Have you, like so many eager explorers, pre-ordered No Man's Sky? Are you all aboard the interstellar hype train ready to blast off and explore 18 quintillion planets? I sure hope so, because we're in the final stretch and there's no slowing down.
Of course, anyone who will be playing the highly anticipated game the day it launches should probably be prepared. But what exactly does being prepared mean?
Don't expect to go planet hopping right away
This has been one of the biggest takeaways from the game's recent leak: It's not going to be as easy as the playful color palette suggests.
It's hard to say for certain if the game's random spawn points are completely random or if they are located near somewhat forgiving planets, but given the way the game generates content, it wouldn't be too surprising if players were just plopped onto planets of any difficulty.
And since you need to harvest materials and survive against native wildlife in order to actually build up your space ship, you shouldn't expect to be going from planet to planet right away.
It will take time before your ship is strong enough and your resources plentiful enough.
When you're first gathering, remember to keep track of where your ship started and don't be afraid to return often to avoid losing items to an untimely death. After all, if you die, you lose all your resources and any discoveries that weren't uploaded yet are lost.
You almost definitely won't run into others inside the game... but if you do, tell the internet
As silly as that might sound, this is sure to be something people will be interested in.
With a game as massive as No Man's Sky, the chances of encountering anyone else are very slim. So slim, in fact, that the game is being advertised as a single-player game.
For this reason, if you do happen to run into someone else, people are going to want to know. Not only will it be an interesting social experiment determining how often such occurrences really do happen, but it will also help answer some pretty big questions.
Namely, what do other players even look like? Sean Murray has stated before that there are no mirrors in the game, so the only way to know what you look like is to run into other people. The first screenshot of someone's character is going to be huge news.
Similarly, players are going to want to know how other in-game interactions, such as sleeping to pass time and gathering, will work when near another player.
Game servers may be unstable at first. Just be patient (or play offline)
As much as I'd like to think nothing will go wrong at launch and that everything will run smoothly, I know better than to expect that. With all the players attempting to download or log into the game on the PlayStation Network or Steam, servers are sure to be slammed. This happens during the release of plenty of highly anticipated online games — cough Pokemon GO cough — and in my opinion, it's better to be happily surprised than unexpectedly disappointed.
Even if the servers can handle all the legitimate players trying to log in, new games like this tend to attract the attention of people who are... let's just say, not that nice. DDOS attacks have grown in recent years, with Pokemon GO recently being hit shortly after it was beginning to stabilize and the PlayStation Network being shut down a couple years ago during the holidays.
The best thing to do if this happens is to just step back for a moment, breathe, and not let frustration get the best of you. And thankfully, there's always a solid backup if you do find yourself frustrated over login issues: offline mode. If you hadn't heard, the game can be played offline without missing out on all that much. Given the slim chances of running into anyone else, it probably wouldn't hurt to give offline mode a try at the first sign of trouble.