For those of you jumping into No Man’s Sky as the holiday season rolls to a close, you’re in for quite a treat. The No Man’s Sky Synthesis update is the most recent update, bringing with it a ton of new fixes and features, including a cool new sound synthesizer, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg in terms of things to find in space. If you aren’t already acquainted with this expansive space adventure, it’s the perfect time to jump in and don your headset for some exercise.

Sound synthesizers and alien worlds are fantastic fun on their own, but how do you get a workout from playing No Man’s Sky in VR? It’s actually not that difficult to make this kind of game into a workout game, and the steps are simple. All you have to do is follow this guide, and you’ll be on your way. Here are our top five ways to get fit in No Man’s Sky VR.

Punch Everything

Yes, you can technically punch most of the things you see while wandering around on planets in No Man’s Sky. Make no mistake, however: No Man’s Sky VR isn’t a rhythm boxing game, it sorely lacks direction in that regard — in fact, it prides itself on lack of direction — and it feels a little arbitrary to stick with your fists in a world that lets you terraform the planetary surface with a mining laser or go hunting pirates as a starship pilot.

That said, you can mostly do whatever you want, which means you can ball up your fists and punch raw resources, such as rocks and trees, into space dust. Then you can collect their remains for your own economic gain inside of the game’s resource collection and trading systems. If you haven’t read our guide on how to use this technique to make loads of cash inside of No Man’s Sky, we strongly recommend that you do.

Basically, use your fists and throw slaps every time you want to break or destroy a raw resource node in No Man’s Sky VR. Punches also do a ton of damage to enemies, making this method an excellent way to kill stuff quickly while also giving yourself a tidy LISS workout.

You can even level up your movement abilities inside of No Man’s Sky by attaching new Movement Modules to your suit inventory, which allows you to get around faster and find new things to punch or evade enemy attacks that might otherwise leave your virtual character injured. When your primary method of attack is by punching, you’ll want to ensure that you’re as swift and slippery inside of No Man’s Sky as you are in real life.

Use Weighted Gear

Our favorite tip makes a return! Contrary to the last bit of advice regarding staying swift and slippery, you can use weighted gear to supplement your workouts in No Man’s Sky VR, and luckily this is the kind of game that benefits from the addition of weights.

You’ll spend a large amount of time moving your arms around and interacting with your environment in No Man’s Sky, and a weighted vest can help you burn calories passively while you aren’t doing much of anything beyond those simple movements. This is because the additional weight creates resistance on your body, forcing your cardiovascular system to work a bit harder to do the same basic tasks that you’re already going to do.

Additionally, if you mix this tip with the others in this guide, such as punching or running in place, the weighted gear will make playing No Man’s Sky in VR into a much more potent LISS activity. You want to be extremely careful about how you select your weighted gear, so you should refer to our guide on using weighted gear with Beat Saber, which still demonstrates the same guidelines that you’ll want to follow when you play No Man’s Sky VR.

Run in Place

Running in place is something that we generally advise readers to try out when playing games with large, open areas, like Skyrim VR or No Man’s Sky VR. This one might not work for everybody, and it does take some added focus or extra precautions to ensure that you don’t run out of your play area, but over the long term, it’s a great habit to get into for light cardio while moving around in a VR game world.

Running in place also acts as a potent inhibitor for motion sickness; your inner ear doesn’t need to work nearly as hard to convince your brain that the motion created by No Man’s Sky when your thumbs are directing movement via thumbpads or analog sticks is real motion. Your brain is more likely to accept that the artificial motion is real because it matches with the motion that you’re making by running in place.

Use Natural Locomotion

Natural Locomotion is a tool that we often give a ton of positive attention to at VR Fitness Insider because it allows you to move around a VR game world far more naturally, thus the name “Natural Locomotion”. The way it works is as such: You set it up to run in the background while you play a game like No Man’s Sky VR, and then you can simply swing or pump your arms back and forth to propel your virtual self in the direction that your head is facing.

When you use Natural Locomotion to propel yourself, the simple act of running or walking in place will cause your virtual character to move forward as if you were pantomiming their steps, making this a way more efficient and ‘natural’ style of movement in VR that also passively burns calories and makes your casual gaming session into much more of a low-intensity cardio session. We’ve found that the more physically engaged you are when playing a VR game, the more immersive and enjoyable it is, meaning that using Natural Locomotion is likely to provide a more compelling No Man’s Sky experience overall.

Spend Downtime Wisely

No Man’s Sky VR has a lot of spots where there isn’t much happening; whether you’re casually standing around in the Nexus while a mission roster fills up, or you’re hanging out in front of your personal base while your refiners finish melting scrap down to useful materials, you might find yourself with some downtime.

This downtime is the perfect time to complete some ancillary exercises. We encourage you to create your own mini cardio routine that keeps you moving around while you play but doesn’t stress you out too much or risk causing an injury. Assuming that you aren’t using a weighted vest or any weighted gear — if you are, you can ignore this entire tip, additional cardio might strain you too much — you can mix up any cardio exercise that works within the window of time between now and when you’re back in action inside of No Man’s Sky VR. Some great example exercises are Jumping Jacks, Squats, or even Mountain Climbers, but anything goes as long as you can do it with proper form while juicing your No Man’s Sky VR downtime for extra calorie burn.

Here is a sample downtime workout routine that you can follow in No Man’s Sky VR:

  • 20 Jumping Jacks per Pulse Jump.
  • 10 Squats upon joining a Nexus mission.
  • 15 Mountain Climbers when you fire up a Refiner.
  • 5-10 Pushups upon loading into the game.

This may seem like an arbitrary way to play and enjoy a game like No Man’s Sky in VR, but we’ve found that it makes loading screens and starship travel times more productive — if not more bearable.


No Man’s Sky is out now on SteamVR and on the PlayStation 4. You can grab a fresh copy of it right now for the price of $60 on Steam, or $50 on the PlayStation Store. No Man’s Sky plays in both VR and non-VR formats and allows for shared multiplayer experiences between those sitting in front of their screen via keyboard/mouse or traditional gamepad, and those playing inside of VR.

Would you like to see us write more No Man’s Sky guides? Let us know in the comments.


Follow Us On Social

Stay Up-To-Date On All The Latest VR Fitness News

This article may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product we may receive a small commission which helps support the publication. More information here.