5 features the No Man's Sky Atlas Rises update adds that really do change the game

(Image credit: Hello Games)

It's been over a year since Hello Games' space exploration game was released, but the new No Man's Sky Atlas Rises update introduces a ton of new features that really does change the game. 

The update was teased earlier this week but has now landed on both PS4 and PC and comes complete with a huge changelist full of features ranging from over 30 hours of new story content, joint exploration and portal images. 

A brand new story and fresh faces

(Image credit: Hello Games)

The No Man's Sky Atlas Rises update brings with it a whopping 30 hours of brand new story content where you'll be able to interact with what Hello Games calls "a mysterious new interdimensional race." 

New lore and interactions have been added too, fleshing out the truth behind the original mysteries including the Abandoned Building logs, the World of Glass, the Sentinels, the Redemption of the Gek and the meaning of 16.

Portals to get you back to previously explored planets

(Image credit: Hello Games)

Remember that planet you earmarked as "New Earth" way back when No Man's Sky first came out? Well now you might actually go back there and make a home because Atlas Rises now has snazzy portals to let you zip all around the cosmos. 

Ancient Portals will be activated by unlocking their language using mysterious glyphs and then use a specific combination of them to jump to a set planet. You can also use them to revisit previous planets, other bases or just randomly skip to a new world. 

It sounds pretty darn complicated, but we'll report back when we've tested the new feature to let you know. 

Explore with your fellow travellers... at last!

No Man's Sky is pretty damn massive, but now – hopefully – it'll feel a little smaller because you've now got access to your mates in space. 

If you spot strange floating orbs on a planet (like the ones above) they're actually other players. Up to 16 players can see and communicate with each other as they explore the unknown. 

Hello Games is quick to stress that interaction is "currently very limited", although you can use VOIP chat to communicated with nearby explorers. 

"This is an important first step into the world of synchronous co-op in No Man's Sky," reads the official post.

A new way to check out the local wildlife

(Image credit: Hello Games)

Your snazzy visor that you use to scan and tag the various flora, fauna and aliens in No Man's Sky has had quite the upgrade. It's been re-calibrated to give you more info and better rewards for scanning everything you see. 

You'll be able to analyse resources before you start hacking away to gain alternative resources from mining too. Apparently there are more upgrades to be equipped as well to improve it and reap even more rewards.

It pays to be a nosy parker in No Man's Sky.

Build new world bits

If you think a planet is just missing a little somethin', you can now literally transform the ground beneath your feet to mould the terrain as you see fit. It's the feng shui of planet terraforming.

Make your base feel like part of the planet using materials, shapes and sizes of all types and feel like God at the touch of a button.

For the full extensive patch notes, check out the long, long list on the No Man's Sky website.

Sam Loveridge
Global Editor-in-Chief, GamesRadar+

Sam Loveridge is the Global Editor-in-Chief of GamesRadar, and joined the team in August 2017. Sam came to GamesRadar after working at TrustedReviews, Digital Spy, and Fandom, following the completion of an MA in Journalism. In her time, she's also had appearances on The Guardian, BBC, and more. Her experience has seen her cover console and PC games, along with gaming hardware, for a decade, and for GamesRadar, she's in charge of the site's overall direction, managing the team, and making sure it's the best it can be. Her gaming passions lie with weird simulation games, big open-world RPGs, and beautifully crafted indies. She plays across all platforms, and specializes in titles like Pokemon, Assassin's Creed, The Sims, and more. Basically, she loves all games that aren't sports or fighting titles! In her spare time, Sam likes to live like Stardew Valley by cooking and baking, growing vegetables, and enjoying life in the countryside.