No Man’s Sky’s eagerly anticipated fifth-anniversary update is here, bringing Hello Games’ science fiction universe one step closer to Star Wars. The Frontiers update gives the game new planetary settlements—procedurally generated hives of scum and villainy that you can take over and govern as you see fit.
Despite the addition of rideable, tameable, trainable alien creatures earlier this year, the endless universe of No Man’s Sky can get a little lonely. Today’s Frontiers update seeks to change that. With all of these perfectly livable planets floating around in space, aliens from across the galaxies have started staking their claims, creating settlements where like-minded beings can come together and set down roots.
These huddled masses of aliens will now be settling on inhabitable planets throughout No Man’s Sky. Don’t be surprised when landing on a planet’s surface to discover it’s already established its own Mos Eisley. I was going to give a couple more examples but the only one I can think of is Mos Eisley. Seriously, though, how Mos Eisley does this look?
These new settlements are living colonies that are hungry for the sort of fresh leadership an alien invader like you could impart. Submit your credentials and you can take over a settlement. Its citizens will look to you for city planning, dispute resolution, treasury management, and other such tasks. It’s like Hello Games added a city builder to the game.
With the focus on building settlements and towns, Frontiers also adds a whole bunch of new base-building bits to the game. New stone, timber, and alloy parts include plenty of shapes to make your settlements unique, while more than 100 decorative bits have been added to make your buildings all pretty. A new, grid-based building interface is said to allow you to easily pick things up and put them down wherever you’d like.
While settlement running and base building are the main focus of today’s Frontiers update, expect many more tweaks and improvements too, including nebulas in space, prettier explosions and other special effects, and the start of a whole new expedition season. The full patch notes are on the official website.
Space might be the final frontier, but Hello Games never seems to run out of new things to add to it. Tune in next time, when it finally caves in to my demands and adds giant space hamsters.
In theory, this is very very cool. In practice… I’m the weirdo who liked the earlier iterations of the game, which were more focused and just sort of aimlessly bopping about the the galaxy. I’ve tried to get back into it a couple times since then, and each time, there’s more and more focus on the various crafting or alien civilizations. Which I’m sure is cool, for people who dig that! I was just kinda into the ‘lonely universe’ vibe of the original release.
(Meanwhile: still waiting for ‘distinct biomes’, or even just ‘temperature zones’, so any given portion of a planet isn’t exactly like any other given portion of a planet.)