In the 200,000 years Homo — sapiens have been around, we have discovered far less than 1% of our Universe, giving us a limited understanding of our home amongst the stars. No Man’s Sky takes what we’ve discovered, burns it in one of there green stars (which are impossible) and completely rewrites the laws of Physics. By no means did No Mans Sky come out and say they were creating a ‘scientifically accurate universe’, but its so dreadfully inaccurate, that I thought I'd rip into it in this article (because No Man’s Sky definitely hasn’t been ripped into enough already)!
First of all (I'm saying ‘first of all’ as there are many), No Man’s Sky forgets gravity, similarly to how they forgot multiplayer and 18 quadrillion other features. Now gravity is quite an important factor; not only does it keep us Humans from floating off into space, it also keeps our atmosphere from dissipating to space, and forms stars and planets that we need to live on(so thanks gravity it you’re reading). In No Man’s Sky your suit adapts to the gravity on the planet (a lazy excuse as they didn’t actually give the planets different gravity depending on their mass), which is fair enough.
Now our Moon is 238,855 miles away from earth, and is strongly bounded by the earths gravity to be the satellite as we know it today. This is, and looks pretty far away. In No Man’s Sky you get planets bunched up in a group around the same distance from there star — now if this was reality, these planets would be pulled into each other by the force of gravity and be absolutely destroyed in planetary collisions. It’s fair to say that it would take days to reach a planet in No Mans Sky if it were the same distance from the Earth to Mars (37 million miles), and despite being more accurate, it would be a terrible game — but still, ITS NOT SCIENTIFICALLY CORRECT!
Secondly (there’s a long list to go…), No Man’s Sky has 4 variations of stars; yellow, red, blue and green. For some reason you need an Emeril, Indium and cadmium drive to warp to stars that are not Yellow, which, if Warp was possible, obviously wouldn’t be needed because there's no physical barrier to certain star systems (that we know of). Yellow, red and blue stars (as well as white, brown and black) are all possible as there are documented stars with these properties. The reason for these colour variations is due to the heat and size of the stars, causing certain wavelengths of visible light to be dominant over others.
Our Star (the sun if you didn’t know) is yellow and is around 5000 degrees on the surface; this will eventually cool and expand over the next 5 billion years, as it fuses heavier elements to create heat and more heavier elements, eventually becoming a giant red star, probably engulfing Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. After this mass genocide, the sun will shrink and cool further to be a white dwarf, then a black dwarf eventually evaporating to nothing (according to science). A brown star is known as a brown dwarf of which was unable to acquire enough mass when being formed to become a main sequence star. A blue star would be created when there’s a huge gas cloud of hydrogen, enabling it to fuse creating a huge star, thus outputting huge heat, becoming a bright blue. These are all the star’s that have so far been theorized and found by our friend science, green stars, of which No Mans Sky include in their game, aren’t one of these types.
The reason why green stars don’t exist is because the colour green is in the middle of the colour spectrum for visible light. It is due to the fact that our eyes have adapted to the colours outputted by our sun, of which is yellow, that we can’t see green wavelengths outputted by stars. Thus stars that dominantly emit green wavelengths are in fact observed as white stars, which are between yellow and blue stars in the heat they output. Thus, instead of green stars, Hello games should consider white stars in there universe. Also, there are only yellow, green, blue and red stars, while as I previously described, there are white, black and brown too, making No Mans Sky's universe highly improbable and probably impossible.
In No Mans Sky’s empty 30 hour ‘story’, about 5 hours in, a black hole happily appears in the middle of a system of planets. First of all, a black hole would probably be impossible here — there formed by red super giants that have collapsed in on themselves, creating a singularity of humongous gravity capable of engulfing even light into its infinite darkness. So having one simply ‘pop’ up in a yellow star system is, to put it mildly, most unlikely. Furthermore, unless it was wearing some sort of special space suit ignoring any gravity, such as your character, it would cause everything in that system and probably other systems surrounding the one your in, to collapse into it and you with it. Black holes have been confused with many theories stating that they go somewhere, like a white hole to a new space, or a new time or dimension — now that sounds pretty cool right? Unless you want to be ‘spaghettified’ and die probably instantly because of the huge mass crushing you, it probably isn’t. So basically, no ones knows where it would go — but you definitely wouldn’t be in one piece, even with fully levelled up shield blueprints.
Stars, black holes and gravity are all pretty cool, but one thing that is far cooler and far more miraculous, is life itself. This statement solidly supports our universe as we know it, but not by any means, No Mans Sky’s. Now there's a pretty meaty equation to show the probability life exists, and trust me on this, the chance of life is pretty low (like, a lot less than 1%). Despite the equation coming to about 50 billion possible planets with life, which is 50,000,000,000 written down, there are about 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 planets, so chances are low, and most of these planets would probably just have some type of fungi or bacteria on it, far from ‘animals’ and far further from intelligent life. In No Man’s Sky there is a 95% chance you’ll land on a planet with animal life. Which, by that standard means there should be life on pretty much all planets in our solar system. This makes exploration, to say the least, a bit boring, because there’s life everywhere you go, making its discovery devalued (which is partly why the game sucked).
These are just some of the larger ‘inaccuracy's’ of this hugely imperfect Universe, but there are many more, like, why when I jump of my freighter do I fall downwards when I'm in open space? and why are there so many asteroids that are so closely compacted? Well I can answer all of these questions that I've written about in 4 words; ‘it’s just a game’. It’s probably impossible to create an accurate universe sandbox (closest is Universe Sandbox 2), because we know so little of our own universe. Even so, No Man’s Sky is dreadfully inaccurate without gaseous planets, gravity and an oversaturated array of life, hindering an already poor experience, but at least they gave it a try — building a universe is probably quite hard.