No Man’s Sky NEXT offers many exciting new features, and many can be particularly cryptic by design. This, strangely, includes the game’s save file system. There are two types of save files in No Man’s Sky: Autosave and Manual Save. You can have only one Autosave and one Manual Save per character. A Manual Save is created when saving at a Save Point or interacting with a Beacon. An Autosave is automatically created upon entering and exiting your Starship and occasionally as the game’s story progresses.
No Man’s Sky also features five “Save Game” files, which are entirely separate saved games (different character, progression, etc.) that contain one of the each kind of save file. When selecting your game from the “Select Save Game” menu, it will automatically load the most recent save (whether it’s the Manual Save or Auto Save) for that file. Once you’ve loaded into the game, you can then opt to reload from an earlier save if one is available. Here's everything you need to know about saving your progress in No Man’s Sky.
Different methods of saving your game
Save in your starship
You can easily save the game by entering and exiting your starship. Keep in mind that saving at your starship will create an Autosave, not a Manual Save. Your Autosave file will automatically be overwritten when the game Autosaves again (for example, when you enter and exit your ship a second time), so it’s good to also create a Manual Save whenever possible.
Additionally, the game will Autosave after reviving from a death, so if you haven’t recently created a Manual Save, you’ll likely lose quite a bit of progress if you decide to reload from a previous save instead of retrieving your items. For example, if you drowned, all of your possessions are at the bottom of a very deep ocean, and you don’t feel like going back to get them and just want a do-over, you’ll want to make sure you have a recent manual save to roll back to.
Save using a crafted Save Point
Using a portable Save Point creates a Manual Save. Saving in your Starship is generally pretty convenient, however it’s good to try to carry around a Save Point whenever possible, as it can be deployed right from your Exosuit to create a Manual Save anytime you’d like. You can learn to create a Save Point very early in the game’s tutorial mission. Once you unlock and construct the Blueprint Analyzer, you can purchase the blueprint for the Save Point for two Salvage Modules.
How to obtain Salvage Modules
What the Blueprint Analyzer refers to as “Salvage Module” are actually called Salvaged Technology, which can be unearthed from planets using the Matter Manipulator. You can scan for nearby Buried Technology Modules using the Analysis Visor. Once you reach the waypoint, simply dig a little with your Matter Manipulator and you’ll uncover the buried module. Collect the Salvaged Technology and you can spend it at your Blueprint Analyser to learn to build new things, including the Save Point!
Crafting the Save Point
Once you’ve obtained the blueprint, you can craft a Save Point from the Portable Technology build menu. It’s easy to craft, requiring only two Metal Plating (100 Ferrite Dust) and one Di-hydrogen Jelly (40 Di-hydrogen). You can leave it deployed anywhere you’d like, or you can carry it around with you and just drop it to save as needed. Just remember it will take up an inventory slot when not deployed.
Save by activating a beacon
Occasionally in your travels, you’ll come across abandoned structures on a planet’s surface that may feature a beacon allowing you to “Save & Chart” the unknown sector. Using one of these beacons for the first time will map the nearby area and give it a name. It also creates a Manual Save. You can view these waypoints later in the “Waypoints” tab of your Discoveries menu, which will show a screenshot of the surrounding area as well as the time and date you first discovered it.
As you can’t really control when and where you’ll find these, it isn't convenient to return to one, since they won’t save as Waypoints or even show up on Analysis. They’re really just there to offer a convenient way to save once you’ve discovered the area. If you’re really interested in returning just to save, you may wish to note the latitude and longitude of the beacon, visible with your visor. Or you can just use your portable Save Point.
You can also learn to craft your own Beacons in later missions, which can be deployed to mark a location. You can save at these beacons, but they’re extremely limited in placement (you can have only five on the entire planet), and they’re more difficult to craft than Save Points. You’ll mostly use beacons to create waypoints, to make it easier to find someplace again later. Have fun exploring the universe!