Hello Games' grandiose space survival adventure is often quite enigmatic when it comes to its myriad of hidden spoils. While your general understanding of the game's mechanics slowly grows as you progress toward the centre of the universe (or go off the beaten track and chart your own path), there are always a few moments where you are lacking the requisite resources or that one key item.
Within the first ten minutes of your journey, No Man's Sky teases you with goodies in boxes, and behind locked doors, which require an Atlas Pass. As with most other 'keys' in the PS4 and PC final-frontier-simulator, the Atlas Pass can be crafted – but first you'll need the recipe.
As with any No Man's Sky guide, your experience will differ heavily to anyone else as the game's impressive algorithm tailors pre-set events to your tiny, tiny section of the universe.
Planets, creatures and timings may change, but once you have an Atlas Pass you'll quickly become the master of unlocking (doors and chests).
It is unconfirmed at this point, but some users are reporting that choosing the path of Atlas at the very start of the game increases the speed at which you receive the Atlas Pass. If you want to test this, when you awake, bleary-eyed on your first world, approach the red orb and accept the path rather than opting to be a 'free explorer".
As the name suggests, there are 'better' versions of the Atlas Pass beyond V1. To craft these you will need further recipes. You can grab these as you progress toward the centre of the universe by seeking out other Atlas Stations. These appear on your Galactic Map as stars with three red markers around them. Accept the orb's missions and eventually you should receive V2, V3 and beyond.