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In brief: No Man's Sky updates just keep coming. The game's latest massive free content expansion -- the fourth for 2022 -- celebrates the game's arrival on Nintendo Switch, but brings significant changes to all versions. The "Waypoint" update (version 4.0) includes major alterations to difficulty, customization, and the user interface.
Hello Games' space exploration title and massive redemption story is now available on Nintendo Switch. The developer marked the occasion with the game's 21st free expansion, focusing on rebalancing difficulty and reorganizing the UI.
One of the most significant changes in the Waypoint update is that it adds a new difficulty mode and lets players build their own custom ones as well. The new "Relaxed" mode contains all of the normal mode's gameplay elements -- as opposed to the creative mode, which shuts off some features -- but makes them easier. On the other end of the scale, survival mode receives new challenges.
The difficulty customization feature lets players set parameters for fuel consumption, damage, environmental hazards, inventory space, permadeath, tutorials, crafting, and more elements. Users can also control the frequency of combat encounters, optionally turning them off completely. Players can change and adjust difficulty settings at any time in their existing save files.
Waypoint introduces a few important changes to No Man's Sky's save system. The game now autosaves periodically, but players can still create manual saves and rename save files.
The inventory system receives substantial changes as well, along with all other menus in the game that get a visual overhaul. The Waypoint update increases default inventory space significantly, makes buying new slots much cheaper, and rebalances how players stack or move items. If players still need to clear inventory space, they can build a new item called the Trade Rocket. After stashing items inside it, players can send the rocket to automatically sell the loot at the local space station.
Another way the Waypoint update makes inventory expansion easier is by turning drop pod repairs into trackable missions. Before, players who crafted items to repair drop pods and earn new inventory slots couldn't stray too far from the pod for fear of forgetting its location. Now, they know where to return no matter how far they travel to gather materials.
Crafting is more straightforward now, thanks to new instructions and charts guiding players through the ingredients for different items. Players can now uninstall, store, and move technology upgrades without deconstructing them, saving them the step of re-crafting the upgrades.
Along with many subtle visual enhancements, the Waypoint update adds support for AMD FSR 2.0. No Man's Sky has had DLSS for a while, but it's nice for users without RTX graphics cards to have a new option for resolution upscaling.
The full patch list describes many other changes to the lore journal, harvesting balance, base building, mission rewards, and much more.
The Nintendo Switch version includes all updates released thus far, but doesn't have multiplayer for now. The Switch version box doesn't feature the dreaded "Download Required" banner, indicating the updates are on the game card. Hello Games also released a physical PlayStation 5 version this week that includes the latest updates on the disc.