No Man's Sky
A screenshot from No Man's SkyHello Games

The centre of No Man's Sky's near-infinite universe can be reached in 20-30 hours, or so claims a player who has acquired an early copy of the much anticipated PS4 and PC game.

The is due to an apparently "game-breaking bug" which makes warping from system to system easier than had been expected.

A report of the bug comes from Reddit user daymeeuhn, who has been posting footage from the game online since Friday 29 July having acquired an early copy of the game, prompting game director Sean Murray of Hello Games to plead with fans to avoid spoilers.

Many of the videos have been pulled, but one of the user opening the game can still be viewed.

No Man's Sky tasks players to exploring a universe made up of billions of procedurally generated planets filled with procedurally generated flora and fauna, scouring them for resources and unlocking the universe's secrets.

On Sunday 31 July daymeeuhn posted about a "game-breaking bug" which allowed him to progress toward the centre of the universe far quicker than expected. We'll skirt around spoilers, but this is due to an item which can be found and sold at the galactic market for a large amount of in-game "units".

Doing so also grants players two free "Warp Fuels" – which allow players to move out of the system they're in and closer to the centre of the universe. Daymeeuhn hasn't yet done this, but judging by the progress he's made already believes the time it would take a player aware of this exploit early on would be able to sail through to the centre.

"I'm about halfway there. 30% of the 100% distance has been just from the last few hours alone," daymeeuhn wrote in a comment. "With a YouTube video explaining how to do this I think someone could reach the centre in no time, 20-30 hours easy."

Murray has previously said that "a clever, good player who knew exactly what they were doing could get to the centre from the outside [of the galaxy] in... maybe, 100 hours? Or something." He also implored Hello Games to fix the issue.

Getting to the centre of the universe does not mean "finishing" the game however. While it will represent the most natural end-point, the game has some 18 quintillion planets to discover and explore, so there will always be something new to see.

Daymeeuhn's thoughts on the game generally have been positive. "I have done A LOT of what the game has to offer," he said. "I actually intentionally took time out of my warp jumping over the course of going to the middle to explore planets to break up the monotony of it.

"This does not mean I have done all of the major events, however – I am still yet to swim to the bottom of a big ocean. I am still yet to destroy a space station. I definitely still have stuff to do.

"The terrain and overall vibe of the planets has been surprisingly refreshing. I never really have moments where I land on a planet and say, 'Oh no, not this one again'. Everything is very smooth. I really enjoy the space flight, it's quick enough that I don't sit around twiddling my thumbs but it's long enough at times where I legit feel like I'm traversing a realistic space-distance."

No Man's Sky launches on PS4 on 9 August in the US and 10 August elsewhere. The game launches on PC worldwide on 12 August.

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