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Making money in No Man's Sky the fun and efficient way

You may feel like getting a new starship is impossible, but it's easier (and more fun) to roll in units than you might think.

It's not strange to want to buy just about every alien ship you come across, but it is strange to have the credits to do just that on-hand. If you're doing it wrong, anyway.

You can play No Man's Sky a number of ways, and one of those ways just happens to be exploring planets and analyzing everything you come across. Crazy, right? Maybe not so crazy if you like staking your claim to the sections of the universe and seeing what there is to see. Not to mention making loads of money.

There have been a few easy money techniques floating around the internet, but in my experience so far the best technique is the most obvious and fulfilling: 100% species discovering every planet I come across.

If you check out the Discoveries menu (Options button on PS4) you get a look at the interface that's going to not only let you name and upload all your discoveries, but also pay up large sums of units for your hard work.

For the first few hours of the game I was sated enough with with units given for uploading discoveries, but the couple hundred to couple thousand units reporting discoveries gives just didn't cut it. I didn't even notice the 'Upload and Receive' prompt until I finally finished a planet's discoveries.

I've yet to see a planet that will pay out less than 175,000 units once you have finished uploading everything a planet has to offer -- but don't quote me on that. There are some planets, specifically those mostly barren of both flora and fauna, that don't pay anything at all. You can check in the Discoveries menu at any time, but I recommend you check when you first land.

Tips and what makes this method so tasty

The big bonus to this money-making method isn't just the amount of units you receive, but also it gives you a very real goal when you land on just about every planet.

You start to land not just to plunder the technologies and knowledge strewn about a planet's landscape, but also to seek out every organism a planet has to offer to log, upload, and hopefully reap big profits from once it's all said and done.

No Man's Sky is not a game that gives the player many goals to work towards. Sure, you're meant to explore and slowly increase your capabilities but it's up to the player to create their own goals and work towards them. Hunting down new discoveries is one such goal, and it just happens to lead to rolling in money and getting the starship of your dreams.

As for tips? Well, I have a few of them:

  • If you're not sure if a species is one you have already discovered or not, just whip out your analyzer and check to see if it has a red or green dot on it. A green dot means you've already analyzed that species while a red dot means you haven't done so yet.
  • It may be better to skip getting every discovery on massive planets if you're just rushing for money.
  • You don't have to break your neck and waste a ton of time trying to analyze species flying high in the air. Instead just shoot them down with your boltcaster or mining beam and analyze them once they've fallen.
  • You can analyze dead species.
  • If you're on the lookout for geological and fauna discoveries, just take a look around with your analyzer if you see things you don't think you've ever seen before. Sometimes the most mundane things can be discoveries.

Like this very much not interesting rock.

Tracking down discoveries and uploading them may take more effort than some people are willing to put forward just to make credits, but it's a lot more fun than making a ton of Bypass Chips and selling them and it goes a long way to adding some flavor and goals to the game that you wouldn't have if you were just bouncing from planet to planet looking for tech.

In a game like No Man's Sky, you have to make the fun yourself. No matter how you personally feel about that, if you want a rad starship you couldn't choose a more fulfilling way to make the units for it.

Published Aug. 12th 2016

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