No No Man’s Sky Patch Notes: Performance Boost, Misc.

If you’ve been pootling around the galaxy in No Man’s Sky [official site] – and Steam’s numbers say that, at its peak today, 47,500 of y’all were playing at the same time – you’ll likely have noticed two patches download over the past day or so. Hello Games haven’t yet got around to releasing notes detailing exactly what the patches change (probably busy, that lot, yeah?) but they have given a broad overview. Basically, the space exploration game should now run faster on slower PCs.

Hello Games co-founder Sean Murray gave the overview on Twitter yesterday:

I’m guessing a fair few of those changes are carried over from the No Man’s Sky experimental branch, the opt-in version where Hello test updates. As for what else they’re up to, Murray says:

No Man’s Sky may not be what everyone wants or expected but evidently a fair few players are digging it. I, at least, have enjoyed seeing Pip poke around, finding and sharing interesting sights. Some of the creatures she’s showing me are like ’70s Doctor Who monsters in the most wonderful way. I believe she’ll be sharing some of those with y’all soon.

[Disclosure: Our Alec wrote some words for No Man’s Sky. I don’t know which words, mind. I’d guess “the” is among them. Probably “to” too. “Of”. “And”. “A”. Classic Alec.]


  1. Tacroy says:

    You know, all of these “Alec wrote for No Man’s Sky” disclosures have got me wondering just what Alec actually wrote for the game.

    • clive dunn says:

      Maybe Alec wrote the patch notes ;-)

    • Danarchist says:

      I think he wrote the lines “Inventory full” and “Life support low”
      His writing was so good they made sure you hear the lines ever 4.5 seconds.

    • DelrueOfDetroit says:

      I bet you when it came time to cash his pay cheque he gave the bank teller £20 to say “Units received.”

  2. DelrueOfDetroit says:

    I tried playing this last night and now I can’t get past the opening starfield screen.

    • iainl says:

      Did you try the experimental branch before? All of the complaints I saw last night were from people on that branch complaining that it was having problems with their save files. Sadly, I’m not sure what you can do about that other than delete the save, which is less than ideal.

      • DelrueOfDetroit says:

        No, never touched it. I haven’t played it for a few days because I was waiting for a few patches to come out. When it updated last night I booted it up just to see how it performs and couldn’t get into the game.

  3. KDR_11k says:

    So, does it hitch less now?

  4. cpy says:

    My saves are still not loading! That patch is full of crap!

  5. Shiloh says:

    I think he wrote this:

    Her-wepes-tawy nefer-hedjet? Nefer sedjmek hepwet neb neswet ta we.

    Sounds pretty Alec-ish when read aloud at any rate.

    • foop says:

      I could be wrong, but that looks very much like ancient Egyptian to me.

      • Shiloh says:

        You’re quite right – there’s the planet Jupiter in there and Lord of the Two Lands. Good catch.

  6. JFS says:

    Even the support-/issue-related tweets sound like Molyneux at this point. “Wow! Only 1 percent! That’s still EIGHTEEN QUNTILLION people! But wow! We’re still gonna resolve se-ven-ty percent of that right! now!”

  7. Creeping Death says:

    “Even though less than one per cent of players have raised support issues, we’re going to resolve roughly 70% of them this week”

    There’s something about the way this is written that makes me irrationally angry.

    • aircool says:

      My favourite tweet was the one where he’d found out two players had met up.

      All of a sudden, the cat’s out of the bag… this wasn’t supposed to happen because players can’t actually meet, I was lying…

      I guess he was hoping that the chances of two players being in the same place was 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 to 1, which is almost as good as impossible. He guessed wrong…

      • Zenicetus says:

        The odds don’t add up, that’s for sure. The second star system I visited was already found and named by someone else, along with one of the planets (but not all of them).

        There are too many reports of this kind of thing for there not to be something screwy going on with the RNG for starting locations. They’re either intentionally forcing this, so players see a more “alive” universe with other players, or the algorithm isn’t working as designed.

        • Koozer says:

          Or possibly that’s exactly how randomness works in reality? I would be more suspicious if noone reported seeing another discovered planet or system.

        • Press X to Gary Busey says:

          I don’t think the following is spolerish but disclaimer anyway.

          The 18 quinoablobblabillion is the number they used for planets, the planets are divided over star systems.
          It’s still an unimaginable number even if divided by two or three (or whatever is the average number of planets per star). Then those star systems are divided over an unknown number of NG+ galaxies.
          Everybody starts in Euclid and a distance away from the core, combined with the birthday paradox and players exploring multiple star systems each, running across others discoveries might not be as impossible as it seems when first hearing about the 18 quentintarantinos.

          • Stillquest says:

            True. If viewed as a collision problem, the math’s trivial. Let’s assume, for example, that the starting galaxy has about 100 billion stars (a conservative estimate of the size of the Milky way). Assuming perfectly random distribution, and looking at only the starting point for each player, a collision (two players beginning their game at the same system) becomes a practical certainty at about the 2 million players mark. However, players explore multiple systems, and the distribution is far from random, as they converge to the center of the galaxy – so encountering explored systems would be considerably less rare than that.

        • kromeboy says:

          there are quintilions of planets but not all in the same galaxy.
          Everyone starts in the same galaxy, so the chance of collision aren’t that low.

    • Master of nothing says:

      Yeah, the stuff about “only 1% of the playerbase raised support issues” sounds awful, since it’s a useless statistic. There’s a lot of people having trouble with the game’s performance, but who saw that others had the same issues, so they didnt’ feel the need to drown the game’s developers in support tickets for things that others had reported before.

    • PancakeWizard says:

      It’s clarified with the following tweet:

      “It’s pretty crazy for us how many people are playing. And how large a number even 1% of that user base is.”

      I don’t think he’s trying to dismiss people’s issues, it’s just that when you’re talking about the shape-shifting chimera that is PC hardware, a 99% hit rate isn’t terrible.

      I mean, these guys are trying to figure out a way to get Intel graphics support, even though they literally have no obligation to.

      Murray is a programmer/maths geek. I don’t think his intentions are as Machiavellian as people like to claim. I just think he was/is a bit over his head, but he’s trying to rectify it.

      Molyneux on the other hand, had the crocodile tears one too many times to make me think he’s anything but a sociopath at this point.

      • Hedgeclipper says:

        But it wouldn’t be a 99% hit rate, for every one that goes to the effort of raising a support ticket there’ll be a couple who rage on Reddit and a bunch more that’ll quit the game and come back (or not) if a patch fixes their issue.

      • C0llic says:

        You’re right, but the way it’s written feels like a slightly desperate PR grab. If you’re someone experiencing issues, that’s maddening. Much better to note quote figures at all. Most devs don’t and for this reason I suspect.

        Hello games needs to hire someone that actually knows something about PR, or just hit Sean Murray about the face with a dead fish.

    • Distec says:

      Same. And I don’t consider FPS hitching and CTDs to be the only “performance issues” of note. You could fix all the major technical issues and I’m still left with a game that – while colorful and pretty – actually looks really rough given the way it scales resolution. The AA options don’t seem to affect a damn thing.

      I’m running this on a PC that can run id Tech 6 games at ultra settings, and yet NMS on my machine actually looks worse than the PS4 version my brother is playing.

    • fish99 says:

      Reminds me of the patch notes for ARK Survival Evolved, where they reduced loading times by 75%, then another 40%, and the reality was it loaded in 50 seconds instead of 55. And all those massive optimizations which collectively accounted for <1 fps.

      It still runs like crap and take forever to load.

      • hpoonis says:

        I recently had a spell with Dragon Age: Inquisition. The game played fluidly and I had no problems with upping some of the settings. Only having a 1080 monitor suits me.

        However, the time taken from game start to character control was almost 3 minutes. Coupled with the fact that the Origin client has the slowest startup compared to Steam or Uplay makes starting/continuing a tea-making experience.

  8. aircool says:

    No patch notes is just, well… what I should expect from these clowns.

    Am I supposed to stick with the experimental one or the newly updated normal one?

    I guess I’m enjoying the game despite its 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 faults. I just hope they get round to making the game feel, look and play like a £40 game and not some early access show.

    • Qazi says:

      The optimism and joy in your comments in previous articles compared to now in the post-release articles.

      Oh aircool, have a hug.

  9. melnificent says:

    Every patch note procedural.

  10. daver4470 says:

    I assume the “retail” patch is just the two main experimental builds that were pushed out. They significantly improved my performance, but I still have to lower the resolution on my laptop to run in the 20-30 fps range.

    For reference: I have a fairly old (by current standards) Nvidia 470M with 3GB and an i7-3610QM @ 2.30GHz. NMS won’t run at native 1920×1080 rez faster than about 17 fps with reasonable settings. And even if you turn everything down to “low” and turn of AA/anisotropic filtering, it only runs in the 30s. (And looks terrrrrrible.)

  11. laksa says:

    2 players cant meet. its just a rumor.

    havent you already realize that world generation, spawns, etc happens on your laptop alone?

    there isnt a gazillion worlds. its worlds visited (read ‘generated’) by players so far. and you can even generate worlds in single player and upload to server for points (read as post online to share)…

    • Zenicetus says:

      They can’t meet, but I saw a star system named by another player, and one planet named, on only my second visit to another system.

      Not exactly what I was looking forward to, in this game.

      • Shiloh says:

        Maybe not quite the enormous game they claimed then. There are quite a few players reporting similar.

        I think there’s something not quite right going on under the hood of this game to be honest. Too many players finding explored systems off the bat, the fact that two players “found” each other within 24 hours of the game launching, too many similar creatures and planets cropping up… Then again, I don’t own the game so take my opinion with the usual pinch of salt.

      • Otterley says:

        Were the names silly, hideous or interesting? Got to admit that I’m very curious ^^

    • JabbleWok says:

      While I don’t know that’s true, it would make sense.

      There can only be one generation procedure and seed, so that each player generates a growing subset of the common total set of potential worlds. Each of these worlds will have a unique ID as part of the generation process. When data is uploaded, it simply fills in a database entry for that planet’s ID.

      When anyone reaches a new planet (i.e. newly generated on their PC), the game checks its ID against the database: if there is already data there, it shows it as already named. Likewise with plants, animals, etc. That would also explain why players never actually meet; there is no multiplayer code, simply a common ‘name’ database that is steadily being appended.

      Again, this is just a hypothesis on my part.

      • kromeboy says:

        all the galaxy are generated from the same seed: you can view the same planet offline. If you get online you will read the names associated to that planet from another player.

        The base game is like Space Engine: the universe is the same for everyone, is persistent (in the pristine state with unexploited resources), and is offline. The online part is only a database of names

  12. zulnam says:

    Alec’s strong Philip K. Dick influences are showing.

  13. Vivid8 says:

    Talk about an oblivious in denial idiot. “Less than 1% have these problems but were going to resolve 70% of them anyway.” In other news “95% of players have problems with the 90% of the games content we promised, then cut, then played off like we never promised, we’ve resolved… 0% of those, but we MAY have Paid DLC which we said we wouldn’t have and that MAY restore a small portion of what we promised. Derp de derp.” Sean Murray, I honestly and whole heartedly mean this, with the deepest sincerity possible. Shut the hell up, go to hell and never ever come back here. And take Mr. Molynuex with you, you two were f**king made for each other.

  14. jrodman says:

    I more or less agree with your two ideas.

    1 – Denying issues your customers are having by quoting misleading percentages is not pretty.

    2 – A lack of any communication on the large quantity of game mechanics which seem to gone missing is quite unimpressive.

    However, I think more decorum would be welcome. Even when expressing anger at infuriating behavior, we can do better.

    • jrodman says:

      Intended as a reply to Vivid8 above. Comment system, shmomment system.

  15. Rob Lang says:

    No patch notes smells like a development team operating without a QA process. All they tend to be us a list of committed changes. If your not tracking that, it can lead to disaster.

  16. Ericusson says:

    Steam still shows off a trailer of non existing features and graphics on its store page.
    Considering the lack of functionalities compared to what is still shown for promotion, I really wish somebody would shove a lawsuit far far all the way through were he sun never shines.

  17. hpoonis says:

    I find it amazing how the majority of comments regarding the character and public persona of Mr. Murray are, at best critical and, at worst, vitriolic bordering on murderous…and yet, without exception all of you live in a land (on any inhabited continent) where those who purport to govern and serve the public are, without doubt, most guilty of duplicity, false promises, lies, corruption, with a self-serving attitude that is national if not global and will, at every turn, lambast their opposite number, not to increase their public-standing but to lower that of the recipient of their political bile.

    Compared to f*cking the public over daily and getting away with it on a planetary scale, poor optimisation in a game title and a few misleading quotes from a software designer seem infinitely pale in comparison. The code of Mr Murray only affects your free-time entertainment; the behaviour of your elected officials affects every waking day of your life.

    • avgjoe says:

      @hpoonis Please don’t encourage these people to participate in democracy. Although I don’t think it can get much worse, or can it?

  18. hpoonis says:

    Oh! and RockPaperShotgun people, a question for you:

    Why, if you are a UK publication, do I get spell corrections for ‘behaviour’ and ‘optimisation’ ? Can you not introduce a UK-based spelling correction thingie?

    I, for one, refuse to be Americanised and am armed with a bowler hat and an umbrella. Although if one were to mention that one had ‘a bowler’ people might get the wrong idea.