No Man's Sky Update 3.5, AKA Prisms, overhauls the game's visuals

New lighting effects, textures, biome details, and far more effects have been added and improved in New Man's Sky's latest major update.


With each new update and set of patch notes, Hello Games has brought an incredible amount of improvement to No Man’s Sky. Sometimes we get just one cool new thing like living ships or a music maker. Sometimes we get an entire graphical overahaul like the latest No Man’s Sky Update 3.5, also known as No Man’s Sky Prisms. This new update brings an absolute wealth of improvements to the visuals of the game, including new textures, lighting and special effects, increased details on creatures and biomes, and so much more.

No Man's Sky Update 3.5, AKA Prisms

Sean Murray of Hello Games shared all of the full details of the No Man’s Sky Prisms update on via patch notes and a PlayStation blog post on June 2, 2021. Everything from the grand reaches of space and its stars down to planetary critters, their fur, and the kinds of creatures you can befriend as companions has been updated and upgraded in this big move.

Here’s the full run of patch notes for No Man’s Sky Update 3.5 below:

Deep Learning Super Sampling

  • Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) is an NVIDIA RTX technology which incorporates anti-aliasing and super sampling techniques to improve image detail at higher resolutions, without compromising framerate.
  • DLSS can be enabled for all compatible NVIDIA RTX graphics cards, and offers significant performance and visual quality improvements.

Screen Space Reflections

  • Screen space reflections (SSR) have been enabled for PC (coming soon to PCVR), next-generation consoles, and Xbox One X.
  • SSR creates high-quality reflective materials and improves lighting quality.
  • Bespoke SSR visuals have been authored and enabled on the Space Anomaly, the Space Station, freighter interiors, derelict freighters and Atlas Stations.


  • The existing volumetric lighting system has been significantly optimised.
  • Volumetric lighting has been enabled in VR.
  • Added support for coloured volumetric lights.
  • Added support for directional volumetric lights.
  • Added volumetric lighting to caves.
  • Added volumetric lighting to starship and exocraft headlights.
  • Added volumetric lighting to Sentinel drones, quads and walkers.
  • Added volumetric lighting to more props in derelict freighters.

Parallax Occlusion Mapping

  • Parallax occlusion mapping has been added for all platforms.
  • Parallax occlusion mapping adds additional detail and definition to textures and materials used on the Space Anomaly and large planetary buildings.


  • Light refraction rendering has been enabled for all platforms except VR on base PS4.
  • Glass basebuilding parts will now refract light.
  • Refractive materials have been added to appropriate glass or liquid decorative items, such as glass containers or transparent screens.
  • Refractive materials have been added to appropriate planetary effects, such as floating bubbles.
  • Refractive materials have been added to the Space Anomaly.
  • Starship and Exocraft cockpits now refract the light.

Rain and Weather

  • The visual quality and density of rain effects have been significantly improved.
  • Raindrops now refract the light.
  • Planetary surfaces, plants, minerals, creatures, starships and players now become wet when they are rained upon.
  • Lightning storms now have a chance to create storm crystals at the impact point of lightning.
  • Meteor showers now have a chance to leave valuable harvestable rocks at their impact site.

Visual & Audio Quality

  • Light shaft / crepuscular ray rendering has been improved for a more atmospheric planetary experience.
  • Many foliage props have been reworked for increased detail.
  • Additional planetary details have been added, and draw distances on existing objects have been increased, for next-generation consoles and PC using Ultra settings.
  • Caves have been overhauled, creating a rich, more detailed, more atmospheric environment to explore.
  • Warping and teleportation visuals and audio have been completely reworked.
  • The Space Station hangar bay now features an automated Space Station Controller to monitor traffic and ensure smooth station operations.
  • Starship engine audio has been remixed and improved.
  • Particle effects, such as drone, ship and asteroid explosions, have been significantly improved.
  • The visual effects for the player torch have been improved.
  • Fixed a number of issues that caused the player torch to be too bright for the current location.
  • Fixed a number of issues that caused the player torch to intersect the player while running.
  • Debanding has been improved, fixing several visual artifacts in high-noise areas.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the galaxy map to be less colourful than intended.
  • Fixed an aliasing issue affecting chairs and other seating in the Space Station.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause incorrect shadows on freighter bridges.
  • Fixed an issue that caused ship takeoff audio to trigger as the game loaded.
  • Fixed several visual issues with the alien pods aboard derelict freighters.

Photo Mode

  • The depth of field effect has been rewritten, based on physical circle-of-confusion simulation.
  • The quality of the DoF field has been significantly improved.
  • In Photo Mode, DoF controls have been adjusted to reflect these settings. Auto-Far mode has been removed. A Macro mode has been added, giving fine control over focus close to the camera.
  • Bloom control has been added to the available Photo Mode options.
  • The buttons to adjust Photo Mode settings have been made instant click.
  • Fixed an issue that caused audio spam while adjusting Photo Mode settings.

Creatures & Companions

  • Fur rendering technology has been added for all platforms except Xbox One S and PSVR.
  • Fur has been added to a number of creatures. These creatures have been selected appropriately from existing species.
  • Virtually all low-flying and land-based creatures can now be tamed and adopted as companions.
  • Low-flying companions can be mounted and flown through the sky.
  • Fixed an issue that caused crablike creatures to always be labelled as extinct.
  • Fixed a number of colouration and marking issues with specific creatures.


  • The quality of the ByteBeat drum synthesiser has been significantly improved.
  • A ByteBeat library and music player has been added to the Quick Menu, under Utilities.
  • The library can be used to play saved tracks wherever you are, allowing you to create your own personal soundtrack.
  • When within a base (your own or another player’s) with active ByteBeat Devices, you can save the devices’ output as a track to your Library.
  • The ByteBeat Library can be used to send tracks to nearby players. Sent tracks are saved to their Library.

UI & Quality of Life

  • Fixed an issue that caused the galaxy map to show duplicate freighter markers if your active mission involved your capital ship.
  • Planetary Charts that fail to locate a building are no longer consumed.
  • Planetary Charts that fail to locate a building will give an error message with guidance as to why.
  • When purchasing a freighter, your previous freighter base will now be automatically transferred and reassembled aboard the new freighter.
  • A new option has been added to the freighter upgrade terminal that allows players to reset their freighter base back to the default layout.
  • A new component recipe research station has been added to the Space Anomaly. This terminal allows the research of component recipes in exchange for nanites. Planetary factories and harvesters will still offer component recipes as exploration rewards.
  • Pinning instructions will now advise players to visit the Space Anomaly to unlock recipes they do not have access to.
  • Pinning instructions will now advise players to purchase components from the Space Station if the player does not know the recipe and components are easy to purchase.
  • Fixed a rare instance of an untranslated ERROR string in the popups for the research trees.
  • Added an error message when attempting to research a recipe before its parent is unlocked.
  • The UI for the Appearance Modifier and other customisation interactions has been overhauled and visually refreshed.
  • Inventory tabs and sub-tabs now feature a small icon to show that a new item has been placed in that inventory.
  • The UI displayed when receiving blueprints for several components at the same time has been improved and now shows all parts in the bundle.
  • On PC, keybinds can now be cleared by re-assigning the same key to the same action.
  • Significantly increased the freedom of the third person ship camera, so that players can rotate around the ship while in flight.
  • Introduced an alternative and varying camera angle while using the pulse engine in third person.
  • Introduced a fuel gauge to the notifications area while using the pulse engine in third person.
  • The ship cockpit 3D map now correctly displays Atlas Stations and Black Holes.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause the ship cockpit 3D map to feature a space station in systems where no station was present.
  • Improved the clarity of the messaging in the Quicksilver Synthesis Companion shop.
  • Improved the clarity of the messaging when unable to redeem particular rewards during an Expedition.
  • Added a warning message if attempting to undertake an expedition without an online-enabled account (Expeditions do not require paid online accounts, but a connection needs to be made to the NMS Discovery Server to initially download the relevant data before beginning the expedition).
  • Fixed an issue that caused some non-extreme planets to be labelled as extreme.
  • Fixed a number of instances where icons were missing from the mission notification.
  • Fixed an issue that caused several minor UI elements to be incorrectly offset at 3200×1800 resolution.
  • Fixed an issue that caused a thin white line to be drawn around an inventory slot as it expands.
  • Fixed an issue that overlaid two markers if a building has been visited but also has an active mission marker.

Other Bug Fixes & Optimizations

  • Fixed a crash related to downloaded bases from other players.
  • Introduced a minor optimisation related to instanced props on planets.
  • Introduced a lighting optimisation on Xbox One X.
  • Introduced a significant number of shader optimisations.
  • Fixed a PC-specific issue that could cause slow streaming.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause hitching on PC and next-gen consoles.
  • Fixed a rare issue that could cause NPCs to offer the same interaction repeatedly.
  • Fixed an issue that reversed the intended order of a specific interaction with a Korvax found at a planetary debris site.
  • The rewards given by NPCs while practising language skills or repairing their damaged starships have been rebalanced to be more generous.
  • The construction cost of Ion Batteries has been reduced.
  • The construction cost of several Quicksilver reward items have been reduced.
  • Fixed an issue that caused incorrect and unbuildable duplicate foundation and door pieces to appear in the blueprint research tree and catalogue.
  • Fixed a number of snapping issues with large rooms.
  • Fixed a number of desynchronisation issues with Nexus mission destination markers.
  • Fixed a number of desynchronisation issues with Nexus pirate missions.
  • Increased the number of potential corrupted Sentinel encounters during some Nexus missions.
  • Fixed an issue that could prevent the SSV Normandy SR1 frigate reward from being redeemed if it was first redeemed before acquiring a capital ship.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause Expedition One save games to be reactivated as expeditions after the expedition had finished.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur during the transition from an expedition save to a normal mode save at the end of an expedition.
  • Fixed an issue that caused black holes to always take players to the expedition start system during an expedition.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause NPC ships to land on top of each other at outposts.
  • Adjusted the landing pads at Planetary Archives so that ships do not take off and crash into the building.
  • Farmable crops planted in your base no longer collide with players, for ease of navigation.
  • Fixed an issue that caused an untranslated string to appear for a short time while joining a Nexus mission.
  • Fixed a number of text formatting issues.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause the tracking audio to be played repeatedly after a mission target was discovered using a Target Sweep.
  • Bespoke UI audio has been added to the companion customisation page.
  • Fixed a rendering issue that could cause dark spots to appear on the terrain.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause a seam to be visible in the planetary atmosphere.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the cursor to appear during dialogue choices while using VR with a pad.
  • Target sweeping and hotspot detection in VR now uses the Multi-Tool as the pointer.
  • Fixed an issue that could block other players from using some interactions after repairing a cargo pod salvaged from a planetary crashed freighter.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause some players to have zero charge on a technology upgrade but no way to recharge it.

It feels safe to say that, once again, No Man’s Sky has gone above and beyond in its free content. No Man’s Sky Update 3.5, AKA Prisms, is available now on all versions of the game. Check it out and have a look at what the galaxy has in store for you again, and be sure to check out our No Man's Sky topic for all of the other updates and content additions you may have missed.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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