Pre-order bonuses can get pretty bad, but it’s not very often they break your game entirely. Until No Man’s Sky.
Some context: When you start off in No Man’s Sky, your character has to learn how to travel through the galaxy. By following a few basic paths for the first hour or so, you’ll eventually get the blueprint for a hyperdrive, which lets your ship warp from region to region. You’ll also get the blueprint for antimatter, which you can use to assemble new warp cells and charge up your hyperdrive. (Each warp requires a cell.)
Problem is, the Alpha Vector ship you get from pre-ordering at retailers like GameStop comes pre-installed with its own hyperdrive. That means you can warp around the galaxy without actually starting the opening sequence and getting the hyperdrive or antimatter blueprints, which has led to some problems as people find themselves unable to make any progress in the game.
Multiple people have reached out to Kotaku’s tips line and posted on various forums about this problem. Some have talked about buying new ships only to find that their snazzy new purchases have no hyperdrives and can’t actually warp anywhere. Others say they can’t get more warp cells because they don’t have the blueprint for antimatter. People have tried exploring planets and buying stuff from space stations but ultimately found themselves out of luck. (Our advice: reset the game and use a different ship!)
Hopefully the developers at Hello Games will find a fix soon.