No Man's Sky gets a major visual overhaul and rideable flying critters

No Man's Sky Prisms Update
(Image credit: Hello Games)

Not even two weeks have passed since No Man's Sky's last free update, which added Mass Effect's Normandy to your fleet as a frigate. And there's already another update to Hello Games's space exploration sandbox.

It's called Prisms, and it's a pretty hefty visual overhaul for No Man's Sky. Prisms includes features like: 

  • Rain that refracts light and makes surfaces look wet and shiny
  • New lighting effects in caves
  • Fur for alien critters
  • A night sky speckled with thousands of new stars
  • New effects when you use your warp drive
  • Volumetric lighting effects in ship and space station interiors

Plus, you can now tame and ride flying alien creatures. What better way to enjoy new visuals than from the back of a giant alien butterfly? Check out the trailer for Prisms:

With so much new stuff to gawp at, No Man's Sky's photo mode has gotten some upgrades as well, with better controls for depth of field and bloom. 

Keep in mind that some of the visual improvements will depend on your PC's specs and whether you're already using Ultra settings. But it's still a long list of features including some welcome tech improvements like screen space reflections (SSR), DLSS (if you have an Nvidia RTX card), parallax occlusion mapping, refractions for cockpits and glass base parts, particle effect improvements, and more. Check out the complete patch notes here.

Christopher Livingston
Staff Writer

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.