Dec 1st, 2016

Players are quickly discovering that No Man’s Sky’s new Survival mode is no joke. The mode is punishingly hard because of how little provisions you’re given to work with and how quickly your meters drain compared to the game’s “Normal” mode. That shouldn’t keep you from playing it, though. To help you have a bit more fun while trying to be Bear Grylls in space, we have five handy tips to survive in Survival mode.

5. Scan planets before you land

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One of the most useful features in No Man’s Sky is the ability to scan a planet from orbit. This allow you to get a peek at what resources you might find on that planet. As you probably should know by this point, resoures are very important, especially in Survival mode.

4. Keep track of your resources

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We’re going to assume that you played No Man’s Sky’s “normal” mode before rolling the dice with survival mode. If not, then props to you. If you did though, then you should have a basic understanding of what each resource does and how it can help you refill your various meters. Use that knowledge to your advantage. Keep important things like Carbon, Thamium, and Zinc on hand just in case you find yourself in a pinch and need to refill a meter or two quickly.

3. Know your meters

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Speaking of meters, you should probably take a minute or two to really understand them. They’ll help you out. On the ground, you have your life support, shield, and hazard protection meters. Each of these meters is affected by different conditions.

Life support drains as you move around in an environment (we’ll cover this more in a minute).

Shield is rather self-explanatory. Anytime you take damage, your shield will absorb those hits until it runs out. At that point, the life bars below your shield will begin to deplete until you die. In the event that you’re able to escape any damage for a few seconds, your shield will begin to regenerate, just like most games today.

Hazard protection depletes in hazardous conditions. Really, just being on a planet will cause it to drop, but staying out during a storm, cold night, or hot day will see the gauge tank. In that instance, you’ll want to duck into a nearby cave or building, wait it out in your ship, or (if you have the spare ammo), burrow deep enough into the ground so the weather doesn’t harm you.

2. Don’t be afraid to restart

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Let’s face it, we all make mistakes; whether that’s forgetting to turn the oven off before you leave for work, or misjudging the distance between you and your ship in No Man’s Sky. Whatever your situation may be, mistakes are a part of life. No Man’s Sky is no different. A large part of Survival mode, even with this guide, is trial and error. You have to crawl before you walk, and in this case, you need to die before you can learn.

If you start out on a hellish planet, hit that reset button and try again. Since everything’s procedurally-generated, there’s no guarantee that you’ll have a better planet on the second or third try, but keep going until you’re in an environment that is comfortable. Or you can try your luck in a hellish starter planet. Those can yield a lot of lessons too.

1. Walk, don’t run

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Those first few moments as you’re trying to survive long enough to make it to your ship are grueling and after a few retries, we wouldn’t blame you if you gave up. However, like we already said, use this as a learning experience. Now that you know your meters, you need to know how basic movement impacts them, namely life support, because that’s pretty important.

When running or using your jetpack in No Man’s Sky, your life support drains faster than normal. This is indicated by the arrows right next to the meter. Three arrows are the max, indicating you should probably chill out. Walking is the most cautious way of traversing a planet (outside of using your ship) because it only drains a small portion of your meter at a time. Staying still doesn’t effect it at all, so don’t move when you’re mining something.