The Mind-Boggling Scale of No Man’s Sky’s Universe Map Size

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The Mind-Boggling Scale of No Man’s Sky’s Universe Map Size

Explore No Man's Sky's limitless universe and uncover the mind-blowing scale of its 18 quintillion planets in this mind-boggling article

In the expansive realm of video games, one title stands out for its sheer enormity: No Man's Sky. This space exploration game has captured gamers worldwide, not just for its gameplay but for the mind-boggling scale of its universe. Join us on a journey to fathom the incomprehensible as we explore No Man's Sky's colossal map, where the possibilities seem as limitless as the stars themselves.

The Quintillion Planet Universe:

At the core of No Man's Sky's grandeur lies a number that defies comprehension: 18 quintillion planets. To grasp the enormity of this figure, it's crucial to understand what a quintillion means. A quintillion is a number with a staggering 18 zeros, a value more commonly associated with discussions about galaxies and the universe itself.

No Man's Sky's universe, however, encompasses this mind-boggling number within its digital realm using a 64-bit integer, allowing the generation of an almost inconceivable number of planets. But what does 18 quintillion planets really signify? To truly comprehend this magnitude, let's embark on a journey through comparisons with other video games, Earth, and the vast universe.

Comparisons with Other Video Games:

To truly appreciate the enormity of No Man's Sky's universe, we must venture beyond the boundaries of gaming and explore how it stacks up against other titles renowned for their expansive worlds.

While the gaming industry has birthed colossal virtual realms over the years, No Man's Sky stands alone in its sheer scale. Let's take a moment to compare it with a few notable contenders:

  • Stellaris: A space strategy game known for its vastness, Stellaris boasts a respectable 1,000 star systems, each hosting 10-15 planets. Impressive as it is, it pales compared to No Man's Sky's quintillions.
  • EVE: Online: Renowned for its player-driven economy and massive fleet battles, it encompasses a staggering 8,000 solar systems. Yet this, too, falls short when held against No Man's Sky's universe.
  • Elite: Dangerous: With a claim to fame for its realism and the inclusion of 400 billion star systems, Elite: Dangerous paints an expansive galaxy. However, even if we generously estimate an average of 10 planets per star system, it doesn't come close to the quintillions that No Man's Sky offers.
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Real-World Analogies:

Understanding the scale of No Man's Sky's universe can be as challenging as comprehending the vastness of the cosmos itself. To shed light on this virtual marvel, consider real-world analogies. Think of the global economy, where trillions of dollars change hands each year. If we assigned a single dollar to each of No Man's Sky's planets, the total value would be 172,000 times greater than the annual global economic output.

The Mind-Boggling Scale of No Man's Sky's Universe Map Size
Credit: Imgur

For a more relatable analogy, ponder the grains of sand that blanket Earth's surface. Researchers estimate there are approximately 7 quintillion grains of sand on our planet. Astonishingly, No Man's Sky surpasses this number by over two and a half times. Consider the Earth's oceans, which hold about 350 quintillion gallons of water. This immense volume surpasses the number of planets in the game, highlighting the boundless nature of No Man's Sky.

Planet Exploration:

In No Man's Sky, the term “planet-sized” takes on an entirely new meaning. Each celestial body you encounter within this vast universe is indeed a planet in its own right. However, the scale of these planets is not just for show; it's an integral part of the game's core design. Imagine landing on a planet with dimensions comparable to Earth, where mountains rise majestically and vast oceans stretch as far as the eye can see. The catch? It would take you approximately 8,300 hours, or over 345 days, to complete a full lap around its circumference on foot.

While this might seem impossible, No Man's Sky equips players with tools that enhance their mobility and exploration capabilities. Jetpacks allow for swift vertical ascents and graceful descents, while walking speeds are accelerated to expedite surface travel. These features ensure that traversing these immense landscapes remains an engaging and rewarding experience. When contemplating the entire expanse of No Man's Sky's universe, each colossal planet becomes a mere speck within an inconceivable cosmic tapestry.

Complexity of Life:

The universe of No Man's Sky, with its quintillions of planets, isn't merely a barren expanse waiting to be explored. Instead, it teems with a diverse tapestry of life, each planet offering unique ecosystems and species waiting to be discovered. However, understanding the intricacies of life in this universe requires us to embrace the rarity and the sheer complexity of it all.

No Man's Sky classifies lifeforms into three broad categories:

Simple Life: On approximately 10% of planets, you'll encounter basic life forms—plants, perhaps small animals. While these may not be groundbreaking discoveries, they add depth to the universe's biodiversity.

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Complex Life: A rarer find, complex life appears on about 1% of planets. These life forms are more advanced, potentially resembling creatures from Earth's distant past or entirely alien species.

Very Complex Life: The pinnacle of biological discovery within the game, very complex life, akin to civilizations or intelligent beings, graces approximately 1 in 100 million planets.

While the probability of encountering very complex life may seem minute, it still equates to roughly 180 billion planets within the game's universe hosting advanced civilizations or enigmatic creatures. However, the likelihood of making such a discovery remains akin to winning a lottery—a chance encounter only the luckiest explorers may experience.

Multiplayer and Chance Encounters:

No Man's Sky offers a shared universe with a unique take on multiplayer interaction, emphasizing both the grandeur of its cosmos and the rarity of player encounters. In this expansive universe, you can cross paths with other players as you explore the galaxy. However, the odds of such encounters are astonishingly low. For instance, if one million players simultaneously embark on their cosmic journeys, the chance of two of them landing on the same planet at the same time is a mere 0.00000271%.

To boost the likelihood of encountering fellow explorers, venturing toward the galactic center becomes a strategic choice. In these more confined spaces with fewer planets, the chances of crossing paths with others rise, akin to astronomers focusing on stars closer to the Milky Way's center in the quest for signs of other intelligent life.

Despite its unconventional multiplayer approach, No Man's Sky introduces an element of unpredictability that underscores the vastness of its digital cosmos. It evokes the sense of being a solitary traveler amidst unimaginable grandeur, with the potential for a chance encounter adding a touch of magic to the journey.


In No Man's Sky, a universe of quintillions of planets, incomprehensible scale, and the allure of chance encounters defies imagination. We've explored Earth-sized worlds, engaged with diverse life forms, and marveled at the rare connections with fellow travelers.

No Man's Sky invites us to become explorers, intrepid pioneers of a cosmos that stretches beyond imagination. It serves as a constant reminder that, in the world of gaming, just like in the vastness of the real universe, uncharted territories await, and the adventure knows no end.

The Mind-Boggling Scale of No Man’s Sky’s Universe Map Size
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