No Man’s Sky: the Ultimate Guide to Companions

Grab your creature pellets and prepare to bring home your first alien pet! From taming to training to using the egg sequencer, this is the ultimate No Man's Sky: Companions guide. Learn how to get the perfect genetically modified companion, the effects of equipment you can fasten to your pet and even how to command them to work for you.

No Man’s Sky: the Ultimate Guide to Companions

Since the launch of the No Man’s Sky: Companions update, we finally have the ability to adopt alien critters from the planets we explore. Not every alien can become your new best friend, some are simply too bizarre or require too delicate an environment. This group of untamable beasts, however, represents only a small percentage of No Man’s Sky’s billions of randomly generated species. The rest are up for grabs, be it by intergalactic animal lovers or aspiring mad scientists. 

Like everything else in No Man’s Sky, what at first appears to be a simple, fun way to take a piece of the universe home with us is actually a sprawling cavern of hidden mechanics and unexplained interactions. I’m here to help you demystify companions in No Man’s Sky, from your very first alien pet to running your very own intergalactic breeding program. 

What do Companions do?

Companions can help you in a number of ways. They can be equipped with various gadgets, from mining lasers to flashlights, and will take up an adventuring role alongside you. How well they use their equipment is up for debate, but even with the game’s mediocre AI, most companions will still somewhat perform their tasks. (Even if they aren’t very efficient, they’re doing their best!) 

No Man's Sky Companions Trailer

Larger creatures can also be ridden, allowing players to quickly traverse planets without the need for an exocraft or a spaceship. Even flying creatures can be mounted, allowing for a large area to be surveyed during travel. You can use tools such as your scanner and mining lasers while your mounted companion is moving, allowing you to sit back and enjoy an alien-guided safari. 

Some companion will help you in combat, either dispatching threats on their own or helping you to bring them down. Large predators tend to be aggressive, and will help you fend off everything from sentinels to other fauna. Be mindful of your companion’s health in combat, though. Your companion won’t die, but it might get knocked out and need some time to recover.

Many companions will also direct you to areas of interest, such as undocumented wildlife and distress signals. Companions can track fauna to reveal their hiding spots, or mark points of interest on your map. Where and how often companions help you out will depend on the companion itself, but often you’ll find things you may have otherwise missed while traveling with your companion. 

The Companion Register

The companion register is the main menu you’ll use when working with companions in No Man’s Sky. It can be accessed through the quick menu, and is the hub for all your companion-related needs.

The companion register is an animal lover's best friend!

The companion register is an animal lover’s best friend!

You’ll start with a couple of unlocked slots, and can purchase up to a maximum of 6 using Nanites. The final slot costs a whopping 10,000 Nanites, so they can become quite expensive. The register will tell you about your companions’ current moods, native habitats, how much they trust you and how old they are. If you want to rename or abandon your companions, you can also do so from the companion register. 

The companion register also tells you about the personality of your pet, which helps you predict how it will act and what its usefulness to you is while exploring. These personality traits are discussed in-depth later on in the companion traits segment, since they can be a bit hard to understand.

You can summon your friends on-demand!

You can summon your friends on-demand!

Any of your registered companions can be summoned from the quick menu, in the same way as starships and exocrafts. Only one companion can be active at a time, so summoning or taming a new critter will dismiss your current companion. They can’t be summoned inside planetary structures, space stations or freighters. They can be summoned on board the space anomaly, but they will appear as intangible holograms instead of their normal selves.

How Can You Get Companions?

When it comes to obtaining companions, you have two main options. The first is to go to a planet and tame a creature yourself by earning its trust. These tamed creatures are exactly like their brethren of the same species, and will share their traits and stats. You can also hatch a companion from an egg, either obtained from another traveler or from one of your own current companions. These creatures will be slightly different from their parents, and can be genetically edited to make some truly terrifying beasts.

Taming

The premier way to get companions in No Man’s Sky is to tame wild fauna on planets. You can take almost any fauna as a companion, with a small handful of exceptions.

The best way to an alien's heart is through its stomach.

The best way to an alien’s heart is through its stomach.

Before you can take your new pet home, you’ll need to earn its trust. Start by crafting some Creature Pellets, which require 60 Carbon each. You can obtain the Carbon by mining up flora on planets. If it’s a robotic companion you’re after, you’ll instead need an Ion Battery. These can be crafted for 5 Ferrite Dust and 10 Cobalt each. These materials can be mined from planetary minerals. Once you’ve got the treats, you need to run up to the creature you want to tame. A prompt to hold the interact button will appear, and you’ll need to press and hold to feed the pellets to the fauna.

I can take this little guy with me on my journey!

I can take this little guy with me on my journey!

A fed fauna will not run or attack you, and will instead look idly at you. You can hold the action button to interact with it once more. If you have an empty space in your companion register, you can then select to adopt the fauna as a companion. 

Breeding

Once every 24 hours, your creatures can produce an egg. In order for a companion to lay an egg, you’ll first need to take your creature to a planet with the climate to which it is native. You will also need to own fewer than 6 eggs, and your companion needs to be fully grown for its species. Assuming these things are true, you’re ready to go! You can learn which climate that is by checking your companion register. You can use your starship scanner to check the climate of nearby planets from space until you find one that is suitable.

If you take good care of your creatures they'll multiply!

If you take good care of your creatures they’ll multiply!

Once you arrive on the planet, you’ll need to make sure your companion is comfortable. Feed it creature pellets and pet it until its needs are met, then interact with it. If everything has gone correctly, you should have the option to induce an egg. If the option is still greyed out, you can check to see which of your companion’s needs aren’t met. With the egg in hand, you now need to incubate it. This will take another 24 real life hours. During this time, you can trade the egg, edit it with the egg sequencer, or simply just hold it until it’s ready to hatch! If you have an empty spot in your companion register, you can hatch the egg from your inventory and summon your new pet.

Exploring With Companions

Companions can help you explore, from digging up gifts to bring you to helping defend you in combat. While you can let your companion run about at its own whim, knowing how to care for and instruct your companions is key if you want to get the most from their aid. Each companion will need care each time you play No Man’s Sky, so be sure to check up on them regularly.

Caring for Companions

The more you care for your creature, the more it will come to trust you. It’s important to gain your companions’ trust, and to do so, you’ll have to care for them. While logged in to No Man’s Sky, your companions’ love and hunger will drain. Summoned companions will have their needs drained even faster, especially if being instructed.

Your companions will tell you what they need. Make sure you listen!

Your companions will tell you what they need. Make sure you listen!

Each time you log on, make sure you summon each companion, feed it and give it some attention. Check in frequently with companions helping in your adventure, and they’ll be more likely to help you out in the future!

Instructing Companions

To instruct a companion, you’ll need to find the point emote located in either the pet or emote sections of the quick menu. Then, simply choose a direction and use the emote. Your companion will immediately start dashing, crawling or flying in the direction you indicated. Eventually, it will stop running, and investigate the area.

Go my minion, and bring me ferrite dust and fossils!

Go my minion, and bring me ferrite dust and fossils!

After issuing this command, your companion may execute a special function. The function executed is determined, in part, by your companion’s traits. Your companion may dig up and retrieve resources for you, scan your surroundings, leave a glob of dung for you to harvest or mark a point of interest on your map. Unfortunately you can’t directly control your pet’s actions, so you’ll have to learn on your own which critters are best suited for which tasks.

Companion Traits

A companion has three attributes which dictate its behavior. These traits are coupled, meaning that a companion may have only one of the two possible traits. For example, a companion can be either helpful or playful, but never both. Each trait is measured by a percentage, ranging from 0% to 100%, which shows how well it is embodied by your companion. Knowing your companion’s traits is essential to understanding how it behaves and whether or not it will help you on your journey.

Industriousness – Playful and Helpful

Industriousness is a measure of how hard your companion will work for you. Helpful creatures will execute more and better commands, and may even put themselves to work without your input. Playful companions, on the other hand, will simply run back to you demanding attention. Some playful companions will even leave smelly dung presents for you to clean up! The higher a companion’s helpfulness, the rarer materials they will retrieve. Some treasures can be worth over 1,000,000 Units, which is well worth the cost of pet food. Helpful companions tend to recover better treasures, so consider bringing one with you for some extra cash.

This companion brought me a fossil worth 1,500,000 Units!

This companion brought me a fossil worth 1,500,000 Units!

A 100% helpful companion will never leave you dung balls, while a 100% playful companion will never collect resources. Helpful companions are more desirable, as they will bring back valuable resources more reliably. If retrieving small amounts of basic resources sounds appealing, you can also opt for a companion with moderate helpfulness. These companions will tend to bring back sums of Carbon, Sodium and other basic elements instead of the frequent scrap and fossils found by more helpful critters.

Aggressiveness – Gentle and Aggressive 

Aggressiveness is a way to describe how willing your companion is to fight. Aggressive creatures are more likely to defend you against other fauna, hazardous flora and even sentinels. Aggressive companions may also hunt other fauna, which allows them to refill their own hunger meter. Gentle companions, however, tend to stay away from combat when they can. A gentle companion also has a higher chance to scan its surroundings for resources or locations of interest when issued a command.

Aggressive companions will stay by your side through thick and thin.

Aggressive companions will stay by your side through thick and thin.

A 100% aggressive creature will never scan its surroundings, while a 100% gentle companion will never hunt. Aggressive companions are typically more desirable, since they will help you in combat more often. If you’d prefer your companion to scan the area frequently, then you may opt for a more gentle companion.

Independence – Devoted and Independent 

Independence is the willingness of your pet to move and act on its own. Devoted pets will stay close to you and wait for a command to act.  They execute orders in a very small radius, and will not wander from your side. Meanwhile, an independent companion will explore and interact with the world on its own accord.

Devoted companions stay close, which makes them a good way to show your alien breeding skills off!

Devoted companions stay close, which makes them a good way to show your alien breeding skills off!

Independent creatures are more self sufficient, which causes their love meter to deplete slower than that of their devoted counterparts. For these reasons, independent companions are more desirable than devoted ones. Devoted companions will stay close to you and won’t wander, so if you’d like to show your companion off in the Space Anomaly, a devoted companion may provide a better aesthetic effect.

Companion Equipment

When interacting with your companions on a planet, you’ll notice one of your options is to customize it. This allows you to mount various field equipment on your companion. The menu includes everything from scanners to armor to storage containers, and which devices a companion can equip is determined by its body type and size. Most of these devices are purely cosmetic, but a select handful actually have effects of their own. 

Square and Round Lasers

Square and round lasers can be equipped to companions in order to upgrade their hit boxes. In order to mine or attack an object or fauna, your companion needs to be close enough to actually make contact with it. The lasers help remedy that, allowing your companion to mine from a slight distance.

Giving an alien a laser may not be the wisest thing to do...

Giving an alien a laser may not be the wisest thing to do…

There is no functional difference between the square and round lasers, they simply have different cosmetic models. The square laser is unlocked for use by default, and the round laser can be purchased from the Quicksilver vendor on board the Space Anomaly.

Torch 

This equitable companion torch functions much the same as your existing torch, allowing your companion to illuminate the area directly in front of it. Your companion’s torch toggles on and off in sync with your exosuit torch, allowing you to control it directly. Unfortunately you can’t control your companion’s movements, which limits the functionality of this tool. It can still be useful when riding some creatures, but is otherwise somewhat lackluster. The torch is unlocked for use by default.

Vitals Monitor

The vitals monitor can be attached to most companions, and glows to indicate your companion’s current wellbeing. This helps you know when it’s time to feed and pet your companions, which in turn helps you build trust with them. The vitals monitor is unlocked for use by default, and can be equipped to most companions.

That blue glow means my alien friend is ready to get to work!

That blue glow means my alien friend is ready to get to work!

A happy companion’s monitor will glow bright green, indicating that all its needs have been met. A contented companion’s monitor will glow blue, which shows that it isn’t in need of care just yet. If a companion’s mood begins to drop, the monitor will glow red. Once this happens, make sure to check in with your companion and see what it needs to thrive!

Egg Sequencing

Evolution takes a long time, and it is hard to be patient. Each companion hatched from an egg looks and behaves slightly different from its parents, but what if these slight differences aren’t quite interesting enough?

The egg sequencer is located in the right wing of the Space Anomaly.

The egg sequencer is located in the right wing of the Space Anomaly.

To solve that issue, we have the egg sequencer. This nifty little device can be found in the far right corner of the Space Anomaly, and allows you to change the genetics of the egg directly. The egg sequencer accepts four different catalysts, each of which has a different effect on the creature’s appearance and personality. Eggs can be sequenced multiple times prior to hatching, which allows the values of the resulting creature to be customized in a very detailed fashion. At the bottom of this section is a table, which shows which items can be used to achieve which effects.

Growth Hormone

The growth hormone slot is where you place catalysts that affect your companion’s size. Items placed in this slot will increase or decrease the size of your companion once it hatches. More valuable resources will require the use of fewer units to achieve results.

Messing around with growth hormones can create adorable results!

Messing around with growth hormones can create adorable results!

The growth hormone can be applied to a maximum dose of 100%, but smaller doses will have more subtle effects. A 100% dose will grow or shrink the companion by about half a meter, and the egg can be sequenced repeatedly to reach the desired size.

Gene Splitter

The gene splitter slot is where you place catalysts to create drastic mutations. A 100% catalyst dose will cause your new companion to look different from its parent, but why stop there? The gene splitter can be overdosed to a maximum of 150%, and doses that high will create some seriously unstable results.

Companions hatched from eggs overdosed with a gene splitter look wildly different from their parents.

Companions hatched from eggs overdosed with a gene splitter look wildly different from their parents.

An overdosed egg will hatch into a creature that looks extremely different from its parent, although it will keep a similar overall body shape consistent with its taxonomy. Most items will have the same effect when placed in this slot, but rarer materials require fewer units to achieve the same effects.

Dye Injector

The dye injector slot is for items that will affect the coloration of your new companion. Each item has a hidden value that codes for a specific color or color combination, and they can be added to this slot to reach a maximum dose of 100%. The table at the bottom of this section details which items give which colors, since this tends to not be obvious at first glance.

Neural Calibrator

The neural calibrator slot accepts catalysts that affect a companion’s personality traits. Each catalyst raises a specific trait. If a companion doesn’t have the trait affected by the catalyst, it will instead reduce the companion’s current trait.

Evolution takes a while, but we can speed the process up a bit.

Evolution takes a while, but we can speed the process up a bit.

For example, if you use a catalyst that increases gentleness on an aggressive creature, it will reduce its aggressiveness until it becomes 0. Any remaining gentleness bonuses are then applied to gentleness like normal, and the companion’s trait will change from aggressive to gentle.

Catalyst Effect Tables

The following tables show the effects that various resources have when placed into the different slots of an egg sequencer. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but rather a starting point for various desirable traits that can be induced with items most players already have in abundance. These tables are best searched for specific traits, elements or colors.

Element Catalysts

Resource Growth Hormone Effect Dye Injector Coloration Neural Calibrator Effect
Carbon Increased Size

Red

Red and Blue

+ Helpfulness

– Playfulness

Condensed Carbon Decreased Size

Gray and Red

Green and Red

+ Helpfulness

– Playfulness

Oxygen Increased Size

Dull Yellow

Dull Yellow, Orange and White

+ Helpfulness

– Playfulness

Di-Hydrogen Decreased Size

Gray

Red and Gray

+ Independence

– Devotion

Deuterium Decreased Size

Gray

Red and Gray

+ Helpfulness

– Playfulness

Tritium Decreased Size

Green and Mint Green

Green, Mint and/or Orange

+ Helpfulness

– Playfulness

Ferrite Dust Decreased Size

Gray and Green

Gray, Dark Green and/or Orange

+ Helpfulness 

– Playfulness

Pure Ferrite  Decreased Size

Orange and Purple

+ Helpfulness

– Playfulness

Magnetized Ferrite Increased Size

Bright Yellow

Bright Yellow and Dull Red

Bright Yellow and Gray

+ Helpfulness

– Playfulness

Silicate Powder Increased Size

Lime Green, Silver and/or Gray

+ Helpfulness

– Playfulness

Sodium Increased Size

Brown and Orange

+ Devotion

– Independence

Sodium Nitrate Increased Size

Brown and Orange

+ Devotion

– Independence

Salt Increased Size

Mint Green, Pale Yellow and Brown

+ Aggressiveness

– Gentleness

Cobalt Decreased Size

Green, Tan and Orange

+ Helpfulness

– Playfulness

Ionized Cobalt Increased Size

Green and Sky Blue

+ Devotion

– Independence

Chlorine Increased Size

Yellow-Green and Blue-Gray

+ Devotion

– Independence

Cyto-Phosphate Increased Size

Yellow-Green, Green and Brown

+ Devotion

– Independence

Copper Decreased Size

White, Green and Orange

White and Green

+ Helpfulness

– Playfulness

Activated Copper Increased Size

Yellow, blue-Gray and Green

+ Devotion

– Independence

Cadmium Increased Size

Orange and Blue

+ Independence

– Devotion

Activated Cadmium Increased Size

Gray and Mint Green

Gray, Mint Green and Green

+ Independence

– Devotion

Emeril Increased Size

Blue and Pale Yellow

+ Independence

– Devotion

Activated Emeril Increased Size

Gray, Silver and Mint Green

+ Gentleness

– Aggressiveness

Indium Increased Size

Pale Yellow and Mint Green

+ Aggressiveness

– Gentleness

Activated Indium Increased Size

Green and Brown

Green, Brown and Cream

+ Gentleness

– Aggressiveness

Chromatic Metal Decreased Size

Pale Yellow and Red

+ Helpfulness

– Playfulness

Paraffinium Decreased Size

Gray and Mint Green

Gray, Mint Green and Brown

+ Helpfulness

– Playfulness

Pyrite Decreased Size

Mint Green and Gray

Mint Green, Gray and Brown

+ Helpfulness

– Playfulness

Ammonia Increased Size

Lime Green and Tan

Lime Green, Tan and Gray

+ Devotion

– Independence

Uranium Decreased Size

Purple and Green

Purple, Green and Gray

+ Gentleness

– Aggression

Dioxite Decreased Size

Silver, Gray and Mint Green

+ Helpfulness

– Playfulness

Phosphorous Increased Size

Brown, Mint Green and Pink

Brown, Mint Green and Crimson

+ Aggressiveness

– Gentleness

Basalt Decreased Size

Green and Gray

Green, Gray and Pale Yellow

+ Helpfulness

– Playfulness

Mordite Increased Size

Purple, Red and Tan

+ Aggressiveness

– Gentleness

Pugneum Decreased Size

Gray, Green and Crimson

Gray, Green and Pink

+ Aggressiveness

– Gentleness

Silver Increased Size

Maroon, Gray-Blue and Green

+ Devotion

– Independence

Gold Increased Size

Maroon, Gray-Blue and Green

+ Devotion

– Independence

Platinum Increased Size

Maroon, Gray-Blue and Green

+ Devotion

– Independence

Sulpherine Increased Size

Pale Yellow, Pale Purple and Brown

+ Independence

– Devotion

Radon Increased Size

Blue-Gray and Maroon

Blue-Gray and Pink

+ Devotion

– Independence

Nitrogen Increased Size

Blue-Gray, Green and Maroon

+ Devotion

– Independence

Faecium Decreased Size

Brown and Yellow-Green

+ Helpfulness

– Independence

Solanium Increased Size

White, Green and Blue

+ Independence

– Devotion

Raw Material Catalysts

Resource Growth Hormone Effect Dye Injector Coloration Neural Calibrator Effect
NipNip Buds Decreased Size Green, Pale Yellow and Blue

+ Gentleness

– Aggressiveness

Kelp Sac Decreased Size

Mint Green, Brown and Red

Mint Green, Brown and Pink

+ Gentleness

– Aggressiveness

Marrow Bulb Decreased Size

Light Blue, Silver and Blue

Light Blue, Silver and Turquoise

+ Gentleness

– Aggressiveness

Star Bulb Decreased Size

Brown and Gray

Brown, Gray and yellow

+ Playfulness

– Helpfulness

Cactus Flesh Decreased Size

Gray, Mint Green and Pale Yellow

Gray, Green and Mint Green

+ Playfulness

– Helpfulness

Gamma Root Increased Size

Light Blue and/or Silver

+ Gentleness

– Aggressiveness

Fungal Mold Decreased Size

Mint Green and Orange

Mint, Orange and Green

+ Playfulness

– Helpfulness

Frost Crystal Decreased Size

Maroon and Crimson

+ Playfulness

– Helpfulness

Crafted Good Catalysts

Resource Growth Hormone Effect Dye Injector Coloration Neural Calibrator Effect
Carbon Nanotubes Decreased Size Gray and Blue-Gray

+ Helpfulness

– Playfulness

Di-Hydrogen Jelly Increased Size Lime Green, Green and White

+ Independence

– Devotion

Life Support Gel Decreased Size White, Sky Blue and Gray

+ Aggressiveness

– Gentleness

Starship Launcher Fuel Increased Size Gray, Purple and Sky Blue

+ Independence

– Devotion

Unstable Plasma Decreased Size Turquoise, Blue and Gray

+ Devotion

– Independence

Antimatter Increased Size White, Gray and Crimson

+ Independence

– Devotion

Curiosity Catalysts

Resource Growth Hormone Effect Dye Injector Coloration Neural Calibrator Effect
Sac Venom Increased Size Brown, Mint Green and Sky Blue

+ Aggressiveness

– Gentleness

Gravitino Ball Increased Size Yellow and Crimson

+ Independence

– Devotion

Albumen Pearl Decreased Size Blue Gray and Gray No Effect
Larval Core Decreased Size Lime Green, Blue and Purple

+ Aggressiveness

– Gentleness

Living Pearl Decreased Size White, Cream and Purple No Effect
Hypnotic Eye Increased Size Lime Green, Green and Purple

+ Independence

– Devotion

Hadal Core Decreased Size Green, Mint Green and Purple

+ Aggressiveness

– Gentleness

Crystal Sulphide Increased Size Purple, Cream and White

+ Independence

– Devotion

Storm Crystal Increased Size Green and Yellow

+ Gentleness

– Aggressiveness

SOURCE: u/JRN’s Catalyst Research, u/Growmaze’s Offspring Outcomes

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