No Man’s Sky Multiplayer Transforms Players Into Weird Floating Orbs

No Man's Sky's long-awaited multiplayer might not be what you were expecting.

Paul Tamburroby Paul Tamburro

Hello Games has officially revealed No Man’s Sky‘s “joint exploration” mode, and it isn’t quite the true multiplayer experience players may have been hoping for.

Joint exploration has been introduced as part of No Man’s Sky‘s 1.3 update, titled Atlas Rises, with it finally bringing in a synchronous multiplayer element to the divisive space simulation game. The multiplayer will see players appearing as “strange floating orbs” exploring planets together, with up to 16 players able to explore alongside one another at the same time. Hello Games has stated that interaction between players is “currently very limited,” offering proximity based voice chat but not much else.

The full description of the joint exploration mode is as follows:

“Glitches in the simulation have begun to appear. Visualised by strange floating orbs, up to 16 players can see and communicate with one another, and explore the universe together. 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. While interaction is very limited, VOIP (Voice over IP) allows proximity based voice chat with other nearby explorers. Use portals to quickly travel to more populated planets, or to meet up with friends.”

Atlas Rises will also bring with it a brand new central storyline, which will include a brand new “interdimensional race” and “double the lore” of the existing game.

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It also promises to uncover the truth behind many of the mysteries surrounding the game’s current story, offering an extra 30 hours of content:

“In the Atlas Rises story, the fabric of existence is starting to falter. A mysterious new interdimensional race have appeared. Glitches are causing ancient portals to activate. Our story brings a new context, quest system and branching narrative to No Man’s Sky. 30 hours of new story content. Double the lore and interactions of the existing game. Discover the truth behind the Abandoned Building logs, the World of Glass, the Sentinels, the Redemption of the Gek, and the meaning of sixteen… After Waking Titan, Atlas Rises.”

Atlas Rises will also include terrain editing, the introduction of wealth, economy and conflict to star systems as part of an overhauled Galaxy Map, crashed freighters to explore and more.

The full patch notes for the update are as follows:

GENERATION

  • Increased variety in weather, planet and structure names
  • More base building parts have unique names
  • Prevented trees spawning on sheer cliffs
  • Improved object placement on slopes
  • Improved grass placement and density
  • Changed the default starting ship model
  • Regenerated galaxy to remove differences between survival, normal and creative game modes
  • Improved building distribution
  • Increased distribution of heridium deposits
  • Improved generation of beaches along shorelines
  • Repositioned player bases to accommodate generation changes

EXPLORATION

  • Improved balance of hazards between planets
  • Improved settings for hazard damage and strength
  • Reduce cave hazard recharge times
  • Added Shielding Shard to the starting player inventory
  • Limited the depth at which buildings can spawn underwater

No-Man's-Sky-Multiplayer-Story-2

GAMEPLAY

  • More tech available in tech shops
  • Balanced tech shop standing requirements
  • Standing lights have a proper name when you interact with them
  • Increased robustness of systems for locating buildings
  • Increased number and types of objects which can be scanned
  • Increased information available about scanned foliage and creatures
  • Improved planet resource lists
  • Craftable products now sorted by most recent use
  • Improved differentiation of weapons
  • Fixed pinning product recipes and technology guides
  • Continued story unlocked through abandoned buildings
  • Added interactions and dialogue options for many structures and characters
  • Overhauled secondary character interactions

TRADE AND FARMING

  • Alloys, farm products and new gas products now form separate branches of a larger craft tree
  • Added new valuable higher tier craft products
  • Added new harvester to harvest atmospheric gases
  • Added new trade specific products
  • Added new farmable “Star Bramble” plant
  • Added larger 4 plant hydroponic tray
  • Increased contrast between picked and unpicked resource plants to more easily tell them apart
  • Balanced priced of alloys, farm products and gases
  • Improved distributions of resources on planets
  • Improved scan ranges for resources on planets
  • Added scan markers on more smaller plutonium crystals to aid resource gathering

FREIGHTERS

  • Balanced freighter prices
  • Fixed collision on freighter bridge
  • Added freighter classes
  • Added ability to warp in your freighter
  • Fixed floating turrets on capital freighters

SPACE

  • Improved space heavy air
  • Added requirement to scan planets in order to reveal their names
  • Improved planet name display as you enter orbit
  • Fix for massive carve radius when mining asteroids

GALACTIC MAP

  • Updated galactic map UI
  • Improved galactic map controls
  • Improved star names gathered in galaxy map flythrough
  • Improved distribution of different coloured stars
  • Added interstellar scan events

STARSHIPS

  • Added ability to summon your ship from the quick menu
  • Refined ship reticules
  • Added new holographic cockpit HUD elements: mini map, pulse drive warning and target ship
  • Added new ship technology
  • Balanced space combat
  • Balanced ship weapons and technology
  • Updated ship weapon projectile effects
  • Updated ship hit direction markers
  • Improved flare graphics on ships
  • Improved loot containers dropped by AI ships
  • Improved effects on damaged AI ships
  • Balanced crashed ships broken slots and repair costs
  • Added a more convenient swap inventory button for moving items between new/crashed ships and storage units
  • Updated design of Atlas pass icons
  • Added ability to look around the cockpit when landed
  • Allowed player to remain in ship cockpit after landing
  • Improved spawning and distribution of AI ships
  • Improved ship altimeter
  • Added in-ship communicator
  • Added button prompt for ship zoom
  • Fixed a bug where your ship could become invisible by visiting the galactic map
  • Improved Pirate systems including the ability to negotiate or call in support
  • Added low flight mode
  • Improved landing code

UI

  • Divided options menu into several pages
  • Revised Journey page
  • New Gek, Korvax and Vy’keen medals
  • New medals for the merchant, mercenary and explorer guilds
  • Revised log page
  • Fixed animation on markers as they are removed
  • Improved binocular UI
  • Updated journey milestone icons
  • Overhauled discovery log
  • Added cardinal directions to compass
  • Added distance markers to compass
  • Fix for “redeem content” showing twice on Steam menu
  • New trade and product icons
  • Revised combat ship markers
  • Improved ship tracking arrows when flying away from targets
  • Overhauled conversation interface

GRAPHICS

  • Improved HBAO filtering around edges
  • Improved TAA handling of grass blade edges
  • Introduced depth of field effect during interactions
  • Added LOD meshes and imposters to various props
  • Fixed texturing on the buildable door
  • Reduced HBAO shimmer
  • Reduced shadow acne
  • Fixed artifacts with imposter shadows
  • Improved double-sided normals for foliage
  • Improved terrain texturing and texture blending
  • Improved grass colour blending and integration with terrain
  • Improved grass and leaf materials
  • Improved colour palettes across several biomes
  • Improved planet night skies
  • Fixed z-fighting on small glowing plants
  • Various graphics optimisations and fixes
  • Visual improvements to Atlas stations
  • Replaced all terrain textures with higher detail and quality variants
  • Added new higher detail foliage variants to several biomes
  • Upgraded textures on several cave props

AUDIO

  • Four new sets of soundscapes by 65 Days of Static
  • Reworked space combat audio
  • Reworked space explosions
  • Added new ship weapon sounds
  • Added weird biome soundscape
  • Added new music and sound effects for story mode
  • Lots of new UI sounds
  • Minor mix changes and optimisations

LANGUAGE

  • Various minor language fixes and improvements