The first major update of 2021 for the oft-updated space-faring sim No Man's Sky is available now and brings pets to the game for all players. No Man's Sky: Companions is the latest free update, following six such patches that came in 2020. As this is No Man's Sky, players shouldn't expect dogs, cats, and reptiles, but rather alien creatures that players can breed, trade, and train on their own.
On the XboxWire blog, Sean Murray, the game's once-maligned, now rather beloved founder of Hello Games talked a bit about what has gone into this new update.
"The Beyond update in 2018 introduced the concept of feeding, riding, and even milking a vast range of animals in the game. Companions takes this to a whole new level in a huge new update.
Travelers are now able to adopt the creatures they encounter and form close bonds with them. They will travel side-by-side with you as you adventure through the universe, both as a friend and as a valuable aide on your voyage. Train them to scan for resources, mark out hazards, provide light, hunt dangerous fauna, find settlements, excavate buried treasure or even mine for materials with their own shoulder-mounted mining lasers."
Creatures that are properly nurtured will be able to lay eggs and care for them until they hatch. A new Space Egg-Sequencer allows players to genetically modify their eggs in incubation and create new breeds of alien species. Because of their unique breeding info and ecosystem, no two companions will be alike, says Murray. "Your faithful friend will roam the planet with you as you explore, and can be patted, fed, and played with. Upon encountering other travellers and their companions, they may become frightened, playful, or even aggressive, based on their own unique personality."
Murray hints that the team still isn't close to done with updating the game, so players can expect another busy year in 2021. The Companions update is available as a free title update for all players starting today.