All difficulty settings in No Man’s Sky and what they do

Where should you start your No Man’s Sky journey?

Screenshot by Gamepur

You can play No Man’s Sky in multiple ways, with the freedom to focus on various unique facets of the game. There’s the chance to focus on base building and creating a massive structure. You can explore the stars and discover multiple species across a solar system or find yourself on an alien space station completing missions for wayward traders. There are several options similar to the difficulty modes. You need to know all the difficulty settings in No Man’s Sky and how they work.

All No Man’s Sky difficulty settings

You need to concern yourself with four big difficulty settings if you’re a casual player or someone new to No Man’s Sky. Then, when you want to take things up a notch and start playing more challenging pieces of content, you can try Expedition mode, which is the fifth difficulty setting.

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The Normal mode for No Man’s Sky is a basic setting where you don’t have to worry too much. The building and technology costs for items in the game will be set at the standard, and you can return to where you died to pick up any items in your inventory. This original game mode is highly recommended for everyone who wants to enjoy the game casually.


The Survival mode is a step above Normal, where the game will become more challenging. The resources will be limited, there will be more dangers for you to deal with, the enemies will be stronger, and the start of the game will be relatively challenging. If you die in this mode, you respawn on the nearest planet, and you will lose your current inventory. You will also lose everything in your ship’s inventory, and your ship needs to be repaired.


Permadeath mode is a step above Survival mode. In this mode, your character will permanently die if they perish to any hazards or dangers in No Man’s Sky. You will have to start over from the beginning of the game and lose your character. Permadeath mode only contains one save slot, the most recent save.


Creative mode is vastly different from Normal, Survival, or Permadeath mode. Here, you will have the chance to freely explore the game and create whatever you want. You start with every blueprint and construction part available in No Man’s Sky, and you can use them all for free. In addition, you won’t have to worry about losing your shields or oxygen or fighting off enemies. It’s even more relaxed more than Normal for No Man’s Sky, but you won’t be able to earn any achievements or trophies while playing in this mode.


The final game mode in No Man’s Sky is called Expedition mode. Here, there are limited-time events where you will be dropped off at a fixed point in the game. You will then embark on a shared journey where you must complete specific tasks to earn multiple rewards. These are long journies, but they’re fun and engaging adventures for you to do and potentially continue playing in that world when you reach the end.