After its disastrous launch in 2016 brought to light Hello Games’ many miscommunications, half truths, and flat out lies, many believed it was over for No Man’s Sky, with the few who held out hope finally giving in after seeing just how lifeless and boring the actual game turned out to be. Despite this, though, the developers have been working over the past two years to bring the game up to a playable state, now finally ready to implement one of the features promised from the start but never delivered: multiplayer gameplay.
This major gameplay update was announced at the same time as the release date for the Xbox One port, both of which will come to pass on July 24. On that day, the update (known as No Man’s Sky Next) will become available for the Xbox, PlayStation 4, and PC versions of the game, finally enabling players to meet and interact within the game world. And, as with every update in the game so far, it will be entirely free for everyone.
Up to this point, players have technically been able to play the game together, just not in a way one would actually be able to classify it as “multiplayer”. On launch, there was absolutely no interaction between players, with a famous video showing two players having navigated to the exact same coordinates in the universe yet not being able to see each other despite claims that such would be possible from the developers.
Later, an update made it possible to identify other players in the game world, though only as glowing orbs of light. This newest update, though, promises to bring a more true multiplayer experience, with Sean Murrary (Hello Games’ founder) claiming that Next will allow players to “help friends to stay alive, or prey on others to survive.”
The Next update also promises several other changes to the game, though the details on exactly what are sketchy right now. Hopefully the studio can make good on its promises this time.