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Space Program

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Kerbal Space Program (2016) is a space flight simulation game where you direct a space program, staffed and crewed by aliens. It looks like a cute game for kids, but under its comic exterior is a hugely complex and engaging space simulation.

To succeed in the game you must work with its accurate simulation of orbital physics to create a spacecraft that is capable of flight and space travel. This allows for orbital manoeuvres as in real space travel, such as Hohmann transfer orbits and bi-elliptic transfer orbits.

Unusually, your task is the administrator of the space program rather than the adrenaline of the flight itself. This not only connects players with the real challenges of space exploration but offers a more sedate and considered experience.

You create the various required craft, rockets, aircraft, spaceplanes and rovers from the provided set of components. You then launch your craft and control it in three dimensions with little assistance. Your aim is to achieve orbit or travel to other celestial bodies, visualised via the map mode that displays the orbit or trajectory of the player vehicle, as well as the position and trajectory of other spacecraft and planetary bodies.

This start is relatively complex, but you can soon get a handle on how the ship builds work. From here though, the complexity can grow as you work out how to create a craft to travel further afield and how to account for orbits and gravity.

Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked Kerbal Space Program 4 years ago. It was re-examined by Ellen Robertson and updated 6 months ago.
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Play StylePlay Style

This is a Creative and Simulation game with Adventure and Narrative elements. This is a single-player game. This is a game that expands with your horizons, hence the very long potential playtime.


Play Time: This game will take between 105 hours and 205 hours to complete.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

This game has been rated PEGI 3.

Skill Level

9+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it’s important for parents and guardians to ensure they understand in-game purchases and have spending limits set-up.


Kerbal Space Program usually costs £29.99 to £49.99.

Kerbal Space Program

Steam Store PC £29.99
Steam Store Mac £29.99
XBox Store Xbox One -
PlayStation Store PS5 -
XBox Store Xbox X|S -

Kerbal Space Program Enhanced Edition Complete

PlayStation Store PS4 £49.99
There are the following additional costs associated with this game:
  • In-Game Purchases: Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience.
There's an in-game purchase for "Making History Expansion" which adds new content, a Mission Builder and a History Pack featuring missions inspired by historical events. The "Breaking Ground Expansion" opens new options once celestial bodies have been reached by adding more scientific endeavours and expanding the toolset.

The most recent addition is the "Shared Horizons" update that was developed in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA). It adds two missions led by Europe’s chief space organization. This includes the addition of the Ariane 5 rocket, an ESA-themed space suit for Kerbals, new parts, and science experiments for players to conduct. The BepiColombo mission recreates ESA's ongoing joint mission to Mercury with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency while the Rosetta mission commemorates landing on a Jupiter-family comet. 
It's important to set up your accounts and devices appropriately. More information is on our Financial Resources page.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 31/03/2016, updated in 2021

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Players: 1

Genres: Creative, Simulation (Adventure and Narrative)

Accessibility: 0 features documented (Tweet Developer )

Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World

Developer: Squad Devs (@SquadDevs)

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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