No Man's Sky's Special Explorer Edition Is Finally Here, and It's Awful

No Man's Sky has caught a lot of flak for not living up to gamers' expectations, and whether or not you like the game, the No Man's Sky Explorer Edition is a disappointment. Pre-orders for the No Man's Sky Explorer Edition started last March at iam8bit for $150, and after missing the launch date of the game by almost six months, it's finally started shipping to customers.

The No Man's Sky Explorer Edition was promised to have a game key, and hand-painted ship replica, a traveler pin, an Atlas travelers log, and a display diorama, all contained in a box featuring custom artwork. Players got the game key via email at launch, but until now no one who had ordered their Explorer Edition had received it.

Via YouTube/The Creep

Customers have shared images and video of their No Man's Sky Explorer's Editions via Twitter and YouTube, and while iam8bit has technically delivered the product they promised, for $150 we expected a much more quality set of items. Additionally, iam8bit has not updated the art on its product page for the Explorer's Edition, which shows the same promo pic that it has since pre-orders started with the warning "* art not final," even though the finished product is available. Factoring in the $60 MSRP of the game code that came with the Explorer's Edition, we postulate that customers should have received items worth around $90. We'll take a look at each of the components of the Explorer's Edition individually and break down the issues we have with them.

The Box

Via Instagram/Misato

The box the No Man's Sky Explorer's Edition comes in looks somewhat bootleg. It's a standard cardboard box with a transparent plastic window, instead of something a little more hearty that would stand the test of time. Instead of the dazzling custom artwork that was promised, it has some ugly fuschia dinosaurs and foliage on it. The rear of the box just has company logos and some credits on it.

The Traveler Pin

This is maybe the one bright point of the set. It's a heavy, good quality pin. This must have been contracted out.

The "Display Diorama"

This is just some concept artwork printed on cardboard in the back of the box. It's literally the artwork that sets in the back of the box and slides out so you can kind of sit it behind your spaceship model. You can't count the box as two different "features" of a collector's edition.

The Atlas Traveler's Log

This 60-page or so little notebook looks like one of those Moleskin knockoffs. The pages aren't lined, which doesn't make any sense for a "log." You take notes in logs. Also, the cover is cardboard. You can go to your local Wal-Mart and spend a dollar or two for a full-size notebook with an actual cover with lined paper and make yourself a real log that puts this one to shame.

The Space Pen

The No Man's Sky Explorer's Edition comes with a Fisher Space Pen. These run about $10-20 and probably make up the bulk of the iam8bits expense when it comes to putting this set together. It's kind of cool, but it's sort of an odd inclusion because the only association the item has with No Man's Sky is that it has the word "space" in its name. I guess you're supposed to use it with your Atlas Traveler's Log.

The Hand-Painted Ship Replica

This is the pride and joy of the No Man's Sky Explorer's Edition, and the stated reason for the six-month delay. Multiple Twitter and YouTube users are reporting poor paint quality, including fingerprints dried into their paint, uneven paint jobs, paint smears, and overall tomfoolery. The whole thing is of much lower quality than what was shown as a promo for the No Man's Sky Explorer Edition, including the stand which is just matte gray and not painted at all, which is unsatisfactory according to customers. Also, there are decals included for "customization," but there are already decals painted onto the ship, which is dumb. Also, some customers have had the Explorer's Edition arrive to find that the wings on their ship replicas are broken because of the lack of shock protection of the tissue paper iam8bit chose to wrap the box in during shipping.

Customers are rightfully disappointed. In comparison, for $90 you can get the Persona 5 Take your Heart Collector's Edition that includes a physical copy of the game, a SteelBook case, the soundtrack CD, a plush, a 64-page hardcover art book, a school bag, and an actual collectors box to contain it all. All this from a game that is much more widely anticipated and from a larger developer, and for less money.

The fact of the matter is, if these claims are truthful, and they are very compelling in my opinion, iam8bit oversold and underperformed with the No Man's Sky Explorer's Edition. The terrible state of the product has only added more fuel to the fire concerning No Man Sky's controversial nature. Hopefully, iam8bit will work to make sure dissatisfied customers get fair treatment, but it remains to be seen whether they'll do anything at all.


Several customers on Twitter have been contacted by iam8bit in reference to broken merchandise. It seems that the company is offering to replace any products damaged in shipping.


As pointed out by the man with the briefcase, one of Shacknews' own, hammersuit, received their copy of the No Man's Sky Explorer's Edition. He has confirmed the issues with the set stated in the article are affecting his copy of the Explorer's Edition as well.

As you can see in the images above, there is definitely a fingerprint embedded into the paint of the wing and poor paint coverage on the nose of the ship replica.

Also, the box is really, for real, fuschia.

This report and product analysis references claims made by customers that have received the No Man's Sky Explorer's Edition. These claims are public record and freely searchable. Shacknews assumes no liability as to the accuracy of these individual's statements.

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