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Kerbal Space Program 2 release date, new planets, multiplayer and more

Here's what we know about the Kerbal Space Program 2 early access release date, as well as gameplay details and all of the new planets revealed so far.

Want to know more about the Kerbal Space Program 2 release date? Kerbal Space Program is a cute space exploration sim, officially released back in 2015 after spending almost four years in beta. Its sequel, Kerbal Space Program 2 has also been in the works for some time now, and is now out in early access. While we’ve used the word “cute” – and Kerbals most certainly are – don’t be fooled. Kerbal Space Program is one of the most realistic and well-researched space exploration games in existence.

Developer Intercept has been keen to point out that KSP2 is a real attempt at visualising what the future of space games has in store for us. The team has been working with actual astrophysicists for accuracy – right down to Metallic Hydrogen fuel and its very factually-correct pink exhaust. Moreover, Intercept has taken some of the known frustrations with KSP1 and ironed them out for its follow-up, and it could easily take the crown as one of the best PC games of this year for fans. Here’s everything we know about the Kerbal Space Program 2 release date, gameplay, and more.

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Kerbal Space Program 2 release date

Kerbal Space Program 2 released into early access on February 24, 2023. However, as the game has only just entered early access, the full version of Kerbal Space Program 2 doesn’t have a full release date.

The early access release date was confirmed in one of Intercept’s development updates and is available on Steam, Epic Games Store, or directly from Private Division. In May 2022, Intercept initially confirmed that Kerbal Space Program 2 was coming in “early 2023” on PC and that the console release has now been delayed.

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Kerbal Space Program 2 improved gameplay and new tutorials

The Kerbal Space Program 2 release date is finally here, but that doesn’t mean the full suite of gameplay features that Intercept has planned has been implemented in full. Thankfully, our Kerbal Space Program 2 early access impressions outline everything you can expect if you can’t wait for the sandbox game‘s official release.

For the first time in the series, colonisation comes to KSP2. Build and develop colonies from scratch on new planets to harvest and utilise rare materials. There’s also at least one new planetary system in KSP2. The Debdeb system has been revealed as a young star system, and we’ve seen some of the celestial bodies within it. Having said that, other new planets have been confirmed as not part of the Debdeb system, suggesting there could be more. On the KSP forum, YouTuber ShadowZone asked if nine new celestial bodies were all part of Debdeb, with creative director Nate Simpson confirming that they are not.

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To get to these distant systems, Intercept has also confirmed that interstellar travel is possible in KSP2. You’re encouraged to take trips to far-away stars in the sequel, explore the incredulous distances between them, and get a taste of the vast universe.

To aid players with these additions, animated tutorials have been added to explain some of the mechanics. These tutorials have the potential to be pivotal to your success. For example, one animation explains the importance of launching from Kerbin vertically rather than horizontally since the planet’s atmosphere is thick. Existing players know just how hard it was to land on Mun in KSP1, so these colourful, cartoony guides can make that pain a thing of the past.

Kerbal Space Program 2 release date - constructing a space ship in the hangar.

Improved Kerbal Space Program 2 tools and graphics

In addition to the expanded universe, KSP2’s UI and graphics have been vastly improved, both in terms of standard tech advancements and as a solution to KSP1’s problems. For example, the VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building) from the first game can be confusing and rough around the edges. Intercept is keen to eradicate problems like this in KSP2. By simplifying the process, they can make tools like this easier to use.

As for the graphics improvements, things naturally look more realistic and detailed – it’s coming up to a decade since the first game, after all. However, the developer’s intent has also played its part in the animation changes, most prominently in explosions. In the first game, all explosions looked the same. In KSP2, however, not only do you see randomised explosions every time, but explosions’ size, look, and colour even changes depending on the materials and fuels involved. This has been accurately based on real-life application… Science is cool.

Kerbal Space Program 2 release date - a Kerbal is screaming for its life while in the cockpit of a spaceship.

Kerbal Space Program 2 improved Kerbals

The Kerbals themselves are also getting an inevitable update in KSP2. While the erratic, green little humanoids still look like themselves, there’s much more to them this time around. For starters, you now see more variation, with some different hairstyles across your Kerbal colony. Arguably, the biggest update to the Kerbals comes from their brand-new animations. With wider movements and more facial expressions than ever before, their terrifying plummets and exhilarating successes lead to more hilarious scenes.

Kerbal Space Program 2 release date - one of the new planets, Charr, is a black planet covered in red craters.

Kerbal Space Program 2 confirmed planets

The Kerbol system, which formed the exploration area in the first game, is still the focus of KSP2, starting again on the Kerbals’ home planet of Kerbin. While we don’t know for sure if every existing planet, moon, or natural satellite is back, some have been confirmed, including Jool and Pol. With the graphical overhaul of KSP2, these celestial bodies have been overhauled and reimagined with more detail than before. The biggest example of this is perhaps Dres, which was famously quite boring in KSP. Intercept has hinted that there is reason to explore Dres in KSP2, including secrets hidden within its new mountain range.

All KSP1 celestial bodies that could return

  • Kerbol (sun)
  • Moho
  • Eve and Gilly (Eve’s moon)
  • Kerbin and its moons, Mun and Minmus
  • Duna and Ike (the moon of Duna)
  • Dres
  • Jool
  • Jool’s moons: Laythe, Vall, Tylo, Bop, and Pol
  • Eeloo

Kerbal Space Program 2 release date - one of the planets, Gurdamma, is a sand-coloured planet with gas rings around it.

New Kerbal Space Program 2 planets

The planet Puf has been vaguely confirmed as the eyeball-looking planet spotted in some KSP2 footage. While its name hasn’t been confirmed in these clips, ShadowZone has stated that they received information that it is named Puf and that the name is “supposedly a hint about the planet’s character.”

Gurdamma has been confirmed by Intercept and is part of the Debdeb system. Interestingly, Gurdamma is based on what Earth looked like four billion years ago, shortly after it came into existence. Dubbed “Proto-Kerbin” by the developer, Gurdamma gives you a chance to see what Kerbin might have looked like in its early days, too. Gurdamma’s moon is called Donk, named as such accidentally (and hopefully staying that way).

Glumo has also been confirmed for the Debdeb system. It’s a gorgeous, pastel-coloured, Saturn-style planet with glorious, large rings surrounding it. Similarly, Ovin is also a ringed planet, dubbed by Intercept’s Nate Simpson as a “ringed super-Earth.” Ringed planets allow players to see planetary rings in a way that humans currently cannot in the real world, viewing them from the surface of their planet.

Rask and Rusk are a duo of planets positioned close together with intertwining gravitational pulls. They look like very hot rocks, and that contradictory directional pull adds a really interesting dynamic to exploration on and around them.

Then there’s Charr and Skutt. We’re putting these planets together for no other reason than there’s not a lot to say about them yet. Skutt is a strange, non-spherical planet that looks more like a giant meteor, resulting in interesting landing and take-off scenarios. Black and red and fiery, Charr is the “innermost planet in the Debdeb system” and looks like it might be a tough one to colonise.

Very little is known about Lapat, the final new celestial body we know of. A screenshot from a video on “celestial architecting” shows a planet’s surface full of vegetation, suggesting some colonisation potential.

Kerbal Space Program 2 release date - one of the Kerbal spaceships with several rocket thrusters.

Kerbal Space Program 2 multiplayer and modding

KSP1 is a single-player game, so one of the most frequently asked questions about KSP2 is whether it has multiplayer functionality. The answer is a resounding yes. In an interview with PCGamer, creative director Nate Simpson explains that when multiplayer arrives, it will be a mixture of co-op and competitive play. Kerbals will enter a space race, similar to how the United States and the Soviet Union raced each other to put a man on the moon. We’re hoping this also means that, as soon as you reach space, you can expand the fun further and explore an entire universe with your buddies.

Intercept has also confirmed that enhanced modding capabilities are coming to the simulation game. As KSP2 has been built entirely from the ground up with new underlying systems, modders can do things that were out of reach in the first game.

Is Squad making Kerbal Space Program 2?

We’ve mentioned Intercept here a lot, the developer of KSP2, but is the original developer, Squad, still involved? Thankfully, Intercept knows that maintaining the old developer’s vision is important and has been working with members of Squad, who are now part of Private Division, the game’s new publisher, to ensure KSP2 stays true to its roots. This includes the former head of production, Nestor Gomez, now a senior producer.

That’s everything you need to know about the Kerbal Space Program 2 release date. There’s still lots more to come, and we’ll keep an eye on the game’s development for further updates as early access continues. While you wait, why not get back into or try KSP1 for the first time? We’ve even got a list of the best Kerbal Space Program mods if you want to add to your experience.