No Man’s Sky may be predominantly about exploration and discovery, but that doesn’t mean you’re wandering the endless expanse of space without fear of harm. There are many threats lurking out in the universe that would like nothing more than to make you regret ever leaving that very first planet you awoke on. Alas, it is up to you to have the drive to survive.
Of course, you do have some means to ensure your survival. It’s a cruel universe but there are different systems, mechanics, resources, and species that will aid you as you make it to the very end (however far that may be).
Before we get into helping you survive, we need to mention that their are some spoilers up ahead. While we will steer clear of any story tidbits, the mere mention of certain locations may rob you of that first discovery. The tip that we feel is the most major spoiler will be on the final page.
When you first start up No Man’s Sky, you’ll find yourself stranded on a mysterious planet with a lot of damaged equipment. That only things that works right away are your Life Support and your Multi-tool. You’ll need to repair your Starship’s various engines and drives in order to not only fly around your current location, but to take to the stars, as well.
This may sound counter-intuitive, but before repairing your ship, you should repair the Scanner component of your Multi-tool. This module does exactly what you’d expect; it scans things in the world (plants, wildlife, and resources). That alone may not sound like much other than a way to gather information, but it’s also a means to gather one of the most important resources in the game: Units (No Man’s Sky’s currency).
Scanning new elements of your environment will add them to the Discoveries tab of your pause menu. You can then upload those discoveries to the Galactic Library and earn money for doing so. The more you scan, the more you earn. With an impossibly large amount of planets to explore, that’s a pretty much endless amount of money you can earn.
Make Sure to Keep a Balanced Supply of Oxides, Silicates, and Isotopes
There are a lot of different elements that you can mine for in No Man’s Sky. While some are special, the vast majority of them are split into three camps: Oxides, Silicates, and Isotopes denoted by yellow, blue, and red backgrounds respectively. Most of the different pieces of gear that you will collect and upgrade require a charge as they’re used. Depending on what it is, it will need either a specific element or a particular type. For example, shields require Oxides in order to charge while most energy-using devices such as weapons and engines need Isotopes.
For this reason, it’s a very good idea to keep a stack of each type. While you will definitely want to leave room for other goodies that you may find, always make sure that you have at least one stack of each type. That will ensure that if you find yourself in a tricky situation, you’ll be able to keep your most important pieces of gear charged and ready for action.
Pay Attention to Clear Warnings
While a lot of what happens in No Man’s Sky is up to you to figure out, there are times when you will have warnings on your screen that you should really pay attention to. Some of the biggest warnings have to do with weather. Planets have a number of different types of weather that can really put a dampening on your attempt to survive. Cold weather, acid rain, powerful winds, and heat waves will deplete your protection and leave your screen going black if you don’t pay attention. It’s easy to think you can last and to ignore these warnings, but doing that can prove detrimental to your life.
Another warning that pops up on the screen and you may not understand the first time is a red paw print. This denotes a hostile animal. If you get too close, it will attack without hesitation, forcing you to either fight or flee.
While flying in space, you will actually be warned of incoming hostile ships. The warning does not mean you’re immediately going to be attacked, though, so you have time to plan your next move. You can either boost the heck out of there and race towards a planet or a base, or you can prepare for a fight. Simply flying around thinking they may not see you will only lead to you watching your ship explode. One thing to note is that you cannot use your Pulse Drive while enemies are around, so if you’re gonna run make sure to do so as soon as you get the warning.
Don’t Break the Law
If you thought that the universe of No Man’s Sky was like the wild west, you couldn’t be blamed. Here is a large, open expanse that allows you to freely explore as you make discoveries and mess with some ecosystems, so who is going to stop you? It turns out that the answer to that question is the Sentinels. Sentinels are the robot police that roam the universe looking for anyone trying to do harm. They’re relatively easy to avoid confrontations with, but it’s also easy to piss them off.
Doing things such as killing innocents, messing with animals, mining too many resources, and opening fire on the Sentinels themselves will get you into trouble. No Man’s Sky uses a tiered alert system similar to that of Grand Theft Auto, where the higher the tier (from one diamond to five diamonds) the larger, and more dangerous, the response.
You can fight or flee depending on how you like to play, though fleeing tends to be the much better option. It’s not too difficult to get away. If you’re in space, just use your boost and flee for a nearby planet, and if you’re already on a planet, make a bee-line for your Starship if you want to survive.
Upgrades Are Your Friends
There are lots of different upgrades in No Man’s Sky that come in the form of technologies that you can install onto your Exosuit, Starship, or Multi-tool. Some will come pre-installed on weapons, suits, and ships you can purchase, but others must be built by you after obtaining their recipes.
Whenever you find a recipe, make sure to look it over and see if it fits your play style. Do keep in mind that an upgrade takes up a slot in your inventory, so if you overdo it, then you won’t be able to carry as much loot. The only piece of gear you don’t have to worry about with this is your Multi-tool, since it can’t carry anything anyway.
Some upgrades that should be high priority for you are:
- Breathing under water
- Beam intensity
- Weapon Damage
- Hyperdrive upgrades
- Life Support upgrades
Anything else should be on an as needed basis.
With all that’s going on in No Man’s Sky, it’s easy to forget to heal. You’ll take damage from a multitude of sources including heights, wild animals, pirates, Sentinels, and weather conditions. Once your shields are breached, your health will suffer making it a lot more difficult to survive.
Healing can be done in several ways. The first is to find plants that provide healing. By using your area scan (press Circle/B while on foot or landed once you have the proper module), you can find these plants by heading towards the crosses that pop up on your screen.
Another way to heal is to ask for healing from certain aliens. You’ll find aliens on almost every planet (though there will only be very few on each). Those that are considered scientists will heal you for a fee.
There are these glowing, blue cubes that appear in certain buildings from time to time. They’re small, and are always sat upon a table. These don’t always heal, instead they have a random effect on the player (always positive). They can heal, replenish armor, or even grant some extra funds, so seek these out.
Time seems to heal damage, as well. So if you find yourself grasping for your last breaths, just avoid any and all dangers for a little while. In time you’ll be back in fighting form.
There’s a driving force behind No Man’s Sky, other than your desire for adventure, that is. Atlas is a mysterious entity that unites all explorers with a common goal: exploring and uncovering the mysteries of the universe. You’ll first encounter Atlas after completing the first few story missions. After seeing your skill and your commitment to discovery, you’ll be invited to an Atlas Station. Here you will meet a huge, technological mind that seems to speak directly to your soul as it guides your adventure through the universe.
This will help out a lot with your survival because you’ll be given resources that can be sold for a lot of money, as well as receive blueprints to keys that will help you access more areas. It will take some time to get to these locations, and quite a few warps, but the rewards are more than worth it. You can use these funds to purchase better ships, weapons, and upgrades to your Exosuit, turning you into a force to be reckoned with.
Need more help with No Man’s Sky? Check out our robust wiki full of guides and tips!