VR gives us the ability to experience things that we will likely never experience ourselves. You can launch magic from your hands, compete in sports you don’t have access to, fight mythical creatures, and so much more that the possibilities are pretty much endless.
For me, the most invigorating experience in VR has been No Man’s Sky. It’s one of the most remarkable times I’ve had in VR. You can travel the universe at your leisure while following an intriguing story, fighting with space pirates, learning alien languages, bartering with space merchants, and gathering resources to keep your whole journey functioning well.
When it comes to No Man’s Sky in VR, there is a lot to know and a lot to learn. Beginning your journey in this never-ending game is quite intimidating off the bat, so I’m going to take you through everything that’s changed in VR, as well as some basic tips on how to do several important things in the game. Fire up your ship, and let’s get to exploring.
Bottom Line Up Front
No Man’s Sky VR is an amazing experience that gives you tons of tools to explore the universe in any way you see fit. It’s truly one of the most open-ended games I’ve ever seen, and the various mechanics that make it up are still growing to this day, so expect to be exploring this universe for a very long time.
No Man’s Sky VR Guide
How to Play No Man’s Sky in VR?
Although it wasn’t designed with VR in mind, No Man’s Sky is fairly easy to start up in VR mode. You will want to launch your game while your headset is plugged in and ready to go, whether it’s on PSVR or PCVR. As the game opens up, you will get two options, and you’re going to select the one that says VR on it. From there, you’ll launch into the main menu and then soar through the galaxy as a load into a game.
Finetuning the Graphics
This, unfortunately, will be an issue for pretty much everyone but the ones with the most souped-up PCs. No Man’s Sky is just not optimized to exist in VR. It’s an astonishingly huge game that uses tons of assets to create a procedurally generated world, and very few PCs are built to handle such a thing. For me, I took all the graphics down a notch from their normal settings while also lowering the settings in my Steam supersampling as well.
You can go one step further here and try to seek out some graphic reshade mods that will make the game look better on lower settings, but these are third-party mods, so your mileage may vary there.
Flying, in particular, becomes a bit of a nightmare when it comes to performance, and depending on the area you’re in, you might find yourself losing frames while trying to land on a populated planet and when that happens, your flight controls are thrown off by even a millisecond, you might be in for a world of nausea, so don’t try to push this one graphically. For whatever reason, it has been a lot for VR headsets to handle considering the epic scale of the game.
How To Get Around In No Man’s Sky in VR
A game like No Man’s Sky prides itself on its vagueness and relies on the player to figure out what you have to do. Unfortunately, though, you have a whole lot more of that vagueness to deal with when it comes to playing in VR, and not much is told to you here.
You have a handful of options on how you’re going to move in No Man’s Sky VR, and these comfort options range from teleportation movement to playing with or without a vignette and overall, it’s a very customizable experience regardless of what style you want to play.
When you’re on the planet’s surface, you’ve also got a lot of options when it comes to movement, and these come in the form of pets and Exocrafts. Your Exocrafts range from massive trucks to small buggys and even some more fascinating fair like an underwater vehicle. You will unlock these by gathering different resources and completing various missions throughout the game.
What Do I Do?
Starting up the game, things are pretty unclear as to what you’re supposed to do, but you do have the one goal of gathering equipment to fix your spaceship. This is a survival game, so that means you’ll need to gather a ton of resources, and in order to do that, you’re going to need to use your multitool.
The multitool has tons of uses throughout the game, but at the outset, it will function as a resource gathering tool as well as a low-level weapon. In order to get out the multitool in VR, you need to reach over your shoulder and press the grip button, then pull your hand in front of you, and it should appear.
In VR, the multitool interaction is far more interesting than in the flat-screen version, and here, you will be able to look at your menu and choose which mode you want the multitool to be in.
The first thing you’ll be asked to do is gather resources, and you better get used to that because you’ll be doing this at a fairly consistent clip throughout the duration of the game. In order to do this, you aim your multitool at whatever item you’re looking for and pull the trigger on your motion controller. This starts a mining laser that will absorb the item for you.
You will gain another form of resource gathering shortly after the game begins, which allows you to rip out huge chunks of the planet in order to get to hard-to-reach spaces. You can use this pretty much indefinitely to travel to the planet’s core, and sometimes it will unearth special items or hidden species, so definitely experiment with both settings.
You can change settings at any time by pointing to the back of your multitool with your left hand.
Using the Menu
What makes VR such a great medium is that mundane things like accessing a menu suddenly become far more interesting, and here, the menu is a gameplay mechanic unto itself.
You can access the menu by pointing to your left wrist, and from there, you get to access your whole inventory, your weapons, the menu where you can summon your spaceship, and also building and crafting tons of different structures too. You will be going to the menu a lot during your time with the game, and it’s integral to doing everything from creating essential structures to progress the story or making sure you have enough fuel in your inventory to fuel your ship.
The big hype with No Man’s Sky VR was the ability to travel through space in VR, and let me tell you, it is enthralling. You will control a ton of different ships in the game, including small and large ones, and each one controls completely differently. The key to flying in space is to be calm with your motion controllers. You do not want to make jerky motions here as it can result in you torpedoing your ship into a planet’s core, and take my word for it; you don’t want to experience that in VR.
There is space combat as well, and you can pilot your ship through the sky as you’re fighting off various kinds of enemies. You will need to pull off some high-speed maneuvers in VR, and in order to do that, you’re going to be yanking the pilot throttle in various directions while keeping track of the enemies via your headset. It can be pretty overwhelming, but eventually, you should get your bearings and be able to take on any space fight the game has to throw at you.
Moving your ship around involves the use of your throttle via your right hand and then the thruster in your left. You can also activate a warp drive if you’re not in combat, and this will send you flying at incredible speeds towards whatever your next destination is. Since you’re going to be using motion controls, the control of your ship might be a little finicky, so you definitely need to stick to small movements and not get too crazy with your maneuvers, or you can end up very dizzy very fast. You may want to purchase an add-on to your controller that lets you plant the controller in a throttle that sticks to a surface, making it far easier to navigate, in my opinion.
Using the Jet Pack
Your jet pack is going to be your best friend in No Man’s Sky, and learning its limits will be crucial to your survival and efficient navigation of these strange new worlds. You will be able to upgrade your jet pack throughout the game, but generally, you will not be traveling long distances via the jet pack unless it’s upgraded to the very max. Using the jetpack in VR is a bit of a jarring experience at first because there is a slight floatiness about it that makes it tough to gauge where you are going to land. This can be tricky when trying to reach a particularly tough to get to area, so in the opening area of the game, I advise that you play around with it and experiment with how it feels as much as you can.
The Scale of the World
One thing to take note of now that you’re up close and personal in VR with No Man’s Sky is the scale of the world. Things will appear as if you were standing right next to them, and this goes for creatures, planets, and even your spaceship. At first, this can be a terrifying and overwhelming site, and this is especially true for the planets you’ll be approaching. These are truly massive in a way that you likely haven’t experienced in a VR game, and the feeling heading towards one kind of threw my head for a spin at first, so make sure you approach these slowly and carefully as the last thing you want to do is end up nose-diving at the planet’s ground.
Several of the planets you come across in No Man’s Sky will have some kind of water bodies on them, and you might find yourself in that water from time to time for various different mission objectives. You will be swimming here as you would in real life, so get those arms stretched out because you’ll need to perform basic swimming motions in order to get back to land.
You have the ability to feed the aliens that you find in No Man’s Sky and the reason to do this is that you can acquire most of these as a pet that you can either ride or fly around the various planets you’ll be exploring. In order to feed them, you’ll need to craft pellets that you can select via your quick menu on your left wrist display, and selecting one will automatically throw one out. The aliens have various levels of interest when it comes to this food, and some might require more than others to be willing pets, while others will reject it entirely and prefer to attack you instead.
These pets have an insane range to them when it comes to both their design and attitude, and I’ve seen everything from a flaming turtle to a floating square with a laser in the middle of it as species that can be pets. The best ones are the ones that you can ride around because in VR, that’s a whole other exciting form of transportation and getting a flying pet to take you around different planets is an absolute thrill worth pursuing.
No Man’s Sky has a lot of variety in its combat, and you’ll be doing battle with everything from space pirates to alien machines and even the local species of whatever planet you decide to explore.
You have a variety of weapons to choose from and a ton of different space ships to find as well as unique combat capabilities for each. You’ll also gain access to a large Exomech that will allow you to fight larger creatures and navigate planets more efficiently as well.
Your weapons range from the mundane mining laser to the Blaze Javelin, Scatter Blaster, Bolt Caster, and several other unique weapons to find.
Your ship has even more options for combat, and you can find shotgun-like weapons, massive missile weapons, photon cannons, and rocket launchers to equip to your ever-growing arsenal throughout your long journey. Each of these weapons has an overheat function, so you need to consider the pros and cons when equipping them.
Exomech’s also have their own weapon sets, and these include massive mounted cannons and other upgradeable features. These massive mechs will render you impervious to any of the hazards on a planet and are invaluable because of it. These are awesome to ride around in VR and really gives a feeling of power that you otherwise lack in most combat scenarios
Scanning the World
Your scanner is one of the most useful tools that you’ll have in No Man’s Sky, and using it in VR is just awesome. You activate it by reaching towards your head and pulling the trigger on your motion controller, and the result is the whole world will enter a scanner mode, and this will reveal the location of tons of resources and places of interest to explore. You can set waypoints to find them on your own time here, but the scan doesn’t last infinitely and needs a bit of time to recharge, so make sure you’re paying attention when you activate it.
Multiplayer is the most amazing part of No Man’s Sky, and it’s all the more fun in VR. You can play the entirety of the game with another friend or stranger if you’d like, but even if you want to explore the galaxy alone, you can still interact with tons of other players at the Space Anomaly.
Once you get to the point in the story where the gigantic metal orb appears out of nowhere, you’ll have access to this enormous multiplayer hub that houses not only main story missions but the ability to trade with other players, visit their bases in various systems and even buy and sell starships to each other.
Seeing the world be this alive is an incredible thing, and No Man’s Sky enjoys an awesome player base to this day, and flat-screen players can play with VR players, so you’re all part of the same community even if you’re playing in different ways.
Tips For Playing At Your Own Pace
No Man’s Sky on its own is incredibly overwhelming as a game, and when you play it in VR, that experience increases 200-fold. Having an entire universe at the tip of your fingers to explore is a jarring experience at first, and the laundry list of things to do can pile up and quickly feel like too much too fast.
My advice is to take time to explore the universe before you worry about doing anything involving story missions. There are endless planets to find and species to discover, and to me, that’s the best thing about this game, the discovery. You are an explorer, and exploring should be the number one item on your to-do list.
After you’ve explored and gathered a ton of resources, now is the time to take on the very intriguing story path of No Man’s Sky. Having all these resources already means you’ll spend less time with boring downtime gathering resources and more time enjoying this fascinating and bizarre story.
Question: Can you Play No Man’s Sky VR with Players, not in VR?
Answer: No Man’s Sky VR is treated as the same exact game as the normal version, and because of that, you’ll be able to play with and interact with players playing on a flat screen.
Question: Does No Man’s Sky Have an Ending?
Answer: Although it started as a pretty ambiguous journey, No Man’s Sky does, in fact, have an ending now, but there is still tons to after it, and with the ever-present content flow presented by Hello Games, we won’t be running out of things to do in this amazing universe any time soon.
Question: Which is the Best VR Headset for No Man’s Sky VR?
Answer: The Valve Index has consistently been given the highest reviews when it comes to running No Man’s Sky VR. I’m not sure for the reason, as you would think it relies more on your PC performance than your headset, but it has been a trend that Valve Index players have a far easier time with No Man’s Sky VR than other headsets.
No Man’s Sky VR is an incredible gaming experience that will swallow your time in the best way if you choose to let it. There are endless systems to take in, hidden mechanics to discover, and strange happenings about, so I hope this guide helps you get started in this infinite and incredibly intriguing universe.