No Radiant Pillar BC1 Challenge

I saw somewhere here something about trying to get started in NMS without using the Radiant Pillar BC1 or interacting with the first Atlas Beacon. I thought that might be a fun challenge so I set about doing it and succeeded.
Thought it might make a fun challenge for others.

Settings I used:
Normal Mode, Standard dificulty (but I turned off tutorials).

You are an outlaw, stranded on a random planet. Your usual starter ship, The Radiant Pillar BC1 is a contaminated wreck. You cannot go near it.
You need another ship.
Your challenge ends when you land on a pirate controlled space station.

… then you tell your story here

IMPORTANT: You must DISABLE TUTORIALS otherwise you will be forced to go to the crashsite to get the tech such as the Terrain Manipulator & I’m not sure if it becomes available in any other way.



So I awaken dressed in a white exosuit with brown trim with a red visor.
I’m on a greenish radioactive world littered with stony looking hexagon structures.
I quickly fix my broken tech & head off south. There’re only 2 points on my compass & south is taking me away from the ‘forbidden’ Radiant Pillar BC1.

As I go, I zap plants & minerals to build up every tech I know, plus a bit extra for fuel.
This is going to be a long walk.
By zig-zagging in a generally southern direction, I’m able to scoop up Sodium & rare Oxygen plants as I go, all the while scanning for anything along my route that is of interest.

Jog, scan, zap repeat.

I interact with any damaged technology, salvaged modules & crates that are on my trajectory.
Initially, I keep everything but I’m soon out of space so I just keep stuff that stacks or is of moderately decent value. Pulpy Roots, Weat & Grahberries supplement my Life Support & shielding needs & I simply continue on at a steady jog.

A freighter wreckage yields some mediocre goodies & a Warp Core but it’s better than nothing.
A random Galactic Terminal & later, a Minor Settlement, allow me to sell finds & upgrade my mining laser.
A ruin gifts me a 2.4M rarity. At every opportunity I save my progress just in case.

I change direction when I acquire the coordinates of a Distress Beacon; 8 HOURS AWAY to the North East. A long time ago, I walked across a planet & it looks like I’m doing it again.

I’m hoping a random pilot might just land nearby as they sometimes do but every ship I see just keeps on flying, oblivious to the little figure jogging across the radioactive terrain below.

Various frigates thunder into low orbit, float along briefly then speed off finding nothing of interest. Most times I pause to watch, soaking in the spectacle.

It’s normal mode so by now I’ve accrued about 1000 of Sodium & Oxygen so I’m not in any danger.
I’m just stranded.

I periodically look behind & see my unrepaired, untouched & unseen, Radiant Pillar BC1 now hours away.

A few lumps of Damaged Technology yeild S class exosuit suit upgrades & A class ship modules.
I horde them away.

I cash in my discoveries once I find I’ve scanned everything there is to find. I continue jogging toward the very distant Distress Beacon.

I kind of wish there was a tent-save point so should I choose I could camp & not rely on settlements as save points.

Then, after about a week of Sols, (4hrs IRL), I stumble onto a massive structure with multiple landing pads. (Not a Trading Post, the other really big ones).
I sell the remaining finds & find I have about 6.5M to play with.
I’m able to exchange the never-touched Radiant Pillar BC1 & most of my coin for a decent little B class fighter.
I fuel it up with the Warp Core I got from the Freighter Wreckage & head to the distress call I’d been heading for.
A crappy little Explorer awaits me & I patch it up & head straight for the space station to scrap it.
This yields some goodies that let’s me do some more upgrades & from here on its pretty plain sailing to continue.

I haven’t made it to a pirate system yet but that should be pretty straightforward from here on.

Bought am Economy Scanner, located a ‘black market’ system & completed my challenge.


That’s an interesting idea. Sounds like it might be a fun option for permadeath…


If you want to try this challenge you need to DISABLE TUTORIAL otherwise it will insist on guiding you…effectively locking you out of the tech you need to continue the game. I’ll edit my top post to include this.



After a few false starts sorting out settings, I got a proper start on a Permadeath start-up with Standard Settings (tutorials off).

I found myself dressed in an industrial dark grey & orange exosuit with a red visor on a hilly, grey planet. Tall, finned plant life & odd larger spikes of some sort, pulsed with crimson energy, adding a hellish feel to this rather unappealing starter planet.
This hot biome was permanently tinged red by day & subject to patches of purplish flames breaking out in random places.
Although reasonably accessible, the terrain had many dangerously deep cave entrances that dropped quite far into hazy red interiors.

Quite treacherous with a basic jet pack & no second chances.

I set off northwards in the opposite direction to my Radiant PillarBC1, fixing & installing tech my main priority as I got going.
I was soon to find that this world was largely uninhabited with hardly an outpost to be found. This would greatly affect my chances of finding a wreck to fix, so I began collecting Salvage Modules straight away, making a point to detour to as many as I could, while trying to maintain a ridgetop vantage (if possible) as I made my way northwards.

Once my limited suit storage was filled, I took refuge in a small base & refined my materials into their better grades to free up storage.

It seemed the further north I went, the steeper the terrain got, with some close calls from hidden chasms that were deep enough to end my fragile existence.

After about an hour of trekking over the hilly terrain, I was lucky enough to stumble across a ruin which led me to a second ruin with treasure only about 25 minutes away.
Here I got a break with a 1.5m unit relic.

During an interaction with a Waypoint (which indicated a useless Minor Settlement 4 hours away), I noticed another base on a ridge far to the east) so I set off toward that resigned to the fact that I would need a save point & maybe a new plan.

Although I had enough survival supplies, my trekking was slow & the tedium was going to result in a jet pack related death if I didn’t take a break soon.

Then, without warning, a random Korvax pilot set down nearby & I was able to trade my horded goodies & sell my Radiant Pillar BC1 (with cash to spare). My new ship was a stumpy little Explorer with terrible stats but it was still a pleasant change given the circumstances up to that point.

I made my way to the base, I’d noted earlier which turned out to be a Minor Settlement. Here I bought a few bits an pieces & blueprints & set myself & ship up a little better.

A quick trip to the Anomoly to burn 300 nanites & get my Economy Scanner & I was soon hunting the cosmos for a pirate system.

Luck was with me for a second time today & the next door system was a black market economy & within the piddly 118Ly range of my newly acquired junker.

Once I finished my challenge complete & landed at the Pirate Space Station, I took on several suicide missions with the intention of going out with a bang.

Turns out, reckless craziness with a basic Photon Cannon & a pocket full of Sodium will take you quite a way when pillaging every trader & freighter you go up against & I eventually was completely stuffed with illicitly acquired goods & contraband & yet somehow still alive.

So deciding that I had enough trying to get myself killed harassing Traders, I decided to return to my previous system where I figured a final battle with anti-smuggler sentinels would end this.


I warped in, flew right across the system & landed at a Trading Post where I made an amusing 14M profit of my kamikaze goods completely unharassed by anyone.

So in an act of defiance, I sat on the roof of my Explorer in the baking heat & eventually with my shielding fried, I finally got the black screen & a death quote from Steven Spielberg.

Totally different & unexpected series of events but again proof you can get going in a NMS start up & not touch the Radiant Pillar BC1.


I love this story! :laughing:
I have noticed that falls which are not bad enough to kill you, now damage movement tech. Makes sense and is a nice addition. My melee boosting is now done with a little more caution.


I absolutely love this idea! “Good on ya!”, as the Aussies say.

I love the stories you got out of it, too. So much fun (and some tedium of course). I have always admired your writing; you do it so well. Thanks for this. I’m tempted to try it myself. :heart:

BTW, does turning off tutorials remove the entries in the Log for the Atlas, the Anomaly, and the Artemis quests? I’ve been hoping for a way to dismiss those for years now.


Nope. They are still there.


**Attempt 5


Out of curiosity I decided to try a no Radiant Pillar start up with tutorials on & see what happens.
I know you don’t get a Terrain Manipulator until later, (on the next planet to do with the first main quests), so I was curious as to whether never going to the starter ship would glitch the game into never giving me a terrain manipulator.

Short answer is NO… it works out fine.

If you want a more detailed tale then please read on …

So I awakened dressed in a full red suit on a greenish grey fungal world populated with large purplish shrooms & various little goat-like creatures. The sky held a touch of yellow so dawn & dusk became a vibrant apricot colour.

It was fairly hilly terrain but not difficult & as always I set off in the opposite direction to my ship (in this case marked by a big red icon accompanied by instructions to go there as soon as I’d fixed my tech).
With no Terrain Manipulator I had to just grab what was available on the surface. Barely 2 minutes from start point, I encountered a huge Celestial Archive whose coordinates I took note of for later & pressed on in a southern direction.

This planet had many caverns with nice clumps of Pearls which I collected, (being careful not to get lost, given I couldn’t dig myself out).
The hilly terrain sometimes caused Burried Technology to not be buried or sometimes lie just under the surface where I could grab it anyway without the need to dig.

Within about 45 minutes of trekking & collecting, I found a Beacon which lead to a nearby Minor Settlement. Here I sold my goodies & after a brief return outdoors to harvest some valuable wildlife meaty bits, I was able to trade in my orange starter Multitool for a new one, which had a Terrain Manipulator installed.
(This didn’t give the blueprint though & when I experimented on deleting it, I couldn’t replace).
A quick reload had me back on track & I backtracked with my new multitool (with Terrain Manipulator installed).
I headed back towards the Celestial Archive I’d encountered earlier, knowing I could get a ship there.
Along the way I collected every Salvage Module I could plus anything else of value.

I traded my never seen Radiant Pillar & some coin for a red & white Explorer. As soon as I entered the ship the “ITERATION blah, blah, blah” text came up just like it does in the Radiant Pillar the first time. Effectively, this was my ‘first ship’ which I then flew into space.
It took a bit of time to locate the space station because it wasn’t marked yet, (because that comes later) but the ship radar was able to spot it.

Once on the station, I again traded Multi Tool for the one there, which this time DID NOT have a Terrain Manipulator.

I followed the instructions to go the neighbouring planet where I was promptly given 2 blueprints:
The Terrain Manipulator & something else.

I figured my test to see if the No Radiant Pillar start up could be done with tutorials on was complete & found that yes it can be but it could potentially be a way grindier way.
A bit too grindy maybe.
Better with the tutorials off I think.