With the release of No Man’s Sky on Xbox One the game is finally getting the second chance that it deserves. It notably suffered a controversial initial launch on PS4 in 2016 after its marketing promises didn’t live up to the final product. The game’s biggest update yet, NEXT, means to change this.
Whether you’re just jumping into No Man’s Sky for the first time or have been here since the beginning, you may be confused as to where to begin now. Here are some tips to get you started on your journey.
First or third person
Such a simple aspect can make a world of difference. NEXT introduces the ability to play No Man’s Sky in third person. Your game might start you out in third person by default, but should you want to change your camera view, here’s how:
- Press down on the D-pad
- Scroll to Utilities all the way to the left, then select it by pressing up on the D-pad
- Once the secondary menu opens up, find ‘Toggle camera view’
The same can be done while in your starship.
You’re all alone on a strange planet. What to do first?
No Man’s Sky features a nearly limitless amount of procedurally generated planets (18 quintillion, to be exact) so it’s impossible for me to guess what hazards you’ll face immediately after beginning your game. Will it be toxic rain? Oppressive heat? Radiation? The possibilities are endless, and that’s what makes jumping in so intimidating. It’s easy to think you’ll get screwed by starting out on a bad planet if you’re unlucky. And considering the amount of planets there are, there’s a good chance you just end up in a dump. But fear not! There are quick and simple solutions.
Unless you’re jumping into its Creative mode, I recommend starting on Survival, which is what the game considers its Normal mode. Once you’re set onto a planet, you’ll immediately know what hazards you are dealing with.
You might want to charge up your Hazard Protection System when the game tells you its shields are falling, but your first order of business should actually be searching for Ferrite Dust.
Before wandering around aimlessly, search for small rocks near you. These may look different on every planet, but they’re easy to spot. You’ll use your multi-tool mining beam to gather Ferrite Dust from these. After you gather enough Ferrite, which takes less than a couple of minutes, you can repair your Scanner. This may be the point where you’ll want to acquaint yourself with the game’s menus, but if you’re saving that for later, simply drag your cursor over the Scanner in the multi-tool menu where you view your resources and repair it as prompted.
The bottom left of your screen displays two bars for life support and your exosuit’s Hazard Protection System. Near the beginning of your journey, the latter will be your most pressing matter between the two. Go into your inventory again and find your Hazard Protection Shielding (this should be in one of the first slots in the first row). Hover over it and information will pop up telling you what resources charge that specific item. With your Scanner now fully repaired, you can press the left thumbstick to scan your environment. Symbols will then appear denoting the elements that can be found within range of your Scanner. If you need to charge it with Sodium, for instance, you’ll see a waypoint with the symbol Na.
The same steps can be followed to charge your mining beam. See what elements it needs to charge, scan your environment, and follow the waypoints to your destination.
The gameplay loop in this regard is very cyclical and involves gathering resources frequently. When you eventually make your way to your crashed starship (the Scanner will detect this the first time you use it), you’ll need to find even more complicated elements and craft different materials to get it back up and running.
Don’t instigate fights
This sounds like common sense, but don’t start fights you’re not ready for. You’re already at a disadvantage when starting out and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by enemies who could have been avoided. You might see some robotic Sentinels scanning the area. Don’t attack, just stay out of their way! If you kill one, reinforcements will follow. And if you haven’t gathered enough materials to charge your tools, you’ll be outmatched. Your HUD should warn you when an enemy is near so you can avoid them.
Acquaint yourself with its menus
They’re dense, but important. No Man’s Sky is almost a test in micromanagement skills.
No Man’s Sky contains various menus for your inventory, missions, discoveries, guide, options, and more. Unless you’re interested in the more granular details of your journey or want a more in-depth guide, stick with the menu that displays Exosuit, Starship, and Multi-Tool for now— though the Guide will be useful should you need more specific help regarding its gameplay.
It’s within these menus that you’ll spend the most time during the opening hours of No Man’s Sky. This is where you’ll see what resources you have available, what can be crafted, and what can be repaired. All of the symbols may look overwhelming, but I promise they’re not.
Recover lost items
If you do find yourself meeting an untimely demise, you can still recover your lost items. A waypoint will pop up on-screen labelled “Grave.” Just follow the waypoint until you’re at the site where you died and you can gather any items you lost.
The good news about dying early on is that there isn’t much at stake and you’re not losing a lot of progress.
Start all over
Worse comes to worst and you hate your starting planet? Create a new save file and you’ll be plopped onto a whole new one. You have several save files so you can keep doing this as long as you’d like until you’re on a planet you’re comfortable with.
Don’t be afraid to start in Creative mode to get a better feel for the controls and gameplay before diving into the deep end. A lot of “hardcore” gamers tend to scorn the idea of easier modes, but there’s nothing wrong with wanting less of a challenge so you can enjoy a game.
You’re all set!
When you’re accustomed to the game you may want to know what exactly NEXT brings to the table to its complete experience. For that, hop on over here and read everything you need to know about No Man’s Sky NEXT.
Now go forth and have fun! If you have any other tips, let us know in the comments.