It's been a difficult wait, but No Man's Sky's hugely anticipated Beyond update is finally here. And with it comes a heaving page of patch notes for those eager to learn what delights are in-store - aside from the much-touted VR and expanded online components, of course.
As our Martin explained last week following his chat with Hello Games, the previously mysterious "third tier" of No Man's Sky's Beyond update is all about refinements and additions intended to flesh out the existing game, while also making for a more coherent experience. After six major updates since launch, No Man's Sky was getting a bit unwieldy.
To that end, Hello says that the early game has been significantly revised to better introduce players to No Man's Sky's vast array of disparate mechanics, while new story content has been added to bring together the game's three main narrative pathways seen in previous updates.
These are joined by a wealth of interface improvements, with the change that's likely to elicit the loudest cheers coming in the form significantly increased storage caps for mined substances. Now, you won't need a second slot until a substance reaches its new 10,000 limit, up from 250.
Elsewhere, No Man's Sky pinning system has received an overhaul to more effectively guide players through the steps required to craft new items, and the update also brings the likes of a new technology tree to better visualise blueprint upgrades, an enhanced galaxy map, improved flight controls, and changes designed to significantly reduce grind. You can, for instance, now mine for longer without interruption, and new industrial machinery can be crafted to automate the acquisition process of substances, even working while you're not in-game.
If that's still not enough to be getting on with, there are enhancements to No Man's Sky's alien language system, roving NPCs to be encountered out in the world (with new mini-stories and missions to embark upon), and it's even possible bake the likes of space pies and space cakes, thanks to a new cooking system enabling the creation of more than 300 recipes. And yes, some of those will require you to squeeze out some alien milk.
And on it goes: there's a new power system which includes five varieties of logic gate and can be paired with the likes of sphere generators and short-range teleporters to create exotic new contraptions. There's improved base building, including a large range of new base parts, and new multiplayer missions that can be undertaken from within the new social Nexus hub.
And that's before we even get to the rideable wildlife, the changes made for VR, the maximum player count bump from four to 8 people on consoles (and up to 32 players on PC), the visual enhancements, engine optimisations, and plenty more.
All of which is to say that those eager to find out exactly what No Man's Sky's enormous Beyond brings should go immediately and investigate today's patch notes. You might want to brew yourself a cup of tea before you get stuck in though.
No Man's Sky's free Beyond update is out today on PC, Xbox One, and PS4. Happy milking!