No Man's Sky's Weird Melee Jump Is Still The Most Fun Thing In The Game

No Man's Sky keeps changing, almost entirely for the better. With each update, I've worried Hello Games is finally going to take out my favourite move in the game. So far they haven't. I'm starting to worry less.

Skimming about 1.2m off the ground.

The move I'm talking about is the melee jump, a weird and unusually satisfying method for getting around the game's zillions of massive explorable planets. Every time Hello Games puts out a new update, I read through the patch notes with mild dread. I worry I'll finally see those words: "Adjusted melee physics," or, "re-tuned melee attacks," or something like that. So far, so good.

The melee jump is a simple concoction that players discovered very early after No Man's Sky came out. It works like this: If you do a melee attack, your character will lunge forward while swinging their multi-tool. If you press the jetpack boost button precisely in the middle of that swing, your jetpack will carry you forward on your momentum. It works OK standing still, and even better if you get a running start. You can watch a video demonstrating the basic standing-still technique here.

With a bit of practise, it's possible to get really good at melee jumping around. You'll have to be aware of your surroundings and time your jumps so that you launch from the crest of a hilltop, or even just off the lip of a hump in an otherwise flat field. As long as you're jumping from some kind of height, you can cover ground much faster than you otherwise could.

No Man's Sky is appealing for a variety of reasons, certainly more so after the latest substantial patch. Little of that appeal relates to how the game actually feels to play, however. Movement is pokey and unresponsive, and the jetpack is humorously slow to get going and runs out of juice way too fast. The happy accident of the melee jump has always been the exception for me. It's fun because it lets me bounce around much faster than I otherwise would, but also because it requires skill, timing and position to pull off.

After the latest patch I actually needed an hour or so to get it back under my fingers, since I hadn't played for so long. Start running, swing your melee attack and hold down the jetpack button juuuusst so…

...oh yeah, man. May it live forever.


    Definitely the best thing about the game. The weird thing was that the game is basically unplayable without using this technique--it's just so slow to get around otherwise--but they don't actually mention it in the game or make it any easier to access. I've been hoping to read that they sped up traverasl in general or added a great big 'Do this thing' announcement.

    Still trying to master this trick. I manage to do it most of the time but still sometimes stuff it up.

    This helps so much when I've been caught wandering by a sudden storm. Especially in survival mode, which punishes you when you lapse. Oh man, aggressive sentinels in survival; definitely want to channel your inner Benny Hill then.

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