Hello Games announced today that No Man’s Sky‘s next update, Beyond, is coming out this summer. It will be free and add new multiplayer and social features to the space exploration game.

No Man’s Sky came out in 2016 for PlayStation 4 and PC, with an Xbox One version following in 2018. Despite a lot of marketing and hype leading up to its release and strong initial sales, many players expressed disappointment with its lack of features and cooperative play.

Since launch, Hello Games has released numerous free updates that have improved No Man’s Sky’s reputation. The largest of them, Next, came out in July 2018. It made multiplayer possible for the first time, giving players the option to explore the universe together in a party of four. It helped make No Man’s Sky one of the the 10 most played games on Steam based on concurrent players, although it has since fallen off the top 100.

A more connected sky

Beyond will expand the multiplayer offerings with a new mode, No Man’s Sky Online.

“No Man’s Sky Online includes a radical new social and multiplayer experience which empowers players everywhere in the universe to meet and play together,” director Sean Murray noted on the game’s site. “Whilst this brings people together like never before, and has many recognizable online elements, we don’t consider No Man’s Sky to be an MMO — it won’t require a subscription, won’t contain microtransactions, and will be free for all existing players.”

Murray noted that No Man’s Sky Online will be just one of three components for the Next update, which he is calling the game’s most ambitious update yet. We do not know what those other two parts will be.