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10 games like No Man's Sky that are out of this world

Space: the final frontier. The universe is infinitely massive, and there’s so much we don’t know. If you sit and think about it for too long, it’s hard to get your head around just how big it really is. The far reaches of space are so alien to us, and seemingly the stuff of science fiction novels, or colourful planets cooked up in Star Trek. But the human desire to explore and discover just what’s out there has long been the dream of us Earth dwellers. Sure, technology is ever advancing, and we’ve even managed to put a robot on Mars, but we’re still limited by just far it can take us. Thankfully, we live in a world where games like No Man’s Sky exist to help us reach for the stars. Hello Games sprawling space exploration game, with its endless procedurally generated worlds, lets us live out our space-faring dreams to the fullest. With its bright, colourful aesthetic, it hands you a ship and sends you on your merry way to explore, discover, and survive the never-ending depths of space. 

Since it launched, No Man’s Sky has had a wealth of great updates and added lots of content that has transformed the experience into what it is today. With the free Beyond update just around the corner, it continues to expand and grow, as does the game’s community. If No Man’s Sky has awakened your need for more star speckled adventures and otherworldly pursuits, or you love a particular aspect of the game like its trading, base creation, or management systems, there are lots of great games out there of a similar ilk that you might enjoy. 

So buckle yourself in and getting ready for lift off as we list 10 games like No Man’s Sky that are out of this world. 

Astroneer

Available on: PC, Xbox One 

If you love landing on planets and exploring everything the wonderfully strange alien worlds have to offer, Astroneer is all about just that. In this sandbox-y space adventure, you play as an Astroneer who lives in the 25th century during the ‘age of intergalactic discovery’. Setting off into the far reaches of outer space, you crash land on a strange new planet and have to adapt to the new environment and use the world’s resources to repair your space pod. By using your creativity, you can use anything you mine or discover to craft any number of different items, and build bases and vehicles to travel across the terrain. Once you’re ready to discover more, you can journey to new worlds - every planet is entirely different, and the recent 1.0 update has added another solar system. The planets all have hidden secrets to uncover by scouting across the world’s surface, or even digging right down to its core to discover rarities and unravel the mysteries of the universe. The low-poly art also gives it a very appealing aesthetic that brings the colourful worlds to life in a distinctive style. 

Elite Dangerous

Available on: PC, Xbox One, PS4 

Elite Dangerous is another open-ended space exploration game that shares some similarities to No Man’s Sky. Planetary exploration is its biggest difference, since Elite Dangerous does let you land on some planets, but you can’t walk across or explore them in the same way. Instead, you’ll spend your time on board your customisable ship exploring its expansive openworld. It is just as grand in scale, with 400 billion star systems to jump to, so you’ll certainly still get your fill of space exploration in its recreation of the Milky Way. Affording you a similar amount of freedom to go about your space travels as you please, you start out with a small ship and a little money to your name. By gaining skills and know-how, you’ll have to set out to survive in a galaxy filled with challenges - it also involves collecting bounties and trading. It’s worth noting that as a massively multiplayer space sim, you do have to be online in order to play it, but there is a solo mode if you don’t want to encounter other players. 

Starbound

Available on: PC

Starbound is almost like a 2D pixelated version of No Man’s Sky, but it has its own unique personality and some minor differences. When your home world gets destroyed, you flee in a spaceship which crashes onto an alien world. You’re free to explore everything the world has to offer, and shape how your story plays out. If you want to get stuck into the RPG element and follow the main campaign to save the universe, you can. Equally, you can choose to explore and colonise different planets to your heart's content, and craft and build an endless number of items and structures. Just like No Man’s Sky, you also encounter lots of strange and wondrous alien creatures across the universe, except in Starbound you can capture them to fight alongside you. There are lots of things you’ll likely enjoy about Chucklefish’s charming intergalactic sandbox adventure. 

Subnautica

Available on: PC, Xbox One, PS4

Subnautica offers a different kind of out of this world experience by letting you explore an underwater alien world. Steeped in mystery and full of different underwater terrains and dangers, your life pod crashes onto the strange oceanic planet, which hides a lot of secrets. It’s up to you to manage your oxygen supply and survive, as you set out to explore the vast watery world. Filled with unusual sea creatures and its own ecosystem, you’ll find sources of food and encounter nasty predators who want you for their next meal. As you dive ever deeper, you can work to uncover just what happened to this planet. Building bases and managing resources will help you deal with the unique challenges the planet presents you - like water pressure for one. Even though it takes place on a single planet, the open-world is vast, and you’ll pour just as many hours into exploring everything it has to offer. 

Rodina

Available on: PC

Rodina is an indie space exploration game set in a procedural solar system made up of several planets and asteroids to explore. You can fly onto the massive planets, or take in the star studded vistas from the comfort of your fully customisable ship interior that lets you design the layout and decor of your ship. While there’s a certain serenity to be had in Rodina of gazing out of the window at the glowing curvature of a nearby planet, the solar system is also a hostile place. Entering the planets is quite the ordeal as your ship can burn up in the changing atmosphere, and you’ll also come into contact with AI enemies on the strange planets that definitely don’t have peace on their mind. Thankfully, you’re ship is outfitted with missiles and weapons to help you take them down. Made by a single developer, it’s an interesting seamless space-faring number that’ll let you live your fantasy of piloting your very own spaceship. 

Empyrion - Galatic Survival

Available on: PC

Empyrion is another sprawling, expansive exploration game that lets you navigate through space and land on planets to uncover strange new worlds. Just like in No Man’s Sky, you’re free to walk across planets and discover aliens species with native flora and fauna. As the commander and sole survivor of the ‘Titan’ frigate that crashes on an unknown planet in the Andromeda galaxy, you set out to find out just what happened. With a whole host of other planets across the galaxy to discover, every planet is uniquely different. As a sandbox adventure, you can build your own space stations on any world you like, as well as construct your own ships. Naturally crafting means you’ll be able to mine and gather resources, and it also features a tech tree to help you make more advanced items. Empyrion’s solar system has plenty of mysteries to solve, too. There’s so much to explore and discover, this is just the ticket if you’re looking for a new universe to lose yourself in, with plenty of similar elements you’re sure to enjoy.  

Out There - Alliance

Available on: Nintendo Switch 

While Out There is a rogue-like exploration experience that plays out in the form of a pulpy comic book, you might still enjoy it if you loved No Man’s Sky. As a space exploration game with a difference, Out There Alliance sees you trying to survive alone in the far reaches of the galaxy, where everything is unknown. Heavy on managing resources and upgrading your spaceship, you can land on different planets where you’ll encounter plenty of dangers and unravel mysterious along the way. The galaxy is procedurally generated too, and features a crafting system that lets you create items using strange alien technologies you come across. It might not be as wide and far reaching in scale as other space exploration games, but Out There switches up the genre with interactive stories for you to explore, and the main storyline has several different outcomes to experience. Originally released on Android and iOS before being expanded for PC, the latest Alliance edition for the Switch adds a lot of new content to check out. 

Rebel Galaxy

Available on: PC, Xbox One, PS4

Rebel Galaxy is all about space exploration, and if you’ve ever wanted to be the commander of a big powerful destroyer ship this is for you. As you set out into deep space to places unknown, you’ll battle space pirates, encounter aliens, uncover anomalies, and scavenge your way through ship wrecks and asteroids to find all sorts of goodies. Ship combat is also at the heart of this adventure, with lots of opportunities for big broadside blasts against pirate ships. You also have a lot of freedom to decide how your story plays out. Along the way, you'll encounter lots of ship captains, and you can  decide to be a nefarious space pirate, or befriend aliens and trade with those you encounter. The galaxy has plenty of secrets to uncover, and you can choose to pursue the main story campaign, or go off and explore the starry fields of space however you want. 

Everspace

Available on: PC, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch

Everspace is a lot more action orientated than No Man’s Sky, so if you’re looking for a different kind of space exploration experience with a heavy side of shooting and looting, this might be the one for you. With roguelike elements, you explore the universe with procedurally generated levels, and every time you meet your doom, you start over again with the progression from your last run. Eventually, with every resource you’ve gathered and experience you’ve gained, you’ll be able to explore more of the universe. Along the way, you’ll encounter a host of characters and constantly be challenged with new situations, which makes it very replayable. It might not be open-ended in the same way as No Man’s Sky, but the sense of progression and scope of possibilities give it its longevity. Usually you want to avoid meeting your death in the vast expanses of space, but this in continuous adventure, it’s actually quite beneficial. 

Surviving Mars

Available on: PC, Xbox One, PS4 

Sure, roaming from planet to planet is fun and all, but what if you want to settle down and make a home for yourself somewhere? It's certainly no easy feat, though. Establishing a colony on a hostile world like Mars will have its share of toubles. Surviving Mars is more of city building experience, but resource management is a vital part of, well, surviving on Mars - just as sorting out resources in No Man’s Sky is an important part of navigating your way through the expansive universe, and maintaining your momentum. There’s still an exploration aspect to this one, but it’s on a much, much smaller scale. By travelling across the planet to find precious resources, you can also uncover secrets hidden around the dusty planet that might help your colony. Researching is also going to be key to your advancement, and will better equip you to look after your colonists and help them thrive. It’s certainly a different kind of adventure in space, that only takes place on one planet, but the alien world has a lot to offer, and it's up to you to make use of it to ensure everyone survives their big move to the alien world.