Vector Thrust is a fast-paced action-arcade combat flight simulator, with a unique cel shaded art style for PC. With an extensive variety of game modes Vector Thrust aims to please both players wanting to get straight into the sky and those who love a flexible, diverse and customizable gaming experience.
User reviews: Very Positive (84 reviews)
Release Date: Aug 21, 2014
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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 may or may not change significantly over the course of development. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you may want to wait until the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Vector Thrust is absolutely meant to be a product for and by gamers, which is why we want to have the community to have a big say in and contribution to the last stages of the game’s development. This is also our first project so we want to make sure that the game reaches its full potential before its final launch, and who better to shape its final form than the gamers it is meant for.”

How long will this game be in Early Access?

“We are a small team but we envision to need between 3 to 6 months in Early Access before the game will be completely finalized. This is only a limited period but we feel the game is in a pretty good state now, after undergoing months of external quality assurance befiore this Early Access launch.”

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

“We plan to release regular updates containing new game-modes, we will add more aircraft, more missions and other important features. We also will add more Steam features such as Achievements and Trading cards.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“The current state of the game is best described as a pre-beta version of the game, or advanced alpha. Most elements of the game are already present but need finetuning, tweaking and improving. Multiplayer is functional but we will be looking to see how it holds up and enhance where needed.”

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

“Yes the game will be priced higher as development advances, with a final price level of 24,99 $ upon launch.”

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

“We want to maintain daily contact through both Steam forums and our own forums with the community. We are a small team but we will endeavour to answer questions as soon as possible, with the aid of the Community Management department of our publisher. We are looking for constructive feedback to better the game, suit the community wishes and fulfil the potential that is present in this first version. Through our various Editors gamers can immediately start to make their own modifications as well.”
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Recommended By Curators

"Spiritual successor to classic Ace Combat action. Arcadey, explosive, and fun; Vector Thrust is a combat sim for all skill levels."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (7)

October 3

Update v0.9106

As usual here comes the quick fix the address some of the issues of the last update.


  • FIXED: typo in the Testament squadron
  • FIXED: F-16C B25 Challenge only being considered clear if the player leaves the mission area
  • FIXED: win condition for the F-16 S/MTD challenge
  • FIXED: win condition for the Su-27S challenge
  • FIXED: win condition for the F-104S ASA/M challenge
  • FIXED: unlock requirements for the F-22
  • FIXED: uploaded the right file for the XST challenge
  • FIXED: in the campaign editor, some issues with save/load option
  • FIXED: in the campaign editor, the level selection sometimes not saving the last change in the combo box
  • FIXED: in the campaign editor, the when creating a new mission the system overwrites all others with the same information

  • UPDATED: S_210B challenge
  • UPDATED: Su-27SM challenge
  • UPDATED: S_210B challenge
  • UPDATED: in the campaign editor, some elements to improve usability

0 comments Read more

October 1

Update v0.9105

Here is the second part of the major upgrade that was initially planned.
But now looking back, it was definitely a good choice to split them in two.

This Build introduces the pickup system, this new mechanic opens a lot of possibilities, both in challenges and game modes, but at the moment it has only added a single pickup. But beyond that, the main purpose of this update is to add enough challenges for the player to be able to reach the F-22A and Su-37.

It would be great if next updates add the same amount of challenges like this, but we'll see, the main goal for the next update is to introduce counter-measures, so that is something that definitely worth waiting


  • FIXED: bomb CCIP
  • FIXED: AGM-84 in the F-14D QS
  • FIXED: crash when display the F-104S in the loading screen
  • FIXED: V-601D sometimes exploding right after firing missile
  • FIXED: V-601D no longer play tracking sound when is waiting for the weapon to reload
  • FIXED: F/A-22S5 engine effects
  • FIXED: F-22V engine effects
  • FIXED: FB-22-1 engine effects
  • FIXED: FB-22-3 engine effects
  • FIXED: F-22B animation
  • FIXED: P.125 ECR animation
  • FIXED: FB-22C animation
  • FIXED: F-22UL animation
  • FIXED: J-35D animation
  • FIXED: FB-22A gun position
  • FIXED: FB-22C gun position
  • FIXED: FB-22-1 gun position
  • FIXED: F-22X gun position
  • FIXED: YA-10 animation
  • FIXED: XF10F hardpoint placement

  • ADDED: Trigger unit bounds
  • ADDED: Action to show warnings
  • ADDED: Pickup System
  • ADDED: 500 points star pickup
  • ADDED: YF-14F Aircraft
  • ADDED: Surprise Fighter A Aircraft
  • ADDED: Surprise Fighter B Aircraft
  • ADDED: LA-2000 Aircraft
  • ADDED: XF10F Aircraft
  • ADDED: Su-30MKK Aircraft
  • ADDED: Su-30MK2 Aircraft
  • ADDED: S 210B Aircraft
  • ADDED: S 35-1 Aircraft
  • ADDED: J-35A (short) Aircraft
  • ADDED: J-35A (Long) Aircraft
  • ADDED: J-35B Aircraft
  • ADDED: MiG-27M Aircraft
  • ADDED: Bird of Prey Aircraft
  • ADDED: F-36 Aircraft
  • ADDED: J-7FS Aircraft
  • ADDED: F-14A+ Aircraft
  • ADDED: F-14AM Aircraft
  • ADDED: in challenge mode, a family becomes visible if you have at least one unit unlocked (this is to allow players to still see the family even if the family structure changes)
  • ADDED: the ability to skip challenges
  • ADDED: in the challenge mode each aircraft you will show the best rank of if it was skipped
  • ADDED: J-35B Challenge
  • ADDED: J-35A (Short) Challenge
  • ADDED: J-35A (Long) Challenge
  • ADDED: F-22A Challenge
  • ADDED: S 35-1 Challenge
  • ADDED: S 210B Challenge
  • ADDED: F-14AM Challenge
  • ADDED: F-14A+ Challenge
  • ADDED: MiG-28 Challenge
  • ADDED: F-16 S/MTD Challenge
  • ADDED: F-15B Challenge
  • ADDED: F-15C Challenge
  • ADDED: F-15J Challenge
  • ADDED: F-15J Kai Challenge
  • ADDED: F-16C B25 Challenge
  • ADDED: F-5A Challenge
  • ADDED: Su-27S Challenge
  • ADDED: P-42 Challenge
  • ADDED: Su-27SM Challenge
  • ADDED: Su-37 Challenge
  • ADDED: XF10F Challenge

  • UPDATED: XST challenge
  • UPDATED: A-10A challenge
  • UPDATED: F-15A challenge
  • UPDATED: F-120C stats
  • UPDATED: increased significantly the rate of fire for the V-601D
  • UPDATED: ships and large units now have armor effect


  • Bird of Prey does not have weapon bay
  • LA-2000 does not have weapon bay
  • Surprise Fighter A does not have weapon bay
  • Surprise Fighter B does not have weapon bay

4 comments Read more
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About This Game

Vector Thrust is a fast-paced action-arcade flight simulator with a unique cel shaded art style for PC. With an extensive variety of game modes like the unpredictable and vicious Quick Action, a customizable Skirmish Mode, and multiple immersive story-based campaigns, Vector Thrust aims to please both players wanting to get straight into the sky and those who love a flexible, diverse and customizable gaming experience.

Vector Thrust gives the player full power over the game to alter any aspect of the game they choose, ranging from simple tweaks to full-blown modifications. Adding user-made skins, changing unit performance and parameters or even complete battle scenarios is easy and open to anyone. With fully fleshed out Map, Mission and Campaign editors, Vector Thrust boasts unlimited expandability and adaptability.

With advanced tactical AI that actively analyses and responds to a dynamic battlefield, as well as over 200 fully playable aircraft (through various iterations of over 40 aircraft models) and even more naval and ground units that all work to complete their objectives in different ways, Vector Thrust offers missions that are never played the same way twice.

Key features:

  • Stay engaged from dawn until dusk and beyond with many single and multiplayer game modes (multiplayer on an opt-in basis during the Start of Early Access).
  • Keep coming back for more with multiple missions via a series of campaigns.
  • Unlock over 200 aircraft through a simple yet competitive Challenge Mode.
  • Pit yourself against advanced tactical AI that responds to the world around it.
  • Clash against titanic aerial fortresses and super-weapons.
  • Duel with a myriad of Ace fighter squadrons, each with their own unique combat strategies.
  • Modify your game with easy, simple modding tools and share your creations with others.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7
    • Processor: 1Ghz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 128 MB DirectX®–compliant, Shader 2.0–enabled video card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
186 of 204 people (91%) found this review helpful
47.9 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Vector Thrust, the so called "fan-made spiritual successor" to Ace Combat and the Airforce Delta series. I've been keeping an eye on this 3D cel-shaded arcade-action flight shooter, developed by 'timeSymmetry' since it first appeared on web back in 2011 and I've playing the game since the early alpha was released on Desura back in 2012.

I must say it's really challenging for a game, the A.I. is brutal, sly and can be totally unpredictable at times which is what I need in a game these days. But don't let that put you off. If the player can do something it's highly likely and most probable that the fiendishly smart A.I. can do it too. The game mechanic's are what I would consider "Sim-Lite" in certain areas, like the very extensive electronic warfare mechanic's and can be very arcade-ish at times much like in Ace Combat.

The game features a large and still expanding collection of high quality modelled aircraft, surface craft and weaponry. The many game modes tend keep me from getting bored or stressed, for an example if I get stuck in a Campaign, I'd go jump into Quick Action mode to break up the pace and try something new. And here is where I do my rundown of what I've played so far of the pre-Early Access build, which is due to be released some time on Steam's Early Access platform and I must say I'm really liking many of the improvements done to the game so far.

Quick Mission mode is good but it became a bit repetitive after a few matches due to the same style of missions appearing. I don't know if it's the seed generator or whatever generates the missions but it could do with a tweak or two, in my opinion.

How I see it Battle Scenario mode is for practising and testing your own custom missions which you can create via the built in Editors, but I had trouble loading some old mission files I created during the alpha, though I managed to get them working eventually, I had to tweak a few things in the config files.

Arcade mode wasn't available to play in the pre-EA build so I can't comment on that, But I've heard some interesting idea's on what that might entail. Now Skirmish mode is where I found myself playing a lot of. The amount of Mutators, rules and other options you can chose from which are highly funny at times and give nods to other franchises which have clearly influenced TimeS, will keep you highly entertained for hours to come.

Now Challenge Mode is where you go to unlock the vast majority of base game's aircraft by completing a series of ever increasing challenging missions for that particularly aircraft family you wish to use. I'm liking the Challenge Mode aircraft tree, it reminds me of what you would typically see in a RTS or RPG game. I would of preferred it if the missions were a bit more unique like TimeS originally planned back in the early alpha, But due to lack of manpower and time it's an understandable sacrifice.

I haven't had a chance to try multiplayer yet, it should be noted however that the game uses Steamworks for the multiplayer and it isn't included in the main Early Access branch of the game. It's part of a sub branch under the Steam Beta Properties Tab and once selected the Steam Client downloads a patch to activate the multiplayer components. Though every time I selected multiplayer no one turned up in the lobby. I don't know if that was due to the lack of online beta testers at the time or other factors at play.

The Profile menu does what you expect. It keeps tabs on your play time, stats, performance and in game accolades which you gain by achieving certain tasks in certain game modes. There is also over 150 or so Steam Achievements to acquire for those who are into that sort of thing.

The game options are fairly modifiable. There's the typical stuff you would expect of a 3 dimensional game. The Display options so far allow the use of a wide range of resolutions with V-sync and Anti-aliasing available up to 8x sampling. There's various texture and model detail levels ranging from very low to very high. Other graphical options include Bloom, Glow and Radial Blur which is typical of a Ogre Engine based game. The artistic style of Vector Thrust is in the form of three dimensional cel-shading, which in my opinion adds a unique flair to the game without TimeS needing to focus too much on texture quality, least to say he's done an amazing job with them so far. So far I'm guessing for people who aren't too fond of the cel-shading, modders will probably create realistic texture packs some time in the future to cater to their needs.

Some quick thoughts on the background music, voice acting and sound effects. Well first things first, that air raid siren in the Main Theme blending with the female vocals. That alone sends chills down my spine. The intro has a sense of urgency to it, the rolling drums and beats convey that there may be some hope at the end of whatever conflict that the player will find him/herself in. Some of the other themes are pretty good too. One of my favourites is without a doubt is a musical piece called Evan's Theme which has some classical piano work which I find relaxing. One thing I've noticed a lot of though is the early alpha music and sounds are showing their age when played alongside the new musical pieces and sound effects. I can definitely say I'm looking forward to the rest of Jose Pavli's soundtrack.

The audio options menu allows you to change the various sound options ranging from Master to SFX, environmental and BMG. The sound effects of this game are fairly typical of this genre of game. Lots of bleeps, warning sirens, explosions and the occasional sound of Dakka. The voice acting of this game is a bit lacking but it's forgiven due to it been a produced by an independent developer and that there is more important things for TimeS to focus on like the game mechanics. There is however radio chatter options which you can use which change the voice modulation mechanic built into the game what the A.I. uses to make up for the lack of voice actors.

The control options allow the player to fully remap all the controls. The player can either use a keyboard and mouse combo, a Windows compatible HOTAS or a Microsoft compatible control pad. My preferred method of input is a wired MS-360 controller due to my familiarity with Ace Combat. The HUD colour palette and camera position can be changed to suit the player preferences. It should be noted however there is other options for the you to choose from in the options config file.

During missions there is a Command Menu which you can pull up and navigate using the number keys on the keyboard mid-flight, there's no need to pause the game or such. The Command Menu allows you inform your wingmen if you have any that is, what tactics, formations and weapons to use during the sortie. There is also options which do various things to your own aircraft too, like the ability to switch off your engine mid-flight and disable the Angle of Attack limiter.

Overall I could go on and on about the game, but the things I enjoy most about Vector Thrust is the open aspect of the game and the ability to change it to your hearts content. The ability to modify everything at will within a few hours of practice is a very tempting thing indeed. And with a few weeks of the game coming out on Desura there was a large collection of mods ranging from aircraft skins, to cosmetic changes to the HUD, even original aircraft designed by 3D modeller's. So imagine what the community will be able to do with Steam Workshop support if TimeS thinks of integrating it into the game. People say the sky's the limit, well in the case of VT the sky is just the beginning!
Posted: August 13
Was this review helpful? Yes No
54 of 59 people (92%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Early Access Review
This game is fantastic, it's simply a spiritual sequel of the classic Ace Combat games that I loved to play on PS2, this game reminds me of the good times and the many hours I spent playing Ace Combat : Distant Thunder, Ace Combat : Squadron Leader and Ace Combat : The Belkan War on my PS2 a few years ago. I highly recommend Vector Thrust to all the fans of this cult saga. Congratulations to TimeSymmetry, the talented developer of this great indie game !
Posted: August 21
Was this review helpful? Yes No
49 of 54 people (91%) found this review helpful
20.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Ace Combat fans, look no further.

Basically, Vector Thrust is a flight arcade action game. If you're not into flight games, this isn't for you. But if you are, you should definitely take a look. The graphics are cel-shaded, which is not popular or common in the action genre - especially not in the flight genre - but it definitely makes itself work here. One of the problems of the Alpha version was that the game had so few environments, lacking in variety of mission locations. Now the game comes with at least a dozen or two of different locations, from icy waters covered in glaciers to deserts with little vegetation. It's a beauty to see, and the shading method works spectacularly well.

I feel terrible for saying that I've never heard of José Pavli before I witnessed his work here on the soundtrack. And it's gorgeous. The music is absolutely gorgeous. Action-packed, thrilling, it just makes you want to fly more. And that's saying something for a lot of games lately.

Gameplay itself is varied, depending on the aircraft you're flying. I had a lot of difficulty with certain aircraft, but other aircraft worked perfectly well for me, and that's mostly because of their maneuverability and weapon loadouts. It's important to note that this isn't a simulator, so players looking for sim flight games should keep that in mind; there's lots of real-life elements in place, though, that refuse to allow this game pass as completely arcadey. Gravity and overheating guns are two that come to mind instantly. I know there's a very intricate jamming mechanic in place as well, but I haven't experienced it yet. Overall, flying a plane is really fun.

Now, please keep in mind this is Early Access. That means that there's bugs. Lots of them. And incomplete features. LOTS of them. However, Vector Thrust comes with more complete features than most games that release on Early Access - and that's a good thing. The core mechanics are all here, and if you're just itching for a really cool and really fun arcade flight game for your PC, then you found it.

Disclaimer: I funded this game's Alpha version on Desura. The Steam version is VASTLY superior to the Alpha. This developer is legit, and has been helping people on the forums since the minute the game came out.
Posted: August 21
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30 of 34 people (88%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
It's rough, to be sure, but for an alpha it's solid and the groundwork is definitely there.

These guys wear their Ace Combat influence on their sleeve, which is great seeing as Project Aces gave up on that when the PS2 went out of fashion. Even in its alpha state, this is the best Ace Combat-style (which is to say, arcadey flight sim) game on Steam.

No, H.A.W.X., I haven't forgotten about you. You either, Assault Horizon. Both of you, go to your rooms. You're being schooled by an indie, probably working with a total budget equal to what you spend on coffee.
Posted: August 23
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80 of 120 people (67%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Yo buddy, you still alive?
Posted: August 21
Was this review helpful? Yes No