No Man's Sky is about exploring an unfathomably large universe of over 18 quintillion planets, but the moment-to-moment gameplay is about resource management and gathering. It's more engrossing than it sounds we assure you.

Developer Hello Games has created a crafting system of huge depth bolstered by an inventory system that in the game's early hours feels a little restrictive, but which succeeds in helping players learn the ropes through keeping what they have and what they need at the forefront of their mind.

The way the game works (each planet you visit is procedurally generated, and so different to planets other players visit) it may take longer for some players to find certain resources than others – but the game (so far) has done well to give me a good spread of what I need, with commonly used fuels easy to come by.

Below IBTimes UK runs through the game's core elements, which are colour coded, what the in-game description says about them, where to find them and what they do.

Each of the core three groups has a common use, but all elements are also used in crafting the game's hundreds of upgrades and item blueprints.

IBTimes UK will update this guide as more of the game's hundreds of blueprints are discovered, and make up for any mistakes we may have made. Included below are images of some of the examples of where we've found each element.


Isotope Elements (red)

Red isotope elements are used to power exosuit life support systems, your ships drives and thrusters and the multi-tool's mining and weapon modules. Each red element can be used to charge the player's exosuit Life Support Systems, their ship's Phase Beam, multi-tool Mining Beam and multi-tool projectile weapons like the Boltcaster and Plasma Launcher.

No Mans Sky Red Elements Plutonium
Examples of where we've found Carbon, Thanium9 and PlutoniumHello Games

Carbon - Common

Important and abundant element used to recharge weaponry, mining equipment and exosuit life support.

  • Found in various vegetation and in animals if killed
  • Creates Plasma Launcher with Plutonium and Heridium
  • Used to create stamina enhancements
  • Used to create Hazard Protection upgrades
  • Used to create Scanner upgrades

Thanium9 - Uncommon

Powerful element used to charge mining equipment, weaponry and life support systems. Also used to create products and experimental tech devices.

  • Found in red flowing plants and in asteroids
  • Used to charge ship's Pulse engine
  • Used to create Warp Cells (fuelling item) with Antimatter
  • Used to create Photon Cannon upgrades
  • Used to create Phase Beam upgrades
  • Used to create Scanner upgrades
  • Used to create Plasma Launcher upgrades

Plutonium - Rare

Extremely powerful element that can be used to charge weaponry, mining equipment and exosuit power packs. A vital ingredient to create many advanced technologies, components and products.

  • Found in red crystal structures, often in caves
  • Used to charge ship's Launch Thrusters
  • Creates Bypass Chip (hacking item) with iron
  • Creates Plasma Launcher with Carbon and Heridium
  • Creates Electron Vapour (technological component) with Suspension Fluid
  • Used to create Jetpack upgrades
  • Used to create Mining Beam upgrades

Oxide Elements (yellow)

Yellow oxide elements are used to power defensive technologies like a ship's deflector shields, which can be charged with any of the three yellow elements.

No Mans Sky Yellow Elements Titanium Zinc
Examples of where we've found Iron, Zinc and TitaniumHello Games

Iron - Common

Mined element used to build and recharge defensive technologies

  • Found in rocks and rock structures
  • Creates Carite Sheets (crafting material)
  • Creates Microdensity Fabric (a crafting material) with Platinum
  • Creates Bypass Chip (hacking item) with Plutonium
  • Used to create Deflector Shield upgrades
  • Used to create Photon Cannon upgrades
  • Used to create stamina enhancements
  • Used to create Hazard Protection upgrades
  • Used to create Boltcaster upgrades
  • Used to create Mining Beam upgrades

Zinc - Uncommon

Powerful element used to recharge defensive technologies, and to create and maintain many components and devices.

  • Found in yellow plantlife and general plantlife
  • Charges exosuit Hazard Protection
  • Creates Antimatter with Heridium and Electron Vapour
  • Used to create Boltcaster upgrades
  • Used to create Plasma Launcher upgrades

Titanium - Rare

Extremely powerful oxide that can be used to recharge defensive technologies. A vital ingredient of many advanced devices, products and components.

  • Found in yellow crystals and sentinels
  • Used to create Deflector Shield upgrades
  • Used to create Mining Beam upgrades

Silicate Elements (blue)

Blue silicate elements are used to create items and upgrades, and are not used as fuel.

No Man's Sky
Examples of Platinum, Heridium and Chrysonite in the environment.Hello Games

Heridium - Common

Element used to create components vital in space exploration.

  • Found in veins of ore, usually in large square-ish columns which the scanner marks with holographic cubes
  • Creates Antimatter with Electron Vapour and Zinc
  • Creates Plasma Launcher with Plutonium and Carbon
  • Used to create Deflector Shield upgrades
  • Used to create Mining Beam upgrades
  • Used to create Boltcaster upgrades
  • Used to create Plasma Launcher upgrades

Platinum - Uncommon

Powerful element used to create valuable ship and exosuit components. A vital ingredient in many technological blueprints

  • Found in blue plants
  • Creates Microdensity Fabric (a crafting material) with Iron
  • Used to create Scanner upgrades
  • Used to create Plasma Launcher upgrades

Chrysonite - Rare

A very powerful element used in many advanced technology blueprints, components and product formulas.

  • Found in blue crystalline structures
  • Used to create Jetpack upgrades
  • Used to create exosuit shielding upgrades
  • Used to create Plasma Launcher upgrades

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