Unless you've been living under a rock for the last few months, you'll know that Hello Games' massively anticipated universe simulator, No Man's Sky, wasn't quite what people expected or had hoped for. What we saw advertised was a brilliant exploration game with tons of depth and hours of content, but to many, that is not the game we got, and they felt the final product was a shallow husk of what it could've been. It is for this reason that the kind souls at Gamereactor have put something together for you PC users: a list of the best No Man's Sky mods to make your experience as close as possible to the space exploration game we dreamed of.
It's worth noting that these mods are all available on the No Man's Sky section of Nexusmods, and all require you tinkering with the game's files in one way or another, so if you care about your save file it might be worth backing up. Most of the mods on the list also require another mod, NMS Extender, to work, and you can get that mod by clicking right here.
Deep Space v2
Starting off small here, TheEMMETBROWN's Deep Space V2 mod makes some desperately needed graphical changes, and removes some of the questionable effects that were included in the base game. As far as removals go, chromatic aberration, scanlines, depth of field, and vignette have all been kissed goodbye, making the game look much clearer right from the get-go.
This mod also makes various lighting and colour changes to make the game feel much more atmospheric. Space is much darker than before, and doesn't have that weird coloured hue that you get in every system. There have also been tweaks to fog levels, visual noise in the sky on planets, and much more. They are all small changes, but when they come together it makes No Man's Sky a different (and much better) experience.
Fk Inventory Management
One of the biggest problems with No Man's Sky is the inventory management, and many a player would find themselves wrestling with the flawed and needlessly complicated inventory system, that wouldn't allow for easy sorting, and items couldn't be stacked. With Karyogamy's inventory management mod, however, this is a thing of the past.
In a nutshell, this mod allows you to adjust stacking limits for items, elements and equipment, meaning you no longer need to mess around for minutes at a time with the inventory system. If you're tired of having too many warp cells taking up valuable slots in your inventory, this mod is a godsend.
In the trailers for No Man's Sky, we saw huge battles in space between dozens of ships, and squadrons of ships fly over our heads whilst on the surface, but in the full game this seems nowhere to be found. DeckyDoodles' Busier Space mod makes this a reality, though, bringing us one step closer to the brilliant game we saw advertised.
This mod multiplies ship spawn rates, meaning everywhere you go will be, as the name suggests, busier. As an example, trader spawns have been increased times ten, so those empty looking trading posts and space stations will now be bustling with life everywhere you go. Space battles will also be more intense, with freighters being spawned in groups of up to 15 with equally as many attackers.
This mod makes some very small changes but the potential impact in-game is huge - literally. BruceCambel's Big Things mod increases the size of trees, rocks, and plants, giving each planet you visit a much more mysterious and alien feel. The effect this mod has is different with every planet you visit, as on the sparse planets, you'll see the occasional huge tree looming over you, whilst the lush planets look even more wild and overgrown.
Bear in mind that this mod isn't for everyone, and may take some getting used to. There are also likely to be clipping issues as parts of the environment have been changed so dramatically. Those of you whose PC isn't a beast may also see some FPS hits in certain places.
Now we're getting into the bigger changes. The initial trailers for No Man's Sky showed us several things that we'd never see make it into the game on release, which is one of the reasons for the current uproar. Templargfx's Better Worlds mod aims to give us some of these things and more, as well as making the planets in-game more interesting and behave like actual worlds.
The mod makes changes to four separate components: terrain, objects, creatures, and resources. Terrain on planets is much more varied, and over time you may see huge mountains or deep chasms. Objects are placed better and are more varied in size, and creatures are much more varied and behave differently, making them more realistic. Certain resources are much rarer and distributed much more sparsely, making it more like a survival game. There is even the chance for nothing of value to generate on a planet.
Better Worlds also adds more biomes to the game, with the latest version bringing rainforests, woodlands, swamp and more. It's really worth checking out to see what you encounter on your journey.
Easily one of the major gripes that people had about No Man's Sky was that flying, the thing you'll probably be spending the most time doing, was too restricted. You couldn't go slower than a minimum speed and worst of all, you couldn't fly close to the ground. HytekGaming's LowFlight mod, which is probably our favourite mod, fixes this and adds more things that we didn't even know we wanted.
As the name suggests, LowFlight lets you fly as close to the ground as you'd like, instead of there being an annoying barrier between you and the floor when you're in a ship. It also gives you the ability to fly underwater, which allows for some extraordinary journeys on planets that are predominantly water. The latest update for the mod also brings hovering to the game, letting you stop dead in your tracks and admire the scenery around you, or to help you find somewhere to land.
What the devs are planning
Even though there are a smattering of mods here for you to improve your experience, there is also an incentive to keep your game vanilla for now. Hello Games are without a doubt working on a new patch that will bring a few new changes, despite their eerie silence in the last few weeks. We already know that a base-building feature is being worked on, but aside from that we know that Sean Murray and his team are probably working on several quality-of-life patches and bugfixes to make the No Man's Sky experience a better one overall. You never know, maybe one of these mods will make it into the game in some form or another.
Each and every one of the mods here will without a doubt improve your No Man's Sky experience, making it ever so slightly closer to the game you dreamed of when you saw those very first trailers. There is a surprisingly vibrant modding community for No Man's Sky, so we have no doubts that a few more mods will show up in the future. Of course, we can't count out Hello Games either, who will hopefully be implementing their base-building feature in the coming weeks or months.
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