A Taoist Guide To No Man's Sky


I was going to call this a ‘definitive guide’, but that would be a bit misleading, since there can’t be a definitive guide or walk-through for a procedurally generated game like NMS; the game will be different in detail for everybody, however there are many things happening in the game which need better explanation than can be found in the official guide. This has been updated to the 'Synthesis' update (as of Jan, 2020), which changed many of the game mechanics - up to the point where my old saved games were essentially useless, so I started afresh to do this updated edition.

I find NMS to be a truly beautiful video game on many levels; the scenery is spectacular and varied, and the storylines have interesting and morally ambiguous choices one must make. Nothing or no one is quite as it seems, and the nature of reality is an unresolved question. I have played this game several times through three universe ‘resets’; (more on that later), and with almost 300 hours ‘invested’; in it, I feel I have gained a few useful insights which I want to pass along. The beginning of the game (Awakenings) will be common to all players, and there are things which are very helpful to know, and these I shall try to impart.

Speaking of insights, as a Taoist I find certain video games - like this one - prove to be a beneficial aid to meditation in that they demand focus on the here and now but have deeper patterns which can be reasoned out and used to improve one‘s gameplay - just like life. My monastery is tolerant of this - or at least allows me to spend some time at it in addition to my other duties. This guide is current to the 'Beyond' version of the game as of January, 2020. Hello Games patches frequently, so some bugs noted here may not be seen again, and other bugs or variations in game play may be introduced. I only play the ‘Normal’ version as I am interested in the evolving story and scenery, and since I find most group contact disruptive, I avoid any multi-player gaming. For those wanting any more insight, you can visit us here.

This guide is in several sections, indexed below as clickable links, or you can just page through it.

Index to the guide