No Man's Sky update 'doubles' the game's variety, adds new planets, volcanoes, and weather events

ABOVE: No Man's Sky Origin Update trailer, also on YouTube.

As many players have already guessed, the No Man's Sky Origins update arriving today is largely focused on adding more variety to Hello Games' space sandbox. But the update sounds like it's even bigger than fans have guessed.

Hello Games says the No Man's Sky Origins update "effectively doubles the variety in the game" and while you're exploring the galaxy you'll find all-new kinds of flora and fauna, plus lots of new planets and planet types.

In the trailer above you can see a few examples of creatures that look truly different from the types we've seen before. There are also what appear to be solar systems with binary stars. Extremely cool! There's an enormous floating metal orb above a structure and I have no idea what the heck it is. And then there's that giant sandworm at the end of the trailer. I would definitely call that particular creature a major change in variety.

(Image credit: Hello Games)

Origins is also doing some exciting things when it comes to weather. Currently in No Man's Sky, if the planet you're on is experiencing bad weather (toxic storms, acid rain), that weather is planet-wide. If you want to avoid it, you have to leave the planet entirely.

Origins is adding more realistic localized weather that doesn't hit the entire planet at once, but instead acts like a real weather system, moving across and around the planet. And there are special weather events as well, including tornadoes and meteor showers. I spoke to Hello Games founder Sean Murray the other day who explained how these new weather events will work.

"We don't want to say everything that we've added," Murray said when we spoke earlier this week, "but to give you an idea, some of the weather effects are beneficial, so there are actually things where there is a risk-reward element to them. They are detrimental to you, but they are also exciting, because you can get certain resources during those weather events."

Meteor showers, for example, sound extremely hazardous, but it may be well worth investigating the area they're landing in. It sounds bit like visiting planets where the sentinels are automatically hostile. Yeah, you might get blown up, but you could also escape with a cargo hold full of expensive resources.

(Image credit: Hello Games)

And if you're concerned that some of the new planetary features, like volcanoes, might mess up the planet you call home or disrupt the base you've spent hours working on, it sounds like you won't need to worry. Murray says Hello Games has taken great pains to make sure existing player bases won't be disturbed.

"We didn't want to change the terrain of existing planets," Murray said. "So the idea that we came up with was to introduce new planets, and to increase the diversity of the universe within the universe." The changes in Origin will be "additional" rather than something that overwrites the planets that people have been building on and inhabiting. "The vast, vast majority of players' progress is completely intact," Murray said.

There's lots more in the update, too. "Wild robots" may be found wandering the surface of certain planets. Massive, looming archival alien buildings will contain "data, treasure, and directions to long-forgotten ruins." Swamps, marshes and insect life may be found on fertile planets, and abandoned anomalous buildings can be found on dead, barren planets. And as always, the update comes with a number of game improvements, like new photo mode features and UI upgrades.

No Man's Sky's Origins update arrives today. Check out some more screenshots below, and you can visit the official site for the complete patch notes.

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.