No Man’s Sky update adds new ships, more pirates and contraband

A giant space battle above a rocky planet.

Screenshot: hello games

No Man’s Sky continues to expand with its next expansion, subtitled Outlaws. This free update promises to introduce players to the criminal underworld of the game with a large focus on activities such as smuggling and pirate raids when it goes live today.

As teased in the video below, Outlaws are becoming willing residents of No Man’s Sky as rebels, allowing them to undertake illicit missions in space stations overrun by dangerous criminals. Starships equipped with solar sails (the game’s first new starships in over two years) and improved space combat will help players achieve these goals, which can apparently yield huge rewards if they survive.

The full patch notes for the update are available on the official websitebut here is an overview of the main chips from the Hello Games developers themselves:

Outlaw stations

Outlaws have taken over space stations across the galaxy. Outlaw systems are dangerous, lawless places with frequent conflict (but all this presents an opportunity for players eager to loot passing ships…)

A new series of missions leads players to pockets of rebellion, where they’ll find an underworld offering pirate missions, black market technology, and a chance to acquire valuable goods illegal elsewhere in the galaxy. Like-minded gamers can even acquire a fake passport that will allow them to bypass the authorities.

solar ship

With a unique solar sail and sleek bodywork, this is the vessel of choice for those looking to speed between the stars. The solar ship is No Man’s Skyis the first new ship since the start of 2020. There is considerable variety in this line of ships, so expect to scour the galaxy to find the perfect build to match your existing fleet. The maximum number of ships a player can own has been increased from six to nine, so you don’t have to worry about limiting your fleet either.

Smuggling

Illegal goods can be bought from outlaw schemes and smuggled in for a hefty profit. The life of a smuggler is dangerous. The Sentinels are on the lookout for contraband, and discovery is only a cargo probe away…

Freight inventories

All players, not just smugglers, will benefit from the addition of specialized cargo inventories on all starships. These high-capacity slots can store large amounts of cargo, and storage-hungry players can unlock additional slots from the ship upgrade terminal found on all space stations.

Squadrons

Players can now recruit and upgrade their own wingers. Collect your perfect set of ships and pilots. Each pilot comes with their own abilities and can be upgraded over time to improve combat capability.

space combat

Space combat has been overhauled for speed and excitement. Handling has been improved, weapons have new visual effects, and enemy ships now have shields. Depth has also been added to weapon selection with a variety of specialized secondary effects, such as slowing down enemy engines or disabling shield systems. Ship-to-ship combat can now also take place in a planet’s atmosphere – and pirates can plunder your colonies. For those who find space combat challenging, flight accessibility has been dramatically improved with a new auto-follow mode.

No Man’s Sky recently won the “Upgradable Game” award at BAFTA’s British Academy Games Awards, and it’s easy to see why. The work that Hello Games continues to do on the project is staggering, especially considering the controversies both of which led to the game’s release and eclipsed it long after launch.

I’ll go out on a branch and say No Man’s Sky is a little also complicated now for me personally – I rather enjoyed the dark, brooding state it debuted in – but it’s clear that gamers are finally getting what they wanted from the game all those years ago.

amoloans