Design steampunk pixel airships out of functional modules and conquer the skies!
User reviews:
Very Positive (20 reviews) - 100% of the 20 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overwhelmingly Positive (855 reviews) - 97% of the 855 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 25, 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?

“Right from the start, the development of Airships has been extensively covered in the development blog. So as soon as the basics of gameplay were complete, the game became available to interested players to collect reactions and gauge interest.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“The development plan projects another six months of work before the final release. Most of this will be spent on polishing the game.”

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

“The following major features are planned:
  • Extended strategic conquest mode.
  • Land-ships with wheels and limbs.
  • Dragons and other aerial monsters.

Beyond this, there will be a plethora of minor additions, new modules, visual improvements and general polish.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“The ship design mode and core aerial combat gameplay are complete. You can design airships and buildings by assembling them from modules, conquer the world in single-player strategic mode, fight battles against other players in multiplayer, and design your own coats of arms.”

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

“When the game exits Early Access, its price will increase.”

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

“The community is reporting issues, making suggestions for additional features, trying out game balance, helping with localization, and already creating mods.

While I cannot guarantee that all suggestions will be included, several features such as paintable ships, flamethrowers, and decks were originally suggested by players.”
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Buy Airships: Conquer the Skies


Recent updates View all (96)

April 5

Multiplayer and Game Preservation

Airships now includes instructions on how to set up your own multiplayer server.

To be clear, you can always do multiplayer by choosing "LAN" and directly connecting to the IP address of the hosting machine. As long as that address is visible to you - so in the same LAN, not behind NAT, or using an IPv6 address.

But if you don't want the hassle of typing out IP addresses, or want a multiplayer lobby, you can now set up your own. This should be useful if you want to do a tournament inside a LAN, just want a private place to play the game with others, or if the default multiplayer server is down.

The latter has happened a number of times recently, for which I apologise. The servers are getting an upgrade in the next few days which should fix or at least reduce this problem.

But the longer-term reason is making sure that the game can still be played in the future. I believe games are an important part of our culture, and we should make sure that they aren't lost over time. This is made difficult by legal and technical obstacles.

On the legal side, the advent of de facto perpetual copyright means that games will keep on being owned by someone, probably, eventually, a large corporation. And this large corporation has no real incentive to make an old game available. There's no profit to be made from it, but setting it free would look bad on the balance sheet.

On the technical side, modern games tend to be interwoven with some kind of online component. So even if you have an archive of the game somewhere, it will not work without its server, and the server code never made it past the gates of the game's creator. Old games we can emulate, but a server shutdown can mean the permanent destruction of a game, because once again, there is no incentive to preserve the server code of an unprofitable game.

So what does this mean for Airships?

The first step was already taken: the game has never had any DRM. I believe DRM is evil, code hostile to the user running on their machine. I also believe it's useless, as it inconveniences customers but never poses a real challenge to the motivated cracker.

The second step is making is possible for you to run all aspects of the game independent of me. With the MP server instructions, we're most of the way there, though I still have to do something about the registry of coats of arms.

I am figuring out how to do yet further steps. To be clear, yes, I am selling the game for money so I can purchase food and shelter - and in fact, there's a price increase coming soon - but that does not have to conflict with making sure the game can last.

The instructions:


Last edited: Mar 26, 2017

If the Airships multiplayer server is unavailable, you can also set up and run your own. Note that you can always create multiplayer matches by using the "LAN" option and connecting directly to another player's IP. But if that is not possible due to NAT, or if you'd like the lobby system that the multiplayer server provides, here is how to set it up:

  • You will need Java installed on your machine for this.
  • Find the game's JAR file. On Windows and Linux, this is in the install directory as game.jar. On Mac OS X, you have to inspect the contents of the application package and find Airships.jar.
  • From the command line, invoke the following command: java -Xmx64m -cp Airships.jar com.zarkonnen.airships.Server
This will start up an Airships server. You then need to tell any copies of Airships that should connect to that server where to find it. To do that, edit launch_settings.json and set customMultiplayerServerAddress to the IP address (IPv4 or IPv6) of the server.

7 comments Read more

March 26

Version 9.1.1

  • New audio system: sounds loop better, move around better, and can shift in volume and pitch. (Note to modders: this means you have to update how sounds for engines and Suspendium chambers are specified, sorry.)
  • Reworked the way modules catch fire. Small arms are no longer much better at causing fires than big ones.
  • Reworked the way fire spreads. Fire is now much more likely to spread between modules that are connected by a door.
  • More messages pop up in the bottom left to inform you of various things like incoming torpedoes and fog.
  • Added option for fullscreen window mode in the resolution settings.
  • Button for disabling all mods at once.
  • Dragon fire arc increased from 60 to 90 degrees.
  • Heavy cannon reload time decreased from 8 to 6 seconds.
  • Collisions between big ships do more damage.
  • Night is a bit less dark yet.
  • Saved combats now store the mods the combat used. Opening a combat will load in the correct mods.
  • Brigands and mad scientists no longer spawn in road-less nest locations.
  • Fixed some crashes and improved some minor GUI stuff.
  • There are now instructions in the install directory for running your own multiplayer server.

11 comments Read more
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About This Game

Design steampunk pixel airships out of functional modules and conquer the skies!

In the game, ships are viewed side-on, and their modules are operated by individual crew members. During combat, players give high-level commands to a small fleet, positioning their ships, ramming and boarding others. Ships and terrain are fully destructible: they can catch fire, explode, break apart, and fall. Players can also compete against one another in Internet and LAN matches.

The ships are highly detailed, teeming with sailors moving around at their individual tasks, like an ant farm or a cut-away drawing. The player's choices in ship layout are crucial, and an important part of the game is exploring the design space of different airships and their matching tactics.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows 7 or later
    • Processor: 1.8 Ghz+
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 128 MB VRAM+ w/OpenGL
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
    • OS: Windows 7 or later
    • Processor: 2.2 Ghz+ Dual-core
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1 GB VRAM+ w/OpenGL
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
    • OS: 10.7
    • Processor: 1.8 Ghz+
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
    • OS: 10.10
    • Processor: 2.2 Ghz+ Dual-core
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1 GB VRAM+
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.0 or similar
    • Processor: 1.8 Ghz+
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 128 MB VRAM+
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 14.10 or similar
    • Processor: 2.2Ghz+ Dual-core
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1 GB VRAM+
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
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