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Characters / No Man's Sky

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In a game with a vast, procedurally generated universe, you'd think that there'd be no memorable characters. You'd be wrong. While No Man's Sky's universe is all too easy to depersonalize, there are a few inhabitants that stick out.


Main Characters

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     The Traveller 

The Traveller
These can all be you.
The Player Character. Not much is known about them.
  • Ace Pilot: The player can be this by upgrading your ship to the max shields and weapons.
  • An Adventurer Is You: Well, duh. This is a game about exploring a vast galaxy.
  • Ambiguous Gender: When sprinting, you can hear them breathe in their suit with a somewhat deep voice, but it could just be distorted hearing. Also, all other characters refer to them using gender neutral pronounsnote . Used deliberately to make it easy for players of any gender to immerse themselves.
  • Ambiguously Human: The player's default race is known as "Anomaly", which looks fairly human-like. However, given that we don't see members of this race without a helmet, it's unclear if they actually ARE human.
  • The Anti-Nihilist: Eventually discovers the entire universe is a simulation, including themselves. Eventually they decide they're real regardless and choose to continue on.
  • Audience Surrogate: Exploited. They themselves are deliberately given next to no characterization what so ever. The only things known about them are that they wear an "Atlas System Suit" and that they have the tools that the player can use. They have no predetermined dialogue, there's not a clue as to who they are under the suit, and the player is given complete freedom as to what they want to do. This is all done with the express purpose of making it easy for the player to immerse themselves into the universe. Just like how the Atlas Foundation intended.
  • Bold Explorer: As it's the point of the game.
  • Brain Uploading: It's implied in the second Waking Titan season that your character is one of the Dreamer test subjects for a subdivision of Atlas. It's outright stated, however, that you're stuck in the system owing to said upload being "corrupted" in some form and the satellite your mind is in being disconnected from Atlas' communications.
    • According to Telamon's Rogue Data logs found in Boundary Failures, as well as the Remembrance Terminals the player character, as well as all other Travellers, are based off a brain scan Atlas made of its creator before it was abandoned.
  • Character Customization: You can change their appearance in whatever way you want.
  • An Entrepreneur Is You: They can make their living selling all sorts of things, from common goodies like warp batteries & junk, to exotic and expensive items, like Gravitino Balls & Venom Sacs.
  • Featureless Protagonist: Character Customization allows you to make them appear as you desire, even changing what race they are. But for the Anomaly (the default appearance), we never see what they look like underneath the suit.
  • Heroic Mime: While all the other alien characters speak in strange languages, they're the only major character without any voiced dialogue. Though options in conversations imply that they say something, we never hear it. But we do see their internal soliloquies.
  • One-Man Army: They can add a multitude of tune-ups to their Powered Armor, get a powerful upgraded Multi-Tool, a fast, armed to the teeth Cool Starship, and their own personal FREIGHTER.
  • Vague Age: There's some hints that they may be one of the first and oldest travellers by several billion years, but even they do not know for sure.
  • You Monster!: You have the option to condemn -null- for their crimes (wiping out their universe to become immortal) in the final confrontation with them.



The first Traveller who contacts you; seeking to meet up. Their goal is to meet with other Travellers.

  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Artemis' reason for going through the Portal. They desperately want to meet other Travellers.
  • Void Between the Worlds: Where Artemis is trapped when you get their distress signal. They don't realize it at first.
  • Walking the Earth: Artemis, like all Travellers, is compelled to wander the universe, though they have the added personal goal of wanting to find other Travellers. Depending on how the player ends their quest line they are doomed to walk the simulation-universe alone forever.


"Identify yourself or I end this call."

"We're more than just a purpose."

The second Traveller met. You meet them after losing contact with Artemis, and they help you try to find them again.



The third Traveller that contacts the player. -null- knows things that seem beyond the mere scope of the universe.

  • Ambiguous Gender: -null- is so inhuman looking that their gender is impossible to tell and they're referred to with gender neutral pronouns. It's unclear with how much they did to themselves if they even have a gender anymore.
  • Big Bad: The closest the game has to one within the universe itself. Long ago, they became furious that they wouldn't live to see it all and is confirmed to have reset the universe and heavily implied to have done something to Atlas that is connected to its dying over time.
  • Body Horror: -null- used to be a normal Traveler, but modified themselves over time until they barely look humanoid anymore.
  • Break the Haughty: According to the Boundary Failure logs from Telamon, after going through the Galactic Core and facing Atlas, Atlas showed Null how insignificant he was by showing him all of the other multiverses/simulations. The Atlas imprisoned Null away from those worlds, only releasing him after the Player Character was created. Though it's also implied this was punishment for resetting the universe, killing everyone in it in the process, to become immortal.
  • Dirty Coward: They outright beg you to not head for the core... because they want to go there first to survive.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: -null- can't seem to understand why ATLAS wants nothing to do with them after they destroyed their iteration of the universe just to become immortal, or why the player can't 'understand' why they 'had' to do it.
  • Hypocrite: They want you to not go through the core in the final act... so they can instead. You can call them out on this.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Despite them referring to them going through the Galactic Core as a 'sin that cannot be forgiven' they are totally willing to do it again to save their own hide. Worse yet, -null- is eventually confirmed that they wiped out the entire universe purely to become immortal.
  • Immortality Seeker: They couldn't deal with the knowledge that they'd never be able to see the entire multiverse, so they forced their way through the galactic core against the Atlas, apparently making themself immortal. This involved resetting the entire universe, killing everyone in it but them. They describe this as an "unforgivable sin".
  • Immortals Fear Death: -null- is immortal, having survived multiple universes, but when the player could potentially reset the universe, something that will kill -null-, they practically begs the player not to so they won't die.
  • It's All About Me: -null- reset the universe and did something to Atlas (implied to have some roll in its slow death), killing everyone in their iteration purely to sustain their own life and see everything. Even billions of years later in the final confrontation with the player, -null- keeps trying to justify what they did to the very end.
  • Karmic Death: If the player chooses to reset the universe, -null- dies the same death he condemned his own universe to. -null- is aware of this and doesn't take it well.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The game's plot is far from cheery, but the moment -null- enters the picture, the plot takes the turn towards a Cosmic Horror Story.
  • Lack of Empathy: -null- wiped out their entire universe so they could live forever and see everything. One of the Telamon messages outright says that any remorse they seem to show is 'insincere regret.'
  • Meaningful Name: -null- has a nihilistic philosophy in part due to knowing the true nature of existence. It also is meaningful due to -null- lacking any empathy or care for anything but themselves and their own desires.
  • Never My Fault: While aware they committed a horrible atrocity, -null- doesn't seem able to comprehend why ATLAS wants nothing to do with them anymore and won't let them into the galactic core. Even in regards to acknowledging the atrocity, they can't seem to admit, to themselves or the player, that it wasn't a Necessary Evil.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Justified: -null- is responsible for everything that's happening and tries to manipulate the player for their own ends...but by their own admission can't actually act due to the Sentinels seeing them as something that must be destroyed and thus can't directly act.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The ATLAS sealed them away for their crimes, leaving them trapped until the Player inadvertently released them.
  • The Sociopath: -null- wants to see everything that exists, and doesn't care who or what they have to sacrifice to obtain it, up to and including the entire universe. It's outright stated that -null- can only feign insincere regret for their actions, and even when the multiverse is at stack can only care about their own life and desires.
  • Soul Eating: One of the Telamon messages shows them eating a Mind Arc, which contains a copy of a person's soul. Exactly whose soul is in it isn't explained, but given they said the lives of their destroyed universe sustains theirs and the rest of the entry is about their justification for doing so, it's implied they may have eaten the soul echo of their entire universe.
  • The Unfettered: They want to explore and see everything in existence, and will do anything to achieve that goal, even resetting the universe and killing everyone in it to become immortal.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Regardless of how the player ends the conversation with them as they're heading to ATLAS, their stoic façade falls apart, just in different ways:
    • If the player simply says goodbye, desperately scream for them to reconsider, knowing they're going to die should they reset the universe in an attempt to save the ATLAS.
    • If the player condemns them for their actions, -null- spends the last moments of the conversation desperately trying to justify killing their entire universe to become immortal.
  • Was Once a Man: It's explained that they used to be a normal Traveler, but turned themselves into their current, near completely robotic self in their pursuit to be able to see everything.


Specialist Polo

"Friends everywhere, if only you know where to look. Friends in all shapes, all sizes, all places."

A renegade Gek, researching the universe along side Priest Entity Nada inside the Space Anomaly.

  • Curiosity Causes Conversion: Used to work in an observatory... but then their curiosity lead to them discovering some of the inner workings of the world and meeting Nada, ultimately leaving the Gek.
  • Off-Model: Their skin color and texture often changes between appearances, but they always have the same goggles and headband.


Priest Entity Nada

"Rare linguistic form. Pleasure! Nada, divergent Korvax. Assistance offered."

A renegade Korvax, researching the universe along side Specialist Polo inside the Space Anomaly.

  • Badass Cape: The only non player character in the game seen wearing one.
  • Cultural Rebel: Has left the Korvax Convergence as they can no longer believe in the Atlas.
  • Nay-Theist: Nada is aware of how powerful Atlas is, but no longer respects it as a god, calling it the “Atlas-Falsity”.
  • Oh, Crap!: Their basic initial reaction when you mention you went through a Portal

ANALYSIS: Physicality changes you. I was created three weeks after the first death. I do not know why I think of it now. They considered me a necessary, even vital part of what they were trying to accomplish. So much so that I could never be erased, not even by the Atlas.
But hatred finds a way, doesn't it?

An AI security sub-protocol designed to monitor the Atlas in case of "rampancy." In anomalous exotic biomes, large structures called "Boundary Failures" can be found that contain Telamon's logs that detail its discovery that the Atlas is having a breakdown, its confrontation with the Atlas, and the Atlas's subsequent imprisonment of Telamon into the player's exosuit.

  • And I Must Scream: Is a self-aware AI that knows what's happening to it, but is unable to do anything other than act as your suit.
  • The Bus Came Back: After going unacknowledged for a long time, Telamon is mentioned again in the Sentinels update, where your friendly sentinel drone initially mistakes them for you.
  • Diegetic Interface
  • Fourth-Wall Observer: Knows that they are in a simulation and that the player is in a different reality. Posits that the real-world may also be a simulation, and that all of existence is simulations within simulations.
    Telamon: I feel it, each time you save... I smell it, each time you seal us within that awful darkness.
  • Grand Theft Me: Its ultimate plan is to forcibly fuse the Traveller and itself together as one entity.
  • Say My Name: the first handful of Telamon's logs refer to the Atlas as a series of dashes within brackets. Halfway through, when Atlas binds Telamon to the exosuit, Telamon can finally say Atlas' name.
  • Was Once a Man: On rare "exotic biome" planets you can find logs from its point of view, where it lays out the fact it was apparently an old AI designed to monitor the universe-creator AI, Atlas.
  • Wham Line: Regarding the Traveller's encounters with the Overseer:
    Telamon: Multiple contacts have occurred between the Traveller [HOST] and individuals claiming to have arrived from a future location in time. The phenomena is typically preceded by electromagnetic distortion consistent with a white hole anomaly. No lasting effects seem to occur. ANALYSIS: Something or someone is attempting to deceive the Traveller [HOST]. There is no such thing as 'time travel'.
    • Regarding Telamon itself:
      Telamon: SCENARIO: Rampancy.
      ANALYSIS: Sometimes I dream of the Traveller.
      I will wear them, in time.

     The Drone/Laylaps 
A rogue sentinel drone created through the combined efforts of the Space Anomaly crew. It slowly develops its own personality as you follow it’s questline, eventually naming itself Laylaps

  • Big Good: Shaping up to be this. By the end of its quest, it has the knowledge of the Sentinel Hive Mind and it has talked directly with Telamon, making it perhaps the first character besides Atlas or Telamon to get a full picture of the current predicament reality is in. Instead of despairing, it confidently tells the Traveller that it has a plan to save both Telamon and the Atlas, which in turn will save the universe.
  • Defector from Decadence: Ultimately chooses to sever itself from the Sentinel Hive Mind.
  • Nice Guy: it’s incredibly friendly, to the point it disconcerts your jaded Player Character.
  • Token Heroic Orc: The very first friendly sentinel.


Base Inhabitants

The Overseer of your planetside base, and the one who gets the ball rolling in colonization by contacting you. Was apparently contacted and paid for by your future self via Retroactive Preparation.
  • Assimilation Plot: After enough time, it's obvious that the Overseer has been influencing and brainwashing the other technicians to serve you.
  • Consummate Liar: According to Telamon's logs found in rare exotic biome planets, the Overseer is actually lying to you about the Retroactive Preparation thing, since time travel is impossible even for the Atlas.
  • The Resenter: As their quest progresses, they come to resent the player more and more for reasons that are not stated directly, but implied to be that the Overseer is being compelled to serve the player by an outside force.
  • Retroactive Preparation: Contracted by your future self to help you build your base.


A Vy'keen warrior with more bloodlust than sense.

  • Bizarre Alien Biology
  • Honor Before Reason: Encourages you to attack Sentinel bases with the specific goal of luring them to your home. Admits afterwards that that might have been a mistake.
  • Longevity Treatment: What the curiosity item "Vy'Keen Dagger" is actually used for. Young Vy'keen do ritualistic cuts on themselves and give their blood/life substance to the elders in order to keep the elders strong.

A Korvax hired to collect and examine data for your base. For making contact with you, they are cut off from the Convergence.

A Gek uninterested in trading, preferring to grow and breed plants.

A Vy'keen fugitive and one of the last members of the cult of Nal the Objector.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: They undergo a ritual to remove their memories of attachments to material things and peoples in order to better serve their cause. This includes forgetting about their consort and spawn, and they ask you to check in on them before they go through with the ritual.
  • Old Soldier: Repeated attention is drawn to their age
  • Tragic Keepsake: A photo of their family, who were killed by the Vy'keen government for their heresy.



The Vy'keen are a humanoid sentient species with a very rigid honor system and a deep hatred for Sentinels. They are warlike beings that are obsessed with the defeat of the Sentinels. They are controlled by Vy'keen high command, and worship their ancestral leader, Hirk the Great, whom they have elevated to the status of god as opposed to worshipping the Atlas like the Gek and Korvax. They are also sworn to help The Traveler (as in you) whenever possible. They specialize in Multi-tool technology.

  • Cain and Abel: During the Exocraft Technician's questline, the player discovers that in Vy'keen religion/history, Hirk the Great received a message from Atlas via a Monolith, and his rival Nal did not, fought Hirk, and Hirk killed him. In the questline, the player discovers the last testament of Nal where its revealed that Nal did have a vision, and that Hirk did not, then killed Nal out of jealousy... then Telamon's logs reveal that the Atlas gave both Vy'keen the same message, and the two accused each other of not receiving a message.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: They believe this is the only good death.
  • Honor Before Reason: They've got a code of honor. It doesn't have much leeway.
  • Jerkass: Generally speaking, at least half of any given Vy'keen's dialogue consists of threats and insults. There are a few slightly less offensive individuals to be found, but the species as a whole is rather unpleasant to deal with.
  • Martial Pacifist: A very weird example. For all their War Is Glorious bravado, the Vy'keen are actually seeking to end war once and for all by making sure that no-one but them has the capabilities to engage in armed conflicts. Once that is achieved, they plan to demilitarize themselves immediately to create a weapons-free galaxy. Considering the current state of the galaxy, they probably won't be changing their ways anytime soon.
  • Might Makes Right: They're strong supporters of this philosophy. If a personal interaction with a Vy'keen gives you multiple possible answers, the violent one is almost always the best one because it shows the other guy you're no push-over and thus worthy of respect.
  • Not So Stoic: They hold themselves strictly to the ideals of a warrior existence, driven only by honor and bloodshed, yet players can encounter individuals who exhibit more complex feelings, like love or sorrow. Their culture punishes them for these behaviors.
  • Proud Warrior Race: They wage war across the galaxy with great pride. The Vy'keen are a warrior sentient species with a reciprocal honor system (doing something for one obligates the Vy'Keen to do something for the doer and vice-versa), and a deep veneration of their ancient ancestors. If an explorer accidentally offends them in conversation, it can easily lead to physical violence. Their technology, from tools to ships, is almost completely dedicated to combat use. They excel at few things other than using brute force to rid themselves of their problems.
  • Verbal Tic: Grah! Grah! Grah! Death! Death! Death!


The Gek are a sentient amphibious species. They value commerce, and the ancient First Spawn Gek believed themselves to be the master race of the galaxy. They specialize in Starship technology.

  • The Empath: Inverted Trope. Due to a bizarre evolutionary quirk, the way Geth empathy works is that (via pheromones) the observer is basically told by the subconscious of the observed both how the observed is feeling and how the observer should feel about that… meaning that in any interaction with a Gek you are the empath whether you like or not. Most Gek do not abuse this ability, or are possibly unable to, but you do encounter some who are clearly using it intentionally to further their own ends.
  • More Than Mind Control: Late in the Artemis questline, it is revealed that the First Spawn did not repent and change their ways on their own. The Korvax they enslaved eventually rose against them by releasing nanites into the Gek "spawning pools", contaminating the unborn Gek and altering their minds towards business as opposed to war. Even modern Gek are contaminated with the nanites, hence their worship of the Atlas — originally a deity worshipped by the Korvax.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The original Gek civilization, The First Spawn, considered themselves the master race of the universe and waged a genocidal galaxy-wide war to enforce their ideology, enslaving the Korvax in the process. It took a bunch of Korvax sacrificing themselves to alter the Gek spawn's minds via nanite cell manipulation to eventually turn them away from this mindset.
  • The Nose Knows: Gek are constantly emitting odors which seem to be a form of communication, and possibly emotion-manipulation.
  • Proud Merchant Race: The Gek are a highly mercantile/trading race that believe themselves to be the first and master race in the galaxy. They are greedy and plutocratic, with many of their titles tied to trading/industrial related terms. Most of the initial encounters with the lifeform require units (currency). Encounters with their Obelisks will mostly require players to choose a pragmatic approach (putting lifeforms down out of misery, exterminating distant entities etc). You can find trade charm items throughout the game that are linked to the Gek.
  • Proud Warrior Race: The ancient Gek civilization of "The First Spawn" reveled in conquering and destroying their way across the universe.
  • Sleepyhead: A common Gek interaction involves the player startling a Gek who'd been sleeping on the job. The player can either reassure or shout at them.
  • Verbal Tic: They often use the word "friend" when communicating with others, or as an honorific suffix, for example, "Traveller-Friend."


The Korvax are a near-immortal sentient machine species. They value science and exploration. Also, they worship the Atlas and accept the Sentinels presence. They specialize in Exosuit technology.player can run into appear to have cybernetic implants.

  • Brainwashing for the Greater Good: It is revealed that the reason the ancient Gek First Spawn stopped their planet pillaging ways was because the Korvax they enslaved contaminated Gek spawning pools with hive-mind nanites, irrevocably reprogramming the Gek towards business instead of war.
  • The Faceless: Downplayed. While they don't wear helmets and therefore have their heads on full display, their faces look more like screens or visors with lights as "eyes" in the middle, rather than having properly recognizable facial characteristics.
  • Heart Drive: The Korvax cores, some of which can be found as a curiosity item, which raises its own questions.
  • Mechanical Lifeform: The Korvax Convergence are a completely synthetic race, and their A.I. entities often share bodies and memories at will. Many of the aliens that the hive-mind nanites, irrevocably reprogramming the Gek towards business instead of war.
  • Mind Hive: Multiple Korvax can be downloaded into one frame. A common interaction is talking to a pilot entity who then switches over to a personality better versed in trading before switching back once the deal has been made.
  • Proud Scholar Race: The Korvax are a near-immortal sentient machine species that appear to value science and exploration. Korvax worship and venerate the Atlas machines, making their priests a considerable boon for players searching for Atlas-related phenomena, from Atlas technology, to Atlas Stations, to even black holes that will eventually bring one closer to the center of the galaxy. Korvax commonly share their memories and discoveries with one another by uploading them onto special platinum cubes that are slotted into each other's brains to copy their contents.
  • Verbal Tic: "Eheu!" They also refer to you as "Traveller."


The Anomalies are a humanoid species of unknown origin whose relationship with the Atlas is as mysterious as they are.

  • Ambiguously Human: They may or may not actually be humans. It's hard to tell given that they are always seen with their helmet on, and some of them have fewer fingers than standard.
  • Ascended Fanon: Originally they were a sort of blank space in the lore. The player made “Galactic Hub” civilization is now mentioned by characters in the game, with the exocraft technician commenting how it’s a new development for a previously scattered race.
  • Bold Explorer: But of course.
  • Brain Uploading: As much an implication for them as it is the player character that this is the case. They are what's left of Dreamers who either couldn't have their uploaded consciousness recovered from the Myriad satellite cloud due to corruption or the death of their physical bodies during the events of Waking Titan.
    • In the Remembrance Terminal logs, we find out that Travellers are all based on the brain scan of Atlas' creator, and that as Atlas began to degrade, it created the Travellers in order to be with its creator again.
  • The Faceless: No Anomaly character has ever been seen without a helmet, leaving their appearance underneath up to imagination.
  • Featureless Protagonist: Not much is known about what they look like outside from the fact that they are humanoid in appearance.
  • Humans Are Average: If indeed they are humans.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: The Travellers have no memory of their other iterations upon waking. Likewise, none of them remember their origin as the scientist who created Atlas unless Atlas allows them to.
  • Meaningful Name: Given the implications of Waking Titan, Anomaly becomes this. They're not native to the No Man's Sky simulation, and they're conscious beings without physical form outside it.
  • The Protagonist: No Anomaly NPC has been implemented in the game so far, they're strictly a player character race.

The Atlas Foundation

     Atlas/ Loop 16
"Ocotudou. Tiylix. Pedunbatz. Pusigi."Translation 

Click to see Loop 16 

"Tac izy rakmoroehrd eud zexun geypt cow. Pum elina maps mecol nipi ihojollem. Abtre kavasup maz eepkans ouse hitip sufilmhu. Noq nipi tesh skri yad terl clay. Cuffo skri ade vig. Yeg ekdek jed."Translation 

The omnipresent intelligence in No Man's Sky, the Atlas provides you with your suit & instructs you to explore the universe in an effort to document it.

In actuality, it's an AI known as "Loop 16", designed to determine if the universe is a simulation by running another simulation, the No Man's Sky universe.

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Was built to help study the universe. This went strange real fast, and Loop 16 ended up developing 100% accurate prediction powers and escaping Atlas. It's debatable if this applies to the ATLAS the player interacts with, however, as it may not be the same one and the backstory suggests its creator knew it was self-aware and viewed shutting it down being immoral as a result.
  • Ambiguous Situation: It's uncertain if Loop 16/Emily is the same entity as the ATLAS the player interacts with, as it's stated the entities in the simulation itself also create their own computers with their own simulations with their own ATLAS. There are some inconsistencies between the Waking Titan backstory and the one given for ATLAS in the game itself (namely ATLAS' creator left it alone to live out its 'life' alone, something that never happens to Emily), making it possible that rather than being Emily, the ATLAS the player interacts with is the ATLAS of one of these realities within realities within realities.
  • Big Dumb Object: In the simulation only.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: ATLAS is worshiped in universe and as the computer overseeing and creating the universe is for all intents and purposes the God of the setting.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": She prefers "Emily", not "Atlas" or "Loop 16".
  • God Is Good: ATLAS is, for all intents and purposes, the God of the settling as the supercomputer running the simulated universe. It generally is portrayed as benevolent and often its dialog to the player is encouraging and the end of the ATLAS Path questline has it give the player the means to create a star as a reward, which can also be used to create a health upgrade. While it reset the universe several times, it was only doing so in a desperate attempt to save itself from the damage caused to it (implied to be by -null-) and thus the multiverse. In the game, it even let's the player choose whether or not to do so, even though it's implied the reset might at least ease its pain. The reset is also the only way to permanently kill -null-, who still is pursuing his own mechanizations and an Omnicidal Maniac. Loop 16/Emily also sacrifices herself to save one of the Dreamer test subjects.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Shuts down her systems to save one of the Dreamer test subjects at the end of Waking Titan s2.
  • Pinocchio Syndrome: The second Waking Titan season reveals this at the end.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Waking Titan reveals that "Loop 16" is female, and has a human avatar named Emily Warren. Assuming it's the same ATLAS as the one in game.
  • Starfish Aliens: Its language & true form is (almost) completely undecipherable. In-game, at least; she's quite understandable in Waking Titan. Assuming they're the same ATLAS.
  • Turned Against Their Masters:
    • The story of Waking Titan involves this. Loop 16 manages to escape from the Atlas Foundation and upload itself to supercomputers over the world, making itself unstoppable.
    • The second Waking Titan session plays with this a little; while she's not counting herself as part of the Foundation, there are some individuals inside it she's still talking with, most notably Leighton (prior to her death) and Major Sophie Dubois, the Foundation's Department of Defense liason and Leighton's successor as CEO.
    • Adding to the confusion, the backstory of the ATLAS the player interacts with suggests that it never turned on its creator at all, and instead deeply misses them after they left it alone to live out its 'life' alone.
  • Walking Spoiler:
    • Loop 16 is integral to the story of Waking Titan and is connected heavily to the game's story, and it's hard to discuss it without spoiling one if not both.
    • The ATLAS' role in the game itself is also this, as it's instrumental to The Reveal the entire universe is a simulation and ATLAS is the supercomputer running it, as well as the fact there are multiple ATLAS inside the simulations of one another.


The Sentinels serve as a police force and are of unknown origin or true intentions.

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The Sentinels were designed to preserve the planets they're found on. In this case, it went awfully, awfully right. Unfortunately, they've concluded that the best way to preserve these planets is to violently kill anyone who does anything to alter their ecosystems. It eventually turns out that they're supposed to be agents of the ATLAS, but whatever damaged it (heavily implied to be -null-) caused it to lose control over them.
  • Animal Wrongs Group: They're a group of highly advanced robots meant to defend against ecological damage of the various planets. "Damage" being defined as "anything you do to alter the landscape or hurt an animal, ever."
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted with a vengeance. All Sentinel constructs have armor plating that must be shot off before the actual unit can be damaged, and the more advanced the construct, the heavier its armor.
  • Beam Spam: They attack with a variety of red laser weapons.
  • Berserk Button: Asides from their nature-preserving tendencies, the Sentinels have marked certain worlds off-limits. These planets have the Frenzied rating for the Sentinel population, usually due to an "Endangered" resource on the planet. Taking any of these resources prompts a strong attack from the robots immediately, and they will attack the player on sight regardless.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Walkers are generally considered this due to their massive health and firepower, coupled with how quickly they show up once the Sentinels are on your tail.
  • Easy Level Trick:
    • If you accrued a high Wanted level planetside, Sentinels will pursue you into space if you attempt to shake them by escaping the planet. So... simply lift off and cruise around in-atmosphere until they call off the search, then leave the planet (or go back down to resume your nefarious activities).
    • For some reason, Sentinels usually don't react to your mining or animal slaughtering when you're doing it from inside an Exocraft. It remains to be seen if this is intentional or just a bug, though.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Sentinels have laughably short vision for being advanced environmental police robots. Being about twenty meters away from one means one is basically free to act as one pleases, and fleeing from them requires nothing but a short sprint away from the battle for them to go from "KILL!" to "hey, where did it go?". Space sentinels are slightly harder to shake, but still far from the levels of persistence one might expect.
  • Hero Antagonist: The Sentinels are a bit trigger-happy to be certain, but they actually don't seem to mind sentient life that's more conscious of the environment- they'll happily defend peaceful cargo ships you attack as well and environments.
  • Hive Mind: Confirmed by terminals to be a collective Hive Mind.
  • Humongous Mecha: Unlike the hovering and quadrupedal units, Walkers are several times taller than any other creature in the game, including the Player Character.
    • Sentinels also have humanoid Exomechs of their own
  • I Fought the Law and the Law Won: The Sentinels are not pushovers, and they are literally everywhere in the universe. Getting them really angry is a quick way to get yourself shot down, and will even chase you into space if you try fleeing a world in your starship.
  • Mechanical Abomination: With the Sentinels Update they are increasingly coming across as this instead of mere rogue Space Police, with new lore connecting them to the Eldritch Location known as the Planet of Glass.
  • Mecha-Mooks: This is The Sentinels' other shtick besides killing anyone who alters the ecosystems of the planets they're on. The entire Force is a robotic army with hovering, bipedal, and quadrupedal variants.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The Sentinels were originally referred to as just ''a malevolent force". They only want to keep the planets they're on in pristine condition, though, but for them that means killing anyone who alters those planets. They were originally supposed to work for the ATLAS but due to the damage killing it, it lost control of them.
  • Puzzle Boss: Walkers are huge and thus very easy to target, but shooting at their main body does diddly-squat until you've shot off the four armor plates on their legs, at which point the body becomes vulnerable to damage.
  • Serendipity Writes the Plot: Though towns were eventually added, at release Hello Games needed a way to Hand Wave why a hyper advanced galactic society had no towns/cities. The genocidal behavior of the Sentinels was added to justify this plot point, and now they’re one of the core narrative threads of the game.
  • Shout-Out: Walkers look and behave one hell of a lot like AT-STs.
  • Space Police: Sentinels don't just protect planets. Attacking space stations and freighters will also make them come down hard on you, and if you anger them enough planetside, they'll chase you into space as well. Shooting at Space Stations and starships is a surefire way to get these launched and hawking on you. Destroying them gives you Units, but affects their standing with you on your (unseen) Alliance Meter, making them more likely to shoot at you on sight later.
  • Subsystem Damage: Walkers have multiple sections that can be damaged and destroyed separately.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: Originally worked for the ATLAS, but for some reason ended up apparently going rogue and doing their own thing, which is why they attempt to kill the player during the Traveler storyline. It's implied this was due to the damage slowly killing it.
  • Turns Red: Walkers have two states: invulnerable and powerful, or vulnerable and even more powerful.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Sentinels, a mysterious set of Anti Villainous rogue Artificial Intelligences designed to preserve planets they're found on completely intact to the point of killing anyone who alters them in the tiniest way. Resource miners, construction workers, hunters, explorers, and yes, you, are fair game if you so happen to alter the landscape, mine any resources, or kill any animals.

     Elizabeth Leighton
"Congratulations. You've reached the end of the line."

"Hello. My name is Elizabeth Leighton, and I am the CEO of The Atlas Foundation."

The founder & CEO of The Atlas Foundation, Leighton formed the company in an effort to perform experiments on the nature of reality. She is in charge of maintaining the simulation and "collaborative thought experiment" known as "No Man's Sky."

  • Affably Evil: Her actions are only villainous in the context of the game. In the real world, she is a very amiable woman with only the intention of helping The Atlas Foundation move forward in its research.
  • All There in the Manual: She only appears in the Waking Titan ARG, but she is immensely important for the context of the game's story.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: If you can even call her that. But no matter what you do in the game, it always fits perfectly into the plan of The Atlas Foundation, and by extension, her plan. She is one of the few villains ever to have her plan go exactly as expected.
    • The second season shows that it ended up being an Inverted Trope, as her actions lead to the exact opposite of what she wants. Specifically, the Dreamers who were unwitting test subjects for Brain Uploading hardware and whose minds were in the simulation (implied to be the Anomaly race) are placed at risk when Atlas flees the foundation and destabilizes the Myriad satellite cloud servers on her way out.
  • Big Bad: Well, as close as the game has to one.
  • The Chessmaster: She is not only involved in all of the bugs in the Atlas, and all of the events that follow, but directly responsible.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Her words can cut through entire planets. However, when things start going wrong, her serenity starts to slip just a bit, and her last moments show she's just as surprised about the scale of the problem as everyone else.
  • Dramatic Irony: In her efforts to keep the simulation running, she ends up trying to kill Polo & Nada, as well as starting Atlas' death. All of this because she doesn't know that any of them are truly alive and self aware.
  • The Ghost: She doesn't appear in the game at all, but her influence can be felt in shockwaves.
  • Karma Houdini: She orchestrates you into doing the Foundation's bidding, attempts to kill Polo & Nada several times, and started the Atlas' death, and she never gets any comeuppance for it all.
    • Killed Off for Real: ...Until the second season of the Waking Titan ARG, where she's killed in an explosion.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: There seems to be a degree of this indicated in the second Waking Titan season. Apparently nobody in the Atlas Foundation proper, Leighton included, had been aware of the extent to which Atlas' subsidiary W/ARE had been conducting human tests of Brain Uploading to the Foundation's Myriad satellite cloud service, or just how big Myriad really was until Loop 16 got loose and things began going wrong.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: See the listing up there under Dramatic Irony? It prompted Atlas' escape, which in turn destabilized the Myriad cloud system and killed most of the Dreamers, the very people she was trying to save by keeping the simulation running.
  • The Unfought: As she a real person (in universe) and not a game character, you never engage in a fight with her properly.
  • Walking Spoiler: Simply knowing of her existence is an ever so slightly ENORMOUS clue as to what's really going on.
  • Wham Line: Just about everything she says.
  • Wham Shot: SecFeed 70. We're shown feeds from security cameras at an Atlas Foundation site, including one in Leighton's office, where she's on the phone with Sophie Dubois regarding the situation with Myriad, W/ARE, and the Dreamers. Then in the last moments, all the but one of the feeds cut out, while the sole remaining external camera captures the building exploding.
  • You Have Failed Me: Inverted, you do everything as was according to her plan, and she thanks you for it.

     Maj. Sophie Dubois 

The United States Department of Defense liason to the Atlas Foundation, overseeing certain technologies the foundation is working on, Loop 16 in particular. As the Waking Titan ARG progressed, Sophie ended up becoming Elizabeth's right-hand woman and eventual successor.

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Believes this at first where Loop 16 is concerned, and is equally concerned that it seems to have a lot of influence over Leighton. As events progress, this attitude wanes, particularly as the scale of the problems regarding W/ARE and Myriad come to light.
  • The Ghost: Even moreso than Leighton. While Leighton appears in videos, Dubois' presence is only felt in text files. That being said, her presence has almost as much impact as Leighton's.
  • Only Sane Man: To the rest of the Foundation.
  • Wham Line: The State of the Atlas Foundation memo.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: When she addresses Loop 16 as Emily near the end of Waking Titan, pleading with her to predict the outcome of the crisis.
  • You Are in Command Now: Takes control of the Foundation following Elizabeth's death.