No Man’s Sky Gets Big Update Including Survival Mode, Base-Building


No Man’s Sky changed a great deal this morning, getting new modes and a ton of gameplay tweaks thanks to update 1.1, the largest one yet.

With this patch, No Man’s Sky is now broken up into three modes: Normal (the original No Man’s Sky), Creative (base-building mode), and Survival (which the developers describe as “a much more challenging endurance experience”). The folks behind No Man’s Sky say that patch 1.1, which they’re calling the Foundation Update, is “the first of many free updates.”

The patch notes are lengthy — you can read them all here — and include a ton of changes ranging from UI tweaks to “improved distribution of plant life.” My personal favourite: “Increased the number of different NPC character models generated per system.” No word on whether players can now see one another.

Patch 1.1 comes three months after the launch of No Man’s Sky, which has become a controversial game in part thanks to its creators’ lengthy silence. Shortly after release, players discovered that No Man’s Sky didn’t have some of the features director Sean Murray had talked about in the years leading up to launch. Players got angry.

As a result, Murray and his team bunkered up, saying essentially nothing about the game and its features until now.

“If you could have lived our lives over the last months, you’d know how meaningful this is,” Murray wrote on Twitter this morning.


  • Looks like some cool stuff, might jump back in.

    I was enjoying what I was playing of NMS, but I think Deus Ex came out then a bunch of stuff came out and I got distracted.

    • So far it is amazing on the PS4. The graphics look much improved, the outcroppings of large minerals look much more like natural features, the first planet I went to had way more and better looking animals and lush vegetation. The motion blur looks great, especially when mining and the ship, aliens, bases, everything looks so much more polished.

      I just found some new element that requires cry-gloves to collect, so I guess I have to work out how to get those.

      I flew into space, found a freighter and docked with it, made an offer on it and now I own it.
      It looks like I can transfer ship inventory to it.
      There are a lot more aliens hanging around the trading posts, one guy was an armourer and apparently I can hire him for some kind of base defence or weapons research or something, I didn’t have a base yet, so couldn’t hire him.
      A lot of aliens sitting around the base, I couldn’t interact with them, but it makes it feel more populated, same on the freighter.
      I’m only playing ‘classic mode’ but there is plenty of changes here.
      Thankfully I found a planet with gravitino balls in abundance, so can save money really quickly and buy stuff.

      So far, I am really impressed with the update, now to get back to it.

    • Something is fishy about all these comments. You would think the developers at hello games placed all of them. For a game that lost %87 of its audience in two weeks, and widespread outrage from its purchasers, and going so far as being refunded everywhere for any reason, there only seems to be one comment that says anything negative. Even your comment Shepred seems off. Deux ex and “a bunch of other stuff”? That sounds like a whole lot of unmemorable games were able to make you forget this game existed. Sean Murray owes people an apology to more persons then you about his deceptions.

      • Or maybe the ‘widespread outrage’ was just a vocal minority and most people are actually just happy to not buy the game (remember kids, never pre-order) or to just take the game for what it is, not what they wanted it to be?

        It’s not the best game of the year, but it certainly did better than a lot of other 2016 releases *cough*Battleborn*cough*

        • There are 78,000 reviews on the Steam store page out of 780,000 purchases, with 71% being negative. That’s a massive sample size that gives 99% confidence with 0.3% margin of error. On statistical probability it’s not a minority opinion at all.

          And there’s nothing wrong with that either. It’s perfectly fine to like a game that the majority of other people don’t. People do crazy mental gymnastics and jump to the most improbable of conclusions to try to explain why their opinion really is the majority opinion despite the evidence, when all that really matters is if you like the game, play the game. What other people think is irrelevant.

          • The sheer size of the sample relative to the total purchases is enough to cater for a lot of factors, including sample bias. The statistical evaluation is sound, it’s just not scientific.

          • It also doesn’t take into account sales on PS4, where it was a best-selling game and currently has a four star rating from 27,434 ratings. But I get what you’re saying.

            I do believe the people who hate No Man’s Sky really are a vocal minority compared to the people who enjoyed it, and the people who played it for a bit but were largely apathetic (probably the majority). It’s at least true of the Kotaku AU community, I think. Most of the haters tended to be guests or one-off commenters.

          • To be clearer, I think the people who dislike the game outnumber the people who like it, not that more than half of everyone dislikes the game. I agree with you that the majority of people are apathetic.

            I wouldn’t call myself a hater, but I certainly didn’t like the game. What I did hate was the way HG and Murray handled basically everything around the game both before and after launch.

      • Fishy? You think I’ve made over 19,000 comments on Kotaku just to hide my shilling for Hello games?

        I played No Mans Sky for a bit, enjoyed what I played, then started playing new releases. Last few months I’ve played TTomb Raider Definitive, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Telltale Batman, Dishonored definitive, and now Dishonored two- my gaming slate has been full, which has made me prioritise other things over an open ended game. I’m keen to revisit NMS, because as I said, I was enjoying it as a kinda chilled experience.

        Sean Murray owes me precisely nothing. I feel I got a couple weeks of value (probably put 20-30 hours in, which is heaps) out of NMS at launch, and when I revisit it I’ll enjoy it again.

  • As someone who completely didn’t buy into the hype and actually likes this game for what it is, I am super-excited by this news.

    • Huh, and here i was thinking I was the only one left still enjoying the game for what it is 😛
      Still is on regular rotation for the pure relaxation of it all.
      Jumped in for a little while this morning, and it’s looking suuuuper promising so far with the small Quality of Life improvements.

    • I also just enjoyed it for what it was. In fact many time I said “This isn’t the exciting one, it is what comes next that will be exciting.”
      No Mans Sky proved that people were very keen on the idea, they just couldn’t deliver the worlds they promised. It sounds like they are edging towards the dream though. I will be playing this tonight.

    • Its not important but it should be mentioned that i completely didn’t buy the hype waaaay before anyone else didn’t.


  • I’m 100% with @stormo on this one, I knew this game wasn’t going to be the brilliant game changer the marketing said it was going to be so I kept my expectations low and ended up really liking it.

    I’ll definitely get back into it with this update, my only real concern is that the whole base building thing doesn’t seem to feel like it’ll be worth doing, mostly because the way the main game is structured, there’s no point getting attached to one planet as the best way to progress is to keep moving though systems.

    • True but it looks like you can also have a freighter so I’m assuming its the same mechanic on building and storing stuff you can take with you…

  • I appreciate the effort they’re putting into this patch, I do. I’m one of those who refunded, but this definitely confirms it’s a game in Alpha, realistically speaking. I do hope they get to finish this and have their dream of what they were going for initially realised. I also hope they took a great lesson away from this about perhaps being a little more humble in their marketing in future (I know many will say the community overhyped it, the community always hypes stuff, that’s not the issue here). I do wish Murray the best with this, I hope they’re a tiny bit more communicative in future regarding their patches (look at how Monkey Squad, Studio Wildcard and others are for a good example) and again, I wish them the best of luck with getting this realised, in a few patches time, I’ll dive back in and see how it’s going with my sons copy, and maybe buy it again 🙂

    • Personally, I think they were simply hamstrung by getting held to their marketing commitments. Sony et al put a LOT into marketing this game, and it had to come out by a certain date; rain, hail or shine. (Or literal flood.)

    • Yeah I really think that your complaints come from a fundamental misunderstanding of how marketing works. I know little about how it works specifically in the games industry, but the very very safe assumption is that marketing, especially in an industry with multiple entities involved with each release (the developer, the publisher, the console company, etc.) is conducted almost entirely separate from the developer’s own work. Sean Murray may have said some things that turned out to not be in the initial release of the game, but that’s a reality of game development. And he was likely “encouraged” to hype the game in multiple interviews by those who hold the purse strings to ensure a big payout on their investment.

      Those wanting Murray’s head are misdirecting their anger. They need to yell first at the marketing team, then at Sony, then at a mirror, and then finally, if they have anything left, a little bit at Hello Games. Then back at the mirror again.

      I guess what i’m trying to say is, don’t hate the player, hate the game.

      …Wait, maybe that saying doesn’t work here. …Hate the player, not the game? I don’t know. You know what I mean.

      • It seems like quite the Faustian deal. If No Man’s Sky wasn’t plugged into the Sony hype machine and had been allowed to release to the early access it so desperately needed, it would have sold a fraction of the units, but would also have entirely avoided this controversy.

      • Yeah I really think that your complaints come from a fundamental misunderstanding of how marketing works.

        You would be incredibly wrong then. I’ve spent lengthy periods of time in retail, working in the games industry etc (on the sales floor and behind the scenes *in* marketing). However what I also observed during the time of development for this game, like everyone else, was a developer who made pie in the sky promises he never delivered, a company that no doubt pushed the man to deliver and piled pressure upon him, pushing a game meant to be an independent production, into a AAA field. Hello Games themselves need to take lessons away from this game, in terms of marketing, production etc. It’s the SWOT test for the company that will define them in future, otherwise they’ll be just another company that delivers another controversial game and fades into obscurity as quickly as they rose, and there’s hundreds, literally hundreds of them over the years.

  • I haven’t played the game, but can anyone please tell me what base building adds to a game where the primary focus is visiting planets once, then never returning?

    • I don’t think that’s the focus…..u pretty much just explore as much as u can and u can teleport back to your home base that u build …… I still think that this game definitely needs multi-player tho, u get kinda lonely pretty quick.and maybe in a future update they will make it so that u can teleport your bases that u build

    • You’re nomadic by neccessity only in NMS. Having a base allows you to range, and build something for yourself in the stars.

      • Have they updated the map UI so that it’s not an incredible pain in the ass to even identify where your base is to get back to it?

        There’s so much ambitious stuff in those patch notes, just with a skim, that it seems like they’d have to completely re-do the basics of the game to accommodate… but with who much is in there, I guess I’m kind of expecting that this is exactly what they’ve done.

        Either way, I’m really looking forward to firing this up again. I still hadn’t reached the centre of the universe on account of dithering about, farming resources.

  • Should have delayed the game for another 6 months to get this content in at launch… would have probably lessened the hate.

    • Except remember when they delayed the game and received death threats? There would’ve been hate either way I think.

      • Sure, there would have been hate, but there wouldn’t have been 71% negative reviews on their Steam page alone. They had a choice between pissing off a few hundred diehard fans, or pissing off a few million paying customers. They chose poorly.

  • Wow, this is totally exciting. Too many games at the moment, but keen to jump back in with base building and harvesting patched in. Looooove the art style of NMS.

    • I was going to say the ship had sailed a long time ago but, judging from the other comments here, that seems not the case

      • There always was a percentage of players that liked the game for what it was, but there was little point saying that online as you would be pounced on by a horde of people calling you an idiot, accusing you of being an employee of Hello games and basically trolling in order to inflate their own egos.

        Personally I spent over 100 hours in the starting system in the original game and am now starting again in the harder mode. Bargain value for my dollar and I do not really care if I get called a moron for liking it.

    • This is a perfectly reasonable sentiment to have and I think it’s stupid you’re being downvoted for it. I’m upvoting you on principle, not agreement.

      • I dont like NMS but I’m understanding of people that enjoy it and I’m glad people still play it. The worst thing about NMS is Sean Murray lied and unlike other game devs it wasn’t 2 or 3 times it was more like 30. Just watching him do the “well I’m not sure… yes, yes you could say that is a feature gulhaylhahehe”

  • I just want them to fix the shocking draw distance and awful textures when flying on planet. It was jarring and needs to be updated with some better low alt flying as well. Do that and I’ll give it another go…

  • Man, this update looks fricken sweet. Istill so awesome that they are splitting the modes as well – there are those of us that liked the game in its original form, so seeing the survival/creative stuff kept separate for those that wanted it is brilliant, while we can continue to play the game as we were if we want to.

    That trailer is actually bloody fantastic as well. Long and explanatory, pure gameplay. It’s exactly what it needs to be.

    I still feel for that team, and support them fully, and it’s so good to see them really make way into making this game something else incredible.

    • Yeah, the graphics updates look really, really good, and it was a buzz finding a buying a freighter, and seeing new guys to talk to at the space ports etc.
      Seems to be more wildlife, and the scenery now looks even more gorgeous. I’m stoked.
      I haven’t tried either of the two new play modes yet, I’m still tooling around in ‘Normal’ but there is a ton of new stuff in there.

  • I hope Hello Games made enough money to allow them to claw back all the gaming good will they lost. I suppose these updates will help

  • I still do not understand why people think this game is boring or repetive while you have a nearly unlimited amount of planets with different plants, animals etc.

    Maybe nobody of this haters played really boring space games like Elite Dangerous where each planet is exactly the same with nothing interesting on it.

    • Well… except that they’re not different. Some of the animals might have different numbers of apendages, some of the plants different shapes, but everything else is the same.

      The resource plants are the same on every planet, the mineral deposits look the same on every planet, the materials you get from each type of thing are the same on every planet, the pre-fab constructions are the same on every planet (for their type), etc, etc. I know there’s reasons for it, but once you’ve seen the same thing a few dozen jumps, you stop being surprised by much more than the atmospheric conditions and/or what colour grass this planet has (if any). And there was certainly nothing more to do than ‘gather same materials, upgrade samey ships/tools, catalogue samey half-dozen life-forms, move on’.

      It was basically JUST an explorer’s game, and the fact that the exploration isn’t practically finite means that you will never actually accomplish anything of relative merit. Think about why people scratch off everything on an instant scratchie, rather than just enough to see what’s under it. They want to complete it. NMS cannot be completed. Your efforts of thousands of worlds to my efforts of dozens are functionally identical in scale compared to the potential availability of… so close to infinite that you couldn’t do it until the heat-death of the universe.

      Infinite sight-seeing was not everyone’s thing, and not what a lot of folks were led to expect.
      The latest patch looks amazing, though, for cementing in the concept of ‘a corner of space to yourself’. Maybe even a neighbourhood if you have enough reason to keep charting and exploiting a fairly stable constellation that someone else might come across.

      Relativity is important. It’s the core of ‘relationships’. Things compared to other things. I’d say most of us need that.

      I’m looking forward to building up shit myself… once I’m done with FF15.

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