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How to learn languages

Paul McNally

Ever since sci-fi began there has always been a fascination with learning the languages any potential alien visitor may speak. After all, they are most unlikely to speak out and out human. In fact, depressingly, it is highly likely that any alien contact we might ever have is likely to be hindered dramatically by the language barrier. After all, we have no clue what our cat or dog might be saying to us let alone what that swaying, translucent grey stick chap that’s standing at the window might want.

Fortunately, sci-fi lets us remove such a problem with the likes of universal translators and the like so, issues faced by Jodie Foster in Contact or Amy Adams in Arrival can be brushed away easily.

No Man’s Sky contains four unique alien languages for you to pick up - don’t worry, it’s not like learning Spanish or Japanese in school - you aren’t going to be asking your way to the supermarket badly.

There are nearly 3000 words in the game. Here you have a long way to go Traveller.

Korvax, Gek, Vy’keen, and Atlas Languages in NMS

The species in NMS, Korvax, Gek, Vy’keen, and Atlas, with the latter currently being much less utilized in the game, with player suspicions that it will become more prominent in future updates abound.

The first three however are extremely common and it first will just be a barrage of unknown symbols and letters - it doesn’t make too much of an issue at first as you can mainly just click through and get where you need to be, but as you progress through the game and find more ways to learn the words of the different aliens, you will start to notice you understand much more of what they are saying to you and less like the child who used to smile every time your French teacher said Le Chat in school.

But how do you learn these languages and what is the fastest way to go about it? The techniques are all pretty much the same so let’s have a look at getting multi-lingual in No Man’s Sky.

There are close to 3000 words in the game at the moment, and thankfully no Klingon.

How to learn a language quickly in No Man’s Sky

There are three main ways to learn languages in NMS, none are particularly quick and all will develop further as you progress through the game. Let’s check them out.

1 - Talking to aliens at space stations

Every new alien that you meet upstairs in a Space Station will be able to teach you a word.

Every space station has aliens you can learn words from. Don’t try and learn from other pilots on the landing pads, they will just try to sell you things, including their ships. No, the aliens you need to learn from are the ones wandering around upstairs.

Initiate a conversation with any of them and they will babble something at you that won’t understand. You will then be given choices, the first of which is to get some language help. This will then throw up four areas your chosen word will be in - thing’s like trade or friendship. Select one and you will learn a word, just like that. But that is it, forever with that particular alien. You can’t ask for more words, just the one. When you have exhausted all the aliens in a particular space station, well, you need to go to another space station.

There is a secondary option that you can always get that lets you Practice language and going through this will sometimes increase your standing with that particular species, but beware, you can also offend them too.

Obviously, it should go without saying if you speak to a Gek you will learn Gek, Korvax will teach you Korvax, and so on, so the words you pick up will be largely dependent on the dominant species in the system you are currently in.

2 - Locate Knowledge Stones

Operating a Knowledge Stone will increase your vocab.

While you are scooting around the surface of a planet you will come across small, black, obviously not naturally formed pillars. These are Knowledge Stones and they will, when activated, impart the knowledge of a single word into your space brain.

Much like aliens on space stations these only work once, and you can tell the ones you have previously visited if you come across them again, as they will be lit up by a glowing blue circle.

3 - Monoliths (Alien plaques)

Some quests will lead you to these, or the use of a Signal Booster may well alert you to their locality but they are basically giant Knowledge Stones that, when activated will boost your language knowledge further than a regular stone. They also have the benefit of generally having other Knowledge Stones in the vicinity, so they are well with seeking out if you want to learn a few words quickly.


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Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Hello Games
  • Platforms,
    PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, XB One, XB X|S
  • Guide Release
    27 April 2022
  • Last Updated
    11 January 2023
    Version History
  • Guide Author

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This ongoing guide for the amazing No Man’s Sky includes the following:

  • Tips and Tricks to get started
  • Technology Upgrades
  • Building a Base guides
  • Crafting Guides
  • Mission Guides
  • Encounters
    As well as this there is also information on the game’s numerous updates, as well as the forthcoming Nintendo Switch version of No Man’s Sky.

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