No Man’s Sky PC launch is a bit of a mess

No Mans Sky icon logo splash screen thing

No Man’s Sky launched on PC just four hours ago (19:00 SA time on 12 August), and for some players the experience has been less than pleasant.

The game has quickly racked up almost 7,000 reviews on Steam, of which only 37% are positive. Reviews on GOG were not quite as negative, with the game achieving an average rating of 2.5 stars out of 5 after 117 votes.

As PC Gamer noted, most of the complaints seem to be related to performance issues and game crashes, and time will tell whether the ratings pick up as folks tend to pile-on when a game is having problems like this.

Players are reporting that even with hardware that far exceeds the minimum requirements, such as a GeForce GTX 980, or twin GeForce Titan X cards, they are seeing low framerates.

To the credit of Hello Games, co-founder and programmer Sean Murray has taken to Twitter to address some of the problems people are seeing.

A 18.3MB patch was also pushed out on Steam, though it isn’t clear what it fixes just yet.

First impressions

My first impressions of the PC port are also mixed. At first launch, the game was in a poorly positioned bordered window. Only after getting into the game could I adjust the graphics settings.

Upon restarting, I realised my game wasn’t saved on my original starting planet (you have to enter and leave your space ship for that to happen) and so I was spawned on a new planet in a different part of the galaxy.

The keyboard and mouse controls also don’t feel well calibrated for a first person PC game. Controller button assignments were simply remapped for the PC version, it seems, which doesn’t translate well.

I experienced some stuttering and low frame rates even after using the Nvidia GeForce Experience app to optimise the game’s settings.

Fortunately my problems were easily fixed.

My setup: an EVGA GeForce GTX 970 driving two monitors, with my primary display running at 1920×1200. Windows 10, 16GB RAM, Intel Core i7-4770k on a Intel DZ87KLT-75K motherboard.

As others highlighed before me, the game locks the frame rate to 30 frames per second by default. After unlocking it the whole game was smoother. Disabling V-Sync also helped get rid of a micro-stuttering effect I was getting.

When running in full-screen mode, I also found that switching back to my desktop tended to leave the game in an irrecoverable black screen state. After switching to the borderless window display mode, I can play and Alt+Tab back to my desktop when I need to.

More on No Man’s Sky

This is what people think of No Man’s Sky

Are No Man’s Sky’s planets varied enough?

No Man’s Sky players are hammering the game’s servers

Watch: This is what happens at the end of No Man’s Sky

No Man’s Sky players meet in the same spot, but can’t see each other

 

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No Man’s Sky PC launch is a bit of a mess

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