Hello Games has released the definitive update to No Man’s Sky: the one that shores up many of the game’s weaknesses and delivers what we were promised nearly two years ago. The game has had a steady stream of incremental, evolutionary updates to its core systems, in the meantime. But none have been as comprehensive and game changing – immediately or for the way they prepare the future – as the 1.5 update, codenamed NEXT, that dropped today.
Among the additions – and trust me, these are grand in both number and scope – the NEXT update introduces a full multiplayer experience, near-unlimited base building, command of freighter armadas, a graphical overhaul, multiple quality of life improvements, revised systems and HUD, increased variance, even more procedurally-generated bits and pieces, third-person view support… it’s a real expansion that’s being distributed for free, and which stands to offer more than some game sequels ever managed to do. Look after the break for a rundown of the changes – then boot up the game, grab a cup of coffee, prepare your screenshot utilities, and enjoy the ride.
Team up with a small group of friends and explore the universe together, or be joined by random travellers. Help friends to stay alive, or prey on others to survive. Fight as a pirate or a wingman in epic space battles with friends and enemies. Group up to build communal bases, farms, and racetracks, and share your creations with all players online.
Explore the galaxy at your own pace, or progress together from the very start of the game and all the way through the story. Invite your friends aboard your Freighter and take on challenging multiplayer missions from the Galactic Commission Station on your bridge. Communicate with other players vocally using a headset, and / or converse using text chat on PC. While wandering the galaxy solo, continue to experience chance encounters with strange floating orbs.
Soon after the release of No Man’s Sky NEXT, Hello Games has planned its first season of weekly content and community events. This will be free for all players, with no microtransactions. Take part in community missions and unlock new rewards and customisations. Players will also be able to interact with Xbox One Mixer streamers by helping or hindering their gameplay.
Galactic Atlas Website
NEXT marks the launch of a new website dedicated to the community, which we’re calling the Galactic Atlas. The site features points of interest in the No Man’s Sky Euclid Galaxy, and will grow in functionality and expand over time, in part through your feedback. Key Regional Hubs are marked, with discovery statistics and community events appearing soon.
Bases can now be built anywhere on any planet, high in mountains or underwater. Hundreds of new base parts have been added to unlock more creative possibilities. Teleporters can now be built anywhere on the planet surface, and the teleporter menu has been reworked for ease of use.
Base complexity and size limits have been dramatically increased. Players can own multiple bases, spread across regions, planets or star systems. Sculpt the terrain around your base with the improved terrain manipulator.
The game is fully playable in third or first person, both on-foot and in ship. Ship controls in both views now allow for true low flight mode across the surface of planets. Communicate with other players using expressive gestures available from the quick menu.Character Customisation
Construct an Appearance Customiser in your base or freighter to personalise your appearance. Play as a Gek, Vy’keen, Korvax or Traveller / Anomaly.Freighter Enhancements
Assemble and upgrade a fleet of frigates, each specialised to excel in combat, exploration, trade, industry, or support.Command your frigates from the bridge of your freighter to complete real-time fleet missions. Call on your fleet for assistance in space battles, or deploy them to help you explore a specific system. Improved freighter base building allows for a truly custom capital ship.Crafting and Resources
All core substances and resources have been reworked and rebalanced to increase consistency and realism. Planetary resources have been expanded, with unique substances and items to find and refine based on the planet’s biome and weather, as well as stellar classification. Deployable tech can be picked up and carried in your inventory.
Crafting is deeper with the addition of buildable refiners. Convert raw substances into more valuable materials for constructing advanced products and base parts. Experiment with refiner recipes to discover all the possibilities!
Discover unique procedurally generated technology to upgrade your Exosuit, Multi-Tool, and Starships.
Analysis Visor Enhancements
Quickly locate terrain resources and buried products with the improved analysis visor. Set short-term goals by tagging the markers of points of interest. Pinpoint your exact location on a planet with visible latitude and longitude coordinates.
Missions and Structure
- The opening section of the game has been overhauled, introducing new story elements and an early taste of advanced gameplay features, as well as a new mission chain for players with bases.
- Envoys in Space Stations offer rewards and tributes to high-ranking members of their Guilds.
- Mission types have been expanded, with photography, feeding, freighter attack and defence, archaeology, and specialised hunting missions now available.
- Dramatically improved visuals bring more life than ever to planetary landscapes.
- Experience a greater sense of planetary scale with massively improved draw distance.
- Deep improvements to planetary terrain generation create more varied alien environments, featuring higher mountains and more navigable cave systems.
- Planet surfaces now look more interesting and representative from orbit.
- The universe is more diverse than ever with colour palette variety, dense forests and large trees, and abandoned and empty systems.
- New dynamic tessellation enables detailed terrain height maps without sacrificing performance. Tessellation will be rolling out in parity to all platforms that can support it very soon.
The HUD has been remixed to both improve readability and reduce intrusion on the gameplay area. The visual location of messages is better prioritised to help emphasise critical information. Quality of life improvements make the build menu and the quick menu more efficient.Inventory stacks can now be split for a more streamlined experience.
Players with freighters can summon any of their personal starship fleet at any time. Maintenance and repair interactions have had a visual and functional overhaul. Repairs now take place ‘in-world’, and can be carried out in incremental stages. Players interested in salvage can repair damaged ships + Multi-Tools by gathering the right components and fixing damaged slots.
Space Station Marketplace
Purchase all your space exploration needs in the huge new Space Station Marketplace.
Exploration, Fauna and Flora
Find and excavate buried ruins with the Terrain Manipulator to unearth locked ancient treasures. Use the Terrain Manipulator to locate buried technology modules and turn the salvaged components into new base parts with the Blueprint Analyser. Some creature types will herd together, grazing and fleeing from danger as a group.
Creatures now respond more enthusiastically to being fed, recognising you as a friend and alerting nearby creatures to the food source. Creature movements now appear more natural and intelligent, with improved AI and entirely revamped animations. Sentinel behaviours and animations have been improved. Players can stand their ground in combat, or take advantage of the time between reinforcement waves to escape and find a place to avoid Drone scans and searches. Find Navigation Data and use it in the overhauled Signal Booster to locate planetary structures.
Survive the threat of new hazardous flora and fauna. Be careful if you touch the eggs…
Creature voices are now more diverse, and NPC vocals have been updated to match their new set of animations. New foley for the player character is audible throughout the game. Ship sounds and combat audio have been improved. The game soundtrack is expanded with several new music tracks composed by Paul Weir.