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

The Kerbals are back! Or at least they will be. Eventually. Here’s what we know so far about the Kerbal Space Program 2 release date

Want to know more about Kerbal Space Program 2’s 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 (KSP2), has also been in the works for some time now, with an initial release date set back in 2021. 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 games in existence.

Developer Intercept has been keen to point out that KSP2 is a real attempt at visualising what the future of space exploration 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. What’s more, Intercept has taken some of the known frustrations with KSP1 and ironed them out for its follow up. Here’s a summary of what we know so far about Kerbal Space Program 2’s release date.

Kerbal Space Program 2 release date speculation

In May 2022, Intercept confirmed that Kerbal Space Program 2 has been pushed back to an “early 2023” release date on PC. The console release has been delayed even further.

In a time where we’re all used to game releases being delayed, we’re now familiar with waiting for quality over speed. KSP2 is immense, and you can tell from the snippets we’ve already seen that it’s also gorgeous and detailed, so it’s no real surprise there have been some setbacks.

Kerbal Space Program 2 Animated Tutorials

Kerbal Space Program 2 improved gameplay and new tutorials

For the first time in the series, colonisation comes to KSP2. Build and develop colonies from scratch on new planets in order 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 being 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.

In order 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 just how vast the universe is.

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. Existing players know just how hard it was to land on Mun in KSP1, and these colourful, cartoony visuals hope to make that pain a thing of the past.

Kerbal Space Program 2 improved UI VAB tools

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 change depending on the materials and fuels involved. This has been accurately based around real life application… Science is cool.

Kerbal Space Program 2 Improved Kerbals

Kerbal Space Program 2 improved Kerbals

The Kerbals themselves have also had an inevitable update for 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 a number of 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 new planet Charr

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, there are some which 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 planets Gurdamma

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 give players the chance to see planetary rings in a way that humans currently cannot in the real world, viewing them from the surface of their own 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 both 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 so far. A screenshot from a video on “celestial architecting” shows a planet surface full of vegetation, which suggests very interesting colonisation potential.

Kerbal Space Program 2 release date

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. While the answer is a resounding yes, we don’t yet know what KSP2 multiplayer entails, or how it’s incorporated. Listed on Steam as “online co-op”, we’re hoping this means you can’t go destroying the planets and colonies of unsuspecting players.

Intercept has also confirmed that enhanced modding capabilities are coming to the game. As KSP2 has been built entirely from the ground up with new underlying systems, modders will be able to do things 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 Squad still involved? The original developer behind KSP1, Squad is crucial to maintaining the original feel of Kerbal Space Program. Thankfully, Intercept knows this, and has been working with members of Squad (who are now part of KSP publisher, Private Division), including head of production, Nestor Gomez, to ensure KSP2 stays true to its roots.

So far, that’s all the information we have regarding Kerbal Space Program 2’s release date. There’s still lots of information to come, and we’ll be keeping an eye on the game’s development for further hints and updates as we near the game’s launch. 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.