Nuclear Throne's final update is now live

Vlambeer's Nuclear Throne, a "lightning-fast top-down roguelike shooter in which squidgy mutants vie for possession of the eponymous throne," came out a couple of years ago to widespread acclaim. We scored it 90/100 in our review, and it enjoys an "overwhelmingly positive" user review aggregate on Steam. It also wore out the developers pretty thoroughly. 

"Nuclear Throne took a lot out of us, and when we finally released the current U98 over a year and a half ago, we were all entirely exhausted," Vlambeer co-founder Rami Ismail said last week. "Since then, we've slowly been finding our footing again, and now that we're feeling creative again, we decided to return to form with an long-long-long-awaited final major update to Nuclear Throne for PC, Mac, and Linux." 

That would be Update 99, which dropped yesterday, developed alongside Nuclear Throne Together mod creator YellowAfterlife. It doesn't add any new content, but "it is nevertheless significant," bringing improved performance, easier modding, and "a lot of quality of life and balance fixes." 

"We're excited to have one more update art by the phenomenal Justin Chan, we're excited to see the meta change once more, and we've genuinely missed seeing your responses to our silly development antics," Ismail wrote. "We are eternally thankful for your patience, and your sense of enthusiasm and community for the game." 

The full patch notes are too long to list here, but these are the new "features" listed: 

  • Area/weapon/mutation seeding is now far more consistent.
  • There's now an option for borderless fullscreen on Windows (Alt+Shift+Enter / in options).
  • There's now a confirmation dialog when exiting/restarting a run; R confirms in it.
  • Safe spawns now work consistently.
  • Added a setting for native cursors - when supported, this gets rid of mouse lag once and for all.
  • Added a setting for mouselock (when available) - for windowed or multi-screen setups.
  • Both players can now play the same character in coop without making use of bugs.
  • Added localization support (see lang-example.ini / copy to lang.ini for translating)

Some commenters have said that their progress was erased following the update, or that the game launches into a blank screen and refuses to progress. It's not clear yet if the two are connected (at least as far as I've seen) but if you do encounter the blank screen issue, hitting alt-enter will apparently get your wheels turning.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.