Take a Ride with Astroneer's New Rover Update

While Astroneer’s original rover physics often led to comedy and frustration, the new Rover Update promises to put the (space)rubber to the (space)road.

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The galactic basebuilding/terraforming/science adventure known as Astroneer continues to rocket towards completion. Back in February, the early access title saw a massive overhaul to many of its systems with the Basebuilding Update. Since that last major content update, the fellas over at System Era have been busy improving the experience of using the game’s rover (with a small detour to visit with us at GDC 2018). The fruits of System Era’s labor have arrived for owners in the form of the Rover Update.

Arriving this afternoon for Steam and Xbox ‘Play Anywhere’ users, the Rover Update overhauls rover handling, physics, and controls. In the past, players that managed to construct the rover were treated to a vehicle that, while mostly functional, could be considered a turd sandwich. The aches and pains of players as a result of using the old rover have not gone unnoticed by the development team, as a new trailer for the update offers a healthy bit of self-deprecation from System Era.

While the player experience was a contributing factor in the decision to improve the rover, the main motivator was complaining from System Era employees Adam and Joe. Adam and Joe have recently spent lots of their Astroneer windfall on fancy exotic cars and became frustrated that the rover did not handle as well as their imported luxury vehicles. The rest of the development team was put to work to assuage the tyrannical whims of System Era upper management.

Thankfully, the work resulted in the Rover Update, which also brings improvements to the game’s performance, thrusters, the terrain tool, and game package sizes. Additionally, HDR output is now available for owners of the Xbox One X and Xbox One S. The colorful terrain and skyscapes should be a perfect match for the enhanced contrast and expanded color palette that HDR affords. Hopefully the Steam version of the game will receive the HDR support soon.

Contributing Tech Editor

Chris Jarrard likes playing games, crankin' tunes, and looking for fights on obscure online message boards. He understands that breakfast food is the only true food. Don't @ him.

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