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No Man's Sky Update Boosts Graphics, Adds Cool Stuff

The patch is also getting the space survival title ready for PlayStation VR2

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A No Man's Sky player is shown walking through a grassy area with alien wildlife scattered throughout.
Image: Hello Games

No Man’s Sky consistently contributes to its quest to become one of video games’ greatest redemption stories with regular, important updates, and the next one is no exception. The upcoming Fractal Update is actually going to make Hello Games’ open-universe space sim prettier nearly seven years after its original launch.

No Man’s Sky Fractal Update Trailer

The studio is positioning the Fractal Update as a PlayStation VR2-focused patch, as it’s adding an overhaul to how the game plays on VR headsets just in time for Sony’s new peripheral. This includes allowing you to move your personal forcefield with your non-dominant hand to more easily block enemy attacks, as well as revamping mechanics like base building and navigating the galaxy map with new controls to make them more intuitive for VR users. But while the VR updates are nice, if you’re not playing No Man’s Sky with a headset, the Fractal Update is also improving the game’s HDR lighting to bolster the visual experience across the board.

The comparison shots the studio used in its blog post e are pretty stark in contrast. The new lighting doesn’t feel like it’s lost any of No Man’s Sky’s colorful, neon-drenched visual identity, but without the blinding bursts of lighting, it’s easier to see and appreciate the minute details and notice more contrasting colors in its place. It looks great.

The inside of a space craft in No Man's Sky is shown with a bright, blown out light in the background.
Image: Hello Games
The inside of a space craft in No Man's Sky is shown with notably dimmer lights in the background, allowing for much more contrast and detail in the final product.
Image: Hello Games

Alongside VR changes and a visual update, No Man’s Sky is also getting a few tweaks for the Switch, including adding Nexus Missions, a new start up screen that lets you more easily choose between playing alone or playing with friends, and individual descriptors for its options menu. Also exciting is new accessibility features, which include changes to mechanics like automatic resource scanning to help people who have trouble using the game’s standard simultaneous button pushing, as well as options to change menu text size, because words should always be bigger.

No Man’s Sky is seven years into its life, and even still Hello Games is putting out huge, free updates. Fractal is focused pretty heavily on PlayStation VR2, but there’s a lot here for the general player base regardless of what system they’re playing on. It’s really impressive seeing how far the game has come and continues to go. And now it looks even prettier, so watching these strides just got a little bit nicer.