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No Man's Sky: The Biggest Changes In The Waypoint Update

Despite its disastrous launch in 2016 — a bait-and-switch fiasco featuring a trailer filled with blatant lies and a product that was proclaimed as a total waste of money — "No Man's Sky" has gone on to enjoy a belated burst in popularity after years of diligent updates and hard effort on the part of the developers. Over time, Hello Games finally added the promised multiplayer as well as extra content such as land vehicles and extra chances of pink grass (which players were quite excited about at the time).


The most recent update, dubbed the "Waypoint" update, has been less about adding new content and more about streamlining the existing systems with massive overhauls of the core UI and game mechanics for a more intuitive and customizable experience. Many interfaces have been completely altered or consolidated into new menus for better organization, in addition to several quality-of-life changes to the way in-game interactions are handled. With the patch notes being lengthy and detailed, it might be hard to pick out what parts of the game are impacted the most. Here's a breakdown of the biggest changes to "No Man's Sky" in the 4.0 "Waypoint" update.

The UI has gone through an extensive overhaul

According to the patch notes, nearly every page in the main menu has undergone a visual overhaul. One of the most extensive changes is that the Guide, Catalogue, and Milestones pages have been consolidated into a single information hub called the Catalogue and Guide menu. All the information discovered by the player is now automatically logged and organized into dedicated categories for ease of access, including but not limited to refiner and cooking recipes, language data, faction milestones, and more.


Furthermore, pinned instructions and milestones have now been expanded on for clearer guidance, in addition to crafting trees being clearly labeled with requirements for every step along the way. The way that save files are managed has been reworked, as well. The game will now autosave at certain junctures, and save files are clearly labeled with game mode, location, timestamps, and the option of a custom name for easier differentiation.

Difficulty parameters are now fully and individually customizable

Instead of having set difficulty modes as before, "No Man's Sky" now has individual parameters for aspects of gameplay that can be adjusted independently of one another. Players are now able to fully customize their experience, picking and choosing the degree of challenge in any area of gameplay as they see fit, even in the middle of their existing game. However, an important thing to note is that not all of the difficulty options can be freely adjusted mid-game. According to the official website, Expedition and Permadeath options are put in a separate category "for the purposes of matchmaking and base sharing," and cannot be changed after the creation of a new save file.


For players who enjoy a more hands-free approach to difficulty management, "No Man's Sky" has retained the original difficulty settings as easily selectable presets alongside the "Relaxed" preset: a newly added mode that focuses on a balance between challenge and ease of play to deliver a laid-back and relaxing experience as advertised. 

The new inventory management system has completely nerfed upgrades

Alongside the other UI changes, the way that player inventories are managed has undergone a complete overhaul as well. The previous three main compartments of Tech, Cargo, and General items have been consolidated into Tech and Cargo only and loaded with many more item slots than before. The interface itself has been equipped with various quality-of-life changes, including but not limited to: a scroll bar to account for the increased capacity, the option to filter for and highlight particular item types, the ability to adjust stack sizes and manually select slots for placement, and more.


However, alongside all these improvements, the new inventory system imposes a massive disadvantage for players. Previously, upgrades could be stored in both the Tech and General tabs — but not the Cargo tab — allowing a player to carry up to six upgrades of the same type with a maximum of three in either compartment. This limit persisted after the update while the General tab has been eliminated entirely, effectively halving the amount of upgrades one could carry at a time. Understandably, players are rather unhappy about this substantial nerf — but whether Hello Games will address these concerns in any future updates or hotfixes remains to be seen.