No Man’s Sky – Best Ways to find Planets to Explore

Find out some of the best things to look for when figuring out which planets to explore!

To find the best planets in No Man’s Sky, you need to know what you’re looking for and what to expect when you arrive. If you just stop at any and all random planets, you’ll still find resources and other valuables. However, there’s a significant difference between stopping at a planet rich in life and resources that isn’t patrolled by the Sentinels, and a planet frozen on the far side of the galaxy with minimal life and resources.

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First and foremost, it’s important to know what to expect from the Sentinels. We’ve already covered most of the information you need to know about the Sentinels, and you can find even more information in our No Man’s Sky guide hub, but to quickly recap, these are the space police you should probably avoid. If you kill a lot of life on a planet or mine a planet too much, your wanted level will rise and the Sentinels will attack you. If you attack the Sentinels (even in self-defense), your wanted level will continue to rise and you’ll have the military on your back instead of just the police force.

Not all planets are governed by the Sentinels. If you find a planet that does not fall under the Sentinel jurisdiction, make note of the coordinates. This is a planet that you can mine to your heart’s content, or kill all the wildlife and there will be minimal consequences. Find a good trade route with a planet like this and you can make a lot of Units (the in-game currency).

Toxic Planets

Some planets will have toxic atmospheres. This means that you can only survive on the planet for a very limited time. In many cases these planets will have something you want. They may have rich resources or ancient ruins with new technology. Whatever the case may be, you will need to upgrade your suit if you wish to properly explore the planet. To do this you need to mine other planets or purchase the technology from space stations. Once you’ve upgraded your suit enough you can explore almost any planet in the universe.

Goldilocks Planets

A planet that falls into the Goldilocks zone is something that real people on Earth are continuously looking for. It means that a planet is the perfect distance from its sun to house water and life. The same goes for planets in No Man’s Sky. If the planet is too close to the sun of that galaxy, it will be scorching hot and the wildlife and resources will likely be limited. Likewise, if a planet is too far from a sun, it will be a frozen wasteland with equally limited wildlife and resources. Ideally, you want to explore planets that are in the sweet spot in the middle, where they aren’t too hot or too cold.

Day and Night

When you visit a planet, you can explore anything the eye can see. If there’s a mountain off in the distance, you can eventually reach that mountain and explore it. Where many people run into mistakes is that they leave a planet after exploring only a small portion of that world. In most cases, they will explore the day time portion of a planet, then leave for the next one. However, the night portion of a planet (the side of a planet facing away from the sun) may have entirely different resources and life. It’s important to explore as much of a planet as you can to avoid missing any valuable resources or ancient ruins.

Stay tuned to Prima Games as we offer more No Man’s Sky strategies and tips over the coming weeks.

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Bryan Dawson
Bryan Dawson has an extensive background in the gaming industry, having worked as a journalist for various publications for nearly 20 years and participating in a multitude of competitive fighting game events. He has authored over a dozen strategy guides for Prima Games, worked as a consultant on numerous gaming-related TV and web shows and was the Operations Manager for the fighting game division of the IGN Pro League.