Why you can trust us

Engadget has been testing and reviewing consumer tech since 2004. Our stories may include affiliate links; if you buy something through a link, we may earn a commission. Read more about how we evaluate products.

‘No Man’s Sky’ Fractal update overhauls VR gameplay in time for its PS VR2 release

Expect an overhauled user interface and headset-specific features.

Hello Games

In 2019, No Man’s Sky reinvented itself for virtual reality. Now, nearly four years later, it’s doing so again. With the release of PlayStation VR2, Hello Games has announced Fractal, a free update for No Man’s Sky that overhauls the game’s virtual reality experience on all platforms.

In a blog post published Wednesday, the studio said it redesigned the HUD and user interface in No Man’s Sky to make every interaction within the game feel natural and purpose-built. In practice, that means Hello Games has devised some clever ways for you to interact with your tools while playing No Man’s Sky in VR. For instance, you can access all of your Multi-Tool’s capabilities through a menu embedded into the device. Similarly, you can browse your character’s inventory through a wrist-mounted display they wear on their spacesuit.

PlayStation VR2 users can look forward to a handful of platform-specific enhancements. Thanks to the power of the PlayStation 5, the PS VR2 version of the game features enhanced reflections, denser foliage, higher-quality textures and better draw distances, among other technical improvements. The PS VR2 release also takes advantage of the headset’s signature features, including 3D audio technology and intelligent tracking. Best of all, you can seamlessly switch between VR and standard gameplay whenever you feel you need a break from the headset.

If you don’t own a VR headset, Hello Games hasn’t forgotten about you. The Fractal update includes new content and features for all No Man's Sky players to experience. To start, there’s the new “Utopia Speeder” spacecraft for players to add their stable. Hello Games says this ship is perfect for flying across the surface of a planet at high speed. Additionally, there’s a new expedition that tasks players with rebuilding a solar system. Taking part will allow you to earn a new drone companion for your character, among other items. On the technical front, Hello Games has redesigned the game’s options menu to add new accessibility features. It has also added support for gyro controls on PlayStation, Nintendo Switch and Steam Deck.

All told, Fractal looks like yet another meaningful update for a game that has evolved so much since its rough launch in 2016. You can download version 4.1 of No Man’s Sky today.