7 biggest new No Man's Sky features you need to check out

Two years after launch No Man’s Sky is reborn with its new NEXT update. It’s less a patch more a complete sequel because a lot has changed. From full, four-player multiplayer, to a completely overhauled resource system, new missions and plenty more to get to grips with. There are also smaller changes, like a third-person view or the ability to tag things on your visor so you don’t lose track of them. Let’s work through some the more important changes and what they mean for this new and improved No Man’s Sky. 

Multiplayer means you can finally explore the galaxy with friends

The ability to play properly with other people has been No Man’s Sky biggest request pretty much from day one. Now you can, with up to four player co-op available either by joining a session with friends or randos at the start menu, or inviting people to your solo game from the options. Once together you can explore, build and do a lot more, which we’ll get to in a moment.

You can now customise your character and play in third person

You’re no longer a bodiless presence in No Man’s Sky. You can customise your explorer in numerous ways via terminals found in space stations and change almost every aspect of your space suit, and even species. So that means you can be a Gek in its most resplendent tribal finery, a Vy’keen dressed for war, or maybe try and hit a look like Ripley in her Nostromo space suit. To see your galactic fashion choices better there’s also now a third-person camera you can access by tapping down on the D-pad and selecting utilities to bring up the ‘Toggle Camera View’ option. You can do the same in your ship too. 

The space stations aren’t empty boxes anymore

The space stations are way better now. Where before you’d find a sort of orbital broom cupboard, you’ll now discover a bustling hub full of aliens, vendors and opportunity. There are now multiple places where you can buy and sell resources and gear, purchase blueprints and upgrades for your multitool, ship and exosuit, or pick up missions - both from official channels and chatting to the locals.

There are new missions and loads more things to do

Previous updates added a few basic missions mostly built around fetching things and killing creatures. The new updates expand on this with more involved things to do like taking pictures, feeding creatures, attacking or defending freighters, digging wreckage out the ground, or hunting missions where you destroy nests to bring out ‘biological monstrosities’ in a horde mode style battle. They are still basically procedural fetch quests but they’re more involved and varied now, with far more to stumble upon. Plus, as well the previous mission boards there are also aliens scattered around space stations that might to ask for some occasionally less than legal help. And, finally, members of the game’s guilds might have rewards for you if you complete enough missions to improve your standing with them.

There are new resources and technologies but a bunch of your old gear won’t work anymore 

Technology has had a huge overhaul in the No Man's Sky Next update. The first thing you’ll probably notice is that a whole heap of your old upgrades and gear is now obsolete. That’s because the resources have been completely changed to “increase consistency and realism” according to Hello Games. There are new basic resources to mine, as well as new refiners that can convert substances. Almost every aspect of manufacturing and crafting has been changed to create a more realistic and deeper economy of things to build.  

You can tag things while using your visor now

It’s a little thing but you can now press Square to tag things while you’re looking around with your visor. It’s a super helpful little extra to keep track of anything useful or interesting as you explore without losing it.

The ability to own and use freighters has been massively expanded

Being able to own a huge freighter ship isn’t new to No Man’s Sky but you can get much more out of them now. For starters they’re now a mobile hub you can customise and get multiplayer missions from. But, more importantly, you can now collect a fleet of up to 50 smaller frigates to accompany your freighter. Then you can send these lesser ships out on missions to earn you resources and cash. You can send any number of ships on a mission to increase the chances of success, while different types of ship specialties - like combat, exploration, trade, industry, or support - will also affect the outcome of missions. 

Leon Hurley
Senior Guides Co-ordinator

I'm GamesRadar's Senior Guides Co-ordinator, which means I run GamesRadar's guides and tips content. I also write reviews, previews and features, largely about horror, action adventure, FPS and open world games. I previously worked on Kotaku, and the Official PlayStation Magazine and website.