No Man’s Sky – Beginner’s Guide

No Man’s Sky – Beginner’s Guide

Your spaceship has crashed on an unknown planet, you're low on resources, your life support is running out and there's no fuel to get you out of there. What will you do? You read our No Man’s Sky Beginner’s Guide, of course!

17-08-2016  -  by Thijs Kaagman

Getting started in No Man’s Sky is no easy task. The game is overwhelmingly big and there’s lots of things you need to keep in the back of your mind as you explore uncharted planets. An unprepared traveller could get stuck on a planet with a toxic atmosphere, hostile alien wildlife and aggressive robot sentinels. Here’s what you need to know before starting your adventure.

Follow the Atlas path

When you start the game, your ship has crashed and there’s debris everywhere. Look around and pick up some resources and you’ll soon find a big red orb that offers you some guidance. As a first-time player, I’d advise you to accept his help. This will start a very simple story-line for you to follow.

Apart from offering a bit of guidance as to where you should go, it also unlocks a couple of helpful upgrades for your ship, Exo-Suit and Multi-Tool (which we’ll get to later).

Don’t call in your pre-order bonus

Just a word of advice for those who pre-ordered the game; don’t call in that exclusive space-ship just yet. There’s currently a bug where you won’t be able to learn the schematic for a Hyperdrive once you have the pre-order ship. When you eventually upgrade to a new ship, you won’t be able to create a Hyperdrive, essentially trapping you in your current star-system. Not fun. A patch is on it’s way, but until then…

Your Multi-Tool

Repairing your Multi-Tool should (and will be) your first priority. Once repaired, this tool will be your scanner, your weapon and a way of harvesting most resources. At first, you should use the radar to find some valuable resources to repair your ship as well. After that, look around and scan the local flora and fauna. Each discover will earn you some credits instantly and uploading (and possibly renaming) them will get you even more. Ka-ching!

Your ship

Your first ship will be pretty basic, but it’ll be enough to get you started. Once you get going, you can start looking around for better ships by either finding a crashed one and repairing it or waiting around in a Space Station to buy one off your fellow space explorers. Make sure not to put too many resources into the different parts of your ship yet (like the Launch Thruster or Pulse Engine), as you’ll lose these when you trade your spacecraft for a new one. Once you have a steady flow of Plutonium (the big red crystals on the surface) and Thamium (shoot some meteorites in space) you’ll be okay, but these resources can be scarce at the start.

Your Exo-Suit

The Exo-Suit protects you from the hazardous environments on some planets. It also holds all those resources you find, although you can stack them up in your ship’s hold as well. One of the first things you should do once you get your ship going, is to search for Exo-Suit upgrades. You can find these in Drop Pods on most planets (see below). The first one will be free and every next upgrade will be 10.000 units more expansive than the last one. Every upgrade will allow you one extra inventory slot though, which will come in handy.

Finding upgrades

The key to finding upgrades for your Multi-Tool, ship or Exo-Suit, is to find buildings. These will contain aliens that will help you out or little puzzles that provide upgrades. Almost all of them will also have a Companion Unit analyzer mounted to the wall. These provide craftable upgrades that will take up one inventory slot in your piece of equipment and provide bonuses to your armor or weapons.

Once you start flying around on that first planet, use the scanner to find points of interest. These should point you in the right direction, but also keep an eye out for Signal Scanners, which are recognizable by their red laser that points to the sky. After unlocking them with a Bypass Chip (made of Plutonium and Iron) they can point you to Monoliths, Colonial Outposts, Transmissions and Shelters.

Monolith
At these ruins you can learn something about an alien language. Knowing parts of a language makes talking to aliens much easier, so you’ll be more likely to pick the right option in a dialog.

Colonial Outpost
Choosing this option will point you to an Operation Centre or a Manufacturing Facility. You’ll often have to shoot your way through the locked door (and deal with the Sentinels that will come rushing in to stop you), after which you’ll solve a small puzzle for some upgrades.

Transmission
This one is a bit of a gamble. It could point you to a nearby Beacon that in turn will guide you to an Outpost. Here you can sell and buy resources at a Trade Terminal without leaving the planet. It could also point you to an Observatory, which will guide you to another point of interest (like a Monolith). Lastly, it can mark a Transmission Tower on your map, which could lead you to a nearby crashed spaceship.

Shelter
Choosing a Shelter could guide you to a nearby alien settlement, but it could also point out a Drop Pod. These are really interesting because they provide an upgrade for your Exo-suit inventory, which is really (like, really) useful.

Remember to visit the save point at each settlement. This will save your progress, but also mark the area as your discovery. Uploading that discovery to the server will get you some of those credits you’ll desperately need.

Tips & Tricks

The tutorial above should be enough to get you going on your intergalactic journey. Below you will find some more tips & tricks, to help you have the best space-experience possible.

  • When you scan your environment, keep an eye out for green icons with an exclamation mark. These point to valuable resources like Gravitino Balls or Sac Venoms that are worth a lot of money at the Galactic Trade Terminals.
  • Some planets have increased Sentinel activity. These planets are usually full of valuable resources (like those with the green icons), but picking those up will alert the Sentinels. You can outrun them or shoot them to harvest Titanium.
  • Check the Galactic Trade Terminal for items with a yellow star. This indicates that this item is worth a lot more units than usual. If you know where to find it, you can make some easy money!
  • Keep a close eye on your Plutonium. You’ll need this to power your Launch Thruster and once it’s empty you can’t take off. Getting stuck on a toxic planet sucks, trust me.
  • You can outrun space pirates by entering a planet. Once they start scanning you, immediately point your spaceship to a nearby planet and engage your Pulse Engine. Spend some time on the planet and soon you’ll be able to return to deep space without getting attacked.
  • Place Companion Units (the upgrades for your gear) in your inventory next to the piece of gear they power up, to get a boost. You can place Amplifier Sigma’s and Beam Coolants next to your Mining Beam to give them a green border, indicating the power-ups are even stronger now.
  • Finding all the species on a planet and uploading them will earn you a really nice bonus. Look to the skies and under water to find all of them, as there's also flying and swimming creatures.

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