STABLE ORBIT is a space station simulation game. Assume the role of station commander and build the next space station!
User reviews:
Very Positive (53 reviews) - 83% of the 53 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 14, 2016

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

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?

Stable Orbit is in Early Access to get feedback on the game in its current form, and help me decide what features and content I still need to add (or remove) before I can call the game complete.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

Stable Orbit will be in Early Access for approximately 6 months total. My plan is to release the completed game in the spring of 2017.”

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

“The full version will differ from the Early Access version in several ways: the number of modules you can build and research will be limited during Early Access, to help me work out the kinks of balancing the various simulation parameters and systems. Once the full game launches you will (over the course of the game) have access to all modules the game offers. Additionally, there are several features that are currently in a testing stage and will be either further developed or removed based on the feedback I get from you, the player, during Early Access. Finally, much of the art in the game is non-final - you can expect the final game to look even prettier than it does now.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“The game is already fully playable, but some features are not yet complete and (as mentioned above) the number of modules you can build during the Early Access phase is somewhat limited.”

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

“Yes, the price will increase when the game leaves early access.”

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

“I intend to involve the community in several ways:
  • I will ask players to vote on feature priorities and design alternatives
  • Players may opt into a "weekly build" branch, which will have the latest code and features -- though may be less stable than the default version
  • I will listen to the feedback given to me through the Steam forums
Read more

Buy Stable Orbit


Recent updates View all (5)

February 2

Vector Released!

Vector is finished and out now on Steam!

This update proved to be much more work than I had anticipated. My original plan was to finish work on Vector before New Year’s, but I ended up working on it until the very last minute, quite literally. There’s still a few loose ends left to tie up art wise, but overall I am really happy with how this update came out. Both in terms of gameplay and visual quality, Stable Orbit took a giant step forward with Vector. Fingers crossed that you all end up liking it as much as I do!

Change Notes

This update brings the art of Stable Orbit up to near final quality, removing most of the placeholders and introducing intricately detailed module designs. Gone too are the yellow discs that served as module connection points and in their place are new, animated, petal door connectors based on the “Common Berthing Mechanism” design used on the International Space Station. Additionally, the rendering pipeline has been overhauled completely, offering higher quality graphics on high-end machines and scalability options for lower end PCs.

Vector also introduces new gameplay elements:

  • A new Node module, allowing you to build pressurized connections between crew modules and laboratories
  • Severe damage or loss of power will now cause Habitat modules to become unusable, marooning the crew that was stationed there and reducing their productivity
  • Severe damage to storage modules will now result in temporary loss of the resources stored there; if the module is destroyed, those resources will be lost permanently
  • Severe damage to structural modules will now disable their connectors, blocking expansion from those modules until they are sufficiently repaired
  • Severe damage or loss of power to Shuttle Docks will now cause the corresponding supply shuttles to become grounded or be unable to dock

Other Improvements:

  • Added a UI scaling option
  • Added in-game music
  • The station panel, crew panel and message bar will now remember their pinned state between games
  • Message bar now groups similar crew or module status messages together

Bug Fixes:

  • New crew members will no longer board if oxygen has run out
  • Solar panels and radiators now fold and unfold in simulation time (i.e. the animation will pause if the simulation is paused)

2 comments Read more

January 25

Vector - In Detail

Originally posted on Jim's blog

The next update for Stable Orbit is called Vector and should (fingers crossed) land on Steam later this month. In this post, I’d like to update you on what I have been working on lately and detail the features I still have planned for Vector.

Goodbye Yellow Discs

Before we cover all the things that I have added or will be adding, I want to take this moment to say goodbye to a dear old friend: the yellow disc. These yellow discs that have dutifully and proudly served as the placeholder art for the module connectors since I created the very first prototype of the game in 2013, but now their time is up. Farewell. Adios.

Goodbye Yellow Discs. You will be missed…

In their place, you’ll soon see a new connector, with a design derived from the common berthing mechanism (CBM) used on the International Space Station. As far as I’m aware, CBM is not the latest and greatest standard for docking and berthing spacecraft. Chances are that future additions to the International Space Station or even a real future space station will use a different mechanism, possibly IBDM. However, I opted to keep my design based on the CBM for gameplay purposes: the four petals that flank the central cover of an (active) CBM give it an iconic shape that makes it an easily recognizable element for players.

Closed covers of an actual CBM

In the game, the petal doors will animate and open partially whenever you mouse over an unoccupied connector to further indicate that, yes, here is where you can attach new modules. When you click on a connector, the doors will open fully and spawn the build menu. I haven’t finished modeling and texturing connectors yet, but below is a sneak peak of the work-in-progress version I’ve put in the game to work out the animation and interaction kinks.

Hello Shiny New Connectors! (WIP)

Full Art Overhaul

For Vector, I intend to replace all placeholder art that is currently in the game. Earlier, when Vector was first announced, we also revealed a first shot of the new core module (seen in another shot above). I have since refined the design of the core and replaced the old crew quarters model with a new version (and changed the name of the module to “Hab”, which sounds cooler and also is easier on the tongue). I’ve yet to add “flavor” elements, like exposed cables, grapple fixtures and other exterior details to the Hab. Those elements will help set it apart from other, similarly shaped, pressurized modules such as the core and the lab. Since such details tend to be less noticeable when you are further away, I’ve decided to add bands of colored panels to each (type) of the pressurized modules to make them even more distinct from each other.

New Hab Modules (WIP)

Faster Performance, Revamped Graphics

While the main focus for Vector is on overhauling the art, I have also spent a good chunk of December optimizing Stable Orbit to make it run faster. A lot faster. The latest build of Stable Orbit runs about 50% faster on my primary development machine – even after replacing a large portion of the old placeholder art with new, heavier, 3D models. A large portion of the performance increase comes from switching the rendering path from Deferred Rendering to Forward. Deferred rendering is advantageous if your game uses a lot of dynamic lights, but there are only one light source in Stable Orbit: the sun.

Additionally, I upgraded the post processing from Unity’s Cinematic Image Effects to the newer Post Processing Stack. The screen-space reflections effect had to go, though, since it is not compatible with forward rendering. On the other hand, the new color grading is wonderful and will allow me to be a little more artistic with the final image.

I have also settled on an anti-aliasing solution for Stable Orbit. I had hoped that switching to forward rendering would have allowed me to offer MSAA as an option, but unfortunately Unity does not yet support MSAA in combination with high dynamic range (HDR). HDR is a critical factor in achieving the stark lighting seen in Stable Orbit. I subsequently tried a whole range of post filter AA solutions (FXAA, SSAA, temporal AA, etc), but those all failed to produce satisfactory results. In the end, I threw down the gauntlet and opted for a 2X super-sampling filter. Jaggies be gone!

Vector and Beyond

With UI overhaul completed in Electrolysis and the new art and graphics changes coming soon with Vector, Stable Orbit is beginning to look closer and closer to the game I envisioned making when I started out. Therefore, once this next update is done and dusted, I will shift my focus toward implementing more of the gameplay I envisioned as well. First up, will be a new science system that will allow you to do more than just earn money with your labs!

1 comments Read more
See all discussions

Report bugs and leave feedback for this game on the discussion boards


“I can genuinely see this being a great and time absorbing game”

About This Game

THE YEAR IS 2034. It’s been five years since the International Space Station was deorbited. Space programs the world over have faltered. Against all odds, an unprecedented “All Nations Space Coalition” is formed around a shared desire to rebuild mankind’s permanent presence in space, and rekindle the space race. Who will lead this mission? You!

STABLE ORBIT is a space station simulation game. Assume the role of station commander and build the next space station!

Features -
  • Master the most hostile environment - Space
  • A deep and challenging simulation
  • Build a realistic, fully functioning Space Station
  • Manage a number of interdependent resources

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows 7 (64-bit)
    • Processor: 2.0Ghz Dual Core Processor
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1Gb Dedicated GPU
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Any
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.8+
    • Processor: 2.0Ghz Dual Core Processor
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1Gb Dedicated GPU
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Any
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04, SteamOS
    • Processor: 2.0Ghz Dual Core Processor
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1Gb Dedicated GPU
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Any
Customer reviews Learn More
Very Positive (53 reviews)
Review Type

Purchase Type


Display As:

(what is this?)
43 reviews match the filters above ( Positive)
There are no more reviews that match the filters set above
Adjust the filters above to see other reviews
Loading reviews...