“To Live Forever” is the ultimate achievement in No Man’s Sky. As of writing only 0.6% of players on Steam have this claim to fame – to get it one must venture to the center of the galaxy in Permadeath mode. This is no small feat no matter who you are.
The guide that follows is in a way the cumulation of hundreds of hours with Hello Games’ space sim. Even if you aren’t trying to get this achievement, you may find something meaningful within.
No Man’s Sky is available on every major platform for your regional pricing. Released way back in 2016, the game has gone from strength to strength with the most recent major update being 2022’s 4.0 Waypoint.
Start A New Game – In Permadeath Mode
The first thing you need to do is create a new save file or the game will automatically lock you out of this achievement. You cannot get this achievement by changing your game difficulty after the fact.
Your new game will inevitably spawn you on a crappy world of sorts somewhere in the Euclid galaxy, some 700 lightyears or so out from the Galactic Core. If this sounds far, that’s because it is far.
You will, of course, have to play through the tutorial phase. You can elect to skip tutorial missions while creating your new game – this saves time but is inadvisable if you are just starting out since these foundation missions effectively teach you the flow of the game.
Find A Hospitable Planet
To make your life easier in this journey it is best to base yourself on a planet that does not constantly drain your resources. There is usually at least one planet in your starting system that will not constantly bleed you out, but to find it you will have to leave your (usually crappy) starting planet.
There are a few words used to describe these ideal planets – Paradise, Verdant, Grassy, and so on. If it sounds appealing, it usually means that the weather is tolerable although you may get some superheated storms or what have you from time to time. Better than living on a world that is constantly trying to poison, freeze, or burn you to death.
Don’t balk at the presence of sentinels here – a nice easy climate is ideal for starting your journey. Take your time stocking up on resources and exploring for a while. Before you do anything, make sure you have ample Ferrite Dust, Carbon, Sodium and Oxygen for crafting and recharging your shields and life support.
Stock Up On Nanites
Things start to get a little risky here, but not without reward. Nanites can be hard to come by in volumes. I penned a guide a while ago on different methods of getting the stuff. Depending on how confident/brave you are there are a few different ways you can load up on them.
My go-to method for racking up this comparatively elusive currency is looking for dead planets – Low Atmosphere, Abandoned, Empty, Desolate… there are many names used to describe these empty worlds.
There isn’t much by way of plant life or animals on these worlds, but there are plenty of Whispering Eggs which spawn Larval Cores when mined. These are valuable because you can refine them into Nanites, and with the right technique these otherwise unappealing planets are one of the fastest methods to harvest stacks of them.
No Gravity, No Problem
The first thing you’ll notice on dead planets is that you experience a much lower gravity than most other planets. This is super helpful as it will allow you to escape the Biological Horrors that you will be annoying in your quest for Nanites.
Using your Analysis Visor, scope the landscape out and look for Whispering Eggs. These are what you are after – but first let us discuss the technique you will be using to escape the dangerous monstrosities that will spawn as you harvest Larval Cores.
Before you start snatching up Larval Cores, familiarize yourself with the fastest way of getting around on foot in No Man’s Sky – for the purposes of this article, I will refer to it as the Melee Boost.
Move Faster With This Essential Technique
Execute a Melee Boost as follows: Sprint, Melee, Jetpack. What it does: you gather speed by sprinting, then use your Melee attack to propel you forward. This gives you a very important and useful gift: Momentum. You then use your jetpack to boost, conserving that forward momentum.
Be sure to hit your jetpack almost immediately after you melee – it is a rhythmic technique, in a way, the rhythm being determined by your movement speed. With a few Movement Upgrades (buy these at your local space station from the Exosuit Merchant) you can travel massive distances using this technique.
The idea is simple: you harvest a whispering egg with your mining laser, pick up the larval core as the Biological Horrors begin spawning, and high-tail it out of there using the technique described above. Thanks to the low gravity you can escape quite easily – just put as much distance between you and the spawn site as possible using the Melee Boost.
Rinse And Repeat
You’ll want to gather a few stacks of larval cores and throw them in your refiner to get Nanites. It may be prudent to make a few runs of it so you can upgrade your shields and life support, too.
This step is not essential to get this achievement – it’s more of a precaution than anything since you will likely find yourself on some unsavory planets. Since this is permadeath you need to give yourself the best chance of surviving if and when you do end up on a crappy world.
To The Center Of The Galaxy!
There are a few ways to get to the galaxy center, depending on how cheesy you are feeling. Personally, I opted for the easiest route by abusing the Space Anomaly, but you can also use a portal to get within a reasonable distance of your goal.
Using The Space Anomaly
I know what you are thinking – that’s cheating! However, I would challenge that idea by saying that with a game of this magnitude, you could literally spend your entire life wandering around aimlessly and find yourself no closer to the galaxy center than when you started, so I think it’s perfectly OK to use this shortcut especially if you are trying to 100% the game.
For the uninitiated, the Space Anomaly is an online hub of sorts for travelers in No Man’s Sky. You can summon it almost anywhere – it’s a great way to escape hostile starships, and if you are lucky you will find a player base close to the center of the galaxy cutting hundreds of thousands of lightyears (literally) out of your journey.
You will probably find yourself visiting the Space Anomaly from time to time and using the Interstellar Terminus to travel back to your home base rather than wasting warp drive fuel as you explore systems surrounding your home.
Keep an eye out for any player bases that are tagged “Center” – you should find one eventually. No Man’s Sky players tend to be consistent in their naming conventions, and will name them either for valuable resources or for their proximity to the galaxy center.
Using Portal Glyphs
This method requires some more legwork but if you don’t want to cheese this achievement using the Space Anomaly it’s almost as fast.
You can either play through the Artemis quest line to unlock all the portal glyphs, or you can scour space stations for Traveller – they are easily identifiable since they look different to the other aliens, and seem to be holographic.
If you visit Travellers, you can ask them where they came from at the cost of 100 Nanites – this will reveal the location of a Traveller’s Grave. Once you visit the grave and interact with it, you will be granted a glyph.
Portal Locations For Gravity Center
I’ll leave this up to you – you can either find a portal location online for a base near the gravity center, or you can spam the sunrise glyph which will place you in the vicinity of the gravity center.
If you can’t find a portal, don’t fret – playing the Artemis quest line will help you locate one as part of the story, so be sure to mark it’s location with a Base Computer so you can come back to it after you have completed the quest that takes you through one. Alternatively, you can abuse the Space Anomaly and find a player base tagged “Portal”, another consistent naming convention.
I’m At The Center! Now What?
There are a few requirements for warping to the galaxy center in No Man’s Sky:
- Your Hyperdrive must be fully upgraded with Cadmium, Emeril and Indium drives installed.
- Your Hyperdrive Fuel must be full.
- You must be in a system adjacent to the galaxy center.
Sounds easy enough, right? If you have not upgraded your Hyperdrive, you can purchase the upgrade blueprints from Iteration Hyperion on the Anomaly for Nanites.
Make sure you are right by the galaxy center by opening your Galaxy Map and setting your destination accordingly – if it shows you a path (which it likely will if you spammed the sunrise glyph) you need to follow that path until it’s end.
To Live Forever
Once you have fulfilled all the above requirements, you should be able to select the Galaxy Center and earn that crowning achievement. It took me about 9 hours of playtime even with the Space Anomaly shortcut, and I had a few very close calls along the way.