Players' discoveries are going missing in No Man's Sky and no one knows why
We can debate the finer points of No Man's Sky's "purpose" or "best features," but there's no denying that the ability to explore and discover the heretofore undiscovered is a major draw of the game's sprawling, procedurally-generated universe. Though players are by and large on their own and operate in isolation to each other, discoveries are shared in a central database, meaning you too can discover a strange new species, name it Buttface420, and make your mark on the galaxy.
So, obviously, anything that messes with that system is a huge concern.
Several players are currently reporting that their plant and animal discoveries are going missing. That is, the lifeforms themselves are still there when a player revisits a planet, but the species names and discoverer credits are missing, as though the players had never tagged them.
"I check a few neighboring stars I discovered and their [discoveries] were wiped," says Dark_Nexus, one of the affected players, on the game's largest subreddit community. "None of my named animals [or] plants were ever saved."
Other community members have reported similar problems, but the cause of the issue remains unclear. It's possible that server instability is resulting in unsynced player data, wiping out some discoveries. Or it's possible that developer Hello Games never intended discoveries to be permanent, and they will eventually be dropped from the active database like the player's journal of found waypoints. It's also unclear whether the discoveries are being passively overwritten, or whether a player revisiting a previously discovered planet wipes their past discoveries.
Whatever the case, No Man's Sky players would no doubt appreciate some clarity from Hello Games, which has yet to comment on the issue. We'll update you when we hear more.