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?

Hello Games has been hard at work on No Man's Sky since the initial release back in 2016, and when compared to the original product, No Man's Sky is already a completely different game. You've got base building, land vehicles, multiple game modes and more - but NEXT is set to be the biggest update of them all, and it's set to launch on 24 July 2018. 

The update will be available completely free of charge for all existing No Man's Sky players across not only PS4 and PC, but for the first time, Xbox One too. That's right; as well as announcing the latest update, Hello Games recently confirmed that it'll coincide with the launch on Xbox One, with support for Xbox One X. 

How much does No Man's Sky cost?

No Man's Sky is available to buy now for PC and PS4 at both Amazon (£20) and GAME (£29.99), while Xbox One players will be able to pick it up from the Microsoft Store on 24 July 2018.

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. 

It makes everything, from exploring planets to building your base and scavenging resources, more interesting and engaging. You'll experience more naturally-occurring events when playing with friends too, like helping out a buddy being attacked by sentinels or backing them up in dogfights. 

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. 

Keep reading to find out more about previous No Man's Sky updates, including the Foundation and Path Finder updates.