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Hello Games have released the recently announced Path Finder update for their procedurally generated space exploration game No Man’s Sky. This update builds upon the features introduced in the Foundation Update released a couple of months ago. That update added base building to the game, allowing players to establish their own base on a distant planet.

Hello Games have released a new video showcasing the new mechanics and features players get to tinker around with in version 1.2, which is now live as a free update.

The Path Finder update adds a new permadeath mode to No Man’s Sky, giving death in this game another layer of finality. If you manage to make it through the new and improved survival mode and the permadeath mode, you will be awarded a few new trophies.

No Man's Sky Pathfinder 4KPlayers on the PlayStation 4 Pro will enjoy increased visual fidelity and frame rate stability with this update, improving the lighting system and patching in HDR support in 4K. PC players are also given more graphics options to tweak.

Another new addition coming to No Man’s Sky in this update are planetary vehicles you can use to explore the many planets more efficiently than before, making venturing out into the wilds less of a slog. These large cars are capable of traversing any terrain the game throws at you and can scan for nearby buildings. There are 3 unique vehicles you can build (the versatile Roamer, the huge Colossus, and the quick Nomad) each with their own strengths and weaknesses. These exocrafts can be used to play time trials made by other players, which is also a new feature introduced in patch 1.2.

No Man's Sky Path finder

You will also be able to acquire and store them on your own freighter.

In addition to the ability to own more than one starship, you will now be able to acquire ships falling in 4 broad categories:

  • Shuttles: all-rounders that aren’t necessarily bad, but they’re not great at anything either.
  • Fighters: exactly what it says on the tin. These ships are perfect for fights in space.
  • Haulers: these huge ships have very little in the way of weapons, but compensates that with large cargo holds you can use to ferry goods from station to station.
  • Explorer: these ships possess the greatest warp range of any starship in the game and will get you where you want to go faster than the other ships.

These ships will also carry an A, B, C and the “ultra rare” S class. Coming with this update is the ability to trade in your old ship for a discount on a new one.

No Man's Sky Pathfinder

When you’re out and about you will also run into more aliens who have new items for sale on a rotating stock filled with blueprints that you can buy with a new form of currency: Nanite Clusters. This item is used to buy your upgrades and can be found in abandoned locations and crates. Becoming best buds with the alien lifeforms is paramount since they only sell their best stuff to their allies. You can improve your relationships with dialogue and giving them gifts. The Vy’keen offer up new upgrades for your Multi-Tool and the Vex sell improvements for your exosuit.

The Multi-Tool system also has been reworked, dividing the different weapons up in 4 categories:

  • Pistol: good enough to keep you alive, moderately okay at mining resources.
  • Rifle: purely for fighting the sometimes hostile wildlife and the Sentinels.
  • Experimental: These weapons can scan the environment, making it easier to grab the stuff you want.
  • Alien: These Multi-Tools contain rare alien technology that gives you even more boosts.

Multi-Tool upgrades are also divided up in A, B, C, and S categories.

Both your ship’s weapons and your Multi-Tool can be upgraded to become better at doing what you need them to do. These upgrades fall into yet another few new categories:

  • Scatter Blaster: for close-range encounters. Can damage multiple enemies like a shotgun would.
  • Pulse Spitter: mid-range, has an advantage over fast-moving targets.
  • Blaze Javelin: No Man’s Sky‘s version of a sniper rifle.

And here are the upgrades for your ship:

  • Cyclotron Ballista: a hard-hitting ball of “charged particles”.
  • Positron Ejector: a weapon that sends out high damage in a wide cone.
  • Infra-Knife Accelerator: a sustained spree of rapid lasers.

No Man's Sky Pathfinder

Bases built by other players will now show up on planets you visit, and you can leave notes for other players to find if they happen to stumble on your sci-fi domicile. On PC, sharing buildings can now be done via Steam Workshop, which has been integrated into No Man’s Sky. Base builders everywhere can now add more variety to their bases with 40 new customization items and you’re able to change the building material of buildings as well.

No Man's Sky Pathfinder

And for those that don’t really enjoy the game’s (still somewhat stiff) mechanics, you can now compose and save screenshots in the new photo mode. This mode allows you to change the time of day, pause the game to set up the shot and muck about with the lighting system to get your new desktop wallpaper. Any screenshot you make can be shared with the No Man’s Sky community. Yes, there are filters.

No Man's Sky Pathfinder

The Discovery menu, which allows you to rename your discoveries to various obscenities because this is the internet, will now show your home planet on the galaxy map so it’s easy to find your way back. This menu now also has additional details on the atmosphere, wildlife, and terrain so you can prepare for your next scavenging hunt. You can now also mark previously visited planets with a waypoint.

While you can read the full patch notes here, but here is a brief summary of some of the smaller changes:

  • You can now skip the black bars you get when you reach a milestone, making one of the game’s most annoying features a thing of the past. I wouldn’t have minded the option to switch them off entirely, though.
  • Text speed has been increased.
  • A mission log has been added that allow you to more easily track your objectives.
  • Flight in lower atmospheres has been adjusted and improved.
  • Everything, from your ships to your exocrafts to your freighters to your bases can be renamed to whatever you like.

Once again: this is not the full list of changes. If you want to look at all of the smaller adjustments and tweaks you can go here. The patch is now live on PlayStation 4 (regular and Pro) and PC.

Quick Take

It’s good to see the team led by the polarizing Sean Murray making an honest attempt at rebuilding bridges with the (understandably) upset fanbase. For all people’s suspicions of them running off with the considerable profit, the UK-based developer has shown a willingness to listen to their community with the last 2 updates. It’s just a damn shame that the game got released before it was done at a price point that implies a certain level of quality. Still, I’m looking forward to seeing where they’re going to take this.

What do you think of the Path Finder update? If you played it yet: what’s been your experience? Let us know in the comment section down below!

More About This Game

Chris Anderson

Staff Writer

I've been playing games since I was just barely able to walk, and I never really stopped playing them. When I'm not fulfilling my duties as senior staff writer and tech reviewer, I'm either working on music, producing one of two podcasts or doing freelance work.

  • ParasiteX

    Still priced at €60… still as pretentious and over-hyped as before.. no thanks.

  • SomeCollegeStudent

    Maybe I’ll be it after a couple more updates.

  • FlamingoJet

    This is not even half of Sean Muray said was going to be in the game.

    Have they done anything to adjust the grinding, dear lord, the grind.

  • Chris Anderson

    The game is 24 dollars on Amazon.

  • ParasiteX

    PS4 version sure. But the Steam version is still priced at €60…

  • Chris Anderson

    Well that can be solved by not buying it on Steam, although your options are really limited if you don’t own a PS4.

    60 is a bit too much for a game still in development, but I feel like the 25 dollar price point is really good value for what it is.

  • ParasiteX

    Well.. that still leaves the price tag for a PS4, as not everyone owns one.

    And on Steam the price is ludicrous. As there are far better and cheaper titles that does similar to NMS.
    Like Elite or Subnautica.

    In fact, i believe Elite is on PS4 now if i’m not mistaken. If one is looking for a solid space experience. Then that is a much better title to grab than NMS.

    And sure. $25 is an alright price for a half-finished indie title. Still doesn’t change the fact they tried to hype it up and sell it as a AAA game at launch. Which does leave quite a bitter aftertaste. And there is no forgiving that level of deception.

  • BlueBoomPony

    I was one of the *highly* disappointed people, but I’m amazed they are at least trying to improve it. They could have taken the money and gotten new identities. 😀 Looks like they finally delivered the different ship classes, and they seem to be addressing some specific complaints.

    I haven’t played the game since before the Foundation update, so I’m willing to give it a go again. I mean, I own it, I night as well tinker with these new updates. As for the grind, I think there’s some sort of automated mining widget now?

    I was a huge fan of the Mako in Mass Effect 1, so the vehicles are appealing.

  • BlueBoomPony

    I tried Elite and didn’t get the whole combat thing. I’m in some hyper advanced starship of The Future and I’m still pointing my nose at enemies and shooting like I’m in a WWII era dogfight? So the technology of guided missiles, phased array energy weapons and computer targeting somehow got lost during humanity’s expansion into space? Nothing new came along? Hell, I should be able to just release a small swarm of combat drones and let them deal with it.

    Maybe I didn’t play long enough?

  • ParasiteX

    It’s mostly a design decision i guess to gimp the Yaw axis to make it feel more “flight simmy”. I haven’t played it as much as i like. But i generally have no problem with the flight mechanics as i’m fairly used to it from playing other flight sims.
    It probably feels more intuitive if you play using a joystick.
    But if you want maybe a sort of lore explanation for why they would do that in advanced space ship. I guess you could say they optimize the trusters to maximize pitch. Instead of dividing it up equally with yaw. Or some silly crap like that. Maybe the devs wrote a better explanation somewhere…

    Where it differs greatly from flight sims though, is in the fact you have 6 degrees of freedom. Able to strafe around or even go into full reverse maneuvers. Something you can’t do in NMS
    Which also makes dual stick setups far more interesting for maximum control. And main reason i haven’t played as much as i like, as i keep putting off getting a second left handed joystick.

    Still, whatever you may think of Elites flight mechanics. It still beats NMS by miles as a space combat/exploration game. As NMS space combat is bare bones as fuck.. it’s even more simplistic than original space sims like Wing Commander… it’s just down right shit.

    If more traditional space controls is your thing. Then check out Star Citizen. Still some ways before it’s finished. But they usually have a free weekend when they have some sort of event or convention. So you can try out the space combat. But i don’t expect the Online “MMO” part of it to be finished until around 2019. We might see the single player campaign sometime this year though.

  • Chris Anderson

    Elite: Dangerous literally has combat drones you can send out to help you during fights. I’ve not used them myself so I can’t really say if they’re any good.

  • Robert Grosso

    Depends on priority of what you need.

    The entire game is always going to be a grind, like most games are. The question is what are you grinding for has a lot more options. Is it to build a base? star-hop? Survival?

    That is more or less what you have to define for yourself.

  • FlamingoJet

    Your comment seems to insinuate that I have an issue with some grind, I don’t. But dear lord the grind is harsh with this one.

    They need to shorten it dramatically.

  • Robert Grosso

    Actually it’s moreso the vagueness of what kind of grind you are trying to do.

    When you say shorten it, for example, what do you mean exactly?

  • FlamingoJet

    When it was first released you had to grind to do EVERYTHING and ANYTHING.

    You ground up to get money for a new shop and it was almost immediately outclassed rending all your work kaput and it’s back to the races and the grind.

    So BORING.