One of our biggest surprises in 2021 has been the popularity of Expeditions. It’s been absolutely lovely to watch folks play No Man’s Sky in new ways (like working together to escape a hellish planet, which prompted this lovely Eurogamer article), and to surprise players with unexpected rewards (like the moment the Normandy from Mass Effect warped into No Man’s Sky for the first time in “Beachhead”).
We have always wanted starting a new expedition to be an exciting refresher, a way for experienced players to find a new perspective on No Man’s Sky, or for new players to find a part of the universe they hadn’t yet experienced. But this very busy year, and the limited-time nature of the expeditions, has meant that it has been difficult for some people to participate in them.
As a one off, we wanted to give people who missed out on any of this year’s expeditions another chance to experience the unique challenges and rewards they offered over this Thanksgiving and Christmas period when life slows down a bit, and hopefully gives us all more free time! We’ve even managed to bring back the Normandy as a reward for those who missed out, which I know so many have asked for.
We’ll be starting on the 24th November with another opportunity to play "Pioneers", the very first expedition. Starting an expedition is as simple as starting a new game. Instead of loading a save, choose ‘Community Expedition’ from the mode select screen and begin your journey!
Alongside the expedition, we are also releasing a small update with a number of bug fixes and quality of life improvements. Full patch notes can be found here.
Expedition Holiday Schedule
Each expedition will run for two weeks, and they have been tweaked to account for this shorter time window. Each expedition has also been given a new starting planet and route through the galaxy. They will run back-to-back, as follows:
Expedition 1 (Pioneers): 24th November - 7th December
Expedition 2 (Beachhead/Normandy): 8th December - 21st December
Expedition 3 (Cartographers): 22nd December - 4th January
Expedition 4 (Emergence): 5th January - 19th January
This marks the end of 2021 which has been another busy year for our small team, as we celebrated No Man’s Sky’s 5th anniversary with 4 major updates! This now takes us to 17 large releases, as well as countless smaller updates, community requests, and hotfixes - a huge amount of work for such a small team. We are very proud to have been on this adventure with you, and humbled that we are able to continue taking No Man’s Sky to new and exciting places.
The 5th anniversary year started in February with the Companions update. We were delighted to see all the screenshots of players exploring the universe side-by-side with their newly adopted alien creatures. We loved the reaction of the community as people began breeding creatures and sharing their eggs, and the weird and wonderful (and colossal) creatures that players brought into existence genetically modifying their eggs never failing to surprise
Expeditions in April introduced a brand new way to play No Man’s Sky. We have always loved the magic of starting afresh - vulnerable, trapped on a planet, a whole universe of possibilities ahead of you. Expeditions brought new ways to experience that feeling, as well as bringing the community together and allowing everyone to feel what it's like to be in a hub world. We are very excited for the future of expeditions and all the different possibilities they contain!
In May we released Prisms, and dramatically refreshed the No Man’s Sky experience with a range of new visual features. We have always wanted everyone to have a real sense of wonder whenever they set foot on a new world or stare up at the stars, and we were so pleased with the way Prisms made the journey across the universe feel exciting and new, even to veteran players. No Man’s Sky has never looked better, with reflections, new texture effects, more planetary details, improved lighting, new skies, new warp effects, creature fur, and much more besides.
September saw the release of Frontiers, which not only overhauled the visuals and mechanics of base building, but also allowed for players to become Overseer of their very own procedurally generated alien settlement. We wanted to make it easier for newcomers to build beautiful bases, as well as open up new possibilities for the experienced building community, and we have been dazzled by the outpouring of creativity that we have seen from you all.
Looking back on all that, it’s an amazing achievement and testament to the hard work of a small group of people. Already work has started on some exciting plans for 2022 and there are no signs of us slowing.
Over the Holiday period the No Man’s Sky merch will be on sale periodically here with a 15% discount. An extra 15% will be applied if you use the code “ATLAS” at checkout.
Black Friday (25th-29th November)
Boxing Day (26th December)
New Year’s Day (1st January)
Thank you all for your support, newcomers and veterans alike. We have one of the best communities in all of gaming and that is never taken for granted.
Our journey continues.