8 Games Like No Man’s Sky

Image credit: Hello Games

No Man’s Sky was released back in 2016 and the launch didn’t go very smoothly. Although this exploration and survival game featured a huge open world from the get-go, it didn’t have a lot of depth and therefore didn’t receive a lot of praising reviews from gamers and publications.

Fast forward a couple of big updates, and these days No Man’s Sky is considered to be one of the best and most important games in its genre. It allows you to travel through space and visit numerous different planets and galaxies.

The best thing about it, and you know that if you’ve played it recently, is how amazing randomly generated content is. Essentially every planet you visit will be completely different and this makes for an interesting and unique experience every time you play the game. No wonder people spend hundreds, if not thousands, of hours playing this game.

If you love exploring space, strange new planets, and venturing into the unknown, you should know that there are some other similar games that might be of interest to you. It should be noted that No Man’s Sky is a very unique game so keep in mind that there aren’t exact copies of it. With that said, let’s check out 8 games similar to No Man’s Sky.

Outer Wilds

Outer Wilds was released in 2019 for Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 and it didn’t take long for this indie game to take the world by the storm. It received a lot of praise in a short amount of time and even got the Best Game Award at the 2020 BAFTA Games Awards. So what makes it such a great game? Let’s find out!

This is essentially an exploration game where you assume a role of an unnamed astronaut who is stuck inside a time loop. You essentially race against time as you discover more clues about your location, solve puzzles, and figure out what to do next.

It is one of the rare games that doesn’t set you on a certain trajectory at the very beginning. You basically have the freedom to do pretty much anything you want, whenever you want. That planet looks interesting? Okay, let’s land there and explore it. Along the way, you’ll probably stumble upon an ancient text or another space explorer, and something you read or hear may cause you to follow a certain path. And that’s exactly the beauty of this game! You only need to follow a certain path if it seems intriguing enough and you truly want to.

This game may not be extremely similar to No Man’s Sky at its core; however, we bet you’ll be impressed with it just as much! It fuzes space exploration, puzzles, mystery, action, and more into a really unique and interesting game. It comes highly recommended!

Elite Dangerous

The year is 3301 and it’s only you and your ship as you hunt, mine, combat, trade, explore and do everything you can to survive in this harsh space exploration game. What’s breathtaking is the fact that the game features 400 billion star systems, many of which have tens of planets. You can visit some famous star systems including or own or Alpha Centauri, for example.

Just like No Man’s Sky, this game is open-ended and features countless alien worlds you can visit. And while it shares some other similarities as well, the biggest difference is that Elite Dangerous doesn’t let you explore the alien planets on foot. Instead, you stay on your ship and explore it that way. The ships are fully customizable and upgradeable.

Elite Dangerous doesn’t have a main story per se. There are numerous missions that factions can give you along the way, but they can get a bit boring after a while. However, you don’t have to complete a certain mission if you don’t like it, as you can simply wander off to a completely different planet or solar system if you so desire. The game also features different events that can happen in the game, and this is when the entire galaxy will come together to follow a particular narrative.

While Elite Dangerous is not as highly regarded as No Man’s Sky, it’s a great game, and fans of the genre should definitely give it a go.

Astroneer

This is an interesting one! Sure, Astroneer isn’t as grandiose as No Man’s Sky, but if you loved landing on a new world and exploring everything it has to offer, you’ll like this game.

The game is set in the 25th century during the age of intergalactic discovery. You assume the role of an Astroneer who crashes on a distant planet and have to use any tool and resources at your disposal to repair your ship. There is a lot to do as you need to mine resources, craft items, build vehicles to travel the planet, and so much more.

Of course, once you’re done with a planet, it’s time for another one, and it definitely pays off to explore each of them in-depth, as they all have their own special secrets. With the recent big update, there is also an addition of another solar system and a bunch of new content.

Astroneer is a great game and the only thing some people may not enjoy is the low-poly graphics. It’s vibrant and cute, but if you’re not into that type of visuals, perhaps take a look at some other games on this list. That being said, for most people Astroneer is an amazing and fun choice!

Subnautica

In most of the games on our list, you’ll explore distant galaxies and unique planets, but Subnautica offers a slightly different experience. In this game, you crash-land on an alien world, but end up in its ocean. Visually,  this game is pretty incredible, even if you’re not playing on the latest system. The water effects are amazing as well and that’s a great thing considering where the game takes place.

Traversing this alien underwater world is far from easy, as you’ll have to manage your oxygen supply while exploring different reefs, plateaus, and caves. All of that while scavenging any equipment you may need, collecting resources from the world around you, crafting diving gear, and constructing underwater habitats.

Subnautica’s open world is truly large and covered in the veil of mystery, as something appears not quite right with this world. You embark on the quest to find out what caused you to crash and potentially find a way off this planet. Although this game takes place on a single planet, it offers a lot to explore and you can easily pour as many hours into it as you would in No Man’s Sky.

Everspace

Everspace is also a space exploration game but it’s vastly different and more action-heavy when compared to No Man’s Sky. The biggest difference is that it features a lot of shooting. Pair that with the rogue-like gameplay and you have a similar yet completely different beast.

Getting the hang of the game may be slightly harder at first, especially if you don’t have experience with other roguelike games, but soon enough you’ll be totally okay with starting the game from scratch every time you meet your doom. After all, you get to keep the experience and resources you’ve gathered so every time you’ll be able to explore a larger part of the universe.

Rougelike games aren’t known for the best storylines, but Everspace is actually quite decent in this regard. It’s intriguing and makes you care about your character.

The graphics are really well done, and you truly get to enjoy the beauty of space in this game. And if you own an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, you can also experience the game in VR!

All things considered, this game is a decent choice, especially if you like more action-oriented games.

Journey to the Savage Planet

This game may not feature as large of a world as some other titles here, but it’s a very fun sci-fi exploration game with very lush visuals. Although there is some combat in the game, it’s very simple and easy to learn, and the focus remains on exploration. Combine this with some charming humor and you got yourself a really solid game!

This lighthearted sci-fi adventure takes place on a single alien planet. You are an employee of Kindred Aerospace and are tasked with cataloging the flora and fauna of this strange new world you landed upon, in order to see if it’s fit for human habitation.

Some plants don’t have any real use, while others may contain seeds that can heal you or have some other special use. Alien lifeforms can also contain some useful resources but you have to be ready to blast them with your laser gun. This may be necessary in some cases, as you’ll need to use every tool and resource at your disposal to craft better items that will help you get to parts of the planet that may not be so easily reachable. Each new upgrade leads to a deeper exploration of the planet.

Journey to the Savage Planet allows you to play the entire game cooperatively with a friend, which means you can explore everything together or decide to split up and cover different parts of the planet. Whether you opt for singleplayer or coop is up to you – either way, fun is guaranteed!

Starlink: Battle for Atlas

In case you are one of the people who would have loved it if No Man’s Sky featured some sort of a storyline and additional structure, you’ll probably like what the developers of Starlink: Battle for Atlas have done, as you’ll get to enjoy a continuous stream of missions, as well as numerous sidequests.

While this game is not open-ended like No Man’s Sky, exploring its seven planets and the surrounding space is a fun adventure. Each of the planets is unique in its own way and looks really stunning even if you’re playing on Nintendo Switch and not the latest and greatest Windows PC. And while you can technically finish the main storyline without seeing what every planet has to offer, we suggest going the extra mile and exploring some more. After all, scanning all that extraterrestrial flora and fauna is half the fun!

The game also features quite a few RPG elements, allowing you to upgrade weapons, unlock pilot abilities, level up skills, and even make alliances with different factions.

Although Starlink: Battle for Atlas is definitely not our top recommendation as we believe there are multiple better games on this list, it’s certainly a great-looking game that does well in its most important aspects – environmental exploration and strategic action, while also having a pretty good storyline.

Rebel Galaxy

Having been released in 2015, Rebel Galaxy pre-dates pretty much every other game here and while it may not offer the biggest world or the best graphics, it is still a pretty solid space exploration game that deserves a spot on this list.

The game puts you in the shoes of a commander of a huge destroyer ship traversing deep space. The world is rich and action-packed, as you’ll get to become friends with aliens, fight off space pirates, and scavenge shipwrecks and asteroids to find some valuable loot. On your way to riches, you will also mine, trade, and bounty hunt.

Ship combat is basically at the heart of this game, so if that’s something you appreciate, there will be a lot of opportunities to prove your skills. Combat is well done and engaging. It’s especially fun in earlier stages of the game, where you get to run around in a tiny ship while taking on ships twice or three times your size.

It takes about twenty hours to finish the main storyline, but that doesn’t mark the end of the game, as you’re free to continue your own adventures in the Rebel Galaxy universe. We love the fact that this game lets you captain your ships as you please, and allows you to pursue your own fortune.

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