EVE Online

Welcome to our list of the best space games on PC. Short of training to become an astronaut or hitching a ride on a deep space probe, your gaming PC is the best way to leave Earth behind and journey through the cosmos. Whether you're trading or pirating your way around the Milky Way or being hunted by a monstrous alien on a stricken orbital station, these are the best space games you can play on PC right now. From survival horror and 4X strategy to deep simulators that let you live another life among the stars, there's something here for every wannabe astronaut.

Homeworld Remastered Collection

Year 2015Developer Relic/Gearbox Software

One of the best singleplayer RTS campaigns ever made, and beautifully remastered by Gearbox. The sight of thousands of your ships streaking across the game’s vividly colourful space-scapes is hugely dramatic. And battles are tense and tactical, with many types of ship to command, including colossal battleships. The Remastered Collection looks great on modern PCs and comes complete with the original Homeworld and its sequel.

Tacoma

Year 2017Developer Fullbright

The crew has mysteriously abandoned the Tacoma lunar transfer station, and you’ve been sent to investigate and recover its precious AI, Odin. This atmospheric sci-fi mystery from the makers of Gone Home is wonderfully written, with a cast of rich, nuanced characters telling a compelling story through interactive AR recordings. Exploring the hyper-detailed station is a delight thanks to the game’s extraordinary attention to detail, and the more you learn about Tacoma, the deeper the mystery gets.

Elite Dangerous

Year 2014Developer Frontier Developments

An entire galaxy is your playground in this space sim. Starting with a basic ship and a handful of credits, you shape your own destiny. Do you become a fearsome pirate? A master trader? An explorer? The beauty of Elite is being able to play in a way that suits you. From thrilling dogfights to gentle exploration, there’s something for everyone. And its ships are all an absolute dream to fly, whether it's a nimble fighter or a heavy duty cargo hauler.

EVE Online

Year 2003Developer CCP Games

Live another life—in space! There’s nothing else like EVE Online on PC, a massively multiplayer RPG where everything is controlled by players. It’s a living galaxy in which thousands of capsuleers fight, trade, mine, and explore together. Break away from the relative safety of your police-patrolled starting system and you’ll find a ruthless, cosmic Wild West, where piracy, espionage and scamming are rife. Whether you’re fighting in a massive space war, where thousands of real-world dollars hang in the balance, or just exploring New Eden on your own, EVE is an unforgettable experience.

Star Wars: Empire at War

Year 2006Developer Petroglyph

Developed by Petroglyph, a studio founded by Westwood veterans, this real-time strategy is one of the best Star Wars games on PC. The streamlined interface and accessible systems might turn off some hardcore strategy fans, but in the thick of its chaotic, thrilling land and space battles the game is irresistible—especially if you’re a Star Wars fan. And hero units like Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker only add to the excitement.

Duskers

Year 2016Developer Misfits Attic

Despite being viewed entirely through a retro-futuristic computer interface, Duskers is one of the scariest, most tense sci-fi horror games on PC. In it you pilot a fleet of drones searching derelict spaceships for fuel, upgrades, and clues about why the galaxy is so mysteriously devoid of life. The ships you board are crawling with strange creatures, which makes looking for clues in those narrow, dark corridors an especially nerve-racking experience.

The Dig

Year 1995Developer LucasArts

A mission to divert an asteroid heading for Earth goes awry, sending a group of astronauts to a distant, seemingly abandoned world. Some of the puzzles are maddeningly obscure, even for a LucasArts point-and-click adventure, but the colourful, bizarre planet feels genuinely alien. Great voice acting too, with X-Files star Robert Patrick playing the lead character.

Universe Sandbox 2

Year 2014Developer Giant Army

This space simulator lets you become an all-powerful cosmic deity, manipulating replicas of real galaxies and solar systems and witnessing the (often catastrophic) results of your meddling. Increase the mass of Jupiter and you’ll see the rest of our solar system being sucked into it, or delete the Sun and watch Earth and the other planets drift away confused.

Event[0]

Year 2016Developer Ocelot Society

Stranded alone somewhere near Jupiter on an old luxury starship, your only hope of returning home is an AI that has serious emotional problems. You interact with Kaizen using your keyboard, and sometimes it'll be willing to help you. But then it'll change its mind and decide the best thing to do is close the airlock and trap you outside the ship until you run out of air. A clever adventure with the understated mood of a '70s sci-fi film.

Mass Effect 2

Year 2010Developer BioWare

If you’ve ever fantasised about being Captain Picard, in command of your own starship, exploring the galaxy, meeting weird aliens, being confronted with cosmic dilemmas, then Mass Effect 2 is that in game form. It’s part Star Wars space opera, part brilliant Star Trek episode, and one of the best sci-fi games on PC. It doesn’t have the freedom of Elite and is largely a linear experience, but it takes you on an unforgettable journey around the galaxy, visiting bizarre planets and getting involved in the lives of the aliens who live on them. We love the whole series, but we all agree that this is our favourite.

Stellaris

Year 2016Developer Paradox

Developed by Paradox, of Crusader Kings and Europa Universalis fame, this sci-fi epic puts the ‘grand’ in grand strategy. Explore the universe, form alliances with alien factions, and engage in the odd large-scale space battle. The multitude of systems makes Stellaris a powerful story generator, and you never know what strange beings you’ll meet among the stars.

Alien: Isolation

Year 2014Developer Creative Assembly

Amanda Ripley, daughter of Ellen, is hunted through a dilapidated space station by a xenomorph in this incredible survival horror. Taking its cues from Ridley Scott's original 1979 film, it's a masterpiece of slow-burning tension. And the station itself, Sevastopol, is a great example of lo-fi sci-fi, with chunky retro-futuristic tech and eerie flickering lights. One of the most faithful movie adaptations ever, and a great horror game in its own right.

No Man's Sky

Year 2016Developer Hello Games

This is one of the most dazzlingly colourful sci-fi universes on PC, and being able to seamlessly transition from space to the surface of a planet is an impressive technical feat. The addition of features like base-building and a mission system in recent updates give you a lot more to actually do when you touch down on these worlds, and the procedural generation algorithm has been tweaked to make for weirder, prettier planet surfaces.

Star Wars: TIE Fighter

Year 1994Developer Totally Games

A rare opportunity to be the bad guy in George Lucas’s beloved space opera. With a variety of Empire-themed missions—dogfights, escorts, attacking capital ships—and a story to follow, it’s one of the best Star Wars games LucasArts ever published. Of course, you can replace this entry with Star Wars: X-Wing if you’d prefer to play as the boring old Rebel Alliance.

FTL: Faster Than Light

Year 2012Developer Subset Games

FTL mixes turn-based and real-time strategy together to capture the experience of captaining a Star Trek-style spacecraft. It’s a strong roguelike, too, with a backdrop of a familiar yet fun sci-fi universe that comes with its own semi-humorous lore and a neat set of narrative beats that make the journey to its finale endlessly exciting. Being able to name your ship and crew makes it all the more heartbreaking when they die together in enemy space.

Wing Commander: Privateer

Year 1993Developer Origin Systems

Fans of the series will argue endlessly about which Wing Commander is the best, but we love Privateer’s darker feel. It’s a rich sandbox in which you can be a mercenary, a pirate, a merchant, or a mix of all three. You jump between systems looking for bounties to hunt and ships to rob, and the first-person dogfights are a thrill. There’s a linear story, but the real joy lies in doing your own thing and carving your own path through the stars.

 EVE: Valkyrie

Year 2016Developer CCP Games

If you have a VR headset, this is the game to play on it. In Valkyrie you get to experience EVE Online’s famous space battles from the more intimate perspective of an individual fighter pilot. The feeling of being strapped into a cockpit, hurtling through space at immense speeds, is a visceral one. And the combat has been tuned specifically for virtual reality.

Kerbal Space Program

Year 2015Developer Squad

Wrestle with gravity and the laws of physics as you build your own spacecraft and attempt to explore the cosmos. A robust, compelling sandbox of possibilities that’s as funny as it is clever. Escaping Kerbin’s atmosphere and landing on the Mun (without exploding) for the first time with a ship you’ve built yourself is about as satisfying as PC gaming gets.

Take On Mars

Year 2013Developer Bohemia Interactive

If you like your space games a little more grounded, try Arma developer Bohemia’s Take On Mars. It’s a space exploration and colonisation simulator largely based on real astro-science. You can build a Curiosity-style rover and explore the surface of the red planet or construct your own Martian colony. A game for folk who want the sci without too much of the fi.

 Sins of a Solar Empire

Year 2008Developer Ironclad Games

Mixing real-time strategy with 4X elements, Sins is a game of galactic conquest. Choose a faction, gather resources and become a mighty space-lord. Commanding its real-time wars is thrilling, but combat isn’t always the answer: you can use diplomacy to conquer systems too. A refreshingly slow-paced RTS with some truly massive space battles to stare slack-jawed at.

Space Engineers

Year 2013Developer Keen Software House

Harvest asteroids for building materials then craft them into floating bases, flyable spaceships, and more besides. You can hover around the map with a jetpack or build a gravity generator to walk safely on the surface of bigger asteroids. One of the best co-op build-’em-ups on PC.

Starbound

Year 2013Developer Chucklefish Games

Terraria-esque survival with a science fiction twist. Hop between randomly generated planets on a starship, hunt alien creatures for food, build colonies and underground bases, and try not to die in the process. A brilliant sci-fi sandbox with a charming art style. Playable races include robots, beings made of solar energy, ape-like creatures, and colourful wingless birds.

SpaceEngine

Year 2010Developer Vladimir Romanyuk

Do you like feeling small and insignificant? Then play SpaceEngine, which features, incredibly, the entire universe. Or at least the bit we know about. Focus on Earth, then pull back at top speed, and you suddenly become aware of how you’re on a tiny speck of dust hurtling through an endless void. The tech is remarkable, allowing you to travel effortlessly between galaxies and land on planets. But besides exploring, there isn’t much else to it.

Take On Mars - Dram
Hello everyone!

Just now we released another post-launch update. This one features a major net-code revision which fixes the crashes in multiplayer related to building blocks, and we spent most of the past two months on this.

Technical:
We re-wrote the flow of 'new', 'Remote Procedure Call (RPC)' and 'delete' for packet flow. In the past this was always carried out in the following order:
1) New - any objects created on the server were created on clients
2) Delete - any objects deleted on the server were deleted on the clients
3) RPC - These procedure calls were carried out in the order they were sent

This led to a major problem however, as sometimes it was necessary to first call an RPC and then delete the object, such as ungrouping of blocks when a group was deleted. This led to desynch issues, broken functionality and downright crashes. The game code itself had been written in a way so as to handle this flow, however we recently uncovered certain situations where the code could never handle the situation 100%, so a revision was needed.

The revision of the packet flow has led to each event being called in the exact order it was sent, but this required a very substantial revision. After the code was revised, the game code then too had to be revised and adjusted accordingly.


But apart from this major fix, we also added the tools (Construction Tool, etc) to the 3D Printer, and also added a new vehicle!

The new vehicle is the Manned Aerial Transport, a small light-weight thruster-powered aircraft used for flying between areas and transporting smaller objects such as barrels. It is printable via the 3D Printer.

Next we plan on focusing on the remaining bugs as well as some additional content.

Thank you again for your support everyone, we hope the new update makes multiplayer more enjoyable than it has been in the past. Enjoy the new vehicle too!

Kind and sincere regards from the Take On Mars team!

9th May 2017 - Fixed Life Support Module not working correctly on clients on joining a game in progress - Fixed building block group creation code breaking multiplayer with new net code overhaul 3rd May 2017 - Added 3D GUI monitor to the Manned Aerial Transport - Added Manned Aerial Transport to the 3D Printer list 2nd May 2017 - Added character tools, such as the Construction Tool etc, to the 3D Printer list 28th April 2017 - Fixed spawning issues that cropped up due to massive changes to the net code - Fixed dynamic atmospheric zones in vehicles not synching due to massive changes to the net code - Fixed infinite spawn loop in 3D Printer 3rd April 2017 - Added new vehicle Manned Aerial Transport 24th March 2017 - Massive multiplayer net code overhaul where the flow of 'new', 'delete' and 'RPCall' functions were not consistent on clients, possibly causing instability

Take On Mars - Dram
Hello everyone!

We just released another post-launch update! This one fixes multiple bugs and issues. We are continuing on improving and polishing further, and have a bit of a surprise planned, more on that later.

Another update is planned and will be released within another few weeks.

Below is the complete changelog for the update, and again we thank you all for your patience and feedback! It has been extremely helpful.

Kind and sincere regards from the Take On Mars team!

13th March 2017 - Fixed minor issue with 3D Printer area display in yards having too many digits, extending the text beyond view 10th March 2017 - Added tinnitus sound effect when really loud sounds are played 9th March 2017 - Fixed exiting ladders on clients in multiplayer, now puts the character in the correct position - Fixed Fuel handler occasionally filling empty barrels with resource non-corresponding with slot attached to - MML: Fixed oxygen leaking if ramp was closed but airlock door were opened 8th March 2017 - Fixed empty barrels falling off vehicles after a load or save - Refinery: Fixed occasional bug stopping current process after saving game 2nd March 2017 - Fixed unpleasant strobing of mission objectives GUI on low FPS - Mission 4: Fixed dialogs priorities (mission restart required) 1st March 2017 - Fixed issue in the Manned Descent Vehicle where after the Manned Ascent Vehicle launched, the fairings closed but not the construct, leading to breakage - Fixed helmet HUD showing global air pressure instead of local - Fixed Medium Bed exit position throwing the player forward a bit (requires respawn) - Fixed Small Bed exit position bumping the player forward a bit (requires respawn)
Community Announcements - Dram
Hello everyone!

It has been a few weeks since release, and today we have released the first, post-release update. It features many fixes and improvements, as well as some minor new additions. Below is the change log detailing what has changed. We are still working on some larger issues that you have all kindly reported to us, and for that we are grateful! Expect another update within the next few weeks, further improving and ironing out the issues.

To that end we, as a team, sincerely thank you for your patience and hope these updates improve the experience.

Kind and sincere regards from the Take On Mars team!

27th February 2017 - Added a low-resolution color camera to the front side of the Small Rover, for easier control when coming in with the front-facing instrument - Fixed issue where light bumps to the head resulted in getting knocked out, now requires much more force - Fixed issue where character could easily trip over in certain situations - Mission 4: Added spare Construction tool to one of the supply drops (mission restart required) 16th February 2017 - Added unconscious overlay, for better indication of 'knocked-out' state - Added dead overlay, for better indication that the player is dead - Increased time before death of characters in a vacuum from 30s to 90s (according to reality) - Changed global sounds to fade away when the player is dead or unconscious - Fixed 'panel-surfing' bug, where you could pick up a panel that you were standing on and use it to fly around - Fixed issue where you could take off your helmet or suit in a vacuum and have enough time to put it back on 15th February 2017 - Fixed issue where disconnecting from a Rover/Lander with night vision on could leave the screen black in Mission Control 14th February 2017 - Fixed minor issue with the helicopter being able to fly even in low air densities - Mission 2: Fixed mission bug occurring if Poptent was deployed before told so - Mission 3: Fixed introductory dialog not completely heard if 'Realistic sound' enabled - Mission 4: Changed MML landing trigger to be more reliable - Mission 6: Disabled autosave after completing objective 'Produce fuel' causing possible invalidation of that objective 13th February 2017 - Fixed issue where switching between locations in the game could leave the old map image in the in-game map - Fixed MML monitors to not update when broken off - Fixed issue with Zero-G probe tutorial loading wrong world, when accessed from main menu 10th February 2017 - Added 'SPAWN FUEL CONTAINERS' button to in-game editor when a vehicle is selected, spawns barrels filled with the required resources on the vehicle
PC Gamer

I’ve been playing Take On Mars on and off since it was released through Steam Early Access in 2013. It first attracted my attention because of how unusual it was. A game about trundling around the surface of Mars with a rover, probing soil, looking at rocks, and listening to the lonely howl of the wind. It appealed to me in the same way games like Euro Truck Simulator do. Slow, ultra-niche, and strangely relaxing. But over the years the game mutated into something else entirely. The understated realism and scientific simulation of those early alpha builds has been quietly pushed aside to make way for manned missions that incorporate survival, base-building, and advanced near-future technology.So now it’s a game largely about colonising Mars and trying not to die on it. Which is less unusual, but admittedly more immediately entertaining than scooping up soil. The popularity of Andy Weir’s novel The Martian, and Ridley Scott’s 2015 film adaptation, has undoubtedly influenced the game’s direction. So much so that the 1.0 release contains a singleplayer campaign in which you play as Mark Willis, an astronaut with a background in botany who ends up stranded on Mars. It’s a series of entertaining, varied scenarios that teach you the basics of survival, building, and other elements of the simulation. And it’s all connected with a fairly lightweight storyline focusing on Mark’s lonesome survival and his desperate attempts to return safely to Earth.Waking up on Mars surrounded by flaming debris as the oxygen warning on your HUD shrieks at you is a powerful opening. You see the scattered bodies of your crewmates and your ship torn to pieces, and your first priority is searching the rubble for supplies to replenish your O2 and fix the scary-looking crack on your helmet. It’s a nicely produced series of missions, but let down by the game’s clumsy controls. Everything you do in Take On Mars feels incredibly laborious. Walking around in a spacesuit in low gravity is probably pretty unwieldy in real life, but it makes the game needlessly frustrating. Not to mention the twitchy physics that send objects flying into the air or getting stuck in things. I was more willing to forgive this jankiness in Early Access.

If manned missions sound too exciting, you can play through the robotics space program instead. This sees you managing a budget and building vehicles to explore the planet. You’ll start out with basic probes with low-res cameras, but as the money rolls in you can create advanced car-sized rovers like the real-world Curiosity. It’s a very different experience, and there’s something strangely tranquil about it. Especially with how atmospheric the game’s realistic recreation of the Red Planet is. They’ve captured the haunting, desolate feeling of what it might be like to be alone on another world brilliantly. The red sand dunes, ancient craters, and ghostly sunsets make for an evocative setting, whether you’re rolling around as a rover, your flimsy solar panels rattling in the wind, or settling in for the night in your newly-constructed base.But if you’d rather create your own missions, or download user-made ones from the Steam Workshop, Take On Mars comes with an Arma-style editor. With this you can place objects, pre-built bases, vehicles, and whatever else is in the game’s deep toy box. And because these are the same tools the developers use, dedicated players have created some pretty impressive stuff. Some missions even take you away from Mars, including to Earth’s moon and a replica of the International Space Station. So even if you’ve exhausted the bundled scenarios and campaign, there should still be plenty of additional missions to dive into, courtesy of the community. The quality will vary, but it’s cool to have the option.Take On Mars is still an unusual game, even if it has drifted into the increasingly populist realm of the base-building survive-’em-up, of which there are far too many on PC. Its atmospheric Martian deserts are beautiful to look at, and struggling to survive on such a hostile, lifeless world is an entertaining, often terrifying challenge. But an overall feeling of clunkiness—which can make something as simple as loading a few oxygen canisters into the back of a buggy feel like a cumbersome chore—really tested my patience at times. But when you’re out there among the dust and craters, alone, growing potatoes or conducting experiments, there’s a feeling of serenity that keeps me coming back to Take On Mars, despite its many faults and frustrations.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

We’re talking awayI don’t know whatI’m to write I’ll write it anywayToday’s another day to distract youGabbing awayBohemia’s space sim looks pretty okay

Taaake Onnn MaaarsTake On Mars [official site]!Ittt’s nooow ooouuutTake On Mars!I’llll beeee gonnneWith this sooong … [visit site to read more]

Product Release - Valve
Take On Mars is Now Available on Steam!

Take On Mars places you right in the middle of mankind’s most exciting undertaking. Start out in the seat of a rover operator, finish as the first human to have ever set foot on the Red Planet.
Community Announcements - Nelios
Take On Mars is OUT NOW
Skip years of astronaut training, political debate, and budget cuts



Hello fellow Martians!

Graduating from Steam Early Access, we're proud to finally announce the official release of Take On Mars. The special milestone is celebrated with a launch trailer, highlighting the many ‘benefits’ of playing Take On Mars over alternative options of space exploration.

https://youtu.be/TRLWO8POCCI
Starting out as mod for Carrier Command: Gaea Mission, Take On Mars began life as a passion project by our Project Lead Martin Melichárek, who was already working at Bohemia Interactive at the time. After deciding to make it into a full game, Take On Mars launched on Steam Early Access soon after in 2013. The initial focus of the game was on Mars rovers and landers. However, over the course of development, the scope of the project increased significantly to also include a manned mission part, and thus capturing the exploration of Mars in its entirety.

Take On Mars Project Lead Martin Melichárek:
“For as long as I can remember I’ve been fascinated with space exploration, and particularly Mars. Being able to make this game has been like a dream come true. It took a bit longer than anticipated, and it’s been wild ride that’s tested the patience of both us and our Early Access subscribers, but, it was a ride worth taking. We, as a team, thank all of our loyal fans, those who have never doubted us, in helping us make this dream a reality!”.

See you on Mars!

Take On Mars Development Team

http://store.steampowered.com/app/244030/
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Philippa Warr)

Take On Mars

Bohemia Interactive’s Mars ’em up, Take On Mars [official site], is launching out of Early Access and into full game status on 9 February. It has a new trailer to mark the occasion which you can watch after the jump. The trailer focuses on the story mission which was recently introduced and deals with a The Martian-esque plotline where one person survives a descent into Mars’s atmosphere but they’ve lost connection to Earth. … [visit site to read more]

Community Announcements - Nelios
Hello fellow Martians!

We're happy to announce that Take On Mars officially launches (and thus graduates from Steam Early Access) on February 9th!



On top of this announcement, today we've also deployed a brand new teaser trailer, offering a sneak peek at the recently introduced Manned Mission story campaign. Here, you take on the role of astronaut Mark Willis, one of the crew members in the first manned mission to Mars. Launched from Earth in 2028, the mission reaches Mars orbit a year later. However, during the descent into Mars' atmosphere, things go wrong, and connection to Earth is lost. When contact cannot be re-established, the crew is declared MIA. Yet there is one survivor: you.

https://youtu.be/BUmN_MY5sPo
Marooned on Mars, Mark’s first priority is to survive. This means managing resources such as oxygen, water, and food, and creating shelter from Mars’ unforgiving sandstorms and solar events. By relying on a background as a botanist and engineer, you will have to extract raw materials from the Martian soil, refine them into real compounds, and make use of a 3D printer to construct the equipment and machines needed for a chance to return home.

To already turn mankind into the first multi-planetary species, aspiring astronauts can still pick up the Early Access version of Take On Mars at a slightly lower price than it will at release. For more information about the game, be sure to check out our Steam store page and visit the official website at www.takeonmars.com.

Let the countdown begin!

Take On Mars Development Team

http://store.steampowered.com/app/244030/
...

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