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No Man’s Sky tips and tricks: Your guide to the galaxy

No Man’s Sky tips and tricks: Your guide to the universe

Welcome to our No Man’s Sky tips and tricks guide. We will update this guide frequently, so check back often. In the meantime, if you have any tips of your own you’d like to pass on, please let us know in the comments!

Without question, No Man’s Sky is one of the most ambitious and anticipated games of 2016. Since its first unveiling at the VGX Awards in 2013, fans have eagerly awaited the game that promised a never ending supply of locations to explore, thanks to the procedurally generated worlds. In total, there are more than 18 quintillion locations in the game. You could literally spend your entire life exploring No Man’s Sky and never see everything.

The game is also built around random elements – random planets, items, upgrades, etc – so no two playthroughs will be exactly the same. With that in mind, this guide is a little more general than most.

No Man’s Sky is also going to change over the coming weeks and months. The team from Hello Games has already confirmed that it will continue to add content in the coming months. Given how massive the day one patch is and how it fundamentally alters some of the gameplay, you can expect future DLC to also have a big impact on the game.

Because of that, and because of the sheer depth of the game, consider this No Man’s Sky guide a work in progress.

This article has been updated and will be again.

Getting Started

No Man’s Sky tips and tricks: Your guide to the universe

Although the game is procedurally generated, everyone starts out in a similar situation.

You find yourself on a planet next to a broken spacecraft. You quickly locate the tools you’ll need to survive, and then instructions on how to go about finding what you need to craft the ship and head into the solar system.

How you go about collecting the resources you need is up to you, but there are a few things to keep in mind.

To begin with, you’ll need to explore far and wide. It’s tempting to stay near your ship – the further you go, the further you have to travel to return – but you’ll need to walk a bit to find everything you need. You will also need to keep an eye on the sentinels. Their level of aggression changes planet to planet, but on the starting world you shouldn’t have too much trouble with them. Just keep an eye on the display in the upper right corner of the screen that shows the sentinels awareness of you, and if it reaches three boxes or more, run. Try not to destroy anything in front of them, and don’t attack the animals and you shouldn’t have any issues.

One of the most important aspects of No Man’s Sky is inventory management, and you’ll quickly run into this. You can – and should – transfer the items you collect to your ship’s inventory, but keep in mind that you can only use it if you are in close proximity to the ship. Once you have the resources you need, return to your ship and repair it. To do this, go into the inventory screen, highlight the damaged component, and just hit repair. You may need to craft a piece or to first. If so, just go to an open inventory slot and hit the button for crafting.

Once you have fixed your ship, you can leave the planet behind and continue on through what is essentially a lengthy tutorial as you collect the material to build your hyperdrive and travel between systems.

  • The first thing you should repair is the scanner. It will lead you to everything else you need.
  • Explore the crash site when you first start. There are a lot of good items to find.
  • One of the harder resources to find is Heridium. You’ll need to scan for silicate (it looks like a blue beaker). The location changes, of course, but look for a giant dark-colored pillar of rock standing straight up. It should give you enough to repair your craft and leave a little to spare.
  • When you die, you’ll lose everything you were carrying and respawn at the last save point – either your ship, a beacon, or the nearest station (if you are in space). Look for the grave marker and head that way to collect your inventory.
  • If you’ve collected more items since dying, you may not have enough space in your inventory to restore everything from your grave. If so, the remainder will remain in a grave icon. You can make room and take it or leave it behind.


No Man’s Sky tips and tricks: Your guide to the universe

Throughout No Man’s Sky you will come across aliens, but you will need to collect words to understand them. These words can be found on planets in monuments and monoliths, or through speaking to aliens. The aliens will frequently ask you questions. If you have enough words to understand (or you just guess correctly), you will receive a reward like a blueprint, and improve your standing with that race, which in turn will unlock more options with the aliens.

Speak with aliens often. If they ask for something and you don’t have it (the answers will be greyed out), simply back out. You may want to reload if you choose incorrectly, but it will count as a death against your “survived for” stats.

There are three alien races in No Man’s Sky: Gek, Kvorax and Vy’keen. The better your relationship with each race, the better your chances are that they will help you out with something special. Getting on their good side isn’t too tough, but one race may pit you against another.

  • If you see an alien under attack in space, try to rescue them. It will improve your standing with that race.
  • If you have the option to chat with an alien (it will cost you carbon), do so. It may just lead recharging health or shields, but sometimes it can do more, including offering words.
  • Don’t be afraid to hand over your multitool if an alien asks for it. Usually, you will receive an upgrade or possibly a better multitool.


No Man’s Sky tips and tricks: Your guide to the universe

Throughout No Man’s Sky you’ll frequently come across mentions of the mysterious Atlas. Sometimes this will come in the form of the Atlas Pass, a key with multiple levels used to open doors and chests, sometimes it will be in reference to the entity known as Atlas itself that guides you on your quest – if you let it.

The first time you will hear of Atlas is at the crash site of your ship when the game first starts. You will find an object that asks you if you want to follow the path of Atlas. If you accept, you will be given a few secondary objectives. Some of these might take you well off the main path on your quest to the galactic center, but the game is all about exploring anyway, so what’s a little detour between friends. This path will lead you to planets with monoliths that help guide you to distant stars. Eventually, this will take you to an Atlas station.

When you do reach an Atlas space station, you’ll receive substantial rewards, including a blueprint to make an Atlas Pass. As you progress, you’ll find more Atlas stations offering higher level passes and rewards.

If you choose not to follow Atlas’ path, you can still find the stations, but it is much more difficult – you’ll need to stumble upon a monolith or find a station by pure luck. The other option is to look for a space anomaly space station. When you find one, land and speak to the aliens onboard. One of them may have a blueprint for an Atlas Pass.

  • You can always choose to join the Atlas path later.
  • Eventually, you may run across an alien with an Atlas Pass blueprint.
  • Once you have an Atlas Pass, it remains equipped in your inventory (unless you destroy it).
  • When you reach an Atlas space station, you will receive an Atlas Stone. You can sell these for some good credits, but if you can, you should hold on to these until you reach the center of the galaxy. More details would lead to spoilers.
  • Completing the Atlas path will give give you the location of black holes on your map.


No Man’s Sky tips and tricks: Your guide to the universe

Hello Games has confirmed that while there will be plenty of new additions to No Man’s Sky released as DLC. The developer initially said the DLC will always be free, but it has since walked that back a bit and said instead that anything is possible. At the moment though, the plan is to release new content at no cost. As the new content is released, we will update this section. 

It’s not clear exactly what the new content will bring, but Hello Games’ Sean Murray said the DLC will “make the game about other things.” That will come later though – at the moment, Hello Games is focusing on customer service, which means fixing bugs, of which there are many.

  • Base building and the ability to fly large cargo ships has been mentioned.

Exploring planets


Each planet in No Man’s Sky is unique. When you land and jump out of your ship you’ll see a list at the bottom of the screen describing the conditions. Pay attention, as these reports may save your life.

Many of the planets feature toxic environments. To combat this, you’ll need to keep a constant eye on your suit’s Hazard Protection and fuel it with the respective resources (Zinc or Titanium). Alternatively, you can seek shelter in caves. Storms are also a constant threat on some worlds, and they can be deadly. If you see one coming, take shelter or prepare to take some damage.

As soon as you are able you should equip an analysis scanner (upgraded through the multitool). Get used to wandering around with it deployed and look for things to analyze. These lead to “Discoveries.”

Each planet has a set number of discoveries, and it changes by planet. When you land on a new world, jump to the options menu and look under the “Discovery” tab. There you will find several items blocked out. When you find one of the objects it will appear on the Discovery page; collect them all and you will receive a substantial reward (it varies based on the number of things to find). It won’t be a fast process, but if you want to earn some real credits, this is the best way.

  • You can rename the discoveries and upload them. Once you do, if someone else stumbles across that planet they will see your names.
  • If you are running low on fuel for your ship, keep a close eye on the flora and fauna listings when you land. Some planets have none, and if you are out of fuel you may need to reload a previous save.
  • Using a Bypass Chip on a beacon, then using the “transmission” option can lead you to rare items.
  • You may need to kill a flying enemy then scan it when it falls to the ground. Just be sure to watch for the sentries.
  • Feed animals when possible. Sometimes they will lead you to rare items.
  • Make sure to upload all your discoveries to receive the credits.
  • When you name a planet or solar system, the names will remain. The locations, plants, and animals, however, seem to erase after two weeks.
  • If the sentinels are looking for you after you destory something or kill an animal, not actively attacking just scanning, stand perfectly still and they should leave you alone – as long as the sentinels aren’t crazed to begin with.
  • Moons are generally packed with much of the same stuff found on planets, but they are smaller, and so easier to loot.
  • There are giant creatures to be found in No Man’s Sky, they are just extremely rare.


No Man’s Sky tips and tricks: Your guide to the universe

One of the most frequently asked questions about No Man’s Sky is how the multiplayer works. The short answer is that the game really isn’t multiplayer, it just has a few aspects added on.

Players can come across one another in the vastness of space (there’s even an option to space for other players), but the odds of this happening are remote. There will, however, be online multiplayer Easter eggs scattered throughout the game, and more functionality could be added in the future.

  • The only way to see your own character is to meet another player and see yourself through their eyes.


No Man’s Sky tips and tricks: Your guide to the universe

There are two ways to change your ship: you can find a wrecked one on a planet, or you can purchase one.

Of the two options, it is far more common to come across a ship to purchase. Simply head to a space station and when a ship lands, ask the captain about purchasing it. If you want to shop a bit, wait around and more ships will come and go.

The main reason to upgrade is to find a ship with more inventory slots than the one you currently have. It will cost you though – ships aren’t cheap, and the larger ones can cost you millions. Beyond that though, the best way to improve a ship is to craft upgrades and equip them.

Finding crashed ships in the wild is random, as are the types of ships you can find. When you do stumble across one, you’ll need to repair it, which may require several rare resources (you can always just repair the necessary systems and do the rest later).

Spatial combat is a frequent aspect of No Man’s Sky. Occasionally you be notified of a bounty. Destroying it will earn you a reward, but you’ll need to be prepared. Combat in space can be difficult, especially if you are outnumbered. If you do engage, look for the target icon in front of the ship It will tell you where to shoot – just be sure you are within range.

  • When landing, make sure you are heading for a flat area – it’s possible to land on a spire or other elevated piece of landscape. If you do, you  might have a lot of trouble reaching your ship again after you jump down.
  • You can use your ship to explore the planet without leaving the atmosphere, but be warned: it costs fuel each and every time you lift off.
  • If you are running low on fuel for your ship while in space, try shooting asteroids. They often contain the resources you need.
  • If you see a landing pad on a planet, you can land on it. Just generally head above it, start landing, and the automatic landing should take care of the rest. Taking off from a landing pad won’t cost you any plutonium.
  • Crashed ships tend to have either one more or one less slot than your current ship.
  • To increase the chances of finding a crashed ship, on a planet use a Bypass Chip, then select “transmission.” That will send you to a Transmission Tower, which may send you to a crashed ship.


No Man’s Sky tips and tricks: Your guide to the universe

One of the biggest parts of No Man’s Sky is upgrading your suit, your tool, and your ship. To do this you’ll first need to find a blueprint for the upgrade, then the resources. After that, you’ll need to make sure you have a spot in your inventory, as upgrades take up slots (you can always remove lower level upgrades and replace them with new ones).

The blueprints are scattered around the galaxy, and once you start playing you will come across them naturally – there’s no way to hunt for specific blueprints, but you can go looking for blueprints in general. There are three ways to find them: receive them from friendly aliens, buy them at bases for 20 carbon, and look for them  in cargo drops on planets. The more advanced the upgrade, the more difficult it will be to craft. You may need to buy some of the resources from a galactic trader.

The type of upgrades you use should reflect your playstyle. If you enjoy the combat aspect of No Man’s Sky, work on the multitool. If you are more into space combat, go in that direction, etc.,

  • Early on you’ll find the Boltcutter blueprint, which gives the Multitool a new combat option.
  • If you frequently engage in ship-to-ship combat you’ll need to upgrade your weapons. You’ll frequently be outnumbered.
  • There are suit upgrades on planets, but they are rare and, of course, random.
  • Once you have an Atlas Pass v1, you can open many of the doors in space stations. Some of them will have a suit upgrade you can purchase.
  • To upgrade your exosuit, on a planet use a Bypass Chip and select “shelter.” This will take you to drop pods, many of which contain upgrades to your exosuit.
  • Trade with ships in space stations. They may have items others don’t.

Random No Man’s Sky Tips and Tricks

No Man’s Sky tips and tricks: Your guide to the universe

  • No Man’s Sky has a few bugs, and warping from system to system can often lead to a crash. Land your ship and save before jumping.
  • Reloading a save counts as a death. If you are trying to improve your “survived for” numbers, don’t reload if you don’t need to.
  • You can bring your ship to you on a planet by finding a beacon and using a Bypass Chip.
  • You can sprint by pressing the R3 button.
  • You can easily create Bypass Chips with 10 plutonium and 10 units of iron. You can create and sell the chips for decent money very easily.
  • Spatial anomalies can lead to dead stars. Fly inside to find Nada, and you’ll receive the option to take a shortcut that puts you closer to the galactic center by going through a black hole.
  • Black holes can also be found randomly. Look for an anomaly icon and head toward it.
  • To earn some quick credits, head to a space station and check the trading terminal to see what it is paying top dollar for (designated by a star inside a circle next to the item when you go to the “sell” menu). Speak with ships that come in and see if any are seeling that item. It will almost always sell for less than the station is paying, so stock up, sell it at the trading terminal, and repeat.

More No Man’s Sky tips and tricks coming soon!



Founder and DBP boss. Ryan likes the Kansas Jayhawks, long walks on the beach, and high fiving unsuspecting people.
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