So this is an idea that I had and I posted on reddit and then today I received the community update email (strange coincidence since I wasnt getting them previously) so I figured, meh why not post it here as well.
I have an idea for how to incorporate a unique and scifi pet system into NMS without as many of the complications of other games pet systems. Here goes.
Particle Projector Pets
Players craft a “Particle Projector” device which would be a small piece of suit tech. The device would allow players to project a solid creature they had previously scanned using the visor. The creatures would likely be scaled in size similar to that of the player (if the original size was much larger). Companion creatures would be able to assist players in different ways such as combat, gathering or scouting.
If the player gets more than (for example) 30 meters away from the projection, then it de-materializes and re-materializes next to the player again. This solves for the player jumping off a cliff, or into water and leaving the pet behind. Also, this means that there is no need for extra space in the cockpit or base, for the pets.
I would also suggest the device needing to be powered since each time the creature takes damage, or needs to be re-materialized then it would “loose particles”, thus, the creatures health may be directly linked to the power capacity of the device.
The device would take up one tech slot in the suit, but upgrade modules could be placed around it to provide stat boosts such as higher particle capacity, higher projection range, or maybe even the ability to automatically take a portion of resources gathered to recharge it, giving pets a longer life.
This would mean that players would not be required to house, feed, or transport their companions, but would still get thrill of searching for their favorite pets, maintaining them and joining them on their escapades, further adding another layer of character personalization and utility.
*Turrets - Same concept, but this is an object players can place in their base area that projects a creature of their choice to patrol and protect their base. These would still need to be recharged if the projected creature takes damage.
Breeding - players get a projection module that allows them to “mesh” two scanned creatures to create a hybrid of the two. This could be saved to a new tab separate from the discovered creatures which would allow players quick access to all the creatures they have combined.
Mounts - players can mount certain “styles” of creatures (such as quadrupeds) for faster travel without needing a vehicle. This would add an interesting mechanic for traveling faster through water or low altitude flight.
Triggered - players can select which companions materialize in which circumstances such as if they move from land to water, then their land companion will de-materialize and their water assigned companion will materialize.
Furnishings - players can place particle projectors in rooms of their structures to project plants and rocks they have scanned in their discoveries.
Space Combat - players can place a much more powerful projector in their ships tech which allows a companion that is projected during space flight. Space companions would gather resources and fight along side the ship. This would of course be a companion which was discovered in space (Assuming space creatures are still a planned feature).
The original reddit post is here: https://www.reddit.com/r/NoMansSkyTheGame/comments/alr7ig/nms_pets/