Everything you wanted to know about No Man’s Sky

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Nomansky

No Man’s Sky is a terribly ambitious game in the vein of Elite and its sequels – it’s all about exploration in an unbelievably vast, procedurally generated world, or indeed, multitude of worlds. Still, it’s generating a lot of confusion. Redditor vyper248 wants to put an end to much of that confusion, and has compiled just about every little bit of info on the game you need to know, from a variety of sources.

Here it all is. Credit to vyper248 and a rather detailed reddit thread.

General:

  • It’s a science fiction game
  • Coming to PC, but will be a timed exclusive for the PS4
  • Almost everything is Procedurally Generated. Ships, Plants, Animals, Planets etc, meaning there are going to be a very large number of variations of each of those things. All the variations will come from a base model though, and there will most likely be a lot of base models in each category.
  • No saved games. The game will be saved all the time as you go along, but you can’t save and load games. If you die, then you will have to rebuild from where you are in the universe. You’ll never have to go back to the start and try again
  • Uses an alternative periodic table to help create environmental diversity
  • There will be a narrative, with a reason for the player’s presence and their activities, and details of various races that preceded you. You won’t be told the narrative, it’s up to you to explore and piece it all together and come up with your own interpretations
  • The Atlas will be an important part of the lore
  • There will be an antagonist of sorts – the Malevolent Force
  • Don’t expect cutscenes, dialogues or much text within the game.
  • More extensive terrain deformation, ground vehicles and a more traditional multiplayer will come later
  • The only release date hint has been that it is “Coming Soon-ish” (as of E3). There have been no confirmations as to what year it will be released, so 2015 that most websites mention is just speculation right now. So they know what their release date is, but they don’t want to announce it until they are sure they can meet it

Gameplay:

  • Can be affiliated with different factions, however you’ll never have indications of this. It’ll simply be that if you destroy ships of one faction, then it won’t like you, or you could help it and it will
  • If you have a good status and affiliation, then you will be able to call on AI wingmen (Using D-pad)
  • The alternative periodic table ties directly into the game’s use of resources, which are used to improve your avatar’s suit and your weapon, and can be traded at space stations to earn money to upgrade your craft, or buy a new one
  • Resources can be combined
  • There won’t be any quests or missions to go on. It’ll be up to you to decide what you want to do. The hope is that your natural curiosity and the richness of the worlds presented will be enough to keep you interested – this is a game about exploration
  • Fun is put above scientific accuracy. Flying between planets won’t be long and monotonous, and neither will flying out of an atmosphere
  • There is an in-game encyclopaedia where you can view all the rare creatures you’ve scanned once uploaded
  • It’s basically up to you how you play. The universe is a living breathing place that just works. Shipping lanes, trade routes, freighters, space stations. Planets have ecologies.
  • Not an MMO. Everyone will be very far away from each other. But you will feel the impact of other players
  • It’s been mentioned that you can run into other players, but it’ll be very rare, and the details are very unclear right now. For example “there is the ability to communicate and work with other people” is something Sean said. He also mentions that he is inspired by how Journey and Dark Souls do it. So if you run into another player, you won’t know who they are.
  • It’ll always be first person
  • This isn’t a game about staying on one planet and setting up shop, this isn’t core to the game. You can stay on one planet if you want though, it’s up to you
  • There will be a compelling reason to head towards the centre of the galaxy, as well as an ending that will provide you with a sense of closure. But there will be a reason to continue playing after that ending
  • You don’t have an inventory, but you do have a sort of bank account.
  • Any employment in the game will net you money and you can use this to buy equipment
  • There will be ancient artefacts for you to find which could reveal the secrets of the universe.
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Universe:

  • Same universe for everyone
  • Everyone starts in their own solar system, so people will be very far away from one another to begin with.
  • Only significant events are shared between people. So for example, killing a single animal won’t be shared. It’ll always be dead for you though. But if you wipe out an entire species, then that would be shared with everyone else
  • There is an offline mode, which would mean that you wouldn’t see anyone else’s discoveries
  • Made up of multiple galaxies
  • The planets within the universe will have a 10% chance of having life on them, with 90% of them having no life on at all. Of the 10% that does have life, 90% of that will be primitive and boring. So the lush garden worlds with more evolved life forms on will be rare
  • There will be lots of barren planets, but they can still have valuable resources on
  • Planets will generally only have one type of resource on them

Ships:

  • You start with a lifepod ship, without a hyperdrive. So you’ll have to get money to buy a better ship before you can really begin exploring the universe
  • Can enter a ship almost instantly, without any laborious animations. (using Triangle)
  • You don’t get massive ships – you will stay in quite small ships
  • You can only buy ships that are docked at space stations
  • There are three main classes of ships: Fighter, Trader and Explorer
  • Each class has multiple prototypes
  • Fighters are light and symmetrical
  • Trader craft tend to be bulkier and slower, but with heavier weapons
  • Explorer ships will have much better hyperdrives and stealth capabilities, allowing pacifists to run from every fight
  • Each ship will have between one and three different armaments attached, and you’ll be able to upgrade them.
  • Enhancements are hinted to be more interesting than simply more power or a faster rate of fire
  • They are not defined in the game as a specific class, but it should be obvious by the visible hints what a craft is designed for
  • A certain type of ship doesn’t restrict you to a certain path, but there are of course some ships more suited to certain tasks than other. But you’ll always be able to change to a different type of ship
  • The cockpit of the ship will be the lifepod, so if the ship is destroyed then you go back to a lifepod and you’ve lost that ship.
  • You will have the equivalent of a whistle to call your ship over, so long as it’s close by
  • After a while, the wear and tear on your craft is clearly visible, helping you to form an emotional attachment to your beaten-up old ships
  • There’s a generous targeting system that only requires you to point your nose near a bogey to loose off a missile or two – you don’t need to be really accurate
  • Can “pull low above the surface and climb out in mid-air, before returning to the cockpit and flying around some more”
  • Landing will be simple and straightforward
  • Space combat will be arcadey
  • Better ships will be found further into the galaxy, where combat will also be harder
  • Fuel will be really expensive, and is used to travel from one solar system to the next, like a hyper jump.
  • A quick and cheap way to get fuel is to go down to a planet and do some mining, but you can also make money other ways and use that buy fuel.
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Planets:

  • Planet sized planets
  • On the ground you can have a jetpack, which will need to be earned. (Controlled with the X button)
  • You’ll have a minimap which will show points of interest, such as resource rich areas and landmarks that you or others have uploaded. Won’t know what it is until you get there though
  • Other points of interest include crashed ships, beacons, something to discover like mountain ranges, a vast lake, new species of creature.
  • Can name things that you discover first, such as plants, planets, creatures etc. But they will all have latin names by default, which will appear larger than the player names
  • Suits and weapons can only be upgraded at trading posts on planets
  • Upgrades include allowing you to breathe underwater for longer, or survive in toxic environments etc
  • You will have a multi-tool, which will act as a scanner, weapon and mining tool. (Square to use scanner)
  • There are grenade like plasma balls
  • You can blow holes in things
  • There will be combat situations on planets
  • You have a compass (the heart in the middle of the screen at the top)
  • There are procedurally generated rooms
  • The suit nullifies gravity.

Last Updated: September 2, 2014

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • Spaffy

    No missions…
    Dunno how long I’ll play if my only purpose is exploration.
    Guess it’s a bit like Rust.

    • Hammersteyn

      At least it’s something new. And it’s going to PC too. Can’t say that about many other Sony games.

      • Spaffy

        I’ll still get it, but later.
        Not on the top of my list.

    • AmiiHalildot

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    • loftie

      Mission 1: You make the mission.
      Mission 2: See mission 1. 🙂

      • Spaffy

        Can be said for any open world game.
        I just hope it doesn’t get old quick

  • Hammersteyn

    So it’s like Proteus but much bigger and with hyperdrives? Proteus is weird, I’m still trying to figure that out. Although I did find a hippie drum circle or something and things went bat shit crazy after I stepped in the middle of it.

    • Kensei Seraph

      Arcanum taught me that stepping into circles is always a bad idea.

  • Sir Rants A Lot: On Pandora

    Name things you find first?

    I see many dickbutts and stuff floating around in this universe

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    I really hope they pull all of this off. Procedural generation can get very boring very quickly.

  • Rock789

    This game’s interested me since I saw a vid of it for the first time. They are certainly ambitious with it. I really hope they can pull it off, because this could be such an epic title if its done right.

  • loftie

    cant fkin wait anymore. want now

  • Travis

    It sounds amazing 🙂

  • Kensei Seraph

    Sounds pretty good.

  • Sageville

    Awesome breakdown Mr Tim!

    Thanks

  • Aaron Lucas

    I cannot wait for this! What would be cool though is if you could pump tunes in your ship, a la Guardians of the Galaxy. Would love to fly through space listening to Bassnectar or Blackmill.

  • Stan_73

    I really wish they would add pilotable capital ships or even some moderate sized ships like frigates or something still looks good though.

  • Toar

    %90 inhospitable planets %10 with Life is not reasurring. There needs to be way more density % say 50/50 or %70 Life %30 Barren. Having such a high % Barren is going to lead to lots of disappointment, constant refueling just to find another planet. Yeah it will make the %10 Rarish when you find it but when you kill things its permanent, there’s already alot of No in the interviews about what a player can do. No Man’s Sky seriously needs to up the % of Life Planets other wise it will risk getting boring quicker then it’s worth. Procedual Geberation runs a high risk of monotone + with not much to do + %90 Barren planets is making me nervous on how this game is going to turn out.

  • Toar

    Barren Planet, Barren Planet, Barren Planet, Not much to do in general, Barren Planet, Life, Barren Planet, Barren Planet, Not much to do, Barren Planet, Barren Planet, Not much to do game mechanics, Barren Planet, Life, Permy Death Creatures, Barren Planet, Barren Planet, Life, Monotone starts setting in, Barren Planet, Barren Planet, Barren Planet……….ZzzzZZZZZzzzz It’s running a high risk of becoming batshit boring It needs more things to do.

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