In No Man’s Sky, glyphs are used like interstellar phone numbers. You need them to “dial” different portals throughout the game — bringing you instantly to any one, particular planet with the right address. Think stargates from Stargate. Except you need to both charge the portal glyphs with basic materials and learn every glyph. NMS makes both processes pretty easy! It just doesn’t tell you how to go about things. So, let’s take a look for ourselves with this basic guide to unlocking every glyph in NMS.
Unlock Via the Artemis Path: No Man’s Sky Glyph Guide
The short version? Now that the story NPC named Artemis has been added to the game, you just need to play through this main story quest beginning with the mission “Awakenings.”
Well, short isn’t quite the right word. This is an extremely lengthy series of quests that more-or-less functions as an extended tutorial for some of the more obtuse mechanics of No Man’s Sky. Including portals and portal glyphs.
Nevertheless, this is the most straightforward route to unlock every necessary symbol in the game. There are 16 in total (connecting it to that very important number in the game’s lore). And while you can unlock them without following this quest, this strategy is guaranteed, whereas the other method requires trial and error.
The whole process takes you all the way across the galaxy. Pretty much literally. It’s part of a series missions called the Artemis Path that basically concludes in one of the “endings” of the game. However, you can stop just short of the final objective with all 16 glyphs and continue on your merry way. Not to mention (without spoiling too much) NMS is pretty much endless. Even reaching the conclusion of the final mission doesn’t actually lock you out of any content on its own.
The necessary missions are as follows:
- Alone Amidst the Stars
- Ghosts in the Machine
- A Leap in the Dark
- The First Traveller
- Patterns in Time
- The Purge
During the final Artemis quest, “The Purge,” it becomes necessary to warp through various systems. Just like you do through much of the game. Though this time you will receive one of the portal glyphs as a reward after each jump. These are permanent unlocks added to your collection! They don’t exist as physical objects in your inventory. Nor can they be lost or sold. Once you have them, you’re all good.
Unlock Via the Travellers: No Man’s Sky Glyph Guide
That’s all well and good! However, not everyone is going to want to play through this very length questline just to unlock portals for use. You might instead just prefer to play normally and unlock every glyph naturally over time. That’s totally an option! In fact, it’s likely much faster than the Artemis Path. Though it’s quite tedious and relies more on luck…
This solution relies on speaking to Travellers: the mysterious fourth alien race that very occasionally appear on space stations, in buildings, and at outposts. They typically have a “holographic-looking” glow that sets them apart from the Gek, Korvax, and Vy’keen found elsewhere in the galaxy. Not to mention they look more distinct and stranger — like the player character.
You can also see examples of Travellers on the Space Anomaly. Each of the “Iteration” NPCs, plus the Quicksilver Synthesis Companion, are types of Travellers. Though the ones who can lead us to glyphs always appear randomly and mill around with the general alien populace.
Whenever you meet a Traveller, make sure to speak to each one twice. Once to answer their initial question and once to pay 100 Nanite Clusters to ask where they came from. This places a unique, diamond-shaped marker on a nearby planet. It’s a marker called a Traveller’s Grave.
While it’s possible to find these graves on their own, just by exploring planets, they’re nearly impossible to spot from a distance. Each grave is absolutely tiny compared to other planetary landmarks. Speaking to a Traveller is all but necessary to find one.
After you reach the Traveller’s Grave, simply interact with diamond-shaped marker floating nearby. This permanently unlocks one random glyph! Complete this process 16 times over and you will eventually have the entire collection. Once again, these are not inventory items, and are simply added to your log forever. Having each glyph in your collection makes traveling through any portal in NMS possible (if you have the small number of resources necessary to charge said portal).
As for finding NMS Travellers in the first place: check space stations. Travellers are often found walking around the large groups of aliens standing on the platform next to the bounty agents and the Galactic Trade Terminals. If you don’t find one, jump to the next system and check the space station there. Repeat as necessary until you find as many as you need!
The reason we focus on space stations, as opposed to outposts and the like, is simply a matter of efficiency. Finding planetary buildings, lining up your Pulse Engine, landing, searching, and taking off again all take time. Warping and docking are also much faster than entering and exiting atmosphere. Especially since warping between systems usually dumps you right next to that area’s station (if there is a station).
Always make sure to check out the bar-like room next to the Multi-Tool research kiosk, too. Travellers often gravitate towards this area specifically.
Many No Man’s Sky players don’t even know this area exists! However, there are nearly always a few aliens hanging out in this location. Simply walk through the circular door next to the aforementioned Multi-Tool vendor (where you can upgrade your gun or buy more for your collection).
Some players have also reported that Travellers only appear throughout the galaxy after visiting the Space Anomaly as part of the story. Which, at least anecdotally, matches our testing. This means playing through the sequence where you investigate the anomaly during “Alone Amidst the Stars.” It feels especially worth noting this since players who start an Expedition save before converting it to a Normal save can unlock and visit the Space Anomaly before reaching it as part of the Artemis questline.
Basically? Make sure to play through the Space Anomaly part of “Alone Amidst the Stars.”
What’s the Point of It All?
Of course, portals might not seem like they’re worth any of this fuss. They’re no longer nearly as important as they once were. Not now that it’s so very easy to teleport between space stations, the Space Anomaly, other players’ bases, and your own structures through teleporters.
However, certain others story quests still all-but-require you to use a portal normally. Such as the “Starbirth” questline necessary to acquire a Living Ship. This makes finding — and being able to use — portals extremely important. Not to mention the Artemis Path is, in and of itself, a major part of the game’s content. Many players will want to see it through simply for its own sake!
Less regularly, you can also use portals as “anchor points” during Expedition 7: Leviathan. This is a so-called roguelike event for No Man’s Sky. One that locks you into Survival difficulty with permadeath applied. On the bright side, the mission is pockmarked with portals with unique addresses, which you can use to skip forward in the event of your in-game demise.
Granted, the Leviathan Expedition was a limited-time event, but since developer Hello Games has brought back prior Expeditions before, we wouldn’t be surprised to see it loop back in again later.
And those are all the ways we currently know to find all glyphs in ! Best of lucking hunting those Travellers or finishing the Artemis Path.