In No Man’s Sky Next, you can build a base very shortly into a new game, but you can’t make it very fancy or get a lot of the benefits right away. You can, however, get right to Teleporting (more on this below), and that will cut a lot of time off of your commutes to and from Space Stations and between planets (and systems). Later, you’ll get a lot more out of your bases by building Specialist Terminals and hiring Specialists. That’s where you get to build your own Trade Hub and Landing Pad and start getting blueprints just handed to you.
Base building is as simple or as complex as you want it to be. You can drop a windowless room on every planet you visit if you want, or you can spend some time on just one planet with your friends building a sprawling fortress with every amenity you can think of. We’ll break down the basics below and talk about the benefits you get from bases, no matter how simple or complicated you make them.
How to build a base
Building a base in No Man’s Sky only requires a Base Computer. You can pull this up by pressing up on the D-pad and selecting it out of the Portable Technology menu (the same place you go to build Portable Refiners or Signal Boosters). You’ll need some Chromatic Metal to build it — which you can make from Copper in a Portable Refiner. (If you don’t see the option to build a Base Computer yet, continue along the Artemis storyline and warp to a couple more systems, then check again.)
And that’s it.
Once you build the Base Computer, interact with it to claim your base. You now, technically, have a base. Even though there’s no building here (we’ll get to that in a minute), it still counts.
Just doing that allows you do a couple of things now.
Teleporters and Space Stations
Once you have a Base Computer set up and you claim a location, that base becomes available as a destination from the Teleporters on Space Stations. It’s one-way travel, but it still lets you hop around to gather resources from different planets and systems much more quickly than warping or pulse engine-ing (and your ship follows along with you).
A little further into the game, you’ll get the option to build your own Teleporter at your bases. This means you don’t even have to go to Space Stations to hop to other planets any more. With enough time (and resources), you’ll be able create your own Teleporter travel network that takes you directly to the planets with the resources you need.
Rename your bases
When you’re standing at a Teleporter, you’ll be able to scroll through lists of all Teleport targets, Space Stations you’ve visited, your bases, or other players’ bases you’ve visited. And that list can get pretty confusing since most of the game-generated names are basically gibberish.
At a Base Computer, you can choose to rename your base. Give your bases names that stand out a little from the procedurally generated ones so you recognize them later. (We’ve been using city names that match the planet’s climate — and therefore the elements found there — like Raleigh for a “sweltering humidity” planet or Phoenix for a “scorched” planet.)
Early in the game and early in your base building career, you’re not going to have a lot of options for what to build — and that’s OK. That’s why we stressed above that all a base needs is a Base Computer. There’s nothing wrong with having a Base Computer (and a Teleporter, if you have the option) and nothing else.
When you start making your bases a little more permanent, the first things you’ll learn to build are wooden slabs. With these, you’ll be able to build a very boring, windowless cube. And that’s fine, too. Even the most basic of buildings — four walls, a roof, and a door — will protect you from the environment and hide you from sentinels. Build yourself a Portable Refiner and a Teleporter outside, and you’ve got a perfectly adequate base of operations.
How to build more interesting things
There’s (yet) another currency in No Man’s Sky when you want to expand your base building options. Using your scanner, look for a Buried Technology Module — it’s got a two-bars-of-wifi-like icon. When you get to it, use your Terrain Manipulator to dig up the module (they’re never very deep), and you’ll get either some Nanite Clusters or, more importantly, some Salvaged Technology.
Once you have a few pieces of Salvaged Technology, build a Blueprint Analyzer from your Portable Technology menu. This will let you trade in your Salvaged Technology for new base parts and materials.
There’s a mission for that
When the Base Computer becomes available in your Portable Technology menu, you can start building bases. You’re not going to have access to everything a base offers, though. If you want something a little fancier and more useful, you’ll need to follow a main story mission.
Follow the Artemis storyline until it becomes the Apollo storyline. As part of the “Ghosts in the Machine” mission, you’ll be asked to build a base. From there, you’ll build an Overseer Terminal and hire an Overseer (on a Space Station) to staff it. Your Overseer will then start giving you base-related side missions in your Log.
With the addition of your first Terminal, bases become a lot more than just a shelter or hideout. You’ll get more useful technology and can even start producing your own valuable resources — like Gravitino Balls — to sell or use.
Specialist Terminals and Specialists
There are five Specialist Terminals for your base — or that will become available as you complete the “Ghosts in the Machine” mission. You’ll start with the Construction Terminal. As you add each Terminal and hire a Specialist to staff it, you’ll get a series of side missions for that Specialist. Completing these will give you useful blueprints related to that specialization — the Armorer gives you Multi-tool-related blueprints, for example — and move you along through the base-building side missions.
- Construction Terminal and Overseer. Your Overseer is the first NPC you’ll hire. Completing the Planetary Base Construction side missions will earn you Blueprints for things like the other Specialist Terminals, storage units, and new base structures and decorations. You’ll also get the plans to build your own Galactic Trade Terminal and Landing Pad.
- Science Terminal and Scientist. The side missions for your Korvax Scientist will get you new Crafting blueprints and a couple of new pieces of Portable Technology (see below).
- Weapons Terminal and Armorer. Your Vy’keen Armorer will send you on side missions that reward you with Upgrade Module blueprints for your suit, multi-tool, and ship.
- Agricultural Terminal and Farmer. The Gek Farmer you hire will teach you blueprints for Hydroponic Trays and Seeds. These will let you grow your own resources like Frost Crystals, Solanium, or Gravitino Balls.
- Exocraft Terminal and Technician. From your Vy’keen Technician, you’ll learn blueprints to build Exocrafts (vehicles for wandering on a planet’s surface) and Upgrade Modules for those Exocrafts.
As your base expands, you’re going to start needing a lot of resources. Luckily, around that same time, you can build a Large Refiner. You’ll find it under the Permanent Technology list in your build menu.
The Large Refiner takes up a lot of room (hence the name), but it doesn’t require fuel. If you only put in one Input element or item, it’ll act just like a Portable Refiner. But you can choose to put in up to three Input elements. This unlocks a lot of new recipes. You can do things like mix Oxygen and Ferrite Dust to create Rusted Metal.
More importantly, though, the elements you mix change the output ratio.
Normally, putting Sodium into a Portable Refiner results in Sodium Nitrate at a ratio of one unit of Sodium Nitrate output per two units of Sodium input (2:1). In the image above, we’re processing Sodium with Condensed Carbon. For every two units of Sodium and one unit of Condensed Carbon that go into the Large Refiner, we receive six units of Sodium Nitrate out (2:6).
The large refiner will also let you start making some of the more exotic or difficult to find elements — like Phosphorus or Dioxite — on your own.
Autonomous Mining Units, Atmosphere Harvesters, and Beacons
You’ll also gain access to three useful pieces of Portable Technology as you expand your base. The Autonomous Mining Unit, the Atmosphere Harvester, and the Beacon. They’re all pretty expensive to build in terms of resources, but they automate some pretty tedious processes.
- Beacon. The Beacon is the simplest — it just creates a marker on your map. Drop one of these whenever you want to make sure you can find your way back to specific spot on a planet, like, where you left your Autonomous Mining Unit.
- Autonomous Mining Unit. You can build these on top of any deposit. You just have to power it up with some Carbon and it will quietly churn away until the deposit is exhausted. Then you just have to pick up your reward. (These are particularly good on hazardous planets — you don’t have to be exposed for long while you place it, then you can just sit in your ship and watch it work.)
- Atmosphere Harvester. Like the Autonomous Mining Unit, you can set an Atmosphere Harvester up and then ignore it — if you wander off, make sure you place a Beacon nearby. The Harvester will pull gases out of the air for you to collect and use later. What gas is collected depends on the type of planet you’re on.