Not every planet you visit in No Man's Sky is suitable for a picnic. And that's a good thing.
Planets with extreme environmental conditions are more likely to have rare elements, so a visit is often worth the danger to your health. You'll have to prepare yourself so you're not spending all of your time refueling your suit's Hazard Protection, but the rewards are often worth the extra effort.
Below, we'll talk about the hazards you'll encounter and how to use your Companion Units to survive and collect those rare elements.
Much like living in the South during summer, the simplest way to avoid environmental hazards is to simply not go outside. Being inside your ship, buildings and shelters protects you from the elements and allows your Hazard Protection unit to recharge. The problem is, there're no resources inside. You can sprint back and forth and gather what you can in some sort of irradiated Supermarket Sweep, but there's a much easier way.
Through your travels, some of the Companion Unit blueprints you find will be upgrades to your Hazard Protection. These are each designed to protect against a specific hazard (and each have three tiers: Sigma, Tau, and Theta). The lowest level of additional protection is always easy to build, requiring only the ubiquitous Iron and Carbon.
Installing these units (see our guide to getting the most out of your Companion Units here) will let you wander freely on these resource-rich planets. This additional protection needs to be refueled, though. We recommend using Shielding Sheets if you've found the Recipe. They're easy to make — you only need 75 Iron — and they fully recharge your Companion Unit. Because the suit upgrades are relatively cheap to make and Exosuit inventory slots are always at a premium, it makes sense to only build them when they’re needed and destroy when you leave.
Would you like to know more?
No Man's Sky is a largely solitary experience, but that doesn't mean you have to travel the universe alone. This is but one small section of Polygon's No Man's Sky guide.
Be sure to check out the rest, where you can learn all about your ship, your Multi-Tool and Companion Units and even get answers to some of the biggest questions about No Man's Sky. We also have a guide to No Man's Sky's resources that'll teach you the difference between Oxides and Silicates and No Man's Sky's various elements.
If you're just looking for a quick reference guide to locations— like where you can save and trade — we've got you covered, too.