After several delays, Kerbal Space Program 2 finally goes into early access on February 24, 2023. Developer Intercept Games initially announced it was working on KSP2 back in 2019, but alone revealed the early access release date for the Kerbal Space Program continued last week, outlining expectations in a roadmap leading to the final 1.0 release. KSP2 is currently available for wishlist at Steam and will also be available on the Epic Games Store for $49.99.
The original Kerbal Space Program is a brutal, rewarding and sometimes hilarious simulation of the complexity of spaceflight that lets you build your own rockets, shuttles, rovers and other interstellar vehicles. All staffed by the ambitious Kerbals, little green folks whose unbridled enthusiasm for spaceflight adds some much-needed levity to your failures.
While a large part of the KSP experience is all about experimenting and doing things wrong, Intercept Games recognizes some of the pain points of the original KSP, and is working to smooth out some of its rougher parts with the sequel. Right now, with the upcoming early access release, players can expect a dramatically improved user experience with a revamped user interface, as well as a new catalog of parts to experiment with, and perhaps most importantly, new tutorials and onboarding systems to help new players introduce speed.
The list of features expected at launch is only a small part of the comprehensive vision surrounding KSP2. Post-launch updates include alien colony building, interstellar travel, and multiplayer options.
Lovingly described by astrophysicist and Kerbal expert Scott Manley as “a gateway to physics”, KSP has a way of teaching you what words like “delta-V” and “apoapsis” mean without you realizing it. The game allows you to make and learn from tons of mistakes, a parallel that Nate Simpson, creative director of Intercept Games, is well aware of as the studio prepares for early access. “We’re going to do some things wrong,” he says, “we’re going to fail out loud, and there’s nothing more Kerbal than that.”
As a fan of both early and ongoing space exploration, I’ve spent a lot of time making (and crashing) my own creations in the original KSP. While it’s frustrating at times, I’m willing to admit that I cheered audibly when I finally managed to conduct my first interception in high Earth orbit, and I can’t wait to see an ambitious new generation of small sending green people into the cosmos.