How to ride creatures in No Man's Sky Beyond

(Image credit: Hello Games)

Tired of traveling on foot, by jetpack, in a spaceship, or bumping along a planet in an exocraft in No Man's Sky? Well, No Man's Sky Beyond introduced a new way to get around: creature riding. 

With just a few short steps, you can be perched on the back of your favorite alien creature, galloping across the landscape or even flying around above it. 

Here's how to ride creatures in No Man's Sky Beyond.

Buy the Nutrient Processor blueprint

(Image credit: Hello Games)

The nutrient processor is a new item in No Man's Sky. It lets you mix ingredients to create food items, which you'll need to make advanced bait so the creatures become friendly enough to let you ride them.

The nutrient processor blueprint costs 10 salvaged data. Salvaged data can be found buried on No Man's Sky's planets: just use your visor to look for look for an icon that looks like a wi-fi signal, then use your terrain manipulator to dig up the buried technology module. They're not hard to find, though each module only holds 1-4 salvaged data.

With 10 salvaged data, leave the planet and head to the space anomaly, which you can now summon from your quick menu (X). Enter it, and your ship will land in The Nexus. Head up the ramp to where Nada and Polo are standing, and then move toward the back of the station, directly in the middle, where you'll find several vendors.

(Image credit: Hello Games)

At the construction research station, cycle through the tech trees until you find the technology modules section. There you'll be able to purchase a blueprint for the nutrient processor.

Back on a planet's surface, build the processor, which requires metal plating, a hermetic seal, and sodium. You'll find the nutrient processor in your build menu under portable technology. It doesn't require an external power source.

Scan creatures to learn their bait preferences

(Image credit: Hello Games)

You can make creatures friendly and get them to poop by feeding them the new craftable creature pellets—more on the poop in a minute— but if you want to ride them you'll need to find out what food they really love. Use your visor to scan a creature, and in the display you'll see their bait preference.

Be sure to ignore the Diet information—what you want is the Bait information, which is at the top of the creature's info panel and highlighted in yellow. The fellow above likes Fermented Fruit, for example, so that's what you'd need to make (not NipNip buds, which to be fair, do sound delicious).

Make the advanced bait

(Image credit: Hello Games)

Making advanced bait in the nutrient processor will require mordite (which you can gather by killing creatures) or faecium, a new element that you'll find in creature poop as the result of feeding them food pellets.

You'll also need an ingredient from harvestable plants. Again, use your visor to look around the planet's surface until you see a plant icon. Harvest the plant (by holding E, not by using a mining laser). There are a number of different kinds of plants that will result in different types of bait, so gather as many different kinds as you can.

Put the mordite or faecium into the nutrient processor, along with one of the plants you've gathered. The processor will preview the resulting bait for you. If it's the one you're looking for, go ahead and cook it. If you want something else, just remove the plant and try another (or cook it and save it until you find a creature that likes it).

Feed 'em and ride 'em!

(Image credit: Hello Games)

Once you've got the bait cooked and you've removed it from the nutrient processor, it'll appear in your quick menu (X). You can even bind it to a numpad key if you want. Find the creature you want to ride, and if you toss the correct bait, it'll rush over and eat it. When they're close enough to you, you'll see a prompt to ride them using the spacebar (as well as a prompt that lets you gather resources from them).

Not all creatures are rideable—the smaller ones will still enjoy the bait and you'll be able to gather resources from their friendly bodies, but you won't be able to ride around on itty bitty creatures.

But medium and large creatures are rideable. You can even ride flying creatures, like this giant horrifying hovering crab I tamed! Yee-haw!

(Image credit: Hello Games)

You can 'suggest' which direction the creature should go using the WASD keys, which seems to work much better on ground-based creatures than it does on flying ones. To dismount, use the spacebar again.

Unfortunately, your new alien steeds aren't summonable and their kindness toward you is only temporary. If you want to ride them again after dismounting, you'll need to feed them the correct advanced bait again.

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.