Everything to Know About the No Man's Sky Data Mine

Published: August 15, 2016 1:47 PM /


No Man's Sky

no mans sky e3 walkers data mine
One of the models hiding in the No Man's Sky files.

No Man's Sky is the new big popular space simulation that everyone is talking about and it has face its fair share of criticism after its console release, and then even more following a rocky PC release. Between confusion over whether multiplayer exists in the game or not (or in what form), a reportedly poorly optimized PC port, and of course the myriad of issues that Hello Games had to put up with prior to release, the developers are likely ready for a break from it all. They will have to wait though as now more controversy has popped up after a member of NeoGAF went snooping through the game's files. Within they found some things for fans to look forward to but also some disappointments. 

One of the major highlights is that apparently, the data files indicate that the demonstration shown at E3 may have been scripted. Hello Games did a demo at E3 2015 showing off some gameplay. The understanding was that the gameplay was completely organic and randomly generated. However, files for No Man's Sky includes renders which players recognized from the E3 2015 demo, and are even kept in a file called "E3 2015". You can view the demo on YouTube here. Starting at about 2:27, developer Sean Murray says that he is picking a planet at "random", implying that this is an entirely new planet (there are indications later that at the very least this build was made to ensure a beacon was nearby, but not that the planet was pre-generated).


In the trailer, players can see the sentinel walkers, which appear in the files, as well as certain ship models. Not all the models seem to show up in the E3 2015 demo, though. Further digging shows several "trigger" programs in the "E3 2015" folder. One NeoGAF user pointed out that it seems to match up with what is seen in the demo, and that may indicate further that the events and planet were planned ahead. Additionally, Murray states that when the game is released, players "might come across this planet", even though the servers were wiped prior to release. This may have been a last-minute decision by Hello Games though after the street date was broken on some copies.

no mans sky e3 2015 folder
A folder for triggers and spawners from the E3 2015 demo.

Along with that, the data miner pointed out that there is no mention of multiplayer nor any files that would indicate that the game is multiplayer compatible. Many players have remained confused about whether the game has or will ever have multiplayer in the future, and it seems that originally that was to be the case. However since release Hello Games has stated that No Man's Sky is not a multiplayer experience, and some were reporting that certain copies which originally advertised multiplayer had stickers covering the icon

There is some good news and cool discoveries, though. One of the biggest finds was a look at just how long development for the game has been going on - and where it may continue to go. There are files in the game for PS3 and Xbox 360, indicating that there were likely early prototypes developed for the older systems. There is also a copyright for the shading software use dated for 2008. This could just be legacy code imported from past games, and there are traces of Half Life 2 test images in the code as well. That along with the old console files however may indicate a development time as long as eight years. This also indicates the potential for support on the Xbox One, and their Havoc license entitles them to develop for the Microsoft console as well. Other miners have discovered you can replace textures and models in the game, so some limited modding may be possible in the future. 

 Models of what could potentially have been the player character and his backpack were also found, along with a few other interesting models. Players have already found that there is no model for the player character actually in the final game, so this may have been scrapped (potentially because he looks kind of silly).

no mans sky player character model

No Man's Sky continues to garner a lot of attention as it works towards fixing up their PC port and continuing to support their heavy player traffic. Hello Games and project lead Sean Murray have yet to comment on the NeoGAF finds. 


Have a tip, or want to point out something we missed? e-mail us at [email protected] or join us on Discord!


More Info About This Game
Learn more about No Man's Sky
Game Page No Man's Sky
Hello Games
PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date
August 9, 2016 (Calendar)
Purchase (Some links may be affiliated)