No Man’s Sky has a tendency to surprise its dedicated space explorers with new content – seemingly out of nowhere – and that trend continued this past week with the sudden launch of the No Man’s Sky Sentinel update. The new changes are available for everyone to enjoy; if you’re already deep into a save file in Survival and Creative mode, you can play with the new content without starting from scratch. But if you want a real challenge, it’s a great time to check out the Community Expedition mode, which has also received a brand new update of its own.
The new Exobiology Community Expedition is now live, and it’ll only be running for a total of five weeks beginning from February 24, which makes right now the perfect time to start. It’s possible to complete each of the phases and earn all of the available rewards while the Expedition is live, but you need to grab ‘em before the clock runs out. Community Expeditions are also a bit more linear than the other modes available within No Man’s Sky, in that they work sort of like a Season Pass would in a comparable online game like Fortnite. As you travel along a specific path of progression, you complete preordained tasks in exchange for rewards. As you complete each individual milestone, you get items and technology to boost you along your journey, but when you finish a larger phase, you get to redeem cosmetics that exist on an account-wide level.
Exobiology Expedition Phases and Steps
When starting a fresh Expedition save, you begin at the same spot as every other new player, and you follow a largely curated travel path from there. You can branch out on your own if you’d like to, but you eventually want to reach the designated rendezvous points since those are prerequisite to completing all of the phases.
Much like in past Expeditions in No Man’s Sky, there are five primary phases that you need to complete to reach the end of the Exobiology Expedition. Every phase rewards you with a unique cosmetic reward, which you may then carry over to other save files. Each one also contains about five to eight smaller milestones, and they all require you to complete a certain task or set of tasks. You do not need to complete any particular phase or milestone in order, so if you do these milestones out of order, you should still get credit for completing them even if you haven’t done the previous ones.
As you complete these individual milestones, you also gain intermediate rewards (that come in the form of valuable resources like Chromatic Metal and advanced technology plans) to keep you moving steadily forward without needing to grind them by hand, as you would during the standard progression arc of, say, Survival mode. You just need to make sure you’re periodically backing out to the Expedition menu tab, where you can redeem each of these rewards as you earn them.
Expedition 5 Phase One
Phase One is the first in sequence, and it works like you’d expect a normal Survival mode save to work: you need to find your ship and get going from there. This time around, there’s a much higher focus on taming and breeding creature companions, which is possible by feeding a creature until they can be registered in your companion registry.
- Pawprints – Ride a creature companion 850u.
- The Metal Mount – Locate your starship.
- Best Friend’s Portrait – Photograph your companion.
- Lift Off – Leave the planet.
- To Brighter Stars – Leave this lifeless system.
- Homeworld – Visit a lush world.
- The Next Generation – Induce a companion egg.
- Rendezvous 1 – Reach the 1st rendezvous.
Once you finish Phase One, you earn the Reality Glitch Trail customization.
Expedition 5 Phase Two
Once you’ve reached Phase Two, you’ll have spent some time outside of your starting solar system. It’s at this point when you want to begin focusing on getting the most out of the companion(s) you’ve registered so far. In order to sequence eggs in No Man’s Sky, head over to the Nexus (once you’ve unlocked it, you can summon it from your utility bar while flying in space) and stroll over to the Egg Sequencer.
- Rendezvous 2 – Reach the 2nd rendezvous.
- Mad Science – Genetically modify a companion egg.
- Swarmed – Feed a group of 10 creatures.
- Ornithology – Discover 10 flying creatures.
- Digestive Analysis – Search 50 dung samples.
- Terrestrial Snaps – Take a photo of 10 ground creatures.
- Sightseer – Explore 5 specific environments.
- Enduring Friendship – Earn complete trust from a companion.
The rewards for finishing Phase Two are the Solstice Poster plans, Abyssal Poster plans, and Territories Poster plans.
Expedition 5 Phase Three
This phase may appear a bit shorter than the other ones you’ve encountered previously, but you need to start looking for specific items that can be tougher if you don’t know how to get them.
For the Best-Laid Plans milestone, you need to grab three different types of creature eggs. You can do so by finding and feeding different types of animals on a planet’s surface. Your best bet is to look for exotic creatures, often found on planet types that are non-standard (as in, not a radioactive, lush, volcanic, ice, or toxic planet) and try feeding them until they lay eggs.
The other particularly tricky milestone, called Wild Dairy, requires you to get four different types of milk. This also requires you to go searching for four different types of animal, but it’s easier to do so when you know which ones drop which kind of milk.
In sum, the four varieties of milk you need to find are:
- Fresh Milk – Found on most four-legged mammal-like creatures.
- Wild Milk – Found on a kangaroo-like bipedal creature on the planet where Rendezvous 3 is located.
- Craw Milk – Found on insect-like creatures, such as the flying beetles you need in order to complete a later milestone in Phase Four.
- Warm Proto Milk – Found on the bipedal creatures that look like Geks.
Milking a creature in No Man’s Sky requires you to feed them Creature Pellets, then select the “Collect Milk” option in the interaction menu that appears when you hold the E key, the square button (on PlayStation), or the X button (on Xbox) when standing in front of the creature you’re attempting to milk.
You then need to bake a cake in order to fulfill the Sweet Tooth milestone, which can also be tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing. Baking a cake in No Man’s Sky is pretty open-ended, since there are a lot of different cake recipes that you can go with, though the simplest may just be the Chocolate Cake – which is the product of one Cake Batter and one Bittersweet Cocoa in a Nutrient Processor. However you choose, all cakes require Cake Batter, which is made of any mixture of butter, flour, and Creature Eggs.
Once sufficiently baked, your cake should be fit for the most scrutinizing food critics this side of the Galactic Core, so it’s time to head back to the Nexus and present your culinary masterpiece to Iteration Cronus to nail the final milestone.
Here are the Phase Three milestones in sequence:
- Rendezvous 3 – Reach the 3rd rendezvous.
- Best-Laid Plans – Gather 3 types of egg.
- Wild Dairy – Gather 4 types of milk.
- Sweet Tooth – Bake a cake.
- A Discerning Palate – Impress Cronus.
Upon completion of Phase Three, you get the Exotic Armor companion customization.
Expedition 5 Phase Four
The most difficult part of this phase is the milestone called Coleopterology, which ties into Phase Three as well (completing it is how you get easy access to Craw Milk) and it can be easily solved by traveling to the Wonhald system near Rendezvous 5, then traveling to the Dusty Planet in that system, which is a haven for flying beetles. Hat tip to YouTube channel Xaine’s World for explaining the coordinates in more detail.
You may also have some trouble finding a deep-sea horror, which is necessary to finish the milestone called What Lurks Below. This takes place in any ocean biome you come across, but you might find it easier to travel to a new planet instead of searching for an ocean on a planet that’s mostly land-based. There isn’t any designated “water-world” planet type in No Man’s Sky, but you can see visible bodies of water on any planet from orbit. Once you’ve found a suitable diving spot, you need to specifically find one of the Abyssal Horrors that looks like a giant eye, get ensnared by it, then rapidly press the “interact” button – by default, this is either the E key, the square button (on PlayStation), or the X button (on Xbox) – until you manage to escape. This counts for the What Lurks Below milestone, and it’s mostly pretty painless to snag.
- Rendezvous 4 – Reach the 4th rendezvous.
- Coleopterology – Adopt a beetle companion.
- Companionship – Adopt 3 companions.
- Eyes in the Reeds – Discover creatures on a swamp world.
- Marine Biology – Discover 10 aquatic creatures.
- What Lurks Below – Survive the clutches of a deep-sea horror.
- Valuable Data – Earn 200,000 units for discovering a creature.
Finishing Phase Four nets you the Exotic Wingpack customization.
Expedition 5 Phase Five
This phase is a bit more straightforward than the previous phases you have encountered so far, especially if you’ve already followed through on Coleopterology and went looking for exotic creatures to gather eggs from. A few things might be unclear if you’ve never played Survival mode before, so it’s worth noting that you earn Explorer’s Guild standing in No Man’s Sky by completing Explorer’s Guild missions you find at space stations. Deep-space sentiences (needed to complete the Recognizable Life milestone) often appear at random while traveling between planets with the Pulse Engine.
- Rendezvous 5 – Reach the final rendezvous.
- A Crowded Universe – Visit a world inhabited by 13 species.
- Wingspan – Fly 4,000u on a companion.
- Xenobiology – Discover 5 exotic creatures.
- Famous Explorer – Earn 16 Explorer’s Guild standing.
- Ancestors – Excavate 15 ancient bones.
- Recognizable Life – Meet a deep-space sentience.
Finishing all of them will get you to the end of Phase Five, which rewards the Title ‘Exobiologist’ and the Exobiology Expedition Decal plans; Exobiology Expedition Banner.
And that’s it! Now it’s up to you whether you’d like to continue on this No Man’s Sky save file, or head back over to your other, non-Expedition save file(s), and redeem all of the major rewards you earned at the end of each phase – which you’re able to do at any time by speaking to the the Quicksilver Synthesis Companion near the docking bays at the Nexus. Happy trails!