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Update Brings Space Cars, "Indoor Storm Ambience" to 'No Man's Sky'

It's still hard to know what the future of the space exploration game is, but each new update changes the feeling, slightly, of these alien worlds.

The patch notes for No Man's Sky's new "Pathfinder" update tell two distinct stories, laid out alongside each other.

The first begins with a rusty red background. Elegant formatting. It, like the game's previous updates, offers a mocked up sci-fi book cover showing three strange vehicles parked outside a colourful planetary base. One floats above the ground, four "legs" splayed like a pond skimmer. Another looks like a slot car with strange spherical wheels. In the background, a gigantic, eight-wheeled cargo truck looms. Vehicles have come to No Man's Sky, and they are as visually striking and well realised as the rest of the game's look.


They form the backbone of one of the stories told by the patch notes: Explorers leaving their carefully constructed bases in crafts their scientists have built for them. Eight wheels rumbling through the dust of undiscovered planets, little ships skimming across the surfaces of alien oceans.

Other additions in this patch tell this story too: the number of parts used to build bases have been doubled, and the bases themselves can now be shared with other players across the galaxy. The patch notes are unclear as to how exactly this works, but the fantasy, I suppose, is that of driving your vehicle over a low rise and seeing a base laid out before you in the shelter of a valley, then taking a dramatic picture in the game's new photo mode. A record of something constructed by another person and left here for you to find.

The game's ships have also seen alterations: their types are now more clearly communicated, and each one holds a specific advantage for either a shuttle, hauler, explorer or fighter archetype. Multitools have seen similar changes.

If this first story the patch notes tell is about the fantasy the game seeks to provide, the second story is both more mundane, and—in a sense—more magical.

The game has received PS4 Pro support. Permadeath mode has been added. There is a "more detailed rain system" and "indoor storm ambience."

"Reduced camera shake whilst taking hits in space combat," say the patch notes, matter-of-factly. "Recruit NPCs have more descriptive names."


In the way all games are, No Man's Sky is being tweaked and altered on large and small scales. What makes it particularly evocative in this case is that the thing being altered is an entire universe.

"How does the universe feel?" The designers might ask themselves.

"In what ways does the universe need to change?"

And though the answer is incomplete, as it always is, a change is made.

The rain falling on a million alien planets, under the light of distant suns, sounds a little better.