Hello Games has released the “Frontiers” update for No Man’s Sky, which adds procedurally generated alien settlements and more.
Here is an overview of the update, via its official website:
Become Overseer of your very own procedurally generated alien settlement in update 3.6, Frontiers. Make choices, guide your citizens, develop new structures and defend your people from the Sentinels. Or, take advantage of a massive overhaul of base building to construct your own dream base.
- Planetary Settlements – Clusters of trailblazing aliens have banded together to build planetary settlements. These pioneering settlements, full of life and promise, can now be found in inhabited systems all across the universe.
- Found Your Own Settlement – Earn the respect of the citizens to become overseer of your very own settlement. As overseer, you’ll be responsible for all aspects of the settler’s lives—naming the town, choosing what to build, commissioning festivals, resolving arguments, repelling the attacks of the Sentinels, and much more.
- Breathtaking Nebulas – Interstellar clouds have gathered in deep space to form spectacular multi-colored nebulas, making space skies more beautiful than ever.
- Base Building Grid Menu – The base building menu has been totally overhauled. Parts are now laid out in a clear grid, allowing fast access to even the rarest of parts. As well as speed, this overview allows players to see the full range of available parts, helping bring diversity and interest to your builds.
- Each Settlement Unique – Every settlement is procedurally generated, with unique buildings, neighborhood layouts, color schemes, and interior and exterior decoration.
- More Save Slots – A new save streaming system has been implemented, making more efficient use of memory. Very large saves are now supported, allowing for thousands of hours of play. The number of possible save slots has been increased from five to 15, and the save select screen now supports scrolling. As this new save system changes the format of save data, all existing saves have been automatically backed up. On PC, these may be found under the new strbackup folder within your save directory, usually in C:\Users\
- Enhanced Destruction Effects – Destruction is crunchier and more satisfying, with reworked visual effects for asteroid destruction, Exocraft crashes, crystal mining, terrain editing, and enemy explosions.
- Help Settlements Grow – Settlements start off small and modest, with a sparse population and only a few buildings scattered around their town center. Choose what to build and provide resources to construct new buildings and transform this ramshackle collection of dwellings into a flourishing town! Different building types influence how your settlement grows. Build farms and factories to increase productivity, or choose to prioritize the comfort and leisure of your citizens with a more relaxed approach to frontier life.
- Hundreds of New Base Parts – Construct your own settlement-inspired bases with a huge array of new base parts. These detailed, high-definition parts are quick and easy to snap together, and yet produce a huge diversity of exciting sci-fi buildings. These new structural sets of timber, stone and alloy pieces create a tremendous range of possible building shapes. Over a hundred new decorative parts create all-new ways to add personal character to bases.
- Steam Trading Cards and Badges – Playing No Man’s Sky on Steam will now earn trading card drops, with a total of 15 cards available. Collect trading cards to craft badges, and earn emoticons and backgrounds for your Steam profile.
- Defend Settlements from Sentinels – Sentinels regard all pockets of civilization with hostility, and as time passes, a prosperous settlement will inevitably draw sentinel attention. Research defensive buildings to keep the alert level low, or engage attacking drones in combat! Combat effects—impacts, player weapon effects, Sentinel effects, and more—have had a visual overhaul, creating a more dramatic and impactful experience for those who choose to take the fight to the Sentinels.
- More Saved Discoveries – The number of discoveries that can be saved locally before uploading has been doubled.
- Settler Thoughts – Glimpse into the inner lives of settlers with insight into their thoughts and intentions as they go about their daily business.
- Twitch Campaign – No Man’s Sky in-game rewards will soon be available to earn by watching streamers play the game on Twitch. Full details of how to sign up are available on the Twitch Drops page here. The campaign will reward viewers with an exciting new set of items, including unique appearance customizations, base parts, exclusive companions, ships and more.
- Streamlined Building Interface – The building UI has been totally overhauled. In placement mode, this new contextual menu allows quick access to scale, rotation and recoloring options. In the brand-new edit mode, builders can quickly select and edit any existing pieces in-place, without having to delete or replace them.
- Resolve Citizen Disputes – Settlement life is not always harmonious! As overseer, you will occasionally be called upon to help resolve disagreements between settlers. Do your best to be a fair and compassionate judge, or cast blame widely and use the fines to boost the settlement’s finances—the choice is yours.
- Earn Resources from Your Settlement – A highly productive settlement can generate a steady income of lucrative products and substances. A populous, happy, and productive settlement will provide a generous supply of resources to its overseer every day.
- Enhanced Environmental Effects – Visual effects have been improved across planetary environments. Dust kicked up by Exocraft, Walkers, starships and radioactive vents now whorls with more depth and character, and fireflies will gather around the street lamps in settlements.
- Advanced Building Controls – The basebuilding toolset has been expanded with several advanced controls. Free placement mode disables all forms of snapping, and allows parts to be placed inside other parts. This advanced mode allows builders to place parts wherever they choose—even in mid-air! In addition, the ability to duplicate base parts makes it simple to quickly match your base’s existing style.
- Move Base Parts – Re-architecting and renovating your bases is now easier than ever before, with the ability to pick up and move previously-constructed base parts.
- Make Important Decisions – Every settlement has a unique set of features, influencing the population, happiness, and productivity of its citizens. Keep these stats balanced to ensure a smoothly functioning society. Under the governance of a thoughtful and benevolent overseer, a settlement may be able to rid itself of undesirable features such as radioactivity or parasitic eggs, and acquire desirable features such as well-educated citizens, or plentiful nanobots.
- Enhanced Multi-Tool Effects – Wield a more impressive Multi-tool with revamped visual effects—the impacts and trails for the Boltcaster, Blaze Javelin, Scatter Blaster, Pulse Spitter, Plasma Grenade and Mining Beam have all been given a new breath of life.
- Contextual Base Parts – Structural base parts such as walls, windows and arches will now intelligently select an appropriate variation—foundation, mid, or top—for their position within a structure, making it quick and easy to construct aesthetically pleasing and highly varied bases.
- Greet Visitors – Settlements attract visitors, and visiting aliens may request to join your settlement, both increasing and enhancing your population with their unique specialist skills.
- Settlement Interiors – Settlements are composed of an assortment of building types—in addition to the Overseer’s Office, you will encounter habitations, factories, farmhouses, cafes and more. Every building is appropriately and uniquely furnished—with tables, chairs, crockery, lighting, storage, wall art, rugs, machinery, and much more.
- Extended Cloud Saving – Account-wide data such as cross-save Expedition rewards are now cloud synced, allowing access to these items across multiple systems when transferring save data via Steam Cloud or PlayStation Plus. All non-consumable Quicksilver purchases, such as gestures and base building parts, are now treated as account-wide data rather than tied to a specific save slot.
- New Expedition SEason – Expedition Three: Cartographers begins soon. This community adventure has a different feeling from previous expeditions. Travelers will begin their journey with a technologically unique starship, featuring an advanced waveform engine and powerful frameshift catapult. Preparing this bespoke ship for flight is a specialized process, and travelers will need to thoroughly explore their starting world to escape the toxic atmosphere of planet Gisto Major. As with previous expeditions, when the expedition time is up, you will have the option of converting your save data to a Normal mode save.
- Monstrous Companions – The Cartographers expedition will allow travelers to earn a fertile monstrosity egg, which may be hatched into a monstrous companion. Monstrosities have a different voice when communicating, and their own unique set of personality characteristics.
And here are the full patch notes:
- Procedurally generated planetary settlements can be now found on inhabited planets all across the universe.
- Settlements are found naturally via a new mission that occurs after a small amount of post-tutorial progress.
- Settlements can also be found with maps purchased from the Space Station Cartographer.
- Mission Board missions that involve locating NPCs can also take players to settlements.
- Players may submit their credentials to the monument at the heart of the settlement. If accepted by the citizens, they will become Overseer of the settlement and may choose its name.
- Every settlement and its layout is unique. Each building is procedurally generated, using only parts available for player base building.
- Settlement status can be seen and managed from the central monument. Once players have constructed their Overseer’s Office, they can also manage the settlement from the terminal in their office.
- Settlements have five key stats: productivity, population, happiness, upkeep costs, and Sentinel alert level.
- Improve their stats by researching new technologies, attracting new settlers to the town, constructing new buildings, setting settlement policies, and more!
- Settlements where productivity is higher than its upkeep will generate valuable products for its Overseer to claim for themselves.
- Higher class settlements will produce more valuable goods.
- Settlements can fall into debt, for example after commissioning an expensive new piece of technology. Debt is automatically repaid from surplus production. While settlements are in debt, the Overseer may not claim the extra products.
- Key stat bonuses are awarded in the form of settlement features.
- Strong features will replace weaker ones. Once the settlement is at the feature limit, weaker features will be awarded as stat bonuses and will not replace a better feature.
- Over time, the Overseer will be called upon to make decisions. A new Settlers mission has been added to the log to help keep track of these requests. This mission will alert Overseers whenever they are required.
- Every few hours, the Overseer may be requested to make a decision. These range from greeting strangers, to resolving crimes, to setting settlement policies and research goals.
- These decisions will help shape your settlement into a thriving town. However, be sure to monitor the Sentinel alert level. This will rise slowly over time, and may trigger an attack on the settlement. The Overseer must be ready to defend their people!
- The settlement’s citizens will wander the town according to their routines. Their mood is influenced by the overall happiness of the settlement, as well as their own reactions to your decisions.
- Any settler may be inspected to glimpse a view at their current thoughts.
- Other settlers will display their thoughts as they wander, allowing the Overseer an insight into the inner lives of their citizens.
- Opportunities to choose a new building to construct will arise frequently. Choose which buildings to prioritize and make your settlement unique.
- Once a decision has been made at the terminal in the Overseer’s Office, a construction site will be placed in the settlement. Visit the site and supply resources to fuel construction.
- Completing the construction of buildings will also award stat bonuses.
- The base building menu has been replaced by a new grid of all available parts.
- The grid allows a quick and easy preview of all existing parts, as well as offering quick access to part selection.
- From the grid, players can select a part to place or go straight to edit mode.
- In placement mode, players now have quick access to scale, colour, material and rotation options.
- In placement mode, players can quickly cycle between related parts, or can return to the parts grid to choose their next construction module.
- A new ‘free placement’ mode has been added. This disables snapping and allows parts to intersect with each other and still be valid to place. It also allows players to freely place parts in mid-air.
- From placement mode, or direct from the parts grid, players can enter Edit mode and adjust any existing parts. Simply target the part and select the appropriate option.
- From edit mode, parts can be duplicated for rapid construction.
- Or, pick up a part to fine tune it before putting it back in place.
- Over 250 new base building parts have been added, from decorative to structural.
- Three new construction sets have been added – timber, stone, and alloy. While still versatile and easy to snap, these new sets are much higher detail and more visually diverse than the previous basic sets.
- These sets replace the old wood, concrete and metal sets. The older sets are no longer available to learn, but will be kept for existing players.
- Players who have already researched pieces from the old sets will be awarded parts from the new set for free. The new sets are significantly larger, so be sure to visit the Construction Research Station on the Space Anomaly to browse the full set.
- The new sets are context-aware and will automatically adjust their visuals to suit their position within a building. For example, walls placed at the top of a multi-storey building may add extra trim to their tops, while walls placed at the bottom may feature extra support beams.
- The Exocraft signal boosters can now locate Trade Outposts.
- Fixed an issue that prevented the Galactic Trade Terminal from being placed on basic wall pieces.
- The Galactic Trade Terminal no longer needs power to function in player bases.
- A number of deprecated and unusable base parts have been removed from the research trees.
- Signal Boosters are no longer limited to one per region.
- Space skies have been significantly improved, with all-new visuals for generating nebula effects.
- Visual effects across the entire game have been significantly improved – destruction, environmental, combat and much more.
- The mode select screen has been updated with a new set of images from the community. Thank you to all the dedicated No Man’s Sky photographers!
- Fixed an issue that caused a single black frame during a teleport.
- Fixed a number of rendering issues with stars in VR.
- The save / load system has been overhauled.
- On console, each save is now treated as its own object, rather than all five save slots being bundled together.
- All existing saves have been automatically backed up.
- A number of crashes that could occur when saving or loading large and lengthy savegames have been fixed.
- The number of possible save slots has been increased from five to fifteen. The save select screen now supports scrolling to see additional slots/start a new game.
- The number of discoveries that can be saved locally without uploading has been doubled.
- Any non-consumable Quicksilver rewards, such as gestures and base building parts, are no longer save slot specific and can be used across all save slots once purchased.
- Cross-save Expedition rewards, Titles, and Catalogue data will now be cloud synced along with other save data.
- Multiple users on the same PC and Windows login will no longer share Expedition rewards, Titles, and Catalogue data.
- On the Discovery screen, improved the clarity of the button that is used to register completion of all creature discoveries on a planet.
- The reward for discovering all creatures on the planet has been significantly increased.
- The clarity of the end-of-expedition countdown has been improved.
- Season Three will begin soon, and will bring an exciting range of new rewards…
- Fixed a number of mission issues related to other players discovering the target creatures/plants/minerals.
- Fixed a number of issues where matchmaking with players who had adjusted their clocks would cause the Expedition to end prematurely.
- Fixed a number of issues that could prevent players from landing despite the location being valid.
- Fixed an issue that made it difficult to hover-select the final Expedition patch.
- Fixed an issue that caused the text on the expedition start splash screen to overlap in VR.
- Fixed an issue that allowed players to start a new Expedition without updating their client to the correct version.
- Fixed a number of mix issues with Bytebeat and background music.
- Fixed an animation issue that could occur when stroking a companion immediately before mounting them.
- Fixed an issue that caused the collision detection for biological horrors to be far too small.
- Fixed an issue that prevented jetpack trail names from appearing if they had not been unlocked.
- Fixed a number of camera issues that could occur when using a planetary chart while inside an Exocraft.
- Fixed an issue that caused some buildings and bases to be labelled incorrectly when entering them.
- Fixed an issue that could cause players to take hazard damage if their hazard protection was drained but they were no longer in the active hazard.
- Fixed an issue that caused some markers to have a “time to walk here” estimate despite being on another planet.
- Fixed a rare crash on Xbox that could prevent players from loading into the game.
Watch a trailer below.