Create & destroy on an unimaginable scale... with a space simulator that merges real-time gravity, climate, collision, and material interactions to reveal the beauty of our universe and the fragility of our planet. Now includes VR support for Vive and Oculus Rift+Touch.
Recent Reviews:
Very Positive (102) - 87% of the 102 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (3,615) - 93% of the 3,615 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Aug 24, 2015
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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Universe Sandbox ² is in active development, but it's already a fully-featured, stable, and smooth-running space simulator. And it now officially supports VR with an HTC Vive.

We're proud of what we have to show, and we know many fans are eager to explore and experiment with the universe.

We're constantly working on features, improvements, and bug fixes, and we release frequent updates.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“It's hard to give an accurate estimate. Building a universe simulator is a job that's never complete.

We have a long list of features and improvements that we're very excited about implementing, and which will keep us busy for a long time to come.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“Some of the features and improvements we'd like to add:
  • Space megastructures
  • Basic life simulation
  • More dynamic terraforming & improved climate simulation
  • Better collisions on a wider range of scales
  • Missions and objectives
  • Steam Workshop support
  • Achievements
  • Language localization
  • Improved human scale mode
  • More intuitive VR experience with features equal to desktop version

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“Universe Sandbox ² has been in development for almost five years, and for the past two years, we've had users pouring hours into testing, exploring, and enjoying the sandbox. It is already a fully-featured, stable, and smooth-running simulator.

We've fixed most of the serious issues and have made a lot of progress on optimizations for a range of hardware. Because it is a large-scale sandbox, though, it does have its share of bugs and could use polish in some areas.

The VR version of Universe Sandbox ² is a relatively recent update, and we are working to add many of the features and optimizations already found in the latest desktop version. Our next VR update should address this. After that, these two versions will be merged and shouldn't require separate updates.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“We have no plans for changing the base price of Universe Sandbox ² at this time.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We actively seek community feedback from the in-game feedback as well as from our forums and social media.

Community feedback helps us prioritize our long list of planned features and focus on fixing the worst bugs and issues. We make an effort to address every issue that comes our way.

We also add simulations and features based on community requests, like the recent addition of custom-colored planets, and an index for the likelihood of life on planets. We also recently added a tool for easily recording and sharing GIFs on social media.

In the future, we plan to integrate Steam Workshop for user-generated content, like custom models, and for easily sharing simulations.”
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Buy Universe Sandbox ²

 

Recent updates View all (38)

September 14

Ciao, Cassini | Update 20.2



On September 15, 2017, the world says goodbye to the Cassini spacecraft as it ends its historic mission with a final plunge into Saturn.

See Cassini's final hours in Universe Sandbox ²:
Home > Open > Core/Historical > Cassini collision with Saturn on September 15, 2017
Home > Tutorials > Science > What Is Cassini’s Grand Finale?

During its 13 years orbiting Saturn, Cassini made a number of invaluable discoveries about the planet, its rings, and its moons.

We now know that massive geysers covering the south polar region of the moon Enceladus shoot icy particles into space, forming most of Saturn’s E-ring and hinting at a massive, subsurface ocean. And we now know that the surface of Titan, Saturn’s biggest moon, shares a surprising number of characteristics with Earth, including dunes, mountain ranges, rivers, lakes, and seas.

With its array of sophisticated instruments, Cassini watched as storms raged on Saturn and seasons changed. It discovered eight new moons, provided insight into the behavior of its famous rings, and completely changed our understanding of its magnetosphere. The mission has been extended twice and now Cassini has been in orbit nine years longer than originally intended. Its fuel is nearly gone and so, to prevent possible contamination of any of the moons, its course has intentionally been set for disintegration in Saturn’s atmosphere.

So now we say ciao, Cassini. Thanks for all of your work.

And thanks to all of the hard-working scientists from NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Italian Space Agency who made the Cassini mission possible.


This update also includes a number of smaller improvements and bug fixes.

Check out the full list of What’s New.
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August 28

Universe Sandbox ² Updated 2017 Roadmap



What’s Completed
At the beginning of this year, we shared Part I and Part II of our roadmap for 2017. We’ve now well past the halfway point, so it’s time for an update on what we’ve accomplished so far and we’ve got our sights set on for the rest of 2017 and into next year.

A New Foundation & VR 2.0 | Update 20
This was a big update for us, with a lot of important behind-the-scenes changes and a big list of VR improvements. Below are some of the highlights from this update; check out the Update 20 post for more information on how it’s paving the way for some bigger changes down the road.
  • Rewritten, Scalable User Interface
    • With our rewritten user interface, you can now scale the interface for smaller and larger resolutions.
    • Future support for on-the-fly switching between multiple languages (see below).
  • New Code Architecture
    • A major reorganization that will make it easier for us to maintain our code, track down bugs, and develop and iterate on features.
  • VR added Disintegration, Teleportation, and a Lot More
    • Added all the new simulation features, improvements, and fixes from the Disintegration desktop updates, including…
      • Tidal forces
      • Improved explosions, and…
      • New fragment and particle system
    • A completely rewritten locomotion system for more responsive and smoother panning, scaling, and the all new rotation
    • Teleportation! It’s never been easier to move from one planet to another
Update 20 also included a long list of smaller improvements and bug fixes. And in the past couple of months since its release, we’ve pushed out smaller patches with many more bug fixes, plus the eclipse update below. 

 
Solar Eclipse | Update 20.1


You probably heard about the August 21 solar eclipse that was visible from all of North America. We hope you were able to see it in person! But if you weren’t able to, or if you just want to see it over and over again now, then we’ve got just the simulation for you. See the Update 20.1 post for more info.
  • August 21, 2017 Total Solar Eclipse Simulation
    • Home > Open > Total Solar Eclipse on August 21, 2017
    • A simulation of the Moon passing between the Sun and Earth and blocking out light across North America.
  • Shadow Improvements
    • Using past eclipse images as a guide, we’ve tweaked shadows just a bit to better capture Moon’s shadow on Earth.
  • Advance Time Feature
    • Introduced in 20.1.1, this feature allows you to run the sim until a specified length of time has passed. Just click the timer in the bottom bar to set a date or length of time then click Start!
 

What's Coming Next
The following list is in a very rough order. These are all things we are working on currently, but when they'll arrive is difficult to predict. If we had to guess when we'll first start seeing them, we'd have to simply say "soon."

 
Planet Grids

(The image above shows a debugging tool we are using to test the new Planet Grids. This tool shows how temperature is broken down into data points across the surface of the planet.)

Planet Grids (previously called “automata”) is a new piece of tech that we’ve been working on for a while now that we’re very excited to introduce. The first stage of this tech allows us to simulate localized temperatures across surfaces, rather than an average temperature for the whole object. In turn, this will allow for much more dynamic and detailed visuals and simulation. This is also a crucial first step for another feature that’s long been coming…

Lasers
Lasers are fun for everyone! We're very excited about introducing these, but it's possible the community is even more excited. We don't blame you. Good news: the laser is coming soon to the desktop version and will simultaneously return to VR with improved realism and functionality.
  • From Laser Pointer to Planet Destroyer
    • Set the power of the laser to go from a realistically-powered laser pointer to a laser far more powerful than anything ever produced, one capable of melting all of the ice off of Earth and heating it up to the point of complete vaporization.
Stellar Evolution
We unfortunately had to push this out of the Update 20 release because it simply took longer than expected and was not finished. The model itself is complete, but removing the old model and replacing it with the new is no simple task. Once we’ve got it plugged in, we’ll need to thoroughly test it to make sure that everything is in good shape and working as expected. This also is no simple task (there are many variables when it comes to testing stellar evolution in a universe simulator), but we’re definitely nearing completion.
  • A Rewritten Model for the Life of a Star
    • The new model supports 16 evolutionary star types versus the previous 5. It is primarily a function of mass and age or metallicity, and will work for evolutionary types outside of main-sequence stars.
    • The results will be more dynamic and accurate properties for stars, as well as smoother transitions from type to type. It will also support mass loss from solar winds, and be able to differentiate envelope from core.
Steam Workshop

(The image above shows an early design mock-up of a new interface for with support for Steam Workshop simulations.)

We’ve just begun work on adding Steam Workshop support to Universe Sandbox ². There’s plenty to do on the design front, and we have kinks to work out with our save & load system, but all things considered, we’re making good progress. Steam Workshop support is often requested by the community, and for good reason — we’re very excited to see what happens once it becomes easy to explore all of the simulations and scenarios the community is creating… and destroying.
  • Share Simulations & Objects with the Whole Community
    • Space may be a vacuum, but that doesn’t mean you should feel like you’re living in one in Universe Sandbox ². With support for Steam Workshop, you can easily browse, vote on, download, and explore community-created sims and objects, and of course upload your own for the whole community to check out.
  • And Eventually, Share Models & Textures Too
    • The first iteration will likely only support custom sims and saved objects, but in the future (see below) we plan to add support for custom models and textures as well.
Faster Physics & Performance
Thomas, our physics programmer, has made substantial upgrades to the physics code more times than we can count. But whatever number that is, add one more. We’re extremely grateful for every improvement, as physics is at the core of Universe Sandbox ², and making it faster means a lot more than just simply adding on a few FPS.
  • Rewritten Physics Code
    • A smoother user experience, more stable simulations at higher time steps, and more room for all of the big, new physics features we’re working toward, such as rigid body collisions, total body fragmentation, and space megastructures.

 
And Then Into 2018...

Localization
  • Supported by New User Interface
    • Now that our new user interface is in Universe Sandbox (Update 20), we’re ready to add the localization system.
  • Community-Sourced Translations
    • We plan to ask you, the community, for help in translating all of the text in Universe Sandbox ². We’re not certain how it will work yet, but our ideal system will let you click on any snippet of text from within Universe Sandbox ² and offer a translation or an improvement on an existing translation.
  • Switch On-the-Fly Between Multiple Languages
    • You’ll be able to switch at any moment between available translations. What is available depends on the community — as long as one user has offered translations, then it will be available for everyone to use and improve upon.
Custom Models
  • Import Models & Textures Created by You or the Community
    • This is in some ways the second big part of the Steam Workshop support. Being able to browse and download community-made models and textures which you can use in Universe Sandbox ² is going to help a lot with all of the requests we get for fictional and real spacecraft and planets. Of course, custom models means you can import whatever model you like (limited by file type), so if you’d prefer a cow over a rocket ship, then that’s okay too.
Rigid Body Collisions
  • Bouncing and Breaking Apart Human Sized Objects
    • Right now, human sized objects in Universe Sandbox ², like dice or bowling balls, will combine when they collide. Rigid body physics will make these collisions much more realistic, so they’ll instead “bounce” off of each other as you would expect them to.
  • And Don’t Forget Stacking and Connecting
    • Bouncing only makes sense some of the time for rigid body collisions. If you’re on the surface of a planet, for example, then you should also be able to stack these objects. Where does connecting come into this? Well, if you have rocket parts, then those should probably snap together… But we’re still far away from this.
Total Body Fragmentation
  • Kaboom!
    • With this new system, bodies will completely fragment when the force of a collision is strong enough. This should be most apparent when two equally sized bodies collide, as they should completely fragment apart instead of one “eating” the other, which currently happens.
More Advanced Planet Grids
  • More Detailed and Responsive Planet Visuals & Interactions
    • The first iteration of Planet Grids which is arriving along with lasers will help with temperature, but eventually the system will become more complex and allow for more advanced simulation, such as freeze heights, improved molten visualization, and...
  • ???
    • It’s hard to say what Planet Grids has in store for us next. Heat transfer between planetary layers? Life simulation? Maybe! We don’t have an exact plan, but we’re excited by all of the possibilities that open up with Planet Grids.


 
And Into the Distant Future

Mobile Version
  • Universe Sandbox ² on Your Phone and Tablet
    • Universe Sandbox ² is all about asking fantastical what-if questions. Well, what if you could simulate the universe on your phone? Our guess is you’d probably be pretty happy. At least, that’s what’s been proven true so far whenever we run a test build on our mobile devices. We’re making good progress on this mobile version, and there are many user interface challenges still to solve, but it’s looking like a release will be coming next year.
Space Megastructures
  • Megastructures, But in Space
    • We mention these a lot, even though they're not on the immediate horizon, because they're just that exciting to think about. Using physics-based space tethers as the idea behind the basic building block, these structures can come in many pre-defined shapes and sizes, and eventually support building custom structures.
    • Think space elevators, Dyson spheres, and ring worlds. And then squeal with joy (and patience).
 

There isn't a single item on this list that doesn't get us excited. We're happy with how far we've already come with Universe Sandbox ², and now we're itching to see where these new features take us and our fans. There will soon be even more tools for creating and exploring whatever you can imagine, and you'll have the ability to share these with the entire community, a community that will expand with localization and the mobile version. Many thanks to our ever-growing community of fans for all of your support.
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About This Game

Universe Sandbox ² is a physics-based space simulator that allows you to create, destroy, and interact on an unimaginable scale.

It merges real-time gravity, climate, collision, and material interactions to reveal the beauty of our universe and the fragility of our planet. Universe Sandbox ² is the long-awaited sequel to the original Universe Sandbox.

Universe Sandbox ² includes the desktop version and a VR mode with support for the HTC Vive & Oculus Rift+Touch. This is a free, automatic update.

Simulate Gravity

N-body simulation at almost any speed using Newtonian mechanics. Real science, real physics, no supercomputer required.

Collide Planets & Stars

Epic, mind blowing collisions of massive planetary bodies.

Model Earth's Climate

Watch sea ice grow and recede with the seasons because of the tilt of the Earth: change the tilt and change the seasons. Or move the Earth farther from the Sun and freeze the entire planet.
Learn more...

Terraform Planets

Add carbon dioxide to a planet's atmosphere to heat it up. Then add water...

Deform Surfaces

Impact planets with asteroids and comets and leave behind massive, molten craters.

Supernova a Star

Make a star evolve by cranking up its age or mass, then watch a supernova unfold.

And more...

  • Material System - build planets out of Hydrogen, Iron, Rock, & Water
  • Solar flares & volatile trails
  • Procedurally generated stars & planets
  • Pulsars
  • Light-warping black holes
  • Dark matter

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • Processor: 1.6GHz dual-core
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512 MB Video Memory, Shader Model 3.0
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • Processor: 2.6GHz quad-core
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1 GB Video Memory
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Additional Notes: For VR, see recommendations from Vive or Oculus
    Minimum:
    • OS: OS X 10.9+
    • Processor: 1.6GHz dual core
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL, 512 MB Video Memory, Shader Model 3.0
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • Processor: 1.6GHz dual core
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL, 512 MB Video Memory, Shader Model 3.0
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
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