Everything you need to know about Starlink: Battle for Atlas on Nintendo Switch

If you love space exploration but was disappointed with how No Man's Sky turned out, then Starlink: Battle for Atlas may have piqued your interest lately.

Starlink: Battle for Atlas is an upcoming action-adventure game from Ubisoft, and don' worry! There's a ton to do in this title, and it definitely looks like a game that will keep you occupied for a long time. But what is it?

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Let's dive into everything that you should know about Starlink: Battle for Atlas before picking it up later this month!

Starlink: Battle for Atlas is an original title from Ubisoft, and it takes place in the Atlas star system. Your mothership, Equinox, has been ambushed by a group called the Forgotten Legion, so you end up crashing on a nearby planet, and the captain gets taken as a hostage.

Players set out across the Atlas system, exploring different alien worlds and building alliances with the inhabitants in order to create a new crew. Every planet features different alien races, wildlife, flora, and other resources. A lot of exploration is involved, and it's all so beautiful to take in.

The game has a third-person perspective throughout, and it features prominent toys-to-life elements. If you're not familiar with the toys-to-life element of gameplay, it's basically letting players purchase various components in real life (physical toys, like Skylanders) for their spaceship, and allowing them to customize their ride on the fly. This means you can change parts in the middle of battle, and watch changes happen in real-time.

You're always going to be in your starship, but the game has a ton of customization options so it stays fresh and interesting. As you engage in intergalactic dogfights, you can modify your starship toy with different components and weapons, and see those changes occur in real time on your screen. There are a ton of different weapons that you can arm your starship with too, so there's a play style for everyone.

There are two versions of the Starter Pack for Nintendo Switch: Physical and Digital.

The Physical Starter Pack includes the following:

  • Starlink: Battle for Atlas
  • Joy-Con Mount
  • Arwing Starship
  • Fox McCloud and exclusive Star Fox missions
  • Mason Rana
  • Flamethrower Weapon
  • Frost Barrage Weapon
  • Digital Zenith Starship
  • Digital Shredder Weapon

As you can see, the physical starter pack is good for collectors. However, if you aren't interested in physical goods, there is also the digital starter pack.

You'll find the following in the Digital Starter Pack:

  • Starlink: Battle for Atlas
  • 4 Starships (Zenith, Pulse, Lance, Neptune)
  • 6 Pilots (Mason, Chase, Levi, Razor, Hunter, Kharl)
  • 12 Weapons (Shredder, Flamethrower, Frost Barrage, Levitator, Volcano, Imploder, Iron Fist, Freeze Ray Mk.2, Crusher, Shredder Mk.2, Shockwave, and Gauss Gun Mk.2)
  • The Nintendo Switch Digital Starter Pack also includes pilot Fox McCloud, exclusive Star Fox missions, and the Arwing starship

With the Switch version of the game, players are able to play as Fox McCloud himself, and even summon the rest of Team Fox to fight by your side for a limited time with the Pilot Summon ability. They even shout, "DO A BARREL ROLL!" at you for that genuine feeling. There is also a "Hunt for Wolf" storyline mission to go through, replicating the Starfox series.

The digital version offers more goodies in-game than the physical edition. Both versions of the Starter Pack are good, but which one you should get depends on what you're after: physical collectibles or more in-game stuff. The choice is yours!

Can I play with a friend?

Yes! Starlink features drop-in/drop-out split-screen multiplayer co-op, so someone can just join you right away without much setup. Each physical toy also includes a digital version once connected to a controller mount, so both players can pilot the same starship.

I hate clutter! Do I need these modular toys to play?

Not at all! The physical toys are completely optional, and you can play and enjoy Starlink without having any of the physical toys in your possession.

However, if you do buy the Physical Starter Pack or individual toys from select retailers, they'll always unlock a digital copy of the starship, so you can play with or without the toys.

Starlink Battle for Atlas

Starlink Battle for Atlas (Image credit: Ubisoft)

Starlink: Battle for Atlas comes out on October 16, 2018 for the Nintendo Switch, along with the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

There are separate Starter Packs for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game as well, but they won't include the Nintendo-exclusive bonuses like Fox McCloud, Star Fox missions, and the Arwing starship.

The game itself costs $59.99. The digital version includes the digital Starter Pack goodies and will remain the same price.

If you want the physical Starter Pack, that costs $74.99. Physical starship packs go for $24.99, weapon packs are $9.99, and pilot packs are $7.99.

It's time for blastoff!

Starlink: Battle for Atlas is shaping up to be one interesting release on the Nintendo Switch this year, so we're eager to try it out for ourselves. Think of it as No Man's Sky, but with a lot of stuff to do right from the get-go. I mean, who doesn't want that?

Are you excited for Starlink: Battle for Atlas? Let us know in the comments!

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Christine Chan

Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed. When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.