No Man's Sky is finally released in the UK and other regions today, 10 August, after making its consumer debut in the States yesterday and it is already hitting the headlines with almost as much vigour as Pokemon Go.

The latest nugget to get tongues a-wagging concerns the game's famed "multiplayer" element. Developer Games has often claimed that the No Man's Sky universe is persistently online and players all inhabit it. But it has also constantly said because the playing field is so massive (18 quintillion procedurally generated planets), and players initially spawn in completely random areas, the chances of meeting another real human being are "almost zero".

It certainly didn't expect that to happen on day one.

Two players have posted proof on Reddit that they not only spawned close to each other, they set out to meet. And they ended up in exactly the same spot in the game, on the same planet, in the same galaxy, but things didn't quite turn out as expected.

Twitch broadcaster TheSadCactus (TheGalacticCactus on Reddit) discovered that a system he visited had already been named by a different player, Psytokat.

Whenever a new system or planet is found it can be renamed by the first player to arrive, so he knew that Psytokat else must have travelled through recently (as the game had only been out for a day). He arranged to meet his compatriot nearby and they headed to the same planet.

They found a landmark and waited for each other to turn up. Neither did. That is to say, both arrived there but couldn't see each other. What's more, the lighting and area ambience was different.


"We are 100 per cent in the same station same spot and everything and we cannot see each other," said TheSadCactus.

There are several speculated reasons for this. It could be a glitch, after all the game only went live yesterday and the servers were flooded. It could be that the two players were split into different lobbies online. Or it could be that you actually can't meet other players at all.

Hello Games' founder Sean Murray had revealed in the past that it was possible to meet others, even suggesting that other players would be able to tell you what you look like: "You can't see yourself," he told The Late Show's Stephen Colbert. "The only way to know what you look like is for somebody else to see you.

"But the chances of that are incredibly rare because of the size of what we're building."


Conspiracy theories aside, we wonder if it really matters. Hello Games has said all along that No Man's Sky is a single-player experience with some multiplayer factors, such as the naming and discovery of planets.

And in that it does its job very well. It is, from what we've played so far, thoroughly engrossing.