People are speculating about how multiplayer would work in No Man’s Sky, and while developer Sean Murray has confirmed that the game does not have a multiplayer mode as such, and the chances of meeting other players are close to zero, it hasn’t stopped them from testing it out.
As covered in a previous post, two players coordinated with each other in an attempt to meet in the large universe of No Man’s Sky, and even though they managed to reach the same place, they weren’t able to see each other. This is has raised some issues with fans’ expectations from the game, but here’s why it might not be possible to run into someone else when you’re out in the galaxy exploring.
The two players, even when playing at the same time, may have their own instances – copies of a particular area for a group of players. Instanced dungeons are parallel worlds which let different groups of players explore the same dungeon in separate groups. This is reiterated by the fact that you actually can pause the game. Let’s take The Division for example. When you’re in the game, you’re able to see other players who are playing on the same server and the same map. It’s completely possible for someone to be able to play the same map as you but they won’t be visible if you’re not in the same instance. The same applies to No Man’s Sky. Even though you’re on the same map, you may in different instances. And considering the map size of No Man’s Sky, the chances of you actually running into another player are quite slim. Even if the server limit is about 100 people in an instance, you can be on any one of the 18 quintillion planets.
Another question that arises is that if different servers mean that you can’t see other players, then how can you see their discoveries. Well, that’s because the discoveries are uploaded to the main server, which enables everyone to see it, irrespective of their own host server. It may not be as clear as day, but hopefully it may explain a few things about how the game works.
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