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No Man's Sky: The PC Launch Goes... Well Wobbly

Update: We’re hearing that NMS is running choppily across the board, massive framerate drops, staggering on machines way over spec for the game. One patch has already rolled out that has improved generically low framerates, but it seems the Steam reviews have one theme: juddery, jittery play. That’s certainly been my experience so far, and suddenly a weekend of the bizarre motion sickness it’s inducing in me doesn’t seem such a compelling prospect.

Original: No Man’s Sky PC is out! After the tortuous four day wait since the game was released on PS4, finally we can sink our claws into the 99.999% of the universe those consolers haven’t explored yet.

But can you? Is it working? Can the servers cope? About this, we bring you good news. About how smoothly it’s running, less so.

After a very successful PS4 launch, despite the game being rather crashy for many (I’ve had it do the Playstation equivalent of crashing to desktop four times over three days now, with progress frustratingly lost), hopes were higher for the PC launch. To whatever degree the game is genuinely “always online”, it seems to be enough to have not stressed out the PS servers in a huge launch, leading to the very unusual experience of a new game not exploding as soon as people started playing it.

It seems that Steam’s servers have coped, with the game downloading fine for me in the seconds after it was unveiled. (Why there was no pre-loading offered absolutely beggars belief, but then suits the completely weird launch.)

Booting the game, I was straight in, no issues, other than the colossal sense of loss that I no longer have my PS4 ship and tools, but at least the knowledge that there’s a planet in the universe already called “Poo poo”.

However, I’m having some tremendous problems with the graphics, really nasty choppy movement, and that’s despite a GTX 1080 on an i7-6700, 32GB RAM. Sorting out what’s causing it is proving enormously tiresome because of the game’s ridiculous insistence on doing all graphics in-game, after its ludicrously slow opening, and then wanting to restart for every change. I could be some bloody time. There also seems to be some sort of wretch mouse acceleration thing happening, and three of us at RPS are having problems running the game smoothly.

Update: turning everything down to medium seems to have fixed some of the choppiness, but clearly on the system details listed above that shouldn’t be even close to necessary. And it’s fugly on medium.

We’re also hearing rumours that AMD users are having lots of problems getting it to start at all.

Task switching seems to kill it for all of us, so you’re going to want to run it in a window if you can. Ho boy.

Do let us know if there are issues you’ve found in the comments (but please of course remember that every single PC game has issues for a minority thanks to the infinite complexity of the random combination of components in everyone’s procedurally created PCs).

No Man’s Sky is out now on Steam and Humble for a bloody fortune.

Disclosure: Our Alec did some last-minute writing for No Man’s Sky. He won’t write about the game for us any more, and every time he thinks about it we KICK him.

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Who am I?

John Walker

Senior Editor

One of the original co-founders of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, I'm now a senior editor and hero of humanity. Old and special.

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