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

Path Finder general

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:

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  • 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.


    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:

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    [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.]

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    No Man's Sky

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    About the Author

    Philippa Warr

    Former Staff Writer

    Pip wrote for Rock Paper Shotgun between 2014-2017, covering everything from MOBAs, hero brawlers and indie curios. She also had a keen interest in the artistry of video game creation, and was very partial to keeping us informed of the latest developments in British TV show Casualty.