41 amazing things you might not know about No Man’s Sky

A useful primer on Hello Games’ incredible PS4 space odyssey

Hello PlayStation Blog! I’m Alex, from Hello Games. Hope you’re well! How’s your summer going? Ours? We’re kinda recovered from E3, where Sean showed off live No Man’s Sky gameplay for the first time. It has been a BIG RELIEF that people seemed to like it. You can’t know just how scary it is to show a game as open-ended as No Man’s Sky live on a stage for an audience of millions.

Since then, we’ve also been super proud that IGN have devoted July’s IGN First to No Man’s Sky. We hope you’ve had a chance to see some of the amazing articles that they’ve published, maybe including this 18-minute video of Sean exploring a planet.

We’ve been thinking, though, that No Man’s Sky is pretty good at hiding its secrets, and that there there are some facts about the game that might not be so obvious, facts that help it all make sense, and come alive. So we’ve put together a list of 35 things about the game that you might not realise. We hope you enjoy them, and thanks so much for all your support. It’s been so amazing to share with you what we’ve been doing over the past few months 🙂

Things about space


  1. The universe isn’t actually infinite
    Computers don’t really do infinity very well. But there are 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 planets in the universe. If you visit each one for a single second, it will take you 585 billion years to see them all, so it may as well be.
  2. The universe isn’t random
    Everything exists for a reason, and is governed by maths. Maths means every detail is always consistent and makes sense, the result of hundreds of rules we’ve made to make a sci-fi universe we want to explore. And anyway, computers just aren’t very good at random, either. Watch a video that explains how it works here.
  3. The universe isn’t stored on your hard disk or on a server
    The world around you is generated by your PS4 at the point you visit it. Leave and it’s all thrown away, but if you return it is generated again exactly as it was. This also means the game will be completely playable offline.
  4. No Man’s Sky isn’t an MMO
    The sheer size of the universe means that everyone is going to be super far apart, and it’s super unlikely that people will even visit the same planets.
  5. E3_2015_Mediakit_018

  6. There are bots exploring the universe right now
    We have sent a set of bots out into the void to send back to us gifs of planets. We can quickly review the gifs, lots at a time, to see what kinds of things are out there, and ensure it’s varied and interesting. Here’s a tiny selection of what’s out there.
  7. Things about exploring

  8. There isn’t a story to follow
    There are no cutscenes or characters, but there is a big objective: get to the centre of the universe. We don’t want to tell you a story, we want you to tell your own. No Man’s Sky is about your journey.
  9. You will make true discoveries
    Be the first to visit a planet, or be the first to scan a species of creature, and you will be recorded as its discoverer when you upload it at a beacon for all the world to see. You can also choose to name them. (There will be filters!)
  10. E3_2015_Mediakit_018

  11. The Atlas is everything everyone has ever discovered
    The No Man’s Sky symbol stands for the database of all the things that players have discovered and chosen to share with the world. It’s perhaps the most important thing in the universe, and will contain findings that even we have no idea about.
  12. E3_2015_Mediakit_018

  13. You’ll find ancient artefacts and crashed ships
    They may lead to you discovering new technologies, which can give your ship, suit and multitool new or improved abilities.
  14. A jetpack is an explorer’s best friend
    It can get you out of all sorts of trouble, and take you to places you wouldn’t otherwise be able to access.
  15. Things about planets

  16. Planets are defined by their position in space
    If they’re close to their sun they’ll tend to be more barren; further away and they’ll tend to be cold. The planets in between tend to be richer with life.
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  18. Most planets are barren
    Few planets will be dense with plant life and animals. Most will be barren, but even barren planets can be sources of great wealth.
  19. Planets can be toxic
    Some planets are deathtraps, with radiation or other hazards that will kill you in minutes. To survive you’ll need to upgrade your suit.
  20. Every distant mountain is a real place
    No Man’s Sky doesn’t only generate the environment immediately around you. It also generates the whole planet at a lower level of detail, so every distant object on the horizon is a real place that you can go to.
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  22. Planets have days and nights
    Fly down to the night side of a planet, and you’ll find the land in darkness. Different creatures will be awake while daytime creatures sleep.
  23. Things about ships

  24. It’s worth upgrading your ship
    Ships offer varying capacity for being upgraded, whether speed, manoeuvrability, jump drive range or weapon power.
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  26. You can only have one ship at a time
    Choose a ship that suits what you want to do, whether trading (large cargo capacity), fighting (good speed and weapons) or exploring (a long jump drive distance). Want to do something new? You can always get a new one.
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  28. You’ll shop for new ships
    Space stations sell a rolling stock of ships. If you see one you want, you’ll need to grab it before new stock comes in.
  29. You won’t be left without a ship
    If you die and have no money, a basic ship is always available for free. It won’t have a hyperdrive, but you’ll be able to fly to planets again to rebuild.
  30. You need fuel
    You can fly for as long as you like in a star system, but to make jumps between systems you’ll need hyperdrive fuel, which you can buy from space stations or mine from planet surfaces.
  31. Things about combat


  32. You can get a wanted level
    Upsetting the balance of planets by mining them too heavily or killing creatures will see you being hunted down by the Sentinels, and attacking craft in space will attract the attention of the police. The more you do, the stronger they will retaliate.
  33. The Sentinels aren’t everywhere
    Not every planet is policed, making these lawless playgrounds valuable sources of resources.
  34. Space is not quiet
    Factions constantly vie for territory across the entire universe. Choose to help one faction and it may reward you. Attack another and it’ll remember. But you can also try to avoid conflict completely.
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  36. You can side with factions
    If you’re friendly enough with a faction, it can provide you with support that might protect you as you face its rivals.
  37. Your multitool is an adaptable weapon
    Multitools have a basic firing mode, but some come with different, more powerful attacks, or you might find technologies to upgrade them.
  38. Death isn’t the end
    But it’s a problem. If you die on a planet, you’ll find yourself revived back at your ship having lost items you hadn’t stowed and discoveries you hadn’t uploaded. If you die in space, you find yourself revived at the nearest space station, without your ship, items and discoveries.
  39. Things about creatures


  40. Planets are populated by unique creatures
    Creatures are procedurally generated, with wildly varying shapes, sizes, colourations and behaviours. You will discover countless new species on your journey.
  41. Animal calls are procedurally generated
    We’ve created special software that models throats, allowing animal calls to be defined by the shape and sizes of their bodies. Every planet’s soundscape is unique. Learn about how it works here.
  42. Animals may attack you
    But think twice about retaliating. If Sentinels see you kill a creature they’ll attack you. It’s often best to try to scare creatures or run away, and preserve the natural balance of the planet.
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  44. Animals follow daily routines
    They will go down to bodies of water to drink and sleep at night, while others will only come out at dark.
  45. Some animals hunt others
    You’ll see food chains in action, with species being predated by others. You might find that you’re far from being at the top of the chain.
  46. Things about the economy

  47. Units are the universe’s currency
    You’ll earn Units for many things: selling resources at trading posts, shooting down pirates, uploading discoveries to the Atlas.
  48. Market prices for resources vary
    You might find lucrative trade routes, mining in one system and selling in another. It might be worth investing in a ship with lots of cargo space to take full advantage. Here’s a video about trading.
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  50. Space is busy with trade convoys
    Freighters, led by capital ships, steadily travel along trade routes, sending ships down to trading posts as they go. You can choose to attack them and steal their resources, but you’ll find them heavily defended, and pirates might have the same idea…
  51. Resources aren’t just for trading
    You’ll need them to craft technologies into upgrades. The rarest resources can only be found in certain types of system.
  52. E3_2015_Mediakit_018

  53. Efficient mining requires certain upgrades
    Your multitool can always destroy resource crystals, but you’ll need to upgrade it to mine resources held in harder rock. Perhaps there are technologies that will provide greater yields…
  54. Things about the game

  55. 37. It has amazing music
    65daysofstatic are Sean’s favourite band, and they’re making No Man’s Sky’s soundtrack album. We are incredibly excited about this.
  56. We held a concert at PlayStation Experience
    65daysofstatic came to Las Vegas with us and played a concert. It was incredible. Watch it here.
  57. The music will be procedural
    65daysofstatic’s soundtrack will be used to generate procedural music that’s influenced by where you are and what you’re doing. Full songs will play at specific points, but we’ll leave it to you to discover when and why…
  58. No Man’s Sky was inspired by classic sci-fi
    Especially those amazing, vibrant book covers, which presented a vision of a future that wasn’t grim and in which technology and exploration were points of hope. Here’s a video about those inspirations.
  59. Four people built what we showed for the announcement
    You can read about the game’s history here. Since then, the No Man’s Sky team has grown, but only a little, to 13 people. We like it real small.

Find out more here.


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66 Comments 0 Author replies
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benzopil 3 August, 2015 @ 4:35 pm   1

42. A Release date

Jimster-71 3 August, 2015 @ 4:35 pm   2

It doesn’t tell us the thing we all actually want to know though, the release date!

Jimster-71 3 August, 2015 @ 4:41 pm   3

I’ve heard rumours of a september release for this, so not long left to announce a date. Who’s money is on an announcement just before the Microsoft Gamescom briefing tomorrow?

    ShinDanahi 3 August, 2015 @ 6:14 pm    

    doubt it very much cuz it’s a small team of developers having a lot running on this game. Since this is one of sony’s flagships they’ll keep a tight lock on information leaking out.
    And no man’s sky is not at gamescom.
    But I do hope for that september release!


#42 It won’t release any time soon!

Njitram2000 3 August, 2015 @ 4:49 pm   5

“05 – There are bots exploring the universe right now”
If those bots are exploring the universe to fill up the Atlas, it means the game is done except for bugfixing.

Come on guys. You have the entire internet hyped up. Don’t let that go to waste by setting a release date that is too far into the future!

    JoshHood 3 August, 2015 @ 5:05 pm    

    “It means the game is done.” No it doesn’t.

    Njitram2000 3 August, 2015 @ 5:14 pm    

    Great contribution, Josh. Thanks for that.
    The game is based on maths formulas. If they change those, the planets will all change and filling up the Atlas would be pointless.

    Mimwing 3 August, 2015 @ 5:37 pm    

    The bots are almost certainly not out there to fill the Atlas. They have been sent out so the developers have a full collection of example planets they can check over at any time during the development process to see if the game has the variety they want in terms of planets, wildlife, etc. If they find the planets too boring they can to tweak the code, and given a day or so they have a new database of planets from these bots.

    ElJayco 3 August, 2015 @ 5:39 pm    

    The bots aren’t filling up the atlas, they are essentially testing the planets.

    Upon release the Atlas will be empty and it’s our jobs to fill it up by uploading our discoveries.


    I’ve heard a rumor that Hello Games can’t release a date for the game yet because it is going to bundled with the Morpheus VR headset.

    ElJayco 4 August, 2015 @ 8:51 am    

    The problem with rumours is that they are just that.


I’d be happy with a rough idea when it’ll be released? I can’t wait for this. Spent many many happy hours on the original Elite back in the day and this is pretty much what I always wanted Elite to be like back then. I’ll probably spend more time on this than I have on Destiny (and I’ve been on that since it came out).

SaviorMachine 3 August, 2015 @ 4:54 pm   7

It sure would be a cool way to end the Play 2015 thing, at the end of the summer


This is an indie title I’ll be happy to get with Plus, but the game is to good for that I guess.

    MaxDiehard 3 August, 2015 @ 5:33 pm    

    It’s beyond anything Sony could have to offer. I want to pay for this game.

QuietlyWrong 3 August, 2015 @ 5:30 pm   9

One thing that always bothers me about this game is the statement that you won’t meet your friends in the game…

“The sheer size of the universe means that everyone is going to be super far apart, and it’s super unlikely that people will even visit the same planets.”

It doesn’t matter how big or widespread; if it’s possible to meet up, however unlikely, people WILL try to meet up. I’d rather see an announcement that it won’t be possible, or delimits what is possible, rather than reiterating that it’s ‘too hard’ to achieve in reality. People can do amazing things…

    ShinDanahi 3 August, 2015 @ 6:18 pm    

    I think they’re purposely vague about the multiplayer aspect (having mentioned that there is some kind of multiplayer), so that they can either “wow” us at or near release, or implement it after release.

    ElJayco 3 August, 2015 @ 6:28 pm    

    It’s about managing expectations.

    If they said, you can play with your friends and it takes the two of you weeks and months to find each other you’d be upset.

    If they said you can play with your friends but it will take a long time to get together you’d still probably be upset and also it will be a different time for each set of friends, some will be closer then others.

    However if they just say it’s highly unlikely you will ever meet your friends then yes there are those who will go out of their way to prove HG wrong and when you do finally meet and you both are old and grey you will feel a sense of achievement and will tell the internet all about it and you will feel good because you have done what they said was nigh on impossible.


    I think the main ‘multiplayer’ element in this game will be the couch, shareplay, twitch, facebook, twitter, photo things and youtube … i.e. real world networks, not just the in-game one although the atlas would play it’s part and there could be other systems like messages in a bottle or telecomms. Or other surprises.

    The times and technology is ripe for it and I think it’s a very exciting approach. But it might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

    TrueMurton 4 August, 2015 @ 8:06 am    

    If there’s no way to meet up with and play with friends, then the game is going to struggle. I have a small group really looking forward to this and we want to try and get together and fly as a squadron.

    Player trading would also be a big deal as it would be cool for one to fly a freighter and the rest to run escort and then share the profit at the end. By not having any sort of meeting system there are a lot of cool gameplay ideas that are simply not going to be possible.

    chrisboers 4 August, 2015 @ 11:51 am    

    TrueMurton, I think this is EXACTLY why they don’t want you t omeet up. It’s no EVE Online, it’s an explorer’s game.


Getiing an Elite vibe from this.

ElJayco 3 August, 2015 @ 5:40 pm   11

Hi Alex,

Any chance Hello Games can agree on whether the goal is to get to the centre of the galaxy, universe or both please?

misi2mezei 3 August, 2015 @ 5:53 pm   12

There are still a few things that interests me.
Will there be gas giants?
And could you tell us a rough percentage of how many of the planets will have life?
I remember something like 10%, but I am not sure if that’s true.

    ElJayco 3 August, 2015 @ 6:29 pm    

    No gas giants, instead there are toxic planets (as mentioned in this article). 10% of planets have life but only 1% of that 10% have complex life IRC.

The__Ewan 3 August, 2015 @ 5:57 pm   13

So may hints, so many obvious questions unanswered. Including:

– Space is really big, so I’m probably not going to bump into people on planets by accident, but can I set a rendezvous and meet someone on purpose?

– Can players trade with each other?

– The planets are procedurally generated and not saved; does that mean that if I find a resource and mine it, I can fly away, fly back, and it’ll have returned as if I was never there?

– “You’ll find ancient artefacts and crashed ships” which are just part of the procedural generation? Like a village in Minecraft?

– Can the Sentinels/Police be beaten?

    ElJayco 3 August, 2015 @ 6:34 pm    

    1) Yes you can try but don’t expect to both arrive at the same location on the same day or week, month maybe if you’re lucky.

    2) No.

    3) Small changes are saved locally so for you it would be gone (not sure if resources respawn after time but with so many planets I think it’s irrelevant.

    4) Everything is procedurally generated yes.

    5) Well you can fight them, I think like in GTA though they are unlimited so can’t win per se.

    Njitram2000 3 August, 2015 @ 7:20 pm    

    ElJayco, they have said that if you return to a planet later, it will not have saved the state of resources so, yes, they respwan. It could become very relevant when you discover a planet with an ultra-rare resource 🙂

    TheEarthGarden 3 August, 2015 @ 10:30 pm    

    Njitram200 – Not quite, watch this video ( at ~10:00. Changes like that are saved locally, but not across all players.


    The first point seems to be brought up often, and it seems a baffling point to bring up given how the game has been shown so far.

    Baffling because the game includes a real-world-shared global-game-map which anybody that is on-line may add to in real-time. All maps have one particularly useful practical purpose known as “navigation”, so if you can’t use it to rendezvous then it wouldn’t be much of a map would it?

    I think distance and patience will be more the limiting factor, and that the map might only get you to the same solar system.

andrewsqual 3 August, 2015 @ 6:06 pm   14

Holy crap that is a fine read. So much information. Can’t wait. The similarities to your other series Joe Danger and this game are so uncanny………. 😀

fps_d0minat0r 3 August, 2015 @ 6:33 pm   15

42 – If you use the N++ devs logic regarding content quantity and pricing, this game should cost more money than the amount of money that actually exists in the world.

Anyway… my question:

What is the biggest size a star can be, and is there a limit to how many planets a star system can have?

Please consider this video before answering:

TrueMurton 3 August, 2015 @ 6:45 pm   16

Skimmed for a release date, didn’t see one.

The hype train for this game is getting daft now, its going to have a huge image to live up to and the longer this goes on the less confident I am it will manage it.

Further to that, I have to wonder that had this small team of just 13 people had been able to concentrate on uniformity of a console platform this would be out already and the game has effectively been delayed by the need to get it running on the huge mess of varied configurations that are PCs.

Please, give a date, even just a provisional one. Which side of Christmas will be playing this on?

MrJimmy 3 August, 2015 @ 6:57 pm   17

I deserve a pre release alpha for pointing out paragraph 3 says their are 35 things, there are 41, bonus!

Harrisown 3 August, 2015 @ 7:08 pm   18

Look, we get it. You might have gathered by the hype surrounding this game it’s already sold over a million copies.

Ryusennin 3 August, 2015 @ 8:53 pm   19

I’ll resume it for you all:

“In No Man’s Sky, there is no [write any gameplay element you can think of].”

Stonesthrow 3 August, 2015 @ 9:09 pm   20

Such potential, as anything to do with space of sci-fi. Just realizing that all those stars in the background are planets or universes, even if you’ll never visit them and they’ll remain stars in the distance, knowing that adds immensely to the atmosphere, in which the player’s own imagination plays a significant part.
So far I keep getting more excited about this game everytime it’s shown. Nice to see we’ll get to aquire things and update them. The only thing that I’d consider a downer is the lack of story or cutscenes, although I didn’t expect it. Thinking of Mass Effect and its whole economy and lore, it would be awesome to eventually/rarely come upon intelligent life and civilizations and thus maybe trade alien ships and technology which can then be magically tuned to be used by your own species or stuff like that :p Maybe in a sequel :p

ShadowFlightBA 3 August, 2015 @ 10:45 pm   21

And so the hype continues without a release date.


Seeing bits of Mercenary, Damocles, and the original Elite here (nothing i’ve played since is comparable). Amazing tech too. Really great stuff and eager to try it when I can.

(I wish Sony would mandate this but I hope you have included both invert X and Y axes for out-of-ship camera)

nulenvoid 4 August, 2015 @ 7:11 am   23

Big ups to Hello Games, I think singlehandedly you’re saving this gen for me.

Of those I’ve seen, you all seem like genuinely passionate and honest people and it’s refreshing to have a company sell you something without trying to sell you product, but rather the game and it’s concept itself. A must have title for me, look forward to getting my hands on it.


Looks good , a must buy for me.
gj Seán and all at Hello games .

Ps Please dont ruin it with DLC

RetroManHD 4 August, 2015 @ 1:50 pm   25

Not since the release of the PS2 have I been this excited about a release. Seriously… I’m actually addicted to browsing the NET ever day for news about this game.

Alexiel-FR 4 August, 2015 @ 1:51 pm   26

42. its not an indie title anymore as u can see on amazon france for example it became a full boxed game at 60 euros …
43. tired of the teasing as the devs already sais to gamespot that the game may be available in 2016 .. so no chance in getting it this year …
44. the more i see, the more i’m starting to feel like it will be like ” driveclub ” or ” the bouncer on ps2 ” big hype, and when the game is out , big dissapointment … like fable 2 on xbox …
45.. Stop teasing , a little is okay , but too much when most of the game announced at the same time when we have the ps4 reveal like the witness and loads more, are still not out yet , but i’m guessing this is what sony loves to do, make us dream with a lot of announcements, and this year again the hollyday will be empty exept the uncharted collection, what PS4 exclusive game will we get in boxes that are not Ps vita ports, and PS3 ports ??? really tired of this, thank god we have until dawn, but after this one, i’m returning ( like all second semester) to my xbox one to play 3 or 4 good exclusive boxed titles…


Alex, Sean, I would love to know the answers to a few other questions.

Is it possible to trade items between players?

Seeing as planets are generated through algorithm upon visiting, if you mine a valuable resource or find a rare artifact, are they replenished if you leave the planet and return again later?

Can a species become extinct?!

Neptune_Nee 4 August, 2015 @ 2:13 pm   28

Hope to see more news of this game at Gamescom 🙂

McKraken 4 August, 2015 @ 2:53 pm   29

My gut feeling about this is that it’s going to be a Morpheus compatible title and the release date may well be held back until the Morpheus release date is officially announced. Having watched all the footage to date it looks made for VR. It could well be the killer app that sells Morpheus. As for multiplayer, it seems logical that this aspect of the game doesn’t occur until the later stages of the game, as everybody converges on the centre of the universe they’ll get closer together and are more likely to encounter one another.

Maxinux 4 August, 2015 @ 9:03 pm   30

If we look at IGN First games history we can predict NMS release date will be between August and December 2015.
Jun 2014 Froza Horizon2 30-Sep-2014
Jul 2014 Destiny 9-Sep-2014
Aug 2014 WWE 2K15 18-Nov-2014
Sep 2014 COD: AW 3-Nov-2014
Oct 2014 Halo: TMC 11-Nov-2014
Nov 2014 Evolve 10-Feb-2015
Dec 2014 Dying light 27-Jan-2015
Jan 2014 –
Feb 2015 Bloodborne 24-Mar-2015
Mar 2015 multiple games most of them released
Apr 2015 Witcher3 19-May-2015
May 2015 Rock Band4 6-Oct-2015
Jun 2015 XCOM2 Nov-2015
Jul 2015 No man’s sky Aug – December 2015


Game looks AMAZING! Can’t wait for it to come out.

residentSteve 5 August, 2015 @ 12:50 pm   32

That it looks really boring imo.

Orion_008 5 August, 2015 @ 9:11 pm   33

McKraken may have something about getting closer to the centre of the universe you may be able to bump into other players. As you get closer to the centre the galaxies and planets will be closer together whereas the planets and galaxies where you start the game will be further apart from each other. Like the Big Bang theory Universe expanding from the centre. It may mean you have to have very advanced hyper drives or lots of Units to spend on hyper jumps to get there. Also there is no mention on the limit of some of the technology of your ships.

Orion_008 5 August, 2015 @ 9:15 pm   34

It would not surprise me if the release date was December 2015 or at worst Summer 2016.

SharnOfTheDEAD 6 August, 2015 @ 10:22 am   35

My guess is that it will be announced as an immediate download at PSX

Roopesh216 6 August, 2015 @ 12:27 pm   36

Hitch hiking through the entire universe, I wonder if we can have pets or companions or team up and explore together. ..would be amazing imo

GoldenAlpha32 24 August, 2015 @ 9:43 pm   37

Good thing that naming ur new animals has a filter or else a bunch of nerds will start naming they’re discoveries something like sh***ysaurus Rex

Player1Preston 26 August, 2015 @ 6:47 am   38

Huge question: Will there be anything to prevent someone taping their right trigger down and letting their ship take them to the center of the universe even when their not playing?
because if I’m not mistaken its already been said you can travel from system to system without a warp drive it will just take a very very long time.