No Man’s Sky’s next update lets you keep the space game’s zany critters as pets

A spaceman stands next to his giant, rat-like pet looking at a blue sky and planet ahead

Surprise! No Man’s Sky gets a big, brand-new update this very day. Called Companions, this one is all about putting the space game’s many varied, zany, and often eminently loveable critters centre-stage, with new features that’ll let you adopt creatures, bring them on your travels across the galaxy, and more.

“Every planet you land on in No Man’s Sky is full of varied creatures, but as wild animals players often didn’t get to spend much time up-close with them,” Hello Games muses in a press release. “Our creatures are weird, vibrant, and surprising, and we wanted to give them a starring role in this update. With the Companions update, players can now tame, breed, train, and even speak to the creatures they encounter.”

Starting today, you’ll be able to adopt and form close bonds with the critters you discover. They’ll then stay by your side as you travel, acting both as your best buddy and a helpful companion in their own right. Think: the dog in Fables 2 and 3.

You can train them to identify resources and hazards nearby, hunt some dangers, find buried treasure and settlements, and even mine minerals. You can pat, feed, and play with your companion, too. So, pretty similar to the beloved pets that accompanied you in Lionhead’s RPG games. Well, except for the next bit.

If you look after your companion well, they’ll start to lay eggs which you can scoop up to incubate. You can “watch in wonder as the new-borns hatch and grow from babies to full-grown adults!” Hello says, and then use a new Space Anomaly Egg Sequencer to genetically modify those eggs into even zanier critters. You can also trade these with other spacefarers.

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The update additionally brings new decals and accessories to customise your pal, and the more time you spend with them, the more their own personalities will develop. This will factor into how they respond to other No Man’s Sky players as you encounter them, too.

Companions come to No Man’s Sky today (February 17), so go get stocked up on treats and litter trays if you’re keen to adopt a critter as soon as possible.