PC gamers rejoice: No Man’s Sky is finally here. You’ve been waiting to explore the galaxy for years now, and it’s time to start exploring the vastness of space – but you’re going to need some tips for getting started. Especially since, in the game, you start with nothing but a crashed starship with no gas, a busted multi-tool, and a potentially dangerous environment around you. Here are fifteen beginner tips to help you get started on your No Man’s Sky journey.
1. Be sure to check your crash site.
When you start the game, you’ll awaken near the crash site of your starship, and pretty much everything but your exosuit will be completely busted. Your explorer’s spirit might kick in here and tell you to start travelling the planet for exciting wildlife and cool resources, but hold on a second.
There are containers around your crash site with materials that will help you out. At best, you may find Damaged Machinery containing blueprints for equipment upgrades. You won’t be able to actually craft the upgrades until later, but once you have the blueprints, you can make them anytime.
2. Keep an eye on your inventory.
If you’re used to crafting and survival games, you may have developed a tendency to stockpile key types of resources. So when your multi-tool says it needs 25 Iron and 25 Carbon to repair it, you might be tempted to spend the extra time to collect as many resources as you can. Don’t do this – your inventory space is very limited. You can upgrade it later, but until that time, focus on gathering the basics. There will be plenty of time to load up once your equipment is fixed. It’s also worth noting that over-collecting resources puts you on the radar of the Sentinels, whose entire job is to keep people from over-collecting resources in one location.
3. Don’t pick fights with Sentinels starting off.
If you really, really want to collect 5,000 iron the same area, you can try. But after a while, a Sentinel will come by and scan you with a blue light. That’s a warning, telling you to ease up on your resource collecting. If you ignore it and keep on strip mining, the Sentinel will attack. Individual Sentinels aren’t incredibly strong, and defeating them gets you Titanium. But they’re probably more than you can handle when you’re just starting out, especially since they can summon reinforcements. When you’re starting out, it’s better to just heed the warning and walk away.
4. Feed the animals.
There’s a good chance you’ll find friendly animals on your first planet, and they probably eat something that’s readily available to you – because that’s how ecosystems work. Feeding the local wildlife is pretty fun, but there’s more to it than that. Befriending the locals will sometimes get them to point out nearby resources or even present you with a gift of materials – sometimes rare ones.
That, or you can always just kill them for Carbon.
5. Watch the bottom-right of the screen.
No Man’s Sky handles objectives a little differently than most games. Because they don’t want to pull you away from the exploration aspect of the game, there is no quest map. Waypoint markers are mostly just to mark points of interest, not critical path points. What there is, however, is a message that pops up in the lower-right portion of your screen, reminding you of what your main objective is. If you ever get so caught up in just wandering around that you forget what you were supposed to be doing, check the bottom-right of your screen for a refresher.
6. Learn about the alien races.
It wouldn’t be a space exploration game without alien races to communicate with. You can find Knowledge Stones that help you decipher each race’s language in parts, but it’s very slow going. Sometimes, even if you can’t understand what the alien is saying, tossing a few units their way may be the difference in finding a cooperative new trading partner or not.
7. Don’t forget your starship can hold inventory.
Playing No Man’s Sky is a constant battle against inventory space, so it’s good to know that your starship has a storage hold. And it’s generally about twice as big as what you can carry. Better yet, you can just teleport your stuff from your inventory to your ship’s inventory, even if you’re way out in the field.
This is the important part: teleportation doesn’t work both ways. Make sure you won’t immediately need whatever you’re sending back to your ship – once you’ve sent something, you’ll have to go back to your ship to get it.
Also very important: if you’re trading for a new starship, take your resources out of your ship first. Otherwise, the alien you trade with will assume your cargo hold is just part of the deal.
8. Tag your discoveries.
Once you’ve repaired your multi-tool, you’ll re-gain access to the Analysis Visor. While the galactic discoveries in the game (planets and star systems) tag automatically just by entering them, flora and fauna are a little bit different. You’ll need to zoom in on new discoveries with your Analysis Visor to tag them. Doing this not only lets you name your discoveries, but it also allows you to upload your discoveries to the Library, which is one of the most reliable ways to earn money in the early game.
9. Keep track of your ship.
Should you get a little too far from your landing site and forget where you left your ship, don’t worry. There is a little line at the top your your screen that will help you navigate. Keep turning until you see a white blip on the radar. That’s most likely your ship.
That being said, make sure you’re reasonably equipped before you explore out so far that you lose sight of your home base. The extreme elements of each planet can quickly eat away at your suit’s resistances and make your life miserable – and short.
10. Learn how to fly.
Once you’ve repaired and refueled your starship, you can fly it, either in-atmosphere or out into space. There’s no special button that lets you go to space: it’s the same as flying normally. If you want to escape the atmosphere and get out into space, you’ll want to pay attention to a small display that shows your bearing. You want to tilt your spaceship until you’re heading at about 90 degrees. Get there, hold it, put on the jets, and then boom. Space.
11. Upgrade or replace everything.
Your suit, ship, and multi-tool have one thing in common when you start out: they’re all trash, and you should upgrade them as soon as you can. You can upgrade your exosuit with companion units. Go for the storage upgrades first, it’ll make all the others easier. Your starting multi-tool, with only six equipment slots, isn’t even worth upgrading. Invest in a brand new one with more slots as soon as you can by trading for it at a nearby space station. For starships, you can either spend the units to buy a new one at a space station, or look for a wrecked one by checking out transmissions on different planets. You can rebuild wrecked ships the same as you did your starter ship, and there’s a very good chance they’ll be an upgrade from your starter.
12. Be smart with your exosuit.
Your exosuit’s health will decrease as you explore planets. You can use red isotope materials to keep your suit’s health topped off and yellow oxide materials for your suit’s shield. Also, don’t jump into water without first upgrading your suit, or you may just drown.
13. Asteroids are fuel.
Once you get out into space, fuel for your pulse engine is easy enough to find. Just find the nearest cluster of asteroids and start shooting. Soon enough, you’ll find yourself practically swimming in Thamium9, which you can then use to continue your star-hopping journey.
14. Escape the elements with caves.
Most planets that we’ve seen in No Man’s Sky have ravines and caverns that can be explored, with some incredible results. On planets where the surface temperature makes it hard not to freeze or burn to death, those caverns can be very useful, as their temperatures are far more moderate and being down there usually lets you recover your suit’s thermal resistance.
15. Trade at space stations.
When you get to your first space station, the first thing to do is go inside and have a look at what’s in the shop. The second thing to do is to talk to the other ships that fly in and out while you’re there. If you have a savvy business sense, you’ll notice that some aliens will buy stuff from you at twice its normal cost. This is a quick way to make units, especially if you end up picking up valuable Trade Commodities for sale.
To trade with a ship – or the alien in that ship – just walk up to it in the hangar and interact with it. From this screen, you can buy, sell, and even buy the ship itself if you want.
Looking for more beginner tips? You can learn more on the No Man’s Sky Wiki page, and even submit your own tricks to share with other players.