Hello Games' No Man's Sky is about to receive one of its most extensive free updates to date. No Man's Sky NEXT arrives next week, on July 24, and it promises open-world multiplayer gameplay between both friends and strangers.
The update was teased earlier today in a trailer showing players wandering around with each other and exploring the alien worlds. A press release obtained by Polygon reveals that the update will let "a small team of friends" team up together and "be joined by random travelers." Friends can work together or fight one another, and players can work together to build houses, colonies, and more. Space battles are open to multiplayer play as well, and a "fully playable" third-person camera mode arrives with the update.
Alongside the multiplayer changes, NEXT promises "dramatically improved planetary terrain generation, ground textures," and "water and clouds" changes, along with "significantly more detail" to ships, NPCs, and buildings. Players can look forward to building bases anywhere across planets, and Next will introduce "dramatically increased complexity and size limits" with base building.
For No Man's Sky players interested in space exploration, NEXT will now let players assemble frigates and command them from a freighter bridge. That's right, players can now control a fleet and send it out across No Man's Sky's universe. This is starting to sound like EVE with less number crunching and just as many promises.
While NEXT is a welcome change for No Man's Sky, the game originally launched in 2016 with extremely limited multiplayer capabilities amid lofty ambitions. The dampened launch got criticism from both the game's fans and detractors. Hello Games founder Sean Murray went on to warn players that No Man's Sky "is not a multiplayer game," something that he grappled with long before the game came out.
"We're not trying to make an MMO where you can play with literally 60,000 people on screen," Murray told Game Informer in 2014. "We handle the case like where other people can fly past in your game or that you can bump into other players in the game. But that's okay for us because it will never happen."
Until now, that is. No Man's Sky NEXT goes live across PC and PlayStation 4 on Tuesday, July 24. The update is available for free, and it coincides with the game's launch on Xbox One.