No Man’s Sky: How to Fly, from Takeoff to Space to Landing

Flying – No Man’s Sky

As you may have already noticed, No Man’s Sky provides each player with nifty little Starship. You can’t fly that beauty right away though, as you need to do a bit of repairing before it can get up and running. That’s no tough endeavor though, as you’ll just need a bit of Iron, some Thamium9, and a bunch of Heridium, all of which can be found in the area around where you start. Once that’s all sorted out, it’s time to fly.

Flying can be a little challenging and dangerous. There are a few components of your ship that you need to keep in mind:

  • Launch Thruster (Charged with Plutonium) – Responsible for liftoff. Without it you can’t launch at all.
  • Pulse Engine (Charged with Thamium9) – The power to all of your boosting needs. This is what allows you to get to where you need to go in a timely manner.
  • Photon Cannon – It shoots things down.

Taking Off

Make sure everything is all charged up and then you’re ready to fly in No Man’s Sky. To start, get into your Starship by holding Square/X. Once inside hold R2/RT to take off. This takes  chunk of your Launch Thruster’s energy, so keep that in mind. Don’t keep landing and launching thinking that you can do it as much as you want. Make sure to keep a solid supply of of Plutonium on hand. A full stack (100 units of Plutonium) will fully charge a depleted thruster.

In the Air

Once you’re in the air you have some options. You can fly around inside the planet simply by steering with the left thumbstick. The controls are not inverted by default so pushing up will send you into the sky and pushing down will send you hurtling into the ground. If you want to let your inner Star Fox shine you can do a barrel roll in either direction by hitting the corresponding shoulder button (L1/LB for left, R1/RB for right).

Jumping into Space

Once you’re done enjoying speeding around No Man’s Sky’s planets, it’s time to head into space. Aim your ship straight up and hold R2/RT to boost through the atmosphere. If you happen to be on a planet with a ridiculously strong gravity, you can hold Circle/B to give yourself a much more powerful boost with your Pulse Engine.

Flying Faster

You’ll notice that when you’re in space things are much further apart. The same controls apply, only you have access to one more trick. You can use your Pulse Drive to set a direct course towards any point as you fly. This drastically cuts down your flight time (it can take an hour to fly somewhere, no kidding). You do this by triggering boost with Circle/B than holding both shoulder buttons to charge it up (R1+R2/LB+RB).


Now that you know how to fly around in No Man’s Sky, the last part you need to know is how to land (because crashing isn’t as cool). To land, tap Square/X to prepare (this will slow your ship down), then press Square/X again to land. You can land on any piece of level ground on a planet. If you land at a base, you’ll automatically be taken to the landing pad it has.

If you need any more help with No Man’s Sky, check out our robust wiki full of guides and tips.

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