Quick Start Guide: No Man’s Sky base building

No Man’s Sky does a decent job of putting you on the path to success. At least… it’s better now than it was at launch. But there are still some pretty significant gaps in its tutorials. One of those under-explored areas is just how the hell you start the main base building quest.

This guide will provide some simple tips to make the base-building process as quick and painless as possible. So let’s dig in!

Unlocking the Overseer

Early on you’ll be directed to build a Base Computer. That’s the first step. Completing it opens up the very basics of base building. You just need a floor and some walls to close out that mandatory story step. That’s not all, though. Next you need to make a Cylindrical Room from your base-building menu for 350 Pure Ferrite.

It doesn’t matter if you plan to use it. In fact, you can delete the thing right away to get the resources back, if you like. All that matters is you build it once to unlock your base’s Overseer. This creepy creature will begin a chain of recruitment, farming, and travel missions across the galaxy, each of which unlocks further technology that you can use to kit out your home.

And if you decide to pick up sticks and move your HQ to another world? The Overseer will follow—along with all of your story progress. So don’t feel bad about salting the earth (or whatever your home planet is made of) and restarting elsewhere. Just make sure that, wherever you move your Base Computer, to check the terminal often. It also periodically dishes out new blueprints in real-time. The timer doesn’t reset until you pick up the last blueprint, though, so make sure to hit up the computer often.

A good planet is worth its weight in, er, copper

You can’t really go wrong when picking a planet in No Man’s Sky. Setting up shop on a dangerous world will be mighty inconvenient. You’ll have to worry about hazardous storms and topping off your exosuit’s energy reserves more often. On the other hand, oppressive planets tend to have the rarest materials. Not to mention having a home base there will give you a safe haven to return to between mining runs. And, near the very end of your base building quests, you’ll even unlock a set of vehicles that are perfect for traversing deadly wastelands.

Early on, though, it’s probably best to play it safe. That’s doubly true if you don’t have the right set of exosuit upgrades to protect you from a planet’s particular environment. Biting off more than you can chew early on will just slow down your progress. And you can always rebuild your base on a more profitable world when you’re better equipped.

It also helps to pick a planet with copper. Essential resources—like carbon, di-hydrogen, and ferrite—are available no matter where you go. Copper is common but not ubiquitous. However, it’s vital for building several early technologies and all-important warp fuel for your ship.

While you’re at it, try building your base near an alien outpost. The kind with a single landing pad and attached building will do nicely. This placement offers multiple benefits. The first is that you won’t need as much launch fuel while lifting off from your base. You can just use the landing pad to touch off for free. Most outposts also have access to both the intergalactic market and mutli-tool vendors. The former is good for buying certain amenities with cash (saving you the trouble of mining them) while the latter might offer you a rare weapon every time you log in.

Materials for the Farmer

Most of the base quests aren’t very difficult. Many of them won’t even require you to leave your home planet—spawning the appropriate locations and resources for you automatically. The major exception is the Farmer’s subplot.

This NPC eventually teaches you how to grow rare and valuable flora from the comfort of your own home. It’s a great way to make easy cash. It’s also a real pain to set up if you don’t already have the materials the Farmer requests as “seeds.” You’re expected to scour the galaxy in search of random materials that will grow the plants back at base.

So, while you’re going about your other business, it’s helpful to collect the proper resources ahead of time and store them for the quest. The list below will show you what you need to complete the Farmer’s orders.

  • Coprite Flower
    • 40 Coprite
    • 25 Chromatic Metal
  • Frostwort
    • 100 Dioxite
    • 25 Chromatic Metal
  • Solar Vine
    • 100 Phosphorus
    • 25 Chromatic Metal
  • Fungal Cluster
    • 100 Ammonia
    • 25 Chromatic Metal
  • Gamma Weed
    • 100 Uranium
    • 25 Chromatic Metal
  • Gravitino Host*
    • 120 Ionized Cobalt
    • 25 Magnetized Ferrite
    • 25 Chromatic Metal
  • Venom Urchin
    • 100 Emeril
    • 100 Ionized Cobalt
  • Albumen Pearl Orb
    • 60 Indium
    • 20 Paraffinium
  • Echinocactus
    • 100 Pyrite
    • 25 Chromatic Metal
  • Star Bramble
    • 100 Paraffinium
    • 25 Chromatic Metal
  • Mordite Root
    • 30 Mordite
    • 25 Chromatic Metal

*Side note: The Gravitino Balls this plant produces are worth a hefty chunk of change on the market.

Keep in mind that many of these minerals can also be bought on the open market. Not to mention you can save yourself some time checking by using the system scanner to check a planet’s available goods from orbit. No need to go down on foot every time!

Essential Buildings: Teleporter, Storage Units, Large Refiner

One of the biggest hurdles facing any No Man’s Sky player is inconvenience. As fun as it is to explore the galaxy, it can be a real pain to move items around and shuttle back and forth between locations. Those annoyances multiply a hundredfold when you actually have a stationary headquarters. So here are some of the most important amenities to alleviate that agitation.

Storage containers are numbered zero through nine — giving you a total of 10 to play with on your main base. They honestly don’t hold much. Each can only contain five stacks of up to 1000 units of material (or just 10 units of special items). But it’s still better than nothing when inventory space is at a premium.

More importantly, storage containers unlock an incredibly useful trick. You can use them to transport items from your freighter to your person without having to take off and dock with the thing. Just select whatever you want to transfer from your freighter and select “storage container” instead of your starship, or personal inventory. Then access the container and take whatever you need.

Much like storage containers, teleporters are exactly what they sound like. They allow you to warp between locations and even bring your starship along for the ride. You don’t even always need there to be a teleporter at the location you want to reach. Certain areas, like your home base, will be saved in the teleportation network for you to travel to whenever you like. All space stations also have teleporters you can move between free of charge.

You might be thinking you don’t need a large refiner. Your portable one works just fine. That’s mostly true. The enormous base-bound refiner mostly offers what that early-game item does just fine. It just does it better.

Large refiners don’t require fuel of any kind, for one. You can just put your copper, ferrite dust, or what-have-you inside and let ‘er rip. The devices also hold more material (meaning you have to check back and refill them less often) and can fuse certain materials into other, more complex substances. That can save you a trip, or several, to other planets when you don’t have the material you need to complete a specific quest, or build a specific upgrade.

Good luck, and happy homesteadding!