No Man’s Sky – Explorers Guide to Planetary Zoology

This is a guide to help people learn how to find those annoying rare fauna on planets.


The objective is to find every critter on the planet to earn the 100% scanned for the nanite bonus. I will be giving some advice and tips to maybe make this easier for you to accomplish.

Myself like many others have wasted a lot of time just wandering around for hours looking for that last critter to earn the bonus. So after getting my methods down to where I reduced a lot of that wander time I decided to share the information in a guide to help others.

Items That You May Find Useful

There is a variety of items to make this go easier and earn you more money in the process. They are not necessary to complete a 100% scan, but can be very useful to making it easier or more profitable.

  1. Experimental Multi-Tool

This class of Multi-Tool has the highest scan bonuses. Which means it scans further away and the bonuses paid are higher. You should include the Waveform Recycler upgrade and 3 Class S Scanner upgrades. On a decent sized planet you cna make millions with a complete scan now that minerals now have a multiplier for scanning rewards.

  1. Planetary Charts (Secure Site)

Having a bunch of these can be handy as I will cover it later. Trading Navigation Data you find exploring for these should be easy as you should be finding Navigation Data while exploring.

  1. Nautilon Exocraft (with scanner and Orbital Summoner on freighter)

This can make the underwater ones easier as it creates an emergency shelter and the scanner can help as explained later.

Only Found in the South / North

This one is fairly easy once you know how to read the coordinates. Both on your ship (while flying) and in your scanner there is a UI part that displays your coordinates in X,Y integers. The first set of numbers is north and south, south is -numbers and north is +numbers. The second set of numbers is east and west, but are irrelevant for now.

For example:

  • A coordinate for somewhere north would be +34.85, -45.23
  • A coordinate for somewhere south would be -34.85, -45.23

Too quickly go in one of the two directions lift off in your ship, face the compass point marked with a N or S then maintain that direction while you go into the upper atmosphere or orbit, travel a distance and then come back down.

Underground Critters

These can be one of the biggest pains simply because of the rarity of caves on a planet. Combine that with the uncommon or rare on a critter and you can easily waste hours looking.

This is where that scanning range of an Experimental Multi-Tool comes in handy because you can spot them further underground.

One method I used for along time was finding Humming Sacs or Subterranean Relics to point me in the direction of caves. It does not have a high rate of success.

Another method is once you find a populated cave you can drop a Save Point, Save Beacon, or your ship and save scum. Save your game and then reload that game, doing this can force the creatures in the area to respawn.

Remember those Planetary Charts I mentioned earlier for Secure Sites. In all my travels there is a very high possibility of those sites being near caves on most planets. Most of the time it is the factory buildings near the caves and not the depots. You can also use their save points for save scumming if they have caves and critters nearby. On the bright side, after using one of these charts you can always grab the resources, plans, multi-tool upgrades, or nanites after solving the puzzle.

Even this semi-flat planet had enough of a cave strip to spawn one of the two underground critters. The first time I visited it was actually above ground.

Underwater Critters

First off there seems to be two different biomes of water. After you have become an experienced explorer you tend to notice that the deeper the water is means the more flora and fauna spawn.

Now many planet it is hard to find the deepest water simply because the graphics shown at high altitude is different than on the ground. What you thought was a lake turned into just being a puddle. So this is why I advised to have the Nautilon. Find a spot deep enough to deploy the Nautilon and then use the scanner to find a shipwreck. This guarantees that the water is going to be deep enough to spawn critters.

The red dot was my “rare in the south” underwater critter I needed. So far this method has had a fairly high success rate. The only issue is you may need to go far enough past the equator (0,0) that the scanner finds a shipwreck in the south or north area. Too close to the equator it it could spawn a shipwreck in the wrong hemisphere you needed.

Underwater Tips:

If you claim the crash ship make sure you remember where you parked your other one. You can use the crashed ship as a save point for save scumming the critters.

Another handy tip is if you are farming the Submerged Relic for the Hadal Cores, instead of taking forever to mine and getting a face full of evil glowing jellyfish use your terrain manipulator.

Hypnotic Eyes are good for nanites, however before you whip them into 50 slime and then into mould to receive 10 nanites.

  • Hypnotic Eye x1 + Frost Crystal x1 → Iced Screams x1
  • Hypnotic Eye x1 + Frozen Tubers x1 → Iced Screams x1

Which then you cna turn in to the chef in the Anomaly for 40-160 nanites.

Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 2994 Articles
I love two things in life, games and sports. Although sports were my earliest interest, it was video games that got me completely addicted (in a good way). My first game was Crash Bandicoot (PS1) from the legendary studio Naughty Dog back in 1996. I turned my passion for gaming into a job back in 2019 when I transformed my geek blog (Re-actor) into the gaming website it is today.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.