I have only started playing No Man’s Sky again through Expedition Beachhead. However, what I’ve found is that this is the best way to play the game by far. The base game is there for anyone who likes the slow-paced exploration where they can meet up with others across vast distances and build all sorts of nonsense. For me though, I need something to get me off to a start much faster, and that is what I get in Expedition Beachhead. This is a game mode that’s basically a condensed version of the main game, built by the developers in areas of space where they know that you can complete a set of objectives quickly. It’s fun, has an end point, and feels great overall.
I think the main thing that pushes back against me when I play No Man’s Sky’s base game is the fact that it’s such a slog. You’re looking at a good 50 hours if you just play the main objective, that’s without all of the messing around. It’s totally fine if you like messing around and want to enjoy that aspect with friends, but for a single-player experience, it’s hard to get into. I myself don’t think I could get through it all without veering away for a few weeks on another game.
Expeditions have phases with objectives. You can complete these organically as you play, but some require a bit more input on your end. Once you’ve smashed a few of them out, you’ll start to see that other players have helpfully marked things on the systems around you. These help you complete more objectives faster, and that makes the whole thing more fun for everyone. I haven’t had the opportunity to help anyone else out at the time of writing, but I fully intend to when I can.
No Man’s Sky should have launched with this mode. It would have been a vastly better game, but I do see that there were constraints that prevented that from happening. I hope to see many more Expeditions from No Man’s sky in the future, because this is the best time I’ve ever had in the game, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.