No Man’s Sky isn’t the most punishing of games. While it does feature some survival elements, which if left unattended, will result in the death of your character, the penalties for dying in No Man’s Sky are far from harsh. Basically, when you die in No Man’s Sky, you’ll lose all of the items you were carrying, unless you go to retreive them from your death location.
If you die on a planet you’ll lose only the items that were in your Exosuit Inventory. Everything in your Starship will remain in the ship. You’ll need to find your Grave site to recover your lost inventory. It’s marked by the No Man’s Sky logo with the words “Grave” under it. The death system does kind of work like it does in the Souls series. If you die and fail to find your grave and retrieve your items, you’ll lose them forever. The good news is, we’ve never ran into a problem in retrieving our lost items in No Man’s Sky.
You can also die while in space in the game. If that’s the case, you’ll need to fly to your grave. These space graves have proven to be harder to find some cases. They do, however, work the same way as the graves on planet.