UPDATE 12/08/2016 5.30am: Hello Games has offered a fix for the conundrum that has plagued many a player here.
According to a new "known issues" update, the No Man's Sky developer said that getting into this sticky situation will trigger a quest to acquire a new hyperdrive. That or restarting one's console has helped the vast majority of folks who have encountered this issue.
"It has been reported that using the pre-order bonus ship will leave some players stranded, if they purchase or transfer to a new ship that does not have a hyperdrive (if done very early in game). In most cases the player is actually able to continue (107 of the 135 reports emailed so far)," Hello Games' Sean Murray stated. "The game already detects the player needs a hyperdrive and directs them to a nearby NPC who will give the player the hyperdrive they need. Some other players were able to resolve this issue by restarting their console."
Other workarounds suggested include reverting to an older save, as the game automatically keeps your two most recent checkpoints on file from the in-game "options" menu.
For other supposedly stranding situations, Hello Games noted that players can use their jetpack indefinitely should they boost against a wall, so falling too far down a chasm is usually surmountable. Some other players have found themselves separated from their ship, but landing pads and beacons will offer the option to summon your spacecraft.
Murray said that the game has been far more successful than the developer ever dreamed and to keep up with demand it has hired a new QA team that's larger than the entire Hello Games studio. This is in addition to Sony's QA team that's already helping out. A new ticketed support system will go into practice on Monday.
ORIGINAL STORY 10/08/2016 7.44pm: No Man's Sky players are getting stranded thanks to a weird mix of the game's pre-order bonus not gelling with the uncaring chaos of the universe.
Here's what happening (via numerous Reddit threads): Players who pre-ordered the game are offered a slightly niftier starting ship (one that contains an extra inventory slot!). Should they choose this more valuable vessel, they'll begin the game with a hyperdrive - an absolutely essential item for warping between star systems.
This means that they'll skip the part of the tutorial where they need to acquire the blueprint for how to build a hyperdrive. Fast-forward several hours later and such a player may find themselves trading their spacecraft for another. If they're not careful, they'll replace their ship with one that doesn't have a hyperdrive
Since they never acquired the blueprint to build one, they're unable to craft the necessary item. They can't just look up how to construct one either, as the game requires you to have a blueprint before you can craft anything.
Long story short: They're stuck in their star system unless they can find a hyperdrive blueprint.
This is probably possible, though extremely rare. Players who begin with the pre-order ship won't even be given the tutorial task of crafting a hyperdrive. As such, they'll have to stumble into the required recipe by chance.
It's possible that this whole scenario is spawned by a glitch. For what it's worth, Oli Welsh and I have been playing for hours and haven't encountered a ship that's not already equipped with a hyperdrive. However, people like Redditor McBlurry are having the opposite experience where every ship they encounter is devoid of the vital component.
We've reached out to Hello Games about this alleged bug and will update should we find out more.
In the meantime, our advice for new players: Don't claim the pre-order ship until after you've acquired the hyperdrive blueprint.
For more tips and tricks to exploring the universe, check out our No Man's Sky guide.