Create a civilization capable of stopping a meteor without destroying the ecosystem in the process.
All Reviews:
Mostly Positive (434) - 75% of the 434 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Feb 6, 2018

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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?

“Eco is a community-based game; the players develop laws, government, and an economy to determine the success of their world. We need extensive playtesting to get the balance of our core features just right. Early Access is the perfect fit for finding an audience for this while also funding additional development.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“We plan to be in Early Access for 1 year.”

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

“The full version of Eco will contain complete versions of the following:

  • A Fully fleshed out and balanced tech tree
  • A player-enforced law and governance system
  • Community mod support and API

Of course, a large bulk of the improvements will come from balancing the existing core mechanics.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“Eco completed a successful Kickstarter in 2015, and has been 3 years in development.
The game is playable and contains the following features:

  • Online multiplayer
  • Single player
  • A server package for players to host and run their own games
  • Procedurally generated worlds
  • Over 30 different craft tables, with hundreds of recipes
  • A simulated ecosystem with dozens of unique species
  • Driveable Vehicles
  • Player-run economies and trade systems
  • A nutrition system where players must manage their caloric intake
  • A quest-like contract system where players can create tasks and missions for other players
  • A Programmable law system where players can propose and vote on allowable actions in their world
  • A web interface to view simulation data from the worlds that you play on

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

“Price will not change when we leave early access.”

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

“We engage with the community in several places; On Steam forums, Discord, and Facebook.

Most actively, we engage on our public discord, where the development team talks directly with the community to discuss ideas, bugs, and solutions. We solicit feedback actively and engage directly with players. We also share source code with our dev-tier backers who can contribute.”
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Recent updates View all (13)

February 14

Eco Report #1: Steam Launch Insanity

Hey all, so it’s been a crazy week for us, where not only did we have the Steam Release, but a giant grant proposal to submit (which is 112 pages of FUN!) for a future project. It all combined into a really epic time, with exciting developments like our login servers crashing shortly after we open the Steam floodgates (fixed now, but that was a wild ride).

Now that it’s out there and the dust has cleared a bit and people are discovering it at a much higher rate, it’s a good time to take stock and think about the future of Eco and where we want to take it in Early Access. And before looking to the future, it’s always fun to look to the past:

It looks like a completely different game over these three years, and basically it is (aside from the fact that you still have an axe and can chop down trees, so much else is totally different). That we were able to communicate our idea with our rough visuals in our Kickstarter and build a dedicated community over the years has been one of the best experiences I’ve had, and we’re super grateful to all our backers. It's rewarding to hear they’re satisfied with what they invested in.

So it may be a surprise to some, but Eco is planned to have a big educational slant to it, and we want to make it a game that can be played by a classroom. We don’t openly advertise this to the gaming market, because ‘educational game’ has become synonymous with ‘something nobody would voluntarily play’. I personally think that’s a tragedy that people have made that connection, as the connection between fun and education is what’s most important in learning. So, we’re a little stealth with that aspect of the game to avoid fitting into preconceived notions of what ‘educational’ means, but it is one of my goals to gradually remove that stigma (which also exists from the education side, where many educators are skeptical of games having educational value).

There’s a ton we want to do with the game in education, most specifically we want it to be this virtual world that runs alongside your classroom, where you apply what you’re learning, and that generates context for school work. So as you’re learning ecology, scientific argumentation, civics, statistics, or many other topics, a teacher can have an Eco server running in the background that kids play out of the classroom, and the server will email the teacher dynamically generated context from what’s happening in the class, making it fodder for discussions and further study.

At a basic level, it provides what I think is the biggest missing piece from education: an immediate reason ‘why you should learn this’. Here’s our grant submission video where I and my brother Jeff (who works on Eco too) explain the project:

So a big piece of Eco’s future is fitting into classroom models, which is a very *very* different market than entertainment games, with much more complexity around reaching customers, but I think that’s also a huge opportunity to do something that could have a big impact on how we educate kids, and how we think about the roles of that. Focusing on inspiration over rote knowledge, making inspiration a key metric. We also want to make other games that cover other subjects eventually creating a whole universe of virtual worlds that cover every topic taught in school. That’s a long ways off for now, though, but it’s what we’re working towards.

It’s a combination of really awesome and really stressful to see streamers picking up the game and inevitably finding (sometimes hilarious) bugs, but also super useful for seeing how other people are experiencing the game. It’s unique kind of joy when they ‘get it’ and it all makes sense, and then equally torturous when they struggle on something you were convinced was straight forward. Illuminating, in any case. Some of the streamers on Twitch who’ve been playing Eco below.

GiantWaffles in particular did a ‘stress test’, letting the community come in and play, which pretty much gave us a heart attack, but it held up surprisingly well, until the lag got unbearable. It inspired Eric our tech director to go through and do some turbo-optimizations, though, and we might be able to support 100 people in a server soon (fingers crossed).

Road Map
Last thing I want to mention is the Eco Road Map, which right now is on Trello but we are in the process of creating a community site for it, where we lay out what we’re planning to work on and solicit community votes and comments on what they’d like to see. We’re really hoping to bring all these new players that Steam has exposed to Eco, into the fold, as there is a pretty awesome community growing around Eco, and the patience and thoughtful feedback we’re seeing from players as we get this big ship up and running has been quite heartwarming overall.

So all in all, it's been a great launch, and I’m really looking forward to sharing the future of Eco with everyone and where we’d like to take it. Let me know what you think of this format of updates too, thinking I will send out updates like this weekly.


-John K
52 comments Read more

February 13

7.1.1 Hotfixes

The 7.1.1 hotfix release has been published. Changelog:

  • Fixed occupancy for Waterwheels
  • Fixed wall forms not connecting to doors properly
  • Fixed some errors that could cause disconnects for users with multiple characters on a server (due to prior accounts bug). (fixed ShouldSelectUser bug)
  • Allowed setting backup periods smaller than one hour
30 comments Read more
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“Eco is one of the most ambitious and original concepts I've seen in a while.”
Jeffrey Matulef, EuroGamer

“Eco emerged as an unique entry to the genre that pivots on environmental and social friendly themes.”
5 / 5 – Aler Hugues, CowLevel

About This Game

Enter the world of Eco, a fully simulated ecosystem bustling with thousands of growing plants and animals living their lives. Build, harvest, and take resources from an environment where your every action affects the world around you. An imminent meteor strike threatens global destruction. Can you save the world without destroying it in the process?

Construct buildings and towns, tend to your farm, hunt wildlife, build infrastructure and transportation, craft clothing, build power plants, and research new technologies. Specialize in a craft and trade your goods to other players. Develop your civilization and sculpt your planet.

As your civilization grows, you’ll need to analyze data from the simulation; evaluating the impact you have on your world. Use this data as evidence in proposed laws, restricting harmful activities without disrupting the advancement of technology. Balance your individual needs with the needs of community, all while maintaining the state of the ecosystem. The future of your world is in your hands.

Every organism in Eco exists as part of a detailed simulation; a disruption in one species can have cascading effects across the planet. Chop down all the trees, and habitats for creatures will be destroyed. Pollute the rivers with mining waste, and your farms will become poisoned and die. The ecosystem supplies the resources you and your community will need to stop the meteor. Manage your pollution, mining waste, hunting, and resource collection to balance your effect on this system.

Eco is built on a rich ecological simulation. All the data generated from the interaction of plants, animals, climate, and players can be searched and analyzed using in-game graphs and heat-maps. Use the collected information as scientific evidence support to proposed laws. The ability to successfully debate using scientific evidence is your greatest weapon against the destruction of your world.

Establish and maintain your own set of laws and government, which are enforced automatically by the game. Draft a proposal to limit clear-cutting in a protected forest, incentivize green energy solutions over fossil fuels by providing tax subsidies and penalties. Participate in elections for world leadership, allowing you to set tax rates and allocate community money. Use a programmable law system to make dynamic and flexible rules for the community, passing them by vote. Construct a wide variety of governments; from tightly-regulated dictator-states, to tax-and-spend subsidy programs, or even lawless communities relying on trust.

Your skills increase based on your food and shelter. By consuming a highly nutritious variety of food and building an elaborate home you will rapidly increase your skill points. Skill points can be spent on skills like farming, hunting, trade, engineering, research, and more. Contribute to the greater good while increasing your own personal success.

In the player-run economy, you achieve the most when you specialize and trade both goods and services. Create stores to buy and sell goods you need asynchronously with other players. Setup contracts within the game’s quest-like labor market, soliciting other players to perform specialized work for you in exchange for payment. Build complex crafting machines and charge a fee for players to use them. A thriving economy in Eco can be both a powerful tool for progress, or a dangerous threat to the environment.

To grease the wheels of commerce, you can create your own currencies, backed by fiat or by resources. Manage the value of your currency relative to others by setting exchange rates at asynchronous currency exchanges. Sell items at stores and collect credit from other players. Eco is designed for rich asynchronous play, allowing many players of many disciplines to contribute to one another’s goals at separate or simultaneous times.

All of the world’s resources originate from its environment, which is affected by your actions. While a meteor looms over head — set to strike the planet in thirty days — a more subtle threat grows from player-interaction with the environment. Without careful attention, ecological destruction can destroy civilization before the meteor even strikes. To ultimately succeed, you and your community will need to use the tools of government and economy to find a balance between progress and protection.

Included Features
  • Online Multiplayer - Collaborate online with a community of players.
  • Local Singleplayer - Build your own world, with the option to invite friends.
  • Dedicated Server Included - Host your own Eco worlds.
  • Over 30 different craft tables, with hundreds of recipes.
  • Hundreds of items, skills, craft tables, and building blocks.
  • A simulated ecosystem with dozens of unique species.
  • With limited carrying capacity, players must create vehicles and networks of roads to transport materials.
  • Create your own backed or fiat currencies, using them as a means of exchange in the economy.
  • Build stores where you can sell your excess items for a profit.
  • Eat varied and nutritious food and build ever larger homes to increase your skills.
  • Create contracts for jobs that you would like players with different skill-specialties to accomplish for you. Take on contracts from other players that need the skills you possess.
  • Design laws using programmable template system to protect your world or increase your profits, enforced by the game if ratified by the population.
  • Run for election and make decisions that affect the globe.
  • View and compile rich data from the simulation and use it to argue for group decisions.
  • Claim land as your own property, and share access rights.
  • Give and remove reputation from other players.
  • Find a balance between progress and protection, between individual needs and those of the group, succeeding or failing together.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Intel Dual-Core 2.4 GHz or AMD Dual-Core Athlon 2.5 GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT 440 or AMD Radeon HD 5850 or Intel HD Graphics 4000 with 512 MB
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX®-compatible
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Intel Core i5-2300 or AMD Phenom II X4 940 or better
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 or AMD Radeon HD 7750 with 1 GB VRAM or better
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX®-compatible
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