Kerbal Space Program 2 was one of just a handful of surprise new game announcements to come out of Gamescom 2019. It's being developed by a different team than the original, and sounds like an ambitious progression of everything Squad's 2015 masterpiece did so well.
Shocked? Excited? Filled with questions about when you can play it, what you can do in it, and how many explosions it'll take before you reach the Mun? We can help.
Here's everything we know about Kerbal Space Program 2, from its release date to what new features you can expect.
What is the Kerbal Space Program 2 release date?
We don't have an exact release date just yet, but we do have a release window. Kerbal Space Program 2 is due out on Steam and—according the the press release—"other digital storefronts" in spring 2020. Specifically, it will release before the end of Take-Two's 2020 fiscal year, meaning you'll be able to buy it before March 31 of next year. Console releases will follow sometime later.
Who's making Kerbal Space Program 2?
Star Theory Games is the developer for this one, replacing Squad, who designed the first game. Star Theory was formerly known as Uber Entertainment, who you may remember from making Monday Night Combat and Planetary Annihilation.
It's clear that the team are big fans of the original game. Not only is the announcement trailer a direct reference to Kerbal Space Program's most famous fan trailer, but the team also produced a lengthy 'developer story' video that details their love of all things Kerbal.
Will Kerbal Space Program 2 have multiplayer?
Yes! In our interview with Star Theory, creative director Nate Simpson explained that—while they weren't ready to provide any actual details about how multiplayer would work—"it is true to the spirit of the original Kerbal Space Program". Whatever that means.
Will Kerbal Space Program 2 support mods?
Yes! Despite a new owner and developer, Private Division and Star Theory seem to recognise how important mods are to KSP's community. In fact, Kerbal Space Program 2 will have better mod support than the original game, which itself has thousands of mods.
Where is Kerbal Space Program 2 set?
As in the first game, you'll start on the planet Kerbin, at the Kerbal Space Centre. From there, you'll build rockets that will let you explore the Kerbol System—first visiting Kerbin's moon, Mun, and than venturing further out towards Duna, Dres and the other planets and moons of the system.
In Kerbal Space Program 2, though, you'll be able to go beyond the Kerbol System thanks to interstellar travel. Star Theory is looking to the future with a plethora of speculative rocket technology that will allow you Kerbals to venture out beyond the system—ensuring there's plenty that's new to discover.
Kerbal Space Program 2 will be easier to learn
One of the things Star Theory is focusing on for the sequel is the tutorial. Kerbal Space Program taught its systems adequately enough, but did a bad job of explaining the scientific and mathematical concepts powering the physics sandbox. For Kerbal Space Program 2, new animations will detail everything from delta-v to docking—ensuring players are armed for success.
Crucially, it won't be an easier game. As with Kerbal Space Program, you'll be doing a lot of learning through failure. "The fun of failure is a huge part of what makes Kerbal great and a big part of what drives a lot of the social aspect of Kerbal," Michael Cook, executive producer at Private Division, told PC Gamer, "because showing off your fun failures is many times much more entertaining than then even your successes."
Kerbal Space Program 2 will let you build more than just vehicles
In addition to rockets and spaceplanes, players will now be able to construct entire colonies. By flying colony modules to other planets, players will be able to create habitats that can support a small population of Kerbals. As more resources are transported to the colony, and its population increases, the colony itself will grow—offering more features until eventually they'll offer their own VAB to build new rockets.
A fully-functioning orbital colony will let you construct massive ships free from the restrictions of Kerbin's gravity, which will be a key step in building interstellar craft.
OK, but how do I get to space?
Just add more rockets.