Just one No Man’s Sky Portal exists on every planet and moon in the game. Yet each of them can open you up to a wide range of possibilities. If you build just one base next to a Portal, for instance, you can use that spot as a hub to travel between other Portal locations.
This is novel on its own. Yet it’s also important for several quests throughout No Man’s Sky (notably the “Starbirth” quest that hatches your Void Egg into a Living Ship). The question is: How do you find a Portal in No Man’s Sky? There are actually several options. Not to mention the best way to find Portal locations sometimes changes with new No Man’s Sky updates. But we’ve got all the best methods right here and ready with tips on how to use each Portal and where to find them as of 2022! Let’s get started by addressing Portal locations.
Navigation Data & Planetary Charts – No Man’s Sky Portal Guide
Here we have the old-fashioned way. Portals are found semi-randomly throughout No Man’s Sky. However, there is one found on every major stellar body in the game (which is to say the various planets and moons you can land on). You can scan entire systems for on such location from space or look for one on a specific planet standing on its surface. Either way, you need to use one “Planetary Chart (Alien Artifact Site).”
This is a type of consumable purchased from the Cartographer NPC found on any standard space station. This character is found on the upper level to your right as you dock your ship — next to the station’s Teleporter. The rub is that each chart will cost you one “Navigation Data.” This is a special type of currency stored in your inventory (unlike Units, Nanite Clusters, or Quicksilver). One Navigation Data will get you one chart of any type — but make certain you purchase the purple variety marked “Alien Artifact Site.” This is the only chart type that can find a Portal in No Man’s Sky.
You can find our guide to locating Navigation Data in No Man’s Sky right here!
Next, you can use the Planetary Chart from your inventory to receive an objective marker for one of three types of sites: a Ruin, a Monolith, or a Plaque. We once again want the Monolith, or “Alien Monolith,” as the chart scan calls it. If you receive a Plaque or a Ruin, however, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Just make sure to leave those sites unvisited while remaining in the same system!
We do this because each type of site (i.e. Ruin, Monolith, and Plaque) can only have one marker associated with it per system. Receiving a Plaque and/or Ruin marker from your Planetary Chart removes those types of site from the pool of potential objectives. Put another way, if you already have a Plaque and Ruin marked in the system, your Planetary Chart (Alien Artifact Site) will only ever give you a Monolith location. Which is what we want! That’s where we can find a Portal.
There is, however, a small bug or quality-of-life issue in No Man’s Sky related to this feature. Even with a Plaque and Ruin already marked, the chart will not always give you an Alien Monolith site. You may instead get the message “Cannot use chart / Similar building target already marked.”
It’s a common mistake among No Man’s Sky players to believe this means they must investigate one of the other sites (the Ruin and/or the Plaque) before they can use another chart. The problem is actually much sillier… Even though the chart cannot provide more than one of each marker type, that doesn’t mean it won’t try. They’re eliminated from the pool of successful results, but not from the list of locations your chart will attempt to find. Instead, it presents the “cannot use chart” error without consuming your Planetary Chart.
You don’t really need to worry about those details, though. You just need to know that, if you don’t already have a Monolith marker in your system but still get the “cannot use chart,” just keep attempting to use the Planetary Chart (Alien Artifact Site) in your inventory. It will eventually spit one out a Monolith site after a few tries. You won’t waste any charts in the process, either.
After that it’s just trial and error. Each Monolith might be a Portal, or it might be a more standard alien Monolith related to one of the NPC factions. These provide faction reputation, language lessons, and various random rewards. However, you can also use them to locate a Portal automatically. If you solve a riddle and have the right item.
Interacting with any Monolith will present you with a multiple-choice question in the language of one of the major in-game species: Gek, Korvax, or Vy’keen. This is the riddle. Answering correctly is how you receive your reputation and other rewards. However, if you interact with the Monolith a second time after solving the riddle, it will offer to mark a Portal location for you in exchange for a gift.
The gifts vary according to the language the Monolith uses. These include:
- Gek Relic (Gek)
- Korvax Casing (Korvax)
- Vy’keen Dagger (Vy’keen)
If you get the riddle wrong, you need to keep spamming Planetary Charts and checking each Alien Monolith, one-by-one, until you finally find a Portal or answer a riddle correctly. Answering can be tricky since the questions are posed in one of the three alien languages (which you can only understand if you have learned enough of the words). But it’s still multiple choice. Odds are good that you’ll get one right by accident sooner or later.
As for finding the gifts: there are tons of ways to find them. You can purchase them planetary Trading Posts, earn them at Minor Settlements, find them in damaged containers, send Frigate expeditions for them, or even acquire them as a Monolith riddle reward.
If you do mess up and need to use more Planetary Charts, here’s another tiny tip. Make sure to stay inside your ship. This will automatically skip the otherwise unskippable cutscene that plays every time you use a Planetary Chart. It’s just a few seconds every time, but it adds up. Especially if you have bad luck answering those Alien Monoliths to find a Portal in No Man’s Sky.
That’s when using the old-fashioned method, anyway. The next two methods for finding a Portal are actually considerably easier — if you’ve progressed far enough into the game and/or have the proper upgrades.
The Exocraft & Signal Booster Upgrade Tau – No Man’s Sky Portal Guide
Another popular, manual method of finding your own Portal in No Man’s Sky is by using a Signal Booster. Specifically the Exocraft variety and specifically after you have the “Exocraft Signal Booster Upgrade Tau” equipped. This device effectively functions like an unlimited supply of free Planetary Charts. Assuming you have an Exocraft to equip it to, of course. That means you need to have already built enough of a base to create a Geobay and an Exocraft to go with it. At which point you can buy the blueprints for an Exocraft Signal Booster Upgrade Tau from Iteration: Perses in the research room on the Space Anomaly.
With the upgrade equipped, simply hop into your Exocraft. From here you can use the Quick Menu (down on the D-pad with a controller or X on a keyboard). Choose the “Exocraft Signal Booster” option from this menu and finally select “Scan for Alien Structures.” If you don’t get a Monolith at first, simply keep using the Exocraft Signal Booster until one is eventually marked. After which point the process is exactly the same as using a Planetary Chart! Answer the riddle, offer the gift, and find your No Man’s Sky Portal.
Teleporters & Community Bases – No Man’s Sky Portal Guide
Perhaps you don’t want to bother with all that, though. By far the easiest way to find a Portal in No Man’s Sky is to simply… let someone else do it for you. Tons of existing No Man’s Sky players build bases near Portals and name them something to match. Sometimes that’s to be helpful: providing an easy way for fellow players to reach their first stellar gateway. Sometimes it’s just for their own convenience: a way to access all future Portals anytime they need it. Either way, it’s a huge help for everyone else, since other players’ bases are easy to access in No Man’s Sky.
Just head to the Space Anomaly and approach its community teleporter, a.k.a. the Interstellar Terminus. It’s on your first left after walking up the leftmost ramp from the anomaly entrance (the one shown to the left of the Nexus in the image below).
From here, you can access an almost limitless number of player bases — many of which will have custom names that players have selected to show what purpose each base serves. Names like “Indium Mines,” or “Gravitino Ball City.” It may take a bit of searching, but you should be able to find someone with an available base located next to a Portal and labeled as such. Just look for someplace with a custom name that says “portal” somewhere in the name.
Technically, this process also works at any old space station with a teleporter. The ones next to the Cartographer NPC mentioned above. Yet we prefer the Space Anomaly teleporter. That way you’re exposed to the highest number of players (and all of their bases) possible.
Of course, you might still load in and not see a single base labeled with “portal.” That doesn’t necessarily mean none of the bases are built next to one. It might just mean nobody named their base with the word right in the title. Either way, it’s not very efficient to check every haphazardly labeled base in the hope of finding one. Luckily, we don’t need to. All we need to do is quit the game and restart.
Since No Man’s Sky saves every time you exit your ship — including inside the Space Anomaly — you will reload right inside the community hub entrance. Just a few dozen feet away from the teleporter! However, you will almost certainly enter a new multiplayer instance with a different set of players — and a different set of available bases. Then you just need to check the list for the word “portal” again. If you don’t see anything, quit back to the main menu, and repeat. It shouldn’t take too many tries to find somebody with a Portal base. At the very least, it should be faster than doing it manually.
The downside to this method is that you won’t be able to lay down your own base for future use. Players can’t build bases on top of other player’s bases. It might still be worth finding your own Portal to build your Portal base — saving you the trouble of finding new locations down the line. Because of the random nature of manual search methods, however, relying on community-marked Portals is much easier for things like the Void Egg quest that just need a quick hop through any old No Man’s Sky Portal.
Charging & Using Glyphs – No Man’s Sky Portal Guide
Last but not least, let’s give a quick rundown of how Portal glyphs work. It’s actually quite simple, so this shouldn’t take long!
There are 16 total glyphs shared across every single Portal in No Man’s Sky. You can think of each one like a digit on a telephone. Each Portal has a 12-digit “phone number” that acts as its address. Entering those 12 glyphs in the proper order into any other Portal will allow you to instantly teleport back to the other location. All you Stargate fans out there should be pretty familiar with the concept.
However, each glyph on the portal must be “charged” with a small amount of a specific element before use. As such, it’s important to always carry a bit of these elements on you in No Man’s Sky. At least when you plan to use a Portal. Thankfully, you don’t need to clog your inventory with every single one. Every glyph is split into a specific subcategory of elements. You only need one from each category for each glyph!
For example, in the first category, you can use Cobalt, Deuterium, Di-hydrogen, Ionised Cobalt, or Salt. You don’t need all five!
We’ve split the items below up into their respective categories. The possible Portal glyph elements and their respective requirements include:
Portal Glyph Category One
- 50x Salt
- 20x Cobalt
- 20x Deuterium
- 20x Di-hydrogen
- 5x Ionised Cobalt
Portal Glyph Category Two
- 20x Carbon
- 10x Oxygen
- 7x Condensed Carbon
Portal Glyph Category Three
- 10x Sodium
- 4x Sodium Nitrate
Portal Glyph Category Four
- 20x Copper
- 10x Cadmium
- 10x Activated Copper
- 7x Emeril
- 5x Indium
You can also request the glyph address of a specific Portal by interacting with it. Consider taking a screenshot of the 12-digit code for future use, or just leave a Beacon! This will make it easier for future players to find the spot. Note that you also need to have each glyph unlocked on your save, first. You can find these glyphs in a couple of different ways shown here.
For now, this is most of what you need to know to find Portals in No Man’s Sky in 2022! Best of luck finding one quickly and finding a new location for a Portal base of your own.