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New No Man’s Sky Orbital update adds its most requested feature ever

The No Man’s Sky Orbital update adds a ship editor to the beloved sandbox game along with a space station overhaul and a new guild system.

No Man's Sky Orbital update adds its most requested feature ever - An orange spaceship flies towards a giant structure in the space sandbox from Hello Games.

No Man’s Sky Orbital is a huge new update for the beloved space sandbox game that introduces what developer Hello Games calls “perhaps our most requested feature of all time,” along with several other massive overhauls and upgrades. The interstellar exploration and survival game has been going from strength to strength, with the previous Omega update on Steam and the Xbox app offering a way for players to jump in for free, and now the new No Man’s Sky update is bringing plenty of big improvements to the table.

No Man’s Sky Orbital is all about space stations, giving them a vast overhaul from their past look to transform them into big, diverse locations where you can land to shop, explore, and discover other activities. Along with that comes the most exciting new feature, a ship editor that allows you to create completely new starships. There’s also a new guild system and the ability to run a crew of frigates and send them out on away missions in the space game.

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Previously, No Man’s Sky space stations were one of the only parts of the vast sandbox game that didn’t take advantage of procedural generation. As the team at Hello Games has continued to build on its engine, however, it says it’s now able to create “vast interior spaces and exterior spaces with improved reflection and metallic services.”

These new stations are “at a scale never seen before” in the game, and with a huge amount of variety thanks to unique customizations based on the system and locale they’re in, along with the races that appear there. You’ll be able to dock and explore, with all manner of shops and activities to uncover – including the new ship editing area and a guild envoy.

The No Man’s Sky ship editor is an addition players have called for for a long time. “We haven’t introduced customization previously because so many players love exploring to find the perfect ship already out there to purchase,” Hello Games head of publishing Tim Woodley explains. Now, however, you’ll be able to gather and trade for ship parts, along with salvaging components from wrecks and ruins, to create “never before seen starship types.”

No Man's Sky Orbital update 4.6 - A screenshot of the new ship building tool.

Also introduced with Orbital is the new guild system, which makes the act of joining a guild and increasing your reputation a much larger part of the game. By heading to one of the guild envoys at the new-look space stations, you can make donations to increase your standing within the guild, and claim rare items and supplies in turn.

If you’ve got your hands on a freighter and built up a frigate fleet, you’ll now also be able to send them out on away missions. If they get into trouble, you’ll be able to scramble your fighter squadron and head out on a rescue mission to stop the attackers in their tracks. There’s certainly a whole wealth of reasons to check out the new patch, then.

No Man’s Sky update 4.6, Orbital, is out now. You can read the full patch notes courtesy of Hello Games, and you’ll find the game on Steam and the Xbox app. It’s also available to play for no additional cost as part of the Xbox library if you’re a subscriber to Microsoft’s PC Game Pass service.

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