No Man's Sky - Exploring a 60s-Scifi-cover themed universe (post-release thread)

I missed the first two so I’ll be checking those out for sure

I realize I’m probably asking a pretty dumb question, but - do I want to play No Man’s Sky? I guess what I’m trying to figure out is whether it’s worth the time investment since I can play it through Game Pass, but I’ve found it difficult figuring out exactly what the game is all about, or maybe what itch it’s meant to scratch. I know there’s exploration and there’s combat but I guess I’m wondering in which direction it’s weighted, if in fact it leans more toward one than the other. Or to put it another way, if I dig the world building in the Mass Effect games, the mystery of Outer Wilds, and the exploration and openness of Elite Dangerous, will I find something to appreciate here? Also, how busted is it these days or is it pretty solid at this point?

I’d say it focuses much more on exploration. A little combat is thrown in for flavor, but that’s it.

As for bugs, there are a bunch of them, but the only game-breaking bugs I know of are related to working on story mission stuff or Expeditions milestones while in a player group (or even just with other players in the same lobby).

It’s kind of like Minecraft. Relaxing exploration, lots of digging/gathering resources, with a bit of combat and base building. Except here the ‘biomes’ are different procedural planets you visit. Obviously there’s more to the game, but that’s the kind of vibe it has I think.

It is very immersive (especially in VR) and kind of unique. Not for everyone, but for me one of the all-time favourites. :)

That’s interesting, I had not heard the Minecraft comparison and I don’t think I knew there was base building, sounds like it might be a relaxing time.

It’s very relaxing. Combat is an afterthought, crafting and resource gathering are easy, and the flight model is designed such that the average cat could probably navigate space quite easily. It’s a game about being in, and exploring, a vast universe - emphasis on vast. The comparison to Minecraft is quite apt, with much less combat and obviously many more worlds compared to Minecraft’s one.

It couldn’t ever be my main game for great stretches of time, but when I get the itch, my god I enjoy it. It’s one of those games where you always have a dozen each of short, medium and long term goals. And when you get fed up of your own creations there’s a universe of other players’ bases to explore within very easy reach.

I very highly recommend it.

Jumping in to third the Minecraft comparison. There are more goals to work towards which is nice but overall it is the same seeing the sights, resource collection, and building cycle.

No Man’s Sky is a fantastic game to just chill out and play. It’s a staple of mine for chipping away at big podcast backlogs.

It’s very easy to get stuff done in No Man’s Sky. There’s so little grind compared to e.g. Elite: Dangerous.

Well before I hit 70 hours of playtime on my main save, I had done all quests, had several bases, S-rated pretty much everything, a nice ship & freighter, a big settlement, etc.

The flip side is that I have 100+ hours. I have most of the base missions done, a nice A class ship and freighter, a B rated settlement that is finally making dirt, and a serviceable but not great base. I have too much fun jumping around and searching for new ships to deal with the other stuff.

Cool guys, I certainly appreciate all the feedback. So, one more question: is it worthwhile to start with the expeditions that are available now? I’d kind of like to pick up a Normandy but I know these expeditions are only around for a short while, are they difficult or fairly newb friendly?

I think they are newb friendly. At worse you will get a few guiding quests at start but fail to finish the expedition in the time given. At that point your save becomes a normal save and you go about your business.

The “best practice” advice over on the unofficial official Discord is to play through the main story (Artemis Path) in a Normal save once, before jumping into pretty much anything else, because there’s a lot of good, essential knowledge there. (It’s like one big tutorial, really.) The game holds your hand in a lot of ways, but it doesn’t do a great job at explaining basic features, outside of that.

But personally, I say go for it, provided you don’t mind being somewhat confused while you try to get a handle on basic stuff. If you do hit a wall, the #nms-help channel over there is pretty great, and of course you can just ask questions here if you prefer.

I think they assume some familiarity with the game.

I’d at least play through a few hours of a normal game to get all the tutorials and an idea of how the game works.

Yeah maybe that’s the way to do it (you play the guitar on the MTV). Looks like the expeditions last two weeks so I should have time to start a new game, get my feet wet and try out expeditions in between.

Couple tips… start a normal game, not a survival game. Survival is a lot harder and is also meant for those who know the game.

Don’t panic when the game starts you exposed on a toxic world, with warnings about life support failing etc. You should have plenty of time to read all the popups etc, and figure out what to do. It can all be a bit overwhelming at first!

I have mixed feelings about recommending Normal over Survival, even if it’s someone’s first time playing, as I personally find Survival to be more balanced and realistic. But definitely go with Normal if dying several times due to hazard conditions is something that might kill your interest in continuing.

Elaborating a bit on the hazards at the start of the game, the key to getting through it successfully (in any game mode) is to find shelter immediately after spawning in. This might feel cheaty, but you can use Photo Mode (quick menu) to essentially pause the game and take your time looking around the area. If you spot a nearby cave, run for it and mine materials to create at least a few batteries. Those will practically guarantee making it through the rest of the first few steps.

Have a good time, and don’t forget to update us on your adventures! I wish I could play NMS for the first time again.

I don’t know, you see a lot of people on Steam turned off the game from playing Survival as their first experience, and being under immediate death pressure without knowing any of the controls.

You don’t need to do that ‘cheat’ stuff in normal, or even really find shelter immediately, because I think it’s pretty lenient to a new player these days. I’m not sure you can even actually die at the start for at least a good 15 minutes!

Well, I’ve made some decent progress, or at least it feels that way! Started out in a freezing planet which kinda spooked me, but I spawned next to a cave so shelter was pretty much not a problem. Ventured out and found my spaceship, got it working and ended up on a radioactive planet! Built my first base, which to be honest is just a wooden box. Not very cool at all. But! I found a space station and ran into all these cool aliens! And we don’t speak the same language so I have to learn their words! I find this prospect exciting, I’ve got to learn how to communicate with all these aliens!

Anyway that’s pretty much where I am. Not spoiling because I’m only a couple hours in and already a lot has happened. Zero combat so far which I’m totally fine with. I’d be cool just wandering around scanning stuff and building stuff and exploring stuff. Farming for materials has (so far) been super easy, everything I need is either right there or craftable from stuff that’s right there. But it’s definitely a promising start, looking forward to digging deeper into it.

Regarding survival mode - the last game I played with one was Subnautica, which I definitely feel was improved with that mode. But it also had concerns like food and water, which don’t seem to exist in No Man’s Sky. So if it basically just makes things a little tougher, I’m ok with normal I think.