No Man's Sky

Posted:  December 30, 2022
SDHQ BUILD SCORE: 
Cloud Saves
Disclaimer: This is an initial impression of the game. Our review and recommended settings will be updated when we've completed a full and thorough analysis of how it performs on Steam Deck. Check back soon for our full analysis!
SDHQ Settings
Review
Game Info

SDHQ Recommended Settings

SteamOS
30 FPS
Limit
60
Refresh Rate
HRS
No
TDP Limit
9
Scaling Filter
Linear
GPU Clock
1100
Proton Version

No Forced Compatibility

Game Settings

Video Options:

Resolution: 1280x800

Resolution Scaling: 90%

V-Sync: Triple Buffered

 

Graphics Options:

Texture Quality: High

Animation Quality: High

Shadow Quality: Standard

Pose Processing: High

Reflections: High

Volumetric Effects: Standard

Terrain Tessellation: High

Planet Quality: High

Base Complexity: High

Anisotropic Filtering: 4

GTAO: Enhanced

Anti Aliasing: TAA (Low)

FidelityFX Super Resolution 1.0: OFF

Projected Battery Usage and Temp
11W - 15W
62c - 67c
3 - 3.5 hours

Review

Quite possibly one of the most ambitious games to exist, No Man's Sky will take you across an infinite procedurally generated universe to discover. Get in your ship, discover new worlds, trade, fight on land and in space, and upgrade to follow along the story and get to the centre of the universe. With the constant updates since release, there are new ships, story expansions, base building, multiplayer, and so much more, you will always have something to do!

No Man's Sky was released 6 years ago to underwhelming responses, but with the dedication of developer Hello Games, the game was brought back from its bleak launch and turned into one of the best games of its kind. Hello Games deserves a ton of props for how they brought this game back from the dead. Unfortunately, enjoying this one on the Steam Deck has some compromises.

To start with the good, it isn't super intensive on the device when it comes to battery drain, and thanks to this, I was able to keep most settings on high except for shadows and volumetric effects. And with anti-aliasing on TAA (low), the game looked fantastic at native resolution with 90% resolution scaling. For the most part, battery drain stuck below 15W and kept 30 FPS, but then some of the issues started to show.

No Man's Sky suffers from some stuttering. This seems to come from loading in new areas rendering procedural meshes. Due to this, there was stuttering no matter what settings or framerates were chosen. I elected to stick to 30 though as there seemed to be less drops that weren't as noticeable on higher rates. With this, the game was much more playable and enjoyable. This seemed to happen around every minute or so or when loading in significant amounts of a new area.

No Man's Sky does support FSR 2.0, but does suffer a really unusual issue when trying to use it. When turned on, the game will start mimicking screen-tearing and slow down without showing it on the graph. You can actually see it at the bottom of the screen that there looks to be a line going through the bottom:

It is very slight, but if you look close enough, you can see a line going through the bottom and almost like it is duplicating the image. This is easiest to see on the pink object on the right.

I did also encounter a small UI glitch where the icons for a mission and where my ship was were blinking constantly and didn't stop. It didn't hurt gameplay, but it was annoying since I couldn't find my way back to my ship.

No Man's Sky is an awesome game and I love being able to play it on-the-go. It runs relatively well and battery is able to stay relatively on the lower side when taking the sheer amount of content into consideration, but with the drops from rendering issues causing problems across all settings, it will be a little bit of a compromise to enjoy on the portable device.

Screenshots:

Our review is based on the PC version of this game.

If you enjoyed this first look, be sure to check out the rest of the content on SteamDeckHQ! We have a wide variety game reviews and news that are sure to help your gaming experience. Whether you're looking for newstips and tutorialsgame settings and reviews, or just want to stay up-to-date on the latest trends, we've got your back

SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

No Man's Sky is an awesome game that by all means can run and be enjoyed on the Steam Deck, but the experience is set back due to rendering pipeline issues that cause dips in framerate.

Performance: 
VISUALS: 
Stability: 
Controls: 
Battery: 
Reviewed By:
Noah Kupetsky
Steam Profile
Steam Deck Compatibility
Current Price: 
$59.99
View in Steam Store
Proton DB Rating

Review

Quite possibly one of the most ambitious games to exist, No Man's Sky will take you across an infinite procedurally generated universe to discover. Get in your ship, discover new worlds, trade, fight on land and in space, and upgrade to follow along the story and get to the centre of the universe. With the constant updates since release, there are new ships, story expansions, base building, multiplayer, and so much more, you will always have something to do!

No Man's Sky was released 6 years ago to underwhelming responses, but with the dedication of developer Hello Games, the game was brought back from its bleak launch and turned into one of the best games of its kind. Hello Games deserves a ton of props for how they brought this game back from the dead. Unfortunately, enjoying this one on the Steam Deck has some compromises.

To start with the good, it isn't super intensive on the device when it comes to battery drain, and thanks to this, I was able to keep most settings on high except for shadows and volumetric effects. And with anti-aliasing on TAA (low), the game looked fantastic at native resolution with 90% resolution scaling. For the most part, battery drain stuck below 15W and kept 30 FPS, but then some of the issues started to show.

No Man's Sky suffers from some stuttering. This seems to come from loading in new areas rendering procedural meshes. Due to this, there was stuttering no matter what settings or framerates were chosen. I elected to stick to 30 though as there seemed to be less drops that weren't as noticeable on higher rates. With this, the game was much more playable and enjoyable. This seemed to happen around every minute or so or when loading in significant amounts of a new area.

No Man's Sky does support FSR 2.0, but does suffer a really unusual issue when trying to use it. When turned on, the game will start mimicking screen-tearing and slow down without showing it on the graph. You can actually see it at the bottom of the screen that there looks to be a line going through the bottom:

It is very slight, but if you look close enough, you can see a line going through the bottom and almost like it is duplicating the image. This is easiest to see on the pink object on the right.

I did also encounter a small UI glitch where the icons for a mission and where my ship was were blinking constantly and didn't stop. It didn't hurt gameplay, but it was annoying since I couldn't find my way back to my ship.

No Man's Sky is an awesome game and I love being able to play it on-the-go. It runs relatively well and battery is able to stay relatively on the lower side when taking the sheer amount of content into consideration, but with the drops from rendering issues causing problems across all settings, it will be a little bit of a compromise to enjoy on the portable device.

Screenshots:

Our review is based on the PC version of this game.

If you enjoyed this first look, be sure to check out the rest of the content on SteamDeckHQ! We have a wide variety game reviews and news that are sure to help your gaming experience. Whether you're looking for newstips and tutorialsgame settings and reviews, or just want to stay up-to-date on the latest trends, we've got your back

SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

No Man's Sky is an awesome game that by all means can run and be enjoyed on the Steam Deck, but the experience is set back due to rendering pipeline issues that cause dips in framerate.

Performance: 
VISUALS: 
Stability: 
Controls: 
Battery: 
Reviewed By:
Noah Kupetsky
Steam Profile

SDHQ Recommended Settings

SteamOS
30 FPS
Limit
60
Refresh Rate
HRS
No
TDP Limit
9
Scaling Filter
Linear
GPU Clock
1100
Proton Version

No Forced Compatibility

Game Settings

Video Options:

Resolution: 1280x800

Resolution Scaling: 90%

V-Sync: Triple Buffered

 

Graphics Options:

Texture Quality: High

Animation Quality: High

Shadow Quality: Standard

Pose Processing: High

Reflections: High

Volumetric Effects: Standard

Terrain Tessellation: High

Planet Quality: High

Base Complexity: High

Anisotropic Filtering: 4

GTAO: Enhanced

Anti Aliasing: TAA (Low)

FidelityFX Super Resolution 1.0: OFF

Projected Battery Usage and Temp
11W - 15W
62c - 67c
3 - 3.5 hours
Steam Deck Compatibility
Current Price: 
$59.99
View in Steam Store
Proton DB Rating

3 comments on “No Man's Sky”

  1. Just found out this website because it popped up in the Google app on my phone.

    Damn these settings are truly amazing. Was playing 60fps, fsr enabled, but with all settings on standard. I'll happily trade that with the visual improvement these suggestion provide.

    I do notice more frame drops with these setting than my mostly consistent 60fps fsr settings. I don't care though.

    I'll happily keep coming back to this site. This is exactly what all steam Deck owners need!

    1. Thank you for checking our site out! I am happy you like what you see and the settings. Did you just play at standard settings with FSR 1.0 or 2.0? I am happy to check it out and try to push out a higher framerate build for our full review!

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