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How To Play The First Hour Of No Man’s Sky

Don’t listen to the haters. No Man’s Sky has turned into a fantastic game. This is something you might not realize during grind heavy early play. Here is a quick summary on how to navigate your way through the first hour of No Man’s Sky.

Where the fuck am I?

Spawning on a Frozen Planet

You’ll spawn on a random planet with no clue what to do or where you are. There are 6 main biomes: Nuclear, Frozen, Scalding, Toxic, Tropical and Barren (and a few others, but you probably won’t land on one of those). If you’re on one of the first 4 types, you’ll immediately start to lose your Hazard Protection. First things first: look for a cave to take shelter in.

Head inside the cave, making sure to avoid any hazardous cave plants that spew toxins that can quickly kill you. If you can, use the mining beam on them to harvest their elements. Also make sure to use your jet pack to lower yourself into the cave if it’s deep, at this point a fall from even a short drop is deadly. Once you’re deep enough into the cave, your Hazard Protection will start regenerating. Wait until it’s completely full to emerge.

There are three places you need to monitor to make sure you don’t die prematurely. The health bar at the upper left is your total health. It will recharge as you rest, so if it gets low- find a safe place to let it recharge. The Hazard Protection in the bottom left will also recharge automatically if you find shelter. At the very bottom left is your Life Support. This will not recharge automatically- make sure it does not reach 0.

Early game No Man’s Sky is basically repairing equipment that was damaged when you crash landed. The first thing you are prompted to repair is your scanner. Find a few small rocks to blast and you’ll quickly get the 50 Ferrite Dust you need for the repair. Fix the Scanner and you’ll be able to scan for elements to power your life support and extend use time.

Start looking for stuff to mine

The next things you should look for are Oxygen and Sodium; scan to look for plants that contain these elements. Stay close to the cave and look for as many of these plants (indicated by floating O for Oxygen and Na for Sodium when you scan) as you can find- keeping an eye on your stats to make sure you don’t run out of either of your life support filters. You can refill your Hazard Protection with the Sodium and your Life Support with the Oxygen.

Ticket to the stars

Now you need to start looking for your ship. It should appear less than 500 units away and is indicated by a ship icon. Make sure your Hazard Protection level is at max and head towards it, picking up any Oxygen or Sodium plants or supply boxes you see along the way. Be careful of Hazardous plants, but try harvest them if you have time as they usually contain Oxygen.

C-Class Fighter for you!

Once you reach your ship, enter it and allow your Hazard Protection to recharge. When you click on your Ship inventory button, you’ll notice that your Launch Thruster and Pulse Engine are busted. You’ll need a few things to repair them. Hop out of the ship and blast small rocks to gather Ferrite Dust, you’ll need 50 to construct a Metal Plate. There are also some supply boxes scattered around the ship, make sure you grab what’s inside. The most important debris is the distress signal. Open it for some important information.

At this point, keep an eye on your stats and mine some large plants for Carbon and look around for any Sodium that might be easily available. Then construct the Signal Booster somewhere by the ship. One of the crates should contain a navigation card. Open the Signal Booster and follow the prompts to scan for a nearby building that will have the blueprint for the Hermetic Seal- you’ll need it for repairs.

You better run!

The building should be less than 1000 units away and you’ll probably need to run there, but make sure to keep an eye on your stats. There’s also the possibility that a storm could roll in so be on the lookout for caves and plants to recharge your hazard protection.

Once you reach the buildings, grab the blueprint, read the dictionary entry inside and take any other items (nanites or navigation cards) in the buildings. When you emerge, a prompt will appear telling you that it’s time to construct the Visor. You’ll be able to do this once you’ve made Carbon Nanotubes- built with- you guessed it- Carbon. Having the Visor makes life significantly easier. Every mineral, flora or fauna item you scan gives you credits, so scan away- but make sure to keep an eye on your stats!

Now back to your ship!

It’s where you left it but don’t forget to pick up anything you find along the way and watch out for any hostile animals or plants. Once you’re back, you can fix the Pulse Engine. Now it’s time to build the Portable Refiner, it requires a Metal Plate, so harvest more Ferrite Dust. Once the Refiner is constructed, you’ll need Carbon or Condensed Carbon to fuel it. Toss in some Ferrite Dust and refine it to get Pure Ferrite. You’ll use this to fix the Launch Thruster.

Refining while relaxing in the comfort of my fighter.

Now you’re off! Head into space and look for the signal that will guide you to the base building mission. You can go directly to the next questline or check out the space station first. You won’t be able to do much there yet, but it’s nice to see all the ships you can’t afford and upgrades you can’t buy yet. If you want some more, check out my guide for how to play hour two.

Don’t worry if you die a few times. The first hour of No Man’s Sky can be super stressful, but trust me, it’s worth it.