The MultiTool, Weapons and Grenades (2024)

Update 8/25/2016: Added pages on Finding Trade Posts, Sentinels and Wanted Level, in addition to Shielding, Power, and Unstable Plasma Items. Also see my guide to Making Money in No Man's Sky for some tips on the best methods for earning cash, what crafting items are most profitable, and a list of all resources in the game.

Scanner, Mining Beam, Boltcaster and Grenade

The MultiTool, Weapons and Grenades (1)The Multi-tool is your ally when exploring planets, and will function as a weapon, mining equipment, and scanner.

The Multi-tool in No Man's Sky features five distinct tools to aid you in planetary exploration, combat, and mining resources. The ability to upgrade this tool is a large part of the character customization in No Man's Sky, along with the ship and exosuit upgrades that you choose. Thankfully, you are in complete control and can choose to scrap upgrades, trade in your multi-tool for a better model and improve it with new modules (discovered by finding blueprints) at any time.

How The Multi-Tool Works

The MultiTool, Weapons and Grenades (2)The multi-tool is also your weapon. The mining beam can deal great damage when upgraded, though overheating is a problem on stronger creatures.

The Multi-tool by default has a mining laser, analysis visor, and scanner. Each tool in the Multi-tool consumes a slot, and the starting model has a total of 5. At first, you'll have two extra slots with which to customize it should you find some blueprints. Five slots quickly becomes obsolete, as you'll need a boltcaster and (optionally) a less-useful grenade launcher for your multi-tool. Upgrades also consume slots, though they work automatically if they're installed in one of them. When you have a 10+ slot tool, things begin to get more interesting as you can have a few boosts to mining efficiency, all the weapons for the multi-tool, and improved scan range, for example.

Installing Modules and Using the Multi-Tool

The MultiTool, Weapons and Grenades (3)

From the Multi-tool equipment screen, select a blank slot to install an upgrade or new module. The only module that you cannot dismantle is the mining laser - everything else is optional, but at least partially recommended depending upon how you play the game. While the multi-tool is equipped, you can use the switch firing mode button (Y or Triangle on Console, X on PC) to change from a mining laser to the boltcaster. Grenades are fired using the middle mouse button on PC, or LB/L1 on Xbox Controller/PS4, so long as you have a grenade module installed. Using the Analysis Visor (Zoom Control) to scan plants, animals, and rocks is always available as well as the scan of the surrounding area. All five of these components to the multi-tool are explained below.

Reloading and Charging Modules

The MultiTool, Weapons and Grenades (4)

The Mining Laser, Boltcaster, and Grenade Launcher modules all need replenished though the other two do not. You replenish the All three of them use Isotope type elements to recharge (think Carbon, Plutonium, and Thamium9.

How to Buy Better Multi-Tools with More Slots

The MultiTool, Weapons and Grenades (5)

No one can tell you exactly where due to the random nature of the game and everyone's unique starting positions, but there are things you can do to improve your odds of buying a better multitool. Have cash on hand (think 100k credits or more just in case) and look for outposts and buildings as you explore planets in No Man's Sky. Eventually you'll come across wall-mounted racks that open up to reveal a multi-tool for sale. If you have the cash, you can purchase it then and there. Certain aliens you meet may also offer you an upgrade, though the first option is much more likely to happen.

Multi-tools may come with up to 24 slots maximum. So long as the new multitool has more slots than the previous, there is no reason not to take it. These tools are defined by the upgrades installed in the slots. Sometimes, one you buy will feature an upgrade that you do not know how to make, which may be invaluable to you. My guide on using Signal Scanners in No Man's Sky may be of use to you (look for Colonial Outposts and Drop Pods using Bypass Chips), otherwise try to enter every building you see, be sure to get an Atlaspass V1 as well!

Multi-Tool Weapons & Components

Component Upgrades

You can find many weapons-related component upgrades by simply fighting sentries, with harder ones providing better 'gear'. You'll find utility-related upgrades the same way you find new multi-tools to buy - look around inside buildings and chat with aliens on the planets in No Man's Sky.

Mining Beam (Weapon/Resource)

The MultiTool, Weapons and Grenades (6)The mining beam can harvest from plants, rocks, and large structures made of metal

There's a reason you can't scrap the mining beam from the multi-tool: it's too important. Without it, you could easily get stranded. Increasing the beam strength is important for mining harder metals, and it can be further upgraded to deal additional damage during combat but not at the same time. You've got to pick one or the other and otherwise use two slots.

The modules that say they enhance terrain destruction are referring to mining speed, though the grenade launcher is the only tool that truly seems to destroy terrain. Upgrades that deal with cooldowns let you hold the beam down longer, and +1 seems to provide a 30% boost to the duration before it overheats, +2 a 60% boost. I cannot say beyond that but it'd seem +3 would double the amount of time you get before it overheats. Just let off the beam one second until it stops firing, and immediately fire again and the cooldown will reset. This is mainly an issue with really large deposits (think +100 iron) or tall structures like monuments made of aluminum that take a long time to mine.

Boltcaster (Weapon)

The MultiTool, Weapons and Grenades (7)Boltcasters are primarily used to blow down doors, though they may be great against Sentinels when heavily upgraded.

The Boltcaster seems out of place compared to an upgraded mining beam. It's just not very good in combat when compared to its laser-y brethren. I haven't given it the research it deserves, however, and the risk is small so give it a try. You should always have one of these for when you're visiting abandoned facilities in NMS. They have barricaded doors that only the boltcaster can blast through. Be sure to kill any sentinels before you start firing, as they'll raise the alarm.

Plasma Grenade Launcher (Weapon/Utility)

The MultiTool, Weapons and Grenades (8)The Plasma Grenade can blow holes in the ground. This door was underground and impassable.

You won't fight hordes of tightly-packed enemies, so a grenade launcher feels out of place in No Man's Sky, at least as a combat weapon. The best part about this module is the ability to blow holes in the ground and harvest materials en masse. Resource you can't reach because of a glitch? Blow it up! Door halfway covered by dirt as in the picture above? Blow it up! Five iron deposits in a tightly-clumped position? You get the idea. You can mass-harvest items and recharge the plasma grenade with isotopes. It's great for farming quickly. Where the mining beam may take several seconds to break an ore deposit down, the plasma grenade can do it instantly. The only downside is its efficiency, it costs quite a lot more resources to operate.

Scanner (Utility)

The MultiTool, Weapons and Grenades (9)A scanner wave passes over the ground, revealing interesting resources for a time. Its range can be heavily upgraded.

The Scanner is invaluable when you're looking for particular types of elements, as it will show you their associated icons. Additionally, points of interest will be revealed. There's a brief cooldown on each use, though that hardly matters. You should use this ability in both space and on the ground, though the two devices (Ship/Multi-tool) are separate scanners. It's just good practice for revealing the unseen! Especially handy after a big fight with sentinels, as it'll help you to track down the capsules they drop as well as any underground resources.

Analysis Visor (Utility)

The MultiTool, Weapons and Grenades (10)Focus the zoom on a plant, animal, or rock and it will be added to the discovery tab in the game menu. From there you can upload them to the No Man's Sky server for others to see (if they ever find your corner of the universe).

The Analysis Visor is one of the first things you have to repair (See my Walkthrough of No Man's Sky). Using the zoom function, you can zero in on plants, animals, and rocks to learn more about them. Doing this is part of getting to 100% completion on any planet you visit. Doing so provides a large cash reward, and even if you don't go all the way you will be able to upload and name any discoveries you've found on No Man's Sky's Discovery screen, provided you have online services. See my page about Scanning Plants and Animals.

Other No Man's Sky Guides

  • Guide to Ships in No Man's Sky
  • Adding Inventory Slots
  • Walkthrough Part 1: Leaving first Planet
  • Walkthrough Part 2: Warp Drive
  • Discovering Plants an Animals (Scanning)
  • Antimatter
  • How to Buy Better Ships
  • Signal Scanners, Monoliths, Outposts, and Crashed Ships
  • Best Elements to Recharge Gear
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