Nearly three years to the day after the ambitious universe simulator No Man’s Sky launched, it is receiving what may be its most important update ever – one which will bring it close to delivering on all the promises that developer Hello Games made ahead of the game’s release, along with a few additional features.
Beyond is not only the largest update ever rolled out for the game, but Hello Games has even gone so far as to refer to it as Update 2.0, implying that this is truly the next evolution of No Man’s Sky. In fact, there are so many new things to do, new creatures to meet, and new features to test, that it would be pointless to list them all (just check the patch notes). Instead, we’ll list ten reasons you should jump back into No Man’s Sky.
Once again, I want to reiterate that there are dozens and dozens of changes and additions in the Beyond update, but these are the ten bullet points in the patch notes that have me excited to play:
- Virtual reality support: You can now play all of No Man’s Sky in VR on PC or on PSVR. You can seamlessly switch between the two modes at any time, and once you do, the game will adapt. Menus have been rebuilt specifically for VR, and you can even physically reach out and grab things with a VR controller.
- Better multiplayer: In addition to being able to see full character models when you run into other players while exploring the universe, you can use the Voice & Networking interface to group up with them. Maximum player count on consoles has increased from 4 to 8 and on PC from 4 to 32.
- The Space Anomaly: Feeling lonely? Check out No Man’s Sky’s new social hub – the Space Anomaly. Up to 32 players can be in the hub at once, and you’ll get a chance to meet them, check out their ships, visit their bases, and even embark on missions together if you so choose.
- Technology trees: Deciding what to do next in No Man’s Sky has always been a struggle, but new technology trees give a more clear visual representation of how to unlock new items and recipes.
- Dynamic NPCs: One of my personal gripes when I first began to explore this virtual universe was that I never saw anyone else walking around, mining for materials or fending off dangerous creatures. In Beyond, that is no longer the case, as aliens will finally walk around and interact with the environment.
- Creature riding: Once you tame creatures with bait, you can now mount and ride them around the planet. You can also harvest tamed creatures for milk, eggs, and other cooking ingredients.
- Improved base building: If building bases is your thing, you’re going to love this update because you now have a new camera perspective, will get visual cues for snap points, and can use your jetpack.
- Overhauled cockpits: As much time as you spend in your personal starship in No Man’s Sky, it has never been much to look at from the inside. That’s changing in Beyond, as the design of all cockpits has been completely overhauled. Plus, you can get a 360-degree view of the cockpit in VR.
- Discovery Page: Part of the fun of No Man’s Sky is discovering the nearly infinite amount of flora and fauna scattered throughout the universe. With the updated and expanded Discovery Page, you can now view your discoveries in greater detail than before, as well as read long text entries.
- Sitting: You can now sit on chairs. Gamechanger.
I plan on spending a few hours with the game this week to see Update 2.0 clicks with me in a way that the original game did not, but either way, it’s incredibly impressive to see a game studio continue to support its game in such a major way with completely free updates years after launch.