No Man's Sky

Get all the details on No Man’s Sky’s new expansion.

Over a year after launch, No Man’s Sky is adding more features that were promised from the beginning. Hello Games just released Atlas Rises, which looks to be the game’s biggest expansion to date. The update contains a ton of content, the most notable being a new story, portals, some multiplayer features, terrain editing, and a proper mission system.

The “brand new and overhauled central storyline” included with the Atlas Rises update adds a new race, opened portals, more lore, and 30 hours of content. With portals finally opened, players can fast travel to previously discovered planets or jump to a random new planet. The portals have their own hieroglyphics, though, so you’ll have to figure out the language to master this new method of travel.

The lack of multiplayer in No Man’s Sky has been one of the loudest complaints from players since the game’s release. Hello Games is listening, and the team is working on it. Atlas Rises adds some preliminary multiplayer features, though you can’t explore and battle with your friends in the traditional sense just yet. Basically, other players around you appear as floating orbs, and you can communicate through proximity-based voice chat.

“Up to 16 players can see and communicate with one another, and explore the universe together,” said Hello Games. “While interaction with others is currently very limited, this is an important first step into the world of synchronous co-op in No Man’s Sky.”

The developers have committed to thoroughly expanding multiplayer, along with other left out features, over several updates, so we should see more dynamic co-op soon.

Another cool new feature of this expansion is the ability to edit planets’ terrain, as shown in the above video. Use your multi-tool to add or remove various types of materials in a range of shapes and sizes. This feature can be used anywhere on any planet, so get creative. Shape the terrain to make cool sculptures, access a new area faster, or make your base feel more integrated into the environment.

Atlas Rises is also bringing a procedural quest system, which you can dive into by talking to the Mission Agent in space stations. Players can complete “unique and rewarding” quests for several play styles, including scanning, trading, combat, and exploration. The process of growing your reputation with each alien race — as well as other elements of your in-game progress — is now tracked in the redesigned user interface.

Like the Pathfinder and Foundation expansions before it, Atlas Rises improves on the planets’ graphics and variety of planetary biomes, with new “exotic planet types” appearing as you approach the galactic core.

Those are the big features coming to No Man’s Sky, but Atlas Rises has more to offer still. Other additions include looting crashed freighters, a new galactic economy, re-calibrated Analysis Visors, improved space combat, low flight, and new spaceships. To get an even more in-depth look at the Atlas Rises update, along with the full patch notes, check out No Man’s Sky’s official page on the expansion.

No Man’s Sky is available now for PS4 and PC, and it’s 60% on the PlayStation Store, Steam, and Humble right now!