No Man’s Sky PC First Impressions – Good and Bad News

As a fan of space sims, the launch of No Man's Sky on PC today was a big deal for me. I paid the $60 on Steam, waited for it to install, and immediately began playing it with confused expectations.

During my two hours playing it so far, I've gained a reasonable idea of how it performs on PC and whether or not it is recommendable to other PC gamers. Let's dive right in.


There are a modest amount of settings. You can tune your graphics to a reasonable degree to scale the game between being basic in appearance or a step above the PS4 version. You even have FoV and FPS settings, which are a welcomed addition. 

The graphics are okay. The game can appear muddy and oversaturated at times depending on your environment. Some planets, particularly those that fall into the green spectrum, appear much more attractive. 

It plays well on keyboard and mouse, for the most part. Moving around and interacting with the game world on keyboard and mouse feels natural. If you happen to dislike it, you can hook up a controller at any time. The only problem is that the spaceship controls are currently a mess. I hope that this is fixed in an upcoming patch.

Pop-in is disappointing. The same texture pop-in that PS4 gamers have been complaining about is present here. However, it doesn't seem to be quite as bad on the PC version, which could be thanks to extra processing power.

Performance is good. On an i5 and GTX 1080 the game runs smoothly. I had serious stutter during my initial moments in the game, but those have subsided for one reason or another. I am now able to play the game at 60 FPS 1440p no questions asked.

Don't play it in fullscreen. When minimized, fullscreen mode will bug and not let you maximize the game. Play in fullscreen borderless instead and save yourself the heartache.

The game is divisive. This game has some fundamental design issues, but does offer something that feels unique. This is a game specifically for people who enjoy adventuring and are okay with a mining-centered gameplay loop. I think I might actually really enjoy this game, but you might hate it. Proceed with caution.

I will add more impressions to this as I play the game more. Feel free to ask questions in the comments below and I'll reply.


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