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Almost a decade has passed since Hello Games unleashed No Man’s Sky, the epic space odyssey that captivated (and initially frustrated) players in August 2016. After conquering PlayStation and PC, the game warp-jumped to Xbox in July 2020, receiving a next-gen facelift for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S in November that same year. The ever-expanding universe reached the Nintendo Switch in October 2022, followed by a Mac port last year. Following a bumpy launch, Sean Murray and his team have tirelessly refined No Man’s Sky, transforming it into a sprawling marvel. Having explored the cosmos on the PlayStation 4 and revisited them on the Xbox One X, the improvements were undeniable. Now, the journey continues with the arrival of the much-anticipated No Man’s Sky: Orbital update.

Thankfully, the wait is over – No Man’s Sky: Orbital is here! This iteration boasts a complete overhaul of space stations, introducing unprecedented architectural diversity. Additionally, players can now meticulously craft their dream starships, a feature long-desired by the community. The update further enhances the visuals of the game, adding an extra layer of immersion to your galactic adventures.

What We Get In No Man’s Sky: Orbital

We see a huge list of changes in the patch notes which are found on the game’s official website. So this is what we get in the 4.6 patch to bring the No Man’s Sky: Orbital release to fans.

Space Stations

  • Space stations have been completely overhauled and refreshed.
  • Station exteriors now come in a huge array of procedurally generated shapes and colours, as well as at an increased scale.
  • Space station interiors are now procedurally generated.
  • Space station interiors now have a huge amount of lighting and visual variation.
  • Station interior designs now reflect the race of the local system authorities.
  • The various key space station merchants and interactions have all been visually refreshed.
  • Players can now use the Quick Menu to switch their docked ship while aboard the space station, providing the ship in question has functioning launch thrusters.

Screen Space Reflections

  • Introduced a number of optimizations and visual improvements to screen space reflection rendering.
  • Reflection rendering has been revised to reduce noise and make the effect more stable.
  • The lighting model for reflections has been improved to achieve a more realistic, physically based look.

Fleet Missions

  • While away on expeditions, frigates may now call home via the starship communicator or the fleet command terminal on your freighter.
  • The fleet commander may seek your advice in dealing with a tricky situation, or may even request direct assistance.
  • Your decisions at these moments, or your efforts in coming to the aid of your fleet, have a direct impact on the outcome and rewards for your fleet missions.
  • Fixed a number of text issues when using the captain’s terminal on a frigate.
  • The player’s torch is no longer auto-activated when boarding a frigate.
  • The frigate teleporter can no longer be triggered while the frigate is away on a mission.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause asteroid flickering when warping to a system that contains a frigate fleet.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented outlaw frigates that are not away on a mission from being warped in to defend the player when under attack by hostile starships.
  • Nearby fleets will now always deploy fighters to assist the player in combat, even if they are on a mission.
  • When landing on an outlaw frigate, the captain will now greet you with an appropriate message.

Starship Customization

  • A new interaction, the Starship Fabricator, has been added to the space station.
  • The fabricator allows you to build your own custom fighter, hauler or explorer starship.
  • When salvaging a ship, the process can now be targeted at specific visuals, e.g. reclaiming the wings or thruster array specifically. These harvested components can then be combined to create a brand-new ship.
  • Purchase starship reactors from space station technology merchants to determine the stats and class of your new starship.
  • The fabricator also allows you to choose unique colour and paint styles for your new ship.
  • Starships salvaged from the wild or purchased from another pilot benefit from universal authentication, granting them a bonus to future trade-in values.

User Interface

  • The splash screen and mode select screens have been visually overhauled.
  • The options screens have been tweaked for visual clarity.
  • The in-game patch notes have had a visual upgrade.
  • Purchase and decline buttons in various UI pages have been re-styled.
  • The compare and purchase screens have been tweaked for clarity.
  • When using “Transfer More” to add items to a slot, the popup will now only show valid items.
  • When a mission location is marked, the icon will now briefly start in the centre of the screen before moving to its usual position, making it easier to track off-screen locations.
  • Fixed an issue that added an additional delay to the creation of markers for mission events.

Trading, Reputation And Guilds

  • Space station technology merchants now have a wider range of upgrades, with more high quality modules available.
  • Space station technology merchants now offer a price discount based on your standing with their faction.
  • The starship Economy Scanner can now be activated from the ship’s inventory as well as from the quick menu.
  • The Economy Scanner can now detect nearby trade surges, in addition to detecting planetary outposts.
  • Trade surges are time-limited events in nearby systems that offer an increased profit margin on key goods. Find a source of the required trade items to take advantage of these surges.
  • A system’s economy description on the galaxy map now uses a consistent label to describe the goods they buy and sell.
  • The guild envoys for the Merchants, Mercenaries and Explorers Guilds now offer a wide selection of items to their members.
  • Find guild envoys aboard space stations.
  • Each envoy offers a range of free supplies and heavily discounted items, with eligibility based on your current standing with their guild. The exact items vary from system to system but are tailored to each specific guild.
  • Envoys will also accept donations to guild supplies, in exchange for increasing your standing with their guild.
  • Vanquished pirate starships now yield Pirate Transponders, which can be donated to the Mercenaries Guild for a boost to standing.
  • The clarity and presentation of the buttons to view journey milestones and faction standing within the catalogue have been improved.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the catalogue system standing button to lead to the wrong page.
  • A number of new alien words have been added, ready to learn and translate.
  • The trade terminal found on space stations now has a clearer name and subtitle.

Base Parts

  • A large number of new base parts have been added, based on the decoration style of the space station.
  • Research these parts with salvaged data at the construction research terminal on the Space Anomaly.

Lastly we have a list of bug fixes for the game.

  • Fixed an issue that caused some shuttle wings to be misaligned.
  • Fixed a number of visual issues with the hologram at the Multi-Tool salvage terminal.
  • Fixed an issue that caused starship icons to be used on the Multi-Tool salvage terminal.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause doors to open too slowly, leading to a collision event between the door user and the door structure.
  • Fixed a number of visual issues that could occur when attaching Autophage heads to other bodies in the customiser.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause some planetary crops to flicker.
  • Fixed a number of memory leaks related to texture generation and streaming.
  • Fixed a memory trample related to holograms.
  • Fixed a memory trample related to planetary missions.
  • Fixed a memory trample related to discoveries.
  • Fixed a memory trample related to player bases.
  • Fixed a memory trample related to claiming rewards at the end of an expedition.
  • Fixed a memory trample related to planetary generation.
  • Fixed a number of memory issues that could occur when dying.
  • Introduced a significant performance optimisation while in non-combat locations such as space stations or the Anomaly.
  • Fixed a number of multiplayer connectivity issues on Xbox.
  • Improved the audio for the Starborn Runner’s landing effects.
  • The Starborn Runner can now truly hover when in planetary flight.
  • Solar-class starships now retract their sails when engaging the hyperdrive.
  • Fixed a number of issues that could prevent starships from correctly attaching to their dock or landing pad.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause the galaxy map to fail to mark the correct path type for your current mission.
  • Fixed a rare issue that could cause some NPCs or objects aboard an outlaw station to use the wrong dialogue type when loading a save made aboard the station.
  • Fixed a number of text issues with missions that encouraged space combat.
  • Fixed a number of items and technologies being absent from the known recipes list when starting a new creative mode game.
  • Fixed an issue that could incorrectly cause additional base specialists (such as the Overseer or Farmer) to appear at Space Stations even after one had been hired.
  • Fixed a softlock that could occur when dismissing a message box while it was still fading in.
  • Fixed an issue that could allow the accidental early ending of an expedition before all milestones were complete.
  • Fixed a number of rare display issues in the Space Anomaly’s expedition terminal.
  • Fixed an issue that allowed players to put damaged technologies in the cargo section of the expedition terminal.
  • Fixed a rare issue that could cause supercharged slots not to appear on the preview of some starships given as rewards.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause a missing texture to appear on the expedition terminal when no expedition is in progress.
  • Fixed a rare issue that could cause player inventories to slowly fill with emergency signal scanners after placing an active scanner in an inaccessible inventory.
  • Fixed an issue that could make it difficult to delete items from your inventory using the pad without also scrolling the inventory away from the item in question.
  • Fixed a rare issue that could cause the camera to be placed incorrectly after being given a reward.
  • Fixed a number of instances of bad data in bait cooking recipes.

Travelers Rejoice! The No Man’s Sky Orbital update has arrived, bringing with it a huge number of changes. This free update brings new life to every part of the universe, from completely redesigned space stations to custom ships put together from random parts. People who are subscribed to Xbox Game Pass can try out No Man’s Sky and the new update for no extra cost. Hold on tight, space cowboys—it’s time to bravely explore a whole new era of what’s possible in this digital galaxy.

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