Endless Sky Is Free, Inspired By Escape Velocity

Its title caught somewhere between the 4X majesty of Endless Space and the interstellar tourism of No Man’s Sky, Endless Sky is an open-source, open-world game of exploration, trading, and combat. Inspired by Escape Velocity, it’s feature-complete and available to download right now, with free-form rags-to-riches/shuttle-to-battlefleet play fully implemented, and one of three planned stories already in place. As if that weren’t enough, there’s also an editor and a guide to creating new ships, missions and artwork.

There are Linux, Mac, and Windows builds available right now, and a full manual to help you through your first space quest. I haven’t had a chance to try it yet as I’m locked in the rainy city of Satellite Reign, and am planning to visit Fran Bow as soon as I find the exit.

The danger, of course, is that if I were to install Endless Sky I wouldn’t resurface for a few weeks. This is like catnip to me. I’d most likely spend all of my time being the interplanetary equivalent of the National Express but this sounds like a dream job:

“The fast, risky road to riches: disabling pirate ships, boarding them, and stealing their cargo and equipment. If you have enough crew members to pilot both ships, you can also try to defeat the enemy ship’s crew and capture it. Of course, you can also plunder innocent merchant ships if that’s more your style…”

Endless Sky is seeking votes on Steam Greenlight.


  1. Lamb Chop says:

    I have so many faintly remembered and probably incorrect fond memories of Escape Velocity. Joining rebel factions and being barred from the majority of planets, smuggling goods into spaceports, spending hours upgrading to a Corvette so I could blow up everything in the galaxy…This triggers every one of them.

  2. Antomadness says:

    Yes plz.

  3. typographie says:

    The original Escape Velocity defined my early PC gaming childhood, and introduced me to modding. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone else even acknowledge its existence until now, though. This makes me super happy.

    • dontnormally says:

      Me too!

      And the storyline for EV:Override was excellent in addition to being an excellent example of open-world / branching paths.

      • typographie says:

        I remember I needed a massive RAM upgrade for EV: Override. The 8 MB in my 1994 Mac just wasn’t going to cut it, and I was maybe 14 at the time. So I was a few years late to that one.

    • Banyan says:

      Yeah, I never hear mention of Escape Velocity, despite sinking many hours trading on the margins. I’m surprised it got such a casual mention as if everyone played it. I bet there are DOZENS of us!

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Same, for me. It’s definitely one of the games that made me.

      There’s no place like Levo.

  4. anonzp says:

    they already made this its called starsector

    • JarinArenos says:

      Starsector is neither finished, nor free. However I do thank you for pointing it out to me. Another in-dev game I need to pay attention to.

      • Harlander says:

        Naev is another free Escape Velocity-alike if you’re interested.

        In regard of the aside in the article, will we be seeing a Satellite Reign WIT soon?

      • heyay67 says:

        Don’t forget Unending Galaxy!!! Its like an X series games but top down 2D. You can create your own factories and mess with the economics. I love that part!

  5. JarinArenos says:

    Want want want give need now want yes DOWNLOAD FASTER DAMNIT

  6. grundus says:

    I may have accidentally just played half an hour of this at work. Saying this is ‘inspired by’ EV is kind of an understatement, so much of it is identical – but that’s cool because EV was almost perfect for what it was, and this is $0 instead of the almost criminal $30 they still want for EV:N (which, by the way, works on Windows 7 and if you’ve ever bought a key, you can still renew it if you have access to the email address you used – one of the reasons I haven’t changed my admittedly sensible email address since ~2005!).

    In short, holy shit, I’m in love. It also amusingly sits right above Escape Velocity: Nova in my laptop’s applications folder.

  7. capntao says:

    somebody needs to mod in cap’n hector and have him fly in all angry only to realize he’s outside his jurisdiction

  8. Holderist says:

    Looks a bit like Star Control with how the ships handle, and the same spinning animation when you arrive at a planet.

    Loved that game.

  9. ribby says:

    I love the planets in this game. Maybe because I haven’t played (m)any space games, so it all seems original and unique. I’ve only played the tutorial so far, but still- sitting in a bar, listening to tiny meteor pebbles bouncing off the roof is good stuff

  10. TK-093 says:

    Played a little over lunch. Great potential indeed. Will totally play more tonight. Haven’t done any combat yet, but it looks pretty hectic.

    Also.. FREE!!!

    • TK-093 says:

      I was doing some more digging and found another game in the same state… NAEV. Looks similar..

    • ribby says:

      it seems ridiculously fast paced from the very very little I’ve seen

  11. ribby says:

    Just started… It is tough to make much money in this game…

    • TK-093 says:

      Agreed. Though I only played for 30 minutes. I think make the best thing to do is pay off your initial loan then take out another loan to get a bigger cargo ship to haul more cargo. At least that’s what I’m gonna mess with tonight.

      • TK-093 says:

        “^I think MAYBE…”

        • ribby says:

          I stupidly bought a little fighter ship… I was HOPING I might be able to make money killing pirates, but it doesn’t seem like it…

          • ribby says:

            Okay I sold the Sparrow and bought a Shuttle, then I misread my mortgage, tried to pay it all off at once and have now got nothing-0 credits… oops

          • TK-093 says:

            Even with the little cargo ship I started with, I can’t seem to stay ahead buying low and selling high. I don’t make enough profit to keep up with my ship loan payments. Taking jobs is easier seems the better route to go, if you can find some that don’t take too long to travel to.

          • JarinArenos says:

            Start with the shuttle and run passengers. Upgrade to the heavy shuttle or the scout. Focus on passenger missions and rush cargo jobs.

  12. raiders says:

    I’m finally home.
    I’m playing it now.
    It’s very…interesting.

  13. Hart says:

    It’s odd that I still feel EV Nova has better graphics than every game that has been inspired by it too. This just looks a touch too cartoony for my tastes.

  14. Kaeoschassis says:

    Sigh, I only hope there’s a 32-bit release down the line. This really does look like almost everything I want in a space game.

    • trashmyego says:

      I wouldn’t keep your hopes up. 32-bit is nearly dead, thankfully. The world will be far better place for you if you take the leap up.

      • Kaeoschassis says:

        While I appreciate the sentiment (genuinely, I’m not being sarcastic), it’s still the case that were I to take the leap up the better world in question would not include, for example, food.

  15. Famethrowa says:

    Oh you are evil. I was just thinking to myself. “Man, I should really stop jumping from game to game and just finish Pillars of Eternity already” and then you post my platonic ideal of a game. Thanks a lot.

  16. ribby says:

    Okay so this is odd… Sometimes when my ship gets disabled I ask a nearby friendly ship for assistance, they agree to help, come over and then shoot me to death. What’s up with that?

  17. ribby says:

    uh-oh the galaxy seems to be on the brink of galactic war

  18. Flit says:

    Oh man, this is pretty hella tite! This is the best spiritual successor to EV Nova I’ve seen yet, by far.

    Only gripe so far is that most of the planets have really boring photos when you land. I mean, a photo of the NYC skyline? REALLY? This game is in desperate need of some cooler planet landscapes.

    • Flit says:

      I suppose since it’s open source, I should look into helping fix this problem myself :)

      • ribby says:

        I agree! I found a planet with (basically) dragons on it, but the picture didn’t have any dragons at all. This needs fixing

        • drinniol says:

          It’s one of the things for which help is specifically requested.

  19. mrvandemar says:

    I know I’m super late here, but some of those engines and shields look exactly like the engines and shields you could install on your ships in the DOS game Ascendancy.