A ground-based RTS prequel to the classic Homeworld games. Assemble your fleet and lead them to victory on the shifting sands of Kharak in this compelling strategy game for PC from Blackbird Interactive.
User reviews:
Mixed (30 reviews) - 66% of the 30 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Mostly Positive (1,987 reviews) - 79% of the 1,987 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jan 20, 2016

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Recent updates View all (22)

June 21

Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak Now Available For Mac!

Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak is now available for Mac! Play the Campaign or online Multiplayer with enemies on both PC and Mac.

Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak is a ground-based RTS prequel to the classic Homeworld games. Assemble your fleet and lead them to victory on the shifting sands of Kharak in this compelling strategy game for PC from Blackbird Interactive.

35 comments Read more

June 16

Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak Update Rolling Out June 16th, 2016


- Added Polish Language Support
- Minor Fixes to Shift login

51 comments Read more

About This Game


A ground-based RTS prequel to the classic Homeworld games. Assemble your fleet and lead them to victory on the shifting sands of Kharak in this compelling strategy game. Crafted by Blackbird Interactive, a studio founded by veterans of Homeworld and Company of Heroes, Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak takes players to the deserts of Kharak where danger lurks over every dune.

In Deserts of Kharak’s campaign, an anomaly is discovered deep in the southern desert. An expedition is sent, but the story is not that simple. Discover the story of Rachel S'jet as she leads her people on a quest to find their destiny in an exciting campaign.

Take control of fleets of land and air vehicles – from nimble light attack vehicles to massive heavyweight cruisers – built to conquer the desert.

Fight your way across massive dune seas, deep craters, and hostile canyons in sprawling maps – all in unprecedented fidelity and scale.

Position your fleet to take advantage of the high ground or create ambushes across dune lines in terrestrial combat. Attack your enemies’ resource operations, or assault their military head-on.

Meaningful choices in resource management, fleet composition, and technology research directly impact your chances of survival.

Compete online solo or with friends in a variety of game modes, including ranked play, to rise through the ranks and become the most powerful Fleet Captain on Kharak.

Before you can find your Homeworld, you must first unlock the secrets of the desert.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS: Windows 7/8/10
    • Processor: Intel Core i3-2100 (3.1 GHz) / AMD A10 5800k (3.8 GHz)
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce GT 440 (1024 MB) / Radeon HD 4890 (1024 MB)
    • Storage: 8 GB available space
    • OS: Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit)
    • Processor: Intel Core i7-950 (3.0 GHz) / AMD FX-4300 (3.8 GHz)
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce GTX 770 (2048 MB) / Radeon HD 7770 (1024 MB)
    • Storage: 12 GB available space
    • OS: OSX 10.10.5 (Yosemite)
    • Processor: Intel Core i5-3470S
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce GT 640M
    • Storage: 8 GB available space
    • OS: OSX 10.11 (El Capitan)
    • Processor: Intel Core i5-4570
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce GT 755M
    • Storage: 12 GB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Mixed (30 reviews)
Mostly Positive (1,987 reviews)
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1,337 reviews match the filters above ( Mostly Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 9
Great campaign!
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
72.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 7
The single-player story is good. The gameplay can be tedious - lots of bugs and bad interface choices. Stuck fighting an invincible carrier? Save the game, load it, and then it will work. Why do my aircraft circle 3 times, then dock instead of staying out? Why can't I harvest an artifact from the sensors view? Do I really need to micromanage the salvager to place 4 explosive charges? Why do enemy units occasionally get "destroyed" and then stay on the sensors forever?

That said, the gameplay is innovative and I enjoyed it. Still waiting on a better successor to Homeworld.

Multiplayer community is dead 🙁
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
8.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 23
Dreary, slow, poor quality visuals, Tried to get my money back after trying to give the game a decent go. Apparently you can't if you play for 2 hours. Last time I try to give a game a decent go - i'll burn it in the first 10 minutes.
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5 of 11 people (45%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
20.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 9
I really didn't know which thumb to put but i'm sorry, this game is not up to my expectation because of one (one!) critical feature.

The game is fairly good,
The voice acting is great, the story is nice and graphic is awesome.
Units are varied and have all weak and strong spots.

All should be good but since i can not stop and plan my steps, as there is no pause button that allow you to give commands.
the moment I command a large army, the 10 groups i can assign are a drop in the ocean to help me manage my forces against 3 fronts.
the game feels like it loses its fairness when it comes to large forces vs large forces as we were used to in homeworld.
instead i spend too much time watching the scanner rather than the awesome graphic and too much time feeling like "♥♥♥♥ where these cruisers?! not the support! the assault ones! damn too late".

the cinematic parts are amazing but get annoying when I watch them for the 3rd time.
it feels so stupid i can't skip.
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11 of 26 people (42%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
31.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 30
Don't buy it, plain and simple.
I've been playing the game for some time, and even to the day of this review. The game is still unoptimized. There is a reason to why they caped the unit counts to very low. Each unit in the game is being constantly checked by the CPU, so unless you have a 24+core CPU your game will hit in the mid 40-30fps on maxed unit counts. The game also skips and stutters even during in game movies. I've been playing DOOM2016 and I never seen it dip below 60fps. Even played SquareEnix Supreme Commander with hundreds of units on screen and again it never dip below 60fps. So unless it's free don't get this game.

My rig btw is a Win7 Pro, 3770k, Gtx980, 16gbRam
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4 of 12 people (33%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 28
It stutters like crazy... This completely destroys the game-play experience for me.

Homeworld (Remastered) runs very smoothly by comparison.

I have tried with and without SLI ennabled.
I run two Nvidia Titan X Pascal cards and an i7 5960x CPU with an Intel 750 series PCI-E SSD on Windows 10 64 bit Home edition. Monitor is 1440p / 144Hz (G-Sync). Nvidia driver is 372.90

Note that SLI support appears to be absent in this title. I can't speak for Crossfire support.
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2 of 14 people (14%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 5
Shame there is no support for 3440x1440, otherwise would play it some
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1 of 45 people (2%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 28
I love this game as you can see with all of the hours I've clocked up on it.

Put thumbs down and that you didnt find this helpful, if secretly you did find it helpful ːsmugː
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
387 of 481 people (80%) found this review helpful
12 people found this review funny
26.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 20
Deserts of Kharak is a well made sequel to Homeworld - tactic and RTS fans get their money's worth.

Since I was fortunate enough to participate in the beta test I have played long enough to give you my review.


The story is actually a prequel to Homeworld 1. In part 1 the intro reveals that alien artifacts have been found within the desert of Kharak which made the construction of a mighty spaceship possible.
And the latest part Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak tells you the story about the search and excavation of the artifacts on the planet Kharak.


You control some sort of rolling aircraft carrier called Kapisi (your mobile HQ) through the life-threatening world of the planet Kharak. Kapisi allows you to store resources, research technologies, and the production of units. Although Kapisi has the functionality of a base, its mobility helps to set it apart from traditional RTS games. Thus a proper base building does not exist. You're looking for a suitable location and gather resources to enlarge your fleet and to research new technologies.

Above everything else it's a strategy game. You can use the units from previous missions in upcoming ones, therefore you should keenly collect all resources and build units before moving on to the next mission.
A unit limit prohibits you from taking too many units to the next mission. Grr.

The roughly 15 hour long singleplayer campaign is tactically rather moderate and not very rapid. Most importantly you must take over good positions step by step to intercept your enemy, gather artifacts and finally destroy the enemy. In the online mode and skirmish battles everything's much more rapid, there are also 3 different win conditions in the skirmish gamemode.

Otherwise one notices the well executed control system, the fitting sound, the good lighting effects and the breathtaking graphics within the gameplay. In terms of gameplay it's a well made game, though the shortness of the singleplayer campaign and the Interface, which needs getting used to, disturb a bit in the beginning.

  • Breathtaking graphics and great effects thanks to the Unity engine
  • Sound &. Music fit the game very well and sound great
  • Easily learned and uncomplicated unit controls
  • Good animations and short video sequences with real actors in between missions
  • Well done and very innovative multiplayer mode. Expect tense fights with differing win conditions, like for example destroying the main base, total destruction or the hunt for artifacts (a kind of Capture the Flag)
  • Good physics and you can use the terrain to your advantage
  • Steam Achievements & Steamcloud

  • The AI is not completely stupid, but currently only hardly reacts to areal attacks and it's easy to properly position oneself, trick the AI and intercept the constantly reocurring attack pattern.
  • There is no minimap but a tactical interface.
  • "Only" 13 singleplayer story missions which are beaten within 12-15 hours on medium difficulty

  • Newcomers to the Homeworld Series are left with unanswered questions regarding the story
  • Interface and construction menu requires getting used to
  • There is a pretty generous unit limit


Someone who likes RTS should take a closer look at this innovative, graphically well done game, but only if one's not only keen on a singleplayer campaign, but also enjoys a few skirmishes or playing online.

This review was written as a valuation inside of its own genre.

Total rating: 8/10

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276 of 363 people (76%) found this review helpful
10 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
26.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 21
I really wanted to love this game, I've tried so hard but it's just not quite there.

The story is great, the homeworld(ish) feel is just right, the graphics and visuals are top notch and the missions are varied.

BUT, there just isn't enough variety in the unit types and abilities in an age of Starcraft's and total war's. All the factions are essentially the same with different appearances and the gameplay is heavily scripted [/spoiler] where the AI always throws endless units at you forever until you complete the objectives[/spoiler]. Couple that with annoying oddities that still aren't fixed: bombers that don't bomb first strafe so get shot down, units taking weird paths and dying, the tactical view doesn't perfectly represent the actual map, it's hard to tell if a unit can shoot or not though some weapons can fire through hills and structures (sometimes), etc, etc and it leaves me frustrated.

There was so much potential and I hope they give it another go as the fan base is loyal and keen and judging by the reviews, very forgiving. Bring on Homeworld 3!
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Recently Posted
81.5 hrs
Posted: October 22
This is pure nostalgia.
It totaly reminds me of the mid 90ies, Deserts of Kharak is by far the best chat progam you can buy.
You usualu spends hours whaiting to join a multiplayer game, there is a lott of chating going on while waiting.
There are no multiplayer servers due to regional lock - Do not buy this game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
28.9 hrs
Posted: October 21
Great game. Not as innovative as Homeworld in terms of gameplay, but still fun to play.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
R.E.D. Talon 6
7.9 hrs
Posted: October 21
very fun game very homeworldy

fun fast paced good story

esc isnt a menu option meaning you cant pause or escape you have to mouse over the menu mid game so backing out of a cut scene is imposible

2nd time meating the ashoka carrier my rachel was right at the entrance point. but i cant do anything but wath her get killed during a cut scene.
i have to restart the mission all over becuase there was only 1 chekpoint like wtf who thought anything in that level was a good idea,

i still dislike how i have to remap all my keys so i dont need arrow keys or middle mouse button to move the map

i found that unless you are in radar mode you really cant see anything, like i cant zoom out enough to give effective orders

final thoughts

all in all a great game butevery little nusiance from the homewolrd series is still there
and im disapointed and frustrated with it
Helpful? Yes No Funny
12.4 hrs
Posted: October 19
This game is a gem, but it is not without it's flaws.

The game is gorgeous and well thought out. The landscapes and cut scenes are worthy of the homeworld franchise. The game play is fast paced and brutal. Tactics being your friend and hesitation your death.

I beat this game it about a week of on and off play. I played the first few missions on the hardest setting and the rest at "classic". many other people think this game needs the ability to pause the game and perform orders. The developers have put forth that they did not include this feature because it breaks immersion and takes away from the desperation the missions in Deserts of Kharak have you play through.

Personally I think it's ridiculous the developers try to defend the idea of not having any sort of "real" pause feature auto-included in an RTS game (as anyone who has played previous titles in this franchise will know that such a feature is not only necessary; but really cool as you actually get time to enjoy the visuals which are a hall mark of Homeworld). Currently the only way to "pause" the game is the main menu screen. This does not breeak the game but is disappointing; and honestly will prevent me from playing thorugh the campaign again as half of what goes on is understandably simply "missed" by the player in the chaos.

Still I would readily recommend this title to anyone who enjoys RTS game play, and cross your fingers that the devs atleast implement an honest pause feature (even if they do not allow you to give orders cretae CTRL gorups etc).
Helpful? Yes No Funny
13.5 hrs
Posted: October 16
Excellent game, very happy! Great voice acting and it looks great. The game runs very smooth and I never had a crash or stutter issue. If you are a homeworld fan I highly recommend. If you never have played them I still recommend playing for the story.
My only negative the story seemed to end abruptly.
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41.1 hrs
Posted: October 15
A satisfying RTS that feels situated within the Homeworld universe. I enjoyed being exposed to the fully-fleshed out world of Kharak as previously only found in the companion guide to the original Homeworld. The art, sound effects, and graphics are all excellent and very reminiscent of the original Homeworld; the campain is fast-paced, fluid, and fair; and the writing dovetails into the plot of the first Homeworld. There are several Easter Eggs for old-school Homeworld fans, which are great. Unfortunately, issues with the writing keep this from being a masterpiece: key plot points are glossed over, the characters aren't as absorbing as the writers intended, and the latter third of the campaign feels rushed and incomplete. Additionally, the DLC's so far have focused on introducing units for multiplayer, rather than fill in more plot for the single-player campaign. The Expedition Guide is nice, but a PDF version would be nicer, so that I wouldn't need to launch a standalone app to read its contents. Finally, a few bugs persist (such as camera zoom occasionaly getting stuck on a unit until the camera is panned), but I didn't encounter anything that distracted too much from the experience.

Overall, this is a solid single-player experience - I would pass on the DLC's except the Expedition Guide - and hopefully the devs release a DLC that fills in more of the campaign. A sequel would also be great!
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17.2 hrs
Posted: October 15
good game, very satisfied with it. shame the multiplayer never will be populated(probably).
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13.8 hrs
Posted: October 14
Great game but way too short!!! 13 missions, done in 13 hours... wish the campaign was longer.
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