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7 years after launch, No Man's Sky adds its first new race in its biggest update of the year

Jul 23, 2023Jul 23, 2023

The Autophage are a mysterious new race of "mechanical constructs" who can be discovered throughout the galaxy.

Two years before Starfield was announced, the sprawling sci-fi epic No Man's Sky launched to a decidedly mixed reaction: It really wasn't quite what was promised by the pre-release hype. Seven years later, Starfield is just a week away from release, and No Man's Sky has evolved into a genuine hit, and has now dropped yet another major update, Echoes, that adds an all-new race of robots to the game with "rich new story content" for players to explore.

The robotic Autophage are the first new race to be added to No Man's Sky since it launched in 2016, and developer Hello Games said it hopes they—and the rest of the Echoes update—will help "breathe new life into the universe." Players will be able to learn the language of the Autophage, explore their mysteries and perform their rituals, and collect mechanical parts that will ultimately enable them to create a unique ceremonial staff and even a full robotic avatar.

Combat in space also gets a major overhaul in this update, enabling battles between freighters for the first time. Naturally, pirates have freighters too, and you'll need to defend fleets from their predatory ways—in a single-seat fighter, of course: "Fly through enemy trenches to sabotage their shields, and destroy them!" Because that's just how things are done in space.

There are numerous smaller changes in the Echoes update—you can, for instance, search for, trade, and scrap weapons to become a "Multi-tool scrap merchant," if that's what you're into—but maybe the most impressive thing is the fact that this update exists at all. No Man's Sky seemed destined to be remembered mainly as a cautionary tale against hype when it first came out, but years of patches and updates have produced a genuinely remarkable turnaround.

A full breakdown of the No Man's Sky: Echoes update is posted at nomanssky.com. The patch notes are below.

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Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.

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