How To Find Portals In No Man’s Sky

Despite its tremendously expansive collection of universes to explore, No Man’s Sky is by no means limited to a solitary experience. Through online events and community forums, there are plenty of opportunities to connect with other players. But what about when you want to actually play together? For that, there are Portals.


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Portals have been a part of the game’s world generation since launch, but it wasn’t until the Atlas Rises update that their functionality was unlocked. Using 16 special characters known as Glyphs, these ominous structures allow players to essentially teleport to any other location in the entire game.

Updated October 6, 2023, by Branden Lizardi: Update after update and portals remain the best way to cross realities to connect with friends. We’ve gone through and ensured that everything in this guide stays accurate and informative with each new update. Here’s how to find a portal in NMS, even in the newest version.


Finding A Monolith Via Cartographers Or Exocraft Scanners

Person in space suit points at a robot behind a service desk.

Before you can find a Portal in NMS, you need to find the thing that lets you find a Portal. In this case, that would be the Alien Monolith structure. You’ve likely stumbled across plenty of these in your time. The large, black altars are the intended method of locating a nearby Portal.

Using An Exocraft

Finding a Monolith is fairly easy. If you have the resources, they can be located using the Signal Booster upgrade for an Exocraft. Simply select the Alien Structure option when using the scanner from the quick menu.

Using The Cartographer

Alternatively, you can also find Monoliths by using the planetary charts sold by the Cartographer on any space station. They sell charts for specific categories for either Navigation Data or for 15 nanites. The Alien Cartographic Data will be the type you want.

Regardless of the method used, there is only a partial chance that the scan will direct toward a Monolith. Instead, you may be directed toward alien plaques or ruins. If that happens, simply visit the marked location and try again.

For this reason, those using cartographic charts should buy three to five of them before heading out.

Using A Monolith To Locate A Portal

Person in space suit stands in front of ominous black structure.

Upon interacting with a Monolith, you will be prompted with a strange and often frightening situation. Given a choice of how to respond, the correct choice will activate the monolith.

You’ll know you succeeded if the structure lights up. You need to pass the Monolith’s trial to find a Portal, so be careful with your choice.

If you fail the Monolith’s trial, you can load the most recent quick save from the game menu. Since this will most likely be when you exited the ship just before interacting with the Monolith, you’ll be able to try the trial again without needing to find a new Monolith.

Once you pass their trial, the structure can be interacted with a second time, allowing you to exchange a commodity item for directions to a Portal. If you do not have the items required, they can typically be found in randomly generated chests or sold by NPC traders.

A small sci-fi dome building is built next to a large ominous structure.

A potentially much faster–but more unpredictable–method of Portal discovery can be done through the community itself. This method is only effective if you have an internet connection while playing and can activate the multiplayer functionality.

There is a larger-than-average teleporter located within the Anomaly. What sets this one apart from others is that it lists the bases of any other players actively in your instance of the Anomaly.

If you’re lucky, one of these bases will include the word ‘Portal’ in some capacity, indicating that it’s a base built next to a Portal. If nothing matching appears, you can refresh the list by toggling multiplayer off and back on again from the settings menu.

It may take a few tries, but you should eventually find one that matches the description. Select that base and go to it, you will most likely find a portal very close nearby.

Charging And Using A Portal

View of a large stone structure with symbols on it. A menu prompts to enter a sequence of symbols.

Once you first find a Portal, it will have to be charged. On approach, a stone lectern will appear. Interacting with this will reveal 16 menu tabs, each requiring a type of material to be charged. They alternate between organic, catalytic, and stellar materials.

The easiest elements to offer are carbon, sodium, and whichever metal is most abundant near you.

Once charged, you can interact with the lectern again, granting the option to learn your location’s Portal sequence or to input another sequence for travel. Upon inputting a 16 Glyph combination, the portal will activate. You can then walk through the glowing ring to be taken to your intended destination.

There are no ‘wrong’ sequences. If you make a typo when inputting a sequence, you will be sent somewhere else. Be sure to double-check your glyphs as you input them to avoid mistakes.

Finding Missing Glyphs

Alien humanoid walks along a sci fi space station.

The sequences used with Portals are done through Glyphs. These Glyphs are not, by default, available to you. They need to be unlocked through exploration or narrative progress.

The simplest way to find any missing runes will be to check the local Space Station. Assuming you’ve visited the Anomaly at least once, you should start seeing ‘Travelers’ aboard the station. These people are unlike the local system’s race and are often found with a strange and glowing form.

Talk to them and ask where they came from. They will direct you to a location where a new Glyph can be found. Repeat this process until you have all 16 glyphs.

Alternatively, you can unlock all Glyphs by progressing through the Artemis Path quest line. Eventually, you will reach a phase that grants a new Glyph with every new warp.

NEXT: No Man’s Sky: Smuggling Guide

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