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No Man's Sky guide, tips and tricks for survival and exploration

All our guides, tips, tricks, and advice for getting through No Man's Sky in once piece.

No Man's Sky is an absolute monster of a game, housing - as you've probably heard - upwards of 18 quintillion planets in a near-infinite universe of procedural generation. In fact we put together a video of fifty different planets in seven minutes and found a pretty incredible range.

The sheer size alone is enough to put some off, although that of course hasn't affected some generally strong reviews - you can read Eurogamer's No Man's Sky review here - but even more daunting, at times, are No Man's Sky's systems of exploration, trading, and even user interface. It's a game that, aside from a little gentle nudging in the right direction, leaves the player to create their own purpose and find their own direction - although those who have finished the game do have some specific advice to offer.

It's a noble goal, but at times those systems can be just a shade too opaque, and whilst that sense of exploration and discovery is absolutely central to No Man's Sky, it's easy to find yourself a little far from your intended path.

That's, hopefully, where this guide comes in. This page is where you'll find all of our general hints, tips, and tricks for a smooth journey through the galaxy, and will also be home to our various other guides, from managing and expanding No Man's Sky's inventories to explaining how to leave your first planet.

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No Man's Sky Guide, tips and tricks for survival and exploration

Get off to an efficient start.

The first things you do in No Man's Sky can have a surprising impact on the rest of your experience in the game. Right from the off you'll be given the option to choose a certain 'path', and faced with an entire planet's worth of challenges, resources, and exploration. You'll also need to fix your broken ship; a task that can be incredibly simple or extremely awkward, depending on how you go about it (and what kind of a card you're dealt with your starter planet's environments).

No Man's Sky - How to fix your ship, what to do first, and how to leave the first planet
Repairing your Scanner and Visor, finding resources, and repairing the starship.

Know the fastest way to finishing the game - whatever that means for you

There are multiple ways to 'complete' No Man's Sky. You can follow the Atlas Path, to see where that ominous thing takes you and why. Or you could roam freely, completing all of your Journey Milestones and grabbing all of the games PlayStation Trophies or achievements along the way. Or, finally, you could book it straight to the centre of the galaxy, and see what all the fuss is about for yourself. We've explained all three methods in the links below.

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No Man's Sky Atlas Path walkthrough - how to reach the Atlas Path ending
Explaining the mysterious Atlas, how to follow it, and the rewards for completing the Atlas Path.

No Man's Sky - How to reach the centre of the galaxy
Galactic travel explained.

No Man's Sky Journey Milestones - the quickest Milestones, Platinum Trophy, and how to achieve them
The best ways to max out your milestones, and pick up a few trophies along the way.

Resources often appear right when you need them.

One smart, and seemingly curated piece of design in No Man's Sky is that resources demanded by an NPC or creature for interaction are often available quite close by. In Space Stations, for instance, the alien waiting for you inside will frequently require a contribution of 20 Carbon before they get talking - but there are also a handful of small potted plants dotted around that very room, which can give you around 8-12 Carbon each.

Likewise, wildlife will generally only require elements indigenous to their own planet for you to feed them with, so never feel like it's impossible to make a new best friend.

There are a number of ways to increase your inventory slots easily - even on your starter planet.

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For a game that centres so much of its mechanics around inventory management and resource gathering, you really don't get much inventory space in No Man's Sky - even in light of the changes made in the enormous day one patch.

That being said, some people have already managed to max out their inventories without ever leaving the first planet, and we'll talk you through how to do that, as well as how to increase your inventory sizes throughout the game, in the guide below.

Inventory space: how to increase ship inventory slots, upgrade suit inventory space
The quickest ways to find some of that much-needed storage.

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Take the time to mine those weird-looking resources.

Most planets will have one semi-rare resource that makes a prominent appearance. For us, Gold has been a relatively abundant one, alongside elements such as Aluminium and Nickel. It can take you ten or fifteen minutes to mine entire columns of elements such as these, but even though the yield can be small, the actual monetary payoff is huge.

Take some time out to mine those big shiny pillars when you see them, and sell them on when the time is right for some handy profit.

Retain your starship sigmas when you buy a new one.

Buying a new ship can be a tricky decision, not helped by the fact that they'll often dart in and out of a Space Station before you get a chance to think. Once you do decide however, a handy trick for making the most of your purchase is to dismantle any sigmas currently installed in your ship. Whilst they aren't transferable to the new ship like your loose items, dismantling will at least net you most of the required resources to rebuild them, which makes life drastically simpler for those of you who like to trade up often.

Make sure you know where to get your hands on the valuable Antimatter, essential for crafting Warp Cells.

Antimatter has become a source of trouble for many players new to No Man's Sky, thanks in part to both a pre-order bonus bug which skips players ahead of the tutorial process, and a general lack of explanation of how and where to find it. We explain all in the guide below.

No Man's Sky Antimatter - how to get Antimatter, find Antimatter recipe
Tracking down the elusive material required to power your Hyperdrive.

Refuel your starship easily by shooting asteroids.

Thamium9, which plays an integral part in both crafting Warp Cells and refuelling your Pulse Drive, is highly abundant in asteroids. Shoot them with your ship's standard or mining weapon to quickly add a significant amount to your inventory. There's no need to go hunting down those tiny red plants after you're off the first planet!

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Keep topped up on Zinc by chowing down on yellow flowers.

Zinc is a vital resource in No Man's Sky, thanks to it's ability to repair various technologies, craft new materials, and keep your Hazard Protection ticking over.

We explain how and where to find it, plus what you can craft with Zinc once you have it, in the guide below, with the main piece of advice being to keep a sharp eye out for those little yellow flowers.

No Man's Sky Zinc - Where to find Zinc and what Zinc does
How to find and use the uncommon Oxide for repairs, crafting and more.

You can move faster with this nifty little jetpack trick.

Sprinting and jetpacking give you a little extra speed in No Man's Sky, but on-foot traversal is still pretty sluggish, which can seriously hinder progress when exploring planet surfaces away from your starship. Fortunately, you can gain a fairly significant boost to your movement speed with this little trick: start by sprinting normally, before then performing a quick melee attack-jetpack combo.

When timed correctly, the thrust forwards from your melee combined with your sprint speed, will add significant momentum to your jetpack thrust, quickly propelling you forwards rather than just gently floating you into the air.

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Keep an eye out in the early game for the trail to your first Hyperdrive and Warp Cells.

The Hyperdrive and it's required Warp Cells, which act as fuel, are integral for interstellar travel, so we've put together some advice on how to get them and where to find the necessary blueprints, below - even if you've done a whoopsie and somehow gotten rid of your first one, or you encountered the game-breaking pre-order glitch.

There's also info on the crafting materials required, and how to find them, too.

No Man's Sky Hyperdrive and Warp Cells - How to get the Hyperdrive, Warp Cell blueprint
How to get your hands on the Hyperdrive and its Warp Cell fuel in No Man's Sky.

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Multi-tool and starship upgrades change according to what you already have.

It seems as though you don't actually get better ships, multi-tools, or item drops from getting closer to the centre of the galaxy, or even from achieving a greater amount of Journey Milestones. Players in the community have been able to find ships will the full 48-slot maximum inventory on their first plane, for instance, simply through a means of trading up one at a time.

The theory, amongst fans, is that you get a 50/50 chance of finding a ship or multi-tool that has more slots than your current one each time you discover a crashed starship or opportunity to trade in your multi-tool. It's worth noting, though, that this is all still in theory for now.

Repair your ship for 20 Carbon.

You can repair you starship for just 20 Carbon by speaking to the alien housed inside your local space station. Once you've talked to them for the first time, your next interaction will cost you 20 Carbon and, granted you've not annoyed them, will give you a chance of having the 'Repair Starship' option in the conversation menu. If it doesn't appear, simply rinse and repeat until it does.

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Should you hang on to your Atlas Stones or sell them?

Minor spoilers ahead for the super-sensitive - those who finish No Man's Sky have a thing or two to say about your Atlas Stones, including whether or not you should keep hold of them or sell those rocks for a hefty profit.

No Man's Sky Atlas Path walkthrough - how to reach the Atlas Path ending
Explaining the mysterious Atlas, how to follow it, and the rewards for completing the Atlas Path.

Technology sigma effectiveness depends on where you place it.

A little-known fact about your newly-installed technologies is that their location in your inventory actually affects their strength. Placing the upgrades adjacent to their corresponding tech - so a Reload Accelerant next to your multi-tool's Boltcaster, for instance - will significantly increase the bonus. Form a chain of upgrades to keep the bonus going if you have more than one.

There are two ways to save the game.

No Man's Sky isn't the clearest when it comes to explaining the basics of the game - including how and when you can save. There are a couple of ways to do it - we detail how you can, plus offer a few words of advice, in our guide below.

No Man's Sky - How to save the game
Every way to save the game in No Man's Sky.

There's a definitive way to make money quickly, and the Galactic average is different for buying and selling.

Something you may not have noticed is that you can buy an item at below the Galactic average price, and sell it at above the Galactic average rate, but still make an enormous loss. The average is the average amount it's currently being either bought or sold for, not the overall average.

Normally this won't matter, but for certain items, you can absolutely ruin yourself by buying them with the intention to sell, only to find the Galactic Network buys them back at a fraction of the price.

Likewise, a general rule of thumb is to always sell for the right price - avoid selling at below the Galactic average unless it's a real emergency!

No Man's Sky Money - How to earn Units and the fastest way to earn money in No Man's Sky
All get rich quick schemes you'll ever need, in one place.

There are a couple of ways to turn off your HUD - on PC

The rather intrusive HUD is a point of contention for some fans - our own Jeffrey Matulef called the inability to remove it for screenshots one of the most aggravating omissions on PS4 - however, for PC players at least, there are a couple of ways to get around it.

The standard way is to head into the menus, however when the perfect screenshot opportunity arises, that can be a little cumbersome. Thankfully, modders have already begun working on No Man's Sky, and have introduced one which allows you to switch off your HUD - and remove that infuriating Life Support Systems low message - with a single button-press. Rejoice!

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Your jetpack gets infinite fuel when climbing a cliff.

When you're jetpacking whilst pressed directly up against a vertical surface, the fuel meter stops depleting all together, meaning you can, fortunately, never get stuck in a hole of your own making.

Get extra loot with an Atlas Pass.

You know those locked doors in just about every Space Station, and certain Trading Posts or other surface structures? They often hold some pretty valuable loot, but are locked away behind doors which require an Atlas Pass of some variety.

No Man's Sky Atlas Pass - How to get Atlas Passes v1, v2 and v3
Tracking down No Man's Sky's elusive tickets into locked off areas.

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No Man's Sky is almost certainly going to evolve over time, with creator Sean Murray already noting in the day one patch that more features are incoming soon and Digital Foundry's No Man's Sky performance analysis bringing back some solid, if unspectacular results on PlayStation 4. With that in mind, we'll be updating this guide and the subsequent pages as things change and we learn more along our galactic adventure.

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