The third major update to Hello Games’ space sim No Man’s Sky is now live.

Titled Atlas Rising, the update has been teased all summer with the Waking Titan ARG, which ended a week ago and gave fans of No Man’s Sky a sneak preview of what was being added to the game.

Atlas Rising is a massive update that not only improves the game’s visual and planetary biomes but also adds a ton of new content to the world of No Man’s Sky. Smaller details include crashed freighter ships on planets, new ship types and ship classes, and a terrain editing mode for your multi-tool which allows you to manipulate the ground around you to your liking.

Bigger changes include the activation of portals, one of the long lost promises by Hello Games that was not delivered at launch for the title. The portals allow you to quick travel to different planets across the galaxy, provided you are able to unlock their language, which use mysterious glyphs to activate. Unlike other features in No Man’s Sky, Hello Games specifically notes that portals and glyph sequences should be shared by the community to help others travel quickly across specific planets or points of interests, perhaps a nod to the growing No Man’s Sky community as a whole.

The implementation of Joint Exploration is a big part of that push. Players now have a chance to play No Man’s Sky with a form of multiplayer for the first time, with up to 16 players at a time interacting with each other when congregated in the same space. Players will be represented by floating orbs, and while the interaction is limited, Voice over IP (VOIP) allows proximity based voice chat with nearby players, so it is possible to gather a group of friends and interact with them in the game.

Hello Games notes that this is the “first step into the world of synchronous co-op in No Man’s Sky,” implying that future updates will add more multiplayer features to the game.

Another major change includes the new Atlas Rising storyline, which adds over 30 hours of story-based content tied to the mysteries of No Man’s Sky, including a quest and branching pathway to fully explore. The story also adds a new race of aliens to the game, and doubles the lore and interactions with in-game lore, allowing players to learn about several mysterious bits already found in No Man’s Sky, such as the origins of the Sentinels.

With this story mode, a new mission system was also added to the game, along with NPC guilds and an overhaul of the economy. The missions could range from deliveries to collection missions, typical RPG fetch quests, but the rewards are tons of credits or schematics, so depending on your play-style, they may be a new way to play No Man’s Sky over the unstructured exploration found in the game at launch.

The Atlas Rising update has gone live today, so players can download it now for both the PC and the PlayStation 4.

Quick Thoughts

It’s a damn good update, I have to say. Fulfilling some of the promises made during the pre-launch hype, improving the games look, interfaces, economy and even some control schemes with the dogfighting and mission structure, and the inclusion of a new story and rudimentary multiplayer…if nothing else, Hello Games has done everything in their power to make sure No Man’s Sky is a game that is worth playing. I can respect them for that, and give them praise for soldiering forward regardless of the game’s reception a year ago.

Will this help change the perception of No Man’s Sky? I would say yes to that because people coming into the game now will have a wholly different experience than a year ago, so the reputation can only improve at this point. 

What are your thoughts? Will these no feature bring you back into No Man’s Sky? Leave your comments below. 

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Robert Grosso

Staff Writer

A game playing, college teaching, erudite-minded scholar who happens to write some articles every so often. Have worked as a journalist, critic, educator and blogger for over five years now, with articles published (as user editorials) on Game Revolution and Giant Bomb as well as a contributor for the websites Angry Bananas and Blistered Thumbs. Now making TechRaptor my home.