out perform // outlast // out work
Welcome back to part 3 of my No Man’s Sky coverage! So far my little space cadet has crash landed on a cave-filled planet, learned the basics of an alien language, and cataloged an entire planet’s worth of wildlife species. I bought a new ship, survived attacks by small chicken-bear-rhino creatures, and closed out my second day safe on an island resort (I use that term loosely). The question I left wondering after my second day was that of how to go about fixing my hyper drive. The hyper drive is a crucial piece of equipment that you must build for your spacecraft in order to travel to another planet system. My friend, playing roughly the same times as I’ve been, chose to follow the Path of Atlas at the beginning of the game, which gave him clear directives on how to go about this. I foolishly shunned the Path, and was left to wander around in search of (what I thought to be) unmarked objectives. Stubborn as ever, I began my third day with a single goal in mind: fix the hyper drive.
With no real idea of where to begin, I started my session by looking at the markers on my screen. Small colored shapes indicated ruins, outposts, and shelter on my map.
A couple of red markers caught my attention for the first time, mentioning “life forms” on another planet somewhere. I headed for the marker, landing on the enormous dead planet I had previously visited but had largely left unexplored. When I arrived at the outpost I found a Vy’Keen (the alien species native to my original planet system) warrior standing inside. I completed a small interactive quest, and was rewarded with a multi-tool (gun) with several more upgrade slots than my own, which was still the one I’d started the game with. On the wall I found a red rectangular box that opened as I approached, revealing an even better gun. Er, multi-tool. It had more slots, better mining perks, and better combat abilities including grenades! I didn’t get the multi-tool for free, it ran me about 160,000 units to switch over. I soon found it well worth the investment as I demolished an Emeril deposit in record time. After tracking down another couple of life forms and being similarly rewarded, I finally came to an alien who had damaged his suit in battle. I offered him 100 carbon, and in return he gave me the blueprints to my hyper drive. Proud is an understatement. All this time I’d been dealing with dubious jabs from my friend about being stuck in the same planet system for the rest of the game. Repairing the hyper drive sparked a few objectives to appear and guided me toward making my first warp cell, the fuel necessary to use the drive.
Putting my hyper drive to work was more nerve wracking than I imagined. After reaching a screen similar to the game’s initial loading screen- you know, the one you probably sat and stared at for ten minutes before realizing you had to press a button- I moved my cursor around several nearby systems. Each offered a different number of planets, but that was the only piece of information I could figure out at the time. Some only offered two planets, others offered moons, but I settled on a four planet system and hoped for the best. I was not a huge fan of where I ended up. The trouble with traveling out of your original system, especially without the guiding hand of Atlas, is that you don’t really know how long you’re going to be stuck there. I had been given the materials for a warp cell to help with my first jump, but I had no idea how to find more. Finally, I turned to the internet and was told I would need to find the blueprint for “antimatter.” I visited each of the planets trying to find a safe place to land, but none of them were very welcoming. I met with a new alien race, the Korvax (computer-headed people that look like a cross between Mass Effect‘s Tali’Zorah and Saga‘s Prince Robot), but was unable to decipher any meaning from their dialogue. Every planet I landed on seemed to want to kill me. One began burning me as soon as I left my ship. Another was full of toxic gas, and the one I finally began to explore was extremely cold. It took me a little while to get used to this new mechanic, but before long I was running back to my ship and finding shelter like it was second nature. Death finally came for me in the form of two quick little pirate ships as I was traveling back to a space station. Still a bit clunky with my maneuvering, I managed to shoot down on of the ships before the second finished me off as I tried to escape. I respawned inside the space station still carrying all of my valuable items.
In my interactions with the Korvax (the second race I’ve encountered), I realized how frustrating it was to be barred from certain speech options while interacting with someone. By the time I’d left my original system, I had become pretty good friends with the Vy’Keen and had even gotten a few of them to give me interesting gifts. When
discovering Vy-Keen outposts there were all sorts of little resource and unit perks I walked out with each time. The most valuable part of being an ally to a race that I’ve found seems to be the ability to farm new words. With enough carbon I coaxed the space station’s bartender to teach me six or seven new words without reaching any sort of limit, a far faster method than searching for knowledge stones.