If life's most common question is "Why would anyone support Liverpool?" then "What do you actually do in No Man's Sky?" must be a pretty close second. A query that's got more mileage than your uncle's fudged Ford Focus, it's been adopted by both fans and haters alike. Perhaps recognising that Hello Games hasn't done an especially great job at explaining the gameplay in its intergalactic adventure, Sony recently released four trailers outlining everything that you can get up to in the title's procedurally generated universe. And we figured that we'd compile them into one feature-length clip so that there can be no more questions.

But for those of you that have watched the embedded video and still don't really understand the concepts of the ambitious PlayStation 4 exclusive game, here's the definitive answer to what you do in No Man's Sky. At last.

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No one will ever see all of the planets in No Man's Sky because it would take several lifetimes for you to visit every single one. Despite this, you will be able to leave your mark on the planets that you do land on. Any flora and fauna that you're first to discover can be named, and any other players that happen upon the same species will know that you were the one to initially discover them. Your ultimate goal, of course, is to reach the centre of the universe – but that doesn't mean that you can't stop and soak up the scenery on the way.

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Not everyone is going to be pleased to see you, however. Wildlife may turn hostile, forcing you to engage in combat – while you'll happen upon other computer-controlled explorers in the wide expanses of space. Targeting trade routes will enable you to steal riches away from your fellow inter-stellar compatriots, but if you dare to upset the balance of the universe too heavily, you may find yourself under the intense scrutiny of the galaxy's guardians, who will track you down and attempt to put a stop to your questionable activities.

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Of course, if you've pillaged all of the raw resources from each planet that you've visited and successfully stolen from your peers, then you'll be in a good position to make some meaningful trades. You'll be able to swap resources with intergalactic merchants in order to upgrade your ship, space suit, and arsenal. This is the core loop of progression: explore, garner resources, trade, and explore more. Gradually you'll find yourself able to travel further and withstand greater threats – all of which will enable you to see more and more of the universe.

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No game in 2016 is complete without survival gameplay, and No Man's Sky will subject you to some challenging conditions. A high temperature will overheat your cooling systems, while the bitter cold may have the opposite effect. Poisonous atmospheres also need to be contended with, so you'll need to make sure that you're equipped with the very best gear at all times – or that you're able to think quick. Tunnelling into an ice planet's core, for example, may blot out the hazardous cold a little and keep you warm. The time of day will also play a part in your survival.

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And there's more

As mentioned, your primary objective is to travel to the centre of the universe, and who knows what you'll find there? But along the way you'll also stumble upon alien lifeforms, many of which have their own languages and stories to tell. What do you actually do in No Man's Sky, then? Quite a lot, to be honest – there are a lot of systems to wrap your head around here, but we quite like the way that they all tie into the same core idea: to see as much of the galaxy as a single lifetime will allow.

Are you ready for this varied voyage through space? Have all of your questions regarding No Man's Sky's gameplay been answered? Embark on a ten quintillion mile trip in the comments section below.