Lean on your network of in-game friends and family to trade, mine and explore in this genre-busting space simulation.
User reviews:
Mixed (35 reviews) - 62% of the 35 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jun 6, 2016

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June 6

Sol Trader follow-on Ealdorlight goes on Kickstarter at 4pm today

Dear all,

I've deliberately avoided going on about this on here, but I thought you'd like to know that my next game is going live on Kickstarter at 4pm UK time today!

Visit Ealdorlight’s Kickstarter Campaign

(This post is deliberately a little earlier than 4pm to give you a sneak preview and so you can watch the campaign go live if you want. Earlier backers get lower edition numberings on some of the rewards, so you might want to be there from the start!)

The sixth of June is a significant day for me personally. In 2004, I spent the entire of the day in hospital. I remember the 60th anniversary commemorations of D-day on the TV in the background, as I sat beside my wife, in labour with our first child. I became a father an hour after midnight on the 7th June; my son becomes a teenager tomorrow.

Twelve years later, in 2016, I spent the entire of 6th June glued to Steam watching and waiting whilst Sol Trader was released to the world. This was a career dream come true: since I started programming at six years old I’d always wanted to create and ship my own games. Sol Trader’s release was ultimately a painfully formative experience for me, which I wrote about at the time and was interviewed about recently in this article for GamesIndustry biz.

Over the last year, I’ve been keeping busy doing two things. One is to support Sol Trader as much as I can with countless updates and patches. I’ve also been working on a new game, Ealdorlight, a medieval RPG-style take on Sol Trader’s mechanics, with turn-based combat, realistic damage and great graphics. I announced Ealdorlight in March and demonstrated it at Rezzed, strengthening my hope that the idea was a good one.

I decided fairly early on that I wanted to take Ealdorlight to Kickstarter. Sol Trader’s successful Kickstarter was a brilliant experience. The Kickstarter community is one of the kindest, most positive on the Internet. I also needed funding for this game: Sol Trader was self-funded through many long evenings and contracting work, and for Ealdorlight I need a bigger team to realise the vision. It’s built in Unreal Engine 4, which simultaneously saves me loads of development time and means I need a bigger team to pull off the realistic art style I’ve gone for.

As time came near to launch, the first anniversary of Sol Trader’s released seemed an appropriate day to launch the campaign. So today, 6th June 2017, I will spend the entire day glued to Kickstarter as my campaign goes live at 4pm today.

Visit Ealdorlight’s Kickstarter Campaign

There’s plenty more about Ealdorlight on the campaign - head over there and read all about it! A huge amount of work has gone into it, and I’m very grateful for all the support and help I’ve received from the team I’ve put together, and for friends and family who have given me endless encouragements and feedback.

One immediate question you might have is "What about Sol Trader?" Whilst the bulk of my time and attention needs to be spent on Ealdorlight to make the awesome game it could be, I'm still committed to fixing bugs and issues in Sol Trader as they arise.

Thanks for being part of my video game creation adventure so far, and I hope you'll stick with me for the next game!

Until next time,

6 comments Read more

April 28

Sol Trader 1.3 released!

Now that I’m back after some time away with family and training away from home, I’m able to support a new release of Sol Trader: 1.3 is now finally released after a length beta period.

Here are the highlights:

  • You can now chat to characters directly on the right if they’re in the same location as you
  • Pirate Chief and criminals are now more likely to try to destroy you
  • Fix a bug where you’re not paid enough for a mission
  • Dignitaries now fly around a little less than before to make it easier to pin them down
  • Inter-faction missions now pay slightly less
  • Business trips now pay slightly less
  • Taxi missions now pay slightly more
  • Talking to your criminal parents will no longer cause them to forget who you are
  • Fix crash where a character develops an opinion of the player mid-conversation
  • Fix crash when showing GUI for a ship the AI is driving
  • Fix crash where a character would attempt to sell a good on a ship they’ve lent to the player
  • Can now initiate conversations when paused - will restart the game but at realtime speed
  • Fixed the Tiger II achievement

Thanks - let me know what you think!

5 comments Read more


“Sol Trader is great fun and is a must-play.”
Very Biased Reviews

“A game of surprising freedom and depth.”

“Well worth a look.”
The Video Game Almanac

Just Updated

Sol Trader 1.2, available as a free update, is the most feature packed and streamlined Sol Trader experience yet, with a myriad of UI and gameplay improvements. The update is packed with job salaries, new missions, upgraded conversations, transit options, full modding support and Steam Achievements.

The gameplay has had a number of improvements made to it, both to the core systems and to the user experience. The addition of salaries for jobs, and the possibility of being fired, provides early direction to the game. You also now have a reason to stay close to home and build relationships with co-workers.

The hundreds of UI improvements and extra tooltips have streamlined gameplay. New missions provide a more interesting and rounded set of things to do for characters. New conversation questions and a 'meet me' option makes finding people that much easier. The ability to ask characters for transit between cities and planets helps with mid-late game ship management.

The addition of Steam Achievements provides an extra opportunity for players to notch up rewards and compare their progress. Finally, full modding support is added in 1.2, which gives modders the ability to change almost everything about the game, including all the graphics.

About This Game

A solo indie title from Chris Parsons, Sol Trader is a genre-busting space simulation where it's not about what you know - it's who you know. In Sol Trader you trade not only goods but ships, components, minerals, favours, contacts and information too.

  • Single-player combination of top down 2D spaceflight and strategic manipulation of your network of contacts
  • Run missions using your family and friends' connections to government or business
  • No ship given to you at game start: you must take a loan and hire a ship, or borrow one from a wealthy relative
  • Fly between planets, interacting with the various characters you come across in cities and in space
  • Research information on other characters through chatting to friends and relatives
  • Customise your ship with better guns, engines, hyperdrives and passenger cabins
  • Trade goods for profit
  • Procedural generation of a whole society of thousands of random characters
  • Start every new game from your character's birth
  • Choose your parents and all your major life choices as you grow up
  • Your choices determine your personality and your friends, relatives and enemies
  • Full modding support: change all the organisations, events, weapons, planets, ships, conversations and tutorial system.

200 years of characters

Each new game is already two centuries old. Thousands of random characters are born, live and die as the game is generated, creating totally unique societies each time. When starting a new game you do so from your character's birth, choosing your parents and all your major life choices as you grow up. Your choices determine your personality, your friends, relatives, business contacts and your enemies.

There is no set story. The game generates thousands of characters, events and interactions to set the scene: as a player, you are born into this world and form relationships in it before the game starts. You’ll then be able to create your own legend within this world: explore the known (and unknown) solar system, trade goods, run missions, leverage your contacts, and avenge members of your family as you see fit.

This game features a complex procedural history generator, inspired by the adventure and legends mode in Dwarf Fortress. Each new game is already two centuries old, with a living history full of characters that are born, live and die before you even exist. When you create a character in this world, you face the same choices as all the computer-controlled citizens did. The decisions you make in your character’s early life set your starting skills and attributes, and your family connections and business contacts.

The game universe stretches to the far reaches of our current solar system. In certain regions travel is very unsafe: pirates are known to hang out near the major gates. You'll be able to purchase a variety of ships and be able to own more than one at once. Ships can be fitted with a variety of equipment, including better guns, hyperdrives and engines, depending on what their hulls are designed to take. You will inevitably take damage and your ship can be repaired by mechanics that you will meet on your journey. Making friends with a good mechanic will make all the difference when you return half-alive from the Callisto water run...

It's not what you know...

You land at London's space port and immediately head to the market to see if an old contact of yours, Caleb Churley, will still give you a good deal on your cargo. Whilst offloading your titanium delivery, you discover through chatting to Caleb that he needs a parcel taking to Vikon on Venus. It's a bit of a distance, but you know they're short of water at the moment, so you buy all you can fit into your small ship. Caleb's grateful for the parcel delivery, so you get a good price on the cargo.

You drop by the bar on the way out, and discover that Rachel Holden was seen in Vikon recently. You've been meaning to try and track her down, as you've been asked by the local crime syndicate to keep them up to date with her whereabouts. This little trip is turning into the perfect excuse to handle some unfinished business.

You debate whether to take passengers to Vikon. Your ship isn't fitted with passenger cabins yet, but it's worth seeing who wants to go. In a local hotel you find three people keen to go: almost too keen. They're willing to pay way over the odds for transport, which means you're likely to have someone on your tail once you leave Earth's safe zone. It's a risk, but you could really do with the money... plus one of the passengers is the son of Charles Heckler, someone you'd love to get to know...

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: 2.0GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1GB+ RAM, OpenGL 2.1+
    • Storage: 1500 MB available space
    • OS: OSX 10.6 or later
    • Processor: 2.0GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1GB+ RAM, OpenGL 2.1+
    • Storage: 1500 MB available space
    • OS: SteamOS
    • Processor: 2.0GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1GB+ RAM, OpenGL 2.1+
    • Storage: 1500 MB available space
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Mixed (35 reviews)
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