No Man's Sky Guide How to Refine Materials PS5 PS4 1

How do you refine materials in No Man's Sky? What is a Refiner, and how do you use it? The Refiner is one of your best friends in No Man's Sky — early on at the very least. In order to get the most out of your resources, refining will be an integral part of your process. As part of our No Man's Sky guide, we're going to tell you all about refining, what it's good for, and how you do it.

No Man's Sky: How to Refine Materials

Before we get into how refining works in No Man's Sky, let's first go over what it is. What follows is everything you need to know about refining materials.

Subscribe to Push Square on YouTube

No Man's Sky: What Is Refining?

No Man's Sky Guide How to Refine Materials PS5 PS4 2

Refining in No Man's Sky is a process through which you can turn basic materials into more valuable or more useful ones. For example, you can turn Carbon into Condensed Carbon, which does much the same thing, but is more efficient and takes up less space in your inventory.

With the right Refiner, you can also combine multiple materials into one. This can be an effective way to obtain rare or valuable resources.

No Man's Sky: What Is a Refiner?

No Man's Sky Guide How to Refine Materials PS5 PS4 3

As the name implies, a Refiner is the tool you'll use to refine your resources. There are four Refiners you have access to in No Man's Sky:

Portable Refiner

The Portable Refiner is the most basic Refiner in the game. It's the first one you'll use and is very useful early on in the game for some basic refining goodness. You're able to convert one material into another. One thing you'll need to remember is that it needs refuelling with Carbon or Oxygen in order to function.

To craft a Portable Refiner, you will need 1 Metal Plating and 30 Oxygen.

Personal Refiner

The Personal Refiner is different from the other Refiners, as it is actually an exosuit technology that you install in one of your inventory slots. You can purchase the blueprint from the Space Anomaly for 360 Nanites. Once installed, the Personal Refiner acts just like the Portable Refiner, allowing you to convert one material into another, only it's built into your exosuit, which is great for multitasking.

Once you have the blueprint, you can build the Personal Refiner technology using 100 Chromatic Metal and 150 Oxygen.

Medium Refiner

The Medium Refiner is a larger Refiner tool than the Portable Refiner. There are a few differences to be aware of. Firstly, the Medium Refiner allows you to combine two ingredients into one. Secondly, it must be installed in an established Base. Lastly, once installed, it will run off the Base's power supply, meaning you don't need to refuel it yourself — it just works.

You can get the blueprint for the Medium Refiner on the Space Anomaly for 10 Salvaged Data. To build a Medium Refiner, you'll need 100 Magnetised Ferrite and 5 Di-Hydrogen Jelly.

The Medium (or Large) Refiner is an essential tool for a money-making method in No Man's Sky. For more information, see our guide: No Man's Sky: How to Make Money and Get Lots of Units Quickly.

Large Refiner

The Large Refiner is the biggest Refiner you can find in No Man's Sky, and is of course the most useful. Like the Medium Refiner, it must be placed in a Base but it doesn't require refuelling. Rather than combining two ingredients, the Large Refiner can combine up to three ingredients into something new.

The blueprint for the Large Refiner is available from the Space Anomaly for 10 Salvaged Data (Note: you need to buy the Medium Refiner blueprint first). To build a Large Refiner, you'll need 200 Chromatic Metal, 100 Sodium Nitrate, and 5 Microprocessors.

No Man's Sky: How Do You Use a Refiner?

No Man's Sky Guide How to Refine Materials PS5 PS4 4

Let's use the Portable Refiner as an example, as it's the most simple to explain, and the same principles apply to the other Refiners.

Access the Build menu by pressing Up on the d-pad, and find the Portable Refiner. Once you place down your Refiner, open it and you'll see an interface with three slots. The top one is the Fuel Inverter, and this is where you'll need to deposit Carbon, Condensed Carbon, or Oxygen in order to run the Portable Refiner. Fortunately, the Medium and Large Refiners do not require this. Anyway, on the left-hand side is where you will place your input material, and on the right is where your output material will appear.

For example, if you wish to create Pure Ferrite from Ferrite Dust, put your stack of Ferrite Dust into the left-hand slot, then go over to the right and hit 'Begin' to turn it into Pure Ferrite. The Refiner will now convert the source material into your desired material in real time. Depending on what you're refining, this can take a few minutes. Once the process is over, or once you hit 'Stop Processing', you will be able to claim the output material and send it to your inventory.


There you have it: that's how to refine materials in No Man's Sky. Have you been using Refiners a lot in your space-faring adventures? Discuss in the comments section below, and check out our No Man's Sky guide for lots more.