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No Man's Sky

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NMS on Steam Deck

Scott Peers

The sandbox freedom offered to players in No Man’s Sky makes it a perfect game for the Steam Deck, whether you want to spend hours farming Units, Nanites, and Quicksilver, or whether you just want to jump into the game for a few minutes to complete a specific task. The Steam Deck will allow you to easily load up the game during a train journey, on a flight, or in a waiting room, so you can make the most of that time doing something you enjoy.

Image credit of Hello Games.

How Well Does No Man’s Sky Perform on Steam Deck?

Aside from some fairly long load times at the beginning of a game or between areas, such as when you use the Hyperdrive to warp from one star system to another, the game runs incredibly well on the Steam Deck. You’ll have a smooth experience as you wander around planet surfaces or fly through empty space, and the only jitters you’re likely to experience are those that you already have when transitioning from a planet to orbit, but this can be considered normal at this point as the game has to load a completely new environment in a split second.

How to Map Steam Deck Controls for NMS

There are some players who experience a bug with the key mapping for No Man’s Sky on Steam Deck. This seems to be happening mostly when players first start the game in offline mode. You may find yourself trapped with the controls for a regular keyboard if you do this, and the only way around it currently is to start the game in online mode on the Steam Deck. This should automatically map the keys to the deck, rather than a PC keyboard.

Dynamic Cloud Sync in NMS with Steam Deck

The Dynamic Cloud Sync feature for the Steam Deck is just a fancier way of referring to cloud saves in general. In the same way that you can log into your steam account on different PCs and have your game progress saved via the cloud sync in your steam library, you can now do the same with the Steam Deck. This means that you’ll be able to play as much as you like on either platform - PC or Steam Deck - and keep the progress you made ready for when you next play on the other platform. Essentially, you won’t need to have two different playthroughs, and you can always make progress in your main save between the platforms.

Touch Screen Controls

One of the best features of playing No Man’s Sky on the Steam Deck is the touch screen functionality. This allows you to select things like dialogue options or browse through inventory and trade menus without having to use the default navigational controls, which can sometimes feel sluggish when you’re navigating menus. Using the touch screen may only save you a few seconds at a time, but all of this adds up after a few hours of game play, and it makes everything feel much more intuitive.

You can see a demonstration of the touch screen being used for No Man’s Sky on the Steam Deck here.


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Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Hello Games
  • Platforms,
    PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, XB One, XB X|S
  • Guide Release
    27 April 2022
  • Last Updated
    11 January 2023
    Version History
  • Guide Author

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This ongoing guide for the amazing No Man’s Sky includes the following:

  • Tips and Tricks to get started
  • Technology Upgrades
  • Building a Base guides
  • Crafting Guides
  • Mission Guides
  • Encounters
    As well as this there is also information on the game’s numerous updates, as well as the forthcoming Nintendo Switch version of No Man’s Sky.

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