No Man’s Sky doesn’t make things easy, mainly because it’s not interested in giving new players much information on how it works.
You could muddle through but why not learn from someone who has already made many mistakes in this gigantic universe and use these tops tips to help you survive.
Learn to Love Menus
There’s a lot of flying and walking and mining in No Man’s Sky, but you’ll also spend a lot of time in menus. This includes everything from powering up your systems to fixing ships, trading or giving the new planet you landed on a funny name.
Typing things is a bit of a chore on PS4 and it’s all a long way away from the epic adventure we were expecting but just get stuck in because it’s unavoidable. It’s also an element that’s going to be far smoother for PC players.
Upload Everything All the Time
There’s a lovely thrill every time you set down on a new planet with the message saying you discovered it, and there’s also a cash payout too. However it’s not entirely clear that this is just part of the process.
Hit the OPTIONS button and go into your DISCOVERIES panel. Here you’ll see everything you’ve found so far and get the opportunity to rename each planet, creature and plant. But you also have the chance to upload this information to the database, which earns you even more credits. Anything with a red dot at the top left still needs to be uploaded, prepare for lots of clicking!
Transfer Stuff to Your Ship
Your Exosuit is small and puny when it comes to storing things, so be sure to press and hold the Triangle button to send items to your ship. It can store 500 units of common substances instead of 250 which is ideal for keeping more of what you need.
Be warned though, if you’re talking to other ship folk you’ll only be able to sell the items in your suit, so do some inventory swapping if you need to. You’re going to be spending a lot of time in the inventory so just get on with it.
Get a Random Item, Sell a Random Item
In some games you’ll receive rare and wondrous items which can give you special powers and abilities or will have a vital part in some future quest. In No Man’s Sky, it’s all basically junk.
However, it’s often high value junk for traders so if you pick up an items which has no obvious purpose with a description which suggests it's a food or an object of interest to a certain alien species go forth and sell it to the highest bidder.
You Cannot Do Everything - Move Along
Some games are pretty big- like Skyrim or The Witcher 3 which could suck you in for 100 hours or more. No Man’s Sky is inordinate orders of magnitude larger, with potentially billions of years worth of planets to explore. Yes really.
So there is absolutely no way you could explore every corner of every planet or even visit every system, which requires a new way of thinking about a game. This isn’t a universe to be consumed but rather one to explore, to move through at your own pace and decide on your own goals, whether that’s reaching the centre or just cruising around in search of some strange looking animals.
Either way, you’re going to miss a lot of content and that’s OK. Don’t feel like you have to linger and find every species on every planet because there’s literally a whole universe out there to discover.
Don’t Wander Too Far
Getting out on the surface of a new planet is a pretty amazing thing after you’ve travelled light years and thought of an amusing name and walking around is a great antidote to being cooped up inside your ship.
But your player is a pretty frail creature when it comes to extreme temperatures and your health slowly plummets in every environment. Walking is also a very slow way of getting around and if you go too far from your ship you won’t be able to teleport items to it anymore.
Ideally you’ll use the ship to hop from one local destination to another, recharging your health and shield and shuffling your inventory before another scouting mission.
GETTING INTO YOUR SHIP SAVES THE GAME!
Just do it a lot.
Hoard Resources or Die Stranded
Here’s a thing that happened to me- I was merrily exploring an isolated island on a water planet and popped back to my ship after a jaunt. I tried to take off but my thrusters were empty and I was all out of the Plutonium to recharge them.
So there I sat with a cargo full of high value items, pulse engine and hyperdrive primed, health and shield full but I couldn’t take off. It’s a pretty good idea of how dedicated No Man’s Sky is to the frontier experience, but also very frustrating when it happens.
After almost an hour I managed to find a few Plutonium crystals hidden in a cave far from my ship but the lesson here is don’t be me; keep these vital elements at all times.
Launch Thrusters- Plutonium
Health- Isotopes (Carbon, Thaumium9, Plutonium)
Shield- Zinc, Titanium
Mining Beam- Isotopes