Earlier this week Hello Games announced a forthcoming major patch for No Man’s Sky and today that update has been delivered.
Patch 1.3, the Atlas Rising update, is exactly what No Man’s Sky fans have been waiting for. It is packed full of content, including 30+ hours of story, vastly expanded or reworked core features, and even the first elements of multiplayer. Atlas Rising is available for download now on PC and PlayStation 4, and is meant to serve as a love letter to fans who have stuck with the game since launch.
Atlas Rising is huge, but the heart of the update is its all new story. Much of the new content released beyond the story is still tied into it in small and large ways. But it alls starts here:
“In the Atlas Rises story, the fabric of existence is starting to falter. A mysterious new interdimensional race have appeared. Glitches are causing ancient portals to activate. Our story brings a new context, quest system and branching narrative to No Man’s Sky. 30 hours of new story content. Double the lore and interactions of the existing game. Discover the truth behind the Abandoned Building logs, the World of Glass, the Sentinels, the Redemption of the Gek, and the meaning of sixteen… After Waking Titan, Atlas Rises.”
What Hello Games is saying is that it isn’t just more “story” but also changes and new features within the game now tying into the overarching story in more meaningful ways. The 30 hours of story alone may be exactly what players want, but when the universe around that story ties into the lore and themes of No Man’s Sky as well the whole experience is all the richer.
One other major addition deserves some extra clarification. Multiplayer has been added in the 1.3 update, but it’s not a fully-featured multiplayer that many fans are likely imagining. It’s a very light version of multiplayer that will hopefully establish a foundation onto which more complex multiplayer can be added later. Up to 16 players can find each other within the universe, but only see others as “proxy orbs” – floating orbs of light. These orbs can barely interact with each other but they do share voice chat if nearby.
Hello Games has published a very lengthy page of patch notes for Atlas Rising and detail-oriented No Man’s Sky players should check out the update’s full offerings. For others who are simply curious, or unsure what to expect, here’s a shorter (but still lengthy) list of major changes and feature additions provided on No Man’s Sky‘s Steam page:
- 30 hours of branching story and deeper lore
- Procedurally generated guild missions
- Much deeper interstellar trading
- Star Systems have varying wealth, conflict and economies
- Overhauled Space combat controls, weapons, and AI
- Portal stargates enable quick travel
- Terrain manipulation for more complex bases
- New farming and mining interactions bring increased depth
- Increased biome variety and Rare exotic biomes
- Analysis visor & discovery improvements
- Galaxy map and many other UI improvements
- New S Class ship designs
- Low altitude flight and the ability to crash your ship
- Crashed Freighters to salvage on planets
- Joint exploration
The Atlas Rising patch is the culmination of a year of post-launch development for No Man’s Sky. The efforts of the full team at Hello Games has gone into evolving the game beyond what was available at launch.
As positive as the launch of this huge update should be for No Man’s Sky and its community, there is still a negative stigma around the game. Those that weren’t fans of No Man’s Sky yesterday are still very likely to not be fans of the game today. This update hopefully delivers on some of the game’s untapped potential, but it does not make it a wholly different game. This patch is a gift to those players who appreciate No Man’s Sky for what it is and want more.
No Man’s Sky is available now on PC and PlayStation 4.