ByKen McDonnell, writer at Creators.co
Now Loading's sentimental Irishman. I can't stop playing Overwatch, please send help.
Ken McDonnell

There's a lot of No Man's Sky that we'll never see. There's a lot about No Man's Sky that we may never fully understand. But for everything else, there's an explanation.

The game of 18 quintillion planets has just landed out in the wilds and thousands upon thousands, or perhaps over a million gamers, have already taken to the skies. Your own adventure in the depths of space will be entirely dissimilar to everyone else's, but in order to survive in this hostile galaxy, we're all going to need to understand the fundamental aspects of No Man's Sky's design and come to grips with its unique take on survival.

21 Answers To Help You Conquer Space Itself In No Man's Sky

1. So, what exactly is No Man's Sky?

No Man's Sky is an ambitious space adventure created by a small British indie development team called Hello Games. It's a procedurally generated video game which will create an almost infinite number of planets for us to explore. The player will be the first to see the majority of the planets they land on, along with its fauna and creatures, as the game creates them as you arrive.

2. What should I do first?

At the start of the game you'll find yourself on a random planet. Your starship is damaged, out of fuel and you'll need to get everything working before you can take to the skies. You'll have 4 tasks:

  • Repair your starship

  • Repair your Multi-Tool

  • Fuel everything

  • Take to the skies

These are fairly standard and can be easily achieved. In case you ever forget your objective, No Man's Sky has a system where it reminds you of your current "objective" with a little window that pops up in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen. But we also recommend you take some time to wander about on your first planet, after all, you're the first one to do so!

3. How come I can't save?

We don't know. But the game automatically saves when you do something of importance. The easiest way to save throughout is just to get into or out of your ship. Once you leave your vessel a restore point is created. So, if you die you'll automatically respawn here. Alternatively you can gather a lot of resources or uncover some new discoveries to activate an auto-save, or just save at one of the planets many manual save points. In space you have docking stations where your progress can be logged.

4. What really happens when I die (in the game)?

Dying in No Man's Sky isn't fun. Upon death, players will lose all of their un-uploaded discoveries as well as all of the resources they had on them at the time. Thankfully, all upgrades and units remain.

After you die you'll reawaken at the last save point you visited on the planet, or your restore point. But should you die in space you'll reawaken at that particular system's space station. However, If you die while flying over a planet, you will respawn on the ground next to your crashed ship. Super cool.

Also, like in Dark Souls, you drop your items and a small grave marker when you die. You then need to run back to that grave marker to collect your carefully gathered loot.

5. How do I make the most out of crafting?

Before your crafting can begin, you'll need blueprints. These can be uncovered almost anywhere on the planets you discover. As you get closer to the center of the galaxy they'll also become more advanced and useful. So keep an eye out. But once you have these blueprints, you're going to need the resources to construct your new items, which can be gathered from mining or trading.

  • How to craft: To craft something, select an empty slot in the inventory screen, and pick a blueprint to craft. The material requirements will show. If you have all the required components then you will be able to craft it. Simple.
  • FYI: Crafted components take up the same space as your cargo, therefore you're going to have to prioritize that equipment of yours.

6. What's up with this crazy day/night cycle?

Every planet has its own day/night cycle. It's calculated by the game and depends on the position of the planet relative to any nearby sun/suns. It also depends on the planet's own rotation, so it'll be different everywhere you go.

7. How do I make new discoveries and name stuff?

When a player comes upon a new galaxy, planet, creature or piece of fauna, they are informed of whether or not it's been discovered yet. If it's the first time such a thing has been found, you'll get the opportunity to name it!

To discover a solar system, simply fly or warp to it. For planets, you need to fly into its atmosphere. Creatures and fauna will need to be scanned with your multi-tool, then they can be named. All discoveries need to be uploaded to the game's database if you want others to see them. Just head to a beacon to tell the world about your discoveries. Additionally, it's good to know that rarer or more hostile discoveries are worth more Units. Don't be afraid, traveller!

Remember: If another player comes across a system, planet, creature or piece of fauna that you've discovered, they will see your name as the discoverer.

8. Explain this galaxy map for me, will ya?

The Galaxy Map is the god of No Man's Sky. When fully zoomed out, the player can see the entire galaxy and the imposing black hole that resides at its center. You'll be using it as your primary source of navigation.

Zoom in a bit and you'll be able to fly from star to star, gaining information about each one that's been discovered. Zoom in a bit more and you can inspect individual planets and what kind of world it is. At this particular level, every once in a while a star will twinkle. Know what that means? Another player has made a discovery.

The Galaxy Map is divided into faction-controlled regions, which are represented by varying color schemes. But what are these things, you ask?

9. What's with all of these different alien factions?

There are PLENTY of factions to meet and greet in No Man's Sky. They're all procedurally generated, have their own language and will occupy large quadrants of space. Though it can be tempting to annihilate all the races you come across in the game, it's worth your while to play nice with the aliens. Staying on good terms with factions will lead to better rewards from NPCs, and you may eventually be able to call some wingmen to your side! How do you help? KILL THEIR ENEMIES!

Help a faction defend itself from pirate attacks or by destroying a rival faction and you'll win their trust and undying love (the latter is not guaranteed).

10. How do I learn all these space languages?

When you approach an NPC of a particular faction, you won't understand their language, but that doesn't mean you can't communicate with them. Never stopped us screaming random French words at French people, now did it? However, much like with the French, you may say the wrong thing which could result in the NPC disliking you. So it's safer to know what you're talking about first. In No Man's Sky, all words you don't understand yet appear as gibberish.

Languages can be learned from monoliths which you'll encounter on planets. Once you've interacted with one, some of the words of that language will start to make sense to you. This will give you a better idea of what to say to an NPC and eventually have a full, nice conversation. Though if you still irritate the aliens, they may actually prod you with an electric stick. Real nice, guys.

11. What's this hyperdrive everyone's talking about?

Every ship is equipped with its own hyperdrive. This enables you to travel faster than the speed of light through the galaxy. Some real Star Wars stuff right here. But in order to function, your hyperdrive requires fuel.

You can attempt jumps through space on low fuel, but once you run out, the ship will stop. You'll need to continually upgrade it and keep it fueled as you venture closer and closer to the center of the galaxy. Some of the fuel resources you need can be found in asteroids in space, or on certain planets. You can also buy it at space stations. Take good care of your hyperdrive, people.

12. Where can I fly to with my ship? What are the limits?

There's a lot of things you should know about flying in No Man's Sky:

  • It takes a relatively short amount of time to fly in and out a planet's atmosphere.
  • You will never see a loading time in the entire game.
  • You don't have to use your hyperdrive to fly between solar systems, but it will take an incredibly long time if you do it manually.
  • You can fly across the entire galaxy, seamlessly.
  • It is possible to fly past the "edge" of the galaxy and just fly through the depths of space.
  • It will take quite a while to fly between two different planets.
  • Ships can't fly (swim?) under water.

13. What's up with this game's hacking?

Yeah, so you can actually hack computer terminals in No Man's Sky. You'll need to upgrade your multi-tool in order to gain access to specific terminals, but then you should be able to get passed locked doors to steal some resources or maybe even a new ship. But then you're going to incur the wrath of the space police.

14. How do the space police, or sentinels, come into this? I'm getting a GTA-in-space kinda vibe.

You're not far wrong either. So, you'll have a kind of wanted rating system in the game. Perform actions that the space police aren't happy with and you'll start to be hunted down by increasingly numerous and deadly forces.

If you cause harm to a planet, its resources, fauna or creatures, you'll be attacked. At first you may only be hunted by little robots, but eventually the sentinels could become involved (pictured above). They are a race of self-replicating robots that have been tasked with keeping the planets safe from explorers, namely YOU. They will never harm you unless you upset the balance of the planet, that includes heavy mining. So if a creature attempts to attack you or is in the way, shoot the ground near it. You may scare it off and avoid conflict with some space robots.

15. Is there a photo mode?

There is indeed! Just stand still for a short while and your hud will eventually disappear, thus allowing you to take some snaps.

16. What do the portals in No Man's Sky do?

So, certain planets have portals that lead to other planets which are much closer to the center of the galaxy, and therefore rich in resources. However, you won't be able to bring your ship through them.

The idea of these portals is that a player can accumulate a lot of resources from a further point in the game and then bring them back to help them progress. In order to gain access to a portal you'll need to have a specific kind of weapon and tool combination. Each portal will tell you what you're missing.

17. How does multiplayer work?

Hmm, it kind of doesn't. We've talked about this in depth in the past, but Hello Games want to make it very clear that No Man's Sky is not a multiplayer game. We all exist in the same galaxy and we can all see one another's discoveries when online, but the chances of us finding another person on the same planet, in the same place, at the same time are absurdly small. It'd be like flying onto earth and saying, "I'm on a hill, come find me." So don't think of this as a multiplayer game.

18. What about ship combat, they have that, right?

Oh yeah, in abundance! Each ship in the game will have 1-3 weapons attached, based on your luck with the procedural generation (though you can always attach more later). These weapons can be upgraded in order to cause more damage to enemy vessels and each weapon type has different functions. Some notes on the game's weapons:

  • Lasers are good at melting shields.
  • Plasma is good at eating away at a hull.
  • Torpedoes are used to cause a lot of damage, but are slower
  • All weapons have a cooldown meter if they overheat.
  • All projectile weapons use ammunition which is created by combining resources.

All of the above transfers over to ground combat and ground-based weaponry. Additionally, keep an eye out for the ships that heal other ships, too. You'll want to focus your fire on these bad boys before engaging the attack ships.

19. Can you explain survival and how I keep myself alive?

I suppose I can, yeah! It may surprise you just how much of No Man's Sky is predicated around the idea of survival. You'll need to carefully manage your fuel consumption, your equipment, your health, your suit, everything!

For instance, extreme temperatures can tear away at your suit's shields and if they're depleted too far, your health starts going down too.

Essentially, you're going to arrive on planets that may actually be impossible to explore if you're not ready. You'll need to take care of your equipment in the face of draining life support, depleting hazard protection on planets with harsh environments, and the wear on your mining tool. This is very much a survival game, so be sure to keep an eye on everything and plan ahead.

20. What's the main goal of No Man's Sky?

Even though you could spend the rest of your life trying to see as much as possible in this game, there is actually an end goal for those who want a form of closure from No Man's Sky. The overarching mission in the game is to reach the center of the galaxy. In order to do so you'll need to continually upgrade your hyperdrive and eventually gain the right resources to make it that far.

The center of the galaxy isn't exactly the end of the game, there's still an incentive to keep playing, but it's designed to give those of us that need it a completion point. There will be three quest arcs in the game that players can follow, it's up to you which one you travel along. Decisions you make along the way will impact how the game "ends" for you and which arc you join.

21. Will Sean Murray have dinner with me?

According to Murray's AMA on reddit, yeah:

Q from /u/seanmurrayinsideme: Wanna grab dinner sometime? ;)
A: Sure... where we going?

Have any other questions about No Man's Sky? Let us know in the comments

Source: [No Man's Sky Repository]