No Man's Sky

15 Essential ‘No Man’s Sky’ Starter Tips

Source: Hello Games

After years of development and a level of hype bordering on the absurd, No Man’s Sky has finally arrived. A space exploration game with procedurally-generated galaxies and planets, No Man’s Sky is certainly an ambitious title; all the more so when you consider that it was made by an indie studio with a relatively small staff. Setting aside whether or not the game is a masterpiece or a massive disappointment (honestly, I think it’s still too early to tell either way), No Man’s Sky is unique in that no two players are going to have the same experience. That being said, every player will be doing the same sort of activities, but the game doesn’t really explain a lot in the beginning sections to help you on your way.

Here are the 15 things I wish I knew before I started playing No Man’s Sky. Hopefully these tips will help you start (or continue, if you’ve already started playing) your galactic journey off on the right foot!

15. You Can Do A Boost Jump

I have to thank Polygon for pointing this one out. Getting around on foot in No Man’s Sky is kind of a drag. Even while sprinting, movement speed leaves a lot to be desired, especially in a game that is all about exploration. Fortunately, there’s an additional way to zip around involving the game’s jetpack. Basically, if you sprint and then hit the melee button and then quickly press the jump button, you’ll do a forward boost jump that rockets you forward pretty quickly. This is a great mechanic for getting over large gaps quickly and the best part is that you can keep doing it as the cooldown recharge on each action is super quick. It doesn’t quite make up for the game’s lack of speeder bikes or other rapid mobility vehicles, but it will make life planetside a much less frustrating experience.

14. Seek Out Safe Areas If Your Bars Are Low

One of greatest pleasures of No Man’s Sky is landing on an undiscovered planet for the first time, but depending on what the atmosphere and temperature are like, actually traversing the planet can be filled with danger. Certain planets will just decimate your life support systems and hazard protection shields, and while it’s relatively easy to keep these systems in check so long as you keep enough red isotopes (carbon, plutonium, and Thamium9) and zinc around, there will be times when you won’t have the right resource handy and may in danger of dying a cold, lonely death in space. When this happens, you’ll want to seek out a cave, building, or even your ship for shelter, as these are stabilized environments and won’t drain your life support or hazard protection. Thankfully, this is only really an issue in the early stages of the game when you haven’t collected many resources yet. Source:

13. Know Which Elements To Keep Around

While it’s generally a good idea to transfer most of the elements you collect to your ship’s inventory to free up space in your Exosuit, there are a few that are worth keeping on your person at all times. The most important one is arguably carbon, as it is not only used to recharge your mining tool and life support, but can also be exchanged with aliens you encounter for new words and other useful things. Thankfully, carbon is in abundance pretty much everywhere, so it’s pretty difficult to run out of.

As for others, you can’t go wrong having some iron since it’s useful in crafting, but it does become less useful as you progress. Zinc is also important since it’s an oxide and can be used to recharge your hazard protection, as already mentioned. It’s also a good idea to always have some plutonium and Thamium9, as these two isotopes are essential for keeping your ship’s thrusters and pulse engine charged, respectively. Source:

12. Yes, Feed The Animals!

If you’re anything like me, you landed on the wrong planet early on and had such a negative experience with the surprisingly violent local wildlife that you now distrust every bizarre creature you come into contact with. Thankfully, a quick scan will tell you whether or not an animal is going to attack you and if you encounter a peaceful creature, considering feeding it a resource of its liking. You will see an interaction prompt if you have the resource that creature wants and if you feed it to them, they may lead you to a nearby treasure or even poop out an item for you to collect. So that’s neat. Source: Gamespot

11. Seek Out More Inventory Slots

One of the most frustrating things about No Man’s Sky is its obscenely limited inventory space. You can and will run out of inventory slots on your Exosuit and ship on a frequent basis, so it certainly pays to try and expand your inventory space as quickly as possible. Sure, it often costs thousands of units to purchase a new slot, but it’s absolutely worth it every time (in truth, it’s probably the best investment you can make in this game). Expanding your inventory certainly doesn’t eliminate the very real problems with the whole system’s design, but it does make it less annoying to deal with. You can find extra slots by using specific terminals, talking to aliens, or discovering drop pods. Source: Polygon

10. Scan And Upload Everything

Scanning the various plants and animals you encounter is an essential part of the No Man’s Sky gameplay loop that can admittedly be easy to forget about, but you’ll want to remember to do it whenever possible. For one thing, it will tell you whether or not that fearsome looking creature in the distance is friend or foe, but most importantly, it nets you cold hard cash. No Man’s Sky is very much a geocaching game at heart, as it tracks every single system, planet, and other discovery you make. Make sure you spend some time actually uploading your discoveries to the game’s online database, as you’ll receive monetary rewards for each one.

The best part is that you can also name all of them, which essentially means that you are lord and master of every single thing you discover. Does that creature that just attacked you look like a “Poophead?” Well, you can call it that! (*Note: the game’s profanity filter might not give “Poophead” a pass, but you can still have a lot of fun with the name game). Source: Mashable

9. Be Wary Of Space Pirates

Flying around space can be a tranquil experience in No Man’s Sky … at least until you encounter a band of space pirates. Although it’s relatively easy to handle most groups of pirates in combat, you’ll still want to be careful that they don’t take you by surprise and blow your ship up, as you’ll lose all of your resources if you die and be forced to return to your smoldering wreckage in order to get it back, much like in the Dark Souls series. Fortunately, if fighting’s not your thing, you can always just blast away to a nearby planet or space station to evade those pesky pirates.

Source: Hello Games

8. The Importance of Space Mining

Thankfully, space isn’t just filled with murderous pirates who want to take all of your stuff; it also has a ton of resources just waiting to be claimed! Unfortunately, the actual variety of elements pales in comparison to what you’ll find planetside, but shooting asteroids is a great way to get a ton of a certain resource very quickly, In particular, blowing up asteroids is a reliable way to attain Thanium9, which is an invaluable resource that is sometimes difficult to find on the ground. Source: VG247

7. Take Time To Check Out Points Of Interest

At first, it may feel like the ? symbols that pop up on your HUD are just leading to you to another useless waypoint that might have a small shuttle pod nearby to loot, but many of the game’s best items can be attained by seeking these points of interest. It can be tempting to want to get off a planet ASAP in order to find another one, but if you’re fortunate to land on a planet with decent atmospheric conditions and tame wildlife, you might as well spend some time there and see what discoveries you can make. There are few moments more satisfying in No Man’s Sky than clearing a ridge in your ship to find you’ve stumbled upon a Monolith tower or a drop pod containing a sweet, sweet inventory upgrade. Source:

6. Bypass Chips

With the amount of information the game throws at you at the start, it’s easy to forget about some of its lesser explained elements, such as the Bypass Chips. They require some Iron and Plutonium to craft, but Bypass Chips are valuable to have, as they let you hack terminals, which in turn show you where to find points of interest on whatever planet you’re on. This is useful if you’re seeking out something specific, as knowing where to go certainly beats flying around aimlessesly and hoping you’ll stumble upon what you’re looking for. Bypass Chips will also allow you to call your ship to your location, which can save you some valuable time if you’ve wandered too far away.

Oh and they’re also a pretty reliable way to farm currency. Source: Polygon

5. Upgrade That Multi-Tool

Unlike ships, it doesn’t take long to find a better multi-tool than the one you start with and once you do, you shouldn’t hesitate to add some upgrades to it. Unlike with your Exosuit and ship, you don’t have to worry about upgrades interfering with inventory space since all of the Multi-Tool nodes are specifically designed to house upgrades. While it can be tempting to upgrade your offensive capabilities, you’ll be spending far more time collecting resources than you will fighting off the local wildlife, so it definitely pays to priortize enhancements to your Mining Beam and your Scanner’s range. Source:

4. Consider Bringing Your Own Entertainment Along For The Journey

No Man’s Sky can be a riveting experience at times, but it’s also filled with long stretches of tedium and can become a bit of a grind from time to time. As such, you may want to consider pairing it with another form of entertainment, such as music, podcasts, or audio books. The game’s synth-heavy soundtrack definitely helps evoke a certain mood, but few games offer an opportunity to enjoy your favorite audio entertainment to the degree that No Man’s Sky does. Plus, the universe can be a lonely place to explore by yourself and a good book or podcast can help make it feel like someone else is along for the journey with you. Source: PlayStation Lifestyle

3. Don’t Rush Into Buying A Ship

It can be incredibly tempting to want to ditch your crappy starter spaceship for the first better thing that comes along, but considering how high the prices are for ships in No Man’s Sky, it makes more sense to wait and find one you really like. Considering you’ll be spending so much time with it, you want to make sure you a) find a ship that has upgrades and features you actually want and b) looks really cool. Next to expanding your Exosuit’s inventory, purchasing a new ship is the most important investment you can make in No Man’s Sky, so you’ll want to make sure you’re actually happy with your investment. Source: Forbes

2. Actually, Don’t Rush Period

Prior to the game’s official release, a player on Reddit reported that he was able to “finish” the game in about 30 hours, which caused many to become disappointed that the game wasn’t as “vast” or “endless’ as they had been led to believe. It’s true that you can achieve the game’s central objective—reaching the center of the universe—in relatively short order, but that doesn’t mean you need to. No Man’s Sky is arguably at its best when you’re just soaking in the experience, so take a minute every once in awhile to appreciate the game for what it is and not what you may have hoped it would be.

Also, you should savor the moments when you land on a planet with interesting flora and fauna. So many barren worlds …

Source: Hello Games

1. Get An Atlas Pass ASAP

If you follow the main objective path to a certain point, you’ll be presented with the opportunity to aquire an Atlas Pass. Here’s a guide on how to actually get an Atlas Pass, but all you really need to know is that you definitely want one. This item opens a number of previously locked doors and items that you’ll find throughout your journey and most importantly, it will open up doors on space stations. Why is this important? Well, you can frequently find inventory upgrades through these doors, which is a much more reliable way to find them than hoping you come across a drop pod while exploring a planet.

Hopefully you will find these tips helpful in starting your journey in No Man’s Sky. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go buy this ship I’ve had my eye on …

Source: Hello Games
Nick Steinberg (@Nick_Steinberg)

Nick Steinberg (@Nick_Steinberg)