FreeSpace 2, the follow up to the classic Descent: FreeSpace – The Great War is ready to engage you in the second round. Follow the Grand Terran Vasudan Alliance further into the mysteries of the Shivans. Get your flight stick and hit the flight deck. The last time was just a warm up.
User reviews:
Mixed (165 reviews) - 67% of the 165 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jun 6, 2014

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Addressing install issues

Some users report an error when trying to launch the game.

We are working on a fix, but you may be able to resolve the issue right now by following these steps:

1. Open the folder where Freespace 2 is installed (usually "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Freespace 2\data")

2. Open the "Registry" folder. If there is no Registry folder open the "Data" folder

3. Double-click the file "FS2.reg"

4. Click the "Yes" button to make a system change

5. Click the "Yes" button to confirm

6. Click the "OK" button when Reg Edit says it's done

7. Launch Freespace 2 from your Steam library

Depending on your system settings, you may need to temporarily lower your UAC (User Access Control) settings or disable your anti-virus to make the change. Then re-enable UAC and/or your anti-virus software. We apologize for any inconvenience.

About This Game

The year is 2367, thirty two years after the Great War. Or at least that is what YOU thought was the Great War. The endless line of Shivan capital ships, bombers and fighters with super advanced technology was nearly overwhelming.

As the Terran and Vasudan races finish rebuilding their decimated societies, a disturbance lurks in the not-so-far reaches of the Gamma Draconis system.

Your nemeses have arrived... and they are wondering what happened to their scouting party.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8
    • Processor: 1Ghz
    • Memory: 254 MB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 7 Compatible Video Card
    • DirectX: Version 7.0
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 2490 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Sound Blaster Compatible
    • OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8
    • Processor: 1.4 Ghz or better
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 9 Compatible Video Card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 2490 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Sound Blaster Compatible
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Mixed (165 reviews)
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132 reviews match the filters above ( Mixed)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
23.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 2
I bought this , refunded it , bought it, refunded (Due to not knowing how to invert mouse) but something kept me coming back to this dated looking game (all this cult fandom cant be wrong, right ? )....

Give it a couple of hours, install the graphical upgrades lovingly crafted by the community (and invert mouse) .

It gets really thrilling dog fighting between huge warring capital ships, targetting the subsystems and turrets of those ships in the midst of the pyrotechnics.

I'm really getting into the story as well, which is not what I bought this for at all.. it has some nice twists and the voice acting gets the job done.

A huge plus is the editor, a ton of fun !!! I may end up sinking as much time into it as I did operation flashpoint back in the day.

All I want now is a mod to turn it all wire frame :) ..who needs these low res textures ?

* Once you can up the resolution with the mod the space battles are really something to behold

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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
880 of 1,002 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 6, 2014
Basically the last and best space sim. Since the steam edition will most likely throw errors at your face for trying to play an almost decade and a half old game on a modern system, Head over to to get Freespace open with the mediavp's and start enjoying this game in all its glory.

It will:
1. Allow you to actually play the game
2. Play it on any resolution
3. Massively improve the visuals.

The people at are also always available for techsupport and will help you with any technical problems you may run into.

Also shameless self promoting: If you like Freespace and have a taste for anime flair, check out
It's free, I promise.
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240 of 298 people (81%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 6, 2014
Freespace 2 was the definitive in-cockpit ship-to-ship space combat simulator of the transitionary period between the 90's and 2000's. If you have any interest in this genre, and you haven't played this game yet, you're missing out on the masterstroke that paved the way for games like Freelancer and EVE Online.

If you're having technical issues be sure to check out the Freespace Open project, which attempts to fix some of the bugs and update the graphics and lighting to a level contemporary players may be more comfortable with. For me personally, as-downloaded, my installation of Freespace 2 refused to run properly, but after installing FSO, it executes effortlessly.

In the space of a few minutes, you'll find yourself weaving between capital ships, trying to dodge flak, focus-fire on enemy capital weaponry to disarm them, and dog-fighting with customizable ships and loadouts. All the while, a grand narrative is unfolding with plenty of little twists and flavor to keep your interest.

Best of luck, pilots.
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72 of 74 people (97%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
330.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 10, 2015
Why I recommend this game

This game is what made me the gamer I am today. I bought it back when it first came out, I bought it on Good Old Games and now I've bought it on Steam. Why? I'll tell you why - I believe it's the greatest game ever made.

Why this game is awesome and deserves your attention;
  • The original graphics were fantastic back at release in 1999.
  • You won't be using the original graphics when playing the game.
  • The story was - and still is - amazing. Far better than the usual tripe.
  • There's an excellent balance struck between you being an incredible pilot who saves thousands of lives, and you just being a dude in a one-person fighter who can't single-handedly save the day.
  • You play against both rebel humans, and a dark & insidious alien race.
  • Your Shivan opponents don't have Star Trek-style translators. There's no communicating with them or understanding their objectives. They don't fight for territory and they don't act like humans on a different team. They're aliens - and both their ships and their tactics demonstrate that.
  • All too often, the strength of your enemies in games is inconsistent. They march into the beginning of the game with a roar, and then die with a whimper at the end. Or else you're handed a gimmicky win. This doesn't happen here - both your victories and your loses feel justified and fair.
  • You play a variety of roles. You scout hostile territory, battle enemy fighters, protect large capital ships from enemy bombers, destroy large capital ships as a bomber, neutralize the main weapons of enemy destroyers to give your side a fighting chance, protect innocent civillians in transport vessels, hunt down a traitor and more. Look, it's hard to give a comprehensive list while avoiding spoilers - y'know?
  • There's a huge variety of ships, primary weapons (lasers) and secondary weapons (typically missiles).
  • The community at are constantly creating new content by developing their own missions and campaigns - which you can do yourself - as well as enhancing the game engine, working on new models and textures, improving AI... and it's all yours for free!
  • The community at provide technical support for Freespace 2 Open.

Advice to those who buy it

Y'know what's better than playing a game 15 years old? Playing one with modern graphics!

The community at are regularly churning out improvements which make the game prettier, improve the AI, and expand the content available by creating their own missions and campaigns which you can play FOR FREE. New models, new textures, game engine enhancements, etc.

Read this guide:

I was going to create one myself, but there's no point re-inventing the wheel.
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80 of 87 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 23, 2014
Doesn't work out of the box (shame on you, Steam, for allowing this to happen) but is easy enough to fix with the excellent Freespace Open Installer ( Do yourself a few favors:

1) Buy the game.
2) Install FSO.
3) Dust off your old joystick.
4) Enjoy playing this superb space combat simulator.

'Nuff said!
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58 of 63 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
15.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 9, 2014
Before my review. The game didn't run at first and gave the message: ""Freespace2/Fred2 cannot be run from a drive root directory!". After looking around and saw some crazy solutions finally came to this very simple steps (no need for you to edit anything just click 3 times):

A) Go to the directory that the game was installed in
B) Go to the 'data' folder
C) DOUBLE click on the file 'FS2.reg'
D) Click 'Yes' When asked if you want 'Registry Editor' to make a system change
E) Click 'Yes' When Registry Editor asks if you are sure you want that change
F) Click 'OK' when Reg Edit says it's done
G) Run the game and enjoy

OK with that out of the way, one more point: you need a mouse (or preferred: a stick game controller). I was using the mouse tab from the laptop and then tried to navigate with the keystrokes and it is just too hard that way. You need to aim.

This is a 10+ year old game and I think the last great space simulation. Great game. You play a pilot and get promoted along the way until you are controlling your aircraft and giving instructions to wingman. Here are some highlights:

+ A campaign well thought out. After a few missions you get involved in it. Feels like an epic campaign.
+ Even through you are controlling your aircraft and giving missions to a few wingmen, you feel you are part of large battles. Lots of aircraft flying around.
+ Great tutorials, which are made nicely as training missions needed to be completed to get promotions. Also tutorials are made throughout the campaign. So you start with a few tutorials and latter on you do some more advanced ones.
+ The game is easy to get into. Part of it is the tutorials and the level design very well done.
+ Aircraft have multiple kinds of weapons, shields, you can call another aircraft to resupply you.
+ High production values

Minus points:
- Graphics feel a bit outdated.
- Need mouse or better stick controller.
- There will never be a Fresspace 3 :(
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100 of 134 people (75%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 6, 2014
Having owned the original retail version of this game for several years, playing countless hours, I can thouroughly recommend it. It is the game that defined the genre and set the standard for all games of it's type for the future.
You play the role of a Terran (human) fighter pilot fighting against a seperatist Terran faction when the doom bringing alien race, defeated in the first game (which was equally good) known as the Shivans appear and threaten the Terrans and Vasudans (old enemy turned allies).
The gameplay is dynamic and the missions diverse in objective, from dogfighting avast array of fighters, to bombing capital ships or going undercover on special missions. The graphics are more than decent for a game of it's era and the physics are superb.
I would recomend using a mouse/keyboard for gameplay rather than a joystick or gamepad, because space goes in all directions and relying on a joystick can get confusing sometimes.
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238 of 353 people (67%) found this review helpful
12 people found this review funny
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 6, 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
35 of 36 people (97%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
24.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 9
The best space sim I have ever played.

Make sure you goto and get the updated graphics after purchasing this game off of steam, or the game may not even work properly, the update supports macos linux and every verson of windows.
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27 of 30 people (90%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
14.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2014
Still the best singleplayer space combat sim out there. The first had a tighter plot but this one has capital ship beam cannons, so it wins. If you've played Mass Effect you'll also find a lot of suspicious similarities in the plot (Though it's Sci-Fi so I doubt FS is the first).

Buy it so they make #3 and I get closure.

*Assuming you do the quick fix to get it to actually run*

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Recently Posted
15.4 hrs
Posted: October 8
One of my all time favorite games was the Descent I and II. I loved how you could smoothly circle strafe around corners and enemies, it ran silky smooth, and had great music and insane maze levels.

I was really hyped to try Descent Freespace 2, but the excitement left after two things. One is how complex and difficult is it was to get set up. Multiple downloads, patches, and obtuse directions.

The second thing was the flight model was not newtonian, you could not side or circle strafe smoothly. The flight model was almost the same as Star Wars X-Wing Alliance which is smooth and fun, but leaves no room for side strafing.
Freespace does have a switch to allow your ship to rotate around it's axis, but was very hard to control.

Some forums claim a Battle Star Galactica conversion fixes this, but again, I took one look at the install and patch directions for that and decided if it is not push one button install, I don't need the grief.

Another reason I stopped playing it was it was not exactly friendly in terms of setting up and customizing your controller settings. It is an old school space sim, with lots and lots of minutia controlled by lots of hotkeys.

I have both a good joystick and a game controller and found, the whole process of trying to get so many hotkeys to work the way you want was time consuming and tedious. Make this change, reboot the game, see if it works, rinse and repeat.

I am not saying you should not buy this game, it has great promise and I have had lots of fun with it, but there are so many other games out there that are more polished and don't require you to spend hours tweaking control settings and patching the game exe.

I recommend it only if you are comfortable with that kind of hassle, Otherwise I would instead recommend Star Wars X-Wing Alliance which came out the same year, but has a much better and relate-able story.
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0.2 hrs
Posted: August 8
Arguably one of the best space piloting games I have ever played. The story is incredibly immersive. I still get goosebumps when I see the opening trailer.
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1.6 hrs
Posted: June 16
My recorded hours in this game are low because I run it with the mod FSOpen.

That being said I had this game as a kid and put tons of hours into it, as an adult I've recently purchased it again and found that I still enjoy it as much as I did then. With the community mods to improve the graphics, and my brand new joystick (that I bought just for this game) Freespace 2 still holds up to any space combat simulator I've played to date.

Either this game was really well made, or there's a severe lack of good flying games, possibly both.
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14.4 hrs
Posted: May 8
ok if you never played this game an you like space an ships you gonna love this.
the story behind the game and the game play, it`s the best sim when coming to ships.
dont take my word for it play and see for your self.
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48.0 hrs
Posted: May 5
My favorite space sim of all time, it's not a sandbox, exploration or trading game, get Evochron or Star Citizen for that...

This is an immersive, campaign driven, dogfighting space sim. It is old, but it holds up really well. Freespace 2 is great fun with a joystick and throttle, for total immersion try Voice Attack (VoiceBot probably works too) and TrackIR.

I recommend installing the FSOpen installer ( over the steam version and copying (and renaming) the yal_launcher.exe to FS2.exe (backup the original) then you can run the updated verison with the much better graphics and bugfixes through the Steam launcher.

The FSOpen Installer also supports and will download and install new campaigns. You can get help with FSOpen from
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.6 hrs
Posted: May 3
A well done game and the best space fighter simulator i have ever played to date after doing the bug fix it suffers from.
The story picks up years after the events of the first game and unless you play that first you are going to be a little in the dark about the plot, but other than that is a good and enjoyable plot.

The fights that you will partake in will range from engaging fighters and bombers to taking down corvettes and cruisers and is always entertaining watching them blow up (unless your teammates destroy them while you were lining up the killing shot then it get annoying). The AI in this game does not suck and can excel at dispatching your teammates and you if you are not careful and the same can be said about your own teammates, although they will sometimes need a helping hand when an enemy gets behind them and will inform you of the same thing.

The guns and missiles that you will unlock as you progress through the game will allow the adding (if the ship allows it) of individual guns into slots to complement eachother such as a gun with good hull damage but not very good shielding damage with a gun with the opposite properties. Missiles range from lock ons, fire and forget and dumb fire and are useful in quickly taking down enemies or turrets.

The line up of ships vary from space superiority fighters, intercepters, heavy fighters and bombers and in most cases have multiple versions of the types with differing armoring, speeds, manoverability and gun and missile (and differing amounts of the same missiles you can carry) slots.

The actual playing of the game is smooth and other than a few hiccups in framerate runs incredibly well and the fights can become challenging and exciting for the player with the right difficulty, the HUD on your screen will keep you up to date with monitoring crucial ships to protect and constant tracking of any ship that you can target.

The joystick is a very effective tool for this game as with the mouse i found that the fighter would zoom of my screen (thank god for the display that shows up at the edge of the screen to tell me where to turn) and i would have to swipe the mouse a few time in the direction i wanted to go before I had visual contact again but unlike the mouse i found myself overshooting the target lead multiple times with the joystick but thats probably because i'm bad at using it.

The game also has a mission editor called FRED2 that I personally enjoyed playing around with but requires a understand of how the coding in the engine works, for example the corvettes will not fire their main lazers until you give them the ability to by going into the events editor and enabling it there by replacing the operators of the event I made for it, despite that you can change the name of the ships in this program and had fun giving them wacky names.

Overall the game is impressive and is highly entertaining. The only negatives i have for this game is that:
1. I bought this a day before the special (thanks steam) and;
2. once during a mission a prompt in the coding did not activate as it should and i flew around for a few minutes while nothing happened before deciding to reset which fixed the problem the second time around.
3. Resolution...but that's just nitpicking at an old game.
But other than that i could not give a higher recommendation for anyone to at least pick up the game for a little bit to play through.
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9.4 hrs
Posted: May 1
I used to play Freespace The Great War, A LOT! I LOVED that game. Never got this one until I found it on Steam. Got it to work after a few tweaks......holy ♥♥♥♥ is this game harder than the first one!

I can't really describe how big of an improvement over the first game this is really.

I recommend this game, despite needing some tweaking to get it playable, but when you do play, I have one warning: FRIENDLY LASERS HAVE FRIENDLY FIRE ON!
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Dark Ranger
65.7 hrs
Posted: April 30
Easily one the best space sims of all time. Modding is where this game really shines. Freespace 2 has a great modding community that is still active today.

Many of the negative reviews bash the game for not working out of the box. Trust me, if you get this game, you'll get the best experience by just getting Freespace Open. Freespace Open is easy to download and use and fixes all of the problems, as well as make the game absolutely beautiful. It also includes many user made modifications if you choose to install them.

If you're a fan of space sims, get this game. You won't regret it.

You can get Freespace Open here:
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Akurei Kiabutsu
0.1 hrs
Posted: March 17
Don't waste your money it doesn't work with windows 8 os, uless you have an older os. It's sad it's not compatable with windows 8 because i played the demo years ago and enjoyed it.
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