How to Find Carbon in No Man’s Sky

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Carbon, the building block of life as it’s often referred to, is a resource you’ll need time and time again in No Man’s Sky. From crafting Life Support Gel to base building components and refueling your Mining Beam, this plentiful resource plays a starring role in the game. But how exactly do you get carbon in Hello Games’ space-faring adventure?

In this guide, we’ll walk through the easiest and most efficient ways to gather carbon in No Man’s Sky.

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How to Get Carbon in No Man’s Sky

Carbon from Plants, Trees, and Other Flora

No Man's Sky Carbon
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No Man’s Sky mimics the real world in that its flora is made of carbon. Mining trees, shrubs, bushes, and any other plant on any alien surface gives you carbon. Aim your Mining Beam at the flora and fire away. The carbon will automatically store in your inventory.

Carbon From Alien Species and Animals

No Man's Sky Carbon
Copyright Hello Games, captured by VideoGamer

You can also mine carbon from all and any living creatures on the surface of planets. The haul tends to be relatively small, so this isn’t the most efficient option, but it can be helpful in a pinch when you need to top up your multi-tool.

Carbon From Red Crates in No Man’s Sky

No Man's Sky Carbon
Copyright Hello Games, captured by VideoGamer

Red crates found on the surface of planets have a chance of containing Condensed Carbon, a souped-up form of carbon used for advanced tech upgrades, refueling, and base-building components. You can find crates by using your scanner and looking for Cargo Drops.

Copyright Hello Games, captured by VideoGamer

Carbon Crystals

No Man's Sky Carbon
Copyright Hello Games, captured by VideoGamer

You can mine Condensed Carbon from red Carbon Crystals on most planets. The basic variety is mined with the starting Mining Beam, but larger crystals need an Advanced Mining Laser.

How to Get Carbon Without the Mining Beam in No Man’s Sky

It happens to the best of us. Caught up in the thrill of exploring a new planet, we forget to top up the Mining Beam. Fret not, though; there’s an easy solution to getting carbon with the Mining Beam. Walk up to any plant, tree, or other flora, and melee attack it to get a small amount of carbon. Rinse and repeat, then refuel your Mining Beam.

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About the Author

Tom Bardwell

Tom is guides editor here at VideoGamer.