From the pre-release hype to the raucous backlash at launch to the mixed reactions of the free updates, the team at Hello Games has seen the full spectrum of humanity. Two years after the initial turbulent release of No Man’s Sky, the game has finally made its way to the Xbox One, and all versions have received the massive “Next” upgrade. But even with so much additional time in the oven, some aspects of the game aren’t fully baked.
The biggest news here is definitely all of the visual improvements and multiplayer additions, and those changes are absolutely worth discussing among players new and old. But seeing as we have new platforms in the mix, we’re particularly curious about the resolution and performance.
On the Xbox One, players will be able to start fresh while benefitting from all of the past updates. The base model runs at 1600×900 while the Xbox One X provides two modes: Quality and Performance. While Performance mode offers a respectable 2560×1440, the Quality mode goes all the way up to a native 3840×2160.
Players can easily flip on or off a 30fps cap in either mode, but Digital Foundry has found that the 4K mode simply cannot stay at or above 30fps in some situations. And if you switch to Performance mode, the 60fps goal is only achieved under certain conditions. Vanilla Xbox Ones, sadly, regularly drop below 30 as well. So as it stands, the smoothest way to play is on the X with the capped Performance mode.
On the PC, performance can be a real problem depending on the specifics of your rig. Turning on v-sync, at least with some setups, causes a bizarre amount of stuttering. Weirdly, this issue showed up at 1080p on a Titan X; restarting in 4K seems to solve the problem.
The effects and draw distance are undoubtedly much improved on PC, but with that comes a host of bugs and a requirement for some beefier hardware. Considering how toxic the environment is, it’s a bit surprising that Hello Games didn’t hold off on the PC update until some of these problems were ironed out.
PS4 players still get all of the new goodness, but it’s barely being mentioned these days. We’ve spent a bit of time with the game recently on the Pro, and it’s mostly been positive. Much of the early game has been streamlined over the years, and random folks simply jumped into our world and started talking to us right off the bat. It’s a much more social experience, and that’s a welcome change for many of the game’s biggest critics.
But from a performance perspective, we’ve run into a bit of stuttering on that hardware as well. Even when we manually force the console to the 1080p mode, there’s some weird hitching present when we started a new game. It doesn’t seem to be a massive overarching problem, but we still hope all versions of the game will continue to receive refinements.