No Man’s Sky: Beginner’s Guide – 5 Steps To Get You Started


No Man’s Sky is a massive game, and it’s tough to know what to do first in the procedurally-generated universe. Put your right foot forward and get a strong start with our beginner’s guide, complete with 10 tips to get you off the first planet and thriving in space.

So, what’s the deal with No Man’s Sky? It’s an indie, first-person space travel and exploration adventure. There are ships to upgrade, planets to scan, and ports to dock at. If you cause trouble, you’ll have to deal with a wanted level. If you’re feeling peaceful, you can start a farm thanks to the day one update. There is no linear path to follow, so let’s all make things easier and browse 10 quick tips to get you started in No Man’s Sky.

Check out even more No Man’s Sky content:

Beginner’s Guide – 5 Steps To Get You Started

The universe is a daunting place. Exploration is the goal, but survival is priority. You begin your adventure with a crashed ship. First step? Let’s get that sucker repaired so you can start your space mission in earnest.

This is only a sampling of our collective No Man’s Sky knowledge. We’ll keep this area updated with any new info that appears, and check Gameranx often to learn more secrets as they’re uncovered. The randomly-generated planets of No Man’s Sky hold tons of potential secrets, and we’re here to provide answers to all your questions.

#1: Repair Your Ship to Explore the Universe

As the game begins, you’ll find yourself with a busted ship and not much else. Your Exosuit is running low on materials, and your scanner is broken. This is where you’ll begin to understand the genre of No Man’s Sky — survival. You’ll need to collect resources and construct components, or use those basic resources to repair what you’ve already got.

To begin repairing your ship, start by…

  • Hop into your ship and check the on-board inventory. Here you’ll see that the Scanner is broken. You’ll need 25 Carbon to repair it.
  • Want to start collecting resources? Use the Mining Beam! There are resources everywhere outside the opening crate. Aim the mining beam at anything that isn’t the planet surface (rocks, plants, etc) to see what resources it contains, then use the beam to start collecting.

Get the resources and repair your scanner first. Why?

  • The Scanner allows you to scan — all nearby resources will be marked on your HUD with icons, making it much easier to locate the specific resources you need to repair your ship.

It’s going to take lots of exploration to get your ship repaired. Just keep walking until you find all the resources required — they might be close, or they might be far if you’re unlucky.

  • Collect 50 Iron and craft a Carite Sheet.
    • Place this component in your ship’s inventory when attempting repairs.
  • Charge the Pulse Engine with isotope element Thamium9.
  • Charge the Launch Thruster with isotope element Plutonium.
    • The Launch Thruster gets your ship off the ground!

Thamium9 can be pretty tricky to find. Don’t forget to collect plenty of resources while exploring the planet. Keeping your Life Support and Shied systems online will keep you alive in even the most inhospitable environments.

#2: Staying Alive on the Planet’s Surface

See all those inventory meters ticking down on your Exosuit’s gear? Or on your ship while cruising through space? You’ll need resources to stay alive in the big black void. Everything is hostile to your hero, and keeping a steady supply of certain resources is imperative for your survival.

  • Oxide elements (yellow icon) charge your Exosuit Environmental Shielding (Hazard Protection)
    • Zinc, Titanium, or Shielding Shard
  • Isotope elements (red icon) charge your Suit Survival Power Pack (Life Support)
    • Any isotope elements will work.

Don’t just mine! Simply interacting with plants can charge your shields, heal damage, remove radiation and more. Test the effects of every randomly-generated plant you come across. The pop-up on your HUD will reveal the effects.

  • And always collect plenty of Carbon! Carbon is useful for a myriad of reasons. There’s more than enough to go around on every planet, and the stuff can help you activate station terminals, recharge your mining beam, and lots more. Keep your pockets full of carbon for best results.

#3: Don’t Forget to Save Often

Save points aren’t totally obvious in No Man’s Sky, but there are several ways to mark your progress.

  • Entering and exiting your ship.
    • This is the most common saving method. An autosave is generated each time you leave your ship, so return to the ship with supplies on hostile planets.
  • Uploading discoveries to Atlas Beacons on planets. Look for a green “?” icon on your map.
    • Stop by these beacons often — scanning wildlife and uploading discoveries nets you huge rewards from Atlas Stations, including new Exosuit upgrades.
    • Each planet features one Atlas Beacon. Keep scanning and you’ll find it!
  • Space Stations always feature a save room.
    • Space Stations are important pit-stops, and they’re often filled with goodies (resources, items, free stuff) and intel on alien factions.


To open the sealed sections at Space Stations, you’ll need a special Atlas Pass key. Search containers (including your container in the opening Star Ship crash site) to gain these useful keys. To get the Atlas Pass blueprint, explore the universe until you hop into a star system containing an Atlas Station. These rare spots are filled with knowledge and items you’ll want to collect, as well as Atlas Pass blueprint access.

Why save often? Dying can be bad. Dying in No Man’s Sky produces a marker where you bit the dust, and transports you instantly to your last save location. To collect your lost resources, you’ll need to return to your site of death.

#4: Make Friends and Earn Big Rewards

Once you’re in space, you’ll begin encountering your first alien life — and alien factions. Alien factions have their own language, and if you want to become a better trading partner with NPCs at Manufacturing Facilities, colonies, Space Stations, or anywhere else filled with intelligent life, you’ll want to pick-up more words and improve your standings with the aliens.

Here are some spots you’ll want to check to learn new alien words:

  • Use the wall-mounted terminals in Manufacturing Facilities to learn new alien words.
  • Colony Bases also feature wall-mounted terminals. Search for the computers to get a word.
  • Some planets contain Knowledge Stones. These tall stones reveal alien words when scanned.

Improving your status with alien factions is also important. Here are some basic tips to follow:

  • Don’t attack Space Stations! While you’re at it, don’t attack Alien factions at all — if you want to be friends.
  • Talk to Alien NPCs; you’ll find them in Space Stations, Manufacturing Facilities, and Colony Bases.
    • Learn the desires of an Alien faction and try to follow them.
    • Give Alien faction NPCs gifts! Gifts are always a good way to improve a relationship.

There’s a reason you want to be friends with Aliens. Space Stations are full of free stuff — you can recharge shields, trade for items, and save your game. Every Space Station also features sealed rooms that require an Atlas Pass (collect more from containers, in Manufacturing Facilities or Colony Bases, or get the blueprint from an Atlas Station) — inside you’ll find tons of useful items.

The upper levels of a Space Station are always worth exploring. You can even purchase new ships at a Space Station. If you’re patient, you can wait in the docks and use your saved cash to purchase an improved ship to make travelling the galaxy even easier.

#5: Even More to Explore

The universe is a big place, but everything isn’t marked on your map, especially as you delve deeper outside the known galaxy. When it comes to expanding your reach in the galaxy, you’ll need to upgrade your ship and conserve plenty of Warp Cells.

  • Warp Cells are an extremely valuable resource. Without them, you can’t make jump to new stars — unless you’re willing to drop into a Black Hole.
    • Instead of jumping from star system-to-star system, stop and explore every planet. Usually you can get the gist of a planet, and what resources it has to offer, pretty quickly.

There’s another resource you’ll desperately need later in your adventures: the Bypass Chip. This tiny device unlocks Signal Scanners (special locked relays on planet surface) and makes locating valuables much easier. Unlocking a Signal Scanner reveals resource locations, derelict ship crash sites, Manufacturing Facilities and Colony Bases on planets.

Don’t forget to upgrade your scanner! The scanner is your most valuable commodity, and the ship’s long-range scanner will help you find relays and signal scanners on planets, which in turn reveal a planet’s worth of important spots you’ll want to explore.

To get the Scanner upgrade blueprint, check terminals in Manufacturing Facilities or Colony Bases often. They can also be found in Atlas Pass locked doors, on crashed ship or at drop pod sites. Anywhere with technology is bound to feature some blueprints, and they don’t take up inventory space, so grab as many as you can.

Go your own No Man’s Sky secrets, tips or tricks? Tell us all about your No Man’s Sky experience in the comments section below!