No Man's Sky's amazing infinite universe has been available on PS4 and PC for almost two years, and it'll still take another 585 billion years to explore all of its planets! But while the concept was great, No Man's Sky hasn't had an easy run. Lacking multiplayer and other features showcased in early gameplay trailers, gamers were disappointed in No Man's Sky and Hello Games.
Hello Games didn't give up though; instead, the team has spent the past two years adding new content to No Man's Sky and bringing it up to the standard that many expected at launch. It has introduced base building, planetary vehicles and the NEXT update coming in July will offer the holy grail; meaningful multiplayer.
Here's everything you need to know about No Man's Sky NEXT, from the release date to platform availability and what the update brings to the game.
When will the No Man's Sky NEXT update be released?
No Man’s Sky NEXT was released on 24 July 2018.
The game has improved massively since it’s incredibly rocky launch in back in 2016 and is now a completely different game.
How much does No Man's Sky cost?
What will No Man's Sky NEXT bring to the game?
The headline feature of the NEXT update is undoubtedly the introduction of (full) multiplayer. One of the games biggest criticisms at launch back in 2016 was the lack of meaningful multiplayer - while Hello Games initially announced that you'd be able to bump into other players randomly, it didn't seem to be the case. The company tried to fix this with the ability to 'see' other online players in the form of an orb, but with no way to interact or play with them.
That's all going to change with the NEXT update though. As detailed in the announcement blog post on the No Man's Sky website, you'll be able to explore the universe with a "small group of friends" or bump into random players as you explore the vast NMS universe. There's much more to it than that though; you'll be able to fight together, both on planet surfaces and in huge space battles, and you'll even be able to build complex colonies together.
The games graphics have seen a significant overhaul, with multiple changes to terrain building and even the AI of the creatures you'll encounter in an effort to make the game feel that much more alive.
The frigate system is a new addition to the functionality of your freighter, allowing you to support a fleet of up to 50 frigates which you can send out to complete missions and other tasks.
Building has received a major overhaul, as you can now build anywhere on the planet. The system has a tighter focus on individual building pieces too, allowing you to be more creative and make more elaborate structures anywhere you desire.
This is all wrapped up in a nice multiplayer bow, allowing you explore, fight and craft your way through the galaxy with friends.
Multiplayer should deliver the experience that gamers wanted back in 2016, and we cannot wait to jump back into the No Man's Sky universe when the update lands in July.
What has happened in the world of No Man's Sky since launch?
While No Man's Sky launched with incredible day-one sales, as the days and weeks went on, gamers started to complain about the procedurally-generated game. Claims of false advertising were rife, and many requested refunds from both Sony and Steam with both companies happy to comply. The game had many bugs at launch, and the planets weren't as... abundant as we were lead to believe. Many planets in the universe were barren, with only a handful of animals in the area at one time - a far stretch from the planets teeming with life that we were shown prior to launch.
So, what's happened since then? While there was a period of silence from No Man's Sky developer Hello Games, a lot has happened in the past few weeks.
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'Foundation' update 1.1 hits PS4, brings many fixes and new features
A huge, free update for No Man's Sky recently went live on PlayStation 4, with Hello Games adding a ton of new content to the procedurally generated universe. Patch 1.1, otherwise known as the "Foundation Update" introduces three different "rule sets", the ability to build bases, save points, new tech and items along with cargo freighters and a myriad of smaller additions and much-needed bug fixes.
- Three different game modes: Normal, which is (rather obviously) the original experience; Creative, which promises an unlimited universe and big bases and last but not least; Survival, which provides a much tougher exploration experience to test your skill and endurance.
- As discussed before launch, users can now establish a home base on any planet of their choosing. The shelters can be used for shelter, storage and alien tech research, and can be reached by teleporting from any station.
- Players can farm crops, including new planets and resources.
- Players can leave notes for other explorers at communication terminals.
- Players can now save the game at any point, instead of waiting for an auto-save point.
- Freighters are also available to buy, and can be manned by alien NPCs. The freighter will sit in a planets orbit, and can be used to store items and resources.
- Improved quick menu
- PS4 version has a photo mode
In fact, the update was so big that lead designer Sean Murray broke his silence on Twitter to alert everybody to the update, as seen below.
If you could have lived our lives over the last months, you'd know how meaningful this is.— Sean Murray (@NoMansSky) November 27, 2016
Here's update 1.1https://t.co/4TelmFIgsK
The tweet was the first to appear on Murray's social media account since August 18, days after the game initially launched. The Foundation Update is the first of many free updates to come according to the company, with the recent update laying the foundation for future updates.
The Path Finder update launched on PS4 and PC on 8 March 2017, and brought with it an array of new features. One of the biggest is the long-awaited support for the PS4 Pro, and Pro players will now enjoy 4K resolution and HDR as they navigate the galaxy.
In terms of gameplay, Path Finder brings with it the ability to store multiple spaceships, a selection of new ground vehicles to make planetary exploration quicker, and the ability to share bases with other players online, so you can visit each other's creations.
This is a huge update, arguably even bigger than the 1.1 Foundation patch, so head to the No Man's Sky site for the full notes on new features, or watch the trailer below to see them in action:
ASA rules that Hello Games did not falsely advertise No Man's Sky
The UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has officially ruled that Hello Games did not mislead consumers with its use of screenshots and trailers on its' Steam listing, following 23 complaints that it received from disappointed gamers. According to the ruling, Hello Games may keep the screenshots and trailers currently featured on the Steam listing, with the ruling extending to the listing on the PlayStation Store.
Mounting a passionate defence, Hello Games used the procedurally generated functionality of the game as the main excuse as to why gamers felt cheated. The developer claimed that due to the procedurally generated nature of the game, "it was difficult to recreate the exact scenes from the ad". However, Hello Games went on to say that it believed that "it was fairly straightforward to locate content of the type shown in the ad and to demonstrate that such content was commonly experienced by all users who played No Man's Sky for an average period of time".
The official ASA ruling states the following: "The summary description of the game made clear that it was procedurally generated, that the game universe was essentially infinite, and that the core premise was exploration. As such, we considered consumers would understand the images and videos to be representative of the type of content they would encounter during gameplay, but would not generally expect to see those specific creatures, landscapes, battles and structures."
While it conceded that changes had been made to the heads-up display and aiming systems when compared to screenshots on the listing, it wouldn't affect a potential buyer's decision to buy the game. Why? "as they were superficial and incidental components in relation to the core gameplay mechanics and features".