technologies scattered throughout No Man’s Sky. You can find them in buildings, crashed ships, drop pods, and remnants of alien technology. It may be tempting to ignore these upgrades if you have too many at once, but think twice.

While you won’t use every upgrade, some are incredibly valuable, especially early in the game. Consider upgrades that increase your sprint stamina and jetpack power. Improving your mobility and mining laser’s efficiency allows you to focus on exploration rather than mere survival.

Upload Your Discoveries

No Man's Sky Discoveries
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Spending time scanning objects with your visor in No Man’s Sky is time-consuming. However, it’s a worthwhile endeavor, as new discoveries are the quickest way to earn money. With sufficient currency, you can purchase new ships, multi-tools, and avoid the hassle of scouring a planet’s surface for valuable items.

Make use of the Discoveries menu accessed through the Options button. Although it’s not necessary to name everything you find, claiming credit for your discoveries and uploading them to the No Man’s Sky servers is recommended. Uploading discoveries earns you money, and it’s more efficient to upload all your discoveries at once rather than doing it individually. Head to the Discoveries tab and press Square to exit the single planet mode, allowing you to upload all your discoveries simultaneously.

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While No Man’s Sky is not a multiplayer game, your discoveries serve as evidence of your existence to other players. By uploading your findings, you leave your mark on the universe. It’s a remarkable feature, especially when you come up with creative names for planets.

Explore Building Interiors

No Man's Sky Device
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In No Man’s Sky, you’ll encounter numerous buildings during your travels. Many of them contain interactive terminals that dispense blueprints, provide access to the Galactic Market, or offer new multi-tools for purchase.

Some interactive elements in buildings may go unnoticed initially. Look out for glowing cubes or small discs with a blue light in the center. Try interacting with them by pressing the Square button. These objects often provide health or shield bonuses and can even reward you with money or teach you new words from alien languages. As these interactive objects are not always prominently marked, it’s worth attempting to interact with anything that seems technological.

Engage with Aliens

No Man's Sky Talk to Aliens
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During your intergalactic travels, you’ll frequently encounter aliens to converse with. While it may seem tedious, especially in the beginning, it’s vital to engage with every alien you come across.

Talking to aliens serves several purposes. Each encounter gives you an opportunity to learn a new word from an alien language. By persistently communicating, you can gradually understand their conversations, increasing your chances of meeting their requests and improving your reputation.

Additionally, as you become familiar with what each alien faction desires, you can acquire valuable rewards. Aliens often provide blueprints, upgrades, and rare items that can be challenging to find elsewhere. Befriending aliens increases your chances of receiving exceptional rewards and ascending the ranks within each faction. So, make sure to strike up conversations with every alien you encounter!

Check for Save Points and Ship Beacons

No Man's Sky Save Points
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Alien buildings often feature a small tower that players may overlook upon arrival. These towers serve as markers that enable you to save your game and register the location as your discovery. Whenever you encounter a new location, be sure to check for these waypoints. They provide easy-to-miss discoveries that are worth noting.

Moreover, if you find yourself in a tight spot with your ship, like running out of fuel or getting overwhelmed while repairing a crashed ship, search for red ship beacons near outposts. Use your visor to locate nearby outposts. Utilizing beacons or landing pads can summon your ship, even if it’s out of fuel, provided you have a piece of navigation data. If you find yourself too far from your ship or in a dangerous situation, locating a beacon could be your lifesaver.

Embrace Exploration

No Man's Sky Explore
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No Man’s Sky will eventually prompt you to head into space. While it’s wise to listen, you’re not obligated to follow the game’s guidance immediately. Each planet and solar system offers a plethora of things to discover and do. Spending time on a planet’s surface is never a waste, especially if you’re continuously improving your gear along the way. No Man’s Sky is a game where you can go at your own pace. Don’t feel rushed if you’re not ready.

Furthermore, don’t be overwhelmed by the abundance of activities displayed on your screen when you arrive on a new planet. Remember that each planet holds something unique, so take your time and enjoy the journey.

Master the Melee Boost Jump

No Man's Sky One Weird Trick
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Not immediately obvious, but your multi-tool in No Man’s Sky has a melee attack. Mapped to the R1 button, this attack allows you to mine essential resources like Plutonium even when your mining laser runs out of power. However, it has another useful function: a powerful jetpack boost jump that lets you traverse planetary surfaces much faster than running alone.

To execute the melee boost jump, start by running and then press R1 for a melee attack. Immediately after the melee, press X to activate your jetpack. The initial melee attack propels you forward slightly, and when timed correctly, the jetpack activates, converting the boost into forward momentum. As there is minimal friction in the air, you travel a long distance quickly. This jump is incredibly useful for escaping sentinels and reaching distant ledges. It also provides a faster mode of transportation, as walking and running in No Man’s Sky can be slow. However, be cautious when using this technique, as you may sustain landing damage unless you’re close to the ground when the boost ends.

Befriend Animals

No Man's Sky Nice to Animals
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Many planets in No Man’s Sky are populated with various animal species, each exhibiting its own behavior and adding a distinct vibe to their respective worlds. Scan these animals to learn more about them, specifically whether they are friendly or pose a threat. By approaching the amicable ones, you can feed them to establish a bond. On the other hand, the aggressive ones are easy to identify, as they have red paws above their heads. If you encounter a predator or confrontational animal, be prepared to fight or flee.

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Befriending animals offers significant advantages. They may assist you by fighting off other creatures or even provide rare resources in the form of droppings. Developing a positive relationship with animals not only grants benefits but also makes it easier to capture memorable photos using the PlayStation 4’s screen-capturing capabilities.

Or Not

No Man's Sky Shoot Animals
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No Man’s Sky features numerous Journey Milestones that track your achievements, such as the number of robots you’ve defeated, the distance you’ve walked, or the quantity of aliens you’ve encountered. These milestones contribute to an overall milestone rank, which affects your progression towards the game’s endgame.

Under the Zoology category, you need to scan animals on planets in a specific way to achieve milestones. Mere scanning won’t suffice; you must scan every animal on a planet. This task can be challenging, as flying creatures are difficult to scan in the air due to their constant movement, and smaller animals may confuse your scanner. To ensure you find all the required specimens, consider shooting them. Although it may be disheartening to harm creatures for the sake of study, shooting a few will help you complete the roster of animals on a planet.

Choose Your Path Wisely

No Man's Sky Choose Path Carefully
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Before delving too deep into the galaxy, the game will present you with choices. You’ll learn about a mysterious alien race called the Atlas, who want you to seek them out. Alternatively, you’ll be encouraged to abandon the Atlas and investigate two individuals named Nada and Polo. These paths may seem conflicting, but remember that there’s a third option: forge your own path to the galactic core, which is ultimately your main objective in No Man’s Sky. These are the three available paths, each requiring different actions from players.

The Atlas path is available from the beginning and seemingly offers the quickest way to finish the game. However, beware of selling Atlas Stones, as you’ll need ten of them to complete the Atlas path. Each Atlas Stone occupies an inventory slot and can fetch a good price, but selling them may hinder your progress. In case you’re in a bind, you can purchase Atlas Stones, but they come at a high cost. So, don’t sell your Atlas Stones if you intend to follow the Atlas path.

The second path involves an anomaly space station that appears periodically during your journey. The third option is a direct route to the center of the galaxy. For both paths, focus on upgrading your hyperdrive to facilitate your journey. Hyperdrive technology is expensive to construct, but it allows you to jump multiple systems at once, a necessity for reaching the galactic core within a reasonable timeframe.

Manage Ship and Suit Inventories

No Man's Sky Ship Inventory
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It’s essential to know that your ship and exosuit have separate inventories in No Man’s Sky. Sharing items between them brings more significant benefits than merely having additional storage space. Each inventory has a different capacity for minerals and materials. Your ship can carry up to 500 units per inventory slot, while your exosuit can hold up to 250 units per slot.

To maximize efficiency, deposit minerals into your ship’s inventory, as it allows for more storage. Save single-slot items, such as antimatter, for your exosuit. Upgrading your suit inventory early on is generally easier than upgrading your ship’s inventory. Seek out upgrades in shelters or space stations whenever possible. Each upgrade costs 10,000 Units more than the previous one, but you can purchase several before the cost starts to increase significantly. Keep in mind that ship upgrades often require hundreds of thousands or even millions of Units, so prioritize upgrading your inventory space whenever you can.

Also, remember to empty your ship’s inventory from time to time while traveling in space and collecting items. Otherwise, your ship’s pockets will become full, preventing you from picking up additional items during your exploration.

Leverage the Galactic Marketplace

No Man's Sky Terminal
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Earning money in No Man’s Sky can be challenging if you’re not actively targeting it. So, how can you accumulate wealth quickly? Mine the most expensive minerals whenever you encounter them and sell them for a high profit.

Activated Indium ranks as the most valuable find, closely followed by gold. Copper, aluminum, and nickel are also worth grabbing, as you can easily sell them at a profit in local space stations or trading posts. When visiting new systems, check the Galactic Market menu for items marked with stars. These starred items are in high demand and can be sold at a significant markup if you manage to find them.

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Likewise, if you have items you believe should fetch a higher price, try selling them to ships that land in space stations or on landing pads on planets. Each pilot has different supplies and demands, so you might find a better buyer if you linger around the hangar.

Embrace Space Mining

No Man's Sky Space Miner
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While planetary surfaces provide most of what you need in No Man’s Sky, it’s not always the most efficient way to gather resources. Plutonium, for example, is available on every planet and fuels your ship, but it’s quicker and more efficient to fly into space and shoot thamium asteroids that are floating everywhere. In space, you can accomplish in seconds what would take much longer on foot.

Rare minerals like iridium, aluminum, nickel, platinum, gold, and copper follow a similar pattern. Look for large potato-like asteroids floating in orbit, as they often contain more extensive and easier-to-mine deposits than those found on planetary surfaces. Spend some time perfecting your mining skills to maximize efficiency. Shooting space rocks will greatly benefit your overall progress.

Plan Your Upgrade Approach

No Man's Sky Inventory
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In No Man’s Sky, inventory space not only stores items but also accommodates technology upgrades. While it may initially seem sufficient to haphazardly install tech into your ship, suit, and multi-tool, having a plan will yield even greater benefits from the costly technology you acquire.

Many specific tech upgrades can be “stacked,” meaning that having multiple upgrades of the same type amplifies their benefits. To activate this bonus, position your upgrades together in adjacent slots. Ensure that your ship beam upgrades touch each other, engine upgrades are adjacent, and shield upgrades are contiguous. The same principle applies to your suit and multi-tool. You can rearrange items in your inventory by selecting them with the X button and moving them to different slots. To move upgrades, hover over them and press the Square button.

Keep in mind that when obtaining new ships or multi-tools, your organization may become disrupted. Though you can uninstall and rearrange tech, be aware that new equipment may contain technology for which you haven’t discovered blueprints yet.

Maintain an Emergency Titanium Supply

No Man's Sky Titanium on Ship
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While exploring the universe in No Man’s Sky, you’ll mostly be alone. However, occasional encounters with pirates may threaten to seize your possessions.

To avoid getting caught in tight spots, it’s wise to carry a stash of titanium on your ship. Titanium allows you to quickly recharge your deflector shields during a space battle. A little titanium goes a long way, and if your shields fail, your survival chances decrease significantly. Defeating pirates in space battles rewards you with valuable cargo cylinders that can be sold for a substantial profit.

Utilize Grenades for Cave Exploration

No Man's Sky Grenades
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Many players are unaware that the grenade upgrade for your multi-tool isn’t limited to blasting big aliens or Sentinel drones. It can also deform the landscape, allowing you to dig into subterranean caves. These caves often contain valuable minerals such as plutonium that are challenging to find on the surface.

Moreover, grenades can help you find your way out of caves if you happen to get lost underground. If you find yourself disoriented, simply blast a path upward with grenades and swiftly ascend. However, exercise caution to avoid damaging yourself within the blast radius. The grenade technique is far more efficient than wandering aimlessly in search of a natural exit.

Plan Your Upgrade Path

No Man's Sky Inventory
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Inventory space in No Man’s Sky not only serves for item storage but also accommodates technology installations. Initially, it may seem reasonable to place upgrades randomly within your ship, suit, and multi-tool. However, arranging upgrades strategically will maximize the benefits of your investments.

Many tech upgrades can be “stacked,” meaning that having multiple upgrades of the same type amplifies their effects. To activate this bonus, place your upgrades adjacent to each other. Ensure that ship beam upgrades are connected, engine upgrades are contiguous, and shield upgrades are grouped together. The same principle applies to your suit and multi-tool. You can rearrange items in your inventory by selecting them with the X button and moving them to different slots. To move upgrades, hover over them and press the Square button.

Bear in mind that purchasing a new ship or multi-tool may disrupt your organization. While you can uninstall and rearrange tech, acquiring new equipment may come with technologies for which you haven’t discovered blueprints yet.

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These essential tips will give you a head start in No Man’s Sky. From understanding crafting and scanning to mastering upgrades and exploring the universe, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate the vastness of the game. Remember to take your time, embrace the unknown, and enjoy the journey through the enigmatic worlds that No Man’s Sky has to offer.

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