No Man’s Sky's Outlaws update lets you play as a space pirate

You can smuggle illegal goods and hire a squadron for ship-to-ship combat.

No Man's Sky (Hello Games)

No Man’s Sky is already an enormous game and yet Hello Games isn’t exactly out of ideas about how to expand the universe. The developer has released the Outlaws update, which adds the game’s first new starship in two years, smuggling and much more.

Solar ships are a new class of starships. These are dotted across the universe and have unique tech and procedurally generated variations. Each ship has solar-powered sail and engine tech. You can now own up to nine starships in total (an increase of three), each of which can be outfitted with a high-capacity cargo inventory.

The smuggling mechanic ties into the update's core theme: the fact you can now play as a space pirate. You can buy illicit goods in outlaw systems and sell them for a hefty profit in a regulated space, as long as you're able to smuggle them in. Sentinel drones will be on the lookout for illegal wares, however. You might be able to fend them off with a Cargo Probe Deflector.

No Man's Sky
Hello Games

In outlaw systems, where rebel forces are in control and piracy prevails, there are outlaw stations. Here, you'll find specialized technology merchants, mission agents and more. There won't be any Sentinel interceptors as these parts of the universe are unpoliced.

Hello Games says it has also revamped space combat with a focus on speed, challenge and flow. There's an option that'll let you automatically lock onto and track enemy ships, for instance. You'll be able to recruit pilots to join your squadron and help you out in ship-to-ship combat. You can call them in at any time and they'll appear automatically during space combat.

Elsewhere, there's a new expedition on the way soon with an array of rewards up for grabs. You can also expect to see revamped explosion and combat effects, forged passports and pirate raids on settlements and buildings. The update includes a slew of bug fixes and optimizations as well.

This is the second big content update this year, following February's Sentinel patch. The Outlaws update is out now on PlayStation, Xbox and PC. It’ll also give Nintendo Switch players more to look forward to when No Man’s Sky hits that platform this summer.