No Man’s Sky VR Hands-On Preview: Let’s Get Lost In The Stars


No Man’s Sky is a beautiful, mind-boggling experience. The team at Hello Games created an entire universe, and used algorithms to populate it with countless creatures, plants and sweet spaceships. Experiencing it on a TV for the first time was impressive, but jumping into VR has changed the experience to be so much more.

No Man’s Sky in VR is the full game, this isn’t some limited port or a crafted demo. Players can jump from planet to planet, talk and trade with NPCs, create bases and everything else available in No Man’s Sky. While the controls are altered, they feel pretty natural, and I was easily performing all sorts of actions by the end of my hands-on time.

  • Developer: Hello Games
  • Publisher: Hello Games
  • Release Date: August 9, 2016

The movement style I used when trying out No Man’s Sky in VR was the “lilypadding” approach of using a controller to point to where you want to move to, then warping to that spot. Fixed turning was turned on by default, the method of pressing buttons to rotate yourself a set number of degrees, but I was told smooth turning is also supported. It was also mentioned the PSVR version of No Man’s Sky supports a DualShock 4 controller, if you’d prefer that control style.

So what makes No Man’s Sky so much more impressive with VR? The sense of exploration is felt way more when it seems like you’re the one actually taking these first steps on alien planets. For those who have tried VR, the word “immersion” is mentioned frequently, and it’s incredibly crucial here. Leaning over a huge cavern and seeing just how deep it is, or craning your neck at the base of a massive tree or mountain never gets old. That sense of scale is something that really sells that you have been transported to a different location, and is something you just can’t quite recreate with a traditional TV.

The feeling of jetting off into space in a ship was also amazing. Watching as the planet you were on falling behind you as you head off to a space station or new planet is remarkable to behold. I wish I had more time during my hands-on to simply fly around from planet to planet, exploring different solar systems.

No Man’s Sky has always been a beautiful game, but you really notice minor details when using a VR headset. Yes, the game looks great on a TV, but being so up close that you truly feel like you are a part of this world is something you can really only experience in VR.

I do have a few questions before getting too excited. While the 25 to 30 minutes of my demo seemed to pass in the blink of an eye, I’m not sure how long I could play No Man’s Sky in VR in one sitting. Of course, this can apply to pretty much any VR game, as the headset is just kind of cumbersome. I’d also like to try out a few of the different control schemes, especially if one involves actually walking around instead of warping from point to point with the lilypad system.

No Man’s Sky VR doesn’t have an official release date just yet, but is planned to release alongside the major No Man’s Sky Beyond update. Even better, VR support is coming for free to everyone who already owns a copy of No Man’s Sky. VR support will launch on PSVR and Steam VR simultaneously.

So what do you think? Are you excited to explore the galaxy all over again in VR? What other VR games are you interested in trying out? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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