‘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.


Tesla will have ‘autonomous robotaxis’ in 2020, Elon Musk says

Tesla will deploy self-driving cars in a "robotaxi" service in 2020, CEO Elon Musk said at the automaker's Autonomy Investor Day. Musk has promised autonomous Tesla electric cars before, but will he finally deliver this time?

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.

The best video games for kids, sorted by age group, for April 2019

There are a wealth of great games out there that both parents and kids can enjoy together. We compiled a list of 30-plus games across all genres that are sure to make family game night a great time.

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

Joker in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is freezing some Nintendo Switch units

There have been reports that Joker in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is causing Nintendo Switch units to freeze. Even with the glitch, players may still try him out, amid rumors that Persona 5 will soon arrive to the console.

Retailer may have leaked The Last of Us Part 2 release date

A Slovakian retailer published a listing for The Last of Us Part 2, including a potential 2019 release date and box art. This leak comes shortly after an announcement that filming for the lead actors is complete.

Get over here and learn the proper way to deal a Fatal blow in Mortal Kombat 11

Mortal Kombat 11 introduces the Fatal Blow system, which gives players with low health the chance to shift a fight back in their favor. Here is how to perform a Fatal Blow, and how to defend against one.

25 awesome indie games you should definitely be playing right now

These days, some of the best video games are made by independent studios. Here are 25 of the best indie games, whether you prefer grueling dungeon crawlers or otherworldly, meditative adventures.

These awesome free-to-play games might be even better than the ones you paid for

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially popular League of Legends.
Smart Home

These are the 13 best games to play on your new Google Home

Google Home is a handy device, but did you know you can play games with it? There are a ton to play, and we tested them all. Here are some of favorites that you can play on your Google Home device.

A beginner’s guide to flawless victory in Mortal Kombat 11

Mortal Kombat 11 is a complex fighting game with several systems to learn, but with our beginner's guide and a bit of practice, you can be finishing enemies off with a Fatality in no time.

Google’s Stadia is the future of gaming, and that’s bad news for our planet

Google’s upcoming Stadia cloud gaming service, and its competitors, are ready to change the way gamers play, but in doing so they may kick off a new wave of data center growth – with unfortunate consequences for the environment.

Cyberpunk 2077 dev speaks on gameplay and Witcher 3 Easter eggs

A Spanish publication had the opportunity to pick the brain of Cyberpunk 2077's quest director at CD Projekt Red and he speaks on gameplay changes, player choice, and how the team approaches Easter eggs across games.