I climbed a mountain covered with beautiful blue-green grass, and stood next to another figure in a spacesuit. We both looked adoringly at the big green egg in front of us, which was due to hatch. I was immediately disoriented when the big baby emerged, his head crest caught me, and I was thrown into the sky and straight off the mountain.
No Man’s Sky has pets now, thanks to the recent Companions patch, and I witnessed the hatching of a player’s pet. Nirwana SAO is a long-time No Man’s Sky builder and content creator, and she received the egg as a gift from another member of the Pan-Galactic Builder’s Federation. I showed up on her world to witness the hatching.
Spacefarers have only had access to pets since Feb. 17, but the game has always had tons of cool creatures to find when exploring the galaxy. Now, space travelers can take one of these weird, procedurally-generated beasts, regardless of size, and tame them. If they’re so inclined, they can turn those pets into murder machines.
All of this animal diversity is maintained after players tame their pets. A series like Pokémon will tell you that Wailord is way bigger than a humble Wooloo, but they appear basically the same size on the battlefield. No Man’s Sky lets you keep the original size of the animal, at least outside of social areas where fans mingle. (When in social areas, pets are shrunk down to a more manageable size so they don’t break through the ceiling.) What’s especially charming is that these beasts can be small or really, really large, like the big baby named Zippy who threw me off a mountain.
After it hatched, we spent the next half an hour trying to take pictures of Zippy, which was difficult as we hardly fit in the frame with the creature. Nirwana called Zippy up and down the mountain to try to find the perfect frame, while we clustered near his feet or tried to find flat ground near his back legs while pulling the camera as far back as possible in photo mode.
One player on Reddit with the handle SexualYoda found a world with dinosaurs on it, and from there he was able to score his own dinos, Steve and Jessica.
The offspring of Steve and Jessica was bred and molded into an ultimate killing machine with 100% aggression, and a couple of days later, Kabi was born. This teeny tiny lad barely makes it to a person’s knee, but he’s capable of taking down beasts eight times his size. (Not everyone is at risk of being mauled by Kabi — he can’t reach flying creatures or Sentinels.)
Prospective pet owners are already trying to figure out the best methods for breeding pets and managing the variables that make up a companion’s mood and behavior. A player called Cheater42 spoke to Polygon via email, where he explained how the No Man’s Sky community, including modders, is trying to crack the secrets of this new update.
“I use mods, and it took the modding community about 1 day to come up with a mod that removes the 24 hr. wait for eggs to gestate, as well as whatever time it takes them to grow into their full adult size,” he wrote.
As for the system that determines all this, Cheater42 explains that No Man’s Sky researchers are looking at the egg sequencer. “We can modify 4 different variables using a variety of substances and items like hypnotic eyes, living slime, etc,” he wrote. “But I haven’t yet seen that anyone has worked out which does what and how much. Knowing this community, though, it won’t be too long until some players have that all figured out. I also have yet to try crossing genetic material from other creatures into the sequencer, and that promises to have some strange results.”
Cheater42 plays No Man’s Sky alone, exploring different planets and roaming the landscapes he finds. He found a planet full of ox-dog hybrids, and after a couple of hours, he had engineered the perfect companion from them to keep him company. Unfortunately his new friend doesn’t seem interested in defending her creator from other predators or [robots]. “Right now, she seems to enjoy [attacking] hazardous plants.”
Players have yet to fully understand the entire scope of the Companions update, and how to get the perfect pet for their needs. Some fans are also hoping that they can build things in their bases that their pets can interact with. SexualYoda notes that companions won’t interact with furniture or items on a space base, and Cheater42 says it’s not worth building a doghouse quite yet.
“It would have to be huge, I doubt she’d use it, and I build a lot of bases, mostly as a design challenge, and don’t spend much time in them, although I do visit them often, for the views and vibes. Plus, like my dogs, she’s welcome in my house and my bed,” writes Cheater42. For now, he’s looking forward to finding out all the secrets of pets in No Man’s Sky.
Hopefully everyone will one day find their own Zippy, Fluffy, or Kabi to keep them company in the farthest reaches of space.