No Man’s Sky Guide: Getting to the Center of the Galaxy

No Man’s Sky is a game that is all about exploration, but there are many playing it who will simply wish to reach the center of the galaxy as soon as possible in order to uncover its mysterious secret.

Though the galaxy’s core being No Man’s Sky‘s only true objective, developer Hello Games have kept the measures you’ll need to take in order to do so deliberately vague, withholding key information from players that can aid them on their journey. As such, I’ve put together a guide of crucial information that will help you in getting your hands on the objects and upgrades you’ll need to get to the galaxy’s center, along with help on racking up those precious units. Be warned – there are a few spoilers for the game tucked away in this guide, so if you wish to stay clueless about what to expect from No Man’s Sky, then you may want to avert your eyes.


Upgrade your Exosuit


If you read my first impressions piece on No Man’s Sky yesterday, then you’ll know that one of the key complaints I have with the game is the lack of inventory space. Though this issue can plague your opening hours of the game, it can be lessened by upgrading your Exosuit, which awards you with more inventory slots and therefore more room to store items and resources while on your travels. Exosuit upgrades can be easily obtained in two ways: locating a drop pod on a planet’s surface, or entering a locked room in a space station.

To find a drop pod you must first find a Signal Scanner, which are easily spotted on a planet by virtue of the orange beam of light they shoot skywards. In order to access a Signal Scanner you must craft a Bypass Chip, with the device then asking you which area of the planet you want it to reveal. From here you want to choose ‘Shelter,’ with it then sending you in the direction of a small drop pod that may contain an Exosuit upgrade, or at the very least another vital upgrade for your machinery (I’ll get to that later).

To locate one of these upgrades in a space station you first need to obtain an AtlasPass V1, which will be handed to you in the first space anomaly you visit. You’ll be alerted to a space anomaly’s presence when flying around in your ship, with them taking the appearance of a giant floating sphere. Upon entry you’ll meet two alien lifeforms – a priest and a Gek researcher – with the latter handing you an AtlasPass V1 if you agree to compare your findings with them. The AtlasPass can then be used to access the door opposite the trading area in each space station, which contains an Exosuit upgrade. The cost of each Exosuit upgrade rises in increments of 10,000 units, though this is a small price to pay to bulk up your storage space.


Follow the black holes


Speaking of space anomalies, these giant ships will also grant you access to a black hole, which launches you closer towards the center of the galaxy. In order to have one of these black holes marked on your map, you must speak to the priest and, when given the option to have your journey made a little bit easier, request that he aids you on your mission to reach the galaxy’s core. Doing so will cause a black hole to appear on your galactic map, which you can then enter after warping through a few more star systems.


Find planets rich with resources


If you’re looking to get to the center of the galaxy as soon as possible, then you’re going to want to leave planets behind that aren’t rich with trade items (the resources with a green background). These items grant you the highest amount of units when selling them on No Man’s Sky‘s trade market, though some planets will be mostly devoid of them, meaning that you’re best off leaving them behind if you want to reach the galaxy’s core in a timely fashion. 

These valuable items can be found using your scanner, with them showing up as an exclamation mark inside a green square. I was lucky enough to find a slew of them located next to a trading post, meaning that I could keep collecting them and then cashing them in as many times as I wanted, though you may have to instead make routine trips to a trading post or space station to ensure that you have enough space in your inventory to collect more. 

If you can’t find these trading items dotted around a planet, then it’s also worth looking in caves to find Iridium, a valuable resource that can net you a healthy profit if you collect enough of it. Iridium can also be found when destroying large asteroids in your ship. Radnox is also a valuable resource that can be found in rock formations on planets, though this is much more rare than Iridium so don’t concern yourself with hunting for it for too long.


Blob killing and animal feeding

Alongside Iridium, Calium and Omegon are also rare resources that can potentially lead to you bagging a ton of units at a trading station. Calium can be obtained in blob-shaped plants that can be found on certain planets, while Omegon may be handed to you in the form of animal poop when you feed certain creatures. The chances of an animal dropping Omegon are relatively slim, though, so you shouldn’t go out of your way to lay on a three-course meal for every creature you find. However, if you come across one and have the resources to spare to offer it a snack, take a chance and hope that it pays off in the form of some dung-covered rare resources.


Upgrade your Hyperdrive


The most important measure you’ll need to take to get to the galaxy’s core is upgrading your Hyperdrive, with each upgrade increasing the amount of star systems you can travel through during a single jump. However, getting your hands on a Hyperdrive upgrade is particularly tricky, with it partially being left down to chance.

As far as I’m aware, there are only two ways to obtain Hyperdrive upgrades – either by locating them in a drop pod, or by increasing your friendliness with an alien species. For the former method you’re going to need to once again locate a Signal Scanner, select “shelter” and then hope that the drop pod it points you in the direction of contains a Hyperdrive upgrade. Unfortunately, this is left down to chance, so you won’t get a Hyperdrive upgrade each time you go hunting for one.

The next method is a little more time-consuming, with it requiring you to improve your relationship status with an alien species. In order to do this, you’ll want to venture to a space station and keep talking to the alien inside it, trying to answer its questions in a manner that will make it more trusting of you. Eventually a conversation option will open up in which the alien will want to do something questionable to you in exchange for a reward, such as take away some of your life or – and I’m not making this up – fiddle around in your brain for a little while. While you may instinctively not want that to happen, you’ll need to consent to this process in order to be in with a chance of getting a Hyperdrive upgrade. Bear in mind that the better rewards will be reserved for those who have great relationships with a species, so you’ll need to keep working on your socializing skills if you want to be given the good stuff.