Can a New Patch Save No Man’s Sky?

//Can a New Patch Save No Man’s Sky?

Can a New Patch Save No Man’s Sky?

New options and modes appear in the gigantic Foundations Update.

Amid heated controversy over false promises, an irritatingly quiet relationship with the community, and a rapidly decreasing player base, No Man’s Sky has released its first big update. Contained in it are new modes, base building, and general fixes for a large number of bugs and problems the title shipped with. It’s obvious that many of these improvements are an attempt to deliver the game that fans expected nearly five months ago, but is it too little, too late?

First, the official patch notes, in sections as the original document is massive:


Welcome to the Foundation Update. It adds the foundations of base building, and is a foundation for things to come. This is the first of many free updates.

[su_spoiler title=”Game Modes” style=”fancy”]
Explorers can now decide to play with different rule sets, across three game modes:
• Normal mode is the original chilled exploration experience
• Creative mode allows players to explore the universe without limits, and build a huge base
• Survival mode really changes the game, creating a much more challenging endurance experience
Death quotes: prepare to see these a lot in survival mode.

[su_spoiler title=”Base Building” style=”fancy”]
• Claim your home planet by finding an uninhabited base and creating your own, fully bespoke outpost.
• Construct your homestead for shelter, using modular structures and decorations, replicated from resources gathered while exploring
• Recruit alien lifeforms to help research new technology. Farming, engineer, weapons and science specialists are hirable from Space Stations
• Use Terminus Teleporters in Space Stations to teleport to and from your base at will Expand your base with storage containers to stockpile precious resources and rare products
• Find an even more beautiful location and you can simply dismantle your previous homestead to refund all of the spent resources

[su_spoiler title=”Farming” style=”fancy”]
• Cultivate biome dependent crops outdoors, or inside your base or Freighter using Hydroponic Labs
• Plants grow over time and offer a steady supply of resources to be harvested
• Hire a farming specialist to research and grow ten new plant types, and discover new resource elements

[su_spoiler title=”Making Camp” style=”fancy”]
• Players can now build essential equipment in the field on-planet
• Place save points anywhere in the world, crucial for Survival mode
• Automated Harvesters gather resources from mineral deposits in your absence
• Waypoints can be placed and colour-coded to allow explorers to return to discoveries
• Communications Terminals allow explorers to leave sub-space messages for others to find
• Discover nearby mineral deposits, uninhabited bases or suit upgrades with the use of a Signal Scanner

[su_spoiler title=”Freighters” style=”fancy”]
• Purchase huge interstellar Freighters at great expense, and then summon them from anywhere in the galaxy
• Resources can be teleported to your Freighter while on-planet, ideal for stockpiling goods for trading
• Customise the inside of your Freighter within the Base Building section
• Create extended cargo holds to expand your vessel’s capacity, and grow crops of rare resources on board
• Transport your Freighter and its cargo to different, more economically favourable systems to maximise your earnings
• Use the new recruitment system to crew your Freighter with Engineer, Farmer, Weapons and Science specialists to help research new technologies

[su_spoiler title=”New Resources and Technology” style=”fancy”]
• Discover new biome and star specific resource types as you explore the universe
• Craft the new Advanced Mining Laser and Hazmat gauntlets through base building and use them to gather rare resources
• Research and discover dozens of new products, building components and technologies

[su_spoiler title=”User Interface” style=”fancy”]
• The user interface has been improved to accommodate the stress of Survival Mode where a small inconvenience can be the difference between life and death.
• The intelligent Quick Access Menu streamlines Inventory access.
• Products can be stacked up to five times per inventory slot, resulting in increased starship, base container and freighter storage capacity
• New arrow indicators have been added to emphasise shield and life support changes more clearly, to aid decision making
• Scanned Primary resource elements have been given specific symbols to allow for easier differentiation
• View your current objective at any time quickly by pressing left on the D-Pad, or H on your keyboard
• The UI has been visually improved by removing colour tint and other artifacts
• Early warning indicators have been added to starship cockpits to notify explorers of inbound Pirate activity
• Red cockpit warnings indicate more clearly when Pulse Drive is unavailable

[su_spoiler title=”TAA and Motion Blur” style=”fancy”]
• Motion blur has been added to accentuate the feeling of speed, particularly when in-flight. This can be switched on or off via the Options menu
• Temporal Anti Aliasing (TAA) removes jagged edges effectively and has been added as an option to improve visuals clarity
• Screenshot of new TAAScreenshot of original TAA Texture streaming can be enabled, allowing minimum spec PCs to run the game more smoothly (accessible from settings xml)
• Terrain generation and colourisation algorithms have been revised to produce more aesthetically interesting planets


General Gameplay
• Fixed technology becoming instantly fully charged when repaired
• Fixed ship appearing on incorrect pad in space station after loading
• Added interactable objects that required certain tech to collect
• Added shootable objects that require certain tech to mine
• Rebalanced resource availability and technology charge requirements
• Fixed initial game flow – where travelling to space too quickly after visiting the monolith could prevent the first atlas station notification appearing
• Prevented player being prompted to scan for buildings before leaving the system after visiting the monolith
• Prevented laser and melee attacks while in space from attempting to edit terrain
• Improved calculation of resources received when mining terrain
• Renamed Signal Scanners to Signal Boosters
• Signal booster objects updated to search for playable bases, suit upgrade pods, and mineable resources
• Removed signal booster from being distributed on terrain, as player can now build them
• Improved accuracy of environment detection, fixing cases where it rained inside caves
• Fixed galactic waypoints not loading correctly across saves
• Removed atlas pass v1 requirement from doors in stations
• Suit upgrade pods are no longer spawned in stations
• Suit upgrade pods can now only be used once
• Fixed collision in anomaly that was causing issues when exiting larger ships
• Increased the number of different NPC character models generated per system
• Fixed the game always remaining in day time for players who began their save prior to patch 1.03
• Fixed a potential crash in foliage instance renderer

[su_spoiler title=”Localisation” style=”fancy”]
• Fixed stats page in asian languages
• Fixed multiple issues with asian language formatting
• Multiple improvements and fixes to localisation text in all languages

[su_spoiler title=”UI” style=”fancy”]
• Added new icons for specific types of primary resources
• Fixed health bars not appearing on some targets
• Added hazard and life support drain indicators
• Fixed mission messages not appearing in a timely fashion
• Beacons now notify the player that they will save the game
• Fixed crash when creature IK animations were updated under certain conditions on the discovery screen
• Improved navigation in discovery UI
• Massive speed improvements to browsing huge discovery lists
• Increased size of discovery storage
• Added option to load “Earliest” previous save in Options menu
• Fixed weapon naming
• Added icon to remind players of the reload button when weapon is empty
• Multiple fixes for viewing discoveries

[su_spoiler title=”PS4″ style=”fancy”]
• Added photo mode
• Large optimisations to the engine to accommodate base building

[su_spoiler title=”PC” style=”fancy”]
• Added support for up to 8 mouse buttons
• Fixed better order position history for mouse smoothing
• Fixed bug where setting gamma to zero gave a fully bright rather than fully dark image
• Fixed hard-limiting on save sizes, with appropriate warning about free space on boot
• Player is now notified when shaders are being loaded
• Fixed occasional crash on exit
• Fixed performance of trail renderer for some AMD cards
• Large optimisations to the engine to accommodate base building

[su_spoiler title=”Generation” style=”fancy”]
• Added biome specific plants
• Adopted new method of distributing resource plants on terrain, for more lifelike clumps of plants
• Improved distribution of plant life across all terrain types
• Introduced visual differentiation of red, green and blue star systems
• Introduced new mineable terrain resources found only in red, green and blue star systems
• Reduced average building frequency
• Introduced planets with elevated building density
• Introduced planets with no buildings or sentient life
• Increased the proportion of lush and tropical planets
• Decreased the proportion of lifeless planets
• Fixed bug where multiple ships could appear, overlapping, at the player’s start scene
• Prevented certain building types being incorrectly placed underwater
• Prevented multiple buildings occasionally being placed in overlapping positions
• Prevented buildings occasionally being placed intersecting with the terrain
• Improved and altered per-planet terrain resource generation, improving gameplay and visuals

[su_spoiler title=”Creatures” style=”fancy”]
• Fixed elevation cache mismatches, causing errors in creature knowledge and pathing
• Fixed slow memory leak in creature role allocation
• Improved creature animation speeds
• Fixed issues where some creatures turns had the incorrect frame count
• Fixed occasional crash when interacting with creatures

[su_spoiler title=”Atmospherics” style=”fancy”]
• Increased proportion of vibrant blue skies
• Corrected cloud levels for clear skies
• Improved average cloud level settings
• Fixed cloud rendering while flying in your ship
• Improved atmosphere depth when transitioning to space
• Increased fidelity of atmosphere rendering on nearest planet
• Improved atmospheric fog as you fly to a planet
• Improved fog method for planets seen on the horizon

[su_spoiler title=”Terrain” style=”fancy”]
• Improved terrain generation algorithms
• Improved and extended blend areas between different terrain noise types
• Terrains now generate more open spaces
• Smaller features now appear at nearer lods to improve visuals in the distance
• Fixed objects being placed on incorrect terrain material types
• Improved resolution of distant planet terrain
• Decreased differences between planet as seen from space and actual planet terrain
• Fixed seams on planets when seen from space
• Improvements to terrain material selection and terrain material blending
• Terrain generation priority and cost calculation improvements
• Fixed terrain generation angle calculations, which would previously prevent nearest region being generated first
• We now generate caves on lower terrain lods to decrease visual differences in lower detail terrain
• Introduced more varied and vibrant colouring to terrain for each biome
• Decreased frequency of brown terrain colour selections
• Changed texture scales to improve transition between terrain lods
• Improved terrain colour combinations to add variety and better match terrain contouring
• Improved terrain texture blending method to better retain vibrant colours
• Improved settings for hue, saturation and value noise variation on terrain
• Fixed a number of issues causing holes to be seen in the planet terrain
• Fixed occasional crash when mining terrain

[su_spoiler title=”Visuals” style=”fancy”]
• Fixed colour of muzzle flashes on player weapons
• Added muzzle flashes to ship weapons
• Added cockpit lighting for damage and weapon firing
• Added debris to freighter explosion effect
• Improved freighter cargo explosions
• Improved photon cannon hit and space explosion effects
• Improved turret explosion effect
• Improved grass colour selection
• Improved grass colouring method to match underlying terrain colour
• Improved grass placement to match gradient of terrain, and rocky terrain slope patches
• Improved lighting on grass
• Improved alpha cutoffs and blending for grass in the distance
• Improved colouring method for on-planet buildings
• Fixed “pop” in lighting when flying between planets
• Fixed incorrect lighting seen in shadow areas
• Improved lighting method when rendering tree leaves
• Fixed procedural texturing on objects with multiple overlapping textures
• Fixed size of certain texture atlas normal maps
• Fixed texture scaling on asteroids
• Zinc plant is now more obvious when it has been gathered
• Fixed occasional rendering errors due to precision on cockpit during warp
• Fixed pulse lines not appearing when pulse driving out from planet atmosphere
• Fixed shadowing artefacts on imposters

[su_spoiler title=”Space” style=”fancy”]
• Improved asteroids to allow much denser fields
• Improved explosion effects
• Fixed scale of moons on the space map
• Added freighter groups to the space map
• Changed distribution of resources in asteroids
• AI ships will now clear asteroids in their path
• Planets are now scannable from space to see their resources

[su_spoiler title=”Space Combat” style=”fancy”]
• Fixed bounty targets warping out too soon
• Improved HUD indicators in space combat
• Added damaged ship effect on AI starships
• Added formation flying
• Improved locking on passive starships
• Improved AI combat flight patterns
• Added new ship weapon technology
• Holding brake whilst turning now activates drift for fast turns
• Improved AI ship freighter attacking
• Improved freighter targeting code when under attack by enemy ships

[su_spoiler title=”Freighters” style=”fancy”]
• Fixed pulse drive to prevent travel through freighters
• Improved docking code
• Added hangar to the lead freighter
• Added docking in freighters
• Added icon to accessible freighter hangars
• Added colouring to cargo drops to identify what is in them
• You can now only pick up cargo drops that will fit in your inventory
• Added auxiliary freight ships to freighter groups
• Added alert lights and alarm audio for when freighters are in combat
• Improved turret lights and explosions
• Improved muzzle flashes on freighter turrets
• Added indicator of cargo contents
• Freighter Commanders now give rewards for rescuing them from pirate attack
• Fixed collision on freighter cargo containers

[su_spoiler title=”Audio” style=”fancy”]
• Updated the lush ambience to make the wind sounds less noisy
• Ambient background fauna now checks for the presence of creatures
• Added rain on foliage
• Added rain on ship
• Added freighter specific footsteps
• When on a dead planet, no music will play
• Round table prop now plays an appropriate sound
• Added more music to the loading sequence and game start
• Added audio to new base building props
• Created sounds for new base building props
• Added audio to freighter doors and internal freighter ambiences
• Added freighter explosions
• Added freighter alarm
• Added ambient radio comms when approaching a freighter
• Fixed missing sounds when in a space station due to the mix settings
• Multi-tool upgrades now affect audio
• Lots of minor mix changes
• Changed some compression settings for PS4 audio to make the sub-channel audio play more reliably



After pouring through the patch notes, it’s obvious that this patch addresses a huge number of concerns the player base has expressed since launch. In fact, while the addition of base building is a very welcome touch to a game that ran close to feeling devoid of activities, the addition of a much-needed creative mode does wonders for the enjoyment of the game. As mentioned in our previous review, the constant need to resupply and carefully monitor resource levels may have been fun for many players, but it greatly hindered the exploration aspect of the game. A ‘free’ mode that removes these restrictions and allows for much more relaxed gameplay will, most likely, become the default setting for many players. On the other end of the spectrum, the brutally unforgiving ‘Survival’ mode pushes the resource aspect of the game to the extreme.

Base building and management, while something that absolutely should have been included in the launch version, allows players to construct homes on any planet they wish, complete with farms, hired help, and instant teleportation. While the actual construction is a bit clunky, the resulting thrill of colonizing a planet and setting up a home base is very much worth it. Thankfully, there is no penalty for moving a base as well, so even adventurers with deep wanderlust can reuse the same base on every new planet. There is also a new camp function, which helps gather resources and provide save points for long-term adventures. As the initial game often penalized players for exploring past their limits, this is a welcome addition and encourages more than simply shuttling the spaceship between resource nodes.

Adding in the new additions and a reduced price (down to $25 in many stores) No Man’s Sky is slowly becoming the game that launched a huge amount of hype, and veering away from the game that sparked a great amount of discourse and resent. Claiming that this patch is ‘the first of many’ free updates is a bold claim for a studio widely seen as misrepresenting its product, but if it can deliver, No Man’s Sky may eventually become the epic space adventure it was advertised as.

Zack Bolien

Musician. Artist. Writer. Cat wrangler.
Zack Bolien

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By | 2016-12-02T18:39:37-04:00 December 2nd, 2016|Categories: Video Games|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

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