No Man’s Sky Foundation update: mostly about that base

No Man's Sky Foundation Update

No Man’s Sky‘s [official site] Foundation update was released over the weekend bringing base-building, different game modes, farming, freighters (kind of mobile resource warehouses), new resources, UI tweaks and so on. It’s a massive update, both in terms of what it brings and also in the sense that it feels like it changes the nature of the game. Previously it was this nomadic planet roamer with bits of resource gathering and survival bolted on. Now it feels like it’s aiming more for exploration and colonisation in the manner of something like Subnautica, just with procedural generation instead of predefined landscapes.

I’ll run through the main points of the update here and then put my own thoughts at the end (although I’ll caveat that by saying I’ve only played a few hours with the update).


The first thing you’ll see when you boot up the game is the choice of modes. Normal mode is where you’ll find your previous save file (if you have one) and is a kind of standard difficulty pottering space exploration experience with normal building costs and tech and whatever else. Survival mode ramps up the difficulty of surviving, so more hazards, more aggressive enemies, fewer resources… You get the idea. Creative mode is pretty much the exact opposite. You get unlimited health and resources and zero building costs so it’s entirely about building and exploring – a space sandbox with space lego thrown in.

In terms of the building side of things, a really big change is that you can now construct save points of your own out in the field, so if you have the resources for that you won’t have to trek all the way back to your ship and clamber in and out to activate the previous ridiculous save mechanism. There are also resource harvesters and waypoints amongst other in-the-field buildables. The patch notes point out that “Communications Terminals allow explorers to leave sub-space messages for others to find.” I have no idea how often people bump into one another in the game nowadays, although I remember that the infinitesimal possibility of people finding one another actually ended up happening really early on and they discovered they couldn’t see each other, so perhaps this is some kind of revised multiplayer-in-the-sense-that-it-acknowledges-others-exist-and-gives-a-sense-of-them-being-in-the-same-universe.

No Man's Sky Foundation Update

In terms of the actual base-building, you can claim a home planet and start building a base from an uninhabited base building – those are the ones you find scattered on the surface of planets. The bases are modular and you can slot all manner of different structural, infrastructural and decorative elements in to customise or to build out your base. You can also add storage modules for your resources and you can teleport back to base from space stations if you don’t fancy the return trip by spaceflight.

The update notes: “Find an even more beautiful location and you can simply dismantle your previous homestead to refund all of the spent resources.”


Farming is also part of this update, meaning you have little hydroponics modules you can build and use to grow crops for resources either on your base or in your freighter or outdoors if the biome conditions are right.


That brings us to freighters themselves. They’re enormous, expensive mobile storage spaces (so later game options if you’re not playing in creative mode) which you can use for trading or just for stockpiling resources. There’s an element of base-building with them too in the sense that you can customise them with the same suite of tools and use some of the space for farming, too.

No Man's Sky Foundation freighters

“Use the new recruitment system to crew your Freighter with Engineer, Farmer, Weapons and Science specialists to help research new technologies.” Basically there’s an NPC employment scheme as part of the Foundation update – you can use the recruits on your freighter, but you’ll also be able to hire them for your base, researching particular tech or buildables. The farming specialist helps you access new plant types, for example.


There are also new resources which might be specific to a star-type (there are now red, blue and green star systems) or a biome and new bits of tech/products/misc to be researched and built.

No Man's Sky Foundation Update

As a result of all of this – the increased resources, the need to gather larger quantities for building, the attempt to make trade more meaningful – storage is a big part of this update. You can see that in the freighters, but also in the fact there are various storage modules as part of the base building and that you can now stack products in your inventories up to five times so the interim stages of production, or the gathering of products for sale isn’t so taxing on your inventory space.


There are some UI tweaks too. It’s mostly quality-of-life stuff, but the big one for me is that when you scan for resources you get a coloured diamond which contains the element’s chemical symbol, so a yellow Fe for iron and a red Pu for plutonium.

No Man's Sky Foundation Update


Other points of interest from the patch notes:

  • Removed atlas pass v1 requirement from doors in stations
  • Removed signal booster from being distributed on terrain, as player can now build them
  • Adopted new method of distributing resource plants on terrain, for more lifelike clumps of plants
  • Introduced planets with no buildings or sentient life
  • Increased the proportion of lush and tropical planets
  • Decreased the proportion of lifeless planets
  • Improved terrain generation algorithms
  • Added freighter specific footsteps
  • When on a dead planet, no music will play
  • You can find the full patch notes on the Foundation update page. The Terrain and Visuals sections were really interesting if you want to know what’s changed about how the game looks.

    Initial thoughts

    I played a few hours on Sunday and… it’s certainly a massive change. I think it’s one of those updates which so fundamentally changes the nature of the gameplay and its core loops for me that it’s proving difficult to make the shift mentally although I do really like the terrain improvements.

    To try to explain that a bit better, previously the game was about skimming through the universe, visiting but not staying on all of these planets. There were elements of survival and crafting, but they felt more like attempts to make the nomadic bit feel more consequential without tying you down. Now, I still have my save file and I’m still in the star system I was when I abandoned the game earlier this year but suddenly I can put down roots. That home-building element is really clashing with the mindset all of the previous play engendered – that there was always more to see and that you could easily become bored in one solar system. I’d assume that’s where the biomes come in, as well as the different resource types and the NPC recruits and so on – to tempt you into setting up a base – but I’ve found myself genuinely struggling to shift to that new way of thinking using my existing save file. Why put down roots when I’ll be done with this system in another half hour?

    I fared better in creative mode, just experimenting with building and making my home planet the one I spawned on. I found myself creating a little plant room (because I’m nothing if not predictable). It was nice to start to see how those base structures and other elements came together although I would say that creative mode doesn’t give you anything to rub up against, so it feels a bit inconsequential for my taste. By that I mean that I accidentally accessed and built all of the different farming crops before I found out these were things you needed to research and work for in the main game, so I’ve kind of ruined that surprise there.

    No Man's Sky Foundation Update

    I also noticed some frustrations with building – for example, the structures are these modular things so you’d think they would clip onto one another easily, but I can’t seem to get a cylindrical room to “latch” onto a corridor I’ve laid down at all, so there’s a weird bit of my base where you have to go outside for a second before going back in to this other room. The rest has so far been okay in terms of slotting into place, but I’m finding the colour menus for objects a bit awkward. I’ll not be sure whether I’ve mucked up the colouring of a piece of decor or whether it’s just a fixed colour as I twiddle with the interface.

    I’m also not sure how I’d feel about dismantling a base. It’s good to know you can get the resources refunded but I wonder whether you’d lose too much in terms of the relationship with the space if you’re just boshing together a bunch of elements instead of gradually building them up having worked to gather the resources. Maybe that’s where the freighters come in?

    In terms of what the game now is, I guess it reminds me a lot of the core loops in Subnautica, just with procedurally generated planets rather than the predetermined undersea biomes. I love Subnautica so maybe that’s a good thing. There’s also Osiris: New Dawn – an early access planetary exploration/base-building survival game occupying similar territory. I started tinkering with that a month or so ago and was getting that same Subnautica-flavoured enjoyment which I think the Foundation update is supposed to bring to No Man’s Sky. But until the Foundation content and ideas bed in, No Man’s Sky for me is still casting around for a strong identity as a game. I see the Subnautica/Osiris adjacent stuff and I can’t help wondering why I would point people to this – a game that wasn’t supposed to be those things – instead of those games. Not yet, anyway, because No Man’s Sky is still tangled up in the promises and the descriptors of its initial release and players who experienced that might (like me) take a little while to disengage.

    No Man's Sky Foundation Update

    It also reminds me of my main release-time point which was “Good lord, if ever there was a game that should have been in early access while they figured out what it should be, No Man’s Sky was it.”

    I’ll conclude by saying I definitely want to play more and see if I can get myself to make that shift because the changes are promising and I would like to have a reason to become more attached to some of No Man’s Sky’s worlds. It also changes the game loops in a way I think more people will find rewarding or engaging. I have no idea where it leaves the main story progression though, nor how other people might react as the game they bought appears to diverge from how it was pitched at release. I’ll play a bit more and try to put more thoughts together.

    [Disclaimer: Alec wrote some bits and bobs for No Man’s Sky’s original release, but I don’t believe he was involved in any of the base building stuff. Unless they get Optimus Prime voice lines or something.]


    1. Pogs says:

      I guess you have to give kudos to the devs for sticking at it after all the negative flack but, as you say, they seem to have lost direction. Why build a base if the whole game concept is to travel vast distances and discover new things?

      • Hedgeclipper says:

        Reading the article I couldn’t help thinking they maybe should have doubled down on customised freighter/capital ships for the home base – something that would go with you from system to system rather than trying to build a space log cabin on one planet.

        • Pogs says:

          Yes this occurred to me. Oh well I have long since moved on from NMS and don’t give it much thought save the occasional grimace and sigh. It is a game release that should teach all devs a lesson I would hope.

        • rochrist says:

          Well, they give you a way to teleport back to your base, so you can both quite easily.

        • p2mc28 says:

          I was thinking the same thing. Imagine you have your huge capital sized freighter. A behemoth of a thing – a bit of a planet on it’s own, as far as your little habitat is concerned. Now, you want to jump to a new system. So, in order to bring your starship base with you, you must build some sort of a beacon on the planet, then wait some sort of time (hours? days? is this in-game time or real-time?) for your lumbering base of a ship to make it to your system.

          This could maintain the sense of exploration, since you don’t actually need to leave anything behind. Keeps the survival aspect, since you are alone in the new system and need to establish a new presence in order to reconnect with your freighter.

          I haven’t played the new update yet, but I am actually interested in trying it out.

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        phuzz says:

        I seem to remember a bunch of people complaining that they couldn’t build a base when the game first came out (in amongst the complaints about everything else).
        Perhaps the devs just picked that as something they knew they could ‘fix’.

      • klownk says:

        Because there is no new things to discover in this f* game.

        • Captain Narol says:

          Wrong, utterly wrong.

          There is so many changes and new things that by moment it feels like a different game.

      • DuncUK says:

        My guess is that this is pre-planned paid DLC that has been repurposed as a free update. Sean Murray had already backtracked pre-release on there being no paid DLC and freighters and base-building were mentioned pretty much on release day (link to

        Frankly, the best thing they could to rescue this game do is release mod tools and implement a steam workshop. It’s like they’ve created a fantastic universe simulation engine as a basis on which to make a great game, then released it with a placeholder demo of what sort of game you can knock together with very little effort.

        • FroshKiller says:

          I have to disagree that it’s a fantastic universe simulation engine. It doesn’t even have planetary mechanics.

          • hawken.grey says:

            I agree. It’s pretty weak on the “simulation” front. At best, space is a fancy loading screen for different, randomly generated levels (planets).

      • hawken.grey says:

        I guess it helps that they made a boatload of money off the release, before people realized it was a crap game.

        That said, it sounds like it has some of the same identity problems as Starbound – the Terraria-esque exploration, planet hopping, survival game. Starbound also has this problem with its core gameplay loop, in that you can build a very complex base on a planet, and really put a lot of time into it, but when it comes down to it, the core game is about hopping from planet to planet, so you inevitably leave those bases behind.

        In starbound, a better way to play is to focus on creating a base within your ship, which you then take from planet to planet. I wonder if NMS should have focused on creating a mobile fleet instead of making the focus so much on planet side construction.

    2. iucounu says:

      Just reading the coverage of this game up until release, it was quite obvious that nobody – not even the developers – had a good idea of what the actual game bit of it was. When it came out and it turned out that they’d kind of stuck these two directions of travel in – Atlas and centre of the universe, right? – I got a distinct Curiosity vibe about it.

      I know people who have had lots of fun with it in its early state but god, yes, Early Access would have been the way to go, had it been possible.

    3. PancakeWizard says:

      “there are now red, blue and green star systems”

      There always were.

      “Why put down roots when I’ll be done with this system in another half hour?”

      As you pointed out, you can kit your freighter out similar to the base so why not just take that from system to system hoovering up resources instead? You don’t have to keep the planet-side base!

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        Philippa Warr says:

        Fair point regarding stars. To clarify, they’ve made the types more obvious in terms of visual differentiation and they now mean something in terms of affectingresource spawning. Prior to this it didn’t seem to matter or have much in the way of even flagging the types up.

        Re: the freighters, they seem to be being billed as late-game amenities because of the expense. Maybe people who have stuck with NMS can buy them immediately with their savings but they aren’t mobile starships you’ll have access to immediately so the game seems to be really pushing you towards using those on-planet bases.

        • PancakeWizard says:

          You’re probably right about the freighters. I think if you’re saving up for one it makes sense to get a home-base first to maximise your profits, but I can’t see a reason why you couldn’t just abandon said base once you’ve achieved the freighter if you wish to. Hopefully they aren’t too tied into each other, as I saw the ability to build the exact same facilities as an indicator you were being given flexible options.

          I certainly find the idea of exploring the galaxy Star Trek style more appealing than having a base you can teleport across vast distances to reach. The latter is just a touch too ‘gamey’, IMO.

        • Nauallis says:

          Interesting. Thanks for clarifying about the freighters.

          Are the freighters mostly static space-borne bases with the ability to teleport, or can they also be controlled directly?

    4. Zaxwerks says:

      I suppose the concept of the base is for those that want to be non-nomadic and the freighter for those that want to travel. However as mentioned I would hate to invest time in a static base only after a few hours decide I want to move on and have to dismantle it. I would have thought a better solution would be to construct a mobile “ark” (like in the Anno games) that took off and followed your primary craft from planet to planet which you would then have to defend against pirate attacks (I know freighters are semi like this but it would be good to have a single entity that could provide the functions of a static and mobile based combined), or a way you could spontaneously reassemble your base whenever you landed.
      It’s encouraging to see the devs still putting a lot of good work into the game, but I agree it still seems a bit directionless as to what it wants to be.
      One concern/question, seeing as the planets are procedurally re-generated from scratch every time you leave and come back does that mean that if you left a star system where you constructed a base and then came back that you’d find your base had disappeared?

      • darkhog says:

        I’ve actually dismantled NMS’ save format and the saving is kinda smart about that. They’re saving the difference (a.k.a. delta) between what is originally there (generated stuff) and what you’ve changed (be it base built or digging land with grenades). Meaning save files are both small (as game doesn’t save anything that player hasn’t changed) and do their job. It’s actually also how great, underappreciated game called Blockscape does it.

    5. TheSplund says:

      Hmm, I do still like the original ‘chilled’ game, and I’ll be testing it out (and figuring what of my installed Mods are clashing etc, but I have a feeling that I’ll be putting off any serious time invested until the next update.

      • PancakeWizard says:

        The vanilla mode is still there, including your save file with just the new content. I would advise removing mods entirely though and waiting to see what modders do post-patch 1.1.

    6. Sandepande says:

      The base building is fine. It doesn’t bother the “original vision”, whatever that was, as it is optional, but it is a nice addition.

      Played it a couple of hours and perhaps my only grievance is the unwieldy inventory/crafting mashup. And the difficulty of remembering which element recharged which component. But that’s not entirely the game’s fault.

    7. Asokn says:

      I’m fairly sure, although I’ve no interest in spending time to check this, that the developers were often asked before release if there would be base building elements and the reply was always “no,this is a deliberate design decision because we don’t want people to stay in one place for too long”. It seems a bit strange that these base building features are now being added and it suggests to me that the developers don’t really know where they’re going with this game.

      • PancakeWizard says:

        Nope, this was written on the patch that dropped on release day:

        link to

        • Captain Narol says:

          Asokn is right, they just changed their mind just at the time of release, probably because they realized that some people would want to settle at some point even if it’s not in the initial spirit of the game.

          More freedom for the players, you can keep moving or settle for a time if you want, it’s just a sandbox after all !

          • Asokn says:

            So this is an extract from a Eurogamer preview of NMS:

            “The game mechanics are also a point where the team needs to keep tight control. They’ve gone with a core set which are all geared around getting people to move and to explore. You can’t build because that encourages you to set down roots, there’s no multiplayer (encountering another player would be more akin to Journey, perhaps, and is expected to be an incredibly rare event) because multiplayer encourages people to cluster and stay.

            Encouraging players to move is also the reason the game currently doesn’t have temporal aspects like seasons or the deaths of suns or different biomes on a planet. “I don’t want [players] to be just staying on one planet. I think some people will but I don’t want people being like, ‘I can’t leave this until I’ve gone to the North Pole!’””

            I imagine that more people read this than read the patch notes referred to above.

    8. Kefren says:

      Sounds like small improvements. I think I’d still hold back from buying unless there was a good planetary flight model (as in you could do low-level flying, crash, land anywhere and so on); and an option to play completely offline (so no notes or planet names from other players). I’d also like it if there were more “alien” planets. All the screenshots I’ve seen remind me of Spore. I read that they cut the giant sandworm planets, and there are no ultra-weird life forms or geologies. Certainly nothing as complex as the trailer video that is still on the stores – which led people to think there would be many planets just as exciting and varied as that, with mysteries to solve and complex interactions between species. Actually, it still seems odd that you seem to be exploring a universe where there are already races and NPCs travelling around, which I imagine takes away a lot of the feeling of solitude I would have enjoyed.

      • PancakeWizard says:

        “Sounds like small improvements.”

        I’d hate you as a boss.

        • Kefren says:

          So would I.
          I suppose what I mean is that none of the things in the update seem to fix most of the issues I read players had with the game, so it is only a small improvement on the original version sold for many of them. If you are not interested in many of the new features added, then they aren’t improvements for you. I’m not denying that they might be big changes, just whether they were targeting the things that some people were complaining about.

          • CriticalMammal says:

            Yeah I can see where you’re coming from, with the majority of the focus on this update not necessarily being the primary things people wanted changed.

            I do have to say though that a lot of those non-base building parts of the update stack up quite nicely to help flesh out the world a tad more. For instance, the new completely barren planets are indeed very barren haha. Like I’m talking no buildings with npcs, not even any plant life spawning on the one I saw (with the exception of the thamium plant, which you need for life support so that was welcome :P)

            It’s probably not enough to completely draw a lot of people back in, but I think it’s a good step towards a better overall experience.

      • CartonofMilk says:

        you dont have to play online.

        as for the flight model, mods have changed this. You can now fly as low as you want and actually hit the planet although collisions are still sometimes a bit weird.

        • TheSplund says:

          I have that low-flying mod installed but I do feel the devs would have made a more ‘incorporated’ job of it if it was made to the released game, ie better damage model, better landing, improved flight-modelling and need/reason for low-flying (in-flight mining, combat etc.)

        • Kefren says:

          Oh, last time I asked I was told there was no offline option, but you could fudge it maybe with firewall blocking. If there is an actual tick box to disable all online features then I take that part of my comment back, thanks.

    9. bit.bat says:

      Really nice summary of changes but I disagree about the Early Access point. It feels to me that part of the confusion within the game stems from the developers trying to complete their vision while also pleasing the expectations of their community but I might be wrong. I would personally much rather that developers delivered their own (sometimes flawed or even completely broken) vision rather than designing games by committee.

    10. Michael Fogg says:

      In other news, gamer outraged Persil didn’t completely wash off red wine stains from white shirt like the telly said it would, calls for CEO of Procter & Gamble to resign/be sent to jail.

      • Marr says:

        Booting up NMS 1.0 was more like opening your new box of Persil to do some laundry and finding it full of packing peanuts. Then you take it back to the store and they point out some small print on the underside that means you totally agreed to this and everything’s fine.

        • noodlecake says:

          Really? Before No Man’s Sky came out I was pretty convinced that it was going to be a very niche exploration game, which is why I didn’t buy it when it came out. It turned out to be exactly the game that I was expecting it to be. I’m confused about most of the outrage to be honest.

          I think this update sounds pretty impressive, and maybe in a year or two this game might turn into something I would want.

        • Faults says:

          That’s absolute hyperbole. Sure, the game was lacking a few promised bells and whistles; but the procedural universe was there, as was seamless travel between planets, trading, combat and a whole host of other core features.

          The way the gaming public has construed this whole saga, you’d think they were being promised, to borrow a phrase, free blowjobs and pudding for eternity, when for the most part the game delivered on its core premise in spite of having to jettison some features along the way – something that I might add is pretty routine in game development.

          Where was the flabbergasted outrage that Halo didn’t release as a 3rd-person battlefield simulator for Mac? Where’s the limitless bile that Quake didn’t, in fact, star the barbarian that was the game’s namesake, nor had the explorable forests that Carmack promised?

          There are so many other examples of games where features got cut during development, either because the developers could not get them to work correctly, they didn’t jive with the kind of game the developer was wanting to make, or they just weren’t fun. In NMS, planetary physics simulation was actually in the pre-release build, but was axed at the last minute because many players found it disorienting.

          Sorry for ranting, but logging on to my favourite gaming sites and seeing nothing but people still berating this game almost every single day for over three months because it didn’t live up to the fantastical expectations people built up around it is quite frankly exhausting.

          • keefybabe says:

            Well said.

          • Hoot says:

            It’s not about fantastic expectations, it’s about bonafide promises that were made by the lead developer. When DIRECTLY asked “can you play with your friends and see them in space?” he answered “Yes.” Just “Yes.”

            Not only that but as a gamer I expect a title that is supposed to include “exciting space combat” to actually include that, and not just a “click here to kill – zero mechanics – zero gameplay” type of combat.

            Sorry to be so scathing but I have to disagree with you when you call legitimate complaints of many burned consumers ‘hyperbole’ when it’s anything but.

            There is a reason this is far and away the most negatively reviewed game on Steam. That just doesn’t happen unless something has gone gravely amiss. 80,000 mostly overwhelmingly negative reviews says a lot; at worst about the state of the game on launch and at best about Hello Games complete lack of consumer expectation management.

            • Faults says:

              In regards to the use of the word ‘hyperbole’, I was referring to the previous poster’s use of the analogy of ‘packing peanuts’.

              And frankly, you know fine well that the ‘yes’ you quoted was taken way out of context. Any time the question of multiplayer was brought up, Sean’s usual response was roughly [I paraphrase] ‘yes, there is multiplayer, but you will barely ever see each other, there won’t be much interaction and it is not the focus of the game’. Maybe at some point HG just decided it wasn’t worth implementing the infrastructure for a feature that would by their own admission not have much bearing on gameplay, and was never, ever a focus for them.

              As for your quote of “exciting space combat”, I can’t really find any citation for that. I do remember Sean Murray emphasizing repeatedly that the game was pretty laid-back and ‘chill’ in nature. So… yeah. I will admit it was kind of shitty of them to use the 2014 trailer as their Steam ad for ages, and yes the game did not deliver on absolutely everything it set out to do, but again, not really seeing what warrants the continual vitriol, other than people expecting something the game was never intended to be.

            • Hoot says:

              Out of context or not, he’s still saying that it is POSSIBLE. Which it clearly isn’t. And he maintained that it was possible, without ever telling people until after release that no, you actually can’t ever meet anyone else because the server architecture doesn’t work that way.

              “Can you see what you look like?”

              “The only way is for another player to tell you what you look like.”

              Sounds pretty concrete to me.

              As for the space combat element, just go read the Steam description, lol. Prey on the weak and take their riches. Come on, man.

              The vitriol stems from people forking out top dollar for a game with the level of gameplay and meaningful content put out by most good indie studios for less than half the price. The advertising was misleading, the developer is a complete liar, consumer expectations were mismanaged and the price point for what you were actually getting was completely wrong.

              Look, I’m happy that you are happy with your purchase. I genuinely wish I felt the same as you do, because then I wouldn’t be £40 down with a digital turd sat in my Steam library.

          • Marr says:

            It’s hyperbole if all you expected was a first-person perspective terrain generator to look at, and even that was very lacking at release compared to the version they’ve since patched in. Trading, combat and the other core features were entirely tokenistic at best, nothing anyone would willingly engage with for entertainment.

            What I was expecting from NMS at release, based on Sean Murray’s interviews and *that* video trailer plus years of additional work and refinement, was a functional Space David Attenborough simulator with bizarre and majestic creatures interacting with each other and the strange landscapes in which they lived in convincing, surprising ways. A story generator. A 3D Dwarf Fortress. What they proudly released was a bunch of cut and paste derposaurs waddling in random circles and clipping through each other, with some badly planned videogame elements sat on top of that getting in its way.

            People are only discussing NMS under the NMS articles. Maybe give those a miss?

    11. Risingson says:

      I guess everyone would make their own ideal game. To me I don’t care about the planetary simulation or the ship simulation. I needed a real Starflight. I needed writing.

    12. aircool says:

      Coloured Menu’s… I don’t like the sound of that for obvious reasons.

      I’m still put off giving this another try in case it just kicks me in the bollocks again.

    13. Faults says:

      Also, following on from the previous rant, let’s not forget that although nobody’s really talking about it, it’s highly likely that HG had to scrap and rewrite a lot of their procedural generation code in the last few months of development so as not to infringe on the Superformula patent.
      Back when the game was first being developed and a lot of the initial hype was established, I’m pretty sure there were at least a few interviews mentioning Sean’s use of the superformula to generate their universe. This would pretty neatly explain a lot of the alterations that had to happen in regards to things like not being able to fly between systems, biome diversity, crashed freighters, etc.

    14. JP says:

      Base building and “players always keep wandering” aren’t contradictions if you can easily teleport back to your base from the frontier, which you can. It’s very similar to how Starbound does it.

      I would not take any statements of dev intent from launch day as applying to anything but the game as it shipped then; they’re allowed to change their minds as they add stuff! I’ve had lots of fun with this update so far.

    15. Ben King says:

      this might sound silly but I’m MOST excited about the Discovery UI improvements, enemy ship AI improvements, improvements to resource usage, and most importantly AUTOMATED MINING!!! Of all of the issues I had, those were the biggies… ship combat = frustration/death, mining was clickie tedium, and navigating simple menues was weird at it’s best. Terrain generation creating more open flat areas will be delightful also just by promising fewer claustrophobic chains of gullies obscuring vision.

    16. tslog says:

      It’s a game released with the most severe internal coherence problem I’ve ever seen. Some would call it a schizophrenic game, asking players to do things that it will reject or contradict only a short while later.
      -‘Hey, Bring resources to repair your crashed ship through your menu’. ‘no you can’t, you’re too far from the ship.
      ‘ you just want to explore the planet, CANT! do more of this insanely boring resource collection nonsense that contradicts the exploration aspect. Which will probably come with the worst combat you’ve ever experienced too.
      – Want to explore even more at at helpful pace, not sorry, have to walk at a turtles pace everywhere you go. And you’re stupid jet pack doesn’t last long.
      – you know the so little slots for resources we put in the game, well that really awkward terrible system is gonna keep you dropping resources and filling that space with new irritating trash that you’ll have to drop in managing the future…..and so much more player hating darbage.

      It’s a schizophrenic game that I hated playing more then any other for longer than I can remember. Now that schizophrenic trend continues with a building system that almost no one really wants.

      There is no way that hello games is seriously listening to feedback about improving the game.

      Should make the exploration far more easier, trash all the inventory garbage that’s in there and resource nightmare.

      • darkhog says:

        “Should make the exploration far more easier, trash all the inventory garbage that’s in there and resource nightmare.”

        You know, that’s kinda the point of the creative mode they’ve added.

    17. Deviija says:

      This update brought in way, way more content and foundations for future content/design than I anticipated. I was actually quite surprised as the number of ideas they put in — base building, crafting, freighters, research lines, hiring folks at stations, etc. I’m sure people can nitpick and bemoan the state of the game and the update (because it’s NMS and no matter what they do or don’t do, it’ll never be enough or right for some), but I’m pretty excited for future content. As the update it titled, it is a foundation with potentially a lot more to be built on top of it. I’m down for it.

      • Marr says:

        I was most surprised by the base building having a good, intuitive interface that gets out of your way and just lets you build a damn base. It’s like an entirely different programming team added it.

    18. smackywolf says:

      I love No Man’s Sky. This update has added enough for me to come back and experience the sense of wonder that the trailers and indeed the game gave me on release. I clocked around 30 hours play time on release, haven’t really been back since then, but this has me back in the game, space truckin’ and looking around in wonder.

      So much hate and vitriol has been leveled at the game and indeed the team, which to me feels massively unfair. This update makes me happy and gives me hope because I can again see that this game is the pride and joy of Hello Games. It’s their baby, they want to treat it right, to expand it, and to add more “meat” to it. I’ve been consistently worried for Sean and the team’s mental well-being since they went silent and to get such a big update is heartening.

      Maybe I was one of very few people whose expectations were matched by what I got when I played. Sure, it was grindy and sometimes frustrating, but at its core is a sense of wonder, a sense of seeing new and alien worlds, and being amazed at the beauty of them. What has been created here is incredible, and it saddens me a little that people refuse to see that. So I guess I’ll just keep space truckin’ away on my own, thankful that the experience makes me happy..

      Aside, the creature generation also seems to have been reworked somewhat, they seem to be more coherent than before. And survival mode is ROUGH.

      • Hoot says:

        Hard to worry about someone who has made a killing on the back of a few well placed lies and what is essentially a tech demo. My favourite Steam review goes like this (can’t take the credit for it, although I wish I could) :-

        No Man’s Sky

        One Man’s Lie

        Please Don’t Buy


        EDIT :- Yeah, I bought it on release, paid full price and was sorely disappointed. As a consumer I have that right.

    19. JimDiGritz says:

      FWIW this is exactly the direction I hoped NMS didn’t take.

      A proper exploration sim with really varied planets and far more unique items would have been far more interesting.

      Mark my words, this will turn in to Rust in Space in no time…

      • CriticalMammal says:

        Playing the new survival mode I actually had Rust come to mind a couple of times while mining resources. Don’t get me wrong, I love NMS for it’s atmosphere. But intensifying that resource harvesting loop ended up being a little too much for me. Rust has the benefit of that time investment balancing the online community you’re playing with. NMS being a mostly single player experience just sort of wastes your time.

        I like the changes in the update otherwise though. They’ve tweaked some things outside of the base building stuff that are welcome, like the new terrain changes and diversifying how populated things feel (stations and buildings have a couple more npcs hanging around, barren planets exist now where there’s literally nothing but rocks). Actually, during my playtime I didn’t even get to hardly any of the new base stuff.

    20. Poolback says:

      You can build your base in the freighter and move your freighter around… Also you have a teleporter to be able to go to your base from anywhere. Nothing is stopping you from exploring like you did before.

    21. Danley says:

      “Good lord, if ever there was a game that should have been in early access while they figured out what it should be, No Man’s Sky was it.”

      My ‘home’ planet, where I spent most of my time in the game used to look like this. Now it looks like this.

      No one is going to comment on the fact they had to “regenerate the universe”? In doing so, change the surface content of every single planet, even if it was already discovered and explored? The animals are the same, even the location of POIs, but even the planet you load into will be different from the one you were on before.

      This isn’t in the patch notes, hasn’t been mentioned in any articles, has been quoted by only one person on Twitter, referring to the single dialog that opens when you first load up 1.1, at the bottom (NOTE! We had to regenerate the universe. Your in-game location may be adjusted as a result. Your overall progress will be unaffected.”) People went apeshit over normal gameplay and development decisions (I think unfairly), and this isn’t a problem at all?

      (I admit this is purely an emotional response.)

      This is explicitly a single-player game that’s not in Early Access. I had backups made of the planet I was on because I was so fond of it, and prepared to use it once basebuilding was implemented, exploring only the nearby star systems then coming back so I’d never get too lost.

      Then the update came out, automatically downloaded and patched itself on Steam (as most games are set up to do by default with no problem), and though it was the same planet in the same star system with the same named planets, species and weather types, it now had a completely different aesthetic. Restoring older saves didn’t make a difference, even those where I had saved directly on the planet, and because I didn’t buy the game on GOG I couldn’t have reverted to the old version even if I wanted to. I can literally never again explore the particular planet my single-user piece of software generated and saved on my machine, because the developer released a patch that replaced it with something else. I feel like I just got run over by public opinion.

      Rant over, I’m optimistic about scoring a 1.09 GOG version down the road, which I’m certain will be able to import my old save if I just want to experience the game as it was that so many people campaigned against. I’ve even moved on to role-playing twofold, where on one hand I have this hope it’s on some other corner of the planet locked in a biome that hasn’t been implemented yet, that someday No Man’s Sky will have regenerated universes over and over but each one is more sincere than the one before and supplants it. And on the other hand, searching for another world in the cosmos that might just be the same even if only in passing glances, some kind of Borges mirrorworld.

      I’m going to go on too long talking about No Man’s Sky again, but so much about the game has been less about ‘NMS.exe’ and more about the circumstances in which we relate to it. Once I was showing someone the game and jumping from planet to planet trying to find a place that embodied why I enjoy the game, but time after time I would be left making excuses and having the very tone set by the misfortune of the procedural generation. Which made it that much more special that I could fly back to planet ““Peaceful Promise”” in the “Purple Fields to See” system, which lightened the mood considerably and seemed to reserve judgment a little while longer.

      Maybe the “game” itself isn’t the thing we’re playing at all, but whatever this No Man’s Sky release has been.

      • Danley says:

        I left that system behind and found this place already.

      • Urthman says:

        Reminds me of my Minecraft world after they added new biomes. I had a huge fortress built next to a lake with lots of tricky water entrances by boat. Then the climate changed and all the water was frozen over, my fortress covered with snow.

    22. racccoon says:

      Some nice work Hello games! Good job!
      I think when I re install the game today I’ll have to get to the center or that point and reside my home base around that, as it seems to be the only logical place to squat, that or a bit further outside of it.. :)

    23. Ericusson says:

      Why ?

    24. dorobo says:

      Oh look a trailer with actual game footage! A miracle!

    25. Zorrito says:

      Survival mode has brought the game’s best bits together for me. It makes a ton more sense now. All the survival kit is suddenly necessary, the alien mystery isn’t watered down by constant access, all the celestial danger hits home with each ventilator-gasp towards safety.

      The loot/craft is still pretty simple fare, but as you plough through resources to stay alive you hit a nice rhythm of making important decisions on the fly. When the multi-use conundrums work, they’re pretty good. That jetpack jump that saved you from getting your leg gnawed off also took your life-support into the danger zone. As you scan for a safer cave to recharge your shields you’re thinking ‘could make the healing pack now, but my laser’s just about to die…’. Definitely keeps you on your toes.

      Some of it’s still too blunt. Shield recharge seems needlessly slow, even for the starter kit, and having plutonium feature in most of the desirable builds makes for some grinding halts (your ship now needs a full load to take off if not on a landing pad or summoned etc)

      Still, lots of planning, careful steps, improvised escapes and leaving hard-won marks on planetary faces is working for me right now. 10 hours of this and I’m nowhere near the standard story fare. (I’m too busy surviving to go learn alien words. If I ever make it to a Monolith my character probably will genuinely marvel at it. And then remember the acid rain and leg it again ;))

      • Marr says:

        It’s mostly great until you fight through all that and blast triumphantly into space, whereupon you’ll be immediately ambushed by a trio of pirates with their 100% accurate, infinite range bullshit lasers, destroying all your progress in seconds.

        This mod exists. Just sayin’. link to