Last week’s comprehensive update to No Man’s Sky brought with it a host of changes. Some made the game far more malleable and approachable, while others, like tweaks to inventory mechanics, have been the subject of controversy within the community. Seemingly in response to the backlash, Hello Games appears to be making some adjustments to how the inventory works in the game’s experimental PC build.
No Man’s Sky’s “Waypoint” update brought with it a sudden change to the game’s inventory system. Naturally, the term “inventorygate” has developed in response. The result has been the usual rush of memes, review bombs, since-locked Reddit threads with gamers arguing over whether the game is “ruined” or not. Those upset over the changes have a point, however: The updated inventory layout limits players to three tech upgrade slots, capping potential power levels below what they were pre-update. However, the game’s October 10 experimental build added additional upgrade slots, suggesting the devs are looking to address the playerbase’s fairly widespread outrage.
An experimental update, however, might not be enough to quell the frustration many have aired. Steam reviews alone have taken a recent trend toward a “Mixed” status, with many specifically calling out the inventory changes. “The most recent update essentially deleted dozens of hours of grinding,” reads one Steam review. “With the new 4.0 update my inventories are unrecognizable and after all the grind time I have spent it all seems useless,” reads another.
The backlash hasn’t been universal, though. While many are “complaining that they worked 100+ hours for upgrades that are now functionally useless,” as one Reddit thread puts it, others have found that the tweaks and restrictions bring more balance and challenge to the game. The negative responses do appear to be the loudest, however, and it’s uncertain if those have influenced Hello Games’ decision to expand the slots in the experimental build.
The experimental build patch notes on Steam note that Hello Games has added “additional free technology slots,” both for players newly updating their game to the Waypoint version and folks who already have existing saves. You can access No Man’s Sky’s experimental build by right-clicking on the game in your Steam library, selecting “Properties,” navigating to “Betas,” entering the password “3xperimental”, and choosing the “Experimental” build.
The changes are clearly visible on a brand-new save I created to test with. As expected, the regular, stable, build of the game only provides three possible technology slots at the top. Updating to the experimental build, however, doubles the slots on the top row. Further updates to the beta branch since October 10 also fix other issues many had with unlocking inventory slots and navigating the menu overall.
Though these changes have yet to be merged into No Man’s Sky’s stable build, there is no indication yet as to when or if these will be made permanent. Kotaku has reached out to Hello Games for comment.