ACNH Screenshot 2022 01 13 14 38 08

The lovely space-based sandbox adventure game Astroneer is out today on Nintendo Switch, alongside a new update that — for the first time in the game's six-year history — adds living creatures to the world. (You can read our Astroneer review here, by the way. We really liked it, and not just because of the space snails.)

The Xenobiology update has been simultaneously launched today on all platforms, and will bring new missions to the game that begin the quest for very important and VERY cute pets.

"“Space Snails” are now a part of the universe of Astroneer. Players have the opportunity to gain these unique and highly adaptable creatures as permanent companions that also give benefits to their caretakers.

Each Galastropod loves treats and will become extra happy and energized when fed. While a Galastropod is full, players receive a unique benefit to aid in their adventures. Galastropods also have favorite foods which will extend the duration of their benefit when fed."

Alongside space snails, there are also new cosmetics in the store, a ton of new hats, and the announcement of a cosmetic to celebrate the game's three-year 1.0 anniversary, which will be available to all players logging in during a specific timeframe.

Here's the launch trailer for Switch:

And here are the patch notes for Xenobiology:

  • Certain new missions now have required items and/or permanent rewards. Both of these allow players to respawn them at the nearest landing pad for their convenience (or if they’ve misplaced them). Mission items are limited to a single item per save, while permanent rewards are available as a single item per player.
  • A wide variety of performance efforts have been undertaken to support the Switch release and to generally improve player experience for every platform. Players should notice improved loading times, especially on consoles.
  • We’ve literally moved the heavens to fix the issue some players experience which cause them to get “stuck” at seemingly random points while moving. This fix only applies to new saves for the time being; old saves should be unaffected.
  • All hazardous flora has been updated to produce multiple seeds to allow for easier cultivation. Seed growth times have also been reduced (to feed your hungry snails!)
  • Planets have a larger collision volume when selecting them from solar system view, which should make them easier to select, especially when using a controller
  • Updated localization in Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese
  • [AS-16895] Fixed a bug where clients were not seeing the beacons from field shelters when in orbital view.
  • [AS-16846] The “From Thin Air” mission will now only complete if gas is produced by an Atmospheric Condenser
  • [AS-16661] Mission text in the mission log will now keep its uppercasing when the mission is completed.
  • [AS-16889] Fixed a bug where the bumpy variant of the Sturdy squash seed was misaligned when slotted
  • [AS-16639] Fixed a bug where players were not unlocking the Wanderer Suit when playing offline or with a poor connection
  • [AS-16298] Fixed an exploit where Used Solid Fuel Thrusters were yielding more scrap from shredding than it cost to acquire the resources required to craft them from the Trade Platform. Both new and used Solid Fuel Thrusters will now produce 1.5 scrap nuggets when shredded.
  • [AS-11904] Small canisters no longer float when placed onto medium canisters by an auto arm.
  • [AS-7313] Fixed a bug where multiple packagers attached to an object when packaged would cause the extra packager(s) to become broken and unusable.
  • [AS-7306] Fixed a collision issue where items placed next to Daggeroot hazards could become impossible to interact with.
  • [AS-7163] Fixed a bug where Spaceport POIs were either not spawning at all or at greatly reduced rates. Players should now see these much more frequently!

Have you given Astroneer a go yet? Let us know in the comments!