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Want to See Every Planet in No Man’s Sky? I Hope You Have 585 Billion Years to Spare

by Joey Davidson | August 26, 2014August 26, 2014 1:30 pm PST

The more I hear about No Man’s Sky, the more I think this might be one of the most ambitious games ever made. Today’s crazy stat line? It comes from PlayStation and Hello Games, and it’s rather terrifying.

A tweet reveals that it’ll take gamers a long, long, long time to see all the planets in No Man’s Sky. How long? More than 500 billion years.


Sean Murray, Managing Director at Hello Games, took to the PlayStation Blog to talk about what’s going on with No Man’s Sky. In that post (which you can and should read by hitting the source link below), Murray talks about how we’ll be able to use trading, combat, weapons and ships in this game. But, that’s not his favorite bit.

Murray loves discovery. Here he is talking about the expanse of this game’s universe.

The cool thing is that every planet has a single number, a random seed, that defines everything about that planet. A single random seed generates every blade of grass, tree, flower, creature. So as the developer I can note down the planet seed, and then just go back there any time I want. We demoed this at Gamescom, just jumping round the universe to different planets. There are no load times, because nothing needs to load, as the planets are entirely computer-generated.

Really this seed defines how many planets you can discover before things start to go a bit crazy and undefined. For us we choose a big number. We’re working to a 64-bit system, which is 2 to the power of 64… or 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 possible planets. Even if a planet is discovered every second, it’ll take 585 billion years to find them all!

To which I reply, “Hah… ha ha… hahahaaaa… *sob*.”

No Man’s Sky will launch on the PlayStation 4 and PC platforms next year. It will start as a timed PlayStation 4 exclusive before making the PC jump.

Joey Davidson

Joey Davidson leads the gaming department here on TechnoBuffalo. He's been covering games online for more than 10 years, and he's a lover of all...