Hello Games has unveiled the next major free update heading to its exploratory space sim No Man's Sky. It's called Beyond, is due this summer, and includes a "radical" new online multiplayer component.

No Man's Sky: Beyond is described as the game's "most ambitious chapter so far", and started life as three separate planned updates before Hello Games made the decision to combine them into one. The studio isn't revealing every feature to be included in Beyond just yet, but has shared early information on the first component, known as No Man's Sky Online.

This, according to the developer, will introduce "a radical new social and multiplayer experience which empowers players everywhere in the universe to meet and play together". It's not entirely clear what this means in practice, but it evidently builds upon the multiplayer features introduced in last year's Next update - which enabled teams of four to play, explore, and create together in No Man's Sky's procedurally generated universe.

Hello Games says that No Man's Sky Online will feature "many recognisable online elements" and will bring people together "like never before". However, it also stresses that it doesn't consider the game to be an MMO, and that the new features "won't require a subscription, won't contain microtransactions, and will be free for all existing players".

As for the other elements due to arrive as part of No Man's Sky's Beyond update, Hello Games says that it will be "sharing more in the coming weeks" and that it "will talk more about each of the three major components... when we know we can be precise".

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Matt Wales

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Matt Wales is a freelance writer and gambolling summer child who won't even pretend to live a busily impressive life of dynamic go-getting for the purposes of this bio. He is the sole and founding member of the Birdo for President of Everything Society.

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