No Man’s Sky: How to Solve Observatory Puzzles | Solution Guide


Scattered throughout the universe of No Man’s Sky, you’re bound to eventually find one of the mysterious Observatory terminals. These strange holographic projectors look like maps, and each one features a numerical 16-digit code. You only need to input one sequence of four numbers to solve the puzzle — but figuring out which of the four digits to input is the tricky part.

Although the puzzles are randomized, they all follow a similar pattern to complete. It’s actually fairly easy once you understand how these puzzles work. No math required.

Observatory terminals, when given the correct code input, unlock a point of interest on your map. Usually these maps mark Knowledge Stones or monoliths, but it’s very possible they’re mark something different for you. Basically, the Observatory places a waypoint over something awesome you’ll want to check out. Don’t miss out on these planetary finds, learn how to solve every one of these randomized puzzles with the quick instructions (and example) below.

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How to Solve Observatory Puzzles | Solution Guide

Have you found an Observatory terminal? These large holographic maps are pretty easy to spot — whether they’re inside a Colony Base, Manufacturing Facility, Space Station, or just lounging around outside, they’re all found near (or around) a civilized location.

  • Observatory terminals are large, map-like holographic maps. Each one features a 16-digit code, where you (the player) must input the missing 4-digit string to complete the puzzle.

Like everything else in No Man’s Sky, these codes are procedurally generated. No same two puzzle codes will be the same. But, the solution is always the same. Here’s how it works.

Observatory Terminal Guide – Example & Solution

Let’s take an example puzzle from Youtuber Lunar Craft. This is the code sequence that must be solved to reveal a point-of-interest on your map:

  • Puzzle Code: 4634-6344-3446-****

You must solve the puzzle and figure out the order of digits for “****” at the end. Here’s how it is done.

  1. In the example, first look for a number that appears only once in each 4-letter sequence.
    • For this example, we’ll use “6”.
    • “3” would also work to solve this puzzle.
    • “4” would not work because it appears twice in each 4-letter sequence.
  2. Note the position of “6” in each of the visible sequences.
    • “6” appears in the second position in the first sequence.
    • “6” appears in the first position in the second sequence.
    • “6” appears in the fourth position in the third sequence.
  3. Where does that leave “6” for the fourth (last) sequence?
    • “6” will appear in the third position in the fourth sequence.
  4. Look at your three input options. For this example, the three choices are:
    • Input: 4463
    • Input: 4634
    • Input: 6344
  5. To solve the puzzle, select the answer where “6” appears in the third position.
    • ANSWER: 4463

Understand? To solve puzzles, watch where each number appears and solve for numbers that only appear once in all four sequences. This example puzzle can also be solved with “3” — “3” appears in the third, second, and first positions. That means it will appear in the fourth position for the fourth 4-digit sequence.

  • If you’re having trouble, try matching multiple numbers to the Input answers until you’re 100% sure you’ve solved the puzzle. No math required here, this is just a matching game — the numbers are placed at random in different positions. Your job is just identifying where each number is located in the sequence, and whittling down the possibilities. Numbers will never repeat the same spot between sequences, unless there are multiples of the same number in each. In our example, “4” appears twice in each sequence, that makes it harder to judge where the two numbers will appear in the fourth (final) 4-digit sequence.

It’s not too hard, and knowing how these puzzles work makes these Observatory terminals a valuable resource on every planet. Locating hidden objects will dramatically cut down on your time aimlessly wandering.

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