How Big Is No Man's Sky?

How Big Is No Man's Sky?

For years now, scientists, journalists and other truth-seekers have dedicated their waking hours to answering one single question: Is the video game No Man's Sky gonna be big? If so, how big will it be?

Investigators around the world, including some right here at Kotaku, have spent the last two years trying to solve this mind-boggling riddle, working the phones and flying from coast to coast as we fought near-insurmountable odds to find an answer, because you, dear reader, deserve to know just how big the upcoming sci-fi video game No Man's Sky will be.

As Thomas Jefferson once said, "There is not a truth existing which I fear or would wish unknown to the whole world," and it is with that in mind we've battled to bring you this imperative, monumental truth: the video game No Man's Sky is, in fact, large.

How Big Is No Man's Sky?

No Man's Sky is so big, the developers built space probes to explore it for them - Polygon, 3/3/2015

No Man's Sky: The Biggest Game World Ever Created? - GameSpot, 7/9/2014

'No Man's Sky' Will Take 5 Billion Years To Fully Explore - GameRant, August 2014

The Sun Will Burn Out Before You See All Of No Man's Sky - IGN, 8/15/2014

No Man's Sky is too big to comprehend at this point - GamesRadar, 6/11/2014


No Man's Sky's too big for traditional multiplayer - Lazy Gamer, 12/11/2014

No Man's Sky is so big that bots are being sent out to explore distant planets - Tech Radar, 7/23/2014

New No Man's Sky Trailer Will 'Wow' You With Its Scale - MP1st, 12/8/2014

No Man's Sky: How Big is Too Big? - Gaming Bolt, 9/8/2014

No Man's Sky's universe is as big as advertised, maybe bigger - Gear, 12/8/2014

No Man's Sky Is Obnoxiously Big, Like Billions of Years Big - 1080players, 8/19/2014

This is the most ambitious game in the universe - The Verge, 7/1/2014

Years It'd ACTUALLY Take to Visit Each Planet in No Man's Sky: 584,942,417,355 - Kotaku, 8/18/2014

How Big Is No Man's Sky?

One day, perhaps our children or our children's children will ask where we were when we first found out that the video game No Man's Sky will be very big. "How did you find out?" they will ask. "How did you determine how big it would actually be? And how many lives were lost in the pursuit of this truth?"

We will tell them. And we will tell them it was worth it.


    At least this big:

    ----> <-----

    I'm really looking forward to it. Although Elite: Dangerous is rather large also.

      ...ok, at 2 minutes a system and never repeating, it would take 1.5 million years to fly to each system in Elite: Dangerous.

      Hope that's not needed for Platinum...

    I hope it is big, but not too big, it will be an interesting balance to have enough things for everyone to get a chance to discover something for the first time and name it but also find things other people have had a chance to interact with, over the life of the game.

      Though the truth is the game could be infinite is its made the way they say its made, once they have the algorithms to a point where they make very little or no mistakes when randomly generating they can just add as much as they want onto the initial universe

      Suspect there'll be a limited number of starting points so as to concentrate players a bit.

        The devs have said repeatedly the chances of you running into another are so low it's effectively zero, everyone starts in a unique location.

      I think it will be too big. The chances of you coming across something that someone else has already discovered are microscopic unless the game is played by everyone on Earth, or the devs rig the starting locations or something.

        Depends if you play it to completion I guess, the devs have already said it will have a story and will all be about a race to the middle of the universe, so chances are you will definitely see other people eventually. But yeah it will be interesting to see overall how they work with that

        I kind of like the idea of essentially a single player game that has only incidental multiplayer elements. I loved just cruising through space minding my own business in freelancer multi and if nms feels even remotely similar then I am onboard

    Ok. The question we must ask. When in the last few years has a game truly lived up to its hype?

      Driveclub (eventually).

      The Last of Us.

      Arkham City

      EU IV?

        TLOU I agree. Even though I was on the hype train, circumstances meant I didn't touch it when it was released.

        When I finally played it nearly a year after it came out, it was amazing.

          Me too. I played it, unspoiled, about 3 months later and was so impressed

            I thought it was overrated.

        The thing that bothers me is when a game comes out with a certain promise. not just that it will be great but it will feature "X". Procedural worlds that are bigger than our galaxy? THAT statement alone is a MASSIVE call and if it is not backed up correctly, well, watch the fallout.
        I hate to be the downer, but I am not sure if this will be a let down. Am I excited? Hell yeah, but with a massive amount of skepticism. I don't believe ANY of the hype these marketers throw out. Hype is made to sell games, not make them enjoyable.

        See, people like myself would disagree... I didn't find Last of Us lived up to the hype.

        Largely because I didn't like the way it controlled. Hard to explain but I just felt as if the controls weren't as tight as they should have been, and the story just didn't make me care enough to keep me playing in spite of the fact. Whether playing the PS4 version is any better I am curious to find out, but not sure I want to bother at this point.

        I also felt while Arkham City was generally very good, it just tried to cram too much in for it's own sake. It took a lot away from the experience that was given to us by Arkham Asylum.

      Maybe that's a problem with implausible expectations, not the games industry. There have been plenty of good games over the last two years

      Watchdogs (i'm just kidding. Don't listen to me.)

          Not sure if Michael Cera or not, it's been a while

    What a sick joke.

    So Destiny, Skyrim, Far Cry 3 and 4 and countless other 'open world games' had no way near enough quality content, but a small Dev team is going to have unbelievably enough quality content in an 'open universe game' ???

    No wonder Publishers and/or Devs wreak games by making them way to long, idiot gamers demand it. Then proceed to give ( choose your game here) a 10/10

    Last edited 05/03/15 4:22 pm

      The tech to generate planets, continents, animals, plants and so on and on is procedural so, yes it can have infinite possibilities as you are not relying on artists to create the world as they did in the games you listed. The artist creates the base factors and the procedural generation does the rest, that's my understanding of this game.

    Oof the hyperbole in those headlines!

    But still, suuuuper psyched about this game. I love love love that these are the guys behind Joe Danger (Joooooooooooo Danger!) - little devs that could.

    depends, how long is pi? its considerably long but with each new digit that particular digits value decreases by a factor of 10

    Because I'm a completionist and like to see everything a game has to offer, I will probably opt not to ever pick this up. Besides, the real world has more than enough locations and experiences that I will never ever have the fortune of seeing and experiencing. So I see no reason to have the same issue in my video games :P

    I really don't care how big the game world is, the game has to be fun first and foremost. From what I'm seeing of No Man's Sky, I can't help but feel might be missing that key factor.

    Visually beautiful and massive yes, but what reasons beyond seeing its beautiful world do I have to actually play this game.? What does it offer that Star Citizen and Elite dangerous don't?

    These are the questions that need answers, not hyperbole about how it'll take a Quadrillion years to explore the world.

    Let me role-play Firefly and I'll bankroll your whole project no matter what I have to do.

    I still don't know why or what I will actually be doing in NMS but I'm still excited for it for literally no reason.

    Last edited 05/03/15 9:59 pm

    It generates its star systems / worlds based on random generated values, like any rogue-lite (rogue-like) game does. While their quality control methodology sounds good, so you dont end up with the messed up / impossible / broken elements.... its still just preset variables.

    If you played rogue-lites before like FTL, Dungeon Crawlers etc or any game that has random generated stages (like XCOM) you know, after a while, the stages start looking the same and start repeating themselves... and then you put it down and move on.

    No matter how BIG it thinks it is, its just random number generator for preset variables, it has its limits... and humans have their limits :P

    I suspect this game is going to be a let down, I hear its got allot of limitations and is mostly just a hop-in-a-ship and look simulator, don't expect much interaction or customization is the warning!

    Last edited 06/03/15 1:32 am

    Seems a bit pointless to me. If I understand correctly, the player starts on a randomly generated planet, then proceeds to wander the universe visiting other randomly generated planets, without any likelihood of running into another player. Is that right? Would be better if it allowed for more interaction between players, such as the OASIS in 'Ready, Player One'.

    My cat's breath smells like cat food! His name is Mittens.

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