Gaming’s legendary comeback is now free until Monday: No Man’s Sky’s next big update lets you join its Omega community expedition without spending a cent

No Man’s Sky nearly burned up on its atmospheric entry back in 2016—it promised the universe, and only delivered a sort-of-okay space game. PC Gamer gave it a middling 64 at launch in our No Man’s Sky review, with Christopher Livingston remarking: “I’ve touched an infinite universe and walked away with some nice vacation photos.”

Despite that, developer Hello Games has done a bang-up job polishing it over the years, pouring gallons of elbow grease onto a game that would’ve otherwise faded into security via a whole heap of updates. Its overall Steam reviews are now “Mostly Positive” on Steam—an unthinkable reality eight years ago.

And now it’s free—until February 19, that is. To celebrate the launch of its newest expedition update, Omega, Hello Games is allowing everyone to download the game and play it in a charitably long weekend.

The update has a freight load of new stuff to get your grubby little space mitts on: overhauls to expeditions and the Atlas Path (a central story mission), new items, decorations, procedurally-generated missions, pirates, and the titular Omega community expedition.

In case you have no idea what a community expedition is: it’s a limited-time event that’s akin to something like Diablo 4’s seasons, encouraging players to start new save files and collaborate towards a shared goal—though you can start them using your existing save, now. Expeditions usually have specific rules or limitations relating to the objective—for Omega, the name of the game’s exploration and jolly cooperation, with PvP decidedly turned off.

There’s also been a whole host of quality-of-life improvements, including UI tweaks and bug fixes. Players will have two new ships to snag—the ground-skimming Starborn Runner and a hulking dreadnought, which you can pilfer after boarding a pirate ship and defeating its captain.

If you’re like me and missed the initial No Man’s Sky boat—now’s a risk-free time to finally get on board. While I’d always heard great things, I’ve had plenty of games flooding my library in those interim years, with neither the loose change or the time to check out Hello Game’s eventual labour of love. Time to see what all the well-deserved fuss is about.

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