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No Man’s Sky is free to play this weekend as new Omega update lands

It’s been fairly quiet on the No Man’s Sky front since its previous big update, Echoes, introduced the world to a mysterious new robot race known as the Autophages last August, but all that changes today with the release of its new Omega update – which coincides with a first-ever free weekend for the exploratory space sim on Xbox, PlayStation, Switch, and PC.


No Man’s Sky’s Omega update introduces a handful of new core features, including on-planet missions. These procedurally generated quests can be initiated by speaking to alien lifeforms Travellers find roaming around on planet surfaces, and are assembled based on a number of factors, including locale, climate, and alien personality.

Elsewhere, the update makes it possible to captain an imposing Dreadnought capital ship – previously they existed mainly to be blown up – but this first requires a spot of successful space combat; players will need to defeat the pirate freighters surrounding a hostile Dreadnought during an encounter before they’re able to board it and take control.

No Man’s Sky: Omega Update Trailer

A trailer for No Man’s Sky’s Omega update.

Omega’s other core changes include a revised Atlas Path quest line – rewarding a new Atlas staff, jetpack, and helmet – plus a significant overhaul of No Man’s Sky’s Expedition system. Previously, Expeditions – essentially curated several-hour-long campaigns that condense and reshuffle No Man’s Sky’s systems into a series of progression-based milestone challenges – operated as a discrete mode, but today’s update more closely integrates them into main saves.

Expeditions are now accessed via a new terminal found within the Space Anomaly, and can be undertaken using players’ own starships and multitools. The rework arrives alongside the new Omega Expedition, designed to introduce new players to some of No Man’s Sky’s fundamental mechanics – including base-building, trading, and space combat – across a series of missions. Rewards include the distinctly flash Starborn Starship, and today’s patch notes suggest it’ll finally also be possible to easily carry any cool expedition finds over to your main game.

No Man’s Sky’s Omega Expedition runs for four weeks starting today, 15th February, and it’ll be available to play as part of the game’s first free weekend. This takes place across all platforms from 2pm on 15th February to Monday, 19th February, at 6pm UK time – and any progress made during the event will be carried over to the full game should you decide to make a purchase. As an added incentive to reach into your wallet, No Man’s Sky is currently discounted by 50 percent on Switch, PlayStation, Xbox, and PC, costing around £19.99.

Omega is No Man’s Sky’s 12th expedition, following on from Pioneers, Beachhead, Cartographers, Emergence, Exobiology, The Blighted, Leviathan, Polestar, Utopia, Singualrity, and Voyagers. The finality of its name suggests No Man’s Sky’s fascinatingly bleak narrative could be reaching its end-game – but it’s equally possible Omega could be No Man’s Sky’s last expedition, with Hello Games planning to cycle through each one on a monthly basis via the new on-demand console from now on.

What’s certain, though, is that there’re still more content updates to come for No Man’s Sky, with Hello Games having already teased new space station variants as part of its Game Awards appearance last December. That announcement arrived alongside a first look at Hello Games’ new project, the procedurally generated fantasy planet sim Light No Fire.


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