Adrian Willings, Contributing Editor
This page was translated using AI and machine learning.
(Pocket-lint) – No Mans Sky originally launched with promise in 2016, but many felt underwhelmed and grumbled about the lack of multiplayer options.
Recently, a major update arrived in the form of No Mans Sky Next. This new version adds a number of changes to the game that are worth picking up and diving into (or back if you bought it before and felt disappointed).
With multiplayer options, improved space stations, enhanced freighter and frigate systems, and more available, the game is suddenly a lot more appealing.
With 18 trillion procedurally generated planets to explore, the No Mans Sky universe seems a bit intimidating at first. To help you get started on your space adventures, we’ve put together this guide to the best ways to get ahead. Tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your explorations and avoid dying too soon.
Getting Started with No Mans Sky
If you start in the No Mans Sky universe, you’ll find yourself alone on a planet in the deep, dark depths of space. Planets are procedurally generated, which means that the one you stand on is completely different from the one every other player starts on. It also means that where your game starts is hit and miss.
If you found out you started on an evil planet that immediately tried to kill you, our first tip would be to start again. We were in a world where high levels of radiation immediately depleted our life force. Creating a new save and starting a new game moved us to a more hospitable planet and made for a much less frustrating beginning.
However, there are dangers everywhere – acid rain, ambient radiation, firestorms – it pays to learn how to deal with these threats as quickly as possible. Underground protection can protect you from storms and recover some heat or cool down a bit, while your spaceship also provides protection from the elements.
Getting in and out of your ship also creates a safe spot at all times. So we recommend doing this regularly to make sure you don’t become a cropper.
Once you have adapted to your environment, the best thing you can do is follow the story. The game teaches you the basics of gaming by taking you through the steps of gathering resources and repairing your damaged spaceship before jumping out of the atmosphere to explore new worlds.
Minerals and materials are the building blocks you need to acquire to build and power your equipment. Whether your life support systems are working or your spaceship is repaired, upgraded and launched. Gathering resources is pretty simple.
You start the game with a mining beam attachment for your multitool. Use this option to shoot boulders, plants and anything else in sight and collect various resources. Every resource has its own uses and there are some things worth knowing.
When you point your multitool at an object, you can see what resources you are collecting by blasting it. Carbon is usually collected from plants, while ferrite dust can be collected by decaying rocks. Both basic elements can be used to power your equipment.
Watch the power reserves of your mining beam, because once the juice drops to zero, you won’t be able to blast anymore without recharging it. However, if you do this, you have no power – don’t panic. You can collect carbon by making plants melee with your tool. Move to the next plant to hit it and collect carbon. Then charge your weapon. This is not as efficient and takes longer to produce the resources you need, but it is a good backup plan.
Be efficient with your resources
Early on, you’ll learn how to make a portable refiner. This device can be used to convert one type of resource to another. Very often this is an improved version of the basic resource. Carbon can be refined into condensed carbon, for example. Condensed carbon is a much more efficient resource for charging equipment. You need less of it to charge your mining beam than you would need from carbon in its standard form.
This logic applies to almost any resource you collect that is used as power or fuel for your equipment or spacecraft. Collect as many basic resources as you can and process them into a portable refiner to become an efficient space adventurer.
Like your mining jet, the portable refiner uses carbon as fuel, but again, condensed carbon is more efficient for powering it.
You can also pick up the portable refiner and take it with you. It takes up an inventory space, but if you carry it with you, you don’t have to find the resources to build a new one anywhere.
Another tip is if you run out of carbon but your refiner has fuel. When you pick it up, the carbon is returned to your inventory.
When collecting resources, don’t shoot everything in sight. You can make friends with some alien creatures by feeding them. They will then help you find hidden goods and secret places of interest.
Watch out for sentinels
You’ll find sentries patrolling various worlds you visit. These little flying drones are essentially the planetary police force. When they spy on you and destroy things, they come by and investigate. If you keep going anyway, you will soon find that they will shoot you. Don’t be tempted to argue with these robots especially early on, as things will get very bad very quickly.
If you notice a sentry flying nearby and you see that he has developed an interest in you, stop shooting and whistle innocently as if nothing ever happened. Eventually they will leave you alone.
If you manage to alert them (you will see a red exclamation mark), we recommend you to run and hide. It’s pretty easy to lose a sentry, as long as you run far enough and don’t shoot back.
Manage your inventory
As with many other games like this, you’ll soon find that you’re not only constantly running out of resources, but also inventory space. Storage space is incredibly limited when you first start.
You can minimize this problem by managing your inventory smartly. Resources can be stored not only in your exosuit, but also in your spaceship. Resources can be stacked, so it makes sense to spread out important resources in your spaceship and only have the essentials with you.
You can also upgrade your spaceship and exosuit to improve storage once you’ve earned enough money.
How to make money
Collected resources can be used to build and power equipment, but money must be earned to buy better technology and upgrade things you already own. Once you leave the planet, you can use money to buy things from merchants on the local space stations.
There are several ways to earn money. Some are easier than others, but you can start earning almost immediately.
Use your visor to scan your surroundings
One of the first things you’ll do in the storyline is equip a visor that will let you scan your surroundings. This visor allows you to scan flora, fauna and minerals in your environment. Each of these scans counts as a "discovery, When you find new life in the universe. Scanning will give you units – the universal currency of No Mans Sky.
Scanning an entire planet can earn you quite a bundle. Scanning also allows you to evaluate the resources that an item offers. Sometimes you’ll find that there’s actually more to a scanned object than meets the eye, and you can make two different resources from a single object.
At space stations, you can find scanner upgrade modules for your multitool that increase the amount of money you earn with each completed scan.
Find exotic items to sell
All the items you collect on your travels can be sold and traded at local space stations. However, some things are worth more than others.
When scanning with your visor, you will often see yellow diamonds with white streaks on them. These are exotic items worth investigating. Often they are hidden underground. Once you see them on your visor, press the highlighted button to mark them and find them more easily. Then get to work on the gathering.
Exotic items like egg white pearls can be found on poisonous planets underground in whispering eggs. Opening the eggs gives you access to the pearls. Collect as many of these beads as you can carry, as they can be sold at space stations for large quantities of units.
Underground relics like Vortex Cubes can be found on other planets and are similarly cheap.
Making a signal booster is a good way to find items worth exploring. Signal boosters sometimes reveal abandoned buildings on the planet’s surface, in addition to drop pods and alien structures.
Likewise, you can circle the planet with your spaceship directly above the surface. As you scan along the way, you will find several locations worth investigating.
Abandoned buildings are incredibly profitable. Outside these buildings you will find whispering eggs. These can be picked up with your mine beam. This will create glowing cores. These glowing orbs are each around 100.000 units worth, so it’s worth collecting them.
Shooting the whispering eggs unfortunately causes "biological horrors" in the environment. These are angry alien creatures that are not too happy about you shooting their eggs. They are a force to be reckoned with and will be the end of you if you are not careful.
However, they can be outsmarted by simply using your jetpack to fly to the nearest building. You are safe up there as they can’t get you and will eventually give up and dig back underground.
The best way to get the glowing cores, therefore, is to shoot, grab the core, and then fly out of danger until the creatures disappear. Then rinse and repeat until you’ve harvested a nice bounty.
It may seem obvious, but completing missions is a great way to earn units, nanite clusters, and other rewards. You can purchase missions from space stations as long as you have a good reputation with the local population. We’ll cover this in more detail in a moment.
To upgrade your exosuit
You’ll find out almost immediately how frustrating a lack of inventory space can be. To quell this frustration, you can upgrade your exosuit.
Find a drop pod
There are several ways to do this, one of which is on the surface of the planet.
Building and using a signal booster often reveals a nearby drop pod. These pods allow you to upgrade your exosuit once you’ve completed certain repairs by collecting the right resources. Finding and producing the right resources right away can be a bit tricky, as you need to craft them and may not have the right blueprints yet. However, it is a "free" Ability to upgrade your inventory space.
Find upgrades at space stations
Each space station you visit has a number of technology vendors you can visit. These merchants sell upgrades for your suit, ship and multitool. The one on the far left has a machine with a glowing hologram. If you do this, you will have the opportunity to purchase an exosuit upgrade in exchange for units.
You can repeat this process at every space station you visit – ie a new upgrade for every system you visit. However, they become more expensive with each purchase – 10.000 units for the first, 20.000 for the second, 30.000 for the third, etc.
Upgrades for your exosuit can also be found and purchased from some merchants in exchange for nanitclusters.
Upgrade high capacity memory
Not only can you upgrade your main inventory in your exosuit, but you can also use the upgrades you earn to add slots to your cargo stash in your exosuit. These are high capacity storage spaces that can hold more materials than a standard inventory. The upgrade is more expensive, but worth doing if you want to horde masses of a particular resource.
On the exosuit screen you will see three slots – inventory, cargo and technology. Just select cargo and spend your upgrade point there instead. You can then transfer resources to this slot for easy high capacity storage.
How to earn nanitclusters
Nanite clusters are another form of currency that can be used to buy upgrades at space stations and create blueprints to make your own upgrades. These upgrades can be used to improve your spaceship, exosuit and multitool. So they are worth a visit.
Scanning and uploading your discoveries
We already mentioned that using your visor to scan flora, fauna and minerals on a planet earns you units. What the game doesn’t tell you is that this process can also earn you some nanite clusters.
Open the menu and go to the Discoveries tab. Here you can see everything you scanned for each planet you visited. This includes all the wildlife, plants and rocks you’ve scanned, as well as places on the planet you’ve come across. Each of these categories can be uploaded to the database one at a time.
When you do this, you get nanite clusters and this is one of the easiest ways to earn them in the game. By scanning a whole planet, even more units and nanites are networked. So it’s worth spending as much time as possible exploring and scanning.
Talk to aliens
When you visit a space station or alien outpost, you should talk to everyone you can. Speaking sometimes leads to small gifts of nanite clusters or missions that can lead to more clusters in the future. You will also find that you can trade with these creatures to give them things in exchange for clusters.
How to make friends and influence aliens
Apart from earning nanitclusters, talking to aliens you encounter has other benefits. Participating in the local race will improve your reputation over time. Not only does this open up the possibility of accessing missions that can earn you units, equipment, and nanite clusters, but it also leads to immediate results.
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