No Man’s Sky has seen an over 2000% boost in total players on Steam following Hello Games’ announcement of the 1.3 Atlas Rises patch and its subsequent release. Prior to the announcement made 3 days ago, the game’s player-base was subsisting at well under 1000 people in total. The latest number, taken from Steam’s own tracking of the top 100 games on the platform, is 12,753 and climbing. Note that this is concurrent players on Steam and not total recent players.
The Atlas Rises update was announced three days ago, the day prior to No Man’s Sky‘s first anniversary. Oddly enough, the game’s player-base increased only marginally following that initial announcement. To be fair, the announcement didn’t point toward most of the major feature additions made in Atlas Rises, hinting only at plans for the story and small features like portals between worlds. It was only after the full patch was revealed and launched at near the same time that players have started returning.
No Man’s Sky went from less than 1000 players to near 10,000 in a matter of hours. It peaked for the evening and dropped a small amount overnight, and is now climbing back up. Peak users on Steam top out in the morning hours, so No Man’s Sky‘s climb may not be as pronounced for the rest of the day, but the resurgence is undeniable. If only Sony has publicly available numbers for concurrent players on PlayStation 4, too.
Even at near 13,000 players, No Man’s Sky is nowhere near the total concurrent players it achieved near launch. According to Steam Charts, which tracks Steam’s official numbers, No Man’s Sky achieved over 213,000 concurrent players at its height – numbers which, at the time, made it the most popular non-Valve game on Steam. Near 13,000 players isn’t even 10% of that peak, but even Hello Games likely understands those numbers aren’t going to be attainable even with patches larger than Atlas Rises.
Today’s Steam numbers show one important thing, however, which is a shift in No Man’s Sky‘s community. There will always be frustrated and angry No Man’s Sky owners out there, justified in their anger or not. But those who are returning now understand what No Man’s Sky is much better and want to play it. With the Waking Titan ARG, Hello Games harnessed its most loyal fan base, and from those dedicated players, a fresh, excited, and genuinely caring community is taking root. As Hello Games has said, Atlas Rises is a new origin story in more ways than one.