No Man’s Sky’s Path Finder update brings rovers, base sharing, permadeath, a brand new photo mode…

No Man's Sky

Oh blimey. Hello Games is releasing the Path Finder update for No Man’s Sky [official site] today. Alice? ALICE? ALIIIIIIIICE? Alice, there doesn’t seem to be a bicycle but there are a selection of planetary rover-type things called exocraft. No bells as far as I can tell, though. There’s also the potential to visit other people’s bases if popping over for a space visit is your bag, to own multiple ships if ships are your bag and permadeath if dying forever is your bag. You can do race track building and sharing and… *skims the rest of the list* A NEW PHOTO MODE created in collaboration with him off DeadEndThrills? Step aside, news article, I’m going in.

First the summary list of Path Finder jiggerypokery:

  • PlayStation 4 Pro Support, and 4K optimisation
  • Improved Lighting and Visuals
  • Owning Multiple Ships
  • Base Sharing Online
  • Steam Workshop Integration
  • New Vehicles – 3x Exocraft
  • Permadeath Mode
  • Build and Share Vehicle Race Tracks
  • Ship Specialisations and Classes
  • New currency and shops with Traders for tech and constructs
  • Double the the amount of variety in Base Building
  • Multi-tool Specialization and Classes
  • New Weapons and Weapon Modes
  • Photo Mode
  • Improved Discovery Menu
  • Most requested Quality of Life Improvements
  • 50% more original music for 65daysofstatic
  • I actually don’t really know where to start with this. I wasn’t too bothered about the Foundation update because it really didn’t feel like it changed the game as I played it because I like taking pictures and spying on the local wildlife. There were shifts to that but nothing that felt obviously enormous. Here there’s a lot that does feel a bigger deal for me.

    Here are some initial thoughts while I wait to see how this actually pans out when it’s in my game.

    1. The rovers actually look fun, not least because you appear to be able to boof rocks out of your way and speed around with a pleasing amount of crunch and heft (technical terms). I say this knowing I am going to land one in some crevasse the first time I go for a drive and we will never speak of exocraft ever again. I’m referring to what the game calls a “Roamer” here. There’s also the Colossus which is cargo-focused for resource harvesting and the Nomad which is basically a ship crossed with a pond skater.

    2. The quality of life stuff is things like being able to quit to the mode select menu, which I actually didn’t miss until yesterday when switching between two different modes for different screenshots. Also the loooooooooong clicking in a bunch of the menu options.

    3. Speaking of which, there are a bunch of visual updates/changes (high and ultra resolution textures, crepuscular rays, HDR mode etc etc).

    4. I am not personally into the racing idea because I am one of those people who likes the idea of a lonely existence in an uncaring universe where all one can do is stave off death and take photos. Try not to read anything into that.

    5. Politicking is now more important for trading because you get good prices for being an ally. So, mates’ rates.

    6. Base customisation makes it more likely I will build a base but ONLY if I can make some kind of mega greenhouse and possibly an aquarium. I will look into that and get back to you.

    7. I will be going nowhere near permadeath mode. Ever.

    8. I am cautiously excited about the image stuff. Not least because it means that the slightly wonky workarounds I’d been trying in order to do some of my screenshotting can potentially crawl back into the abyss from whence they came. Alternatively I will decide that they make my life too easy and haul the wonky nonsense kicking and screaming back out of the abyss.

    9. WAIT THERE IS A FREE CAMERA MODE THE ABYSS CAN SUCK IT.

    10. Where I’m at with No Man’s Sky right now is as follows: I like pottering about and this is a good game for pottering about. The Path Finder stuff sounds like a combination of things I’m pleased they’re adding and things I can pretty much take or leave because I like being lonely and contemplating the aforementioned abyss. I also find it fascinating watching what Hello Games actually do as they try to wrangle/prune/curate/repair/upgrade/rework No Man’s Sky post-release. I appreciate that’s not where everyone is at with NMS but it’s been such a singularly weird project.

    The full patch notes are here and the update should land on PC later today (mine hasn’t found an update yet).

    In the meantime, here’s a furious Christmas Ewok:

    [Disclosure: Alec did something on No Man’s Sky. He says it was writing so given my pottering and screenshotting I… don’t actually know whether I’ve seen anything he has done. But he says he did it and we disclose it because we believe him. ALEC, I AM DISCLOSING YOU.]

    50 Comments

    1. Barberetti says:

      Can you hover yet?

      • Chalky says:

        I have no idea, but they’re spending so much time trying to improve the game, you’d hope they would spend some time making their terrible flight model better.

        • Barberetti says:

          Yep, it’s one of the worst I’ve ever experienced in a game.

          In fact, it is the worst.

        • LennyLeonardo says:

          I really hope they are trying to improve the planetary flight, but the rovers do rather suggest they’re not. Still, if the flight is impossible to fix, the rovers are an imaginative workaround.

          • Sleepy Will says:

            There’s a mod which gets 75% of the way to fixing flight (probably closer now, I last used it a week after it was released), so I really hope they don’t claim it’s impossible.

      • SBLux says:

        No, but it would be pointless anyway because there are no carpets

      • popej says:

        Have you tried this?

        link to nexusmods.com?

    2. Eightball says:

      Man this game is going to be great by the time I buy it for $5.

    3. Jay Load says:

      Ahh, No Man’s Sky. Disappointment on a Multiversal scale…but still something I find myself picking at every few weeks because of what it DOES offer.

      I tried the Foundation update recently as was pleasantly surprised to find out how different it was. Heck of a lot smoother running on my system, for a start, but tweaks to the ProcGen algorithms were obvious and very welcome. Some gameplay enhancements, a few improvements…it certainly seemed to have progressed. And now this. I’m actually keen to try out the vehicles.

      Way to maintain my interest, Hello Games (at least until Subnautica reaches a point of feature completion, then I belong to that game now and forever)

      • Jalan says:

        Come now, in some universe there is a version of No Man’s Sky that delivered on its promises.

      • GrumpyCatFace says:

        This post may force me to re-install and give it another go. The framerate was abysmal, previously. We shall see.. we shall see…

      • KDR_11k says:

        I’d argue that NMS is no more feature complete than Subnautica. Since that’s not stopping you from playing NMS why should it stop you from playing Subnautica?

        • Sleepy Will says:

          I’d say though, Subnautica is going to be glorious on release, and I’m jealous of players who will get to experience it fresh when it is released, I’ll never get that!

        • modzero says:

          I’d say it’s not that it’s less feature complete, it’s more that it feels almost like a travesty to play it before it’s deemed complete by the authors. It does have replay value, but it also feels like, without the full context, parts of it are spoilers.

    4. Premium User Badge

      Oakreef says:

      That Ewok needs to CALM DOWN

    5. SBLux says:

      I am going to buy this one day and I am pretty sure I will enjoy it too

    6. Themadcow says:

      Eh, still £40 on Steam despite physical copies on PS4 going for about £10-£15 now. Not awesome.

      Just seen the digital version is £14 for PS+ members too. Double not awesome, thanks to my PS4 sounding like a jet engine these days.

      • Jay Load says:

        That is fairly shit.

      • KaiUno says:

        So the one game that’s more expensive on PC is a turd. This I don’t mind.

        Just goes to show Sony needs to peddle a couple more units to recoup on the investment.

      • popej says:

        It’s a PSN sale. It’ll be back up to £40-£45 soon.

        • Themadcow says:

          I’ve checked, and no-one has ever bought a game at full price after it’s been on sale except for Derek J Nosworthy of Harrogate in 2007 when he was very, very drunk.

          I’d confidently predict that NMS on PS4 has found it’s level at around £10-£15 and it’s what we should be seeing on PC.

      • Zaxwerks says:

        It’s curretly £23.99 (40% off) in the GOG Spring Sale… and has just fallen to the same price on Steam as well.

    7. hobbity_j says:

      RENAME SPACESHIPS! finally! reinstall time.

    8. Premium User Badge

      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      Say what you will about this game, but man can these guys design nice looking vehicles.

    9. KDR_11k says:

      Being more interested in function than form with my game mechanisms (I build shoddy dirt holes in Minecraft) I didn’t check out the Foundation update. This sounds like they’re tacking more mechanics on, especially for the creative building types who are happy with building things just to show them off. The problem with NMS wasn’t the number of mechanics as much as the quality of their implementation. You could do a lot of things, not as many as they promised but still a lot, none of them were fun though and the content had no ramp-up, nothing like the many biomes and phases of a Terraria world, you’d just find everything distributed equally. Planets may have different resources but didn’t play differently, e.g. the Corruption, the Underworld and the Dungeon in Terraria are very different places with very different challenges that actually change the game up depending on which resources you’re looking for.

      NMS didn’t change, early game was nearly the same as late game. It’ll likely be a while before they implement enough to change that, the game should count as Early Access at this point since it just feels like a lot of things got a rudimentary implementation and still need to be fleshed out.

    10. Ben King says:

      I think this looks awesome. I stalled out on my base building and never got too far but this makes me really want to pick it back up and fiddle. Also that rover looks SUPER fun. Also so jazzed about a free camera photo mode.

    11. Faults says:

      Am I the only one who is most pumped about more soundtrack from 65DOS? The soundtrack to the base game is absolutely killer, but I’ll definitely be happy with a touch more variety :)

    12. Deviija says:

      SO awesome! And the base materials look so pretty. Land vehicles, multiple ships, sharing bases online/with friends, customizing your playstyle more, increase building options, yes, yes, give me more. I’m excited!

    13. machineageproductions says:

      For those who play, does this update make it at all friendly to two-player play? I mostly play with my wife. We like to build together and run around together in Minecraft. But so far, NMS doesn’t really seem interesting for those purposes. Can you build bases together? Or at least adjacent? Can you functionally work together? Travel?

      • Premium User Badge

        reddog says:

        I haven’t actually played the game myself, but the patch notes don’t seem to contain any “actual” multiplayer stuff. The base sharing and vehicle racing is, at its core, all single player as far as I understand. You build your stuff (e.g. race track) and then upload it to Steam Workshop, where others can download / subscribe / visit / do something with it. You don’t see the other people or see them do things, because the game isn’t designed to do that (contrary to what some individuals have said in certain interviews).

      • DarkMalice says:

        I can only assume this is a masterful work of sarcasm. Bravo good sir, bravo.

        • Sleepy Will says:

          Just in case they are not, we should emphasise, before someone drops £80 on it:

          No Mans Sky is single player. Full Stop.

    14. Dervrak says:

      I’ll give the developers a little credit in that they do seem to be sticking by the game and trying to make it better after the release debacle. I still think there is a good game in there somewhere, maybe in another few patches we’ll actually find it.

      By the way, It’s a shame they couldn’t take the planetary and plant/animal generation of No Man’s Sky and the ships, exploration and trading from Elite Dangerous and create one huge game. I love Elite Dangerous, but the (extremely limited) planetary landing feature and really dull and lifeless planet surfaces leave much to be desired, that’s the one area No Man’s Sky sort of got right.

    15. ShiArch says:

      No Man’s Sky, with its muddy textures and floating objects, already looks like an old game that you are playing on an emulator.
      However, It’s good that they are admitting their mistakes and fixing stuff for free unlike EA and UBI who ‘fix’ mistakes with paid expansions.

    16. Premium User Badge

      Benratha says:

      ooh dear… Maybe a little more enthusiasm in the voice on the update video wouldn’t go amiss?

    17. Risingson says:

      So sad that the only way to develop a game seems to be the same “compulsion loop”. I am totally alone in this, but again, I wish there was a strong plot in this game and it were something like i-War 2.

    18. chrisb says:

      With just over 700 planets visited and logged, I can say I’ve enjoyed exactly what I was expecting from the start.. An exploration sandbox game.
      Great game, hope they don’t change too much. It was the art style that hooked me early on, took me back to my childhood days in the 60’s reading sci-fi… Yes I’m that old.. ;)

    19. Premium User Badge

      Captain Narol says:

      Great to see that Hello Game is still adding stuff to that very special game…

      I hope that the many idiots who pretended without any proof that they just “took the money and run” feel really stupid now that they got proved wrong…

    20. fdel says:

      Am i the only one seeing the game flying away from exploration and going minecraft?
      A lot of make up and few things that really mattersin the exploration game.
      At least foundation was good.

    21. Flangie says:

      Bought it for about 20 quid in a sale and have played it off and on for about 35 hrs so far. I consider that decent value. 40 quid, nope.

      Looking forward to trying out this update

    22. Hoot says:

      I’ve been pre-ordering games that I’ve had an interest in for over 10 years and I’ve only been burned twice.

      The first time was with Dragon Age 2, a steaming pile of repeated art assets coupled with a lame story and a fierce intent on destroying everything that was cool about the first Dragon Age.

      The second time was with No Man’s Sky. A steam review I read shortly after the time of release was the most accurate description of the game I could ever have hoped to see so I didn’t bother posting my own review. It went :-

      No Man’s Sky
      One Man’s Lie
      Please Don’t Buy
      Fin

      So I’m sat with 2 digital turds in my library. Maybe after a few more updates I’ll give this a reinstall but for now I’m struggling to see where the “game” is. Maybe I’ll give Subnautica a try on release as it looks way more compelling.

    23. CartonofMilk says:

      Disappointing that a game that’s been so far exclusively first person decided to make the land vehicles third person. At least give me the option of going first person. But hey if you’re gonna do that… maybe give us a third person option for ships…might help for pictures. Or does the camera mode now takes care of that?

      In any case, more updates are need to make this game really interesting. The base building is too basic to be truly interesting. I can do hundred times better in Space engineers or Empyrion. And I hate to say it but what this game also needs is more interesting action. FPs combat and ship combat is boring as hell. Oh and it needs to add food and water as necessities to survive. It’s not much a survival game at all as it is. there should be planets so dangerous even your ship might not be able to withstand the elements. Because yeah…doesn’t land vehicles make it now almost impossible to die anyway?

      Exploration without rewards or even a point is just not interesting to me. Maybe for a dozen of hours. After that i need meat on that bone. Who knows though, maybe in another year NMS will actually be a game. On Pc a lot of mods are actually improving the experience in significant ways too. So maybe once combined the dev + community efforts might yet make NMS a game worth paying for.

      see space engineers isn’t really a game. In terms of actual gameplay elements it has probably less than NMS. Yet i’ve got 700 hours in that. and maybe 40 in NMS. Why? There’s just some buttons NMS isnt pushing.

    24. Zaxwerks says:

      It’s curretly £23.99 (40% off) in the GOG Spring Sale… and has just fallen to the same price on Steam as well.

    25. KastaRules says:

      Still NO.

    26. geerad says:

      There are games where permadeath makes sense. This is not one.