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Getting [Re]Started

Red Thomas Posted:
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No Man’s Sky launched as a game full of sound and fury, yet managed nothing.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  I enjoyed what was there at launch, but it was really hard to get over that mental barrier of what I thought was supposed to be there thanks to the overly optimistic PR campaign leading up the botched original launch.

I’ve even avoided the game since and haven’t even played after the patches, but the lure of finally playing multiplayer woke me from my self-imposed exile.  I’ve returned a less optimistic and more easily frustrated player, but still willing to give the game a chance, and I was really surprised.  If you’re like me and haven’t checked the game out since launch, you really should give it another go.

You need your terrain manipulation tool to dig down to buried tech, which you can spot using your analyzer (F key).

I’d written an article already but had to rewrite it because the economy changed so dramatically after the Next patch.  One of the initial questions that now has a definite answer is whether you should start a new save or go from the old one.  I think the answer now is absolutely start from your old save.

The old economy had several methods of generating cash quickly that no longer work, so you’ll want to have access to your old ships and bank account.  There are a number of new tutorial missions to walk you through the early game, and you get the benefit of them whether it’s a new save or not.  The introduction to the new systems is the only reason I would have considered a new start, and you getting them from loading a save makes it an easy choice. 

Just know that the first load will take quite a while.  You’ll be stuck on a screen loading shaders for a lot longer than you think you should.  It only seems to happen the first load after the patch, and then you’ll load a lot more quickly from then on.

Gold, silver, and platinum seem to be coming more easily from asteroid mining and not as much iron (which is now split into ferrite dust and pure ferrite).  You may want to hold on to that gold and silver instead of selling it, because it’s also used to build required rooms in your freighter. 

Ore deposits have to be mined using your terrain manipulator tool. It doesn’t generate heat, so you can burn through the whole charge.

I haven’t played since freighters were introduced, but whether it’s supposed to work that way or not, I got my first freighter for free.  I just killed the attacking craft, as you normally if you want the chance to purchase a craft.  After talking with the captain, I was given the choice to purchase the C-class freighter at no cost.  Obviously, I took it.  I plan to place my research stations on the ship eventually, but I haven’t unlocked them all yet.  There’s a series of quests to unlock the various stations and hire the NPCs to work at them.

The freighter-mobile base won’t remove the need for something on the ground, though.  All the new resources introduced in the Next patch also introduce new compounds that have to be created via a smelter.  There’s a mobile one that you can pickup and put in your inventory, but there’s a larger one that can be placed in your base more permanently.  Since you’ll need a lot of chromatic metal, which is produced by smelting other material like copper, you’ll want a place to which it’s easy to ferry mined resources.

Another way to jump start your economic dominance is missions.  After the storyline missions jump you to your third or fourth system, you’ll be able to start taking missions from the local job board.  It’s on the side of the station with the teleporter ring.  Just talk to the guy behind the counter and load up on all you can take.  There doesn’t seem to be a limit on how many you can have at a time, and you can work on them all concurrently.  I started with a missing persons mission and two hunt missions.  One hunt was to kill 12 critters and the other to kill 16.  I followed the missing person mission to the surface and then unloaded on 16 indigenous creatures as I left the building.

Missions net cash, nanites, and even advanced components that can sell really well, not to mention they also give you reputation bumps.

Back on the station, I was able to turn in all three missions.  Missions are a great way to supplement income, build reputation, and get additional nanites, which are another change.  Nanites, introduced in a previous patch, can be traded in for schematics or upgrades on the side of the station opposite the teleporter ring.  You also get them from accessing damaged capsules you find on the planet, and in a few other places.  Missions, which also give you reputation bonuses, definitely seem to be the ideal way to get them, though.

In all, I have to say that I’m impressed with No Man’s Sky these days.  I played multiplayer a bit last night, and found it was way easier than I’d expected.  The joining player starts in the system the “host” is currently in, which makes finding each other easy.  I’m also finding the new economy a lot more complex, and thus far more interesting than the older economy.  In general, the game just feels like a far more complete and interesting game than the one I quit in disgust in 2016.  It’s still probably more geared at a niche market, but if this is your type of game and you haven’t played in a while, I’d recommend you install and give it another shot.  Hopefully these few tips help you get started a little more easily.


Red Thomas

A veteran of the US Army, raging geek, and avid gamer, Red Thomas is that cool uncle all the kids in the family like to spend their summers with. Red lives in San Antonio with his wife where he runs his company and works with the city government to promote geek culture.