Since it’s launch two years ago No Man’s Sky has been through it’s downs and ups and with No Man’s Sky NEXT coming out July 24 talk around the game has come to a boil — a good rolling boil. The biggest change coming with NEXT is the much talked about multiplayer which is officially making its way into No Man’s Sky. Even the cover art for NEXT shows four space fairing travelers standing together on some alien planet setting out for who knows where. Paying attention to this art is actually more important than you might think and says everything about what Hello Games wants to get across with the true addition of other players to No Man’s Sky’s massive universe.
In an extensive interview with Waypoint, Sean Murray laid bare (in a much more controlled way) what exactly players can expect out of NEXT multiplayer and much more going forward. Put simply, this is not multiplayer like Sea of Thieves but more DayZ in the since of those “Hey, are you cool?” moments.
With Sea of Thieves having launched last year, much of the community around NMS and in the general sphere of gaming discussion wondered if this would be an update accommodating to that style of play. The good news, it’s not. If players want to opt out of the multiplayer portion of No Man’s Sky in fear of their home planet getting attacked or feeling the general griefing that can come with multiplayer; no worries, cruising the stars solo is as easy as ever. For everyone else getting the full experience, No Man’s Sky NEXT will be more about brief encounters with other human players (remember this universe is massive) and that feeling of joy that comes with knowing that another person might be on the other side. In Sean Murray’s words:
I had this [happen] playing the other day, and this is probably a reflection of how No Man’s Sky is and the sedateness of it all… When you go to the space station, there’s this new marketplace, which makes buying ships and upgrades a lot more clear, and it’s much more open and there’s a lot of NPCs around. So I’m walking up, and there’s this NPC at the shop, I go to talk to a shopkeeper, who is also an NPC, and then there’s NPC at the shop who is a real f****** person!
He goes on explaining that feeling many are familiar with of encountering another person in a game players know is inhabited but it’s rare actually encountering anyone else. Again, for anyone who played DayZ this will be a familiar feeling.
No Man’s Sky is in fact not in the same vain as other multiplayer to the point that even Sean admits that PvP isn’t the focus of the game because it isn’t rewarding for a game like No Man’s Sky which is considered a more relaxed experience. Of course, this hasn’t stopped players from gearing up to target other players, in fact it has already happened, but for those seeking this engagement it won’t be hard to find. The community around No Man’s Sky is flourishing with organizations like The Galactic Hub or subreddits such as r/nomanshigh… this is a relaxing game after all.
It’s this relaxed feeling baked into No Man’s Sky already that NEXT is making sure to keep around. Those four travelers on the front? Those are you and your friends. No Man’s Sky NEXT wants players to engage more with who they want, instead of worrying about if a band of real-player pirates is going to show up and blow them out of the space-water. For those looking for that more aggressive engagement it sounds like it won’t be hard to find either. With such consistent updates accommodating more and more what people want out of No Man’s Sky multiplayer sounds like a welcome addition to a wonderful universe.