Species are the flora and fauna of No Man's Sky.
Species in No Man's Sky are procedurally-generated, and can be affected by a number of factors such as the player, surrounding area, environment, or location. Plant lifeforms can range from the purple bio-luminescent mushrooms showcased on Sayall, to the green grass and trees of New Ventu, while creatures include both the towering Daplokarus and the small fish-like Ictaloris Alus. All flora and fauna in the game are mathematically generated using a series of algorithms, rather than being individually designed.
Fauna can be fed to befriend them. The food needed to befriend an animal varies by species, but is usually easy to obtain on their native planet. Once you befriend an animal you will be given the option to adopt or ride. Befriended fauna will occasionally give you Faecium or point out interesting features. Fauna can also be killed to obtain Mordite, and can be scanned after they've been killed. Hostile, aggressive fauna that are near the player are indicated by a red paw icon; they will attack and try to kill the player when in range. Can be distracted with food.
Most flora can be mined to harvest Carbon and other resources. Scanning flora and rocks can reveal their secondary minable resources. Brightly-colored flowers can often be harvested to gain a variety of resources. Some flora is hostile, damaging players that approach.
Once fed, a creature can be adopted, this allows them to follow you as a companion. These adopted creatures can be summoned (when in a space station, anomaly, or freighter a hologram of the adopted creature will be summoned.
An adopted/befriended creatures trusts you and can be played with.
Befriended/Adopted Fauna cannot be killed. If you wish to remove or disown your adopted fauna, go to your Companion registry.
There are five sentient species that can be encountered throughout the universe, each with distinct languages, lore, and technology aside of the Anomaly.
Most sentient species can be found at space stations and points of interest inside buildings except for the Anomaly. Each of the three main races (Gek, Korvax, Vy'keen) have a reputation system with several ranks. Helping the common species or successfully interacting with their monuments provides reputation increases and rewards such as blueprints, money, locations of interest, vocabulary words, and access to services such as shield recharges. The player can also obtain different multi-tools and ships from interactions with other sentient species.
There are 23 genera or types of fauna in the game. For a list of the genera, refer to the Divisions & Scientific Name section of the Fauna page.
For records on the largest and smallest fauna in the game, see Fauna Hall of Fame.
For a list of discovered species, refer to the Species category.
For a list of pre-release species, refer to the Pre-release species page.
Most of the flora can be generally classified into 6 major types:
- "Mushroom" type
- "Bulb flower" type
- "Tree" type
- "Fern" type
- "Coral Fan" type
- "Hazardous" type (tentacle shape and will attack the player)
Most flora-existent planets have variations of the major types, either in size, shapes, colours or details. Many have variations of the same type on the same planet. It has been stated by Sean Murray that there will be carnivorous plants on some of the planets.
Grass is generally considered backdrop and not part of the scannable flora.
- Species' vocal calls are also procedurally generated; each call is determined by the shape and size of the species.
- As of the Foundation Update, it seems that only animals count towards "completing" a planet by scanning all species. The percentage only goes up when scanning a new animal, but stays the same when scanning plants, rocks, etc. Noted on PS4, may not apply to PC or PS4 before the Foundation Update.
In a December 2014 interview with Game Informer Magazine, Sean Murray, the founder of Hello Games, revealed several images of procedurally-generated animals giving an indication of what might appear in the released version of the game. See further images here.