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No Man's Sky guide, tips and tricks for survival


No Man’s Sky is an absolute monster of a game, housing – as you’ve probably heard – upwards of 18 quintillion planets in a near-infinite universe of procedural generation. In fact we put together a video of fifty different planets in seven minutes and found a pretty incredible range.

The sheer size alone is enough to put some off, but even more daunting, at times, are No Man’s Sky’s systems of exploration, trading, and even user interface. It’s a game that, aside from a little gentle nudging in the right direction, leaves the player to create their own purpose, to find their own direction.

It’s a noble goal, but at times those systems can be just a shade too opaque, and whilst that sense of exploration and discovery is absolutely central to No Man’s Sky, it’s easy to find yourself a little far from your intended path.

That’s, hopefully, where this guide comes in. This page is where you’ll find all of our general hints, tips, and tricks for a smooth journey through the galaxy, and will also be home to our various other guides, from managing and expanding No Man’s Sky’s inventories to explaining how to leave your first planet.


No Man’s Sky Guides

How to fix your ship, what to do first, and how to leave the first planet

The first things you do in No Man’s Sky can have a surprising impact on the rest of your experience in the game. Right from the off you’ll be offered the option to choose a certain ‘path’, and faced with an entire planet’s worth of challenges, resources, and exploration. You’ll also need to fix your broken ship; a task that can be incredibly simple or extremely awkward, depending on how you go about it (and what kind of a card you’re dealt with your starter planet’s environments).

The above guide will take you through everything you need to know for having the most efficient start possible in No Man’s Sky.

Inventory space: how to increase ship inventory slots, upgrade suit inventory space

For a game that centres so much of its mechanics around inventory management and resource gathering, you really don’t get much inventory space in No Man’s Sky – even in light of the changes made in the enormous day one patch.

The above guide will take you through all of the known ways to expand your starship and Exosuit inventories, so you can keep those inner hoarding demons at bay.

No Man’s Sky – tips and tricks for survival

No Man’s Sky’s seemingly unrivalled level of mystery certainly allows for some wonderful moments of discovery – but that lack of explanation can also get in the way of its own success. In light of Hello Games’ apparent love of enigmatism, we’ve assembled a collection of tips for survival and exploration in No Man’s Sky:

No Man’s Sky explained
Hands on with this strange slice of proper sci-fi.

No Man's Sky explained

  • How to move faster – sprinting and jetpacking give you a little extra speed in No Man’s Sky, but on-foot traversal is still pretty sluggish, which can seriously hinder progress when exploring planet surfaces away from your starship. Fortunately, you can gain a fairly significant boost to your movement speed with this little trick: start by sprinting normally, before then performing a quick melee attack-jetpack combo. When timed correctly, the thrust forwards from your melee combined with your sprint speed, will add significant momentum to your jetpack thrust, quickly propelling you forwards rather than just gently floating you into the air.
  • Get extra loot with an Atlas Pass – You know those locked doors in just about every Space Station, and certain Trading Posts or other surface structures? They often hold some pretty valuable loot, but are locked away behind doors which require an Atlas Pass of some variety. You can get your hands on one fairly early on in the game, the first time you encounter a Space Anomaly. Recipes for those tend to appear in the system after an Atlas Interface.
  • Refuel your starship easily by shooting asteroids – Thamium9, which plays an integral part in both crafting Warp Cells and refuelling your Pulse Drive, is highly abundant in asteroids. Shoot them with your ship’s standard or mining weapon to quickly add a significant amount to your inventory. There’s no need to go hunting down those tiny red plants after you’re off the first planet!
  • Retain your starship sigmas when you buy a new one – Buying a new ship can be a tricky decision, not helped by the fact that they’ll often dart in and out of a Space Station before you get a chance to think. Once you do decide however, a handy trick for making the most of your purchase is to dismantle any sigmas currently installed in your ship. Whilst they aren’t transferable to the new ship like your loose items, dismantling will at least net you most of the required resources to rebuild them, which makes life drastically simpler for those of you who like to trade up often.
  • Take the time to mine those weird-looking resources – Most planets will have one semi-rare resource that makes a prominent appearance. For us, Gold has been a relatively abundant one, alongside elements such as Aluminium and Nickel. It can take you ten or fifteen minutes to mine entire columns of elements such as these, but even though the yield can be small, the actual monetary payoff is huge. Take some time out to mine those big shiny pillars when you see them, and sell them on when the time is right for some handy profit.
  • Only sell for the right price – Speaking of profit, the Galactic Trade Network is an interesting beast. You’ll get more or less for the same resource depending on where you sell it, which is indicated pretty clearly through the green or red percentages offered next to the price in the store. Try to only sell your valuable resources at trading points which offer you a better-than-average price – it all adds up, and will make a surprising difference over time.
  • Resources often appear right when you need them – One smart, and seemingly curated piece of design in No Man’s Sky is that resources demanded by an NPC or creature for interaction are often available quite close by. In Space Stations, for instance, the alien waiting for you inside will frequently require a contribution of 20 Carbon before they get talking – but there are also a handful of small potted plants dotted around that very room, which can give you around 8-12 Carbon each. Likewise, wildlife will generally only require elements indigenous to their own planet for you to feed them with, so never feel like it’s impossible to make a new best friend.

No Man’s Sky is almost certainly going to evolve over time, with creator Sean Murray already noting in the day one patch that more features are incoming soon and Digital Foundry’s No Man’s Sky performance analysis bringing back some solid, if unspectacular
results on PlayStation 4. With that in mind, we’ll be updating this guide and the subsequent pages as things change and we learn more along our galactic adventure.

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