‘Atlas Rises’ update for ‘No Man’s Sky’ finally adds multiplayer, sort of

One of the features that many people thought No Man’s Sky was going to launch with, cooperative multiplayer, has now been implemented, at least to some extent, thanks to the game’s recent Atlas Rises 1.3 update. It doesn’t operate the way multiplayer works in most games, but the feature is there, and it’s joined by a number of other big changes to the game’s story, the introduction of fast-travel portals, and a whole lot more.

No Man’s Sky launched just over a year ago and Hello Games had big plans for the game’s first anniversary. Atlas Rises is that plan in action and it is looking to add a lot of things to the game that have been requested for some time. The introduction of multiplayer is a big aspect of that, but this update goes way beyond a few glowing orbs.

That is exactly what the cooperative multiplayer of Atlas Rises is though. You won’t be able to directly interact with your fellow players, but you can see where they are in their game thanks to a floating orb. There are no player models, no physics, and no ragdolls, but you do know that they are there. Like digital space ghosts from another dimension.

Sixteen players can explore together in a shared space. You can talk to each other using proximity-based voice chat, too, though that’s about the extent of your cooperative abilities right now. Hello Games’ claims that this is just the first step on its drive towards synchronous cooperative play in No Man’s Sky.

Traversing the game’s near-infinite universe can take a while, so the introduction of quick-travel portals in a few key locations should ease some of the tedium of flying from planet to planet. You can now do so in new ships, too, with the introduction of new S Class ships. Wealthier systems now tend to have higher-class ships to acquire as well (thanks Kotaku).

Whichever ship you pilot, though, you can now summon it straight to you anywhere on a planet, making travel that bit more convenient, and on-foot exploration less of a chore. You can always use that ship to explore in-atmosphere now though, thanks to the introduction of new low-flight controls. That should make in-atmosphere dog fights far more common.

If you get into a scrap in space, things should now be a little different. New AI routines make it a much more challenging experience and ship maneuverability has been improved to make for more engaging battles.

There’s even a new terrain-editing tool, which lets you craft exciting “natural” structures from the very elements. Build a new eco-lodge in style, rather than relying on man-made materials.

Other additions to the game which should improve the overall experience include the addition of new crashed freighters to explore, and a new mission system that will make for new challenges and gameplay experiences. There is also improved trading across the galaxy with a new economic and crafting system, a new analysis visor offering additional rewards for scanning, and depth-of-field options to improve the game’s look in specific scenarios.

On top of all of that, there’s a new story to play through, with the very fabric of existence beginning to falter and an interdimensional race offering new opportunities for diplomacy and combat.

All of this has been teased in various ways by Hello Games over the the last two months, engaging fans in an alternate reality game. A total of 250,000 players spread across 174 countries came together to attempt to work out what was going on, according to correspondence from the game’s director, Sean Murray, that was shared via the game’s website.

This eccentric ARG was called Waking Titan, and it wove an engaging sci-fi story featuring a swathe of audio cassettes and a lovable hamster, as detailed in a report by PCGamesN. It was weird, it was fun, and it has the potential to re-energize the No Man’s Sky community after so many players were disappointed with the game when it launched last year.

Hello Games promised a great deal while No Man’s Sky was in development, and most would agree that the experience didn’t quite live up to expectations, but the team has worked diligently over the last twelve months to produce a series of free updates.

All going well, Atlas Rises should be a triumph for Hello Games and a treat for fans of the game. The developer deserves a lot of credit for sticking with No Man’s Sky in an attempt to deliver what players were hoping for, instead of simply moving on to a new project and writing it off as a decent attempt.

The Atlas Rises 1.3 update for No Man’s Sky is now available for all.

If this update doesn’t have you excited, but you still like the idea of an open-universe exploration game, check out some of these other games which might be what you’re looking for.

Update: Added a breakdown of Atlas Rises features.


Latest ‘Battlefield V’ update brings better performance to Nvidia RTX PCs

DLSS support is finally coming to Battlefield V thanks to an update that will arrive on February 12. DLSS will help boost game performance when real-time ray-tracing is enabled, even when the game is played at higher resolutions.
Movies & TV

J.J. Abrams wraps production on Star Wars: Episode IX with a heartfelt message

Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams has wrapped production on Star Wars: Episode IX, which he directed and co-wrote. Here's everything we know about the movie before it premieres in December 2019.
Movies & TV

'Terminator: Dark Fate' is the working title for the new Terminator movie

The most recent Terminator films didn't do so well, but now James Cameron has returned to reinvigorate the franchise. Here's everything we know about the cast, crew, and story of the upcoming Terminator: Dark Fate movie.

One-armed Marine veteran wins ‘Apex Legends’ match using his feet

Twitch user ToeYouUp may have had one of his arms amputated, but that hasn't stopped the veteran from competing in his favorite games. He recently won an Apex Legends match using his feet.

Exotic Masterwork Weapons are in Destiny 2. Here's how to upgrade

Destiny 2's new Masterwork gear offers a number of special bonuses. Here is what you need to know about it, including how to find the gear in the game and even create it yourself.

How to keep a PS4 in your pocket with the PlayStation Mobile app

Sony built the PlayStation 4 with smartphone and mobile integration in mind. Take a look at our guide for connecting your smartphone or tablet to a PS4, so you can get the most out of the system while on the go.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.

You're not a true fan without these Nintendo Switch exclusives

Who doesn't love a good Nintendo game? If you're looking for great first-party titles for your Nintendo Switch, take a look at our list of the very best exclusives available right now.

Razer Game Store to shut down at end of February, less than a year after opening

The Razer Game Store will shut down on February 28, less than a year after it opened. Games purchased from the digital store will continue to work, but purchased keys will need to be used before its closure.

Niantic promises to make Pokémon Go less troublesome for homeowners

Niantic is looking to settle the lawsuits filed by angry homeowners who were affected by hordes of Pokémon Go players trespassing on their properties. Niantic promised to resolve complaints within 15 days, among other things.

These Xbox One exclusives are the definition of quality over quantity

Xbox One has a prestigious collection of handpicked titles that you can't play on other consoles. Here are the latest and greatest Xbox One exclusives, including some that are also available on PC

Kingdom Hearts 3 on Nintendo Switch reportedly never going to happen

Kingdom Hearts 3 for the Nintendo Switch will likely not happen, according to Game Informer's senior editor, Imran Khan. Square Enix is reportedly considering an alternative in bringing the franchise to the console.