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Everything Minecraft Updates Can Learn From No Man’s Sky

Minecraft has been in the public eye for over a decade, and No Man’s Sky is going to be celebrating its six year anniversary soon, but despite the fact that Minecraft is the older game, it can learn a thing or two from the direction of No Man’s Sky‘s many updates. Minecraft had years to expand and grow before becoming the best-selling video game in history, while No Man’s Sky had been hyped for years prior to its release, with a list of promised features that never made the cut. While No Man’s Sky launched in a poor state, it has made a substantial comeback in the following years and continues to expand its community faster than any time before, attributed to its consistent and game-changing updates. Even though Minecraft also has a steady update cycle, with Minecraft‘s Caves & Cliffs update including big changes, many of its features seem to not have the same impact as No Man’s Sky‘s do, putting Mojang in a position to learn from newer games in the genre and how to approach its updates.

No Man’s Sky‘s updates have brought significant change to its foundation, introducing vehicles and mechs, creature taming, starship customization, base building, and hundreds of other features since launch. While Minecraft has also had a similar pattern of updates and introducing new gameplay elements, many of Minecraft‘s updates have not had the impact that No Man’s Sky has accomplished on a regular basis. While there have been some major updates in the past few years for Minecraft, very little of the core gameplay has changed, with most additions expanding on existing elements within the game and not breaking the boundaries of what Minecraft is capable of, something which No Man’s Sky achieves each year, with No Man’s Sky‘s Outlaws update bringing RPG elements to the forefront of its story.

Related: No Man’s Sky Updates Are Ruining The Chances For A Sequel

Minecraft has been through a bumpy road over its 13-year lifespan, with the game going official only two years after opening to the public, having the creator step down post-launch, and then being bought by Microsoft and expanding into new markets. No Man’s Sky has had a much simpler history, though its beginnings were far more troublesome, with the game not delivering on many features that were said to be promised at launch. While both games have made it out on top over time, they can both learn from each other and expand on the genre with the directions they go in next. Since Minecraft has done little to broaden its horizon with groundbreaking changes to its core gameplay, often making big changes to new Minecraft biomes, it could benefit from taking a page out of No Man’s Sky‘s history, which has significantly raised the bar with each new update.

No Man’s Sky launched with a relatively short and confusing questline revolving around an ancient alien species leaving monoliths around the galaxy, but has transformed it into a space odyssey across the stars to uncover the true meaning of the universe. Minecraft intentionally has no main questline, focusing rather on quasi-lore, or narrative hints that are scattered throughout the world to give players the freedom to create their own backstories and histories. While this approach may seem right for an open sandbox, Minecraft has grown far beyond its initial days of just building and destroying blocks, and with new structures populating the world with each new update, such as Minecraft‘s ruined Ancient Cities coming later this year, perhaps introducing an official questline could benefit both the world and its lore while giving players a path to follow if they seem lost.

When looking for inspiration as to what a Minecraft quest line could look like, No Man’s Sky handles its quests with enough leeway to provide players options as to when they want to complete them and how they want to approach them. No Man’s Sky utilizes its alien NPCs to deliver key information and to move quests along, something Minecraft could take advantage of with its villager, pillager, and piglin mobs, which all have their own established societies already in the Minecraft universe. Allowing the player to complete tasks for villagers could give more direction and a direct sense of accomplishment, something which Minecraft struggles with by doubling down on a world with seemingly infinite possibilities. This feeling of overwhelm is likely to only get more powerful, with Minecraft 1.18 bringing massive changes to the world. While No Man’s Sky also exists within an infinite universe, it handles its quest design so players can always access it whenever they choose, while also allowing them to ignore it and do whatever they want, something that seems tailor-made for Minecraft.

No Man’s Sky and Minecraft are both centered around exploration and discovery, with many of their numerous additions over the years expanding on that foundation, such as adding maps in Minecraft or exocrafts in No Man’s Sky. While Minecraft does have an advancement menu where players can view their achievements, No Man’s Sky has a screen that shows the player a list of personal milestones and how far they’ve come since they woke up stranded on an alien planet. The milestone system tracks metrics across all modes of No Man’s Sky, including its Emergence Expedition, and marks down tasks across the spectrum like how many creatures they’ve discovered all the way to how many times they’ve warped to new solar systems. While a menu like this may seem small compared to various other No Man’s Sky features, a system like this would be perfectly suited for Minecraft‘s open world.

Related: No Man’s Sky’s Next-Gen Update Makes Planets Feel Truly Unique

While Minecraft does include an advancements menu displaying basic achievements, it also includes a statistics menu, showing players very specific metrics like how many times they’ve quit the game, the distance they’ve traveled by boat, or how many zombies they’ve killed. While this menu may seem like an alternative to No Man’s Sky‘s visual overhaul update to its milestone system, Minecraft‘s statistics menu is exclusively tied to that save, and with how many servers and worlds players jump into, those statistics become less accurate the more a player swaps between them. If Mojang were to introduce a more streamlined version of this, similar to how No Man’s Sky handles its milestone system and gives the player a visual message when they’ve achieved a new record, it could make the player feel more rewarded for exploring and discovering new things.

Minecraft and No Man’s Sky are both kings of the open-world survival genre, providing players with hundreds of hours of content and an enormous amount of re-playability and experimentation, with No Man’s Sky‘s last five years bringing big change to its formula. While Minecraft has been out for nearly twice as long as No Man’s Sky, it has many things it could learn from its younger cousin in terms of how to make the player feel rewarded and how to give them a sense of direction within an open environment. Minecraft‘s upcoming Wild Update will release later this year, so perhaps it could take some queues from No Man’s Sky and how it has handled its own update cycle.

Next: Minecraft: Best Creations Made Using 1.18 Caves & Cliffs’ New Features

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