No Man's Sky is finally upon us after what seems as long as the game's galaxy is wide. Because of its massive scope and scale, it can be tough to make sense of its many features, or even decide how you're going to make your way through the expansive galaxy.
Where must you go? What should you do? Is it best to be friendly or aggressive? In which order must you complete the tasks the game sets you? We've been traversing solar systems for quite some time now, and therefore we've prepared a series of tips to help get you started, so you're prepared for your journey into the galactic eternity.
No Man's Sky may appear quite calm and even innocent, but this universe is not for the faint of heart, and if you want to reach the centre of the galaxy, the game's primary goal, you'll need to complete a series of challenges, and know a couple of things. But worry not, Gamereactor has you covered, and here you can read some tips that'll help you on your way.
Take your time: The centre of the galaxy may very well be your ultimate goal, and it can seem very enticing to go straight for the necessary suit, ship and multi-tool upgrades needed to access the tougher and more hostile planets closer to the centre. However, we'd recommend that you take your time, and really stop to smell the roses.
It's not solely for tactical reasons that we're suggesting you take it slow, but rather because the exploration of the planets themselves, as well as finding new species and remnants of lost civilisations, is No Man's Sky's primary strength. Of course the game offers you some sort of structure (primarily because fans have been asking for it ever since the initial reveal), but the biggest ace up Hello Games' sleeve is the feeling of being present in an expansive and varied universe, with a seemingly infinite number of things to see and discover.
Apart from that, there is actually a major tactical advantage in not rushing to the end, as every planet contains special resources, which you will need further down the road. So, exploring planets thoroughly, and gathering all the necessary resources you need, not only gives you the opportunity to learn about the game's mechanics and systems before the going gets tough, but it also gives you the chance to settle down and feel grounded in the universe.
Always gather resources: The majority of No Man's Sky's gameplay loop may be about exploring the vast galaxy around you, but another big portion of the game is dedicated to crafting and upgrading your ship and equipment. Hello Games has even constructed their very own periodic table, to help you keep track of all the elements that you'll need to upgrade, refuel, and build the tools that you need to proceed. Everything you do in No Man's Sky requires resources, and even moving about and exploring requires huge amounts of Carbon, Plutonium, and Thamium.
Therefore, it's essential that you're constantly aware of the resources you need to upgrade as well as survive, and that you're not holding back with your multi-tool. Yes, the multi-tool itself requires you to mine a certain resource if you want to keep it running, but if you scan the surrounding environment you'll see Gold, Heridium and Aluminium, and you will either need those resources further down the line, or you can sell them for quite a lot in another part of the galaxy.
Mining and gathering these resources, even when they seem to be in abundance, is paramount to progressing when you want to, and it's especially Plutonium and Heridium you need to be aware of, as these are used in upgrades and refuelling, and more importantly will become rare quite quickly if the planetary conditions aren't right. Stock up.
Repair and Upgrade: You don't have to buy new things every time you want to upgrade, even though sometimes that's the best way to go. The trick is knowing what to do and when to do it.
One example where rebuilding would be prudent advice is if you want to improve your ship. There are wrecked spacecraft all over the place, so head to the transmission sites on newly discovered planets and eventually you'll find a old ship that needs repairing. Instead of buying a pristine new craft you can nurse a damaged one back to health, saving you thousands of units in the process.
On piece of equipment that you might want to upgrade quite quickly is your multi-tool, which at first is limited in terms of the slots it has available. If you want this handy device to be as useful as possible, maybe consider splashing the cash at a vendor and getting something that has more upgrade options.
Name everything: One of the more personal and entertaining aspects of the No Man's Sky experience is the ability to name and register your discoveries in a gigantic intergalactic codex. Luckily, you'll not only get the satisfaction of being the very first in the world to discover something amazing, there's also a financial incentive to do so.
Every time you discover a new solar system, a new planet, a new outpost, a new region or a new species, you'll get the opportunity to upload this info to the in-game codex, and you'll receive several thousand units for each discovery. Very quickly, meaningful upgrades will require hundreds of thousands of units, but this steady source of income can quickly get overlooked, because the game never actually asks you to either scan or name anything on your journey.
Apart from the actual economic reason to name and upload your discoveries, there's an immense level of satisfaction when you exit the atmosphere of a given planet, look around the solar system, and see all the planets that you've named.
Steer clear of the Sentinels: The planets in No Man's Sky are wildly different. They may contain dangerous acidic rain, high or low temperatures that even your space suit can't handle, burning solar rays, or even life-threatening fauna. Whatever the case may be, they all have one thing in common, and that's the mysterious Sentinel robots guarding each planet.
These robots react violently if you mine a planet too roughly, or put the planet's various life forms in danger, and when they react, they react pretty hard. The system is reminiscent of the Wanted Level system in Grand Theft Auto. When they have you within sight, the seriousness of the chase is indicated by 1-5 flashing icons on the upper left side of your screen. The more robots you take down, the more icons will flash, and the more trouble you'll get into.
If you've just upgraded your multi-tool, and are looking for some sort of confrontation with these mysterious entities, it can seem very tempting to simply get stuck into some all-out planetary warfare. It has to be said, though, these robots don't yield up any particular resources, and if you survive, chances are it'll take a lot of resources to restore and repair your shields and life-support systems. Therefore, it's more tactically sensible to steer clear of these mechanical beings, and instead focus on more peaceful exploration.
If, however, you're the kind of person that's fundamentally truculent, there's a bigger score for you to target and take down. Out in the vastness of space you'll often see large trading caravans of ships beam out of warp, and these have chunky containers that contain very valuable resources and in large quantities. If your ship is powerful enough, you can attack the caravan. Just be aware that they're very well guarded.
Search for bases: As you might already know, one of the driving forces behind No Man's Sky is the galactic economy, and as you progress through the stars, you'll learn how to make use of it. You'll need to pay a lot to get the necessary upgrades and resources at various trading terminals around the galaxy, and once you're at one, you'll also get the chance to sell your own items for a substantial profit. That profit depends solely on the kind of item you're selling.
One way to get a head start when using this system is to thoroughly look over a certain planet for waypoints, of which there are six on each. You'll see these by using your scanner whilst in your ship once you've entered the atmosphere, and points of interest will then appear as little green question marks on the surface. Some of these points of interest are outposts, and while they primarily serve as save points and shelter from the harsh planetary conditions, they also may contain very valuable items.
Around these outposts you'll find large green boxes, and within these you can find items that may sell upwards to about 30,000 units apiece, which makes it one of the quickest ways to earn cash from the start of the game. This gives you the economic freedom to upgrade your multi-tool and your ship quickly, so it's highly recommended that you go over these six waypoints on every planet you pass.