No Man's Sky Waypoint

No Man’s Sky has an incredible history. Launching in 2016 as one of the most anticipated video games of its generation, it failed to live up to the infinitely high expectations that had been set for it. While most studios would have just taken the L and moved onto something else, Hello Games decided to stick with it. Obsessively.

Here we are now, six years later, and Hello Games is still putting out regular updates for its absurdly ambitious space exploration game. It began its life on PS4 and PC, but later came to Xbox One. Then, it got an updated version for PS5 and Xbox Series X|S. More recently (yesterday, at the time of this writing), it made it to the Nintendo Switch.

With every new console, the version number ticks up. No Man’s Sky Next, which brought the game to Xbox One, kicked the game up to version 2.0. The Beyond update, which added PS5 and Xbox Series support, pushed it to 3.0. And with the recent inclusion of Nintendo Switch, No Man’s Sky has entered version 4.0 with the Waypoint update.

You can check out the trailer for No Man’s Sky Waypoint below.

As you can see, this doesn’t add any major new features, but it does include a vast number of quality-of-life updates. And quite frankly, a lot of these were long overdue. In fact, the small pieces of this update add up to something so robust that it’s hard to feel disappointed — this is still a major step forward for No Man’s Sky.

One of my favorite new features is the Trade Rocket, which players can craft to sell items when there’s no trade terminal around. It can be immensely frustrating to have a full inventory and have to decide what items to drop so you can pick up something you need more. Now, you can at least get some credits for ditching stuff. This is a small thing that ends up being not so small.

No Man's Sky - Trade Rocket

Further, the game has added a new difficulty called Relaxed Mode, and this comes with more dynamic difficulty options where you can slide your game difficulty up and down once you’ve started a save file. Previously, players chose a difficulty when they created a new save, and this difficulty was locked in for the duration of your time with No Man’s Sky. I assume you can’t bump up into Permadeath mode from a non-Permadeath save, but it does sound like players are pretty free to adjust difficulty as they see fit otherwise.

Another thing I’m pretty excited about is new level cap increases for ships and weapons. I’ve not yet fully wrapped my head around how all this works, but it sounds like it gives you more inventory/tech slots in pretty much every aspect of the game that makes use of these slots. It looks like the main inventory and Cargo sections were merged into one area, with the option to purchase even more slots than you were able to before. I don’t know what this caps out at now, but you now have an absurd amount of storage potential.

As someone who’s been playing this game since launch, I can grind a character from the beginning into a billionaire in just a few short hours, so giving me more stuff to grind for is actually welcome in my book. And inventory slots? That’s a worthy grind.

No Man's Sky - Knowledge Stones

There are some visual upgrades too, including new lighting effects in the Nexus and some neat particle effects for Knowledge Stones.

Seriously, I’ve barely even begun to experiment with the 4.0 version of the game, and the patch notes promise hundreds of these tiny little quality-of-life updates. I’m excited to see what else I uncover as I dig deeper into the meat and potatoes of this already-enormous game and its newest update.

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