Astroneer's latest update completely overhauls researching items on Xbox and PC

The title launched in Xbox Game Preview many months ago and has since received a steady stream of updates. While many of them have introduced important features, yesterday's Research Update has to be one of the most significant ones. According to the developer, the Research Update is an entirely new way to play Astroneer. Now, using the new Catalog and Research Chamber, players can use Bytes to unlock the blueprints they want.

This update also includes a module that uses "streaming power", as well as changes to resource colors and some behind-the-scenes performance enhancements. The game still isn't completely stable but this is another giant step in that direction. The major changes part of the Research Update are as follows.

  • The research system has been completely changed from the ground up. This will allow the developer to add new items to the game on a consistent basis.
  • The developer has introduced a concept called Bytes. Bytes are the way players will unlock items in the new research system. Getting Bytes requires researching items at the new Research Chamber. After you have accumulated enough Bytes to unlock the items you want, open up your Catalog in your backpack to exchange the blueprint for an item.
  • Players will now have an on-screen tutorial upon starting new saves that explains updated mechanics and content.

The future of the game looks even more exciting though. The developer plans on changing the way the game generates procedural planets, upgrade base building, and introduce a new weather system. Hopefully the title will remain popular by the time these systems roll out because many games in the past have lost a significant chunk of their audience because of this. Astroneer has the potential to be a great game but it needs drastic overhauls in many areas.

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Asher Madan

Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.