Is No Man’s Sky really the Elite that Elite Dangerous isn’t?

There’s a lot being written about No Man’s Sky at the moment. Unfortunately a lot of that is fairly critical, or at least wildly diverging on whether it’s a success or a disappointment. Personally I’m somewhere in the middle. I am enjoying the game for what it is, but also feeling a bit let down that some of the more ambitious features didn’t make it in. For me I feel that the vision may have been compromised by the limitations of the platform and the size of the team/time frame for development.

Space Station arrival

Space Station arrival

That said, I AM enjoying the game, and I have put a lot of hours in, and will continue to do so. I’m certainly enjoying it more than Elite Dangerous. With Elite, I just cant get back into it after the initial enthusiasm. I played the hell out of it when it was released, I bought VR gear, head tracking devices, and even started a small business based on selling voice packs for the game. I don’t play Elite any more though. I can’t offer the game my time in the way that a game of that scope needs.  I feel that to get back into Elite would take days of dedicated gaming, days I just don’t have, or want to spend on it. Elite requires commitment, big chunks of time, it’s a simulation with all the requirements of the player that a sim demands. It’s awesome, it’s fun, but it’s not something I can drop in and out of whenever I want.

No Man’s Sky is also massive, more so that Elite in the scale of the universe provided, however NMS is accessible. I can jump in, play for a few minutes, pop the controller on the couch and walk away. I can spend 10 mins or 8 hours playing it and have the same sort of fun. This is actually one of the biggest things Hello Games got right with NMS. They’ve made an incredibly accessible game. Instantly accessible. You boot the game up and you’re there, on a strange world that no one has ever visited before. You can do.. well pretty much anything, explore, shoot things, document the wildlife, grind for upgrades or just fly at cruising level over entire planets. I can see how this part of the vision is a success. Whether it’s the whole vision, only Sean and the team at Hello Games may ever know.

No Man's Sky - Red Planet

No Man’s Sky – Red Planet

Ok, I’m rambling. I started this post as a way of introducing someone else’s article. Someone who I think gets what No Man’s Sky can be. Take a read of Keith Stuart’s article over at The Guardian and see if you agree.


The Useful Information Post

If I think I might need it later, chances are someone else may need it too. I’ll compile everything I think is useful information about No Man’s Sky in this one post for the time being. later I may break it up a bit but for now this is what we’ve learnt so far. Some of these may rely on bugs or undocumented features, so use at own risk and be prepared for them to be patched out. A lot of these tips have been gleaned from the Reddit sub /r/nomansskythegame where known I have credited the person who submitted the information there.

Game Mechanic Tips

HUD / Misc

  • Flashlight: Hit “up” on the D-Pad.
  • Restore HUD: Hit “left” on the D-Pad (u/lionturtl3)
  • Triple Zoom: When zooming (L2), you can click the right thumbstick to zoom in further two times. (This makes analyzing from a distance much easier.)
  • Waypointing: Scanning with the visor(L2) a structure will mark it white, using the scan ability (L3) will remove it. (u/cojimaster)

Movement / Combat

  • Melee: R1.
  • Grenade Launcher: L1 (once installed), and when out of ammo, use L1 to reload as well
  • Weapon Switching: Hit Triangle to switch weapons in your ship, and to switch weapons on your multi-tool.
  • Reloading: Hit Square to reload weapons on your multi-tool.
  • Mining Laser Quick Cooldown: While mining, let go of the trigger for just a second before overheating, and immediately start firing again. (Probably bug, not a mechanic.)
  • Sprint Hop: While walking/sprinting tap melee (R1) and then immediately tap jump (X). You’ll get a massively boosted jump, roughly 4x the speed of sprinting, which really helps with getting around on foot. (u/Evil_phd)
  • Jetpack Climb: When face-to-face with a steep hill or cliff, you can hold down the jetpack button (X), while walking forward, and the jetpack will help you climb vertically. It will never run out like it does when jumping through the air.
  • Underwater Movement: If you are underwater and hold X you will climb faster but it doesn’t use any jet pack fuel. To swim faster….activate jetpack to propel yourself out of the water. While hovering a fair distance above the water, release jetpack and look down. After dropping back into the water, look towards the direction you want to go and you will continue to swim at the same speed as your jetpack. Surface for oxygen when needed and repeat. (u/sachiel416 and u/Williamsloan)

Inventory / Equipment / Upgrades

  • Inventory Stacking: Each slot in your suit can hold up to 250 of any resource. Each slot in your ship can hold up to 500.
  • Stack Green/Rare Items: This is super helpful as these items do not stack on their own. It’s a bit of a process to understand, so check out the explanation below titled Stacking Unstackable Items.
  • Targeted Transfer Into: If you hit Triangle on an empty slot in the ship or exo-suit inventory you will be able to select the item from the other inventory that you wish to place there. (u/kjlonline)
  • Upgrades Add-Up: Upgrades for your ship, suit, and multitool are additive. (Ex: Having a +1 mining beam cool down, and a +2 mining beam cool down is better than just having the +2.)
  • Upgrade Placement: Upgrades should be placed next to the item they’re boosting, or next to a previous upgrade that’s connected to the same item. (Ex: A scanner upgrade should be be placed next to the scanner, or next to a previous upgrade that’s connected to the scanner.) When this happens, you’ll see a coloured ring appear around the upgrade, which means the upgrade is working at max capacity. Bonus: Most upgrades will work regardless of where they’re placed, but clustered upgrades (colored rings mentioned above) give bonuses to each other, even when the cluster itself is not next to the parent item. For instance, Cannon Damage +1, +2 and +3 still combine together and give huge bonuses even when they’re not connected to the Plasma Cannon item. (u/aerosplat)
  • Recharging equipment: You can quickly recharge suit and ship components by “stacking” the recharging resource on top of the component. (Ex. To recharge your Life Support, click on a red resource as if you were going to move it to another slot, and then click on Life Support.)
  • Dismantling Upgrades: You can dismantle upgrades as when you do so you will receive the Blueprint to rebuild them. (Untested! use at your own risk with critical items like the Hyperdrive, I’ll update when I’ve tested it.)
  • Checking Upgrades: when you need to know if you can upgrade a current weapon feature but all slots are full – disassemble the ‘Visor’ as it is only 50 iron to rebuild, this gives you a slot to view all available upgrades and how much you need to make them.
  • Space Considerations: When you disassemble an item in your ship make sure you have enough slots to hold the disassembled items.

Stacking Unstackable Items (Useful for storage and construction of Blueprints)

You can stack items such as, Carite sheets, Gravition Balls & other rare items used to craft high-end items by building it in ship slot then disassembling it, when you disassemble it, it will stack the items into a group of 100 so disassembling something that requires 10 grav balls would give you a single stack of 5 of 100 (you get half back)

Example: Advanced Cooling Theta Photon cannon. It requires Thamium9 QTY 200, Chrysonite QTY:250 & Gravitino balls Qty 10. However it’s hard to find inventory space for 10 Gravitino Balls! This solution can help with construction, and dismantling.

  1. Let’s say you have it already installed in your ship. (You could use anything that’s installed, as long as you can make it again!)
  2. Make sure you have 3 free inventory slots, and now DISMANTLE the Advanced Cooling Theta Photon cannon.
  3. It will place the materials recovered in those 3 empty slots. (Thamium9 QTY 100, Chrysonite QTY 175 and Gravitino balls Qty 5)
  4. That’s the trick! Look at the Gravitino balls it will show 5 out of 100, they have been stacked.
  5.  Move the stack to your suit inventory and now you when you find balls they will stack to that pile instead of taking a slot each.
  6. Be careful, when selling them ALWAYS leave at least two in the stack to keep stack functional.


  • Cockpit View: External cockpit models on ships affect your view while inside it. Pick the bubble-style or other seamless models for best visibility. (u/Herrenos)
  • Ship Take-off Without Resource Use: If you land on a landing pad, or by a designated landing post/callback post, at an Outpost or other location, you don’t use any fuel on takeoff.
  • Landing Pads: In addition to launching without fuel use, landing on a landing pad allows you to sell items from your ship at a trading terminal. (u/tekkou)
  • Pirate Attacks: The more precious your cargo the more likely you’ll get targeted by pirates. (u/Traaailz)

Credit: Cmdr_Darko


  • If you create tunnels underwater and come back to them they will be full of algae/plant life

One Day To Go!

While some got in very early, and PlayStation players in other parts of the world got on board today, us poor bastards in Australia still have a day to go before we can officially get our hands on no Man’s Sky.

It’s been a long wait. At first it seemed like something unknowable, and far enough in the distance that the waiting was easy and it was a game to look forward to. However in recent months the frustration at now yet being able to play the game became palatable! The leaks made me anxious to get my hands on a copy of my own, but instead I took the high road and reduced my No Man’s Sky exposure. Limiting the Reddit posts I looked at and visiting the same less often than before.

Now, with less than 24 hours until I can play the damn game I’m ready damn it, give it to me! I’m excited to play something unlike anything I’ve played before, a game that I hope, and expect, will be game changing. I’m going to explore options for sharing my discoveries, definitely here of course, but possibly also on other sites if it’s easy enough to do so.