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No Man’s Sky recently saw its Nintendo Switch debut, and gamers have had time to dive in and immerse themselves in some space exploration goodness.
Those gamers include us, who have loved our time with the game so far, but how does it stack up against its console and PC cousins? Is it missing features?
And past that – how does it run? The Nintendo Switch isn’t the most powerful console out there, so can NMS and its big, procedurally-generated worlds run smoothly?
We break it all down below:
Key differences between NMS (Switch) and console/PC
It was pretty obvious that some sacrifices would have to be made when porting the game to the Switch.
We’ve pumped hundreds of hours into the game on PC, and now we’re putting in work on the Switch version. So, how is it?
With a seemingly endless supply of visually stunning graphics, No Man’s Sky can challenge even the stoutest hardware. Endless fields of grassing, stunning forests, and even screen-engulfing storms can put things to the test.
This means the Switch version had to make some graphic sacrifices for the game to be playable on the Switch.
The level of detail is reduced at all viewing points (especially at a distance), with players having a “pop in” effect of terrain features at some points.
But you do still get all the charming elements of NMS with the procedurally generated animals, large cloud cover when entering planetary atmospheres, and true day/night cycles.
The performance of No Man’s Sky on the Switch is the reason for the graphical cuts from above, and the game performs better because of it.
The game runs smoothly in both handheld and docked modes with little to no lagging or force closes of the game.
Flying and interacting with the worlds all happen in sync and still allow you to immerse yourself in the galaxy.
One of the most noticeable things missing from No Man’s Sky on the Switch is multiplayer.
Multiplayer was not included in the Switch port at launch to best maximize the hardware and graphical capabilities of the console.
Yes, this means you will be the only ship at the Anomaly.
But never fear, the world is still a shared one. So your discoveries and bases will be on the universal record (once uploaded, of course).
This also means if you upload a base, you can still send your friends out to take a look if you have the glyphs and coordinates.
No Man’s Sky on Switch is a blast, even with limitations
At the end of the day, and even with the differences, No Man’s Sky is extremely welcome on the Switch.
The gameplay, exploration, and story are all in place, and for us, that was the most important thing for Hello Games to preserve with No Man’s Sky.