New No Man’s Sky Experimental Branch Available On Steam; Improved Shader Caching & Performance, Disabled G-Sync

Aernout van de Velde

Developer Hello Games has released a new No Man's Sky experimental branch through Steam, which should resolve many issues that players have been reporting.

Yesterday we reported on how No Man's Sky didn’t have the best launch day – many PC players reported crashes and performance issues. Hello Games and its founder, Sean Murray, reassured to be aware of the issues however, and a patch was promised to be released in the near future.

In a new post on the game’s Steam hub, Hello Games has now promised that this patch will be made available for all players early next week. The hot fixes included with the patch are currently being tested by Hello Games’ test team. For those who can’t wait till next week, the patch is also made available in a new Steam Branch. Please note that is an ‘experimental’ branch for now.

The new No Man's Sky Steam branch is said to improve shader caching by replacing the game’s GPU caching system, offers improved performance for CPU’s  with 4 threads or less, and has Gsync disabled by default. Additionally, Hello Games states that mouse smoothing has been improved, and AMD Phenom support is said to be improved as well.

We've already resolved many issues for people who reported them by moving them over to this branch.

Here’s what’s different

Improved AMD Phenom Support

Thousands of lines of assembly have been rewritten overnight to support AMD CPUs. Unfortunately whilst the game code no longer relies on anything above SSE 2, Havok Physics still requires “Supplemental SSE 3”, which was not supported until “Bobcat” and above. We’re discussing with Havok.

Alt-Tab has improved

Some systems/configs were crashing or not pausing correctly on Alt Tab. This should now be resolved.

Shader Caching

Framerate was initially stuttering due to shaders not being correctly cached by the GPU on some systems. We have replaced the GPU caching system. You may notice some stutter during the Galactic Map intro to the game (the very first time you run), but it should be smoother from then on (this will be fixed in future). This is particularly true on ATI cards

Mouse Jitter

Smoothing on mouse movement has been improved to prevent hitching or stuttering, and is now adjustable through the Options menu in “Mouse Smoothing”.

Max FPS Cap

On some CPU/GPU configurations, setting Max FPS to 60 or 30 was not giving 60 or 30 FPS (causing stuttering). This has been improved.

Improved Performance

On CPUs with 4 threads or fewer, performance has been improved.

Intel GPUs

The game will now let you know if you are trying to run with an unsupported GPU. This will hopefully flag for some users that their high end GPU has not been selected.


Gsync has been disabled by default, which was causing an issue for some users

Here is how you access it

To access the Experimental branch right-click on the game from the library page and select "Properties". Among the available tabs will be the "BETAS" tab.

Code: 3xperimental

Your new branch should be listed in the dropdown menu under "Select the beta you would like to opt into:"

Hello Games has also posted a list of the most common issues and workarounds in a separate post. Check out this page right here.

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