The No Man’s Sky 4.0 Switch Update Will Improve Every Version of the Game

NMS Patch 4.0 promises "streamlined" inventory and more granular difficulty settings for all.

No Man’s Sky Patch 4.0, which players have been waiting on for a little while now, will launch on Oct. 7, 2022. That’s to coincide with the release of NMS on the Nintendo Switch: a labor of love that several members of developer Hello Games have been working on for ages. Don’t think the update will only be meaningful to Switch players, however. Studio cofounder Sean Murray has said that 4.0 will have at least a few nice features for players on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox as well.

Speaking with PC Gamer, Murray explained that the patch will bring an “info portal that will collect together everything that you’ve done so far, everything you’ve unlocked, all of that, and give you more info on it, so that you can dig into it.” This is meant for new and especially returning players to get their bearings.

As we’ve said on this very site before, getting back into NMS can be a bit daunting, even with things like Expeditions to make it more exciting. The game has never included paid DLC of any kind. Not even cosmetics. That’s quite refreshing for an online game in 2022 (even if it’s one of those rare cases where I actually wish I had more ways to support Hello Games for all the free stuff the team has added over the years). However, it also means no battle passes or other expansions to direct players towards what they should check out and do, which have become the default in many modern games. This encyclopedia-like portal of objectives and discoveries seems like a smart way to sidestep that.

The most exciting change for longtime players, though, will likely be “streamlined” and “massively increased” inventory. NMS has come a long, long way in this regard since its launch in 2016. Yet it’s still a bit of a pain. The most time efficient way to upgrade your inventory is by traveling randomly from one space station to the next — purchasing one-time-use upgrades. It’s not difficult, but it’s really quite boring. Hopefully this new system will be an improvement.

Speaking of difficulty: Hello Games is adding a new one. The new difficulty is called “Relaxed” mode. Which sounds a lot like the normal style of play but with severely reduced survival needs. And speaking of that, the existing “Survival” setting will be made even harder to balance out the new easy mode. Murray described how Survival starts off quite challenging but gets pretty mellow once you unlock enough in-game upgrades. I can attest to that myself. The new adjustments should keep it tough for longer, though, giving you more reason to engage with interesting (but otherwise hardly mandatory) activities like cooking.

If that weren’t enough, players can switch back and forth between difficulty settings (at least Relaxed and Normal) to see which is for them. More granular difficulty options — like permadeath — will also be made available for different settings. Meaning you can “have permadeath in relaxed game mode,” Murray explained, and similar mix and match modes.

Does all of this add up to something as big and meaningful as previous whole-numbered updates, like 2.0 and 3.0? Probably not, but the changes are plenty welcome. Not to mention the wording around the Switch update implies that No Man’s Sky will continue to grow after what seems like an incredible technical effort to make the game work at all. And hey, if you just want to enjoy the 4.0 update on a more powerful console, the game is also very popular on Steam Deck these days.