5 Cool Things to Do In Your First Hour of No Man's Sky

Learn new words. Make friends with weird creatures. There's a lot you can do in No Man's Sky, but these five things should get you started off right. 

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No Man’s Sky is officially out, which means many of us will be touring the galaxy on our own little space adventures for weeks to come. With over a quintillion planets to explore and so many sights to see, it can get overwhelming figuring out exactly what first steps you should take. Because we love you, here are our five suggestions to add to your checklist while exploring your starting planet.


Make a Weapon

No Man’s Sky’s inventory system isn’t the most intuitive, so this could be tricky to figure out at first. From the start, you’ll have a mining beam you can use to break down objects in the environment for use as resources. This beam is mostly effective and works off of a charge (which can be done using isotopes), but it’s not great when you find yourself facing down space dinosaurs who would love to make you their next meal.

This is where the crafting will become essential. In order to gain a weapon, you’ll have to go into your inventory, select an open slot in your multi-tool menu, select “craft,” and then scroll over to the pistol icon on the menu. Once you’ve selected that, you should see an option for a bowcaster, which can be used as an offensive weapon. To build it, make sure you have the proper elements (25 iron and 25 plutonium), then combine them to craft a bowcaster weapon. Once it’s crafted, you’ll have a secondary fire option on your multi-tool, which can be cycled through using the triangle button on PS4/Y button on an Xbox controller.

Trust me, you’ll want this. As someone who was attacked by two tyrannosaurus-looking creatures and had to fight them off using a mining beam, having some sort of offensive weapon will become invaluable to you.


Discover a Plant

There’s a ton of flora and fauna dotting the landscape of each planet in No Man’s Sky, and using your Analysis Visor will give you the chance to discover, name, and upload it to the universe.

Discovering plants is important (and interesting!) for a number of reasons. First, it gives you a chance to literally stop and smell--or observe, rather--the roses on that respective planet. There are all sorts of weird plants, ranging from fern-like grassy outcroppings to giant sea anemone lookalikes on land. Scan them, enter them into your discovery guide, and name them Butthead or Dingus or whatever you want to do. It’s one more chance to leave your mark on the universe.

As an added bonus, you can upload your findings and earn several hundred credits for each discovery. Credits will become useful as you purchase ships, tools, and upgrades, so always be conscious of making money when you can.


Make Friends With a Creature

There are plenty of weird little animals running around on the planet surfaces of No Man’s Sky, some with two legs, some with four, some with none at all. They’ll be big, small, and gigantic; have different cries and abilities, and will either run away from you or attempt to make a meal out of you. Either way, it’s cool to see so many different species interacting with each other on the planet surface, and you have the chance to even make friends with them, granted you have the right materials with you.

If you approach a friendly animal and get close enough, you’ll see a prompt show up that will allow you to feed the animals different minerals and elements. I encountered several who subsisted on a healthy diet of iron (which makes my teeth hurt, but this is space), and when you give it to them, an adorable smiley face icon will appear over their head and they’ll be happy to stick around you for a bit. Many of the animals i befriended would even point me to some important materials once I’d given them some food. It pays to be kind, I suppose.


Learn Some Alien Words

There are Knowledge Stones and other rune-covered artifacts scattered around the surfaces of planets throughout the galaxy, and interacting with them is important if you plan on communicating with other intelligent life at some point during your time with No Man’s Sky.

To learn new words, simply interact with these knowledge stones and artifacts using the button prompt that appears when you’re in range. Doing so will teach you one new word to use when speaking to other life forms, and the words you learn will appear in English (or whatever your desired language is) in the written dialog you have with these NPCs. It’s helpful, because it will allow you to practice better diplomacy and understand exactly what your alien brothers and sisters are asking of you when you meet them. And hey...who doesn’t like learning new words?


Become an Amateur Photographer

This doesn’t strictly add to your gameplay, but it’s a great way to enjoy and catalog your travels. When you’re discovering the surface of a planet, take plenty of pictures. Reach high mountain peaks and take a screencap of the elaborate vistas sprawling before you. Take pictures of the creatures you befriend, the ruins you encounter, the plants you identify and name. No Man’s Sky is a visually stunning game with wild diversity in its developed ecological life, and taking plenty of images throughout your time with it will prove worthwhile. And, if nothing else, a great No Man’s Sky horizon shot makes for the perfect Twitter header image.

Check out our No Man's Sky walktrhough and guide to learn more about crafting, gathering resource materials, and more!

Contributing Editor
From The Chatty