'No Man's Sky' 1.3 Update Adds Portals, Improves Story Elements (Updated)

Update, 8/11/17, 6:49am PT: The "Atlas Rises" update is now live. You can read about its features and the patch notes in full on the game's website or watch an overview on YouTube.

Original article, 8/9/17:

Hello Games announced that No Man's Sky version 1.3 will introduce fast travel via portals and will improve the game's story. The update, which the company is calling "Atlas Rises," will be released sometime this week as a free expansion for No Man's Sky players on PC and PlayStation 4.

Details about the Atlas Rises update were scarce—Hello Games said only that the update "focuses on improving the central story of No Man’s Sky and adds the ability to quick travel between locations using portals." Full patch notes are set to be published "shortly before the update goes live. The company focused more on an alternate reality game (ARG) called Waking Titan that ran intermittently from May 28 to August 7. It said:

In the last eight weeks a quarter of a million players from across the globe (174 countries, to be precise!) have come together – united by a shared love of mystery and science fiction – to form the Citizen Science Division. You’ve travelled great distances both real and virtual, undertaken complex tasks, and explored the depths of simulation theory. New friendships have been forged, and a tight-knit community has been created. Most importantly a cute hamster has a new home.

No Man's Sky debuted in August 2016 with the goal of allowing its players to explore 18 quintillion planets. Those planets were mostly procedurally generated, so each of them was supposed to be unique, but players quickly discovered that the game didn't have nearly as much variety as it claimed. People also complained about bugs, core gameplay issues, and Hello Games' inability to deliver on pre-release promises.

Hello Games released numerous updates to fix some of the problems with No Man's Sky. November 2016 saw the release of the Foundation Update, which introduced new difficulty levels, the ability to build your own base, and other new features. The Path Finder update followed in March with visual upgrades and new vehicle features, among other things, to continue building on top of the Foundation Update.

Waking Titan and the resulting Citizen Science Division community show that No Man's Sky still has its admirers despite its shortcomings. A quarter of a million people is nothing to sneeze at, especially if you think most people might not be interested in an ARG, considering the many complaints levied against No Man's Sky. Maybe the Atlas Rises update will continue to build on the promise of rollicking adventures in space.

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NameNo Man's Sky
TypeSci-Fi, Exploration, Action/Adventure, Shooter
DeveloperHello Games
PublisherHello Games
PlatformsPC, PlayStation 4
Where To BuySteamGOGPlayStation StoreAmazonBest BuyTargetWalmartGameStop
Release DateAugust 9, 2016
Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.

  • d_kuhn
    "Improved story elements"... since the game originally had no real story elements, I guess anything is better than nothing. Up until now the game 'story' was basically the equivalent of reading the books in Skyrim. Information was provided that was somewhat connected to the game but really had no meaning wrt gameplay. There was some pointless thing about going to the center of the galaxy - that had zero effect on gameplay. There was some pointless thing about weird geometric shapes in space that you had to find... that had no effect on gameplay. There were some locations on the ground that would have artifacts you could find but didn't really mean anything. The game didn't really have a story at all... and if it had cost $12 I'd have been happy with just the survival thing, but i didn't just cost $12.
  • thundervore
    People still play this?

    Wasn't it basically a glorified single player Minecraft game where you had to keep upgrading the space ship to get to the center of the universe??
  • zippyzion
    I've actually gotten a lot of enjoyment out of this game. It is rough having to wing it all the time and gather resources to keep yourself going, but over all it is both interesting and rewarding.

    I guess I'm part of the minority, but I really do like the game. It feels like really exploring space. It is mostly empty, nothing makes sense, and you can pretty much just gather, upgrade, and fly on to your hearts content. There are still things to discover, and as long as they keep adding more I'll be happy with the experience.
  • photonboy
    I guess I feel similar about Skyrim. I'll load up a game just to walk around mindlessly hacking and slashing because it helps me unwind. It doesn't matter that there's no novel content after beating the game and exploring pretty much everything unique.
  • clonazepam
    I thoroughly enjoyed NMS. I didn't finish it though. I liked the trippy colors, varying worlds, shooting down ships, and doing that jetpack dash around a planet was oddly satisfying.

    Update isn't live yet on GOG. Edit: And updated, might check it out.
  • Avus
    "Story elements" for a game that doesn't even have an ending...
  • Puiucs
    Respect for the devs for not abandoning the game like others do (ME:A anyone?). After 3 big updates i can safely say that the game is worth every penny now and more big updates are coming.
  • photonboy
    20049676 said:
    "Story elements" for a game that doesn't even have an ending...

    There ARE story elements beyond the amnesia slash tutorial aspect. I have not played a version prior to this update but you do meet someone and get steps on how to help them which is new.

    That does not mean it is an excellent story, but saying it has story elements is accurate.