When No Man’s Sky was first unveiled back in 2013, many gamers were going bonkers about the thought of exploring the endless universe with their friends. Fast forward to its controversial release in 2016 and those promises weren’t met. After a year’s worth of updates bringing improvements and additional features, No Man’s Sky is much closer to what fans originally expected it to be. The recent Atlas Rises 1.3 update brought a slew of new features including a 30+ hours story and the ability to edit the terrain of planets.
By far the most important feature for returning players, however, is the chance to finally experience some level of multiplayer as was promised in its initial announcement. Dubbed “Joint Exploration”, this feature isn’t a complete addition of multiplayer, but it’s a start for what’s to come. You aren’t able to, say duel another player or even destroy their base, but you simply explore the universe together as the name states. Finding another player to explorer can be a complicated process, but we’ve got you covered.
Discovering Another Player
The fastest way to find the closest person to you in the galaxy is by opening up your galaxy map. This can be done by pressing down on the D-Pad to open up the quick menu and scrolling left or right until you find it. Opening up the galaxy map will show you all of the nearby star systems and planets. Going to free exploration mode will allow you to easily sweep across the map until you find a “contact”. This contact is another player and the map shows you their location.
From there, you just need enough hyperspace fuel to jump to the correct system they are in, and then the respective planet or space station where they are located. This can take some time depending on how far away the other player is. At this time, you can only see up to 16 other players in your specific instance (think lobby) so your options can be limited and totally random. Thankfully, there is another much more reliable method for exploring with another player.
With the Atlas Rises update, comes another added feature: Ancient Portals. These portals are scattered randomly across planets for you to discover. Finding one of these opens up several new options, including the ability to travel to a random planet in the galaxy. Specifically for multiplayer, the portals are key to exploring alongside your friends. From your particular portal, you can find out the password that is your planet and can be shared with other players, much like the base sharing.
Sharing your planet’s password allows your friends to use their own portals to come to your planet and play together. Unfortunately, you can’t fight or even see what the other person is doing, since they show up as a floating blue orb. Despite that, you are able to travel together and use the voice chat when you are in proximity of one another. Changes that you make to the environment won’t show up on their screen and vice versa.