Hello Games’ space exploration opus No Man’s Sky drops players right into the deep end. The day one patch adds a more robust tutorial, but even then, there’s more questions than answers out there among the 18 quintillion planets. One of the many unknown aspects is that of the various aliens and their specific languages. But, luckily, there’s a way to start talking the talk that isn’t too difficult.

That's some stone.
That's some stone.

Knowledge Stones Are Your Friend

Scattered about on seeminglyevery planet are decently sized stones that look like trail markers of sorts. But that’s not what they are at all: for whatever reason, they grant “knowledge” of specific words from the game’s alien languages. They can range in usefulness — I’ve personally learned both “calm” and “korvax” in, uh, Korvax. (And Sean Murray said not to Google, as if I were going to remember that alien species’ name.) The former is handy for understanding whether something is dangerous, and the second is… well, it’s a word.

Seek Out the Monoliths

Monoliths are your best friend when it comes to learning the language of the land. Not only do the sizable structures seemingly always grant a word of their own, they tend to have Knowledge Stones around them. That’s like four or five words per Monolith!

They’re not overly difficult to spot when flying around overhead, and a single Bypass Chip a gadget commonly located on most outposts is enough to locate any given planet’s Monolith early in the game. It’s a small price to pay for understanding.

Love to learn words.
Love to learn words.

Hit the Right Buttons

There’s also the tried and true, “just take a stab in the dark” approach. Some outposts included locked doors which, when blasted down, have an alarm blaring. Those alarms can be shut off given the right input, but knowing the right input isn’t easy given the fact that the interface is in an alien language.

But sometimes hitting the right choice also means that you’ll learn a word in that alien language. Let it never be said that making a wild guess and hoping for the best doesn’t pan out sometimes.

Photos via Hello Games / Eric Francisco

Rollin Bishop serves as gaming editor at Inverse, though his heart is full of anime. Currently based out of Austin, TX, his writing also appears at the likes of Motherboard, Playboy, and Popular Mechanics. You might recognize him from that one time R.L. Stine tweeted at him.