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No Man’s Sky special pre-order item is leaving some players stranded

Stuck in a galaxy far, far away

A souped-up starship offered to No Man's Sky customers who pre-ordered the PlayStation 4 and Windows PC game digitally is leaving many stuck out in the middle of the galaxy, unable to head to another star system. Players are calling out the ship’s pre-installed power-ups as the cause of a "game-breaking bug" that could severely limit where they can go and what they can do in the game.

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No Man’s Sky screenshot Hello Games

No Man's Sky

No Man's Sky starship guide

The pre-order ship gives players early access to the hyperdrive, a technology that allows them to hop between star systems that are lightyears apart in no time at all. Typically, players must acquire a blueprint for the hyperdrive to build it themselves; they’ll also have to learn the formula for fueling it before they can truly take off across the universe. Since the special pre-order bonus negates the need to do that, many players are skipping past those traditional requirements — they already have hyperdrive, their games recognize, so they don’t have to go searching for it.

Those who travel several star systems away from the one that’s home to their first planets without ever picking up that hyperdrive blueprint are starting to find that fast-forwarding through the early part of the game could be a bad idea. Forum posters are warning others that they’ve found themselves wanting to buy a better ship, only to discover that the newer purchase lacks the pre-order bonus’ hyperdrive — and they don’t have the means to build one themselves.

"I assumed the hyperdrive automatically just gets moved over...It doesn't."

"At the space station in the system I'm in now, I saw a ship that I loved, had a bigger inventory (THANK GOD) and finally had enough money to make a big purchase," wrote user McBlurry in a detailed Reddit thread warning players against using the pre-order ship. "Before pressing the final purchase button, I noticed the ship didn't have a hyperdrive (no ships I had seen had had one other than the player's) so I assumed the hyperdrive automatically just gets moved over, whatever, another one of the countless weird obtuse UI decisions. It doesn't."

That means that the new ship requires a hyperdrive to be built. For the average player, that’s simple; they have the instructions. Those who pre-ordered and were cruising through the early game, however, are out of luck. Once a traveler switches ships, there’s no going back, and though some players said they’ve had luck finding the hyperdrive blueprints in the later part of the game, the procedurally generated worlds vary wildly; there’s no guarantee that the planet a player is stuck on has the instructions that will help them get off.

We’ve reached out to Hello Games about the issue and will update if the developer — or anyone else — is able to come up with a sure-fire fix. Until then, check out our No Man’s Sky guide to learn the ropes of how to play the game the standard way. Read our thoughts on the first 10 hours of the adventure game as well, ahead of its PC launch on Aug. 12.

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