Beyond the known world is a galaxy of infinite exploration and endless possibility. That is, of course, until you meet your end at the whim of an angry detachment of Sentinels, or breathe in too many atmospheric toxins and collapse on the surface of some backwater planet. With over “18 quintillion” procedurally-generated planets to explore, there’s heaps to see (and flee in terror from) in No Man’s Sky VR. While No Man’s Sky developer Hello Games has called the new BEYOND update the ‘2.0’ version of the game, No Man’s Sky’s brand new VR support feels like ‘1.0’ in many key respects, jarringly reminding me that while the sky’s the limit for the studio, their flagship title’s initial entry into virtual reality has some serious turbulence to work through.

No Man’s Sky Beyond/VR Details:

Official Site

Developer: Hello Games
Available On: Steam (Vive, Index, Rift), PlayStation Store (PSVR)
Reviewed On: Rift (CV1)
Release Date: August 14, 2019
Price: $60

Note: While No Man’s Sky Beyond is the title’s seventh major update in over three years, we’re focusing solely on how the VR portion of the update plays in its current state. Understanding that save progress and multiplayer gameplay are seamlessly shared with the game’s flatscreen mode and flatscreen players, this review does not reflect the experience that a player may have if/when they choose to play No Man’s Sky Beyond outside of a headset.

Gameplay

The only laws in a procedurally-generated universe are the ones you choose to follow. No Man’s Sky VR begins its descent into lawlessness by letting you choose between loading up an existing save or starting an entirely new one. You’re given four save slots, corresponding with the four modes available to choose from as a new player: ‘Normal’, ‘Survival’, ‘Permadeath’, and ‘Creative. If your PSN or Steam friends are online, you can even jump directly into a session with them from the main menu.

While ‘Normal’ is ostensibly the most popular—at least, it constitutes the definitive No Man’s Sky VR experience—there’s an entirely different experience hidden in each mode. ‘Survival’, for instance, keeps most of the core gameplay intact but challenges you with modifiers that make every action less rewarding and every potential threat more dangerous. ‘Permadeath’, which is something I’d never want to experience in a game that can rack up tens, hundreds, or thousands of hours of play, is aimed squarely at those who crave a vastly heightened feeling of urgency in the game’s exploration and combat encounters. Meanwhile, ‘Creative’ is far more permissive towards those who just want to chill out and build bases, offering invulnerability and limitless crafting supplies.

Note: The remainder of this review is based on my time in the ‘Normal’ difficulty mode, which encompasses the baseline No Man’s Sky VR experience.

Image courtesy Hello Games

Opening a new save file from scratch one, the immediacy of survival becomes clear. You are no more than a tiny speck upon the surface of a dusty planet in an unfamiliar system. Finding yourself alone without a spaceship or a weapon, surrounded by hostile atmosphere and aggressive wildlife, you quickly realize that your protective exosuit is failing and that you are going to die in short order if you don’t do something about it.

But there is hope. On the lower right corner of your helmet display, a tutorial canvas informs that you’ll survive—if you repair your scanner and fetch up a source of sodium, the naturally-occurring element that allows you to recharge your suit’s ‘Hazard Protection Unit’. Following these directions, in addition to keeping you alive, begins a series of small tasks that you’re compelled (not required) to complete as you gain familiarity with your environment, your equipment, the interface, and very shortly, your first ship.

Captured by Road to VR

No Man’s Sky VR doesn’t intently hold your hand, but it does give you pellets to follow in the form of primary missions. For the first several hours, each of the game’s systems are taught on a task-by-task basis. Unfortunately, many of these first missions aren’t telling you much more than “go here, do this” without a stronger narrative context. And since the game is so open-ended, they constitute no more than a subtle nudge for a player who wants to get out into the universe and explore sooner rather than later.

It’s an awkward juxtaposition, because there definitely is a narrative, but you won’t even come in contact with it until after completing the tutorial period, several hours into the game. In fact, the real meat of No Man’s Sky VR—the journey to the galactic core which features freighters, higher-tier solar systems, the Artemis story path, exocrafts, advanced base blueprints, and the ‘Space Anomaly’ multiplayer hub—is hidden behind the hyperdrive, which is awarded at the end of these lightly enforced, very helpful, but seemingly monotonous tutorial quests. The game certainly does teach you everything you need to know, but only if you’re patient, attentive, and willing to learn at the pace dictated by Hello Games.

Image courtesy Hello Games

As soon as you gain access to the wider universe, however, the real fun begins. Holistically, No Man’s Sky VR is hard to encapsulate because it can be so many things for so many people. There are such a great deal of systems running simultaneously that it’s difficult to keep track of what to do and where to go at any given time.

Are you interested in trading goods and lining your pockets? Each solar system has its own economy which responds to supply and demand; you can learn the best trade routes and even crash entire economies for your own benefit. Would you rather live out your juiciest intergalactic geoarchaeological fantasies? The galaxy is brimming with unmapped planets to find and scan, alien ruins to defile, and valuable treasures to dig out with the Terrain Manipulator.

And if you’re thinking about becoming a pirate, you don’t have to wait another moment. You can hunt civilian ships and loot their precious cargo, then warp away into the next system as you escape the justice of responding Sentinel authority interceptors.

As you accumulate Nanites, the game’s secondary currency that operates as a stand-in for experience points, you can buy upgrades for your Multi-Tool that let you earn more currency each time you scan a new oddity. Or you can spend those same Nanites on exosuit upgrades that keep you protected from extreme weather patterns, allowing you to explore longer without seeking shelter. If vehicle customization or bigger, better weapons are more your style, you can invest in those as well.

Image courtesy Hello Games

And those are only mere examples of what this game offers in terms of content and replayability. There’s also base-building, creature taming, undersea diving, exocraft racing, 32-person multiplayer, faction missions, bounty hunting, farming, crafting and smelting, artifact scavenging, black hole charting, frigate collecting, cave digging, punching mineral nodes to dust with your bare hands, and an entire 30 hours of story content. There’s even more to do than what I’ve listed, but the big question is how do any of these aspects feel while inside of a headset?

Immersion

I figure it’s worth examining what really ties this whole experience together: the spaceships. On the one hand, there’s a lot to be said about piloting a spaceship with a throttle and a joystick while staring out into space from the interior of your cockpit. That part is, for lack of a better term, extremely cool. And that first moment of blasting off from a planet’s surface and out into space may very possibly be memorialized as one of my favorite VR moments of all time.

As I broke atmosphere and launched into orbit, I took a moment to shut off the throttle and gaze into space. I drank in the panorama of planets casting shadows on one another, the flecks of cosmic dust hitting my ship’s exterior hull as it bumped around in the solar wind, the game’s idyllic retro-electronic synth pads harmonizing underneath it all. That was the moment that the gravitas of No Man’s Sky VR became clear to me. If I could see it in my headset, I could go to it. And nobody was going to stop me.

Other great moments followed shortly behind. My first dogfight in space was adrenaline-pulsing; slingshotting between asteroids to get the drop on an enemy ship while an ocean of stars swirled around in my peripheral vision. It was something out of a movie, though I could see how, even with consistent frame rates, dogfighting in VR may make other players sick.

My third favorite moment occurred after I’d dug a shelter out of a cave in the middle of an ice storm with the Terrain Manipulator, proudly stood in the middle of my room, watching the snowdrift blow into the cavern’s opening as light shone off the walls, in awe of what I’d created with my hands.

But No Man’s Sky’s greatest VR moments, for all they’re worth, are also why I ultimately am left so disappointed with much of how the rest of the game is presented. For every fantastic tidbit of VR immersion this title conjures up, there’s another poorly-translated relic from its flatscreen roots that mucks the entire experience. It pains me to say that the issues that have plagued No Man’s Sky since its launch: unintuitive interfaces, by-the-numbers NPC interactions, and immersion-breaking bugs—while far cleaner in the newest desktop version, they still crumble under the microscope of VR.

Too much of my time playing the VR update was spent drifting between large text boxes, busy menus, and digital cardboard NPC dialogues for me to truly absorb the grandiosity of the universe that Hello Games had laid out before me. Granted, while on foot, I still couldn’t shake the feeling that I was remotely controlling a player character—a human portal to a set of stats and records—rather than embodying that same character in a world that responded to me as a living being that actually existed. Which was, of course, to be expected from a port, but disappointing nonetheless.

Captured by Road to VR

Scanning different lifeforms and minerals on each planet with the Analysis Visor and the Multi-Tool is one of the core elements of gameplay in No Man’s Sky VR, but even that piece involves standing in one place, pointing at something, and holding the trigger for a few seconds. It’s an overly rudimentary form of progression even in the desktop mode, and in stark contrast to the high-impact ship commandeering experience, it’s plain unfun in VR.

It doesn’t help that your Multi-Tool, the single thing you’ll invariably rely upon the most throughout your time in No Man’s Sky (aside from your ship), is hardly more than a floating mesh in VR. It offers no recoil or additional interactivity beyond a wrist-mounted menu, from which you can point and click on an icon to toggle between mining and weapon modules, or reload if you have a weapon module equipped. It’s just about the least immersive way to introduce a ‘gun’ mechanic in a VR game, and it explicitly casts the Multi-Tool as a weightless toy. This, in turn, makes many on-foot interactions feel disconnected—reminding you once more that you’re simply touring the world rather than existing inside of it.

The HUD is locked forward, meaning that it doesn’t follow your actual view around. Thus, I found that I needed to shift or even reset the HUD location using artificial locomotion each time I swiveled my head or turned my body while on foot. I understand that this is meant to accommodate for players who prefer to keep facing forward at all times, but the lack of an option to toggle off the HUD lock is a burden if, like me, you enjoy moving around your entire physical space.

Furthermore, it’s downright annoying when you forget that the HUD is entirely behind you but the game still thinks you’re facing in its static direction. This wouldn’t be as much of a problem if it didn’t have implications on gameplay, but it does. The ‘Rocket Boots’ module, an upgrade for the jetpack which is supposed to make navigating on foot much more convenient, automatically moves in the direction that your HUD is pointed. It’s activated by a quick tap of the same button that would otherwise activate the jetpack, which means that it’s easy to leap in the entirely wrong direction when you forget to reset your position or adjust to the direction of your HUD. It’s the sort of thing that jars you out of your experience if you aren’t paying attention, but even then, avoiding it altogether means remaining conscious of boring interface elements that are removed from the virtual world.

Image courtesy Hello Games

After receiving three years of new content, it’s easy to call No Man’s Sky a dense game, meaning that there’s a metric ton to do and see. Unfortunately, it’s still hard to call it a particularly deep game in any of its individual aspects. Many of its features still feel janky if not entirely thought through, despite seeing tangible improvement over the years. And it’s all the more visible in VR, where you’re literally standing inside of the world rather than watching an avatar stand in for you.

Alien encounters already felt nondescript and forgettable because each random encounter was still, ultimately, just a transaction attached to some random number generation. To this day, each random NPC interaction ultimately leads to another alien word learned or another item gained, all represented on canvas slate in the HUD or in a menu. And in VR, you’re contending with all of that in addition to having to parse through a massive text box and a blank-faced NPC character that seems to look right through you.

Image courtesy Hello Games

Even so, the droll dialogues offered by random NPCs in No Man’s Sky VR are almost always detached from your adventure, near-constantly failing to leave anything resembling a meaningful or emotional impact. But that flavor of tone deafness is to be expected when exploring a universe that flaunts itself on being ‘procedurally-generated’. Of course, the main ‘Atlas Rises’ campaign (which stars Artemis, one of the few handwritten NPCs you’ll spend some actual time getting familiar with) and the world-colliding multidimensional Space Anomaly do both offer characterization and context that is more dynamic and engaging than 99% of the other habitations you’ll experience across the galaxy. But it takes some time completing those aforementioned tutorial missions to get to them, and a new player may become bored and veer off before they reach either.

Comfort

No Man’s Sky VR does offer a few comfort options, though those are still quite limited in comparison to the broader scope and selection of comfort options available in many other modern VR games. You can choose between snap-turning or smooth-turning, teleportation or hand-tracked smooth locomotion, and you can switch comfort blinders on and off. Additionally, you don’t actually have to play with motion controllers if you prefer to play with a mouse and keyboard arrangement or a gamepad. I chose to play through 40 hours of the update with Oculus Touch controllers, all smooth locomotion, and with comfort blinders switched off. Since I don’t generally deal with any motion sickness in VR at all whatsoever, I enjoyed the experience just fine.

Unfortunately, I have thorough reason to believe that most people won’t be able to endure No Man’s Sky VR the same way that I have.

Simply put, the VR mode is, in its current rendition, far too buggy to have a consistent experience inside of. Understanding that there was a lot of game here for Hello Games to weave into virtual reality, I ran afoul of more crashes, frame-sinking performance issues (on my GTX 1070), and outright broken user interface components than I’ve ever seen while playing No Man’s Sky in desktop mode since I first began playing the game during its ‘Atlas Rises’ update in 2017.

Captured by Road to VR

Shockingly, I found game breaking bugs present inside of common user interface interactions. Attempting to open my Multi-Tool and switch to the ‘Create’ function of the Terrain Manipulator inside of a space station or inside of my freighter locked me out of further gameplay interactions until I reverted to an autosave. Meanwhile, I found myself stuck in an interaction where trying to take a new base screenshot at a planetary ‘Base Computer’ turned my camera sideways and stopped my Touch controllers from inputting anything for a full 10 seconds. Yes, my entire view in VR was inexplicably turned sideways for several seconds.

To my dismay, there were serious bugs abound throughout the rest of the game as well. Wandering into the storage container units inside of my freighter dropped me underneath the capital ship’s cargo hold to my death. There’s no longer a way to upload all scanned systems, planets, flora, fauna, or minerals all at once, adding more time spent tediously floundering about inside of menu screens. Attempting to rename anything forced me to get out of my headset and use my actual physical keyboard in the real world to so much as back out of the interaction.

My list keeps going, but I’ve made my point. There are too many technical issues to list here and delineate in a timely manner, and that alone is the massive problem that I’m driving towards. It’s not even the individual bugs that I’m bothered by. It’s that much of the time there’s a feeling of needing to wrestle with the game in order to make it ‘work’. Furthermore, contending with so many bugs in No Man’s Sky VR means spending even more time staring at text in canvas menus, restarting saves, falling through the world, completely losing track of what my avatar is doing, losing track of the camera, and otherwise having an uncomfortable experience.

Captured by Road to VR

Can these issues be fixed through subsequent updates and patches? Totally. Do I expect them to be? Knowing Hello Games’ recent history, I have faith. Even outside of VR, I appreciate many of the ‘2.0’ bits of the Beyond update. But it’s safe to say that No Man’s Sky VR, while novel and exciting in many ways, is plagued with bugs, poor optimization, and seemingly obvious design oversights that create friction and, at worst, infrequently deplete the joy of playing in a headset.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Overall
7.5

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  • namekuseijin

    guess someone should’ve played the pointless Creative walking sim mode if they’re not up to the survivalistic challenges of living in the dangerous cosmos at large…

  • Zachary Scott Dickerson

    I refunded after an hour of use. I could not handle flying, made me sick. I don’t know if that is the games fault or not. I can jump/climb/smooth loco in games, but I don’t really fly in any of them. It seems like a fun sandbox if you’re into that type of game.

    • Damien Paul Labonte

      Refunded in 48 minutes. The countless menus, the abhorrent flying, the terrible performance, the grindy boring game loop. Not my cup of tea.

      • Zachary Scott Dickerson

        Yeah, I don’t have the patience to play these types of games now. I was not impressed by the menu system either, but this is a complex game and I’m not sure how to get around it. It does look like a good type of game to play seated though, which is good for slow games.

        • asshat

          you guys just dont know how to play…

          • Justos

            to be honest, when I first played NMS on PC it was hella confusing. Add a somewhat laggy PCVR port and its a recipe for disaster for new players. Its a fantastic game once you know what youre doing

          • Zachary Scott Dickerson

            I admitted I don’t like this type of genre, I was more weighing in on the fact that my stomach can’t tolerate the VR flying.

    • Pablo C

      Sure, it´s clearly not a game for everyone.

  • Great review, thanks. Sounds like it might be worth waiting another couple of months before I dive in…

    • Randy V.

      Looks to be the best idea. Kind of thought that might be the case. Looking forward to checking this out down the road though.

      • Pablo C

        I thought I had to wait but I´m glad I didn’t since it´s pretty good already (after 3 patches already). Few loud people have had issues.

  • This article has the first mention I’ve seen of the problem with uploading a new base screenshot from the base computer while in VR mode. I built a new base as part of a mission and the last requirement was to upload the base. But I could not for the life of me figure out how to get the screenshot. Absolutely nothing worked. I pressed ‘Upload Base’ many times and it seemed to upload without a screenshot. But the mission never updated. It continues to insist that I upload the base.

    So it’s apparently broken in VR. I will have to try it in flat screen mode. I guess. If I’m still interested by then.

  • ale bro

    comfort score seems harsh

  • doug

    20 hours in, glad I bought it. I think the reviewer, in doing his job of trying everything, found every obscure bug and was frustrated, thus it was work and not play. As a player sticking to normal stuff and avoiding the known issues, I’m having a blast with the tons of stuff that work right. I’ve had zero crashes, and had to revert to a save just once. I can’t imagine the programming wizardry that allows me to go ape with the terrain gun and not crash a computer, and still make a save file a fraction of the size of Fallout 4 VR’s.

    • Gabriel Moss

      “I think the reviewer, in doing his job of trying everything, found every obscure bug and was frustrated, thus it was work and not play.”

      It’s probably looked down upon when a reviewer leaves responses to commenters but I’m breaking through the fourth wall to say that your comment is totally on-point. I actually enjoy the game at a holistic level (at over 115 hours played between versions) and have much respect for Hello Games for porting it at all. That’s why I give it a higher score than anybody would expect if they just read my nitpicks. Thank you, Doug.

      • Jarilo

        Don’t worry man, the entire point of a review is to completely in detail nit pick and describe the game it’s pluses and minuses. For example the HUD not being locked may not be a big deal to some but I can’t play this, at all, I’m on a wireless adapter and I will never use snap turn ever again.

      • This review is hype-free. We need this kind of journalism… just saying “a game is fun” is not enough. A friend of mine reported as well that there are some UX glitches: the game is fun and vast, but there are still various things to fix.

  • Simon Graham

    Seriously..some people are never satisfied. The work Hello Games have done to rectify the initial false promises is beyond any other company I’ve ever come across. This update is a total masterpiece, with effort and care put into the comfort and fluidity of the UI. Much better than Skyrim & FO4. This is a must-buy imo if you have VR and even then if you don’t.

    • GunnyNinja

      A masterpiece would allow you to customize your controls.

      • Simon Graham

        Like Mario World 64?

        • GunnyNinja

          I’m an adult.

          • Simon Graham

            Thanks for replying to my post. I’m not suggesting I’m right, just that I’m happy with the game, even with it’s current issues and knowing that it’s not for everyone. And just for the record, to imply that Mario World 64 is just for children is well…well, it’s a bit childish and naive ;)

          • GunnyNinja

            Is it really? As an adult who has been gaming for over 40 years, I could not tell you ONE THING about Mario World 64. Why? They obviously are not marketing games in any way that has caught my attention. So is that MY fault or theirs? Maybe YOU like children’s games and want to make it somehow negative that I do not. Keep your insults to yourself. Your choices do not have to be MY choices. It IS my view that Mario games are for children. It is in no way childish for me to feel that way. I get to choose what I am interested in, you do not. Enjoy yourself playing them….

          • Simon Graham

            Good job. You’re right.

          • Jarilo

            Don’t feel bad man, I’ve been playing games since the late 80’s and I hate Mario 64. Never under-stood the big deal about that game, Zelda Ocarina of Time though was pretty good.

          • GunnyNinja

            Believe me, I don’t.

          • namekuseijin

            well, Mario 64 was groundbreaking back then. It wrote down how to make a 3D platformer (not the way Jumping Flash did it, nor Croc or whatever). Today, groundbreaking in that genre is Astro Bot, not Mario for tablet.

            Simon bought up Mario 64 because someone said to be a masterpiece a game gotta have customized controls. simply not true.

          • GunnyNinja

            My comment has nothing to do with games designed with fixed controls. I don’t know how many choices you have in that game, but making a game that DOES have customizable controls, but then locking you out of them is not a masterpiece.

          • Pablo C

            Man, Mario games are more similar to 30 year-old games than most games!. If you like old, hard games, you’d love them. It´s just the old platformers with better graphics and mechanics.

          • GunnyNinja

            I have a box in my basement with a bunch of 30 year old games. In my basement.

          • Pablo C

            Congrats. I was poor(er) so only copied cassettes for me.

          • asshat

            an adult child

          • GunnyNinja

            Considering the name you chose for yourself, I can’t find it within myself to be bothered by your opinion of me.

      • Jarilo

        and lock a hud for us wireless people.

        • namekuseijin

          HUD locked to blurry borders of lenses will never be a good idea in VR. however, I was under the impression the HUD does loosely follow your turning motions – but perhaps only for in-game turning, not physical one. Loosely following is much better than fixed HUD anyway

          • Jarilo

            It can trail and loosely follow, that would be fine too but I’m not going to be snap/smooth turning so it needs to at least as a HUD face the general direction I am.

          • namekuseijin

            sounds more like an oversight than anything else. this is their VR 1.0 after all

          • Jarilo

            Well know doubt, I will eventually play this I’m sure. It looks good otherwise.

        • Pablo C

          I personally prefer not having the hud in front of me all the time, and just looking at it when I need the info.

          • Jarilo

            Cool, that’s why it would be nice as an option.

    • Francesco Fazio

      What is the name of your drug dealer ? He must sell great stuff … because you are totally tripping. The game is AWFUL. Works like shit in VR never seen anything so bad. You probably never played VR for real …

      I have rather high specs.

      – i7-8700k
      – GTX 1080ti
      – 16 GB DDR 4 3200 MHZ
      – Oculus Rift
      – 2x SSD 1 TB

      Never had a problem before with any game. 99% of them are running perfectly smooth but it is not the case at all for No Man’s Sky. It is an awful mix of poor optimization, tons of bugs due to poor coding and last but not least stuttering so much that can make you sick. Like it is not enough this mess it is hyper complicated with totally illogic controls … it is the most horrible VR experience ever made by humans.

      Nice job Hello Games. Congratulations really …..

      • Simon Graham

        Wow..just read through all of your older posts- you’re a bit angry aren’t you? :p “People with no knowledge whatsoever should avoid giving wrong untested and unprofessional advises to the others.”. I think it’s you that needs to ease off the drugs m8 and just stay away from No Mans Sky. It’s a game, not a fking way of life.

      • vtid

        I’m running NMS on a much lower spec pc and although there are a few performance issues, it’s not enough to break immersion. I’ve used vr almost every day for 3.5 years and appreciate how much work has gone I to this. Get a refund if you’re that unhappy.

      • asshat

        just going to copy paste your rant all over are you?

      • Baldrickk

        6700k 1070 here, using an Index.
        Performance is, well, shockingly bad.
        Out of the box, it’s pretty terrible.
        Some tweaking though, and you can get it stable at least, if not high in the frame-rate department.

        100% SS I am stuck at 36fps.
        Steam managed, it goes up to 72 (turned headset fps up to 144 to give the most options for reprojection rate) but it takes the SS down to 56% to achieve that.

        With that said, the frames are flowing smoothly. There isn’t any judder or micro-lags as there were on a fresh install.

        And hey, we’re PC gamers right? We don’t mind getting our hands dirty in config files.

        As it is, it’s definitely a seated VR experience for me.
        Standing works… but you have to stay in one spot, facing just the one way. Plus, seated works better when flying.

        Would it be better roomscale? Yes, definitely.
        Can I see why they went the for they did, getting a VR experience everyone can play first? Also yes.
        Even if I would have preferred a better PCVR experience over a PSVR one with better graphics.

        I would have liked to have seen them tidy things up more though.
        Where is Direct Mode? Finger tracking on the Index would be appreciated – with more games including it, it makes games without feel more and more like you’re wielding someone else’s big clumsy hands.

        Multi-tool mode switching needs to be better. The control is inside my gun now I no longer have a pistol. The different modes take too long to switch through, you can’t move while interacting with your hand menus – makes sense for the inventory popup but the quick menus should allow you to interact on the go. Or repurpose the sticks to interact with them one handed.

        For people I know, it needs a left handed mode.

        Yet for all that. It’s a great fun game in VR.
        I can’t imagine ever playing it flat… but I have over 50 hours in this now…

        • “it’s definitely a seated VR experience for me”
          So can you just use a controller for walking and fight stick for flying then?

          I really don’t see the point of motion controls unless you’re playing something like Job Simulator, Escape The Room or anything else where you actually need to grab and move things around.

          • Baldrickk

            You use your controllers as if they were a hotas setup in flight.
            Left hand to grab the throttle, right on the joystick and you move the joystick by trading your controller as one.
            But they didn’t map it well- tilt maps to yaw and not roll…

            Aparrently you can use controllers or mouse and keyboard in VR too, so I assume that you can do as you suggest.

            The advantage of motion controls is increased immersion.
            Which is kinda the point of VR, isn’t it?

          • As I said before, it only works for me in a game where you’re staying still and you’re character is staying still manipulating things.
            The Lab, Space Pirate Trainer, The Bookhaven Experment for example, are more games where I think it totally works and feel immersed.

            But any game where your character is moving around the environment, it loses all immersion for me and sometimes I’d rather just grab a controller and have a comfortable seat.

            There’s a lot of times in VR I’d rather use a controller, and I mean a Dual Shock 4 or an Xbox 1 controller, sitting there. Games like Skyrim VR, Fallout 4 VR or this game, were designed for the player to be sitting in one place using a controller. A VR headset just adds an extra level of immersion.

            Like what is the point of just standing still for a long period of time uncomfortably as I hold the touch pad to make my character walk? That’s not immersive, it’s annoying. And if I’m sitting down, what’s the point of using motion controls if it works better and was designed for a traditional controller?

            Like you said, it’s not well mapped for the motion controllers, so why not use my actual flight stick and actual throttle attachment that really makes me feel immersed as I fly in VR using real flight controls?

          • Rofl bot

            This game has probably the best integration of Dualshock4 controllers I’ve seen. I played with mouse/kB for the first hour or so before I discovered this – wouldn’t dream of changing back now

          • Graham J ⭐️

            I mostly agree except that in walking games standing can be nice because you can physically turn your body to turn around. I find that more immersive than turning with a controller. Of course forward/back will always have a limitation.

            That said in NMS I’ve been playing seated and it works, but I’d stand if it wasn’t for the static HUD that makes physically turning problematic.

        • Graham J ⭐️

          Good quick review, agreed.

      • Guy W Preston

        LOL wow really I just have a PS pro system and PSVR and the game is fine (after the second update that is) The first day it had some bugs but those were quickly fixed with a couple of new updates now its really fun. Im having a blast with it. I can say it definitely is not the worst VR experience ever made hahaha not even close. You do have to go into settings and change the controls to your liking though or you might get frustrated lol

      • namekuseijin

        well, then go back to your simplistic half hour VR indie demos. It’s that simple.

        or quit bitching and wait them fix this huge game to run well in the crazy variety of hardware out there…

  • JesuSaveSouls

    I think its the best vr out there.

    • GunnyNinja

      Don’t get out there much?

      • asshat

        in this case i agree with the jesus freak, its amazing

        • GunnyNinja

          Amazing and best have different meanings…

          • Pablo C

            Its a matter of personal opinion. I have been playing for 30 years and IMO is one of the 10 best games ever made. That´s my opinion, as the Jesus guy has his.

          • GunnyNinja

            And I have mine. We’re even…

        • antonio mora

          “The jesus freak” lmao!

      • JesuSaveSouls

        What are your preferences in vr ?

        • GunnyNinja

          Elite: Dangerous. X-Plane. Robo Recall. Aerofly FS2. DCS World. Superhot(which proves gameplay is better than graphics). Prepar3d. The Invisible Hours. High Noon VR. Project Cars 2. Assetto Corsa. Raceroom. NMS is great in scope and ambition, but not in implementation. It can’t be the best if it can’t get out of it’s own way. It has the potential to be ONE of the best VR games of all time, if the devs would stop trying to decide for us how we should play.

          • JesuSaveSouls

            I agree on most of those games but not with Elite.Elite came out in the beginning with vr support and many years before nms.I do appreciate them for that.The horizons release offered moon planet landings and a drivable vehicle in the surface which was very cool.The price for that horizon add on want cheap but I didn’t mind paying.But what it lacks that nms brings us beautiful smooth environments that you can leave the ship on the surface of planets and space stations and walk around.

          • GunnyNinja

            Two totally different games with different scope. At least with Elite, I have full realistic control of my ship. NMS devs act like none of them know anything about flying. Walking around in Elite wouldn’t work the same way so I do not want to do it there. That’s why I bought this game.

  • Jeff Axline

    If the game just ran at 90FPS all the time it would be glorious and worth the extra headaches. As it is I’m playing through it but I certainly can tell when it isn’t lagging, which is probably about 15 percent of the time.

  • Mark Nelson

    Playing this on PSVR having never been interested in it in the slightest until the Beyond update released. . .Infinite Space Sandbox … YEUCH! Really enjoying it, although the menus and crafting are my biggest gripes so far. I still have very little clue of what the narrative is and the amount of stuff to do is overwhelming! Its actually quite a soothing experience exploring planets and I haven’t felt any discomfort/sickness at all from the VR at all. Think i’m gonna persevere with this one. Imagining what it could play/look like with the next revision of headsets (new PSVR set hopefully) and if it was all 4K with better draw distances it would be absolutely incredible! I kept getting a bug where the ladders at a space port arent climbable, meaning I can’t reach my ship. Returned to my manual save umpteen times and it seemed to work … eventually.

  • vtid

    Personally I’ve found NMS to be one of the most immersive vr experiences I’ve ever had. I’ve been losing track of time and spending hours at a time in this game, which I never normally do. I’m 20-25 hours in and currently I’d say this is right up there challenging Lone Echo as one of the very best vr games yet, imo.

    Yes I’ve come across several bugs, 2 of which required me going back to a save point and redoing some tasks, but hardly a major issue, unless it becomes more frequent. The enormity of the task to get this huge game to work as it does in vr, for a £20 purchase/free update……..It’s amazing.

    For info, I’m running on lowest settings in-game with a 1060 6gb and it runs well enough not to break immersion. Definitely a must-buy for vr enthusiasts, although this particular game does look substantially better on pcvr compared to psvr.

  • Ratm

    Score is a bit high for a 30$ game. Index gave love to this game,and this game gave hate to everyone else.

  • oompah

    So its a girlie game hah ha

    • aasd

      um what?

  • Francesco Fazio

    No Man’s Sky is probably the worst VR experience I have ever had. I play in VR since beginning of 2018 and I have rather high specs.

    – i7-8700k
    – GTX 1080ti
    – 16 GB DDR 4 3200 MHZ
    – Oculus Rift
    – 2x SSD 1 TB

    Never had a problem before with any game. 99% of them are running perfectly smooth but it is not the case at all for No Man’s Sky. It is an awful mix of poor optimization, tons of bugs due to poor coding and last but not least stuttering so much that can make you sick.

    Nice job Hello Games. Congratulations really …..

    • asshat

      works great for most including me, and beginning of 18 wasnt that long ago…. must be you

      • GunnyNinja

        We get it. You like the game. I like the game. Is it ok with you if everyone doesn’t? I’d like the game a hell of a lot more if it had a serious control scheme, or keybinding, or Hotas support. All things a flight game in 2019 SHOULD have. But instead of treating people like THEY must be the problem, you might turn some of that scorn to Hello Games who promised an improved game but took away something as basic as mapping your keys. So yeah, when they fix that, I too can go around telling people how great it is…

        • asshat

          … jesus christ, you know it uses steam Inputs which are remap able through steam right?…. the entire point of that was to unify that across all games so devs dont have to.

          you can remap

          • GunnyNinja

            Yeah and it didn’t work for all devices like it was supposed to. . Plus it didn’t include options for you to map EVERY function. Since they have now fixed most of it, seems pointless to highlight how inaccurate you were when this was posted, but I will anyway. It seems complaining about it was fruitful.

    • q23main

      Until performance issues are resolved by the developer you could try some DIY fixes Tyriel Wood compiled recently in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XU7GzqVovlo

    • callen

      Question, do you have a Rift S or CV1? I have lower specs than you’re listing (GTX 1070 laptop), but my performance is adequate on CV1. NMS can be very CPU-heavy so I wonder if the Rift S adds more overhead on that side (due to processing 5 camera streams), which might partly cause your issues.

      I’m loving this game personally. Avoided it at launch due to all the backlash, always meant to check it out later. But now, experiencing this for the first time, in VR, its mind-blowing. I never wanna leave this universe.

    • Pablo C

      Too bad, I have only a gtx 1080 and it works fine. Obvious question: have you updated windows and the drivers? (it better quite a bit for me).
      Otherwise I´m sure a patch will solve it.

    • RockstarRepublic

      I have had no problems with its VR. With all the mixed reactions regarding VR issues, I can only assume a large part of it based off the user and other factors.

      I’m sporting a 5820k, 32gigs of Ram, 980 ti, m.2 ssd and the CV1 Rift. All drivers updated. Runs smooth as butter.

    • Andrew McEvoy

      Not had any of those issues you speak of and your system is better than mine. Sorry for your loss mate!

  • antonio mora

    30 hrs and loving the game so far. Haven’t got any serious performance issues.
    CV1
    1080ti
    Ryzen 2600x and 16g ram
    But I have just one problem: It won’t let me play any other of my games.

  • Graham J ⭐️

    Interesting RE the base screenshot as I also had an issue there, playing on Index. I clicked screenshot and then could control the camera location, but it didn’t move as expected. Once I took the shot I was brought back to the menu, but it was located outside my playspace and I was behind it so I couldn’t select anything. Managed to get it useable by recentering but clearly there is something up.

  • Jarilo

    “The HUD is locked forward, meaning that it doesn’t follow your actual view around. Thus, I found that I needed to shift or even reset the HUD location using artificial locomotion each time I swiveled my head or turned my body while on foot.”

    This needs to be patched before I even bother with this VR game, I’m on a wireless adapter…I don’t have no stupid ass “front”.

    • Graham J ⭐️

      The thing is, it’s really better to sit down for NMS anyway.

      • Jarilo

        No thanks, I’ll sit down and reset view when in the ship.

        • asshat

          ok or you know, listen to someone whos speaking from experience…. if you dont sit you cannot play for hours on end without getting tired.

          I agree it should rotate, but if this is whats stopping you from playing, and if youre being such a little bitch about such a small feature, then dont even try any vr games ever or else youre going to bitch about something. The experience is still worth having.

          • GunnyNinja

            I don’t know what happened to your reply about Steam mapping, but go there and try to map pitch control. To ANYTHING…get back to me…

          • Jarilo

            Don’t bother, he intentionally acts like an asshat to live up to his name.

          • GunnyNinja

            I don’t mind that. If a crowd watches a guy climb over the fence into the lion cage at the zoo, can they not all learn from it?

          • asshat

            looks like more people agree with me than you guys though….sooooooo

          • GunnyNinja

            Sooooo you need validation. I don’t…3 people can be just as wrong as 300…

          • Jarilo

            LMAO. It’s not a small feature when you are wireless and can’t see your hud because you aren’t facing it. How do you know how fast I get tired? and why are you trying to tell me how I should and shouldn’t play my VR games? Maybe you should quit VR, asshat.

  • JesuSaveSouls

    It’s a milestone for vr

  • I’ve been enjoying it so far but I’ve had some pretty bad performance issues (Also using a GTX 1070), I have heard that turning down the visuals on the screen improves it a lot so I will give it a go. I met up with a friend who had just started playing it and I was circling around them in my ship, I have really strong VR legs but for some reason it made me really dizzy, there was a lot of reprojection and trailing, it’s the first time this has happened in a long while (I owned DK1 & DK2) and not experienced that whole dizzyness in a long while. It needs much more optimization – I play SkyimrVR with a lot of nice graphic mods and it runs super smooth and graphics are way better.

  • vtid

    I should say after all my huge praise for this game, I have now had to play without a visible right hand for the last 2 hours! It still functions, but is invisible. The hand doesn’t reappear on reload so I appear to be stuck with it! This is by far the worst bug I’ve encountered. I still love the game but…..

    • antonio mora

      I have both hands but they appear misplaced in the ship controls, a bit too forward. Also I can’t delete in the build menu, my RT does nothing while pressing A.
      I’ve heard the hands problem come from the customize character station. I’m tempeted to start all over again.

      • vtid

        My right hand’s reappeared since the latest updates. I’ve not tried to delete anything from my build menu. I’m about 30 hours in now. I really love it.

        • antonio mora

          Glad to hear it was fixed for you. Yeah the game is fantastic in VR, I’ve put 80 hrs. and feel I have a long way to go.

          • vtid

            For me it’s not about trying to reach the end quickly. I’m thoroughly enjoying the amount of variety in the game and it’s just an superb experience. Even if I ever reach the ‘end’ I think I’d still just enjoy being totally immersed in the game. I’m not your typical gamer, more a vr and retro console enthusiast, and NMS ticks so many boxes for me. I’m even happy just to chill in its surroundings at times. Plus there’s just so much to do, and I enjoy the freedom to basically do whatever I want at any time.

          • vtid

            Is that 80 hours in vr?

          • antonio mora

            Is there any other way?

  • Steve

    I actually really enjoy using the multi-tool for mining, scanning, terrain manipulation and combat. Each to his own. I too loved flying, but i found the controls in VR in a spaceship less immersive – its hard to be holding on to and moving controls that you dont feel. This problem is not unique to NMS though.

  • Thank you for this very detailed and objective review!

  • huh

    I personally am very happy with NMS VR, it is work in progress in my opinion though, even with that it is quite playable for me.
    Improvements in frame rates and other issues will happen as developers get time to address them.
    When I first started FO4 VR I averaged 40 to 45 FPS now average 82 to 85.
    NMS started, for me, 30 to 35 now averaging 45 planet side, and I am still working through tweaks and seeing updates rolling out from HG.
    I bought the game for $25 AUD and only played in VR.
    Best 25 VR bucks I have so far spent.

  • ITALI-LORI-MONTI

    in vr è quasi ingiocabile -.-

  • Rupert Jung

    Have to agree here regarding the gameplay aspects as well as framerate. VR performance is really a serious problem right now (i5-4770K, GTX 1070), especially in the space ship.

  • david vincent

    For rifters, apparently the performance issue is due principally to SteamVR. For most people who tried it, the game runs much better through Open Composite (but the bindings are broken for now).
    https://gitlab.com/znixian/OpenOVR/issues/126
    We are almost there !

  • david vincent

    Also, plenty of mods have been updated for Beyond, now : https://www.nexusmods.com/nomanssky/mods/top/
    Still waiting for fligh mods tho (allowing low flight, speed increase, no auto roll assistance, etc.)

  • I have been killed well stuck in menus once, and almost died several more times just trying to rename a base on a hostile planet. But I haven’t seen this “HUD” bug that the reviewer spent 2 paragraphs on. I think that one has already been fixed. Alot of this stuff will likely be fixed soon.

    This is how Hello Games has always operated, as you’ll recall from the first release of No Man’s Sky. I sort of expected a very buggy experience for awhile. If I hated bugs really badly, I’d have waited at least a month after release before even trying to play it in VR. Their public releases are always beta-works-in-progress. That’s just how they flow.

    Right now I have to turn off Multiplayer in order to open chests and use menus. I *REALLY* hope they fix that one soon, as playing this was my friend was the whole reason he jumped back into the game again.

  • Dave O’Reardon

    I enjoy hyperbole-free reviews. In this case, I find the review to be a bit glass-half-empty rather than glass-half-full.

    I’ve only played NMS for about 10 hours, and only in VR, but it feels pretty amazing. Sure, there are some annoying things (the fixed HUD direction being one of them), but what they’ve accomplished with the VR translation is impressive. Way more so than other full-game ports such as Subnautica and Fallout 4.

  • david vincent

    Rifters : rejoice, Open Composite is now fully working with NMS and gives a nice boost for most people.
    https://gitlab.com/znixian/OpenOVR
    Thanks to Campbell Suter (ZNix) for his hard work !

  • Adam Broadhurst

    Surprised this only scored 7.5.
    VR is crying out for games like this.
    In 2D its already a very good game, much improved from its launch but in VR its absolutely immense.
    Im really struggling to think of a better VR game at the moment.

  • Grumpy

    I bought NMS a few months before the VR release and had a blast playing in pancake. Even after VR release, surprisingly I find myself enjoying this game much more flat as one can really take thrilling rides on the pilgrim and other exocraft without getting sick.
    NMS VR is just laggy enough to feel clunky. My rig i-9900K/GTX1080ti which is good enough for most titles was really struggling to do 90fps. But still I appreciate Hello Games giving us VRheads the option and I will eagerly wait for some performance optimizations.

  • Ardra Diva

    I realize it’s probably a time and budget issue but I would enjoy reading about how the game performs in different visors and platforms.