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- No Man's Sky
When you first boot up No Man’s Sky, you may be surprised to find that there is no tutorial that attempts to familiarize you with the game. We’re in an age where most modern titles don’t even come with a precious booklet that will give you a rundown of the basics.
During my playthrough of No Man’s Sky, I was very much lost in the beginning. A good amount of time was spent fiddling with the inventory and wandering for resources throughout the lush environment known to me as my starting planet.
Without spoiling much, the first task you’re assigned to complete is gathering resources in order to repair the components required to launch your spaceship into the cosmos. Since the game doesn’t tell you where to find each resource, the player can be left hanging dry and frustrated. This guide will cover everything from resource hunting to gameplay tips that are sure to speed up your journey.
Operation: Mining Resources
The resources in No Man’s Sky are structured in a custom periodic table of elements. When you mine a resource, it is then broken down and can be used to repair technology, fuel your ship for an increased chance in survivalism, or craft new technology by combining multiple resources. On the Galactic Trade Market, you can even buy and sell resources for credit units. Prior to mining a resource, you must know what you’re looking for and come prepared.
Your character is equipped with scanning technology by default and using it will highlight each element type. There are a total of five main elements which include Oxide, Silicate, Isotope, Neutral and Precious. Each of the resources belonging to these elements have a unique purpose. For example, an Oxide element is colored yellow when scanned and is used for recharging your defense technologies. There are a total of four resources that belong to this element, including Iron, Sulfur, Titanium and Zinc. Eventually you can find a blueprint to upgrade your scanner and increase the range it scans for resources.
Some of the most common resources that you’ll find on practically every planet are Carbon, Platinum, Iron and Zinc. In most cases, anything resembling the shape of a rock or boulder will provide the Iron resource. The other three resources can be found among strange plants, as well as objects. You can go up to a plant and press a single button to gather these resources, as opposed to shooting into a resource with your Mining Beam in order to obtain it. Moreover, Carbon can be found inside every Space Station scattered throughout the galaxy.
Some of the more uncommon resources include Plutonium, Heredium, Aluminum and Thamium9. To start off with Plutonium, this resource comes in the form of sharp red crystals and can be used to refuel your mining gun, life support, launch thruster and much more. Plutonium is difficult to come across during the beginning of No Man’s Sky, although it gets increasingly more common to find once you start discovering additional planets. Another resource that is very useful for crafting certain technology is called Heredium. If you spot a large, shiny, gold accented rock, then it’s probably carrying Heredium and you will need to break it down with your rifle. Both Aluminum and Thamium9 can be found by shooting asteroids in space and breaking them apart.
There are also three exotic resources which are worth a large amount of credit units. These resources are called Calium, Omegon and Radnox. Exotic resources can occasionally be found for purchase in the marketplace at a high cost. If you’re looking into earning a lot of credit units in a short amount of time, then I suggest farming an exotic resource because it will pay off more than it would to purchase it. Keep in mind that you will most likely not find an exotic resource until you’re further into your journey.
Whenever you arrive at a Space Station, there will always be a door that can be opened with the Atlas Pass. This is a piece of technology that will be available for crafting a few hours into your journey and later on you will obtain an upgraded Atlus Pass. After obtaining the first Atlas Pass, you can now access this door at the Space Station and it will hold an upgrade for your Exosuit. My suggestion is to stop at each Space Station you encounter and upgrade your Exosuit as fast as possible. When you do decide to upgrade, you’ll need to cough up between 40,000 to 50,000 credit units. Each upgrade will land you an extra slot in your Exosuit inventory, making it more useful to store items.
During your visit to the Space Station, you may notice other alien ships flying in and out of the landing zone. If you walk up to one of these ships while they’re docked at the station, you can talk to the alien that’s piloting it. These aliens are usually traders and they will give you the ability to buy or sell items from them. Alien traders will sell items at a reduced rate in comparison to the prices on the Galactic Trade Market. One of the most spectacular services offered by these aliens is the ability to purchase their very own spaceship by simply speaking with them. The prices range from anywhere between 250,000 credit units to 1.5 million credit units. Obtaining an upgraded spaceship will allow you to store more items and travel farther distances with an improved Hyperdrive.
If you come upon a space shelter during your travels, be sure to scout it thoroughly for items. Some of these shelters include new technology for your weapons, as well as brand new weapons. Swapping weapons usually costs around 50,000 credit units and your old weapon technology will no longer be available for use. Instead, you will have to craft every piece of technology again with extra resources. The weapon upgrades you will find include an upgraded Scanning Visor with increased detection range, upgraded Boltcaster technology that allows you to reload faster, additional damage output with the Mining Beam and much more. There are hundreds of pieces of space technology for the player to find along their adventure.
Mastering No Man's Sky
No Man’s Sky features a lot of great mechanics that are hidden throughout the game. The end result of discovering these mechanics is an exponential rush of fun that is sure to add onto your gameplay experience.
Each character comes with a jetpack that can be upgraded for longer flight time, but sometimes that still isn’t enough for the player that’s looking to climb the tallest cliff. In order to do this, you must get as close as possible to the object you’re looking to scale and make sure there is no distance between you and the object. Next, you must simply use the jetpack while hugging the surface of the object as you start hovering towards the top. Your jetpack will not lose any amount of fuel if you do this correctly. I find this trick to be especially useful when you’ve fallen into a giant crater and don’t want to waste your time walking all the way around to get back to your original position.
When engaging an enemy ship in space combat, the most effective way to land a hit is to aim for the red circle that is above the ship. If you aim at the enemy ship directly, your Photon Cannon will not land as many hits and in certain circumstances you will lose the battle. By aiming for the red circle, you are predicting your enemies movement and shooting ahead of time. In the event that you’re outnumbered by multiple enemy ships, the most reasonable thing to do would be to use the Boost ability and fly away from them. Once you’re a sizeable distance away, use the Pulse Drive to speed up the escape.
After you become familiar with the Atlas Station, you will be able to acquire an Atlas Stone that can be sold for hundreds of thousands of credit units. What most people don’t know about the Atlas Station is the secret behind the round objects attached to the floor of every Atlas Station. If you swiftly sprint up to one of these circular objects and jump on them, the screen will glow and a message will be displayed on your screen, informing you of learning a new alien word. There are dozens of these objects scattered throughout an Atlas Station and you can learn over 15 new words by jumping on them. I recommend that you attempt this at every Atlas Station you uncover.
Armed with the knowledge provided above, you’re on your way to becoming an experienced No Man’s Sky player in zero time. There are dozens of stars and planets to explore, along with a heap of gameplay tips that are not included in this guide due to spoilers. If you have some of your own beginner tips to share, then feel free to post them in the comments below. Until then, remember to refuel your ship and swap resources ever so often.
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