Highly anticipated: Hello Games continues to deliver free content to its labor of love, No Man’s Sky. On Wednesday, the studio dropped the latest major installment for the nearly seven-year-old game. It has too many features to mention in a brief article, so we’ll cover the most significant few here, as usual.
Fractals is No Man’s Sky’s 22nd significant upgrade, not counting expedition updates, which can arrive with or without major content releases and overhauls. Like most named updates, Fractals will undoubtedly reinvigorate the fan base and gets players who may have put down the game to pick it back up again.
It is no coincidence that HG chose to release Fractals on the same day Sony launched its PlayStation VR2 because the most noteworthy feature of the patch is support for the new headset. Hello Games has likely had this update ready for weeks but sat on it for this occasion.
No Man’s Sky was already compatible with Sony’s first VR headset. However, HG completely overhauled it in the PS5 version to take advantage of the PS VR2’s features, including 4K resolution with foveated rendering and enhanced textures, Sense controller support, improved HDR (applies to non-VR mode as well), better particle rendering, terrain tessellation effects, haptic feedback, FRS 2.0 support, and more.
First-generation PSVR fans won’t be left out because HG revamped VR mode for both PS4 and PS5 versions to improve overall gameplay. Players can now equip the personal force field in their off-hand and actively move it to block incoming projectiles. Target sweeping and hotspot surveying were tweaked to be more “intuitive” when using the analysis visor. Those and many other improvements to the VR experience should make the game worth picking up again for new and old VR players.
While PC players will not see some of the PS-VR2-specific enhancements, the more general VR improvements too should apply to PC players, as well. Substantive updates always include all platforms.
While certainly a big part, Fractals is not all about the VR update. Hello Games headlines the Utopia Expedition — the latest cross-platform multiplayer season with Travelers cooperating to restore an all-but-lost system to its former glory. As always, explorers who complete the expedition will receive prizes, including a new starship, a cool Darth-Vader-like helmet, base parts, a companion, and expedition-specific patches, stickers, and banners.
The upgrade includes many quality-of-life improvements that apply to VR and standard gameplay. For the hoarders among us, HG ups players’ starship liveries from nine to 12. This is probably one of the most requested feature improvements and is the second time the devs have increased how many ships players can own, doubling it from the original six.
Other QoL improvements include better particle and spark visual effects, reworked motion controls (Switch and PSVR), adjustable user interface (VR mode), a “quick charge” button to refuel equipment with a single button press, ambidextrous multi-tool control, and more. It also comes with the usual catalog of bug fixes.
As always, the update is free for PS4, PS5, XB1, XBS, PC, and Switch. You can check out all the features and changes in the No Man’s Sky Fractals patch notes.