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No Man's Sky guide: Exosuit, Multi-Tool and Starship basics

From your suit to your ship and all the rocks in between

Jeffrey Parkin (he/him) has been writing video game guides for Polygon for almost seven years. He has learned to love just about every genre of game that exists.

The basic concept behind all of your equipment is the slot. Each of your three pieces of equipment — your Exosuit, Multi-Tool and Starship — have a set number of slots available. These slots are devoted to the various functions of the equipment as well as upgrades and storage. As you find blueprints for upgrades over the course of the game, you will need to devote inventory slots to install and use them.


Your Exosuit is what will protect you from the environment and will serve as mobile storage while you’re out exploring.

You’ll start out with twelve slots available in your suit. One slot will always be devoted to your Jetpack which you’ll use to get around. Two others will always be devoted to Life Support and Hazard Protection, which is good, because they keep you alive.

The functions of your Exosuit are broken down into Health (keeping you from dying), Protection (keeping you from freezing/melting), Stamina (running), and Utilities (helping you find new ways to almost die).


The Health aspects of your suit are about your physical well-being. Your suit’s Shield will temporarily protect you from aggressive creatures or the inevitably angered Sentinels. You can build Companion Units for your Shield to make it more powerful or resilient and survival backups for when everything else fails.


Your suit also protects you from the environments you explore. You might occasionally find a planet suitable for a picnic, but you’re far more likely to encounter acid rain, extreme temperatures, and radiation poisoning. Your suit protects you from them. Your basic Hazard Protection does this so long as you keep it fueled with Oxide elements. For better protection or for more extreme environments, you can build Companion Units specific to those hazards.


Since you’ll be exploring a universe full of planets mostly on foot, your stamina is very important, allowing you to run short distances. Your basic Stamina isn’t controlled by the suit, but it can be upgraded with the suit. You can also build Companion Units for underwater exploration.


Utilities cover the rest of the functions of the suit. This includes both Life Support and, equally importantly, your Jetpack. Your Jetpack is used to move vertically and to scale cliff faces. It does not need to be refueled. When you find the appropriate blueprints, you can devote additional storage slots to Companion Units to improve the functionality of the Jetpack.

Your Exosuit’s life support system helps you "maintain acceptable levels of life." It will need to be refueled with Isotope elements, Companion Units will make your Life Support system more efficient, requiring fewer top ups.


Your Exosuit protects you from the environment, and your Multi-Tool lets you manipulate it. Specifically, it lets you destroy parts of the environment to gather resources. The Multi-Tool is both your pickaxe and your rifle. Just like your Exosuit, you’ll be devoting slots in your Multi-Tool to the Companion Units you find blueprints for as you travel the stars.

The functions of your Multi-Tool are broken down into Laser (mining), Projectile (fighting), Grenade (blowing stuff up) and Scan (finding stuff). Different Multi-Tools that you’ll encounter throughout the game have different base stats and a different number of available slots.


The Mining Beam is the basic function of your Multi-Tool. You’ll use it to destroy minerals, plants and animals to gather their elements. The Mining Beam is refueled with Isotope elements. Blueprints for Companion Units can be found to improve your laser’s focus.


For squishier targets like the hapless and not-so-hapless animals you’ll encounter and for destructible structures, your Multi-Tool’s boltcaster is more suited for offense. You can create more ammunition from Isotope elements. You can also improve rate-of-fire, capacity, and damage of your boltcaster with Companion Units.


For more intensive hunting and mining operations, your Multi-Tool is also a grenade launcher. Grenades are also created with Isotope elements. Companion Units for the grenade launcher make the grenades bouncier, fire farther, or cause more damage.


Your Multi-Tool’s scanner locates and highlights points of interest and resources. You will use it constantly. This is also where your binoculars are located on your Multi-Tool. The Analysis Visor allows you to scan, name, and upload plants, animals, and minerals to the Library. Companion Units for the scanner will increase its range, allowing you to see resources and locations farther away.


In a game about space exploration, your Starship is indispensable. Your Starship has both a larger inventory space and the ability to craft items from recipes you discover. It is also how you travel between planets and stars. Your Starship has the same slot system as your Exosuit and Multi-Tool. Several of these slots will be devoted to the basic functions of your ship like the Launch Thrusters, Pulse Engine and Hyperdrive.


Like your Multi-Tool, your ship’s weaponry can be used either for mining asteroids or for attacking other ships. Also like the Multi-Tool, you have two weapons systems, the Photon Cannon and the phase beam. The Photon Cannon can destroy asteroids, but is more effective in ship-to-ship combat. The Phase Beam is slower, but more powerful, making it less useful in a dogfight, but great agains slow-moving targets like asteroids. Companion Units can be built to improve the cooling, damage and rate-of-fire of both weapons.


Your ship is equipped with Shields to protect you from projectiles, lasers and space debris. Your Shields are powered by Oxide elements. Companion units will increase the protection offered by the shields.


Your ship has a scanner similar to your Multi-Tool’s. You can ping it the same way to retrieve and display information about the solar system and planets.


Your ship’s Hyperdrive is required for you to jump between star systems. You will also have a Pulse Engine which is useful to cut down those long interplanetary commutes (like impulse power in Star Trek). The hyperdrive is fueled with Warp Cells and the Pulse Engine requires Thamium9. Companion units for the Hyperdrive increase your range. You can also build Companion Units for the impulse engine to improve efficiency.

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.

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